Alojzy Wir-Konas

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Alojzy Wir-Konas
Alojzy Wir-Konas.jpg
Born 1870
Maków Podhalański
Died 1940
Katyn, Soviet Union
Allegiance Poland
Rank Colonel

Alojzy Wir-Konas (Maków Podhalański, 1894 – 1940) was a Polish military commander and the Colonel in the Polish Army. Serving as Divisional Commander during the Invasion of Poland, he was murdered in the Katyn massacre.[1]

Alojzy Konas joined the Polish Legions during World War I. About that time he adopted the nom de guerre of Wir (Polish for whirlwind), which later became a part of his surname. After the Oath Crisis he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army and sent to the Italian front, where he fought with distinction in shock battalion near Cortellazzo. After the war, in November 1918 he joined the Polish Army and steadily advanced through its ranks. Between 1924 and 1930 he commanded the Pińsk-based Polish 84th Infantry Regiment. Promoted to the rank of Colonel, until August 1939 he commanded the infantry units of the Polish 21st Mountain Infantry Division.[1]

The 1939 Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland[edit]

During the Invasion of Poland in 1939 he was the commanding officer of the Polish 38th Infantry Division, formed of reserve units between Tarnów and Kraków. Due to the fast pace of the German advance, the division entered combat on September 9, before it could be fully mobilized. From September 11, it was attached to the improvised Małopolska Army and was withdrawing towards the Romanian Bridgehead. Under the leadership of Gen. Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Wir-Konas commanded his division in the battle of Sądowa Wisznia, in which he managed to defeat the much stronger German 2nd Mountain Division. However, shortly before reaching Lwów, the unit became bogged down in the battle of Janów of September 17. Despite offering heavy resistance, only a single regiment managed to break through enemy lines and reach the besieged city.

Katyn[edit]

After the capitulation of Lwów to the Soviet Union on September 22, 1939, Alojzy Wir-Konas was arrested by the NKVD and imprisoned in the Starobielsk concentration camp.[2] He was murdered in the Katyn massacre[3] in April 1940. For his wartime service he was posthumously promoted to the rank of General.[1] Among the Katyn victims were 14 Polish generals including Leon Billewicz, Bronisław Bohatyrewicz, Xawery Czernicki (admiral), Stanisław Haller, Aleksander Kowalewski, Henryk Minkiewicz, Kazimierz Orlik-Łukoski, Konstanty Plisowski, Rudolf Prich (murdered in Lviv), Franciszek Sikorski, Leonard Skierski, Piotr Skuratowicz, and Mieczysław Smorawiński.[4]

Further information: Katyn Commission

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c K. Banaszek, W. K. Roman, Z. Sawicki, Kawalerowie Orderu Virtuti Militari w mogiłach katyńskich Wyd. Warszawa 2000 r., s. 317.
  2. ^ Adam Moszyński Lista Katyńska GRYF, 1989 ISBN 83-85028-81-1 Page 331
  3. ^ List of Polish POWs Executed by Soviet NKVD in Katyn Woods The Magdeburg Sting, 2013.
  4. ^ Andrzej Leszek Szcześniak, ed. (1989). Katyń; lista ofiar i zaginionych jeńców obozów Kozielsk, Ostaszków, Starobielsk. Warsaw, Alfa. p. 366. ISBN 978-83-7001-294-6. ; Moszyński, Adam, ed. (1989). Lista katyńska; jeńcy obozów Kozielsk, Ostaszków, Starobielsk i zaginieni w Rosji Sowieckiej. Warsaw, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne. p. 336. ISBN 978-83-85028-81-9. ; Tucholski, Jędrzej (1991). Mord w Katyniu; Kozielsk, Ostaszków, Starobielsk: lista ofiar. Warsaw, Pax. p. 987. ISBN 978-83-211-1408-8. ; Banaszek, Kazimierz (2000). Kawalerowie Orderu Virtuti Militari w mogiłach katyńskich. Roman, Wanda Krystyna; Sawicki, Zdzisław. Warsaw, Chapter of the Virtuti Militari War Medal & RYTM. p. 351. ISBN 978-83-87893-79-8. ; Maria Skrzyńska-Pławińska, ed. (1995). Rozstrzelani w Katyniu; alfabetyczny spis 4410 jeńców polskich z Kozielska rozstrzelanych w kwietniu-maju 1940, według źródeł sowieckich, polskich i niemieckich. Stanisław Maria Jankowski. Warsaw, Karta. p. 286. ISBN 978-83-86713-11-0. ; Skrzyńska-Pławińska, Maria, ed. (1996). Rozstrzelani w Charkowie; alfabetyczny spis 3739 jeńców polskich ze Starobielska rozstrzelanych w kwietniu-maju 1940, według źródeł sowieckich i polskich. Porytskaya, Ileana. Warsaw, Karta. p. 245. ISBN 978-83-86713-12-7. ; Skrzyńska-Pławińska, Maria, ed. (1997). Rozstrzelani w Twerze; alfabetyczny spis 6314 jeńców polskich z Ostaszkowa rozstrzelanych w kwietniu-maju 1940 i pogrzebanych w Miednoje, według źródeł sowieckich i polskich. Porytskaya, Ileana. Warsaw, Karta. p. 344. ISBN 978-83-86713-18-9.