Poland marks anniversary of 1920 victory over Bolsheviks
PR dla Zagranicy
A series of patriotic and religious ceremonies were held on Tuesday in Poland to mark the 97th anniversary of the country's victory over the Russian Bolsheviks in the 1920 Battle of Warsaw.
Polish-Soviet war; Polish defences with a machine gun position on the outskirts of Warsaw, August 1920. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
It is believed that the battle, often described as the “Miracle of the Vistula,” saved Poland’s newly regained independence after the end of World War I and prevented the Bolshevik revolution from spreading into western Europe.
The battle, part of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921, was fought from 12 to 25 August 1920 as Red Army forces commanded by Mikhail Tukhachevsky approached the Polish capital. Polish forces led by Marshal Józef Piłsudski counterattacked, forcing the Soviets to withdraw.
Around 4,500 Polish soldiers were killed, 10,000 went missing and 22,000 were wounded, compared with estimated Russian losses of 10,000 killed, 500 missing, 30,000 wounded and 66,000 taken prisoner.
The 1920 Battle of Warsaw has been listed among the most important battles that have decided the fate of the world.
Tuesday's ceremonies began with a morning Mass at Warsaw's Field Cathedral of the Polish Army.
President Andrzej Duda attended the service, along with a host of government officials including Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz as well as parliamentary leaders and military men.
After the mass, the president laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in downtown Warsaw and at a monument to celebrated statesman and military leader Józef Piłsudski.
The main ceremonies took place at midday, when the president oversaw a large-scale military parade in the centre of the Polish capital.
August 15 marks Armed Forces Day in Poland, an annual celebration commemorating the 1920 victory. (str/pk)