White Eagle, Red Star : the Polish-Soviet war 1919-20 and 'the miracle on the Vistula'
A neglected event in history, the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-20 was not the final episode in the wars of intervention, but an independent enterprise on the Polish side with minimal support from the Entente Powers.
In many English history books, it appears under the erroneous title of the 'Russo-Polish War', and is treated as just one spot in the rash of border conflicts which broke out all over Europe at this time.
As far as Soviet history is concerned, the war with Poland represents the first occasion when the Red Army set out to revolutionise the whole of Europe - for the Poles, it was an occasion when they finally justified their claim to independent statehood.
In White Eagle, Red Star, Professor Norman Davies gives a full account of the war, with its dramatic climax in August 1920 when the Red Army - sure of victory and pledged to carry the Revolution across Europe to 'water our horses on the Rhine' - was crushed by a devastating Polish attack, since known as the 'miracle on the Vistula'. Drawing on both Polish and Russian sources, Davies illustrates the narrative with documentary material which hitherto has not been readily available and shows how the war was far more than an 'episode' in East European affairs, but largely determined the course of European history for the next twenty years or more.