Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

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Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 21 Sep 2004 11:02

IIRC Ludendorff created some tension by trying to Germanize the area during the war as part of his efforts to impose his will on society. I'll have to dig through Asprey's "The German High Command at War" to find the exact reference to it.

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Post by szopen » 21 Sep 2004 14:00

You are refering to what? I thought i provided enough info in "Discrimination of Poles in Imperial Germany" thread, Mr. Mills is not challenging it. The Germany behaviour during war (including plans to deport all Poles from Prussia into Polish kingdom) are also well known, but i was not referring to it since they were never (AFAIK) state enterprises, only projects by groups of military, intellectuals and clerks...

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Post by Mad Zeppelin » 01 Oct 2004 18:01

The Ehrhardt armoured car in Moulded's entry is "Gorny Slask - Alsatija" commanded by Ensign Forrestier and belongs to the Oberschlesien uprising of 1921.
Nevertheless, the Poles captured/bought(?) one Ehrhardt in Posen province, which later was named "Pulkownik W. Grudzielski". Polish sources claim only this latter Ehrhardt to have been incorporated into the Polish army.
Which leads to the suspicion that "Gorny Slask - Alsatjia" was a "leased" vehicle coming from French stocks, as indicates the name of the commander.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 17 Jun 2011 16:39

Final fight scene from the movie "Męskie sprawy" (1988) - insurgents liberating a small town:


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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 17 Jun 2011 20:48

BTW - some (ca. 300 in total) foreigners fought in the AW (Armia Wielkopolska = Greater Polish Army):

This picture shows Cpl. Rubstuck (from Alsace), Sam Sandi (Afro-American) & Józef Czen De-Fu (Polish-Chinese):

Cpl. Rubstuck was forcibly conscripted to Heimatschutz but during combats for Chodziez he changed sides.

Sam Sandi was an Afro-American soldier captured during combats in the West and transported to Poland.

Czen De-Fu was an orderly of a Cpt. in the Tsarist Army (of Cpt. Kazimierz Skorotkiewicz - who was ethnic Polish). He fought in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 and was captured near Port Artur. Then he moved to Poland.

http://img11.allegroimg.pl/photos/orygi ... 1568753145

There was also a German officer Paul Krenz - his father was German, his mother Polish. He didn't speak Polish well and when he changed sides and joined Polish insurgents, he continued to give his orders in German.

When AW was incorporated into WP (Polish Army), Krenz continued to fight during the Polish-Soviet war.

After the end of the Polish-Soviet war he served in the Polish Air Force until 1927.

In late 1920s he leaved Poland and moved to Germany.

Finally, he took part in Polenfeldzug of 1939 - but this time against Poland, serving in Luftwaffe.

He helped his mother's family to regain their property, which was stolen by Nazi occupiers.

===========================================

The last Polish veteran of the uprising - Lieutenant Jan Rzepa - died in March of 2005:

Image

===================================

One of the most interesting military episodes of the Greater Poland Uprising was the air bombing of Frankfurt an der Oder carried out by six Greater Polish planes on 9 January 1919. Each plane took 6 bombs 25 kg.

This air raid was a revenge for German air bombings of Poznan on 7 and 8 January.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by michael mills » 18 Jun 2011 00:26

This air raid was a revenge for German air bombings of Poznan on 7 and 8 January.
Which in turn was revenge for....?

Poles often whine about the revenge taken by Germany in September 1939.

What they forget is that the cycle of violence was started by Polish nationalist extremists at the end of 1918 with the insurgency in the Posen Province, which at that time was still part of Germany under international law.

The Poles could have waited for the outcome of the Paris Peace Conference, which would certainly have awarded the Posen Province to the new independent Poland, given the clear ethnic Polish majority in that region.

But the Polish nationalist extremists decided to force the hand of the Allies by driving out the ethnic German minority in the Posen Province by the use of violent terrorism against the civilian population. That Polish terrorism in turn prompted the German military reaction.

Germany exacted revenge in 1939, when members of Polish nationalist organisations that had perpetrated the terror against ethnic Germans in 1919 were arrested and summarily executed.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 18 Jun 2011 15:08

the cycle of violence was started by Polish nationalist extremists at the end of 1918 with the insurgency in the Posen Province
You forgot about the previous 125 years of German violent occupation & persecutions in this region.

Moreover - it is not even known who fired the 1st shot in this conflict - Germans or Poles. You should read more about events preceding and accompanying the start of this conflict. German garrison of Poznan provoked hostilities.

The uprising was started spontaneously (as I wrote - we don't know which side fired first). But German soldiers provoked it by ripping off Polish & Entente flags from buildings and organizing a military parade in Poznan.

Polish & Entente flags were hung out on 26.12. when Paderewski visited Poznan on his way to Warsaw. Germans immediately started to rip off these flags and organized a provocative military parade on the next day.

Earlier, in mid-December, there were demonstrations of German nationalists who wanted the province to stay German. They were accompanied by military parades of German army. At the same time Germans were also strengthening their military power in the province by bringing here numerous paramilitary units.

Regarding that "violent terrorism against German civilian population" - what exactly do you mean?

The uprising was aimed at overthrowing German military forces and authorities - not civilians.

German civilians started to emigrate from this region on their own after the Versailles.
Polish nationalist extremists
Nationalist extremists among farmers and workers?

Social-economic composition of the insurgents in February of 1919 was as follows:

- farmers - 13,6%
- farm laborers - 3,2%
- workers - 36,5%
- craftsmen - 20%
- merchants - 8,5%
- officials & intelligentsia - 10%
- gentry - 1,5%
- others - rest

By that time forces of insurgents numbered already ca. 30,000 soldiers.
The Poles could have waited for the outcome of the Paris Peace Conference, which would certainly have awarded the Posen Province to the new independent Poland, given the clear ethnic Polish majority in that region.
More probable that they would have organized a plebiscite in this area or granted it to Germany.

After all in the Armistice at Compiegne they left this area under German military & political control.

And for example in case of Alsace-Lorraine yet at Compiegne Germany lost control over it.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by michael mills » 19 Jun 2011 09:18

After all in the Armistice at Compiegne they left this area under German military & political control.

And for example in case of Alsace-Lorraine yet at Compiegne Germany lost control over it.
As at the date of the armistice, 11 November 1918, there was no Polish state in existence recognised by the Entente.

There was a Polish Kingdom that had been set up by Germany and Austria on the territory of the former Russian Poland, but the Entente did not recognise it.

Accordingly, from the point of view of the Entente, there was as yet no Polish state to which any part of Germany could be granted. That is why the Entente left the question of a future border between Germany and a revived Polish state to be decided by the envisaged peace conference.

Furthermore, although under the terms of the Armistice Germany was required to relinquish control over all territory of the former Russian Empire occupied by its armed forces, it was required to leave its troops temporarily in place until they could be replaced by Entente forces, so as to prevent any move by the Red Army into those regions. For that purpose Germany was allowed to leave its forces in place in Poland, with control over the railways for the purpose of an orderly withdrawal of its forces from the East.

The uprising by Polish nationalist extremists in the Posen Province, which was an integral part of Germany and not a territory under German occupation, upset the whole scheme agreed between Germany and the Entente (and also with Pilsudski in Warsaw) for keeping the German forces in place until they could be replaced by Entente forces.

As a result of the Polish uprising, which posed a threat to Germany itself since the Polish national extremists wanted to push westward to occupy all territory up to the Oder, the German Government began to withdraw its forces much more quickly than the Entente had wanted, leaving the way open for the Red Army to advance westward, much to Pilsudski's chagrin.

Immediately after the armistice, Pilsudski, who had taken control in Warsaw, reached an agreement with the German representative, Count Harry Kessler, who had escorted him to Warsaw, whereby German forces would be withdrawn from the Polish Kingdom only, but remain place in German territory (Posen, West Prussia, East Prussia) and also in the Russian territory immediately to the East of the Polish Kingdom, to guard against the Red Army.

Pilsudski had also agreed with Kessler not to take any German territory, since he wanted to have a friendly relationship with Germany, which he saw as an ally against Soviet Russia, the main threat to an independent Poland. Pilsudski, unlike the Piast faction of Polish nationalism, did not want to expand to the east and north by taking German territory; rather he wanted to expand to the east, and gain an outlet to the Baltic through Lithuania.

The uprising in Posen Province occurred against the wishes of Pilsudski, and was carried out by Endecja forces hostile to him. It upset his plans, since it turned Germany into an inveterate enemy of the new Poland, and resulted in an informal German-Soviet alliance against Poland, rather than a German-Polish alliance against the Bolsheviks, which is what he was aiming for.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by michael mills » 19 Jun 2011 09:28

You forgot about the previous 125 years of German violent occupation & persecutions in this region.
Between 1871 and 1918, the German Imperial Government did discriminate legally against ethnic Poles in the Posen Province in order to foster German settlement. However, it did not use terrorist violence against them, and even allowed Poles to settle anywhere they liked in the German Empire.

For example, Mikolajczyk, the successor to Sikorski, was born in the western part of Germany, to which his father had migrated from Posen Province. He went back to Posen and participated in the uprising.

It was Polish nationalist extremists who first used terrorist violence by kidnapping and murdering ethnic Germans in Posen and Silesia. That in turn triggered off German retaliatory terrorist violence, which culminated in the German terrorist violence of September 1939, targeted against members of the Polish nationalist organisations that had started the anti-German violence in December 1918.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 19 Jun 2011 22:30

As at the date of the armistice, 11 November 1918, there was no Polish state in existence recognised by the Entente.

There was a Polish Kingdom that had been set up by Germany and Austria on the territory of the former Russian Poland, but the Entente did not recognise it.
That Kingdom was no longer there. Polish government of that Kingdom (Rada Regencyjna) proclaimed independence of Poland on 7 October 1918. On 12 October Rada Regencyjna took over supreme military authority from German hands. On 21 October governor-general Hans von Beseler stepped aside from the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army. On 25 October the new Polish government of Prime Minister Joseph Swiezynski was created.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by michael mills » 20 Jun 2011 05:37

That Kingdom was no longer there. Polish government of that Kingdom (Rada Regencyjna) proclaimed independence of Poland on 7 October 1918. On 12 October Rada Regencyjna took over supreme military authority from German hands. On 21 October governor-general Hans von Beseler stepped aside from the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army. On 25 October the new Polish government of Prime Minister Joseph Swiezynski was created.
Domen,

You are missing the point.

The independent Polish Kingdom proclaimed by the Regency Council was not recognised by the Entente as a legitimate state. Even after Pilsudski returned to Warsaw in November after the armistice and was appointed Head of State by the egency Council, the Entente still did not recognise the Polish state headed by him, since it regarded both him and Swiezynski as German puppets.

The Entente recognised the Polish National Council in Paris, headed by Paderewski and Dmowski, as the legitimate representative of a future independent Polish satate that was not yet in existence.

It was not until early 1919 that an agreement was reached between the self-proclaimed government headed by Pilsudski and the provisional government recognised by the Entente and headed by Paderewski, whereby both rival governments were merged, with Pilsudski remaining Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and Paderewski becoming rime Minister.

So the fact remains that at the time of the armistice, on 11 November 1918, there was no Polish state in existence recognised by the Entente. The Entente could not order Germany, as a term of the armistice, to hand over any part of its territory to a state that did not exist.

Nor could the Entente order Germany to hand over territory to the government at Wasaw headed by Pilsudski, since it did not recognise that government as legitimate, and considered it to be simply a German puppet and a front for continued German control.

The Entente's view of Pilsudski as a German puppet was based on the undeniable fact that he and his troops had fought on the side of the Central Powers against Russia, one of the members of the Entente, and he had played an important role in the provisional Kingdom of POland created by the Central POwers in 1917, before he fell out with the Germans and was detained by them in Magdeburg.

It should be pointed out that the so-called "imprisonment" of Pilsudski was largely a charade to placate anti-Polish elements in the German military. Pilsudski and Sosnkowski lived in the fortress of Magdeburg and were allowed to wander freely about the town; throughout the period of detention PIlsudski held important talks with the German negotiator Count Harry Kessler on a future Polish state allied with Germany, and on an agreed German-Polish frontier that would minimise the transfer of German territory to Poland. The Pilsudski-Kessler talks were continued in Warsaw after the German Government sent Pilsudski back there for the purpose of taking command of the Kingdom of Poland from the Regency Council.

Unfortunately, mobs of Polish national extremists, incited by Endecja, started an uprising in the streets of Warsaw in order to put an end to the negotiations between Pilsudski and Kessler, and the latter was compelled to leave Warsaw.

The uprising in the Posen Province also had as its objective to put an end to any negotiations between the Pilsudski government and Germany. The uprising was triggered off by Paderewski when he arrived in Posen, since he and Dmowski were afraid that Pilsudski would reach an agreement with Germany whereby the transfer of German territory to Poland would be minimised, thereby frustrating the ambitions of Paderewski and Dmowski, who wanted to seize all German territory east of the Oder.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 20 Jun 2011 16:08

Pilsudski had also agreed with Kessler not to take any German territory, since he wanted to have a friendly relationship with Germany, which he saw as an ally against Soviet Russia, the main threat to an independent Poland.
Speaking about Soviet Russia - most probably it would have been impossible to repulse the Soviets in 1920 without help of the Greater Polish Army (then already incorporated to the Polish Army), which would not have existed if not the uprising. Former insurgents constituted large part of all Polish military forces on the Soviet front in 1920.

The Greater Polish Army provided in total 4 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry brigade, 3 independent infantry regiments, 3 artillery brigades & several artillery regiments (including artillery of divisions & brigade) as well as I Greater Polish Air Group (including several squadrons and other units), 2 sapper battalions and 2 companies, many liaison and communication units, 4 motor transport columns (trucks), sanitary & veterinary units, field posts, etc.

In total it was probably more or less 100,000 men strong in June of 1919 (on 3 May of 1919 it was ca. 70,000). Of them more than 30,000 gained combat experience in the uprising. Many others were veterans of WW1.

In June 1919 (after incorporation) these forces were over 1/4 or nearly 1/3 of the entire Polish Army. Most of equipment of these forces was captured on Germans during the uprising. The "Blue Army" of gen. Haller which came from France in period April - June 1919 was less numerous (it had 67,015 soldiers on 7 July 1919).

To summ up - no uprising in Poznan Province = the Red Army captures Warsaw in 1920.

And after Warsaw the Red Army advances on Berlin, where revolution greets it...

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by michael mills » 21 Jun 2011 03:19

A rather unrealistic reading of historical reality by Domen.

The fact is that the Polish Army commanded by Pilsudski that went into combat against the advancing Red Army early in 1919 had as its basis the Polish Legions that had fought with Austria against Russia during the First World War. That core was supplemented by recent recruits; the recruiting effort continued throughout 1919 and eventually raised a relatively large armed force.

The Blue Army commanded by General Haller was separate from Pilsudski's forces, and was used mainly in the fighting against the Ukrainians in East Galicia. In many ways Haller and Pilsudski were rivals, but by 1920 their separate forces had been amalgamated under Pilsudski's command.

The insurgents in the Posen Province were not soldiers for the most part, but civilians who had taken up arms, rather similar to what is happening in Libya today. Of course some of them very probably had served in the German Army during the war that had just ended, but they joined the insurgency as individuals, not as part of an organised armed force.

But the fact is that the insurgency in Posen Province was led by Endecja and other folowers of Dmowski and Paderewski, who were by no means supporters of Pilsudski's aim of advanciung to the east and pushing the Bolsheviks out of Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine.

Persons who had participated in the insurgency in Posen Province may very well have been subsequently recruited into the Polish Army under the command of Pilsudski, and participated into the 1920 advance into Ukraine and the subsequent defence of Warsaw. But if so, their participation was a result of the large-scale recruitment drive instituted by Pilsudski, which resulted in an army large enough to resist the Bolshevik advance. The bulk of that army consisted of new recruits who had not been part of either Pilsudski's legions, Haller's Blue Army, or of the insurgent bands in Posen Province.

It is a historical fantasy to say that if there had been no uprising in the Posen Province at the end of 1918, there could not have been any successful defence of Warsaw in 1920. If there had been no uprising, and the settlement of the German-Polish border had been peacefully negotiated between PIlsudski and the new republican government in Germany, there is no reason why Pilsudski could not have recruited a strong Polish army in 1920.

In fact, if the uprising in Posen Province had not occurred, and also if there had been no uprisings in Silesia, but rather a negotiated settlement between Germany and a Pilsudski-led Polish Government, it is likely that the republican German Government would have been a lot less hostile to Poland than it actually was, and there would have been no danger of any collusion between Germany and Soviet Russia.

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 21 Jun 2011 12:26

Michael stop writing rubbish if you don't have enough knowledge on some issue.
The insurgents in the Posen Province were not soldiers for the most part, but civilians who had taken up arms,
Even at the beginning they were mainly members of POW (eng. PMO) and Straż Ludowa - not just civilians.

Later they transformed into the regular Army which reached the strength of 100,000 soldiers in June 1919:

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armia_Wielkopolska

This is definitely how civilians look like - according to Michael: :roll:

http://www.bastiongrolman.org/WW/ww3.html

1) Private of the Greater Polish Army:

Image

2) Lieutenant of the Greater Polish Army:

Image
but they joined the insurgency as individuals, not as part of an organised armed force.
Another rubbish Michael. I've never heard such a rubbish. Even Libyan insurgents are an organised force.
That core was supplemented by recent recruits; the recruiting effort continued throughout 1919
There were enough reserves but not enough weaponry to recruit them.
and eventually raised a relatively large armed force.
Of which 1/3 was the former Greater Polish Army.
Persons who had participated in the insurgency in Posen Province may very well have been subsequently recruited into the Polish Army under the command of Pilsudski.
1) Not before the Versailles Treaty.

2) Not without German equipment and weaponry captured during the uprising.
there is no reason why Pilsudski could not have recruited a strong Polish army in 1920.
There is - lack of resources. The Polish army was weak in 1920 - even in reality.
The Blue Army commanded by General Haller was separate from Pilsudski's forces, and was used mainly in the fighting against the Ukrainians in East Galicia.
The Polish-Ukrainian war ended in July of 1919.

The Haller's army arrived to Poland between April (first units) and June (last units).

And only part of the Haller's army (ca. 35,000 soldiers) even took part in Polish-Ukrainian war.

Later his forces fought against the Soviets (part of them yet since May of 1919).

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Re: Wielkopolskie Uprising 1919

Post by RG » 21 Jun 2011 15:38

michael mills wrote: It is a historical fantasy to say that if there had been no uprising in the Posen Province at the end of 1918, there could not have been any successful defence of Warsaw in 1920. If there had been no uprising, and the settlement of the German-Polish border had been peacefully negotiated between PIlsudski and the new republican government in Germany, there is no reason why Pilsudski could not have recruited a strong Polish army in 1920.

In fact, if the uprising in Posen Province had not occurred, and also if there had been no uprisings in Silesia, but rather a negotiated settlement between Germany and a Pilsudski-led Polish Government, it is likely that the republican German Government would have been a lot less hostile to Poland than it actually was, and there would have been no danger of any collusion between Germany and Soviet Russia.
Maybe it is a historical fantasy, that without Wielkopolska Poland could survive, but absolute fantasy is suggestion that Germans would cede Wielkopolska to Poland peacefully. Benefits from taking over a quite huge territory with polish population was a fact, suggestion that without it Germans would be less hostile is a kind of SF.

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