Walki o Stonawę 26 stycznia 1919 roku
The Battle of Stonava 26th of January 1919
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The Battle of Stonava, which took place on the 26th of January 1919, is one of the most important episodes of the Czechoslovakian-Polish War. It lasted for 8 days (23–30 January). The importance of these events results not only in the breakdown of the Polish defense there. According to the numerous Polish witnesses, during and after the fights, Czechoslovakian soldiers were to commit numerous war crimes against Polish prisoners of war. Although 100 years have passed since the events in Stonava and the subject of the Polish-Czechoslovakian conflict over Cieszyn Silesia has been featured in dozens of Polish and Czech (Czechoslovakian) publications, they have not yet been the subject of more serious scientific research. For Czech historians such serious accusations of Czechoslovakian soldiers of the French legion, considered as national heroes, were controversial. It was often easier for them to treat it all together as Polish propaganda. Polish authors often took the accounts of Polish witnesses of those events uncritically and thoughtlessly, without even subjecting their sources to fundamental criticism. In order to block the research on the subject during the communist period, it was important to consider it as “taboo", which could not be raised during the period of the top-down decreed Polish-Czechoslovakian socialist friendship of the sister nations. The article is an attempt to describe more fully the dramatic events of the Battle of Stonava, based on Polish and Czech sources, archival photographic and film documentation, bibliography of this subject created in both countries and field research in the places of fighting. The analysis focuses also on the presentation of the general military situation after the first two days of the war and then the battle of Stonava, which ended with the dramatic retreat of the Polish army from Cieszyn on the night of 26/27 January 1919. The important part of the text is also a critical analysis of the source information describing the crimes committed by Czechoslovakian soldiers against Polish soldiers who were wounded and taken prisoners. The article attempts to make the number of the most probable reported cases real.
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