Franciszek Latinik

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Franciszek Ksawery Latinik
Latinik 1919.jpg
Born (1864-07-17)July 17, 1864
Tarnów, Austrian Empire
Died August 29, 1949(1949-08-29) (aged 85)
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Education Cadets School in Łobzów
Academy of the General Staff in Vienna
Occupation military officer

Franciszek Ksawery Latinik (17 July 1864 in Tarnów - 29 August 1949 in Kraków) was a Polish military officer, Colonel of Austro-Hungarian Army and Divisional General of Polish Army.

Biography[edit]

He was the son of Antoni Izydor Latinik, geography teacher in high schools, and Kornelia Romer,[1] daughter of Teofil, nobleman and Kraków Uprising participant.

He graduated from the Cadets School in Łobzów (currently a part of Kraków) and served in the Austro-Hungarian Army since 1882. He studied at the Academy of the General Staff in Vienna (1881–1891). In 1896 he was promoted to captain, and in 1909 - to major. He commanded his native Cadets School (1909–1913).[2]

During World War I he commanded the 100th Infantry Division, with which he fought in the battle of Gorlice 2–4 May 1915. In the same year he received the rank of Colonel and fought on the Eastern Front in Russia and Romania. In 1916 commanded the Infantry Brigade on the Italian Front where he was seriously wounded.[2]

After Poland gained the independence, he joined the Polish Army. Since November 1918 he commanded the military district in Cieszyn. He commanded Polish defence during the invasion of Cieszyn Silesia in January 1919 by Czech forces.[3]

He was in active service also during Polish-Soviet War. He was a military governor of Warsaw during the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 and commanded the 1st Polish Army, taking part in the fights on the Northern Front, including Battle of Radzymin.

General Franciszek Ksawery Latinik after retiring at the balcony of his flat at Studencka Street in Kraków

Latinik retired from active service in March 1925, after being conflicted with some former members of Polish Legions. In 1934 he published his memoirs from the conflict over Cieszyn Silesia, named Walka o Śląsk Cieszyński w r. 1919. He was also an author of publications titled Żołnierz polski pod Gorlicami 1915 (Przemyśl, 1923) and Bój o Warszawę. Rola wojskowego gubernatora i 1-ej armii w bitwie pod Warszawą w 1920 r. (Bydgoszcz, 1931). He wrote one chapter for the book about general Tadeusz Rozwadowski, which was published in Kraków in 1929. He died in 1949 and was buried in the family tomb at the Rakowicki Cemetery.

In 1902 he married Helena Stiasny-Strzelbicka. They had three daughters: Anna (1902–1969, married to Kazimierz Popiel), Irena (1904–1974, married to Adam Vetulani) and Antonina (1906–1989, married to Andrzej Rieger). Latinik's grandsons are Andrzej Popiel, Janusz Rieger and Jerzy Vetulani.

Latinik was awarded with several military and civil awards, including: Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari, Commander's Cross of the Polonia Restituta, Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych, twice), Legion of Honour Officier's Cross, Order of the Crown (Romania), Military Merit Cross (Austria-Hungary), Order of Franz Joseph and Iron Cross (1st and 2nd class).[2] He refused to accept Military Order of Maria Theresa for venturesome attitude during battle of Gorlice, claiming that after Poland reclaimed independence, he may accept only distintcions from the Polish government.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muszyński, Zbigniew R. (7 September 2004). "Wspomnienie. Franciszek Ksawery Latinik". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish). 
  2. ^ a b c Zgórniak, Marian (1971). "Latinik Franciszek Ksawery (1864–1949)". Polski Słownik Biograficzny XVI. pp. 567–568. 
  3. ^ "Brygadier Franciszek Ksawery Latinik". Gazeta Skoczowska (in Polish): 7. 4 March 1999. 
  4. ^ Kobos, Andrzej (2007). Po drogach uczonych 2. Kraków: Wydawnictwo PAU. p. 493.