Polish Army Training Camp in Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1917-1919

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Zygmunt Zalewski


Predictions for ending of the world military crisis in short time turned out to be highly missed. The war, which had been lasting since July 28, 1914, generated tremendous material looses, claimed more and more victims and after three-year’s hard fighting no one of the opponents could expect himself to be a victor soon. However, the revolutionary process in Russia practically eliminated Tsar’s army from active military operations on the eastern front. Having seen an exceptional opportunity, the German Headquarters began to relocate Central Powers’ strong armies to France wanted to deliver a decisive blow on the western front. Collapse of Russia, the country that was a valuable component of Entente’s military power and at the same time the main political opponent against regaining Poland’s independence, as well as an urgent need of conscription young men to the western armies evoked exceptional international circumstances to restore Poland on the world’s map.

 The considerable support of France, the USA and Canada but predominantly the political activity of Polish National Committee in Paris and deep patriotic feelings of American Polonia resulted in creation of Tadeusz Kościuszko Polish Army Training Camp in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Mainly in that place, as well as in some other Canadian and American forts 22 395 young Polonia voluntaries had been trained and then 20 720 soldiers were shipped on the western front in France. All of them were the hard core component of General Józef Haller’s so called Blue Army.

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