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History of Poland Part 2 - World Wars 1 and 2

by EasternEuropeans.co.uk
History of Poland Part 2 - World Wars 1 & 2

Poles during World War I were not presenting a united front as Polish soldiers but they were fighting. The confusion lay in that Poles were not dressed as Polish soldiers but were wearing the uniforms of German or Russian soldiers. Notwithstanding their lack of a believable Polish army, the Poles wearing German uniforms held off 160,000 Russians managing to kill 50,000 Russians, making the Russian commander kill himself and taking 90,000 prisoners of war at the Battle of Tannenberg in late August of 1914. The united armies of Germany and Poland kept the Russians out of Poland and freed Galicia by the end of August in 1915. The combined armies occupied Russian Poland and, finally, an armistice was signed in December of 1917. What caused further unrest with the Russians, was that the combined German and Polish armies while negotiating for peace, continued to overrun the Ukraine, Livonia, Belorussia and Estonia.
A famous Polish leader, Josef Pilsudski organized his clan or rod of Galician riflemen and attacked Russian Poland in August of 1914. Later, in 1914, the secret Polish attack and conquest of Russian Poland was agreed upon and the secret Polska or the Polish Military Organization was founded presumably to free all of Poland as its main objective. That secret organization did not go unchallenged. The Polish National Committee was soon formed to support the pro Russian Poles. The leader of this committee was a Polish Democrat named Dmowski who in 1915 went to London to gain support for his efforts to rebuild Poland under the protection of the Russians. Seeing that the situation was irreconcilable, Germany tried to win the Poles by agreeing to the formation of a Kingdom of Poland. To prove their support, the Two Kaisers Proclamation, Germany and Austria, formed the Polish monarchy with its own constitution and using a hereditary Polish king in 1916 on November 5. Since Poland didn't have its own bank, they helped to put one in on December of 1916 and a Polish currency with paper and coin money was issued.
The puppet monarchy was not taken seriously. When The United States joined the war in April 6 of 1917, President Wilson vowed to rebuild Poland. On November 9 of 1918, the Polish Republic was formed holding the territories of Russian Poland and Western Galacia.
The situation in Poland aided Hitler and set the stage for World War II. By 1939, Hitler had built the most impressive war machine ever seen on earth. His first war move was to attack Poland in September of 1939.
Hitler's invasion of Poland in September of 1939 started World War II. The war in Poland lasted from 1939 until 1945. Six million people were killed among them were the Jews that had protected status in Poland. They were rounded up and exterminated in concentration camps built in Poland. When Hitler invaded Poland, the British and the French did little to come to their assistance and Hitler continually increased his demands of the Poles. Another blow to Poland came when Russian dictator Joseph V. Stalin signed a secret agreement with Hitler. At that time Berlin attacked Poland and the, now, Soviet regime did not to stop them.
Poland was treated to the most barbaric attacks by Hitler. More than one million Poles were forced into labour camps in those areas of Poland under Soviet control. Meanwhile, the Soviets and Hitler were on the best of terms with each other. It was later discovered that 4,000 Polish officers were killed and buried in a mass grave in the Soviet Union in 1940. There grave was not found until 1943 and it wasn't until 1991 when the Soviet Union admitted to the deed. The 4000 killed Polish military officers came to be known as the Katyn Massacre and left a fearful impression of Soviet tactics.
The situation in Russia, however, was not improved with their having taken the side of Hitler, In June of 1941, the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union. In Poland, the Third Reich killed all of Poland's 3 million Jews and turned the Poles into slaves. Poles in Russia, meanwhile, continued to fight to free Poland. Polish secret agents had managed to intercept Hitler's order to his military leaders by learning the top secret code machine called Enigma that Hitler used to send out his orders and gave that information to the British. In London, Polish activists organized The Home Machine and worked secretly within Poland to free themselves from the Nazis. The Poles seemed to be working with Allies who were working with their common enemy, the Nazis. In 1944, when Russia seemed to be going in to free Warsaw, a Polish uprising started against the Nazis. Instead of helping the Poles, Russia turned back and the Nazis destroyed 90% of Warsaw. The Red Army of the Soviets finally expelled the Nazis from Poland in 1945.

Read part 1 - History of Poland Part 1 - Medieval Period



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Other articles:
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- Club fire highlights problems in Romanian Healthcare System
- Travel Guide to Romania
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- Could the UK Healthcare system survive without EU Nurses and Carers?
- History of Hungary Part 1 - Medieval Period
- Famous Historical Polish People
- A Brief History of Lithuania
- Estonia - Small but Beautiful
- A Tourist's Guide to Romania
- History of Poland Part 3 - Modern Day
- History of Poland Part 1 - Medieval Age
- Healthcare Ails as Doctors, Nurses Emigrate
- Traditional Drinks of Eastern Europe
- Hungary's Natural Thermal Spas
- The History and Difference Between Samba and Salsa
- Name Day - Traditional Polish Custom
- A Tourist's Guide to Latvia
- Placek Swiateczny - Polish Christmas Bread
- The Inca Trail in Peru
- A Brief History of the United Kingdom
- Mexican Dishes and their importance in Traditional Culture
- Cultural Sites of Interest in Poland
- Polish Weddings - Traditional Customs
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- How to Manage your Debts during a Recession
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- Bulgaria-Land of Outstanding Beauty
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- A Tourist Guide to the Amazon in Brazil
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- Argentina and Brazil: Rivals in Life and in Sport
- Hungary- Land of Dental Tourism
- London- Playground for the New Russian Elite
- Poland, Family, and Catholic Culture
- Once Golden, Again Golden Poland
- British people of Brazilian descent
- Go Green and Beat the Energy Crunch
- History of Brazilian Samba
- Polish Employee Rights - Anna's Case Study
- Employee Rights -Holidays and Wages
- Cosmetic Surgery in Eastern Europe
- Porkolt- Hungarian Stew
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