Norman Davies {Read} White Eagle Red Star The Polish Soviet War 1919 20

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White Eagle Red Star The Polish Soviet War 1919 20

Most crucial conflicts of the Western world Drawing on both Polish and Russian sources Norman Davies shows how this war was a pivotal event in the course of European history. I m really not all that impressed with this book However it also happens to be the only book that I know of that deals with the entire Polish Soviet War of 1919 1921 which makes it by default a must have book for anyone who wants to know about it The writing is somewhat dryOne thing many history authors like to do is use a French term here and there without explaining what the term means I ve read and looked up enough of these terms over the years to understand them whenever I see them Mr Davies takes it to a different level though He ll occasionally use entire French sentences and not bother to give the reader a translation It happened enough that after a while I would just skip over themAmong all military history books I ve read this ranks in the lower third but since the book is so uniue I feel a need to have a copy of it because there is no alternativeI am editing this review to note that since writing the review I ve read another title on this subject called Warsaw 1920 by Adam Zamoyski While not ideal it is a better read than White Eagle Red Star জামশেদ মুস্তফির হাড় just skip over themAmong all military history books I ve read this ranks in the lower third but since the book is so uniue I feel a need to have a copy of it because there is no alternativeI am editing this review to note that since writing the review I ve read another title on this subject called Warsaw 1920 by Adam Zamoyski While not ideal it is a better read than White Eagle Red Star

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Of victory and pledged to carry the Revolution across Europe was crushed by a devastating Polish attack Since known as “The Miracle of the Vistula” it remains one of the. White Eagle Red Star The Polish Soviet War 1919 20 by Norman Davies An energetic conduct of war strengthens the national character by contrast wars conducted over a long time and lamely entail the greatest material losses and moral damage wrote Colonel Blume some years after the Franco Prussian War A sentiment that is especially telling of the war in uestion White Eagle Red Star is an excellent piece not just on the Polish Soviet War but on the conflation of war time conceptualisation itself with a stern overhead review of both the art of historiography itself and its impact upon modern and immediate perspectives of the conflictSimultaneously dispelling the historiographical myths construed by Soviet and Polish scholars the illusion of dominant Entente support for the Poles and the Miracle on the Vistula fable respectively With the first fabrication being used to justify Soviet insurrection into Europe in the vain hope that a collective European Imperialism which did not include the Polish Republic by any stretch of the imagination would crumple from within by proletariat revolutions that would rise to welcome the invasion And the second as a political tool used by Pilsudski s political and various other internal rivals to discredit his achievement in favour of divination and the power of Gods as the bastion of ChristendomBut as Davies rightly points even if such favour had been extended to the Poles in their most desperate hour who else but Pilsudski could be his appropriate agent For the victory chiefly lay with Pilsudski and his ability to mobilise the morale of the newly formed Polish Republic with the substantial logistical and administrative support abilities of his two primary ministers Kazimierz Sosnkowski and Wladyslaw Sikorski From a geopolitical and strategic standpoint the book is invaluable A must read for any students of warfare or the relationship between political and battlefield realities Stratagem never played so crucial a role in a duel between such unprepared military entities where little yet was standardised to a sufficient of strategic reliability Excellent operational tactical maps are included to ease the difficulties of the topography and multi faceted terminology and names that may prove unwieldy to English readersAs rightly stated warfare in the borderlands had a uality all of its own From the melt water flood hazards to the endless plains framed by boundless horizons of the borderlands of modern Ukraine and Belarus Rivers formed the only line of defence and even these conditions varied wildly from season to season And of course these geographical positions uickly shaped the nature of its campaigns Cavalry mounted hussars flank attacks artillery posts machine gun nests and an ever elusive changing and transparently vague frontline In many senses the terrain dictated most of the war as one of scouts and skirmishers with Pilsudski s strategy of the wolf adeptly encapsulating a kind of war in which mass offensives carried scant advantage In fact they were generally disastrous due to the vastness of the front line Vantage points and settlement had to be taken with lighting fast action and subseuent reaction Speed mobility and the horse were once again following the catastrophes of WWI across the continent the vital components of military success The last cavalry to cavalry engagement was fought in this war and a reading of such a book as this may give those interested in the follies of WWI a perspective of how the mindsets of such wars fought first in 1914 16 had made especial sense for such a long period of human history Speed and mobility had been key components to victory in Europe since the era of the mounted knight after all The books tactical vantage point with special regard to the Soviet First Cavalry Army the Konarmiya battalion reaping across the borderlands as the Cossacks of old was fascinating And I believe that Davis used the appropriate uantity of literary allusions to illustrate the conflict The accounts of Isaak Babel were most exceptional Having fought in the war his was perhaps the most effective say in regards to the realities on the ground Further Davies analysis of the inward schisms of the perspective forces leading and competing with the primary parties along with most importantly examining the prejudices of both sides are perhaps his greatest contributions to the historiography of this oft over looked greatly reduced or exaggerated series of conflicts The escalation and pinnacles of the war are difficult to understand for someone living outside of the related regions that much is clear But Davies diminishes this burden of historical imprecision and popular biases especially on the parts of the Soviet and Allied scholarships as the Poles themselves would be rarely granted a voice on the subject outside their own countries in the decades to follow and presents one of the earliest versions of the truth of said history as written in EnglishPerspective is extraordinarily well presented here With the contextual essences of the Soviet soldiery at this time examined in a stark and bloody contrast with the Polish legionaries demonstrating just how uniuely and completely different the two ideological sides were besides the fact that they were both fledgling states One ancient proud and recently resurrected and the other bold ambitious and in dire straits embroiled as they were in the Civil War The scrambles of both the first socialist state in history and the recently emerged entity of the Polish State from the folds of a three way partition a hundred and eleven years old are examined in close detail and conjunction Neither side took any account of the aspirations of the other Both were misrepresented by their opponents and the wider European context which nursed the wars development as benefited them It was neither the insignificant borderland contest nor the tell tale turning point in human history But it was an enormously significant and uniue engagement which set the stage for much of the political and geopolitical climate to come particularly within the future USSR as Lenin and the Politburo were forced to drastically alter their agendas and means of operations Such were the levels of hyperbole misinformation and outright lies that twisted the realities of the involved individuals factions and regional collectives in The Polish Soviet War that the truth was mythicised not just for readers and historians today but for the very people who lived through the eventsStrategically too it was an extraordinary feat Eternally underrated and dismissed by the Allies And when it was acknowledged it was seen as an Entente gain outside of Poland For both the Allies and the Soviets this version of events suited perfectlyWhat is perhaps most important about this book is its ability to tell the truth about Poland s conduct in the war and their significance not just here in history but those conflicts prior future and especially in World War II In terms of historiography British writers carelessly followed the prejudices of Russians Thus in 1919 when the Polish Soviet War was vital only to Poland they pretended it did not really exist in 1920 when it became vital to Russia also they suddenly discover an outbreak Eternally underrated ridiculed and politically neutered by their respective Allied nations Britain and France Poland was an opposed on both sides of the conflict with the Soviets themselves of course hoping to default and discredit Russia s age old nemesis at every possible junctureTherefore Davies dispelling of numerous such misconceptions and errors in historical writing are perhaps his greatest contribution here to the indignities of the war For example the Rada Obrony Panstwa as voted in by the Sejm the Polish government to provide a framework for that essential unity purpose which Poland s normal governmental machinery could not have engendered lasted only three months and was not the arch0type dictatorial hand played by Pilsudski and his ministers as so often claimed by their opponentsIt was always Pilsudski s last great war his personality and political conduct unraveling in peace times A sad irony that he was destined to die much too early for the greatest conflict of all WW2 when his country needed his steely indestructibility than ever Regardless this book does story an elaborate and far reaching conflict One which is brushed over by the Allies as incidental the Soviets as an uncredited lesson in defeat and by the Poles themselves when they found themselves severed from their history with the eventual Soviet occupation and Ally betrayal and abandonment of them to that fate in World War IIThe conflict is too often forgotten or falsified purposely or not the discredit is the same The war was a major precursor to the fate of Europe in the 1920s and beyond A bold engagement in the uncertainty of post Imperial Europe where chaos reigned upon the unstable footing of a scrambling and ill fated series of new orders within the dark continent of Europe I cannot fault this book on any point It is no page turner and is uite dense but for someone interested in the war it is an impeccable secondary source As Davies offers criticism of every side with an unprejudiced scope that places the conflict in its rightful arena in history

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In White Eagle Red Star distinguished historian Norman Davies gives us a full account of the Polish Soviet War with its dramatic climax in August 1920 when the Red Army sure. Remember pepole POLAND WAS POWERFUL FOR CENTURIES and even after and during partitions and world wars POLAND saved Western Europe From Tatars Turks and in 1920 Lenin s global ambitions Just saying


About the Author: Norman Davies

Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent noted for his publications on the history of Europe Poland and the United Kingdom From 1971 Davies taught Polish history at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies SSEES of the University of London where he was professor from 1985 to 1996 Currently he is Supernumary Fellow at Wolfso



10 thoughts on “White Eagle Red Star The Polish Soviet War 1919 20

  1. says:

    Remember pepole POLAND WAS POWERFUL FOR CENTURIES and even after and during partitions and world wars POLAND saved Western Europe From Tatars Turks and in 1920 Lenin's global ambitions Just saying;

  2. says:

    Competent telling of the Russo Polish war of 191920 A little too much military detail and poor maps let it down somewhat in my view It reads and feels like a graduate thesis rather than a book for the general readerPlucky Poland gives the Red Army a bloody nose in a strange war that both sides blunder into and flail about in A war of sweeping advance strategic overreach and dramatic retreat featuring the last major cavalry exchanges on E

  3. says:

    I'm doing a presentation on this war for my tenth grade European history class and this book proved very helpful I didn't know beans about this war and only came across it in some reference bookThis is a reasonably well written book that teases out a forgotten but interesting chapter of 20th century history The author's prose is r

  4. says:

    A good well written if unfortunately slightly out of date history of the Polish Soviet 1919 1922 war The book's main failing lies in not providing enough background information about peripherally mentioned yet crucial figures such as Peter Wrangel Semeon Petlura etc It is however well researched its conclusions are solidly backed up and the maps photographs and other supporting materials allow the reader to easily keep an overview of an o

  5. says:

    White Eagle Red Star is one of four books written by Norman Davies thathave dramatically altered the way Westerners and Poles have come to view the history of Poland The other three are God's Playground Rising 44 and Microcosm This succinct v

  6. says:

    White Eagle – Red Star The Polish Soviet War 1919 20 by Norman Davies“An energetic conduct of war strengthens the national character; by contrast wars conducted over a long time and lamely entail the greatest material losses and moral damage” wrote Colonel Blume some years after the Franco Prussian War A se

  7. says:

    Excellent doctoral dissertation written in the early 1970s by the now top Polish historian writing in English It has all

  8. says:

    This is the history of a little known war between the new Soviet state and the first free Poland state in several centuries

  9. says:

    I'm really not all that impressed with this book However it also happens to be the only book that I know of that deals with the entire Polish Soviet War of 1919 1921 which makes it by default a must have book for a

  10. says:

    A well written and balanced history of the Polish Russian war of 1919 20 Davies' presents the conflict clearly while establishing the political and social context of post WWI Eastern Europe Russia going through its Civil War the rebirth of Poland the interests and limited influence of the Western Allies in regard to Com

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