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Forum » Russian Civil war / Гражданская война в России » Thread: POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920) -- Page 1  Jump To: 


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T.S.
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From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 24-02-2012 03:47
 
1.
POLES IN THE ARMIES OF THE PARTITIONING STATES
p. 134-136

The Poles were citizens under occupation and subject to existing laws in the occupating countries and so also to compulsory military service. In the period preceding the First World War, the armies of the occupiers – constant on peace footing - according to statements by Stefan Kieniewicz and Adam Dobroński, as well as estimates on the Russian Empire, served a total of 250.000 - 300.000 Poles. Of these 165 000 - 200 000 in the Russian Army, 55.000 - 60.000 in the Austro-Hungarian Army and about 40.000 in the German Army.
After the war had started, the number of Poles,serving in the armies of the occupiers, repeatedly increased up to 1918, when their numbers amounted about 2.900.000 soldiers of Polish descent. According to authors of some studies, among others the “Historii Polski”, published by the Instytut Historii PAN, their numbers can be put to almost 3.400.000. The most reliable information is on the number of Poles being mobilized for the Russian Army. They show that in the ranks of the Russian Army were just 700.000 - 800 000 Poles, as the mobilization in the areas of the Polish Kingdom was carried out only partially. In mid-1917 still served about 500.000 Poles in the Russian Army, including 119 generals and about 20.000 officers.
The largest number of Poles were called up by the Austrian mobilization apparatus, represented by district supplement commands (Erganzungsbezirke), reserve recruiting commands (Landwehrerganzungskommandos) and militia recruiting commands (Landsturmbezirkkommandos). Most men came from the area called Western Galicia, however a significant proportion was also mobilized in the Eastern Galician areas dominated by an ethnical Ukrainian population.
In peace time the forces of the Habsburg monarchy were 44 units consisting mainly of Poles, in the Austro-Hungarian army were 30 units, that is, 11 regiments of infantry, two separate battalions of infantry, five regiments of cavalry, five regiments of field artillery and horse artillery, a unit of heavy howitzers, two regiments of fortress artillery, a battalion of sappers and three units of supply trains. Whereas the Austrian National Defense had 14 Polish units, seven regiments of infantry, one cavalry regiment, three regiments of field artillery and three battalions of howitzers.
Congress Poles liable to military service in the Russian Army were appointed by the authorities in the so-called. military districts (wojennych uczastkow) and by being on the temporary lists of recruitment commissions. In Congress Poland there were 28 military districts, which included several administrative districts.
The Russian army used a territorial-mixing system when supplementing the ranks. New upplements for units, which had their garrisons in the central provinces of Russia, were sent so the units were made up of 30% local recruitment, in 45% - 55% of the recruitment of Russian nationality, but
Kontyngens additions directed to the formation of which had their garrisons in the central provinces of Russia, made up of 30% local recruits, 45% - 55% of Russian nationality recruits and 15% - 25% recruits from frontier provinces like the Polish areas.
Strictly adhered to was the principle that recruits called up in the Polish Kingdom were not sent to the formations in the Warsaw and Vilna Military Districts, but directly to units inside Russia. In 1908, the various military districts received following numbers of Poles: St. Petersburg – 7.480 recruits (19%), Kiev – 2.164 (5%), Odessa - 5131 (13%), Moscow – 6.812 (18%), Kazan – 1.322 (3.4% ), Caucasus – 5.336 (13.3%), Turkestan – 4.082 (10%), Omsk - 143 (0.3%), Irkutsk - 2656 (7%), Nadamurski – 4.342 (11%). The claim often seen that the Poles were sent mainly to the remote Siberian garrisons can not be proven confronted with the facts.
For Polish recruits, the German Army worked through the recruiting district authorities, mainly in the eastern territorial departments of the military administration, which were the districts: III Szczecin, V Poznan, VI, Wrocław, XVII Gdańsk and XX Olsztyn. Some Poles, who had emigrated to Westphalia, were administred through the recruiting authorities of the XI Corps District Cassel and XIV Corps District Karlsruhe. Recruits were assigned to military units individually or in small groups, which facilitated their Germanization.
An attempt to assess the service in the occupant armies encounters great difficulties from missing sources. The available material shows that the condition of equipment was generally good, although as the war dragged on, then came shortcomings, especially in the Russian Army. In terms of food the most difficult situations were for those drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. Discrimination was a phenomenon least severely felt in the armed forces of the Habsburg monarchy. Poles in the Russian Army of the Catholic faith were not prohibited from religious practice. It was also allowed to communicate with each other in Polish, but strictly adhered to communicating with superiors in Russian language and they were taught to memorize formulated reportings. Many were the instances, when Polish language was derided, more often by the privates than by officers and NCOs. It also happened that the Poles have been downtrodden, and various offensive behaviour could be seen despite the threat of disciplinary action. Longer service often lead to Russification.
When the war progressed, clearly discriminations against the Poles decreased. As the military action prolonged and cases of desertion were repeated, especially frequent during the evacuation of the Polish Kingdom, the ratio of Poles in the Russian Army did deteriorate. Increased distrust gave a tendency to send Polish soldiers to the Turkish front. Finally chicane was a fixed standard towards followers of the Roman Catholic religion, and they constituted the vast majority of Poles. Roman Catholics were not accepted to the St Petersburg General Staff Academy, hence the frequent incidents of officers going over to the Orthodox religion, some to the Protestant or Calvinist, as did General Joseph Dowbor-Musnicki.
In the Austro-Hungarian Army service conditions for Poles were not the best. The service consisted in a stupefying military drill and was insistent in requiring attachment to the person of the old emperor, Franz Joseph I, and the ruling dynasty. Official language was German.
Harassment was also reflected in the slower advancements of Poles, and the fact that Poles seldom reached higher ranks and functions, like corps commanders in the Russian Army, but it happened (General Joseph Dowbor-Musnicki, General Eugene de Henning Michaelis). The German General Staff Academy did not accept Poles at all, and very reluctantly allowed Poles to the ordinary officer schools. The Germanization and personal harassment was an everyday occurrence in the Prussian Army.


2
POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Pulawi Legion, Legion Lublin and ulan squadrons

NATIONAL FORMATIONS
(p. 190 - p. 214)
First after the proclamation of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of 14 August 1914, which included the promise that after the war the Polish territories of the three-partition would be united under the scepter of the Czar and given autonomy, were raised Polish military volunteer formations to fight on the Russian side.
The first, a little flawed, attempt in this regard was taken by a Russian school teacher in Kielce, Bonaventure Snarski. The unit recruited by him in Warsaw had about 100 volunteers meant for sabotage activities on the Russian-German front in the Polish Kingdom. But that initiative was negatively treated by the Russian military authorities and the Polish Members of the State Duma, represented by Wiktor Jarońsko and Zygmunt Balicki.
There also was presented a home-made project for approval by a Pole, Boleslaw Matuszewski, to the Russian garrison officers in Dęblin.

The Pulawi Legion
In the end of August came the only initiative, which was crowned with success. It came from Witold Gorczynski, a landowner in the district of Šiauliai. On August 18 he obtained acceptance from the Chief of Staff (the Commander in Chief), General Nicholas Januszkiewicz, to form a unit of Polish troops. The initiative of Gorczynski's organization was then agreed on by General Nikolai Ivanov, who commanded the armies of the South-West Front and was launched first in the Brest and Chelm and later into Pulawy regions. Hence the main formation has been named the Pulawy Legion. Officially the Gorczynski troops were referred to as the Polish Legion.
The units, raised on the initiative of Gorczynski, were to be armed by the Russian Army and equipped and uniformed by the Polish society.
The formation was meant for partisan activities and its command language was Polish. The officers were to be Poles, already serving in the Russian Army. The influx of volunteers to the formation was skimpy, even though this event, albeit with considerable delay, was backed by the Polish political parties of pro-Russian orientation, which 25 November 1914 had been assembled into the Polish National Committee (KNP). Due to the pressure from the Committee acting under the direction of Roman Dmowski, the Russian military authorities agreed to convert the raised legion units into regular army units. KNP was recognized as a political leading body and fulfilled this role through a special set up through its Organizing Committee, which included: General Edmund Świdziński as leader of the Legion, General Ludomir Stepowski (Assistant Chief), General Peter Szymanowski (Treasurer), Anthony Sadzewicz (Secretary), Witold Gorczynski (Head of the Organizing Bureau), and Zygmunt Balicki and Count Constantine Broel Plater (members).
A major role in the military section of the Organizing Committee had General Świdziński.
He took care of essential matters directly relating to the existence of the formation and prepared military manuals and regulations. The recruiting part was organized in Warsaw by Balicki, who oversaw the activities of the seven recruitment offices, established in Warsaw, Siedlce, Lomza, Lublin, Kiev, Suwalki and Plonsk. When the legal status of the volunteer legions was changed, it resulted in increasing numbers of volunteers. This enabled the completion of the unit formed in the Pulawy. This unit, called the Legion (Pulawy Legion), had a strength equivalent to a battalion. On the appeal of Gorczynski on behalf of the Organizing Committee for the Polish Legions, the Puławy Legion was commanded by Colonel Anthony Reutt.
The Legion had four rifle companies, commanded by the captains: Adam Trygara, Joseph Sulkowski, Witold Komierowski and Konrad Ossowski, for the communications stood Chorąży Inżynier (engineer-ensign) Jan Wlekliński, the machine gun company was led by Second Lieutenant Stanislaw Jaworski. Leading the medical service was Doctor Jan Zaluska.
A further inflow of volunteers allowed to start the organizational work associated with raising a second unit in Lublin, named the Lublin Legion and two squadrons of lancers. Decisions on these matters were announced in late January 1915, and at the same time the Organizing Committee of the Polish Legions resolved to take over the command of 104th Militia Brigade (Brygady Pospolitego Ruszenia), established February 5, 1915, when the legionary units were changed into militia formations. This was followed by a change of names: the Puławy Legion was renamed the 739th Drużynę Nowoaleksandryjską (Drużyn New-Alexander, also known as the Puławsky Battalion), and the Lublin Legion became the 740th Drużynę Lubelską (the Lublin Battalion). The squadrons of lancers were founded as the 115 and 116 “sotnie konne” (115th and 116th half-squadron). Commander of the brigade including these units was General Peter Szymanowski.
On July 20 it had already been resolved that the men of the Lublin Battalion were to be amalgated into the Pulawy Battalion, in which they then took part in combat operations.
Already early Colonel Anthon Reutt was severely wounded and Colonel Jan Rzadkowski took over the command. In the combat operations also both the lancer squadrons participated.
In September 1915 the Battalion Puławski, exhausted by war and after heavy losses , was withdrawn from the front lines to the fortress in Bobrujsk. Soon started preparations to develop volunteer Polish military formations to fight alongside the Russian army.

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 21-12-2015 00:24
 















Officer and ulan from the Pulawy Legion in parade uniform together with a NCO from same regiment in field uniform.





























































































Николай
Active User




From: Воронеж
Messages: 1425

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 08-01-2016 03:09
 
Автор редко пишет. Вот ссылка в тему.: cyberleninka.ru/article/n/zabytaya-armiya-formirovanie-2-go-i-3-go-polskih-korpusov-v-rossii-v-kontse-1917-nachale-1918gg

«ЗАБЫТАЯ АРМИЯ»: ФОРМИРОВАНИЕ 2-ГО И 3-ГО ПОЛЬСКИХ КОРПУСОВ В РОССИИ В КОНЦЕ 1917 - НАЧАЛЕ 1918 ГГ

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 08-01-2016 12:53
 
Николай,

I am sorry, you is not satisfied, how I do it in my way.
I have now put up all the texts from the Polish history book, which are the necessary knowledge and background needed to understand the period 1917-1921.
Now I am going to put pictures up for these texts.
And then I will put texts to the pictures and distribute into the texts, with more and enlarged texts here and there.
I do not work very fast, caused by personal reasons, but as it seems, it is only a pet project for me alone, it will be done in my speed.
The pictures above concerns only the Pulawy troops, there a lots more to come on other subjects.
Next will be about 100 pictures, followed by some texts, from the Polish scout movement, as a series of 28mm figures of fighting scouts are almost finished for production.
My next contributions will only be uploading of lots of pictures to the already put up texts, which takes its time.

Cuprum
Message Maniac


From: Барнаул
Messages: 759

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 09-01-2016 12:05
 


T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 09-01-2016 16:36
 
Cuprum,
hi
I know the picture, but I am not sure the inscription is correct or placed later.
In my memory I think, I have seen same picture without inscription, but at the moment, I can not find such picture.

Николай
Active User




From: Воронеж
Messages: 1425

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 14-02-2016 07:28
 


Артиллеристы Польского Легиона с талисманом на Северном фронте. 1919 г.

www.rusantikvar.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=167&start=30

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 14-02-2016 09:09
 
Николай,
that picture shows the ice bear cup, which the Poles in Murmansk took with returning home to Poland.
It had nothing to do with the Pulawy Poles.
In Poland the tame ice bear was shot while swimming in a river by a farmer. who wanted to present a fur coat to his wife.
Instead it ended up stuffed in the Warsaw Military Museum, where it disappeared during WWII.
More information can easily be found on the internet, even books to download.
Here are some more pictures of the ice bear, which later will end as a chapter under the Poles in Murmansk with some more text - the bear will even be sculpted in 28mm by Shumin




"Lead by music, three hundreds of feet walked on the pavement in the rhythm like a flail on the barn floor. There it was, the Murmań battalion marching to the Saxon Square. That day of December was cloudy, but the smiles on soldiers’ faces shined like the sun: they felt that they’re famous and gallant, that everyone is impressed by them. They were filled with vanity, adequate to soldiers strutting with a marching band, surrounded by adoration of young women.
Baśka, feeling the gravity of the moment, walked next to Smorgoński, without turning her head or looking surprised, because at that time she was already a well behaving person.Next to soldiers, flood of people was running down the street. They were tumbling, tripping over little children and dogs, crashing their knees, stumbling on trams and cars with their jaws dropped, falling down and getting back up again, as long as they kept the
white bear in their sight. Her name had spread quickly and people murmured “Baśka, Baśka”, sending electrifying waves around. Hearing her name spoken by thousands of lips, she got even tougher, and walked onward, not completely sure if she was guided on a leash, or if she was guiding those three hundred men. Then they reached the Saxon Square. A huge, orthodox church with onion-like domes, really impressed Baśka. She couldn’t remember where, but she had already seen something similar. It reminded her of architecture of icy mountains, floating over the Arctic Ocean. Both those things looked really alike.
After a short military mass, and long speeches of generals and bishops, which Baśka listened to with much lenience, it was time for procession in front of the Chief of State.
Baśka really liked him. She saw him for the first time, but from the very start, she figured that this tall man in a modest, gray coat, with bushy eyebrows and illustrious moustache, has to be the most important figure, even more important that the Squad’s Commander, of whom Smorgoński was frightened, as much as Baśka was afraid of fire, even maybe more important than herself, the bear who turned all the heads! When the Chief, who was trying to stroke her fur, extended his arm, without much hesitation, she gave him his paw and shook his hand with a ceremonial curtsy, like a most sophisticated lady. After that they separated, both very happy with each other.
During the procession, Baśka inspired real enthusiasm in the crowd: it was a lovely view, seeing her walking on her back feet, as tall as Smorgoński, head to head with him and the rest of the Squad, and in the statutory moment, she turned her head to the Chief, saluting him briskly like a true soldier.
In that moment, she presented her quarter-cubit-long amaranth tongue, contrasting her snow white fur. By showing those vivid colors, she wanted to manifest - to the Chief and foreign guests accompanying him - her affiliation to the Polish Nation and its history.
A wave of applause was Baśka’s reward for this political statement, presented so boldly, gracefully and with such class."



Николай
Active User




From: Воронеж
Messages: 1425

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 15-02-2016 06:25
 
I don't know where i must to demostrate this foto.

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 POLISH MILITARY FORMATIONS IN RUSSIA (1914-1920)
Sent: 15-02-2016 16:22
 
Николай,
No problem.
Just let it be, as it is.
Later it can be put into a separate text on the Murmansk battalion, a separate text on the ice bear Baska, properly enlisted in the Polish Army - or put under the 64 pp (originally the Grudziądzki Pułk Strzelców, in which regiment the Murmansk Battalion was incorporated January 1920 as its 3rd battalion, stationed in the Modlin Fortress.
Here is one version of the story of Baska in English:
http://www.nowydwormaz.pl/plik,1487,history-of-baska-murmanska-eugeniusz-malaczewski.pdf

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