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Today in Polish history

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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Today in Polish history
    Posted: 14-Feb-2011 at 19:09
Originally posted by opuslola

Take the tour of the Salt caves out side of "Saltz-burg", for a full view of the times?

This may well be a meaningful experience?
 
Shame to admit but I dont know Austria and have never been in any major city there. I used to visit Austria once or twice a year and have been there about 20 times, but all I do is skiing in Alpes and drinking beer :)
 
 
February 14th
 
14th February Year 1831 - battle of Stoczek 
 
The battle of Stoczek was a first major battle of Polish November uprising and Polish - Russian war 1830-1831.
 
In 1815 after Congress of Vienna, on the part of the territory of Grand Duchy of Warsaw was created Kingdom of Poland. The kingdom was in personal union with Russia and Tsar of Russia was the king of Poland. Kingdom had its own constitution, administration, parliament and army. It was the only part of Russian empire where was limited democracy and constitution, which was binding the power of the tsar. To some extent it was a liberal experiment of Tsar Alexander I. The liberal experiment that failed....
 
However the Tsar did write the constitution himself, he wasnt really going to respect it, and the next tsar was respecting it even less.
 
In the third decade of 19th century violating the constitution by the tsar-king became notorious. The rights of political opposition were being limited, Polish army was getting angry, especially because of the behaviour of Grand Duke Constantine – brother of tsar, Governor of Kingdom and Commander in chief of Polish army (he was somthing like viceroy). However Constantine married Polish catholic woman (what forced him to resign from Russian throne - he could have become the tsar after Alexander) and often was showing pro-polish sympaties, he in the same time behaved in the way that Polish officers were not able to accept. In the Polish army with its old Commonwealth traditions and newer Napoleonic traditions it was not tolerated that Russian duke dare to insult or even slap in face a soldier or officer, what angry Constantine was sometimes doing (or did only once). It was normal in the Russian army that generals, marshals or members of Tsar’s family could do everything with officers but in the Polish army it was the worst thing one could do to officer because it wasn’t possible to duel with the commander. When one slapped officer committed suicide, officer corps started to plan rebellion.

Polish army was small (about 40.000 soldiers) but well trained, many of high rank officers were veterans of Napoleonic wars who were fighting against Russia in Napoleon’s Great army. For example general Josef Chlopicki was a general of Napoleonic army who fought in Spain and later in Russian campaign, was wounded at Borodino. General Jan Zygmunt Skrzynecki was an officer of Napoleonic army who in 1813 in the battle of Arcis-sur-Aube saved Napoleon from being killed or captured. General Dwernicki – also an officer of Napoleonic army was decorated by golden cross of Legion of Honour personally by Napoleon. So was general Pradzynski decorated by Napoleon with the golden cross of Legion of Honour for the bravery in the battle of Leipzig.

The year 1830 was very important in western Europe. There was revolution in France and also the Belgians revolted against the Dutch. To Poland came news that Tsar (and king of Poland in the same time) decided to sent Polish army to Belgium and France to put down the revolutions. On the 17 october 1830 Tsar ordered mobilistation of Polish army and preparation of finances of Kingdom for war. Using Polish Army to revolution in France and Belgium would have been another violation of the Polish constitution but tsar didnt want to hear any objections.

The whole situation, especially the news that Polish soldiers are supposed to fight against French (considered by Poles as friends and allies) and Belgians, the behaviour of Constantine, the violation of law by tsar put the young officers on the verge of rebellion.

The revolt was started in the night 29th – 30th November 1830 in Cadet school. Lieutenant Piotr Wysocki leaded the cadets against Russian troops and took over Warsaw. The rebels took also the residence of Grand Duke Constantine but he escaped in women's clothing with the help of his wife.

None in Warsaw was prepared for it. Polish government, Polish generals, most of the Polish people knew nothing about cadet’s plans. Polish people were divided. Many didn’t want the war with Russia. Many even didn’t want to get independence from Russia and were happy with their autonomy. But majority of people agreed that Polish soldiers cannot be sent to France and Belgium and that Tsar must be forced to obey the constitution and the law.

Constantine was ready to forgive the rebels and promised that the matter would be amicably settled, but radical parties objected and demanded a national uprising. Fearing an immediate break with Russia, the Government agreed to let Constantine depart with his troops.

General Chlopicki was given the office of “Dictator of Uprising”. Chlopicki didn’t belive in victory, but agreed to take command temporarily. He had retired from the army because of the chicanery of Constantine. He overestimated the power of Russia and underestimated the strength and fervor of the Polish revolutionary movement. He accepted the dictatorship essentially in order to maintain internal peace and to save the Constitution.

First Poles wanted to negotiate with Tsar and sent letters to him with demands to join Lithuania to Polish Kingdom and to respect constitution but Tsar refused and demanded the complete and unconditional surrender of Poland and announced that the “Poles should surrender to the grace of their Emperor”. Poles refused and general Chłopicki resigned the following day from the Dictator’s post. In result Polish parliament passed the Act of Dethronization of Nicholas I, which ended the Polish-Russian personal union and was in fact a declaration of war on Russia.

Poland wanted to move the war to Lithuania but Russians were faster. The Russian army of 115.000 soldiers under the command of Field Marshal von Diebitsch crossed the Polish border.

The first major battle took place on 14 February 1831 near the village of Stoczek. General Josef Dwernicki, as I mentioned above - the ex-colonel of napoleonic army who was personally by Napoleon decorated with Golden Cross for leading brave cavalry charge, with his 5000 men stron cavalry division brilantly outmanuevered 10.000 strong Russian division commanded by general Fiodor Geismar, inflicted heavy casualties, forced enemy to withdrawn and captured 11 of 12 Russian canons.

The battle of Stoczek was the first Polish victory in the war and had a tremendous effect on Polish morale. Also, although Dwernicki did not destroy the enemy unit completely, it did not join the rest of the Russian forces and the left flank of the Polish forces preparing for the upcoming big battle of Olszynka Grochowska was secured.

 
general Dwernicki
 
 
The war became famous all over the Europe. In most of the European countries public opinion was on the Polish side while european goverments were supporting Russians and their tsar.

French poet Casimir Francois Delavigne composed famous Warsaw Song of 1831 which that time became well know in all the Europe and was translated on many languages:

Part of WARSAW SONG 1831


Today is a day of blood and glory,
That it be a day of resurrection!
Gazing at France’s star,
The White Eagle launches into flight.

And it, inspired by hope,
Calls to us from on high:
"Arise, oh Poland, break your chains,
Today is a day of victory or death!"

Hey, whoever is a Pole, to your bayonettes!
Live, freedom, oh Poland, live!
Let this worthy battle cry:
Sound forth to our foes!
 
"On horses! - the cossack vindictive calls
Rebelled we shall punish people
Are deprived the Balkans their field
In a trice we shall crush poles a sort"
Stand! Instead of the Balkans this breast will rise:
Your tsar vainly dreams of extraction,
From enemies nothing remains
On this ground, except for corpses


Oh Frenchmen! Are our wounds
Of no value for you?
At Marengo, Wagram, Jena,
Dresden, Leipzig, and Waterloo
The world betrayed you, but we stood firm.
In death or victory, we stand by you!
Oh brothers, we gave blood for you.
Today you give us nothing but tears.

Hey, whoever is a Pole, to your bayonettes!
Live, freedom, oh Poland, live!
Let this worthy battle cry:
Sound forth to our foes!
Sound forth to our foes!
 
 


Edited by Mosquito - 14-Feb-2011 at 19:15
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2011 at 15:52
February 25
 
February 25 in Polish history was dominated by wars with Russia.
 
 
 
 
25th February Year 1634 - capitulation of Russian army at Smolensk
 
In 1632, the head of the Polish-Lithuanian Republic (or Commonwealth, both translations are correct)  - king Sigismund III Vasa died. Most of neighbouring countries expected that the Republic agan will fell into anarchy and that before the new king will be elected, they can take an advantage of this situation and invade Poland. King of Sweden Gustav II Adoplh sent envoys to Russia and Ottoman Empire offering anti-Polish alliance and joined invasion from north, east and south. However swedish hopes failed and son of the former king Wladislaw IV Vasa was quickly elected and took the office.
 
The Commonwealth was not ready for war. In 1631, the army numbered barely 3,000 men; the Smolensk garrison was about 500 strong, and most garrisons in the border area were composed not of regular or mercenary soldiers but of 100 to 200 local volunteers.
 
Aware that Russia was preparing for war, in the spring of 1632 the Sejm (Polish-Lithuanian parliament) increased the army by recruiting an additional 4,500 men; by mid-1632 the deputy voivode of Smolensk, had about 500 volunteers and 2,500 regular army soldiers and Cossacks. In May the Senate agreed to increase the size of the army, but Grand Hetman of Lithuania objected, arguing that the current forces were enough and that war was not likely. Nonetheless the Field Hetman of Lithuania recruited an additional 2000 soldiers.

Russia, having recovered to a certain extent from the Time of Troubles, agreed with the assessment that the Commonwealth would be weakened by the death of its king, and unilaterally attacked without waiting for the Swedes and the Ottomans. Russia's aim was to gain control of Smolensk, which it had ceded to the Commonwealth in 1618, ending the previous Russo-Polish War. A major supporter of the war was the Tsar's father, Patriarch Filaret who represented the anti-Polish camp at court and called for vengeance and reclamation of lost lands.

The Russian army crossed the border of Republic in early October 1632. It was carefully prepared and was under the experienced command of Mikhail Borisovich Shein, who had previously defended Smolensk against the Poles during the 1609-1611 siege. He quickly arrived at Smolensk and started the siege.
Recent research on 17th century Russian archive documents showed that the size of the Russian army was 23,961. Compared to former Russian armies, Shein's army was significantly modernised. Dissatisfied with their traditional formations of musket-equipped infantry (the streltsy), the Russians looked to foreign officers to update the equipment and training of their troops based on the western european model. Eight such regiments, totaling 14,000 to 17,000 men, comprised part of Shein's army.
 
Polish-Lithuanian forces in Smolensk were composed of the Smolensk garrison (about 1600 men with 170 artillery pieces under the command of the Voivode of Smolensk Aleksander Korwin Gosiewski, strengthened by the local nobility, which formed a levee en masse force of about 1,500 strong. The city's fortifications had also recently been improved with Italian-style bastions.
Shein constructed lines of circumvallation around the fortress. Using tunnels and mines, his forces damaged a long section of the city wall and one of itowers. Russian heavy artillery, mostly of Western manufacture, reached Smolensk in December 1632 with even heavier guns arriving the following March. After a preliminary artillery bombardment, Shein ordered an assault, which was repulsed by the Polish defenders.Nonetheless the siege was progressing; Smolensk's fortifications were being eroded, and the defenders were suffering heavy casualties and running out of supplies.  By June of 1633, some soldiers started to desert, and others talked of surrender.
Despite these difficulties, the city, held out throughout 1633 while the Commonwealth, under its newly elected King organised a relief force. The Parliament of the Commonwealth had been informed about the Russian invasion by 30 October 1632, and, starting in November, had discussed the possibility of relief. However, the process was delayed until the spring of 1633, when the Parliament officially sanctioned a declaration of war and authorised a large payment (6.5 million Polish zloty's), the highest tax contribution during Władysław's entire reign) for the raising of a suitable force.The intended relief force would have an effective strength of about 21,500 men and would include: 24 regiments of Winged Hussar (~3,200 horses), 27 regiments of light cavalry (3,600 horses), 10 squadrons of raitars (~1,700 horses), 7 Lithuanian petyhor regiments (~780 horses), 7 large regiments of dragoons (~2,250 horses), and ~20 regiments of infantry (~12,000 men).
 
Meanwhile, the Field Hetman of Lithuania Krzysztof Radziwill and Voivode Gosiewski established a camp about 30 kilometres (18.6 mi) from Smolensk. By February 1633, they had amassed around 4500 soldiers, including over 2000 infantry, and were engaged in raiding the rear areas of the Russian besiegers to disrupt their logistics. Hetman Radziwiłł also managed to break through the Russian lines on several occasions, bringing about 1,000 soldiers and supplies into Smolensk to reinforce the fortress and raising the defenders' morale.

By the summer of 1633, the relief force, led personally by the king and numbering about 20.000 - 25,000, arrived near Smolensk.

The Russian army, recently reinforced, numbered 25,000.

Commonwealth's cavalry significantly restricted Russian mobility, forcing them to stay in their trenches. In a series of fierce engagements, Commonwealth forces gradually over-ran

the Russian field fortifications, and the siege reached its final stages by late September.
 
On 28 September 1633, Commonwealth forces took the main Russian supply points, and by 4 October the siege had broken.

Shein's army retreated to its main camp, which was in turn surrounded by Commonwealth forces in mid-October.The besieged Russians waited for relief, but none arrived, as Commonwealth and Cossack cavalry had been sent to disrupt the Russian rear.Some historians also cite dissent and internal divisions in the Russian camp as responsible for their inaction and ineffectiveness. Some foreign west european mercenaries also deserted to the Commonwealth side.

Shein began surrender negotiations in January 1634, and by February they were in full swing. The Russians finally signed a surrender treaty on 25 February 1634,and on 1 March they vacated their camp. Under the surrender terms, the Russians had to leave behind most of their artillery but were allowed to retain their banners after a ceremony in which they were laid before King Władysław. They also had to promise not to engage Commonwealth forces for the next three months. Shein's forces numbered around 12,000 at the time of their capitulation, but over 4,000, including most of the foreign contingent, immediately decided to defect to the Commonwealth.

By the spring of 1634, the Russians had not only lost Shein's army but were threatened by Tatar raidsthat ravaged southern Russia. Patriarch Filaret had died the previous year, and without him the war fervour lessened. Even before the end of 1633, Tsar Michael Romanov was considering how best to end the conflict.
Because he had once been elected Tsar of Russia and could realistically lay claim to the Russian throne, King Władysław IV wanted to continue the war or, because the Polish-Swedish peace treaty was soon expiring, ally with the Russians to strike against Sweden. However, the Parliament wanted no more conflict.
With neither side keen on prolonging the war, they began negotiating, not for an armistice but for "eternal peace."

Talks began on 30 April 1634, and the Treaty of Polyanovka was signed in May, putting an end to hostilities. The treaty confirmed the pre-war status quo, with Russia paying 20.000 rubles in gold), while king Władysław IV agreed to surrender his claim to the Russian throne and return the russian tsarist insignia to Moscow.

 
25th February Year 1831 - battle of Olszynka
Grochowska (or Grochow Woods)
 
 
 
Battle of Olszynka Grochowska was the largest battle of the Polish-Russian war 1830-1831 (also called November Uprising which I have described in my previous post) and the biggest battle in Europe since the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
 
 
It was fought in the woods near Grochow town, at the eastern outskirts of Warsaw. The Russian army under command of Hans Karl von Diebitsch was advancing toward Warsaw. Despite several minor battles in which Russian army suffered significant casualties, the Poles were not able to stop its advance, being numerically much weaker.On February 24 the Russian Army reached the outskirts of Warsaw in two columns. Initially Diebitsch was planning an all-out assault on Warsaw on February 26. However, the successful Polish counter-attack in the Battle of Bialoleka, in which the 13 500 men strong Corps of General Ivan Shakhovskoy was defeated and forced to retreat, made Diebitsch change his plans and attack earlier than planned.
 
The Polish forces included some 36 000 soldiers and 115 cannons of various calibres. The majority of the Polish forces was composed of fresh, poorly trained and ill-equipped volunteers. However, the core of the Polish Army was composed of well trained and well equipped soldiers of whom many were veterans of Napoleonic Wars.

The Russian forces had 59 000 men at arms and 178 cannons. In addition, at 15.00 the weakened corps of General Shakhovskiy arrived to the battlefield and took part in the assault. The forces of Field Marshal Diebitsch were organised into 5 Infantry Corps, with some cavalry units attached to them. However, the main part of the Russian cavalry was defeated in the Battle of Stoczek (descibed in my previous post) and did not enter the combat.

In the effect of a day-long struggle the Russian army lost at least 9,500 casulaties (proabably about 10.000-11.000) because after the battle Russians killed all their wounded who were not able to move, they didnt have custom of taking and curing their wounded soldiers) and were forced to abandon their plans of capturing Warsaw thus ending the Polish uprising with one blow. Polish losses were slightly smaller, but also significant: between 6,900 and 7,300 dead and wounded. However, Chłopicki did not start a pursuit after the fleeing Russians and did not take advantage of the success.

Because of that, the battle is described as a Polish marginal victory in most handbooks and monographies, both modern and contemporary. Some authors argue that, although the Russian forces were badly beaten and forced to retreat and abandon their plans of capturing Warsaw, the lack of Polish pursuit resulted in the battle being either a pyrrhic victory or simply an unconcluded bloodbath. Finally, several Russian sources claim that the result of the battle was a Russian victory.



Edited by Mosquito - 27-Feb-2011 at 19:08
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2011 at 18:11
March 1
 
1st March 1877 - Antoni Patek died
 
 
 
Legendary watchmaker and founder of Swiss watchmaker company PATEK PHILIPPE & Co, probably the most famouse Swiss watchmaker company. So far the most expensive watch all over the world was Patek watch from year 1933, which was sold for 11 millions $.
 
Antoni Patek was a Polish soldier who fought in described in my earlier posts November Uprising or Polish - Russian war 1830-1831. He served in cavalry, was twice wounded, promoted to the rank of lieutnant, decorated with the highest Polish military order - Virtuti Militari cross.
 
Like many Poles who took part in the war against Russia, to avoid being sent to Siberia or imprisoned he had to emigrate abroad. Finally he settled in Geneva, Switzerland. First he started new company with another Polish watchmaker - Franciszek Czapek, later after they felt in conflict he founded together with Adrien Philippe - French watchmaker - the famouse Patek Philippe & Co. He achieved succes during his life, his watches were used by the Pope and by queen Victoria. He was also granted the title of "count" by Pope Pius IX.
 
 
 
1st March 1810 - Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born
 
  
Another famous Polish emigrant. He was a great composer and pianist, one of the great masters of romantic music. He was abroad during the Polish-Russian war 1830-1831 (also called November Uprising which I have described in my previous posts) and did not come back to Poland after defeat. Like many Poles he stayed in France. The hate of Russians towards him was so great that in 1863 during the next Polish anti-Russian uprising, Russian troops threw Chopin's piano out of a second - story apartament.
 
 


Edited by Mosquito - 28-Feb-2011 at 18:31
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2011 at 17:54
March 5 
 
5th March 1603 - Battle of Rakvere 
 
Battle of Rakvere was a minor battle of Polish-Swedish War 1600-1611. The Commonwealth commander Jan Karol Chodkiewicz with about 800 soldiers attacked about 1000 soldiers strong swedish unit and defeated it, forcing to retreat. In this small battle Chodkiewicz showned his military genius which in the future gave him the highest offices in the Commonwealth. He lost only 1 man killed and 2 wounded, but killed 170 Swedes. Two years later he obliterated Swedish army at the battle of Kircholm where died six thousands of Swedes and he lost only about 100 killed soldiers. He was definatelly one of the greatest european commanders of the 17th century.
 
 
 
 
 
5th March 1871 - Rosa Luxemburg was born
 
Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and activist of Polish-Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen. She was successively a member of the Social Democracy of the kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Communist Party of Germany. After being murdered became one of the greatest martyr's for communists and marxist's.
 
5th March 1953 - Polish air force pilot Franciszek Jarecki escapes from communist Poland with his MiG 15.
 

On the morning of March 5, 1953, Jarecki escaped Poland in the MiG-15. The decision was a very risky one, as the Polish People’s Army had previously shot those who tried to escape. For example, Edward Pytko, an instructor at Deblin, tried to escape to Western Germany in 1952, but was stopped by Soviet aircraft over Eastern Germany and handed back to the Poles; Pytko was charged with high treason and executed.

Jarecki flew from Slupsk to theairport on the Danish Bornholm island. The whole trip took him only a few minutes. There, specialists from the USA, called by Danish authorities, thoroughly checked the plane. According to international regulations, they returned it by ship to Poland a few weeks later. Jarecki stayed in the West. From Denmark he moved to London, where General Władysław Anders gave him an order, and then to the USA, where he provided crucial information about modern Soviet aircraft and air tactics. Among those who shook his hand was President Dwight Eisenhower. Jarecki also received a $50,000 prize for the person who was first to present a MiG-15 to the Americans and became a US citizen.

A few months later, another Polish pilot successfully escaped with a MiG-15 to Bornholm; this time it was Zdzislaw Jazwinski. Three years later, four students of Deblin’s school escaped in two Yak-18 planes.

Frank Jarecki lived in Pennsylvania until his death on Oct. 24, 2010. He funded and owned a company and factory in Fairview, Pennsylvania, called Jarecki Valves. The uniform in which he escaped can be seen at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
 


Edited by Mosquito - 05-Mar-2011 at 18:01
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2011 at 18:22
Many thanks to see the Heros of Poland, etc.! Well, most of them were heros?

Regards,

Ron
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Mar-2011 at 16:08
Originally posted by opuslola

Many thanks to see the Heros of Poland, etc.! Well, most of them were heros?

Regards,

Ron
 
Well, there were also villains: )
 
7 March 1000 AD - Congress of Gniezno begins 

On the 7th march 1000 AD starts so called Congress of Gniezno, one of the most important events in the early Polish history. This day the German emperor Otto III came to Poland to meet with Polish ruler Boleslaw the Brave and to pray at the grave of his friend and martyr -St. Adalbert who was killed by pagan Prussians.

The emperor recognised Boleslaw as a mighty leader, worth to be allied with him, gives him the copy of spear of St. Maurice (so called Holy Lance), the neil from the cross of Christ (probably fake) and puts his imperial crown on Boleslaw's head (what was understood as imperiall blessing for royal coronation. For last 2 centuries German historians claim that it definatelly wasnt imperial acceptance for making Poland a kingdom and that Boleslaw crowned himself king without permission - so illegally, because emperor was the universal ruler of all christian lands). However it was, Boleslaw recived also the title of  "frater et cooperator Imperii" ("Brother and Partner of the Empire") and "populi Romani amicus et socius"(friend and ally of Roman people). But most important was that emperor agreed to create Polish church organisation, completelly independent from German church organisation, once for all (not counting some later minor attempts) ending German efforts to make Poland a part of Holy German Empire (what became the fate of Bohemia - the Czech Kingdom). According to French chronicler Adémar de Chabannes (sometimes Adhémar de Chabannes c. 988-1034) next Otto III and Boleslaw the Brave went together to Aachen, where also as a gift Otto gave Boleslaw the throne of Charlemagne . They have also arranged the marriage of the son of Boleslaw and imperial niece Richeza of Lotharingia. In exchange Polish ruler gave the emperor 300 fully armoured knights and the hand of martyr St. Adalbert.


Edited by Mosquito - 07-Mar-2011 at 16:14
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2011 at 19:21
To not post only about heroes, here is a history of scum :) 
 
15 March 1805 - Stanislaw Szczesny Potocki died
 
 
Polish politician of pro-russian faction during times of partitions of Poland-Lithuania.Voivode of Ruthenia, general of Polish army, general of artilery in Polish army, general-en-chef  of Russian army, Russian diplomate. Traitor, sentenced for death by Kosciuszko during Kosciuszko's Insurection. As he was abroad during insurection, execution was made "In effigie" . It was an european custom coming from medieval times, when the sentenced person was not captured, instead of him was being hanged his portait.
 
On the picture - hanging of traitors during Kosciuszko uprising.
 
In 1790 in Paris he has joined Jacobin Club as foreign member. He was also the Grand Master of Great East of Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania - the masonic Lodge. Extremly wealthy and powerful, of great influence, tried to block any reforms in Poland, finally started uprising and called for help Empress Catherine the Great of Russia. With his actions helped Russia in the third partition of Poland-Lithuania. After partitions applied to Russian empress for Russian citisenship, was also awarded with the highest general rank in the Russian empire -  general-en-chef. Died in age of 53, during his funerall his body was robbed of his russian general uniform, orders and jewels and naked was thrown under the wall. 
 
 
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2011 at 20:34
30 March 1689 AD - Kazimierz Lyszczynski
was executed for atheism
 
 
On the 30th march 1689 ADin Warsaw on market square was executed Kazimierz Lyszczynski (Łyszczyński in polish), who was accused for atheism. While the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania was very tolerant and all religions were tollerated, atheism like in most of European countries was punished by death. Kazimierz Łyszczyński was a Polish noble, landowner, philosopher, and soldier. For eight years he studied philosophy as a Jesuit and then became a supply judge in legal cases against the Jesuits concerning estates. Łyszczyński was reading a book by Henry Aldsted entitled Theologia Naturalis, which attempted to prove the existence of divinity. But the arguments were so confused that Łyszczyński was able to infer contradictions. In ridicule of Aldsted, Łyszczyński wrote in the margins of the book the words "ergo non est Deus" ("therefore God does not exist").
 
This was discovered by one of Łyszczyński's debtors, reluctant to return a great sum of money lent by Łyszczyński, accused Łyszczyński of being an atheist and gave as evidence the aforementioned work to Bishop of Posnania. He also stole and delivered to the court a handwritten copy of "De non existentia Dei", which was the first Polish philosophical treatise presenting reality from an atheistic perspective, developed by Łyszczyński from 1674 onwards.  Bishop of Posnania Witwicki along with Załuski, bishop of Kiev, took up this case with a zeal. The King attempted to help Łyszczyński by ordering that he should be judged at Vilna, but this could not save Łyszczyński from the clergy. Łyszczyński's first privilege of a Polish noble, that he could not be imprisoned before his condemnation, was violated. Łyszczyński's affair was brought before the Diet of 1689 where he was accused of having denied the existance of God and having blasphemed against the Virigin Mary and the Saints. He was condemned to death for atheism. The sentence was undertaken before noon at the Old Town Market in Warsaw,  where his tongue was pulled out followed by a beheading. After that, his corpse was transported beyond the city borders and cremated.

De non existentia Dei

Łyszczyński wrote a treatise entitled "De non existentia Dei" (the non-existence of God), which stated that God does not exist and that religions are the inventions of man.

On basis of a public accusation, a trial at the front of the Parliamentary Commission was conducted. There is an actual transcript of the proceedings in a Library of Kornik, of a speech of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Instigator Regni Szymon Kurowicz Zabistowski, in which he cited fragments of De non existentia Dei. The treatise itself was destroyed by the diet but the cited fragements that survived are as follows:

I - we beseech you, o' theologians, by your God, if in this manner do you not extinguish the light of Reason, do you not oust the sun from this world, do you not pull down your God from the sky, when attributing him the impossible, the characteristics and attributes contradicting themselves.
II - the Man is a creator of God, and God is a concept and creation of a Man. Hence the people are architects and engineers of God and God is not a true being, but a being existing only within mind, being chimeric by its nature, because a God and a chimera are the same.
III - Religion was constituted by people without religion, so they could be worshipped although the God is not existent. Piety was introduced by the unpietic. The fear of God was spread by the unafraid so that the people were afraid of them in the end. Devotion named godly is a design of Man. Doctrine, be it logical or philosophical, bragging to be teaching the truth of God, is false, and on the contrary, the one condemned as false, is the very true one.
IV - simple folk are cheated by the more cunning with the fabrication of God for their own oppression; whereas the same oppression is shielded by the folk in a way, that if the wise attempted to free them by the truth, they would be quelled by the very people.
V - nevertheless we do not experience within us and within any other such an imperative of reason, which would ensure us of a truth of divine revelation. Alas if they were present in us, then everyone would have to acknowledge them and would have no doubts and would not contradict the Writings of Moses and the Gospels - which is not true - and there would be no different congregations and their followers as Mahomet etc. Such an imperative is not known and there are not only doubts, but there are some who deny a revelation, and they are not fools, but wise men, who with a proper reasoning prove what? the very contrary, what I also prove here. Concluding, that God does not exist".

During his trial, Łyszczyński claimed that the work was to be about a Catholic and an atheist having a debate, in which the Catholic would eventually win (he told the diet that the work would have had a different title from De non existentia Dei). The atheist was to speak first followed by the Catholic. He claimed that he only wrote the first half of the work (that is only the atheist's argument) and then stopped writing at the advice of a priest.

 
30 March 1853 AD - Polish inventor Jan Jozef Ignacy Lukasiewicz (Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz) invents first modern kerosene lamp and starts first in the world petroleum industry
 
Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822–1882) was a Polish pharmacist and petroleum industry pioneer who in 1856 built the first oil refinery in the world. He lived in the city of Lvov (pol. Lwow, ger. Lemberg). The first modern kerosene lamp in the world was used in the apothecary shop in Lvov and soon in the city were built first in the world modern street lamps.
 
 
Łukasiewicz had long been interested in the potential of seep oil as a cheap alternative to the more expensive whale oil. In 1853 Łukasiewicz, was the first in the world to distill clear kerosene from seep oil, Canada's Abraham Gesner having first refined kerosene from coal in 1846. On July 31, 1853, Łukasiewicz made one of his kerosene lamps available to a local hospital to illuminate an emergency surgical operation.The date is considered the starting point of modern oil industry.
 

In 1854 Łukasiewicz continued his work. He set up many companies together with entrepreneurs and landowners. That same year, he opened the world's first oil "mine".

At the same time Łukasiewicz continued his work on kerosene lamps. Later that year he set up the first kerosene street lamp in Gorlice's borough of Zawodzie. In the following years he opened several other oil wells, each of them as a joint-venture with various local merchants and businessmen. In 1856 in he opened an "oil distillery", that is the first industrial oil refinery in the world. As the demand for kerosene was still low, the plant initially produced mostly artificial asphalt, machine oil and lubricants. The refinery was destroyed in a fire in 1859, but was rebuilt the following year.
 
However there were some oil resources in Poland, Lukasiewicz did belive that there was much more of it than in reality. In 1854 he said:
 
This liquid is the future wealth of the country, it's the wellbeing and prosperity of its inhabitants, it's a new source of income for the poor, and a new branch of industry which shall bear plentiful fruit.
 


Edited by Mosquito - 29-Mar-2011 at 20:38
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2011 at 06:33
July 4
 
 
 
4th July, Year 1610 - Battle of Klushino (pol. Kluszyn)
 
One of the greatest victories in the Polish military history. The army of Polish-Lithuanian Republic that invaded Russia under command of hetman Stanislaw Zolkiewski numbered about 7000 soldiers, mostly cavalry, 2 canons and defeated Russian-Swedish army of Dimitry Shuiski and Jacob de la Gardie which numbered about 40.000 soldiers. Poles lost only about 300 men killed in the battle, Russian - Swedish casulaties were over 8000. After victory Polish army took Moscow and made Polish prince and future king of Poland Wladislaw IV Vasa - the new Tsar of Russia. However later Russians did revolt against Polish rules, Polish army did occupy Moscow for next two years when finally in 1612 besieged Polish garrison of Cremlin castle surrendered.
King of Poland Wladislaw IV Vasa used his title of Tsar of Russia till 1634 when finally sold it to Russian Romanov dynasty for 20.000 rubles in gold and returned the russian tsarist insignia to Moscow.
 
Attack of Polish cavalry at the battle of Klushino:
 
 
 
 
King of Poland - Lithuania Wladislaw IV after the battle new Tsar of Russia:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4th July, Year 1934 Marie Curie (pol. Maria Sklodowska - Curie) died
 
Born as Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Warsaw in 1867. She was famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity and became first person honored with two Nobel Prizes. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris and first woman to win Noble Prize.
 
 
 
 
 
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2011 at 17:33
July 20
 
1797
 
In the village near Poznan, which today is part of the city, in the year 1797 was born Pawel Edmund Strzelecki - my fellow countryman (I was born and I  live in Poznan too however probably will not come to historyWink ). In the British Empire he was known as Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki,  Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and member of Royal Society of London. He was explorer of Australia and geologist. He has explored Australian Alps, travelled 7,000 miles through New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, examining the geology along the way. In 1845 he published his "Physical Description of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land" which was awarded in May 1846 the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
 
Pawel Strzelecki did a very bad thing to Australians, I think they should hate him for this. He found and climbed on the highest peak in Australia and unfortunatelly for Australians he also named it.
He could have choose many names but he named it after Polish national hero and hero of American revolution - Tadeusz Kościuszko. So the highest mountain in Australia is Mount Kościuszko. Most of Australians cant spell it.Roll Eyes (Sarcastic) Its even funny to hear them trying...



Edited by Mosquito - 20-Jul-2011 at 17:33
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jul-2011 at 19:41
July 28
 
1998 
 
Zbigniew Herbert, one of the greatest Polish poets of 20th century and my favourite personal poet, died in Warsaw in age of 74.
 
Zbigniew Herbert was born on October 29, 1924, in Lvov (then in eastern Poland, it is now a part of the Ukraine). His grandfather was an Englishman who came to Lvov to teach English. His father, a former member of the Legions that had fought for restoration of Poland's independence, was a bank manager. Herbert's formal education began in Lvov and continued under German occupation in the form of clandestine study at the underground King John Casimir University, where he majored in Polish literature. He was a member of the underground resistance movement. In 1944, he moved to Krakow, and three years later he graduated from the University of Krakow with a master's degree in economics. He also received a law degree from Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun and studied philosophy at the University of Warsaw under Henryk Elzenberg.

During the 1950s he worked at many low-paying jobs because he refused to write within the framework of official Communist guidelines. He became an acknowledged master not only in the field of poetry but also in essays and drama. In 1957 his second collection of verse, Hermes, the Dog and the Star, came out. The year 1961 brought about his third book of poems, Study of the Object ("Studium przedmiotu"), and in 1962 he published his famous collection of essays, Barbarian in the Garden, which was eventually translated into many languages. In 1964 Herbert received the Koscielski Foundation Prize, and in 1965 the national Austrian Lenau Prize and the Alfred Jurzykowski Prize. Translations of his poems appeared in many countries, and he traveled throughout Western Europe and North America, giving lectures and poetry readings and participating in writers' congresses.

Here is Herbert's essay titled Dutch Apocrypha - it came from the Herberts obssesion with Dutch 17th century art:
 
 
 
My favorite poem of Herbert, and answer of intelectualist to communism explaining why communism isnt attractive.. I think Ron should like it too ;)
 

The Power of Taste

It didn't require great character at all 
our refusal disagreement and resistance 
we had a shred of necessary courage 
but fundamentally it was a matter of taste


Yes taste

in which there are fibers of soul the cartilage of conscience

Who knows if we had been better and more attractively tempted 
sent rose-skinned women thin as a wafer
or fantastic creatures from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch 
but what kind of hell was there at this time
a wet pit the murderers' alley the barrack 
called a palace of justice
a home-brewed Mephisto in a Lenin jacket 
sent Aurora's grandchildren out into the field 
boys with potato faces
very ugly girls with red hands

Verily their rhetoric was made of cheap sacking 
(Marcus Tullius kept turning in his grave) 
chains of tautologies a couple of concepts like flails 
the dialectics of slaughterers no distinctions in reasoning 
syntax deprived of beauty of the subjunctive

So aesthetics can be helpful in life 
one should not neglect the study of beauty

Before we declare our consent we must carefully examine 
the shape of the architecture the rhythm of the drums and pipes 
official colors the despicable ritual of funerals

Our eyes and ears refused obedience 
the princes of our senses proudly chose exile

It did not require great character at all 
we had a shred of necessary courage 
but fundamentally it was a matter of taste
Yes taste
that commands us to get out to make a wry face draw out a sneer 
even if for this the precious capital of the body the head
must fall

--translated by John Carpenter

 
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jul-2011 at 19:50
I just happened to notice that in your "July 4th" post your article included these words; "..Poles lost only about 300 men killed in the battle.."

I believe I have made a lot of posts concerning the death of 300 men somewhere else on this very site.

Thus you, out of the blue, provide me with more ammunition!

PS,if lances with flags on the end of them are also called "poles" we might well have the answer to your name? E.g. "poles!" smile!

Thanks,

Edited by opuslola - 28-Jul-2011 at 19:53
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jul-2011 at 19:57
Originally posted by opuslola

I just happened to notice that in your "July 4th" post your article included these words; "..Poles lost only about 300 men killed in the battle.."

I believe I have made a lot of posts concerning the death of 300 men somewhere else on this very site.

Thus you, out of the blue, provide me with more ammunition!

PS,if lances with flags on the end of them are also called "poles" we might well have the answer to your name? E.g. "poles!" smile!

Thanks,
those silk flags on the hussar's lances were somtimes even 2 meters long and were supposed to make hissing noise and scary the horses of enemy cavalry (an evil hiss as it was described by someone in XVII century)
 
And such victories when Polish army lost few hundrieds soldiers but slaughtered thousands of enemies were quite many. Main reason was that our enemies until Gustavus Adophus of Sweden didnt know how to fight against winged hussars, the best cavalry in Europe:
 


Edited by Mosquito - 28-Jul-2011 at 20:41
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jul-2011 at 20:41
As I might well have mentioned to you before, even here in Mississippi, there exists elements of the pride we Mississippians had concerning Polish heroes, that we have named at least one of you guys as the name of one of our most proud cities, and that proud city is Kuscisko!

Be it also known, that one of our best friends married a Polish/American soldier, recently, and her mother was from Kuscisko!

Will wonders never cease?

The family of the groom and I decided to drink to the bride and groom untill the wee hours, with Vodka as the main drink, suffice it to say that I have little memories of the events that occured later that night!

The word "embarassed" come readily to hand however!   

Regards as always, Winged Hussars forever!
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jul-2011 at 22:04
July 29
 
1571 
 
 
Danish fleet attacks Puck - the base of Polish corsair fleet.
 
After the end of First Northern War both Swedish navy and Polish fleet were attacking ships which were going to Russia. Both fleets were avoiding attacking Danish ships. However Denmark treated the activity of Polish corsairs as piracy.
The Danish division of 8 ships under command of admiral Frank first sunk two Polish corsair ships near Hel penisula and next sailed to Puck bay where were anchored 13 Polish corsair ships with 5 prize vessels. Denish desant quickly defeated small Polish garrison captured all the vessels and took them to Copenhagen. It was moreless half of the Polish corsair navy.
 
July 30 
 
1656
 
Polish army under command of King John Casimir supported by about 2000 crimean Tatars was defeated in the battle of Warsaw (1656) by joined Swedish and Brandenburg armies. King of Sweden Charles X was wounded in combat by hussar Jakub Kowalewski.


Edited by Mosquito - 29-Jul-2011 at 22:05
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2011 at 16:52
August 13
 
1873 
 
 
 
 
Józef Haller von Hallenburg was born, in France known as Józef Haller de Hallenburg.
 
One of the most important people for regaining independence by Poland in 1918. He was a General of Polish army and President of Polish Scouting and Guiding Association.
 
Born in the part of Poland occupied by Austria-Hungary, joined the Austrian army and achieved the rank of captain. In 1910 resigned from the Austro-Hungarian Army stating that "since he had reached the rank of captain and he is not able to learn anything new in the Austrian Artillery, he leaves the army in order to serve the country in some other way until his Homeland needs him." Since that time he organised Polish paramilitary organisation Sokół (Falcon) which officially was legal and registered as sport association
 
In 1916, during the First World War, he became commander of the Second Brigade of the Polish Legion, in particular the units which fought against Russia on the Eastern Front.
In 1918, as commander of the 2nd Polish Auxiliary Corps with the Austrian Army, he broke through the Austro-Russian front line to Ukraine, where he united his troops with Polish detachments which had left the Russian army . He protested the Treaty of Brest - Litovsk and continued to fight the Russians with his Polish II Corps. Under the pressure of the Germans, who after the Treaty of Brest - Litovsk regarded the presence of Polish troops in Ukraine as illegal, and a fierce battle between Poles and Germans at Kaniów (May 10, 1918) his corps was interned, while he managed to escape to Moscow. Subsequently, by the way of Murmansk, he arrived in France in July 1918, where on behalf of the Polish National Committee he created what was known as the BLUE ARMY(from the color of its French uniforms, also known as Haller's Army). His army in the west was made of volunteers from USA and Canada who were of Polish descent (23.000) and Poles who were captured as PoWs and were ex German or ex Austro-Hungarian soldiers.The number of soldiers was eventually over 100,000. Due to weapons supplied from France, the Polish Army finally became a significant military force. For the next few months his army, allied to the Entente fought against Germany.
Beginning in April 1919, men and equipment were conveyed to Poland. Modern arms of the Blue Army, especially airplanes and Renault FT-17 tanks made it important force in the upcoming Polish-Soviet war. General Haller arrived in Warsaw on 21 April 1919, where he was welcomed as a national hero. He was granted honorary citizenship of Warsaw.
In 1919, at the new army's head, he arrived in Poland and was dispatched to the Ukrainian front. In 1920 Haller seized Pomerania and entered Danzig (Gdańsk) in the name of Poland, and fought during the Polish-Soviet. He was also Inspector General of the Army and a member of the War Council.
 
During WW2 he was minister of education of Polish goverment in exile in London. After the war  he decided to remain abroad and settled in London for good where, steeped in the legend of the "Blue General", he died 4 June 1960 at the age of 87. He was buried in the Gunnersbury cemetery. His ashes were returned to Poland on 23 April 1993 and are now kept in a crypt in St. Agnieszka's garrison church in Cracow.
 
"I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2011 at 19:36
Hallenberg and his Blue Army deserve a thread of their own in our military history section. Could you create one Mosquito?
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2011 at 20:52
Originally posted by Nick1986

Hallenberg and his Blue Army deserve a thread of their own in our military history section. Could you create one Mosquito?
It can be as well discussed here. Personally Im not a great expert on this matter.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2012 at 19:41
June 4 1257: Przemysł I of Greater Poland dies
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2012 at 19:45
June 5: Krakow gains city rights 16 years after its destruction by the Mongols
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