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The Battle of Lithuania

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Imperatore Dario I View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Battle of Lithuania
    Posted: 24-Aug-2004 at 19:09
Anyone know anything about the 1919-20s Polish invasion of Lithuania? I mean, all I know is that the Polish army invaded Lithuania, captured Vilnius, and while trying to conquer the rest of the country, they were humiliated by a counterattacking Lithuanian army. Anyone know more or have links on this?

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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2004 at 17:31
olish army invaded Lithuania, captured Vilnius, and while trying to conquer the rest of the country, they were humiliated by a counterattacking Lithuanian army


Let say just  a 'little" unprecise...

During Polish-Soviets war in 1919 the territory of Vilnius was occupied bySoviets which defeated and pushed back Polish self-defence units, but shortly afterwards the Red Army were pushed back by the Polish Army. 1920 saw Central Lithuania occupied by the Red Army for the second time, although Soviets officially recognized the sovereignity of Lithuanian Soviet Republic over the city. Lenin was probably waiting for the capture of Warsaw, to occupy the remainder of Lithuania. However, when the Red Army was defeated in the Battle of Warsaw, the Soviets made the decision to hand over the city back to Lithuania. Despite the agreements, Lithuania seized the southern Suwalki region as well. When the Polish army reached Lithuanian lines, a local war was started that lasted for several days until the Lithuanians were pushed back.

This made the compromise even harder to achieve and the newly-established state of Lithuania declined any negotiations on the status of the Vilnius area, claimed it as its' capital city and denied any polish influence over it whatsoever (Poles were about 60 % of inhabitants  when Lithuanians lconstituted less then 10%) . A cease-fire agreemen was signed on November 7 1920 but it did not solve the issue. Polish commanderJzef Pisudski ordered his subordinate, general Lucjan eligowski, to defect with his '1st Lithuanian-Byelorussian Division' and capture the city, without declaring war on Lithuania.
General eligowski entered the city on November 8 1920, almost unopposed. New country was created under the name of  Republic of Central Lithuania. After the election in 1922 the Parliament of
Republic of Central Lithuania  (dominated by polish members) have decided to join with Poland.
There was not any polish attempt to conquer other Lithuanian teritorry...

 


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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2004 at 19:05

I read in a book that Poland attempted to sieze all of Lithuania with Vilnius, but after invading Lithuania, and conquering Vilnius, Polish forces were defeated by a Lithuanian counterattack, though Vilnius "technically" declared independence and voted to join Poland.


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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2004 at 19:37

I read in a book that Poland attempted to sieze all of Lithuania with Vilnius, but after invading Lithuania, and conquering Vilnius, Polish forces were defeated by a Lithuanian counterattack, though Vilnius "technically" declared independence and voted to join Poland.

I would reccommend you the book of absolutely neutral author - welsh historian Norman Davis " White Eagle- Red Star" - you will find there all information...  

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  Quote Kalevipoeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 07:01

So did Poland feel Vilnius of being their city? I don't.

 

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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 07:11
Poland have not any teritorrial claims toward any country
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 16:34
Originally posted by Kalevipoeg

So did Poland feel Vilnius of being their city? I don't.

Well, some people are coming from Vilnius. Afccourse they are old, many of them died, but their children and grandchildren still lives. Altough noone today have any territorial claims to Lithuania, the fact is that real Lithuanians from Vilnius are in majority have been polonised and became one of the most patriotic group of Poles in history. For example Pilsudski was from Lithuania, from Vilnius area.

On the other hand we also remember that for centuries Lithuanians were our brothers, we shared one state with them on equal conditions. They were not under Polish rules, they had exactly the same rights as the Poles. I would say many people in Poland value and respect Lithuanians, even though some bloody conflicts which took place between us in years 1919-1945.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2004 at 15:01

you guys are from poland...i am from lithuania.....so my version in school was "bastards broke the peace..and attacked...we were nearly recapturing our acient capital but...we was BETRAYED by League of nations"

Some facts about Vilnius ocupation:

Vilnius Garrison: 3Battalions 1 300-1 400 men (rifles..maybe few machine guns at best)

Attacking Polish Army: 2 Infantry divisions, 1Cavalary div. (i dont know polish div size)

it could be from 30 000men to 60 000. It isn't hard to unerstand that our capital was captured with little resistance.

--------------------------------------

after Vilnius:

Polish was stopped near city of Sirvintai (1920 November 19th)

lithuanians managed: to destroy polish HQ, to take 200 POW, 2Howitzers, 9 mortars, 20machine guns (hmm victory doesnt lok so big, but for that time...and for small lithuanian army..)

Nearly same repeated at city of Giedraiciai (1920 November 21th)

[only two big battles]

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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2004 at 16:16
So far i know gen. Zeligowski (who was born in Vilnius) had only few thousands (i mean less than 10.000 but dont remember if it was 6000 or 8000)soldiers who all were coming from Vilnius area. They didnt try to conquer Lithuania but just to get their homeland - Vilnius area, where they proclaimed new Lithuanian Republic, made new parliament (in the whole area Poles were majority) which voted to join to Republic of Poland. I dont know anything about big battles, so far i know there were none. I wouldnt say that Poles were stopped, they just didnt want to go farther. Officially Poland and Lithuania were not at war and Lithuania wasnt invaded by the Polish army but some Polish soldiers who were from Vilnius deserted from the polish army together with their general and incorporated it to Poland.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 08:16

hm 6000 -8000 men?..strange..

my books said that attack was made by 1st Belarusian army...sevral divisions (unknown to me....something about 3rd army) were in reserve near city of Suvalkai, 2nd army was holding the front line in other sectros

To my sadness i found out that Vilnius garrison was evacuated without any sort of fighting. Polish army marched into empty capital.

Maybe spearhead was 6000-8000, but 3 armys with 8000strenght?it just waited to be unleashed...but it was no need

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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 10:27
Originally posted by Mulder

hm 6000 -8000 men?..strange..

my books said that attack was made by 1st Belarusian army...sevral divisions (unknown to me....something about 3rd army) were in reserve near city of Suvalkai, 2nd army was holding the front line in other sectros

Maybe spearhead was 6000-8000, but 3 armys with 8000strenght?it just waited to be unleashed...but it was no need

3 armies? i found only info about Byelorusian division (division, not army) which was under command of Zeligowski and wasnt even in full strenght.

To my sadness i found out that Vilnius garrison was evacuated without any sort of fighting. Polish army marched into empty capital.

To empty? no! there were thousands of people waiting for them, giving them flowers, who welcomed them like heroes. You seems to forget that majority of people who were living there were Poles while Lithuanians were less than 10% of the whole Vilnius population. There was even more Jews than Lithuanians.

 

 

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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 13:01

According to Norman Davies (White Eagle, Red Star) eligowski have 1st Bielorussian-Lithuanian Division with additon of 1 battalion form 201st Infatry Regiment, 2 squadrons of cavalry and 1 recon battalion. I don't know the exact strenght of eligowski's divison on 7th November but two week earlier division have in total 12190 soldiers when the fighting strengh was 141 officers, 4883 infantry soldiers+ 309 cavalry soldiers with 116 machine guns and 35 guns. Taking into consideration eligowski divission have incured some losses during this two week (heavy figts agaisnt Soviets during Niemen Battle) it seems that the total soldiers under eligowski command could be about 13 000 soldiers. Later the toatl amount of polish soldier in the Vilnius area have caome tio the number 27000 (mainly by recrutation of local Poles)

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 13:56

"there were thousands of people waiting for them, giving them flowers, who welcomed them like heroes..."

Most lithuanias fled along the retreating army...and i saw pictures of crowds crying from happyness as lithuanian army marched to Vilnius

to TJK 1st Bielorussian-Lithuanian Division was only top of the iceberg....polish army had big reserve. It wasnt used only because that Zeligowski wanted offensive to look like uprising. Plus there were thousands of soldiers in other sectors....In full conflict we would be outnumbered maybe 1:5...

lithuanian army lacked everything: food, clothes, amunition, something like tanks or heavy field artilery was a dream. Lithuanians could call upon 3regular-militia divisions all understrenghten - 16 588 men.

AND book called "History of Lithuania" Chapter "Zeligowski's Teror" says that only Zeligowski's ARMY had

3 DIVISIONS maybe it was A BIT reinforced?.

 

 



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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 14:19
No offence Mulder, but I think the Lithuanian sources are a little biased on this event (as Polish sources in the period 1920-1939) ..it could be they mixed two separate events. During the battle of Niemen (with Soviets, 20 September -12 November) Pisudski ordered some polish units (2 infantry divisions +2 brigades of cavalry) should cross the neutral Lithuanian teritorrity to outflank the Soviets IIIrd Army. It could be that some minor fights with Lithuanian units  during this manouvre have resulted with such interpretation in Lithuanian sources..just assume..

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2004 at 07:01

TJK....yes this is 2nd army in my book "It could be that some minor fights with Lithuanian units  during this manouvre " it wasn't minor actions lithuanian army reported full scale invasion....heavy casualties . Polish amry broke our front near Seinai. Some parts of our division was completely surrounded. Lithuanians had to withdraw from Lazdijai..many casualties reported. polish army took Varena(very important communication center) armored train was captured there. Lithuanian army was cut from Vilnius,near Suvalkai. No direct route was available. Reports said that Polish army moving towrds Vilnius from Lyda. And My 3rd army, "polish  reserve forces were spoted near Suvalkai"

So lithuanians were outnumbered, outgunned(question is how many?).

60 000mens were mobilized, two counterattacks succeded, plans were made for vilnius recapture, but they was never tryed out. Cease-fire was declared.



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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2004 at 16:44

Polish troops did in fact plan on conquering the rest of Lithuania after capturing Vilnius. At that time, however, the Lithuanian government had already fled to Kaunas, and as Polish forces marched that way, Lithuanian troops counterattacked, though did not invade the Central Lithuanian Republic which was dominated by Poland and influenced by it when it joined the country. I can't believe there are no links on this!


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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2004 at 20:10
Originally posted by Imperatore Dario I

Polish troops did in fact plan on conquering the rest of Lithuania after capturing Vilnius. At that time, however, the Lithuanian government had already fled to Kaunas, and as Polish forces marched that way, Lithuanian troops counterattacked, though did not invade the Central Lithuanian Republic which was dominated by Poland and influenced by it when it joined the country. I can't believe there are no links on this!

Sorry Dario but it is total BS. If Poland wanted whole Lithuania would just invade it with bigger forces. Poland only wanted vilnius area and wanted to make it look like local uprising. Thats why in action were involved only soldiers from that area and even general Zeligowski who was commanding this action was also born in Vilnius.



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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Sep-2004 at 20:31
Well, I hope you can find a way to disprove the book World History Series, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe. Because I'll stick with that until that source is proven false.

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  Quote Kalevipoeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 09:26

Damn the dispute  for the Klaipeda area and Vilnius, it stopped the Eastern European countries from forming an alliance against the soviets. Even in the mid 30's Pilzudski warned the Estonian government to not side with the Lithuanians in the matter.

And is it true that the Poles had an agreement with the Germans (in Hitlers time), that Poland will give away Danzig for freedom and support in the Klaipeda dispute?

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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 12:11

Originally posted by Imperatore Dario I

Well, I hope you can find a way to disprove the book World History Series, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe. Because I'll stick with that until that source is proven false.

It is always the same with such popular-history books..they are full of such craps. In case of some mdetail event you should go for more professional and specialized books. Try Oscar Halecki History of East Central Europe or "White Eagle, Red Star" by Norman Davis 

And is it true that the Poles had an agreement with the Germans (in Hitlers time), that Poland will give away Danzig for freedom and support in the Klaipeda dispute?

Look for the Hitlers claims toward Poland in 1939 ..and for Polish answer for this claim..hope you will find the answer of your question...  

 



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