15/08/2019 Thursday

Military parade on Polish Armed Forces Day to be held in Katowice

Leszek Szymański/PAP

This year's military parade on Polish Armed Forces Day on August 15 will be held in Katowice, southern Poland, the Polish defence minister said on Thursday, adding that the "Faithful to Poland" parade will commemorate the centenary of the 1st Silesian Uprising.

Having made the announcement in Katowice on Thursday, Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said a decision had also been taken to honour "the residents of Upper Silesia, thanks to whom Silesia had become a part of Poland."

The official stressed that the residents of this region "sacrificed their health and lives to preserve their traditions and culture - Polish traditions and culture - since being Silesian means being Polish."

He also said that "some 2,600 soldiers, 190 vehicles and 60 aircraft will take part in parade. Polish troops will be marching side-by-side with allied soldiers from the United States, Great Britain, Croatia and Romania."

Polish Armed Forces Day was established in 1923, liquidated by Poland's communist authorities in 1947, and reinstated in 1992.

It commemorated a very important victory over the Red Army in the Battle of Warsaw, won by the Polish side in August of 1920. In the wake of the following Polish advance eastward, the Soviets sued for peace and a ceasefire was sealed in October 1920. The Battle of Warsaw helped defend Poland's newly regained independence.

In the years 1919-1921, Upper Silesia, which belonged to Germany before World War I, was contested by Germany and Poland. Polish national moods in the region mounted considerably after Poland re-won its independence in 1918, and were strongly fought down by its German administration and army. The conflict led to three Silesian Uprisings between 1919 and 1921. After the Third Silesian Uprising, 29 percent of land and 46 percent of the population of the area was returned to Poland.