Warsaw 1920

The information below allows a fairly detailed look at all three parts of the Battle of Warsaw in August 1920, at least from the Polish side.

From the Vistula to the Wkra covers the 5th Army fighting in the North. The Battle for the Outskirts covers the 1st Army's defence of the Warsaw Bridgehead, and especially the key fighting for Radzymin. Finally the Offensive from behind the Wieprz River covers the 4th Army's strike which was the decisive finish to the battle.

The Battle for the Outskirts of Warsaw, August 1920

Bój Na Przedmościu Warszawy w Sierpniu 1920 r is a massively detailed look at the fighting on the Warsaw bridgehead, written from the archives of the Polish Army and an immense number of first-hand accounts, supplemented with some Soviet literature.

The main text – 410 pages (16 MB)

Appendix 1 – Translations used and explanation of map symbols

Appendix 2 – Orders of Battle for the Poles, with numbers

Appendix 3 – Large scale maps

Appendix 4 – Panoramic views of the battlefield (13 MB)

Appendix 5 – Bibliography

From the Vistula to Wkra

The author, Wladysław Sikorski, was the commander of the 5th Army during the key battles north of Warsaw, as the Soviets tried to turn Warsaw from the North. Translated from the Polish and French versions.

From the Vistula to Wkra

Operations on the Vistula in August 1920, from the Polish standpoint

Revised in March 2024

A collection of articles translated from the Polish into Russian by the Soviet Military Publications Division 1931. Then translated into English at the Army War College, Washington D.C. in 1934. Previously put on-line by the US Army Military History Institute but since moved. I have split it into separate sections, as some are more interesting than others.

The Battle of Warsaw in August 1920, and the Crisis Connected Therewith

A look at the fighting on the Warsaw Bridgehead in mid-August, especially that around Radzymin and Minsk-Mazowiecki, but far less detailed than the Battle on the Outskirts of Warsaw above.

The Battle of Warsaw 1920 Part 1

Offensive from behind the Wieprz River

A detailed look at the initial stages of the counter-attack south of Warsaw from 16 to 18 August. This was the decisive stroke that won the war.

The Battle of Warsaw 1920 Part 2

Critique of the Warsaw Operation in the Light of the Offensive

A rather tedious discussion of the theoretical basis for the the Polish campaign in August 1920. I have only kept this one for completeness.

The Battle of Warsaw 1920 Part 3

First Directive, Warsaw Operation

An article about the decision made by Pilsudski to fall back to the Vistula and counter-attack from behind the Wieprz. Although covered in general terms in other available books, this article gives much more military detail about the failure of the Poles to hold their previous defensive lines in late July and early August 1920.

The Battle of Warsaw 1920 Part 4


The original article came with four maps, only three of which are attached in the on-line version. These basically relate to Parts 1 and 2 above.

The Battle of Warsaw 1920 original maps

Place Names

Many of the places in the text are extremely difficult to locate, some being very small indeed. I have prepared a document that locates them (with a couple of exceptions that no amount of searching could find).

Locations of places in the The Battle of Warsaw 1920

Other Material

Topographic Maps

If trying to follow a text in greater detail, or if interested in gaming the battles, Interwar maps of Poland is extremely useful. It has topographic maps from the 1920s and 1930s for all of Poland.

Orders of Battle

See the orders of battle section of the site. It includes the entire Northern Front (5th Army and 1st Army) down to battalion, squadron and battery level.