History Russian-Polish relations have long been burdened with problems. They have not disappeared today. They were after the revolutionary events of October 1917. In the very first days after the Bolsheviks came to power, Polish political leaders established a close relationship with the Entente to prepare the newly formed Polish Army for intervention, hoping that participation in it would be generously paid.
The documents of the Supreme Council of the Entente testify to these aggressive plans of Poland. Thanks to the financial assistance of this military alliance, first of all, France, the 2 th Haller Army Corps was formed on the territory of Russia after the revolution. It consisted of Polish detachments deployed in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, the 4 Division of General Zeligovsky, which was formed in Southern Russia, and the 5 Division of the Siberian Colonel Plague. All of them were subordinate to the High Command of the Entente and took part in the intervention.
In the north of Russia, Polish units participated in hostilities on the Dvina, Onega fronts, in the area of the Arkhangelsk railway. 4-division Zeligovskogo took part in hostilities in the area of Tiraspol, Kanev, Belyaevka, in the occupation of Odessa, along with the French troops. The 5-Siberian division was stationed in the Novonikolayevsk region of Krasnoyarsk, where it protected the territory of the Trans-Siberian railway, covered the retreat of Kolchak's troops, participated in the battles against the Red Army in the Ufa and Zlatoust areas. In addition, according to the battle schedule of the Polish troops, as of 10 March 1919, three Polish companies were in Baku.
For the maintenance and armament of the interventionists (Poles, Czechs, Yugoslavs, Romanians), as well as Kolchak's army in Siberia and the White Guards in Ukraine, only France provided 1919-1920. loans totaling 660 million 863 thousand francs, and 23 on April 1919 of the year entered into a financial agreement with Poland for the amount of 1 billion 100 million francs. These funds were intended only for the maintenance of the Polish army, the supply of weapons and other military equipment. In addition, in April-June 1919, as a result of persistent requests from Poland, the 1 and 3 corps of the Haller army, which had been formed in France since June 1917, were redeployed to Poland. The cost of this share amounted to 350 million francs. With the help of this army, the Entente intended to create after the revolution a solid barrier against the Red Army, to use it in the struggle against "external Bolshevism."
After the relocation of Haller’s army and its merger with the Polish national army that had been formed, Poland stepped up its activities to implement its plan for joining the “eastern lands”. In July 1919, Eastern Galicia, 74% of the population of which were Ukrainians, was occupied by the Polish army.
Poland began to seize the Belarusian and Lithuanian lands in the same year. The Polish army occupies Vilna, advances to Minsk, in connection with which a member of the Polish National Committee (PNK) in Paris E. Pilz addressed 28 on April 1919 of the French Foreign Ministry with a request to achieve the withdrawal of German troops from Grodno and Suvalki, where, as in the Baltic States , they were preserved by the Entente to deter the advance of the Red Army.
Marshal Foch, Commander-in-Chief of the Entente, writes in a letter to the Chairman of the Paris Peace Conference that the Entente cannot agree with Germany’s decision to urgently withdraw its troops from Latvia and Lithuania after a truce with the Red Army, and motivates this: “In the Baltic provinces the withdrawal of German troops can only be envisaged when the local contingents will be able to provide their own means of defense against Bolshevism ... It is necessary that the Allied Powers render the Balts without delay yskim provinces help, they need to strengthen their forces ... "However, he notes that on the eastern front, the Poles have come in Vilna, and at the same time sufficient funds to firmly resist the Red Army. Therefore, Foch concludes, he considers it possible to withdraw German troops from a number of areas, which PNK insists on.
After the capture of Minsk, Pilsudski declared in September 1919 of the year that only his desire to follow the policy of the Entente, and especially France, prevented him from ordering troops to move to Kovno. Since the end of 1919, the Polish government has taken steps to develop new concepts for the change of power in our country.
In an interview with the French representative in Warsaw, Pralon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Skszyński outlined three possible ways to achieve this goal: with the help of Germany, through direct intervention by one of the Entente countries, or by creating a Russian-Polish alliance. Rejecting the idea of restoring the previous order in Russia with the intervention of Germany, recognizing that no great Allied power is able to effectively intervene in Russian affairs, he proposed a Russian-Polish solution to this problem. 17-18 October, October 1919 was held an emergency secret meeting of the foreign and military commissions of the Polish Sejm, in connection with the growing discontent of the socialists, Poland's participation in the intervention. Reporting this, Pralon expressed the opinion that the government of this country would seek from the Entente to clarify its policy with respect to Soviet Russia, approve cooperation with the Russian counterrevolution, using the fear of the Entente about German influence in Russia and the desire of the Polish socialists to make peace with the Bolsheviks.
18 January 1920, Deputy Polish War Minister General Sosnkovsky, in a letter to the head of the French military mission in Poland, General Henri, writes that Poland considers the Bolsheviks the only obstacle and enemy in Eastern Europe, that it is necessary to decide finally and urgently whether war is necessary against Bolshevism to calm the whole world whether the victory is necessary in the interests of the entire Entente. Sosnkovsky requested that Poland be given the opportunity to become a global “peacemaker” and support their aggression in Russia with money and other assistance.
The Polish High Command reacted sharply negatively to the partial lifting of the economic blockade of the Soviet Republic by the Entente. It argued that the Bolsheviks were not threatened in the future by internal shocks, as “the Russian masses are not capable of insurgent actions and, in the end, most of them accepted the real order of things”, that the renewal of economic ties with Russia would strengthen its position, will weaken anti-government tendencies in the country, restore hope for the future, and under the cover of trade relations, Bolshevik propaganda will be facilitated and strengthened.
Knowing the belligerent plans of Poland, General Henri suggested that, in order to strengthen the anti-Bolshevik barrier, create a unified command and push this barrier as far as the Dnieper. In solving this problem, he believed, Poland, whether as a buffer state, or as a representative of the Entente, in the organization of Russian borders can provide an invaluable service. The defeat of the Russian white armies entails great dangers for it and Europe. The Entente, according to General Henry, should help Poland by all means in its power so that Poland can solve the difficulties of administrative, military training of organized Belarusian and Ukrainian parts, which will be entrusted with pushing the temporary borders of Bolshevism to the Dnieper.
After receiving this letter, Marshal Foch advises the Minister of War of France, who was also the chairman of the Paris Peace Conference, to study these issues at the High Council of the Entente in order to “restore order in Russia”. In January, 1920 in secret references for Marshal Foch about the possibility of the Soviet-Polish conflict and the ability of the Polish Army to resist the Red Army was criticized from a military and political point of view by the Polish command plan of an offensive in the area of Dvina-Dnepr. It contained a warning that the advancement of the Polish troops to the Dnieper could inflame the national feelings of the Russians, contribute to the growth of the influence of the communists. In this regard, Poland was asked to direct efforts to improve its defensive position. The certificate noted, in particular, that the rural population of these regions, which had been in Soviet Russia for two years, became the owner of the land and would not enthusiastically return to the country under the protection of Polish bayonets of large landowners, mainly Poles. Poland is trying to return to the borders of 1772 of the year and regain its power in Western Ukraine under the guise of a long occupation. She has already attracted Petlura, who is very popular in these areas, to her side. Without a doubt, she is trying to use her influence to create a local Ukrainian government, again linked to Poland. All these measures, it was stated in the certificate, have a far-reaching political focus.
Back in October, Colonel Georges 1919, sent by Marshal Foch on a special mission to Warsaw, warned of the need to contain Poland on a dangerous path, where Polish excessive ambitions are pushing her to confront Russia.
The Entente and, above all, France were interested in strengthening the Polish state, which could become an obstacle to the creation of a Russian-German bloc. But they feared the inclusion of territories with non-Polish population. This is evidenced by the reaction to the letter to the Paris Peace Conference of Professor Tomashivsky, the Ukrainian delegate from Galicia at this conference. In it, he argued the absurdity of Poland’s return to the borders of 1772 of the year, stressed how dangerous it is for Europe, and expressed regret about the conference’s intention to transfer Eastern Galicia to Poland. He recalled that at a time when the Ukrainians had to choose between Poland and Russia, they chose Russia. The certificate for Foch gave the conclusion to this letter that France sees Poland only as a homogeneous state, without including any territories of other countries.
Meanwhile, in connection with the liquidation of the Western Front after the signing of the Polish-German peace agreement, the Polish High Command was able to concentrate its forces on the Eastern Front. In March, 1920, Pilsudski issued completely secret orders to reorganize the Polish Army on the Eastern Front, preparing it for offensive operations.
And at the same time, Marshal Foch sends regular instructions to General Henry, demanding to speed up the development of the French defense plan of Poland, with instructions to submit it to the Polish government in the form of proposals. Finally, 17 on April 1920 of the year, Henri announces that Foch sent a defense plan, drawn up according to the instructions of the Marshal. In a covering letter, he writes about the transfer of this plan to the Polish high command and warns that Poland is preparing only for offensive operations.
Ten days before the start of the Soviet-Polish war, General Henri urgently informs Marshal Foch about an important conversation with Pilsudski, during which he declared that the time had come for a final decision, but he does not feel absolutely free, as military and political issues Eastern problems are closely related, and therefore he should know the views of France and the Entente. Pilsudski came to the conclusion that the Polish Army had some advantage over the Red Army, and therefore he was confident of victory. To implement it, Pilsudski developed four possible options for the offensive, which he outlined in detail in a letter to the French general. Henri agreed with Pilsudski’s opinion on the state of both armies, only noting the fact that if operations were active and lengthy, difficulties could arise that would require help from the Entente.
The next day, after a conversation with Henri Pilsudski, he signed an order to launch the offensive of the Polish army in the direction of Kiev under his direct command of 25 on April 1920 of the year. On the eve of the offensive, Pilsudski signed a military-political agreement with Petlyura. As a result of the joint offensive 6 June 1920, Kiev was taken.
But already 26 June in a personal letter to General Henry, Marshal Foch writes that the Polish front, which was broken by Budyonny at the mouth of the Pripyat, was cracking along the whole length, since it was everywhere fragile, and again insists on defensive measures, which he repeatedly stated in his instructions, since 18 June 1919 of the year.
On June 30, General Buyat (Chief of the General Staff of the French Army) sends Foch a certificate under the heading "Poland is in danger." In this reference, he indicated that the Polish command, underestimating the strength of the Bolshevik army, trusting Petliura’s help, launched an offensive in Ukraine, between the Dniester and the Dnieper at an 400 km front, but in less than two months the Poles were driven back. The result of the offensive was negative. The Polish army was exhausted and lacked ammunition and equipment. The Soviet government has repeatedly expressed its will to continue the war against Poland until the final military and political victory. General Bute was sure that if the Polish army continued to resist, it would exhaust itself, and as a result, due to the lack of reserves, its front would be broken. Then the very existence of Poland will be at stake, and the interests of the Entente in Eastern Europe will be seriously compromised. The French general suggested that as the only means of salvation, an immediate retreat from territories with a mixed population supporting the Russians and the Communists, they saw a serious danger to the rear of the Polish army. Butte suggested that the Entente Supreme Council send Marshal Foch to Warsaw to jointly develop a defense plan, appoint a military adviser, and also develop a plan for the immediate supply of the Polish army with a wide range of assistance to gain an advantage over the Red Army. The French were extremely critical of the state of the armed forces of Poland. They were sure that the Polish army was not able to stop the Red Army. Therefore, a truce should be concluded immediately, otherwise, if the Red Army manages to provide itself with supplies, it will be in Warsaw on 15 on August, and no Polish military force will be able and unwilling to try to stop it. And regarding the information provided by the Poles, an employee of the French military mission wrote the following: “What the newspapers say about the courage of the Polish troops is a lie and an archilozh, and information from the communiqué about the fighting is nothing more than dusting your eyes.” As they say, comments are superfluous.
The newspapers launched a brutal campaign against Pilsudski, exposing his military incapacity, his political levity, when he alone, without the approval of his ministry, undertook in April the “Ukrainian adventure”. In connection with the threatening situation for the Polish army, France and Britain began to discuss the provision of urgent military assistance to Poland, as well as the transportation of military equipment to Poland, which was difficult because of the difficult political situation in Danzig, where port workers were on strike, refusing to unload the ships, and therefore Rozvadovsky , Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, proposed even to occupy Danzig by Allied forces. 24 July 1920 was visited by the Chief of the General Staff of the Entente Military Committee, General Weygand, as the head of the French-British mission to "rescue the Polish army."
If, according to French Prime Minister Millerand, “the latest offensive of the Polish forces and the territorial ambitions of Poland inflamed the national feelings of all Russians,” then in August 1920, the Red Army’s attack on Warsaw led to the same results. Thanks to the blunders of Tukhachevsky, as well as the decisive measures taken by the Entente to assist the Polish Army, it was able to defeat the Red Army, which was operating in the Warsaw sector.
20 August 1920, Marshal Foch, sends to Weygan a telegram about the need to provide for the future occupation of Poland by its neighboring territories. That in general coincided with the wishes of Pilsudski, who openly expressed his intention to continue the aggressive policy in the East; Knowing about the differences in the Entente countries in determining their positions with respect to Soviet Russia, Pilsudski was convinced that Poland should act alone, relying on France, and that being at the head of all small states bordering Russia, he, Pilsudski, should decide Eastern problem to their advantage. On Polish territory, with the consent of Pilsudski, Savinkov, chairman of the Russian Political Committee in Warsaw, continued to be actively involved in the formation of the White Guard army, hoping to send it to the Polish front under the Polish command by November 9 November. At the same time, there were negotiations between the representatives of Wrangel and the Entente, with the Ukrainian nationalists and Poland. Wrangel proposes to create a single Polish-Russian front under the French command to "deliver a decisive blow to the Soviet authorities," because he believed that the conclusion of the Soviet-Polish world would make "the Bolshevik danger inevitable." In response to this proposal, the French Foreign Minister said that France is extremely interested in extracting the benefits of current events in order to finally end Soviet Russia.
Fearing the defeat of the Wrangel army, Rozvadovsky expresses his French mentors in October 1920 the desire to achieve a military alliance of the Ukrainian troops of General Pavlenko and the White Guard 3 of the Russian army of General Peremykin, which was achieved on November 5 of 1920 of the year. 18 November (i.e., two days after the liquidation of the Wrangel southern front), as a result of joint vigorous measures by France, Poland and the White Guard, this military alliance took shape in a military-political agreement between representatives of Petliura and Savinkov. A few days after the final defeat, the remnants of the White Guard troops took refuge in Poland, which was also provided for by the agreement and responded to the plans to prepare Pilsudski and Savinkov for a new military campaign against Soviet Russia.
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