Tadeusz Jordan-Rozwadowski


Tadeusz Jordan-Rozwadowski

Tadeusz Jordan-Rozwadowski (May 19, 1866-October 22, 1928) was a Polish military commander, diplomat, and politician, a general of the Austro-Hungarian Army and then the Polish Army.

Biography

Youth

Jordan-Rozwadowski was born in Babin, near Kałusz, Galicia, which formed part of the Austrian Empire (Austria-Hungary from 1867). The Jordan-Rozwadowski family, traceable to a Polish Bishop and his brothers ca. 900 AD, was a member of the Polish nobility, and a part of Traby clan ("see Trąby Coat of Arms"). The Jordan commemorates a distant ancestor who fought in the crusades and as legend has it was the first Pole to explore the Jordan River valley. He was also descended from the Polish Patriot Kasimierz Jordan-Rozwadowski, who fought against the last partition of Poland. The family obtained the title of count from the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II in 1783.

Officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army

Prior to the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Austro-Hungarian Army as an officer of artillery. He (and subsequently his son) was taught to ride at the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. For many years, Rozwadowski also served as the Austrian Military Attaché in Bucharest, Romania. In 1914 he became the commanding officer of the 12th Artillery Brigade attached to the Kraków-based 12th Infantry Division. A skilled commander, he then became the commanding officer of the 43rd Infantry Division, which he led during the victorious battle of Gorlice. For his merits in that battle he was awarded the Military Order of Maria Theresa. He is also credited with the discovery of an artillery barrage tactic called "Feuerwaltze" - "Fire-roller". In the Austro-Hungarian Army he rose to the rank of "Feldmarschalleutnant", a contemporary equivalent of the British rank of Major-General.

Beginnings of the service in Polish forces

On October 26, 1918 Rozwadowski became the Regency Council-nominated chief of staff of the Polnische Wehrmacht. After Poland regained her independence, on November 15 of that year he resigned his post - and was assigned to the same duty within the newly-restored Polish Army a week later. Until March 19, 1919 he was also the commanding officer of the Wschód Army fighting on the fronts of the Polish-Ukrainian War in Galicia.

Head of the Polish military missions to Paris, London, Rome

He was then dispatched to Paris, where he took part in the Polish delegation to the Peace Conference and was one of the people to sign the Versailles Peace Treaty. He also headed numerous Polish military missions to Paris, London and Rome. In June he became the official representative of Polish armed forces in Paris and was influential in obtaining international support for Poland (for example, the volunteers for the Polish-American Kościuszko Squadron).Janusz Cisek, "Kosciuszko, We Are Here: American Pilots of the Kosciuszko Squadron in Defense of Poland, 1919-1921", McFarland & Company, 2002, ISBN 0-7864-1240-2, [http://books.google.com/books?q=Rozwadowski&id=hNuGZOGk6UoC&vid=ISBN0786412402&dq=Rozwadowski Google Print, p.9-18 and further] ]

Chief of Staff during the Battle of Warsaw

At the height of the Bolshevist Russian offensive in the Polish-Soviet War, on July 22, 1920, he returned to Poland and assumed the post of the Chief of General Staff and a member of the State Defence Council. Opinions among historians vary as to the extent he was responsible for developing the extremely successful plan for the battle of Warsaw that turned the tide of that war, also known as "Miracle at Vistula".. Chapter "Józef Piłsudski: The Chief who Created Himself a State" reprinted in Zerkalo Nedeli "(the Mirror Weekly)", Kiev, February 3 - 9, 2001, [http://www.zerkalo-nedeli.com/nn/show/329/29435/ in Russian] and [http://www.zn.kiev.ua/ie/show/329/29435/ in Ukrainian] .]

Death and the aftermath

Soon after his release and retirement general Rozwadowski died under mysterious circumstances in a hospital in Warsaw and was buried, amid rumors of poisoning, with military honours at the Łyczaków Cemetery in Lwów (Lviv), among his fallen soldiers of the 1918-1919 Polish-Ukrainian War.

In the years following his death the official Polish media sought to erase Tadeusz Rozwadowski's memory. This policy also prevailed during the time of communist rule in Poland after the WWII. Only since the fall of communism have historians in Poland been able to objectively question the circumstances of the Battle of Warsaw , as well as Rozwadowski's life and contributions to the history of Poland and Europe. [Janusz Szczepański, KONTROWERSJE WOKÓŁ BITWY WARSZAWSKIEJ 1920 ROKU (Controversies surrounding the Battle of Warsaw in 1920). Mówią Wieki, online version. ]

Family

General Rozwadowski left behind a wife, a daughter, and a son. The greater part of his fortune was lost in a business venture to benefit the soldiers who fought under his command. His daughter, Melania Josefina, seems to have died under mysterious circumstances in the 1970s and never married. The son, Jozef, was an artillery officer in the Polish Army and was also awarded the Virtuti Militari. In the 1930s, he was forced to resign his commission and emigrate to the United States due to his continued support for the pro-democratic and anti-Piłsudski forces in Poland. Jozef ("Joseph Jordan") worked as an engineer and designed the elevators in the Empire State Building as well as the Polish Pavilion in the 1964 World's Fair. He was survived by one daughter, Melanie Josephine, and one granddaughter, Calia Brencsons-Van Dyk (see List of Latvians), both also living in the United States.

References


* Tadeusz Kryska-Karski, Stanisław Żurakowski, "Generałowie Polski niepodległej" (Generals of independent Poland), Warszawa 1991
* Andrzej Suchcitz, "Generałowie wojny polsko-sowieckiej 1919-1920. Mały słownik biograficzny" (Generals of Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920. Small biographical dictionary), Białystok 1993

Further reading

* R. Ulrych, “General Tadeusz Rozwadowski and the Attempt to Establish a Volunteer American Legion within the Polish Army, 1919—1920,” The Polish Review, vol. XXXVII, no.1., 1992, p.102-104
* Mariusz Patelski, "Generał broni Tadeusz Jordan Rozwadowski: żołnierz i dyplomata" (Generał broni Tadeusz Jordan Rozwadowski: soldier and diplomat), Warszawa 2002

External links

* [http://www.pilsudski.org/English/Collections/Archive/Archive-003.html Chief of General Staff of Polish Army, General Tadeusz Rozwadowski Papers. Description of archival collection in the Jozef Pilsudski Institute in New York]
* [http://www.miks.uj.edu.pl/epi/2003/lux25/ Tadeusz Jordan-Rozwadowski] . Extensive site with large gallery.
* [http://www.rozwadowski.org/v2.0.1.2/gentr1.htm "Zniszczony za życia"] (Destroyed during life) by Jan Engelgard
* [http://www.rozwadowski.org/v2.0.1.2/gentr2.htm Generał Rozwadowski] by Lech Maria Wojciechowski


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