Soviet Polish War 1919-1921



  • How would a Soviet Union’s victory over Poland effect Western Europe in the years between the wars?

    This war saw the Pole/Ukrainian Army take Kiev and a Soviet counter attack that drove to Warsaw.

    I found it neat that one of the top Polish Generals and hero of the crucial Battle of Warsaw was named Rommel.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you for the question, as I had no idea of this war!
    Have looked it up and the most striking thing is the parity in numbers. I felt sure the Russians would have always outnumbered the Poles.

    I think a Russian victory(annexation of Poland) would have obviously made for a different WW2 situation.
    Hitler(much as he was in 41-42) would have been seen as a liberator to the Ukrainian people, possibly the Poles too. Until of course he refused to give them their country back.
    Would the UK and France have offered to go war over this “Eastern problem”?
    I  am sure they would not have.
    Very interesting Worsham. Food for thought.



  • Marshal Jozef Pilsudski was the leader of the Polish movement, he had been a victim of ‘Czar Justice’ and had little love for the Russians. He sought for a Pole Empire with borders similar to 1772. He also sought to sap Russian power by establishing a Federation of Ukraine, Belorussia and Lithuania, under Polish control.

    Once the Whites started losing the Revolution in Russia, they seeked help from Poland. The price tag was Galicia for Pilsudski to help Ukrainians form an independent state. The combination of Ukrainian and Poles took Kiev in May 1920.

    A counterattack by the Reds forced the Poles back into Poland. Lenin with the Revolution under control ordered an attack to capture Warsaw, in preparation for a possible invasion of Germany to help the Communist movement in that country.

    Lenin places in command of the five soviet armies Marshal Tukhachevsky. The Russian invasion is broad with armies. The Polish leadership relies heavy on large conscription program and decides to concentrate their resources south of Warsaw. This removes Polish units away from the elite 1st Red Cavalry Army, who leaderships decides to stay put and will have no part in the most important battle between World Wars.

    The Soviets place three armies west of Warsaw in hopes of flanking the Polish forces and the city. The Russian forces in a no lose situation for they are only miles from the German Border.

    The Western Powers fearful of a Polish defeat, which would lead to a possible Allied invasion of Germany give the Polish leadership weapons if the Poles will recognize the Curzon Lines as the national eastern border and drop the dreams of a vast Polish Empire.

    The Russians who numbered 180,000 were not prepared for the vast number of Poles who numbered 380,000 supported by tanks, armored cars and motorized infantry. Soviet leadership was handicap by mistrust between one another which isolate individual soviet armies.

    The battles turned into a route with most of the Soviet destroyed or trapped between Polish forces and the German border where they were interned to German authorities. The Soviets would lose 100,000 men, 250 artillery pieces, 1000 machine guns, 10,000 vehicles and 66,000 POWs. Polish losses were 50,000.

    Weeks later Polish Cavalry move on the 1st Red Cavalry Army in what would be the last great Cavalry Battle.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank God for Poland!
    Would have been sickening to consider a communist Germany.
    Did Lenin really think that could have been a reality?
    I have always been fascinated by old History and know nothing of 20th century affairs(WW2 excepted), so I thank you Worsham.
    As for Poland: does it ever get a break!

    I know nothing of this Cavalry battle either.



  • I am liking this a lot. Man Russia would get Germany, build a little then keep going maybe 🙂 Communism everywherreeee



  • @italiansarecoming:

    I am liking this a lot. Man Russia would get Germany, build a little then keep going maybe 🙂 Communism everywherreeee

    There taking over the world.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Worsham: I noticed it was today in 1920 that Polish troops under General Rydz-Smigly held a victory parade up the main road in Kiev, celebrating their 7th May capture of the city.
    Their tenure of Kiev only lasted a few weeks.



  • @wittmann:

    Worsham: I noticed it was today in 1920 that Polish troops under General Rydz-Smigly held a victory parade up the main road in Kiev, celebrating their 7th May capture of the city.
    Their tenure of Kiev only lasted a few weeks.

    After studying this conflict, you can get a better understanding of the Soviet willingness to divide Poland with Germany.


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