In 1918, the German Army in the east was the most powerful force in the region. Even more importantly, it was not only undefeated, it was victorious (in contrast to the German Army on the western front). However the commander of the German forces in the east, Max Hoffmann, a chief negotiator in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, was facing increasing difficulties. He believed, rightly, that his army was the only stabilising influence over the Eastern Europe. Yet with the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, rise of Bolsheviks in the east and various independent governments between the former frontline and Germany, the former Oberkommando-Ostfront (or Ober-Ost) occupation zone became a thin line to nowhere, connected only to still-German Prussia. The deteriorating situation in Germany, facing the t

Property Value
dbo:abstract
  • La guerra polaco-soviética fue un conflicto armado entre la Rusia Soviética y la Segunda República Polaca. Iniciada en febrero de 1919 y culminada en marzo de 1921. (es)
  • In 1918, the German Army in the east was the most powerful force in the region. Even more importantly, it was not only undefeated, it was victorious (in contrast to the German Army on the western front). However the commander of the German forces in the east, Max Hoffmann, a chief negotiator in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, was facing increasing difficulties. He believed, rightly, that his army was the only stabilising influence over the Eastern Europe. Yet with the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, rise of Bolsheviks in the east and various independent governments between the former frontline and Germany, the former Oberkommando-Ostfront (or Ober-Ost) occupation zone became a thin line to nowhere, connected only to still-German Prussia. The deteriorating situation in Germany, facing the threat of civil war, eventually forced Hoffman to begin to retreat westwards, to Germany, in December 1918. Demoralized officers and mutinous soldiers abandoned their garrisons en masse and returned home. Only a limited number of units still retained any combat strength. The areas abandoned by the Central Powers became a field of conflict among local governments created by Germany, other local governments that independently sprang up after the German withdrawal, and the Bolsheviks, who hoped to incorporate those areas into Bolshevik Russia. Internal power struggles prevented any of the governments in Belarus from gaining real power. The situation in Ukraine was even more complex, with sizable Ukrainian forces divided and ongoing conflicts among Nestor Makhno's anarchists, the communists, the White Russians, various governments of Ukraine, and the renascent Polish Army. The situation was further complicated when self-defence forces began to form in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia as well. Many of those groups were fragmented, merged, divided, formed short alliances with others, and almost constantly fought. Almost the entire Eastern Europe was in chaos. On November 16, Bolsheviks formed the Western Army. On November 18, 1918, Vladimir Lenin issued orders to the Red Army to begin an operation, codenamed in some sources as Target Vistula. The basic aim of the operation was to drive through eastern and central Europe, institute Soviet governments in the newly independent countries of that region and support communist revolutions in Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Bolshevik Russian forces did not anticipate serious opposition on the way but their advance was slow due to the continuing civil war. Faced with initial struggles with the uncoordinated local opposition and self-defense forces, the Red Army's slow offensive westwards continued through late December 1918. On January 12 Soviet High Command declared the goal of Target Vistula operation: deep scouting towards Neman River. On February 12 that goal was updated to Bug River. At the start of 1919, fighting broke out almost by accident and without any orders from the respective governments, when self-organized Polish military units in Kresy ("Borderland") areas of Lithuania, Belarus and western Ukraine (the Samoobrona Litwy i Białorusi numbering approximately ~2,000 soldiers under general Wejtko) clashed with local communist units and advance Bolshevik forces, each trying to secure the territories for its own incipient government. Eventually the more organised Soviet forces quelled most of the resistance and drove the remaining forces west. On January 5, 1919, the Red Army entered Minsk almost unopposed, thus putting an end to the short-lived Belarusian People's Republic. At the same time, more and more Polish and Belarusian self-defense units sprang up across western Belarus and Lithuania. Ill-equipped and mostly comprising local recruits, they were determined to defend their homes from what the newspapers described as a "Red menace." Similar Bolshevik groups operated in the area, and a series of skirmishes ensued. The Polish Army began sending first of their newly organised units east to assist the self-defense forces, while the Russians sent their own units west. Open conflict seemed inevitable. In the spring of 1919 Soviet conscription produced a Red Army of 2,300,000. However, few of these were sent west that year, as the majority of Red Army forces were engaging the White Russians. In September 1919, the Polish army had 540,000 men under arms, 230,000 of these on the Soviet front. The Polish government, attempting to stop the westwards advance of Russian forces, negotiated on February 2 a treaty with Germany, which allowed Polish units safe passage through the territories still under German administration. Small Polish forces (12 artillery battalions, 12 cavalry regiments, 3 artillery batteries) had been securing the eastern border. The southern sector, from the Pripyat River to the town of Szczytno, was assigned to Grupa Podlaska (the Podlaska Group, later known as Grupa Poleska), commanded by General Antoni Listowski. These units had concentrated near Antopol and moved toward Brest, Pinsk and Bereza Kartuska. The Wolyn region was assigned to Grupa Wołyńska (the Wolyn Group) under General Edward Rydz-Śmigły. The northern sector, from Szczytno to Skidel, was protected by Dywizja Litewsko-Białoruska (the Lithuanian–Belarusin Division) under General Wacław Iwaszkiewicz-Rudoszański, concentrated near Volkovysk. That division had also absorbed the former Samoobrona Litwy i Białorusi units which retreated from Vilnius. By February 14 Polish forces had secured positions along the line of Kobryn, Pruzhany, rivers Zalewianka and Neman. Around February 14, the first organised Polish units made contact with the advance units of the Red Army and a border frontline slowly began to form from Lithuania, through Belarus to Ukraine. (en)
dbo:thumbnail
dbo:wikiPageExternalLink
dbo:wikiPageID
  • 1687619 (xsd:integer)
dbo:wikiPageRevisionID
  • 738068269 (xsd:integer)
dct:subject
rdf:type
rdfs:comment
  • La guerra polaco-soviética fue un conflicto armado entre la Rusia Soviética y la Segunda República Polaca. Iniciada en febrero de 1919 y culminada en marzo de 1921. (es)
  • In 1918, the German Army in the east was the most powerful force in the region. Even more importantly, it was not only undefeated, it was victorious (in contrast to the German Army on the western front). However the commander of the German forces in the east, Max Hoffmann, a chief negotiator in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, was facing increasing difficulties. He believed, rightly, that his army was the only stabilising influence over the Eastern Europe. Yet with the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, rise of Bolsheviks in the east and various independent governments between the former frontline and Germany, the former Oberkommando-Ostfront (or Ober-Ost) occupation zone became a thin line to nowhere, connected only to still-German Prussia. The deteriorating situation in Germany, facing the t (en)
rdfs:label
  • Polish–Soviet War in 1919 (en)
  • Guerra polaco-soviética en 1919 (es)
owl:sameAs
prov:wasDerivedFrom
foaf:depiction
foaf:isPrimaryTopicOf
is dbo:wikiPageRedirects of
is dbp:eventEnd of
is owl:sameAs of
is foaf:primaryTopic of