Poles from Greater Poland and Congress Poland in the defense of Lviv in 1918 and 1919. Examples of solidarity of inhabitants from different partitions in the struggle for independence
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Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu
Wojciech Polak
Online publication date: 2021-06-16
Publication date: 2021-06-16
KMW 2021;311(1):52–69
In the night, between 31 October and 1 November 1918, Ukrainian troops occupied almost the entire East Galicia and a larger part of Lviv. The fighting between Polish and Ukrainian forces led to the conquest of the city on 22 November. However, Lviv was still surrounded by the enemy. Former Russian and German partitions organised assistance for the compatriots struggling in Galicia. In November 1918, the Warsaw Committee of the Defense of Lviv was created in Warsaw. On the initiative of the Committee and on Józefa Piłsudski’s permission, three units were formed, which on 12 April were combined into the 19th Infantry Regiment of “Lviv Counter-offensive”. It played an important role in the liberation of eastern Galicia in the spring of 1919. The inhabitants of Greater Poland also strongly sympathised with the battle fought by Poles in eastern Galicia. In February 1919, the commander of the Greater Poland Army, Gen. Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki announced a voluntary enrollment to the unit that was setting out for Lviv. 204 soldiers enrolled in the unit that was commanded by Second Lieutenant Jan Ciaciuch and Second Lieutenant Maksymilian Soldenhoff. The company was well armed, and was later strengthened by additional 79 soldiers. Sometime later, the so-called Greater Poland Group commanded by Col. Daniel Konarzewski arrived in Lviv in the force of 4 thousand soldiers, armed with heavy artillery and supported by air force. Both units were combative and efficient. Women also participated in the battle of Lviv as part of the Voluntary Women’s League. According to multiple sources, approximately 400 women took part in the battle of Lviv, many of whom came from the area of the Russian partition