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Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest Of Europe

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  • Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest Of Europe

    Here's a newly released book about a little known battle that changed the course of 20th century history. I hope on obtaining a copy of it, but so far haven't found it anywhere.

    I wonder how it compares to Norman Davies' account of the Polish-Soviet war.

    Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest Of Europe
    By Adam Zamoyski

    In 1920 the new Soviet state was a mess‚ following a brutal civil war‚ and the best way of ensuring its survival appeared to be to export the revolution to Germany‚ itself economically ruined by defeat in World War I and racked by internal political dissension.

    Between Russian and Germany lay Poland‚ a nation that had only just recovered its independence after more than a century of foreign oppression. But it was economically and militarily weak and its misguided offensive to liberate the Ukraine in the Spring of 1920 laid it open to attack. Egged on by Trotsky‚ Lenin launched a massive westward advance under the flamboyant Marshal Tukhachevsky.

    All that Great Britain and France had fought for over four years now seemed at risk. By the middle of August the Russians were only a few kilometres from Warsaw‚ and Berlin was less than a week′s march away. Then occurred the ′Miracle of the Vistula′: the Polish army led by Jozef Piludski regrouped and achieved one of the most decisive victories in military history.

    As a result‚ the Versailles peace settlement survived‚ and Lenin was forced to settle for communism in one country. The battle for Warsaw bought Europe near two decades of peace‚ and communism remained a mainly Russian phenomenon‚ subsuming many of the autocratic and Byzantine characteristics of Russia′s tsarist tradition.
    http://www.harpercollins.com.au/book...ope/index.aspx
    "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
    --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

  • #2
    I have Zamoyski's "Moscow 1812" and if his treatise on the Russo-Polish War is of the same calibre it should be an excellent read.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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    • #3
      I've yet to get around to reading "Moscow 1812".
      "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
      --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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      • #4
        Pilsudski, I don't know how good Your Polish is, but the best book about war in 1920 that I've ever red was "Warsaw's Operation", by Lech Wyszczelski. I consider Davies work a poor, in compare to that. And have You red Pilsudski's memories? - "Year 1920" or "My first fields experiences:? A lot of very good stuff's going around in Polish.
        "[...]

        While Brittania's Huns with their long-range guns
        Sailed in through the foggy dew.


        [...]"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Przemyslaw View Post
          Pilsudski, I don't know how good Your Polish is, but the best book about war in 1920 that I've ever red was "Warsaw's Operation", by Lech Wyszczelski. I consider Davies work a poor, in compare to that. And have You red Pilsudski's memories? - "Year 1920" or "My first fields experiences:? A lot of very good stuff's going around in Polish.
          About Norman Davies book. I heard anecdote, when profesor going to check his book is in the index in Oxford Univ. library. Yes it was, but not in "history" catalogue, but in "ornitology". Title is "White eagle, red star".

          Here is a thread - http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...aw+battle+1920
          Last edited by [email protected]; 15 Mar 09, 10:52.
          - Your Highness, the enemy is so numerous... they outnumber your army.
          - My friend, first I beat 'em then I'll count 'em
          (Polish King Jan III Sobieski during his campaigns)

          Historia Wojskowa Portal Historyczno-Wojskowy phw.org.pl

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Przemyslaw View Post
            Pilsudski, I don't know how good Your Polish is, but the best book about war in 1920 that I've ever red was "Warsaw's Operation", by Lech Wyszczelski. I consider Davies work a poor, in compare to that. And have You red Pilsudski's memories? - "Year 1920" or "My first fields experiences:? A lot of very good stuff's going around in Polish.
            Unfortunately my Polish isn't too good. I'm still a beginner at it.
            But I'll keep an eye out for these books.

            Excellent thread [email protected]
            "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
            --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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            • #7
              This is something we've debated multiple times except every time the Russian colleagues from ACG (among them some pro-Soviet revisionists) laughed in my face. They don't accept the hypothesis that the October Revolution was a total failure and Lenin, being a genius, understood that. He understood what the current generation of Russians refuse to accept. The Revolution was a failure because Russia was the worst country in Europe to have a proletarian revolution. Russia had...almost no proletariat. All the Russians had was masses of stupid peasantry who were selfish and only thinking about their own survival, no the welfare of the state. The peasantry were useless to Lenin and later Stalin had to whip the peasants into obedience by some extraordinarily cruel measures. England was the best place to have a Bolshevik revolution and so were Germany and France. Those Western countries had powerful communism-inspired class of factory workers. This class was acutely self-conscious, aware of its power. From the Bolshevik perspective Lenin did the right thing trying to invade Western Europe. He failed because he was destined to fail but it was the only move he could make. Lenin could probably already envision the year 1989 when USSR, being isolated in the world, would dissolve...

              Stalin attempted to finish Lenin's work, in several steps. The first step was the establishment of the socialist puppet states in Eastern/Central Europe in 1945. The next step could have been WWIII. We'll never know.
              Last edited by MonsterZero; 15 Mar 09, 21:10.

              "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
              --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Przemyslaw View Post
                but the best book about war in 1920 that I've ever red was "Warsaw's Operation", by Lech Wyszczelski.
                The best book about the Warsaw operation was written by:
                Bolesław Waligóra, Bój na przedmościu Warszawy w sierpniu 1920 r., Warszawa 1934 [Battle at foreground of Warsaw, August 1920, Warsaw 1934]

                Masterpiece work, [up to 700 pages... maps, OdB etc.]

                He also published book called: Fortyfikacja przedmościa Warszawy w r. 1920, Warszawa : Wojsk. Biuro Hist., 1930 [Warsaw field fortifications in 1920, Warsaw 1920].
                Anybody can download it, from Zbrojownia Digital Library:
                http://zbrojownia.cbw.pl:8080/dlibra...tadata?id=1778

                I don't recommend Wyszczelski work's.
                Polish noble historians like Marek Tarczynski, Grzegorz Nowik, Aleksander Smolinski, many times pointed out his lack of knowledge, gaps in the methodology etc.

                In his book of Polish Kiev offensive that took place in April 1920, error invites error...

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