Military parade to be held in Katowice in honour of Silesian insurgents

Soldiers rest after a rehearsal for the Polish Armed Forces Day military parade on August 15. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

This year's military parade on Polish Armed Forces Day on Aug. 15 will be held in Katowice, south Poland, to honour Silesia's residents, whose participation in the Silesian Uprisings showed that they wanted their region to be a part of Poland, the Polish defence minister said.

Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, in Katowice on Saturday, made the statement after a rehearsal for the Polish Armed Forces Day military parade on August 15.

"The military parade in Katowice will be a historical event, which will be remembered for years in Upper Silesia and in the entire country. This will be a historical event because it will commemorate the Silesian Uprisings. The 1st Silesian Uprising started one hundred years ago, on the night of August 16, 1919. This is how Silesia's residents decided that they wanted their region to be a part of Poland. We are paying homage to them. We remember their sacrifice," Błaszczak told reporters.

This year's military parade on Polish Armed Forces Day on August 15 will be held in Katowice to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw and the centenary of the 1st Silesian Uprising.

Over 2,600 soldiers, 190 vehicles and 60 aircraft will take part in the "Faithful to Poland" parade. Polish troops will be marching side-by-side with allied soldiers from the United States, Great Britain, Croatia and Romania stationed in Poland.

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.