Battle of Bereza Kartuska
The Battle of Bereza Kartuska was fought between the combined forces of the Second Polish Republic and the Soviet Russia around the village Bereza Kartuska (now Byaroza, Belarus) first on 14 February 1919, and again, between July 21 and July 26, 1920. The first skirmish of Bereza is considered to be the initial engagement of the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921, by some historians.
After German and Polish representatives signed an evacuation agreement on 5 February 1919, the ten battalions of the newly formed Polish Army were to pass through German Oberkommando-Ostfront (Ober-Ost) lines at Wolkowysk to reach the Bolshevik front, where on 12 January 1919, the Soviet Supreme Command ordered a "reconnaissance in depth", codenamed Target Vistula.
It is problematical whether this [Soviet] operation, which bore the code name 'Target Vistula' was intended to bring the Red Army as conquering heroes into Warsaw. Its name suggest so. Yet the extremely tentative phrasing of its directives and the extremely parlous state of the Western Army suggests otherwise.
In February 1919, both Soviet Russia and newly-reborn Poland were in their infancy, and both only months' old.:31 On 13 February 1919, at 7 in the morning, 57 Polish soldiers and 5 officers, led by Capt. Mienicki of the Polish Wilno Detachment, made a sortie into the township of Biaroza (Polish: Bereza), a small city to the east of Brzesc capturing 80 soldiers of the Red Army.:26-27
The second Battle of Bereza Kartuska
One year later, between July 21 and July 26, 1920, soldiers of the Polish 14th Infantry Division under General Daniel Konarzewski once again clashed with the Red Army in Bereza Kartuska, soon after the Battle of Warsaw (1920). Poles had retreated from Baranowicze, abandoning German Imperial Army fortifications, constructed there during World War One, and took defensive positions along the Jasiolda river. After three days of heavy fighting, the 14th I.D. once again was forced to retreat towards Kobryn, after burning the bridges on the Jasiolda river. The town of Bereza Kartuska was retaken by the Polish Army and, at the end of the Polish–Soviet War, ceded to Poland in the Peace of Riga signed by the Soviet Russia (acting also on behalf of Soviet Belarus). The peace treaty remained in force until the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939..
- For controversies about the naming and dating of this conflict, refer to the section devoted to this subject in the Polish-Soviet War article.
- Davies, Norman (2011) . White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War 1919-20. London: Macdonald & Co., ISBN 9780712606943: Random House. p. 22. ISBN 1446466868.
- Cienciala, Anna M. (Spring 2002). "The Rebirth of Poland". University of Kansas, Lecture Notes by Professor Anna M. Cienciala (History 557 Lecture Notes 11 B). Revised Fall 2007. Spring 2012. Poland and Soviet Russia: 1917-1921 – via Internet Archive.