Photographer's Note

The Battle of Warsaw, customarily called the Miracle on the Vistula - an armed clash between Soviet Russia and Poland on August 13-25, 1920, the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik war.
Finding themselves in a critical situation, on the threshold of a defeat expected by many, the units of the Polish Army managed to push back and defeat the advancing Red Army. The victory of the Polish side in the battle made it possible to maintain the independence of the reborn Republic of Poland, and also canceled the Soviet plans of an offensive against Western Europe and the plans to unleash an international revolution.

The key role was played by the maneuver of the Polish Army flanking the Red Army, developed with the participation of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, Tadeusz Rozwadowski, and carried out by the Commander-in-Chief, Józef Piłsudski, led out of the Wieprz River on August 16, 1920, with the simultaneous binding of the main Bolshevik forces in the foregrounds Warsaw.

It was a breakthrough moment for the Polish side, which had been in retreat since the end of the offensive on Kiev, forced by the Soviet army to retreat to the west in a chaotic manner. Immediately before the battle, at the turn of July and August 1920, the situation of the Polish troops became critical. The attempt to stop the offensive of the Bolshevik troops on the Bug River line ended in failure, and the Brest fortress was handed over at the beginning of August. The Red Army had an open road to Warsaw, which was an important strategic goal as the political, economic and financial center of the resurgent Poland. Polish forces appeared to be on the verge of disintegrating, and observers predicted a decisive Soviet victory.

The Commander-in-Chief, Józef Piłsudski, on August 6, gave the order to withdraw towards the Vistula River in order to regroup forces, prepare a counter-attack and organize the defense of the capital. On August 16, the strike groups commanded by Józef Piłsudski launched a counterattack from the south, from the Wieprz River, breaking through the front of the opponent's defense near Kock and Cyców, completely smashing its left wing and going to the rear of the troops attacking Warsaw. The Polish counterattack forced the Russian forces to withdraw unorganized to the east and beyond the Neman River. The Red Army suffered significant losses, including several or several dozen thousand killed and wounded, and tens of thousands of those taken prisoner.

In the following weeks, the Polish forces switched to pursuit, gaining successive victories that sealed the Polish victory in the war, guaranteed Poland's independence and made it possible to conclude a peace treaty with Soviet Russia and Ukraine favorable to the Second Republic, securing the eastern borders of the Polish state until 1939 year.

According to British politician and diplomat Edgar D'Abernon, the Battle of Warsaw was one of eighteen groundbreaking battles in world history. The leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin, called it a "huge failure" of his forces.

The picture with the monument of Commander-in-Chief, Józef Piłsudski and his soldiers is located in Krakow (English Cracow), Poland.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 653 W: 10 N: 1943] (8206)
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