One of the priorities of Polish propaganda in the territories west of Smolensk is the transformation of the 150 anniversary of the Polish insurgency into a symbol of Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian unity on the anti-Russian and anti-Russian basis. This is done without success. Thus, the Lithuanian Seimas declared 2013 as the Year of the 1863 uprising against Russia, stressing in an official statement by the Foreign Ministry that "the uprising tied together the destinies of three nations - Poles, Belarusians and Lithuanians, and this showed them the direction of development ...". The current official Belarusian historiography instead of the term “Polish uprising 1863 – 1864.”, Following its western neighbors, already uses another term: “Uprising 1863 – 1864. in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus "...
One of the main roles in Polish propaganda is played by the mythologization of the "patriotic gentry sacrifice" of the participants in the rebellion. Against the background of these propaganda efforts, let us recall one thing (deleted after 1917 from historical memory of our people) the fact of real, not fictional heroism and sacrifice.
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150 years ago, in the middle of August, 1863, a squad of 42 volunteers (Grodno Hussars, Don and Line Cossacks) chased a gang of several hundred Polish insurgents who terrorized the local population. The commander of the squadron 25-year-old Alexander Pavlovich Grabbe - a hero of the Caucasian War, awarded for his bravery in "affairs with the mountaineers" the highest orders of the empire - St. Stanislav 2-th and 3-th degree, of sv. Anna 3 degree with swords and bow, of sv. Vladimir 4 degree, the rank of captain and transfer to the Life Guards Grodno Hussars, patronized personally by the emperor and staffed mainly by the natives of the lands of the former Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth ...
The "insurgents" who fled at full speed, led by Mr. Bentkovsky, were caught up near the village of деревниedziejowice, where they managed to connect with another gang. The Russian detachment was actually in an open area - with a pair of bread sheds standing next to a cemetery at the end of a village lying in a hollow surrounded by hills covered with wheat. It was impossible to fight using sheds from the inside, due to the lack of windows. Nevertheless, Grabbe ordered to leave even the thought of leaving or surrendering, deciding to "fight to the last drop of blood."
And before this battle, the detachments commanded by the 1863 in the summer, the young captain-in-chief of the Grodno hussars, drove and successfully beat the rebellious gangs that were approximately 8-9 times their number. However, this time there were a lot of Poles. The combined forces of the rebels comprised over 1200 cavalrymen and more than 400 infantry - just up to 2000 people. Immediately emboldened, they surrounded a small detachment of persecutors, promising "noble brothers" life for issuing Cossacks and switching to their side. Those in response ... attacked more than 40-fold superior enemy forces.
In the first battles the Russians used from the front as a cover for the wall of the sheds. However, the sense of them was not enough, because from the rear they were attacked by two squadrons of the lancers and a thick chain of Polish and Prussian infantry. The number of wounded and killed grew every minute - 42 people were tightly surrounded and shot by the enemy from all sides.
The Poles attacked several times, each time in the belief that victory was already in their hands. According to the participant, the Russians who were experiencing a shortage of ammunition “were ordered not to shoot except at close range. The attack was met every time by deathly silence, and every time the Poles could not stand it: turning the horses in 20 steps, they received several shots to catch up. ”
The Russian commander, already twice wounded, categorically rejected all offers of surrender, "the calm, almost cheerful expression of a beautiful face did not leave him for a minute." The battle at the sheds lasted for several hours, after which the Poles “seeing the impossibility of taking us by force, lit the neighboring buildings; the fire spread quickly, and we suddenly saw ourselves in the midst of smoke and flame. The heat became unbearable and forced us to move a few steps away from the sheds. The death seemed inevitable: no more than 25 people could move from the sheds, some were already injured; horses only 4 remained: the rest were killed or escaped from the hands of the owners; we stood in an open place under the most terrible fire, and more than 1000 man of cavalry surrounded us ... But it was not so easy to triumph over this handful of people who decided to fight to the death, and the triumph of the Poles was not yet close. ”
Beating off the enemy's continuous attacks, the thinning squad of brave men came out, carrying the wounded from the flames of the blazing buildings to the cemetery: “... bullets showered us: in order to endure less from them, our handful moved a little apart and slowly, step by step, headed for the cemetery. Seeing this, two Polish squadrons rushed into the quarry. We closed again, lay down in the road ditch and waited. The minute was solemn! The last act of struggle seemed to have already begun ... but this handful of people were evidently looked too formidable: in 15-ti steps, the squadrons turned back again, again received several shots to catch up, and we freely occupied the cemetery. ”
“Only one Spartans could fight this way,” the participants in this battle said later — the Poles. Polish cavalry and infantry continuously, in waves rolled over a handful of brave men. "... But these attacks, like the previous ones, remained without success ... We, for our part, only occasionally could respond to frequent enemy shots, because we already had a few rounds left."
“If each of our enemies,” one of the wounded Cossacks later recalled, “threw a handful of earth at us, then they would pour a grave over us.” But it was very difficult for an attacker to approach this remnant of wounded warriors, who “were still fighting, or, rather, almost without responding to the shots, but, keeping a formidable look, they coolly watched us being shot. No other word can be used ... People were dying around us in terrible agony; the wounded were inexpressibly suffering, bleeding profusely, without any help, tormented by thirst, without a drop of water in the midst of the hottest day. And not a single moan! Not the slightest sign of weakness! .. Yes, these people knew how to die, to die silently, without complaint, deeply touching ... ".
Everything around was littered with the bodies of the dead and dying from wounds. “But I have to confess,” recalls the participant, “that at that moment I paid much more attention to the 5 cartridges, which made it possible to make 5 extra shots than to the death of a brave Cossack: death seemed to us all so inevitable that involuntarily Do not pay attention to her.
Commander Alexander Grabbe, having received several more wounds, a donkey, bleeding to the ground with a spine broken by a bullet, but not let go weaponcooked for the last fight. Alexander Nikolayevich Vitmer, who assumed the command of the remnant of the detachment, was Lieutenant of the Life Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment, who counted those capable of fighting - seven of them remained - 2 officer, 3 lineman and 2 Donets. Meanwhile, the horizon was obscured by a dark mass, glittering above the sun on the wall of the wall ...
Desperate to break the wounded Russians, the gentry drove the peasants from the nearby villages and drove the crowd to the surrounded. In the hope that the last bullets and blades of the heroes will get bogged down in the mass of this detachment. (For the first time, a similar practice was used during the first anti-Russian insurgency in 1790, Tadeusz Kosciusko).
Realizing that the denouement was close, the new commander tried to save at least the seriously wounded, like Sergei Dmitrievich Yermolov's 17-year-old cornet, who received several heavy wounds. Waving a white handkerchief, the lieutenant turned to the enemies, hoping for their “gentle nobility” against the young man, who, despite both legs having been killed by bullets, was categorically against disengagement. Polish commanders pretended to stop shooting. However, their infantry and cavalry continued to advance, squeezing the ring. Seeing that it was impossible to save the wounded, the Cossacks gave the last "volley" with the last two bullets. After that, the remnants of the Russians capable of holding a weapon rushed at the enemy.
Bas-relief on the monument “Case near Sendzeevtsi” (destroyed after 1917): “The dying captain-General Grabbe and Cornet Yermolov”.
“The crash of gunfire, shouts, groans and in the midst of all this dense forest of braids, stunning in the air, this is what the cemetery has addressed,” recalls one of the participants. Almost all the hussars and the Cossacks, who had been beating their hands while squeezing the blades, had a place for a stroke, were killed. Only the 4 of the wounded man was left alive ...
When the main forces of the Grodno Hussar Regiment entered Sendzejowice, their eyes “presented a picture that would never be forgotten by anyone who saw it. At the edge of the forest a cemetery was scattered, a low fence of which was punched like a sieve. Among the graves and crosses lay up to twenty corpses, part of the naked, cut by terrible blows of braids and floating in the blood, which filled the grooves between the graves and far in streams spread over the mowed grass ... Burned huts of the villagers served as the background of this terrible picture.
The hussars found some of the mortally wounded heroes, including commander AP Grabbe, “and in what terrible form! On his head three wide and very deep wounds of braids gaped. A beautiful face was severely chopped up in two places; the left shoulder is also, the left arm is cut off altogether, the right shoulder is almost severed, as it was held only on the ligaments; the spine was punctured by a bullet, which made the legs disappear. In addition, legs and arms pierced in several places by bullets. Immediately he was surrounded by Grodno; many officers and hussars stifled sobs with difficulty, seeing the terrible suffering of their comrade. Grabbe, having collected the rest of his strength, in a weak voice, but calmly told about the glorious protection of his associates, keeping silent about himself as usual. ”
25-year-old hero will die the next morning. According to eyewitnesses, all this time he “did not lose consciousness and remembered his relatives and beloved father, whom he ordered to send a telegram about sending money to his funeral ... At 6 in the morning Alexander Pavlovich asked the doctor’s daughter to put a tube into his mouth and took a few puffs. “Am I still strong?” He remarked, trying to smile, and this was the last glimmer of consciousness; he began to rave, during which the sufferer repeated all the time: "Give me my horse, I have to ride ... fly ..." At 7 in the morning of August 19, this noble soul flew off to a better world.