Eastern Front 1919
There are a couple of
excellent books in English on the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 but
effectively nothing about the Polish-Soviet campaigns of 1919, nor very
much on the simultaneous war by Poland against Ukraine. I have
therefore assembled a few bits and pieces that together give an
introduction to these neglected campaigns.
in the Fight for its Borders
Below are several chapters from
Przybylski's history of Poland's wars from its renaissance in 1918 to
the end of the Soviet war. Since I can't read Polish, I have had to be
content with providing a translation of the French version La Pologne en lutte pour
ses frontières : 1918-1920
While not ideal, it is at least a
start. For those not familiar with the issues of the war I have
provided an introduction. I also added notes to the chapter texts.
other side of the story
Sadly however, Przybylski's
history is very one-sided, both politically and in his military
coverage, so I have also found some articles that give at least part of
the Ukrainian version:
if you want
the above material in another format.
The reason why I set up these
pages is precisely because there isn't very much to find, but a few books are worth looking for in Western languages:
by P. Abbott and E. Pinak, Osprey Men-at-Arms #412, is a useful
introduction to both the Galician and Directory Ukrainian armies with,
most importantly for wargamers, discussion on the uniforms in English.
It is a good book on a neglected topic, spoiled only by the publisher's
rigid format not allowing anywhere near enough detail. Other details on
the various Ukrainian uniforms can be found in Армии Украины
(Armii Ukraini 1917-1920) by Ya. Tinchenko (Moscow, 2002) and a small
bit in Натиональные
(Nationalist Armies) by A. Deryabin.
Oddly there is no decent single source for information in English (or
French) on the Polish
army or uniforms of the time. A small amount of material can be found in Войска Интервентов
Forces) and Натиональные
(Nationalist Armies) by A. Deryabin which can be bought in translation.
City fights for freedom : the
rising of Lwów in 1918-1919
by Rosa Bailly (translated
from the original French) is a massively detailed account of the battle
of L'viv (Lwow), at least from the Polish side. It is however extremely
unreliable concerning the Ukrainians.
Semper Fidelis : Obrona Lwowa
is a collection of photographs concerning the fighting around L'viv.
Descriptions are in Polish, French and English, but sadly photos are
only of the Poles.
Below is some supplementary material that Henryk
Szot kindly directed me to:
Another good book on the topic, although more on preparation for the
wars, is: The
Lands of Partitioned
Poland, 1795 - 1918
Wandyz, 1974, Volume
VII in A
History of East Central Europe, Ed. Peter Sugar, Donald Treadgold,
University of Washington. This book presents a fairly neutral view of
the Polish - Ukrainian relationships. It provides details on Polish (in
Austria, Russia and Prussia) and Ukrainian Armed Forces prior to 1 Nov
There is also The
Defensive Alliance, 1919–1921, An Aspect of the Ukrainian
by Michael Palij,
1995. The book is primarily devoted
to the politics of the situation, but some information on the battles