First Cadre Company
|First Cadre Company|
|Disbanded||August 16–27, 1914|
|Type||Infantry & Cavalry|
|Engagements||World War I|
|Initial Commander||Tadeusz Kasprzycki|
|Final Commander||Kazimierz Jan Piątek|
The First Cadre Company (Polish: Pierwsza Kompania Kadrowa) was a Polish military formation created in the Austro-Hungarian Army at the outbreak of World War I. The company was founded by Józef Piłsudski on August 3, 1914 in Kraków. It was the predecessor of the Polish Legions, and formed the core of the Polish Legions' First Brigade during World War I.
The First Cadre Company came into formation when the Riflemen's Association and the Polish Rifle Squads were mobilized between July 29 and August 2 in 1914 by Józef Piłsudski. At 6pm on August 3, the First Cadre was formally created in the Oleandry district of Kraków (just east of Jordan Park). On August 4 and 5, the Cadre underwent re-organization while the soldiers received short yet extensive training. Tadeusz Kasprzycki was appointed commander. The Cadre consisted of four platoons, each consisting of four groups of 10 soldiers each. The exact number of soldiers varies according to the source, but estimates generally put it at somewhere between 145 and 168 soldiers, which included the notable The Seven Lancers of Belina.
On August 6, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on the Russian Empire. At a quarter to three on the morning of that day, the First Cadre set out for the Austro-Hungarian — Russian border. It crossed into Tsarist Poland at the border village of Michałowice. On August 8, commander Kasprzycki was transferred to the General Command and replaced by Kazimierz Jan Piątek. The first eight volunteers were accepted into the Cadre's ranks on the same day. On August 12, the First Cadre participated in the capture of Kielce in full battalion strength alongside the Second Company, led by Stanisław Tessaro, and the Third Company, led by Wacław Scaevola-Wieczorkiewicz. The First Cadre then attempted to break through the Russian lines and continue north. The objective was to capture Warsaw in hope of setting off an uprising in Tsarist Poland against the Russian authorities. However, the Russians checked the First Cadre just outside Kielce on August 13, which resulted in the Cadre's retreat from Kielce to Kraków.
Between August 16 and August 27, the First Cadre was reorganized and transformed into the Polish Legions. It is difficult to set an exact date for the transformation — the Supreme National Committee called for the formation of the Polish Legions on August 16, Józef Piłsudski called for its formation on August 22, and the Austrian government officially agreed to its formation on August 27. All three dates can be found simultaneously representing both the disbandment of the First Cadre and the formation of the Polish Legions, depending on the source. However the First Cadre Company formed the core of the First Brigade of the Polish Legions by mid-December 1914.
- Judym-Englert, Adam, ed. (1934). "Pierwsza Kompania Kadrowa". 6 sierpień: 1914 - 1934 (in Polish). Warsaw: Zarząd Główny Związku Legjonistów Polskich. p. 13.
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- Judym-Englert, Adam, ed. (1934). "Pierwsza Kompania Kadrowa". 6 sierpień: 1914 - 1934 (in Polish). Warsaw: Zarząd Główny Związku Legjonistów Polskich.
- Majchrowski, Jacek M. (1994). "Wojskowe kariery kadrowiaków". Wojskowy Przegląd Historyczny (in Polish). Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny. 3 (149): 78–108.
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