Konstanty Plisowski

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Konstanty Plisowski
Born (1890-06-08)June 8, 1890
Died 1940
Katyn, Soviet Union
Allegiance Poland
Rank General

Konstanty Plisowski of Odrowąż (June 8, 1890 – 1940) was a Polish general and military commander. He was the Commander in the battle of Jazłowiec and the battle of Brześć Litewski. He was murdered on Stalin's orders in the Katyn Massacre.


Odrowaz Coat of Arms

Konstanty Plisowski was born June 8, 1890 in his family village of Nowosiółki in Podolia, to a family of szlachta ancestry of Odrowąż coat of arms. In 1908 he joined the army of Russia, where he served with distinction until 1917. During World War I he was transferred to the 1st Polish Corps and since 1917 served as a commander of the cavalry regiment attached to the Polish 4th Rifle Division under general Lucjan Żeligowski. After Poland regained her independence in 1918 he joined the Polish Army. The following year, during the Polish-Ukrainian War he was assigned to the 14th Uhlans Regiment as its commanding officer. He became famous as a cavalry commander after the Jazłowiec cavalry charge (July 11, 1919) that became part of the popular culture as one of the synonyms of bravery.

During the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920 Plisowski was served as a commander of 6th cavalry brigade and later of 8th cavalry brigade. He was also briefly the commanding officer of Rómmel's 1st Cavalry Division. He took part in the famous Battle of Komarów. After the war he remained in the army and served at various command posts. At the same time he was also a professor of tactics at the Higher War School in Warsaw. On January 4, 1929, he was promoted to generał brygady, but in 1930 was demobilised and retired due to his poor health.

During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Plisowski found himself in Brześć, where he volunteered for the army. He was made the commander of the Brześć Fortress and managed to organise resistance against the advancing German XIX Panzer Corps of general Heinz Guderian. After the unconcluded Battle of Brześć, in which his four infantry battalions managed to halt the advance of four German divisions for four days, Plisowski retreated with his men and joined the forces of general Franciszek Kleeberg. He was assigned to the Cavalry Operational Group of general Władysław Anders as his deputy. On 24 September he was made the commanding officer of the Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade, with which he fought both against Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.


On September 28, 1939, he was taken prisoner of war by the Soviets and sent to the Starobielsk prison camp.[1][2] Following the orders of Joseph Stalin, he was murdered in Kharkov in the spring of 1940, aged forty-nine, in what became known as the Katyn Massacres.[3] Place of his burial remains unknown. 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, Rudolf Prich (murdered in Lviv), Franciszek Sikorski, Leonard Skierski, Piotr Skuratowicz, Mieczysław Smorawiński and Alojzy Wir-Konas (promoted posthumously).[4] Since 20 March 1996, the Polish 6th Armoured Cavalry Brigade is named after him.


  • Major –
  • Colonel – 23 August 1919
  • Brigadier General – 4 January 1929
  • Major General – 9 November 2007 (posthumously)

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ J.K.Zawodny Death in the Forest Notre Dame, 1962 Page 145
  2. ^ The Crime of Katyn Polish Cultural Foundation, 1989 ISBN 0-85065-190-5 Page 19
  3. ^ J.K.Zawodny Death in the Forest Notre Dame, 1962 Page 146
  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.