15 August – End of WWII Remembered 70 Years Later

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For the Polish Community it is also a special day commemorating all Polish soldiers living and fallen defending freedom and democracy. The Adelaide Polish community gathered at the Dom Polski front courtyard. The Polish Hon Consul, the various organisations as well as private persons laid wreaths and flowers at the Katyn Monument.

Additionally, 15 August is Remembrance Day of the the decisive Polish victory in 1920 at the apogee of the Polish–Soviet War. Poland, on the verge of total defeat, repulsed and defeated the invading Red Army. It was, and still is, celebrated as a great victory for the Polish people over Russia and communism.

As Soviet forces invaded Poland in summer 1920, the Polish army retreated westward in disorder. The Polish forces seemed on the verge of disintegration and observers predicted a decisive Soviet victory.

The battle of Warsaw was fought from August 12–25, 1920 as Red Army forces commanded by Mikhail Tukhachevsky approached the Polish capital of Warsaw and the nearby Modlin Fortress. On August 16, Polish forces commanded by Józef Piłsudski counterattacked from the south, disrupting the enemy’s offensive, forcing the Russian forces into a disorganized withdrawal eastward and behind the Neman River. Estimated Russian losses were 10,000 killed, 500 missing, 30,000 wounded, and 66,000 taken prisoner, compared with Polish losses of some 4,500 killed, 10,000 missing, and 22,000 wounded.

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