Piotr Skuratowicz

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Piotr Skuratowicz
Skuratowicz Piotr.jpg
Born 1 August 1891
Died March/April 1940
Katyń massacre
Allegiance Poland
Rank Major general
Commands held 9th Infantry Division
Dubno Operational Group
Battles/wars Great War, Polish-Bolshevik War, Invasion of Poland
Awards Virtuti Militari (5th class) Polonia Restituta (4th Class) Cross of Merit (1st Class) Cross of Independence Chevalier, Legion of Honour Medal Pamiątkowy za Wojnę 1918-1921

Piotr Skuratowicz (1 August 1891 – 1940) was a Polish military commander and a General of the Polish Army. A renowned cavalryman, he was arrested by the NKVD and murdered in the Katyn massacre.[1]

Piotr Marian Skuratowicz was born 1891 in Minsk, Russian Empire. He joined the Imperial Russian Army, where he received officer's training. During World War I he was drafted to the army and served with distinction on the Eastern Front. In 1917 he joined the 1st Polish Corps being formed in Russia, he was sent to Murmansk and then to France, where he joined Gen. Józef Haller's Blue Army. In June 1919 he returned with his unit to the re-established Poland.

Fight for independence[edit]

During the Polish-Bolshevik War he distinguished himself as a skilled cavalry commander and in 1920 he was made the commanding officer of the 6th Mounted Rifle Regiment. After the war he remained in the army and, following 1932, became the commander of Ostrołęka-based XII Cavalry Brigade. In 1937 came the peak of his career, when he was appointed to the Polish Ministry of Military Affairs as the chief of Cavalry Department. Throughout the entire interbellum period (after 1922) he was also the commander of Grudziądz-based Centre for Cavalry Training. Promoted to the rank of General in the spring of 1939, he became the commanding officer of the Dubno Operational Group, formed of various march battalions of cavalry units. With that unit he was to reinforce the Polish troops fighting with the Germans after the outbreak of the Invasion of Poland. However, after the Soviet invasion of Poland of September 17, his post was taken by Stefan Hanka-Kulesza and the unit was destroyed by the Red Army soon afterwards.


Arrested by the NKVD, Skuratowicz was sent to the concentration camp of Starobielsk[2][3] and was then murdered,[2] aged forty-eight, in the Katyń massacre of 1940, in the NKVD prison in Kharkiv. 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 Lwow), Franciszek Sikorski, Leonard Skierski, Alojzy Wir-Konas, and Mieczysław Smorawiński.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ George Sanford (2005). Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940: Truth, Justice and Memory. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 0-415-33873-5. 
  2. ^ a b J.K.Zawodny Death in the Forest Notre Dame, 1962 Page 146
  3. ^ The Crime of Katyn Polish CultUral Foundation 1989, ISBN 978-0-85065-190-4. Page 19
  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.