Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe: Lenins Failed Conquest of Europe

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But it was economically and militarily weak and its misguided offensive to liberate the Ukraine in the spring of laid it open to attack. Egged on by Trotsky, Lenin launched a massive westward advance under the flamboyant Marshal Tukhachevsky. All that Great Britain and France had fought for over four years now seemed at risk. By the middle of August the Russians were only a few kilometres from Warsaw, and Berlin was less than a week's march away.

Then occurred the 'Miracle of the Vistula': As a result, the Versailles peace settlement survived, and Lenin was forced to settle for Communism in one country.

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All that Great Britain and France had fought for over four years now seemed at risk. By the middle of August the Russians were only a few kilometres from Warsaw, and Berlin was less than a week's march away. Then occurred the 'Miracle of the Vistula': As a result, the Versailles peace settlement survived, and Lenin was forced to settle for Communism in one country.

The battle for Warsaw bought Europe nearly two decades of peace, and communism remained a mainly Russian phenomenon, subsuming many of the autocratic and Byzantine characteristics of Russia's tsarist tradition.


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The Polish-Bolshevik War 1919-1921

International Customers If you are located outside the U. Zamoyski shares just enough of the geopolitical situation of the region to gain a basic understanding of the motivations behind the conflict and stakes at play, devoting a much more significant part of the book to military operations. As such, be prepared to pull up a map in order to visualize and track shifting positions of armies and divisions, if such is your fancy. If not, look elsewhere. Presumably, White Eagle, Red Star written by Norman Davies provides more depth and insight into this critical moment in history.

Sep 03, Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it Shelves: A very concise presentation. You do need to come to it with a bit of pre-knowledge of the post-WWI situation for this book to be an ultimately satisfying experience, but it's worth it for the clear, straightforward presentation.


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Mind you, like most military histories, your head can start spinning trying to keep the geography of all the battle tactics coherent. Sometimes I think these books should come with a tabletop model, with toy soldiers to move around as you read about the battles. Dec 25, Ray rated it really liked it Shelves: I have always been interested in the history of this part of the world.

This little book sheds light on a little known war which turned Bolshevik armies away from Western Europe - plucky Poland beats the red hordes. It does so with a light touch, effortlessly explaining the cut and thrust of what were the last major cavalry engagements in modern history. Sep 12, Jonathan rated it really liked it. Jun 03, Brian Beatty rated it liked it Shelves: An efficient and detailed account of a pivotal battle, one that set the stage for Stalin and a number of attitudes of Polish and Russian leaders generally.

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Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

It wasn't the most compelling read, but still among the best for this topic as far as I know. Mar 24, Joe Collins rated it really liked it Shelves: It does get down to a lower level of military operations then Norman Davies', "White Eagle, Red Star", but about half of it or more is covered in that book too. Since I read Davies' book just before this one, I felt that I was re-reading a lot of the same material. But had it been a couple of years in between my readings, I would not have felt that way.

Interessant boek over een voor mij onbekende fase na de Eerste Wereldoorlog en na de Oktoberrevolutie in Rusland. Veel militaire details, maar beknopt genoeg om te blijven boeien. May 12, Derek Weese rated it liked it. Contrary to popular Western academic myth, the young USSR, under the leadership of Lenin, was a predatory, murderous, imperialist power.

Lenin dreamed of restoring the old borders of the Russian Empire his revolution was in the process of dismantling, and he also planned to export the Bolshevik ideals to the rest of Europe, by force. Germany was on the verge of revolution itself, and Lenin hoped to ensure that Germany would become a springboard for the Soviet conquest of the rest of Europe. Ther Contrary to popular Western academic myth, the young USSR, under the leadership of Lenin, was a predatory, murderous, imperialist power. There were only a couple of problems.

First the German veterans of WWI were, the vast majority of them, willing to wage a bloody civil war to ensure that the nation did not become a communist one, the forming of veteran 'Freikorps' would see action not only in Germany, but also in the Baltic states. There they would shatter Soviet dreams of revolution by counter force. The other thing standing in Lenin's way was the newly independent country of Poland. Created by the Versailles Treaty, for the first time since the eighteenth century, Poland was now a free and sovereign state.

And they had not only little interest in Russian exported Communism, and they also refused to be under the thumb of Russian imperial authority once again. In the war that ensued, following a breakdown of the peace process between Poland and the Bolsheviks, the Poles attempting to establish a Ukraininan National Army a carry over from a similar German project, cancelled by Versailles , and a failure of the Western States including Japan to have any impact on the course of the Russian Civil War; the Poles would fight for their very existence as a free state.

The ultimate Polish victory, rightly called the miracle on the Vistula, would all but shatter the nascent Red Army, and ensure a, albeit brief, period of Polish independence. The war would see the final clash of cavalry armies, crossed sabers and lancer charges. It would also see a measure of brutality, based upon ideology, that would be a foreshadowing of the horror of WWII. The Soviets proved to be cruel 'liberators' with rape, looting and ideological based genocide of Jews, Christians and intellectuals being a common theme of their advance.

To be fair, in victory the Poles were equally brutal with their Communist foes.

Warsaw Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe by Adam Zamoyski

Overall this was a well written, engaging book that, regardless of this, fell a little short for me. This book was simply far to short. The last book written on the topic was written in the 's, and while Zamoyski's book is a good one, it is simply far too short for the importance, and gravity, of its subject matter. Those who need a reminder that the Communists too were infused with the genocidal evil of ideals taken to their extreme need to read about this war and the political events surrounding it. Those who wish to understand Russia in the here and now, and Russia's own expansionist policies, need to read about this war.

This war serves as an object lesson that ideals are only ever a thinly held disguise to mask expansionist desires. In today's world, such a book about such a topic could not be more important or badly needed. And at the very least, the story of Polish resistance to outside tyranny, the willingness to fight to the extremes to secure their liberty, is an inspiring one that reminds us that, if the fighting is hard enough, liberty can be secured. To wrap up my review, this is not a bad book, simply far, far too short.

This topic deserves a book of at least pages, maybe even Hopefully someone writes one for an English audience. Jun 01, Alec rated it really liked it. Zamoyski entitled Warsaw Hoping for another good read, I put it on hold and went to pick it up a week or so later. I was surprised to find when I got it that, unlike Moscow which clocked in at a healthy pages, that this book was a thin tome of around The reason for this is that Warsaw is strictly a military history of a single campaign, focusing on a single battle. It reads as a cross between a thesis paper and a labor of love; as though Zamoyski found this particular event to be remarkably fascinating and thought, hey, I should write a little book about this.

The conflict between the new Soviet Union and the newly reinstated nation of Poland is an often forgotten affair of world history coming so soon after the end of the First World War and preceding the events that would lead to the conflagration of the Second. The unstable Weimar Republic in Germany was seen as a particularly enticing target. If Communism could be spread in Germany then the rest of Europe would be vulnerable to the Bolshevik advance. Between them and Germany, however, stood the new nation of Poland, and its charismatic leader Josef Pilsudski.

What followed was a sparing match between Pilsudski and the twenty-seven year old leader of the Bolshevik armies Mikhail Tukhachevsky. The series of battles utilized a highly diverse number of weapons and tactics, from armored cars and trains, airplanes and machine guns to cavalry and barefoot marches with bayonet charges at the end.


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Needless to say, considering we are not in a Communist nation right now, and, well, the title of the book, Tukhachevsky was not successful. The ego of one the most evil men in history conceivably led to the continued freedom of Western Europe and, perhaps the world. Apr 04, James Hale rated it it was amazing Shelves: