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Encyclopedia > Battle of Zadwórze
Battle of Zadwórze
a 1929 painting by Stanisław Kaczor-Batowski
Battle of Zadwórze
Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War
Date August 17, 1920
Place Zadwórze, near Lwów
Result Russian victory
Combatants
Poland Bolshevik Russia
Commanders
Bolesław Zajączkowski Unknown
Strength
500 Unknown
Casualties
318 dead Unknown, probably exceeding 600
Polish-Bolshevik War
Vistula – Bereza Kartuska – Wilno – 1st Minsk – Daugavpils – KievWołodarka – Lwów – Berezina – WarsawRaszyn – Nasielsk – Serock – RadzyminZadwórzeKomarówNiemen – Zboiska – 2nd Minsk

Battle of Zadwórze (sometimes referred to as the "Polish Thermopylae") was a battle of the 1920 Polish-Bolshevik War. It was fought on August 17, 1920 near the train station of Zadwórze, a small village located 33 kilometres from the city centre of Lwów (now Lviv). The battle, lasting roughly 24 hours, resulted in the complete destruction of the Polish forces but at the same time halted the Soviet advance, preventing the forces of Siemion Budionnyi from seizing Lwów and so contributing to the successful defence of Warsaw. Polish-Bolshevik War Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 1919–1921 Place Central and Eastern Europe Result Polish victory The Polish-Soviet War (also known as the Polish-Bolshevik War or the Polish-Russian War) was the war (February 1919 – March 1921) that determined the borders between the Russian Soviet Federated... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1920 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Lviv coat of arms Motto: Semper fidelis Municipal government City council (Львівська міська рада) Mayor City chairman Lyubomyr Bunyak Area 171,01 km² Population    total 2000    density 808,900 4786/km² Founded city rights 13th century 1353 Area code + 0322 Latitude Longitude 49°51′ N 24°01′ E Twin towns... Bolshevist Russia is a common term that refers to the Red side in the Russian government between the Bolsheviks October Revolution (November 7, 1917) and the constitution of the Soviet Union (December 30, 1922). ... Target Vistula Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date November 18, 1918 to March, 1919 Place Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine Result Unconcluded The Russian Westward offensive of 1918 — 1919 it was part of general move of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic into the areas occupied by Germany after its retreat... Battle of Bereza Kartuska (1919) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date August, 1920 Place near Bereza Kartuska, near Brzesc, Belarus Result Polish victory Battle of Bereza Kartuska was one of the first conflicts between the organised forces of the Second Polish Republic and Soviet Russia and can be considered as one... Kiev Offensive (1920) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date April-June, 1920 Place Ukraine Result unconcluded The Kiev Offensive (or Kiev Operation) was an important military operation, carried out by Polish Army and allied Ukrainian forces during the Polish-Bolshevik War, from April 1920 to June same year. ... Kiev Offensive (1920) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date May 29, 1920 Place Volodarka near Kyiv, Ukraine Result Polish victory Battle of Wołodarka was a clash between the Polish Army and the 1st Cavalry Army of Semyon Bydionnyi. ... Battle of Lwów Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date July-September, 1920 Place near Lwów, Poland Result Polish victory During the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 the city of Lwów was attacked by the forces of Aleksandr Yegorov. ... Battle of Warsaw Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 13 to August 25, 1920 Place near Warsaw, Poland Result Decisive Polish victory The Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War (also known as... Battle of Raszyn (1920) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date August, 1920 Place near Raszyn, Poland Result ? Battle of Raszyn) was a battle of the Polish_Soviet War that took place in (August 1920) between the Polish Army and the Red Army near the village of Raszyn. ... Battle of Radzymin Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date August 12-August 15, 1920 Place near Radzymin, Poland Result Polish victory Battle of Radzymin was part of the Battle of Warsaw during the Polish-Bolshevik War. ... Battle of Komarów Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date August 31, 1920 Place Komarów and Wolica Śniatycka, near Zamość Result Decisive Polish victory Battle of Komarów was one of the most important battles of the Polish-Bolshevik War. ... Battle of Thermopylae Conflict Persian Wars Date August, 480 BC Place Thermopylae Result Persian pyrrhic victory The Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC set an alliance of Greek city-states against an invading Persian army. ... 1920 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Polish-Bolshevik War Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 1919–1921 Place Central and Eastern Europe Result Polish victory The Polish-Soviet War (also known as the Polish-Bolshevik War or the Polish-Russian War) was the war (February 1919 – March 1921) that determined the borders between the Russian Soviet Federated... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1920 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Lviv coat of arms Motto: Semper fidelis Municipal government City council (Львівська міська рада) Mayor City chairman Lyubomyr Bunyak Area 171,01 km² Population    total 2000    density 808,900 4786/km² Founded city rights 13th century 1353 Area code + 0322 Latitude Longitude 49°51′ N 24°01′ E Twin towns... Semyon Budyonny Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (also spelled Budennii, Budenny, Budyenny etc, Russian: Семён Михайлович Будённый) (April 25, 1883 - October 26, 1973), Soviet military commander, was a favourite of Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, a fact which led to one of modern historys greatest military catastrophes. ... Battle of Warsaw Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 13 to August 25, 1920 Place near Warsaw, Poland Result Decisive Polish victory The Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War (also known as...

Contents

History

Eve of the Battle

By mid-August 1920 the Red Army broke all Polish lines of defence and was marching towards Warsaw. The Polish headquarters prepared a plan to counter-attack the Red Army on its left flank from the Wieprz River area, in what became known as the Battle of Warsaw. To gather enough forces for the offensive, gen. Józef Piłsudski, Polish Commander in Chief, ordered all available units to move to the Wieprz area and withdrew a number of formations from the Polish Southern Front, leaving only two-and-a-half infantry divisions to oppose the 12th Red Army and Budyonny’s cavalry. The city of Lwów was left with merely token forces defending the Upper Bug river line against three Russian armies (9th, 13th and 14th). 1920 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa, see also other names, in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ... Wieprz is a river in central-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Vistula river, with a length of 303 kilometres (9th longest) and the basin area of 10,415 sq. ... Battle of Warsaw Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 13 to August 25, 1920 Place near Warsaw, Poland Result Decisive Polish victory The Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War (also known as... Term of Office from November 14, 1918 until December 9, 1922 Profession Statesman and military commander Political Party none, see Sanacja for details First Lady Maria Piłsudska Date of Birth December 5, 1867 Place of Birth Zułów, in todays Lithuania Date of Death May 12, 1935 Place of Death... Lviv coat of arms Motto: Semper fidelis Municipal government City council (Львівська міська рада) Mayor City chairman Lyubomyr Bunyak Area 171,01 km² Population    total 2000    density 808,900 4786/km² Founded city rights 13th century 1353 Area code + 0322 Latitude Longitude 49°51′ N 24°01′ E Twin towns... Bug at Wlodawa One of the two rivers called Bug (pronounced Boog), the Western Bug, or Buh (Belarusian: Захо́дні Буг; Russian: За́падный Буг; Ukrainian: Західний Буг, Zakhidnyi Buh), flows from central Ukraine to the west, forming part of the boundary between that nation and Poland, passes along the Polish-Belarusian...


After several days of heavy fights, the 1st Cavalry Army under Siemion Budionnyi broke through Polish lines of defence and started its march towards Lwów. The civilian inhabitants of the city started to organise resistance and build field fortifications, anticipating a long siege. Several thousand civilians, mostly students and veterans of the 1918 Battle of Lwów, volunteered for the self-defence units. Ill-equipped detachments are sent towards the front line and fight in several battles (among them battles of Kamionka Strumiłłowa, Ruda Siedlecka, Chodaczków, Krasne, Busko, Biłka Szlachecka, Kurowice, Streptów, Zuchorzyce and Laszki Królewskie), but were unable to stop numerically and technically superior forces of the Red Army. Semyon Budyonny Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (also spelled Budennii, Budenny, Budyenny etc, Russian: Семён Михайлович Будённый) (April 25, 1883 - October 26, 1973), Soviet military commander, was a favourite of Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, a fact which led to one of modern historys greatest military catastrophes. ... 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ...


Battle

Among the volunteer units organised in Lwów was a group of soldiers of major (later a general) Roman Abraham. In the morning of August 16, the 1st battalion of Polish 54th Infantry Regiment was sent from Lwów towards the village of Nowosiółki (east of the town of Krasne) in order to help the endangered units formed by Roman Abraham. Upon its arrival, the battalion found the town occupied by the Red Army and recaptured it. However, the following day it was endangered by encirclement and was ordered to withdraw towards Lwów. In the morning of August 17 it was taken by surprise near a train station in the village of Zadwórze and was completely destroyed by forces of the Red 6th Cavalry Division of the 1st Cavalry Army. All Polish soldiers, approximately 200, were killed or missing. Roman Abraham (1891-1976) was a Polish cavalry general, a participant of the Polish defense war in September 1939, and took part in the Battle of Bzura. ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


At the same time a battalion of approximately 500 volunteers organised by Roman Abraham under command of capt. Bolesław Zajączkowski was marching from Krasne along the Lwów-Tarnopol rail road. On August 17, shortly before noon, the group reached the village of Kutkorz, it was attacked with machine gun fire from the nearby village of Zadwórze. Capt. Zajączkowski ordered his men to form a line and started an assault towards the village. After a short fight, 330 Poles captured the train station. However, the village was not taken and soon the Polish forces were counter-attacked by the units of 6th Cavalry Division. Lviv coat of arms Motto: Semper fidelis Municipal government City council (Львівська міська рада) Mayor City chairman Lyubomyr Bunyak Area 171,01 km² Population    total 2000    density 808,900 4786/km² Founded city rights 13th century 1353 Area code + 0322 Latitude Longitude 49°51′ N 24°01′ E Twin towns... Ternopil (Тернопіль in Ukrainian, Tarnopol in Polish, Ternopol in Russian) is a city in Western Ukraine, located at the banks of the Seret river. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ...


Until dusk the ammo was almost completely depleted, yet the Polish unit managed to repulse 6 consecutive cavalry charges. Shortly before dusk came captain Zajączkowski decided that the further defence of the station is impossible and ordered his units to retreat towards Lwów. However, the retreat was halted by three Bolshevik fighters strafing the Polish defenders. After suffering heavy casualties from machine gun fire, Zajączkowski ordered his men to organise a last pocket of resistance near the lineman's hut. After a hand-to-hand fight with sabres and bayonettes, the Polish resistance was broken. Out of 330 Polish soldiers who seized the train station earlier that day, 318 were dead. Several dozen wounded Poles were captured by the Red Army and most probably murdered. Captain Zajączkowski himself committed a suicide in order not to be caught by the enemy. Only 12 Polish soldiers reached the Polish lines to tell the tale.


Aftermath

The battle was a complete disaster for the Polish forces that were almost completely annihilated. However, the 11 hours long fight halted the advance of the whole 6th Cavalry Division for almost 24 hours. This allowed for the strengthening of the defences of Lwów. In addition, because of the defence of Zadwórze, the 1st Cavalry Army of Siemion Budionnyi could not reach the forces fighting in the Battle of Warsaw and attack the undefended right flank of the forces of Józef Piłsudski advancing towards the rear of the Red Army forces around Warsaw. When the forces of Budionnyi finally regrouped and restarted their march northwards, it was already too late and the Battle of Warsaw ended with a complete defeat of the Red Army. The 1st Cavalry Army was later defeated in a Battle of Komarów, which became known as "the biggest cavalry battle since 18th century". Semyon Budyonny Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (also spelled Budennii, Budenny, Budyenny etc, Russian: Семён Михайлович Будённый) (April 25, 1883 - October 26, 1973), Soviet military commander, was a favourite of Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, a fact which led to one of modern historys greatest military catastrophes. ... Battle of Warsaw Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 13 to August 25, 1920 Place near Warsaw, Poland Result Decisive Polish victory The Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War (also known as... Term of Office from November 14, 1918 until December 9, 1922 Profession Statesman and military commander Political Party none, see Sanacja for details First Lady Maria Piłsudska Date of Birth December 5, 1867 Place of Birth Zułów, in todays Lithuania Date of Death May 12, 1935 Place of Death... Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa, see also other names, in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... Battle of Komarów Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date August 31, 1920 Place Komarów and Wolica Śniatycka, near Zamość Result Decisive Polish victory Battle of Komarów was one of the most important battles of the Polish-Bolshevik War. ...


Because of the heroic defence and high casualties, the battle of Zadwórze was nick-named the "Polish Battle of Thermopylae". Battle of Thermopylae Conflict Persian Wars Date August, 480 BC Place Thermopylae Result Persian pyrrhic victory The Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC set an alliance of Greek city-states against an invading Persian army. ...


Tomb of an Unknown Soldier in Warsaw

Among the Polish soldiers killed in the battle was 19 years old Konstanty Zarugiewicz. A student of the 7th course of primary school and a veteran of the 1918 defence of Lwów, for which he was awarded with Virtuti Militari and Krzyż Walecznych. His body was never found. 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Order of Virtuti Militari The Order of Virtuti Militari (Military Virtue) is Polands highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy, equivalent to the British Victoria Cross or the US Congressional Medal of Honor. ... This is an article about the Polish military decoration. ...


In 1925 when the authorities of Warsaw and the commanders of the Polish Army decided to build a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, his mother Jadwiga Zarugiewiczowa was chosen as the person to chose the coffin to be transported to Warsaw and buried in the grave. Events January-May January 3 - Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy. ... Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa, see also other names, in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ... Saxon Garden, with the Tomb visible in the background. ...


See also:

Battle of Wizna Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 7-September 10, 1939 Place Wizna near Poland Result unconcluded Battle of Wizna (sometimes referred to as the Polish Thermopylae) was fought between September 6 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial... Saxon Garden, with the Tomb visible in the background. ... Polish-Bolshevik War Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date 1919–1921 Place Central and Eastern Europe Result Polish victory The Polish-Soviet War (also known as the Polish-Bolshevik War or the Polish-Russian War) was the war (February 1919 – March 1921) that determined the borders between the Russian Soviet Federated...

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