Edward Rydz-Smigly


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(b. 11 Mar. 1886, d. 12 Dec. 1941).

Polish dictator 1935–9 Born in Brezezany, Galicia, he rose within the military as Pilsudski's aide in the Russo-Polish War (1919–21). He succeeded Pilsudski as general inspector of the armed forces, in which capacity he exerted considerable political influence. Most important, however, was his dismal failure to prepare the Polish army against possible attack from Nazi Germany, due to his preoccupation with a potential confrontation with the Soviet Red Army. His leadership during the war with Germany was at best uninspiring. He fled to Romania, but returned in 1941. He died in mysterious circumstances.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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