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Triumph at Kiev

by Steve Payne

Author 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 States.

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.

Author 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).
To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

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Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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