Generals and personalities

Colonel Zielinski

I have already written briefly about the history of the Polish Legion here. One of the commanders of this force was Colonel Zielinski. He was born in 1858 and attained the rank of colonel in the army of the Monarchy. In 1914 he joined the Polish Legion. From 1915, he led the 3rd brigade organized in May 1915. From 1917 to 1918, he was the commander-in-chief of the Polish auxiliary troops. Since 1917, the Poles came into conflict more and more frequently with the German and Austrian military leaders distrustful of the Polish independent units. The military command ordered the Polish force of about 7,500 people to the Carpathians. Here they were practically in custody, they had no combat duty.

They revolted against the quasi-captivity in February 1918. The concrete reason for the resistance was the peace of Brest-Litovsk. For the Poles, this had unfavorable provisions on the territories occupied by Russia. An armed conflict took place in the Battle of Rarancze (February 15-16). Although the commander, Zielinski, tried to act against this, he tacitly supported the Polish rebels in the conflict that broke out. The rebels wanted to join the Polish troops (II. Corps) that broke away from the Russian forces. Almost half of the troop succeeded. The remaining supply units were cut off and captured by the Monarchy’s troops. The combined Polish troops were then led by General Haller in the areas left back vacant by the Russians. They were forced to surrender by the German forces at Kaniow in May 1918.

In the Polish-Soviet conflict following the Great War, Zielinski led the Polish 3rd Army. After completing his task, he retired in 1922. He died in 1925.

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