By Norman Davies

In White Eagle, purple Star,distinguished historian Norman Davies offers us an entire account of the Polish-Soviet battle, with its dramatic climax in August 1920 whilst the crimson Army—sure of victory and pledged to hold the Revolution throughout Europe —was beaten by means of a devastating Polish assault. considering the fact that often called “The Miracle of the Vistula,” it continues to be probably the most the most important conflicts of the Western global. Drawing on either Polish and Russian assets, Norman Davies indicates how this conflict used to be a pivotal occasion during ecu background.

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Sample text

The castle's interior had been plundered by Russians and Germans; its art treasures were stored in Warsaw; its doors were affixed by the official seal of the local ONE GONl'LAGRATION AMONG MANY 55 party committee; its park and landscaped lakes alone attested to the tranquil, princely life of its past. On 4june the commissar of the 1St Brigade in NiciwieZ composing his weekly report to the Polish Communist Party Central Committee, spoke optimistically of the progress being made: The men are in warlike mood.

A Polish detachment from Murmansk reached Poland at the end of 1919, and one from Vladivostok, consisting of 10,000 survivors of the Polish Siberian Brigade of Colonel Rumsza, sailed into Danzig in July 1920. These last three formations had been raised among Polish conscripts in the Tsarist army stranded in Russia by the outbreak of Revolution. WHITE EAGLE, RED STAR A number of independent units were formed by the Poles of the Borders. The Samoobrona of Wilno had had its counterparts in Minsk and Grodno.

The Soviets held the superior position, and a Polish offensive would be needed to wrest it from them. In the spring floods, this was out of the question. The only event of any strategic importance was the establishment of a Polish bridgehead across the Niemen. And so for six weeks the front rested. The Soviet authorities were distracted by a counter-revolutionary rising in Byelorussia. Two regiments of the Red Army holding the line against the Ukrainians in the area of Ovruch mutinied, crossed the Pripet, and marched on Gomel' which they occupied from 24 to 29 March in the name of a 'free republic'.

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