The Russian Revolution Almost Spread Across Europe

Unless you are a history buff, you probably don’t know about the battle of Warsaw, when the outmanned and outgunned Poles absolutely crushed the Russian army and Lenin’s dream of conquering the world on behalf of Communism. “The fate of the world revolution is being decided in the west; the way leads over the corpse of Poland to a universal conflagration … ‘To Warsaw!'”

As Military History magazine averred: “Little remembered in the West, the Battle of Warsaw was in fact one of the most significant land engagements of the 20th century. Strategically, it reversed an ideological onslaught that might otherwise have carried Soviet Communism into Western Europe in 1920 — an eventuality the consequences of which can only be imagined by posterity. Militarily, the sudden counterattack by which Pilsudski and his lieutenants split and routed the Bolshevik forces — themselves led by one of the enemy’s most brilliant generals — deserves a place among the tactical masterpieces of history.”

(The Soviet history books conveniently omitted any mention of this humiliating defeat, as well as the failed Hungarian Revolution.)

This topic spurred a surprisingly enthusiastic discussion, so I’ll bring Roger’s comment up here to the top: “There is a good short book about these events: ‘Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe’ by Adam Zamoyski. Very good reading, IMO.”