Triumph at Kiev
by Steve Payne
says: what if the Polish Cipher Division had anticipated the Soviet
counterattack at Kiev in 1920? Please note that the opinions expressed in
this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1920, the evacuation of
Semyon Budionny's famous Cossack 1st Cavalry Army from the Ukrainian front
on this day enabled the Commander of White Forces, Józef Pilsudski (pictuerd)
to proclaim a new Confederation comprising Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic
In a broader sense, this incredible feat of arms prevented the Soviets
from wrecking the Treaty of Versailles, a peace settlement from which the
Russians were excluded. Which wasn't to say that the French were similarly
excluded in the Ukraine, because Captain Charles de Gaulle led a military
mission to advise the White Polish Forces on the Ukrainian Front. And yet
the decisive contribution was from the Polish Cipher Division, who, in
anticipating an assault on the southern front, had saved the day.
Lenin's dreams of building Marxist States in Poland and Germany had been
shattered. And yet the establishment of a buffer state in eastern europe
would have long term consequences for both the security of the region, and
also the future of the Soviet Union itself. Maybe, just maybe, the system
of security proposed by Treaty of Versailles would survive.
says this story is based upon "Intelligence - Locked in a life-or-death
struggle with Bolshevik Russian, Poland used its intelligence-gathering and
code-breaking abilities to preserve the nation", an article from Military
Heritage Magazine (Spring 2010).
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