Poles vs. Panzers?

I enjoyed Tony Blankley's column "France blackmails Poland" (Op-Ed, Wednesday). He is right that Poland was the first country to fight Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. Indeed, it resisted harder than many other countries, despite being stabbed in the back by the Soviet Union's Red Army, which simultaneously invaded Poland from the east.

The wonderful picture Mr. Blankley paints, however, of Poles charging on horseback against German tanks is untrue, however romantic. The myth began with a Nazi propaganda movie from 1940. It was meant to depict, in the spirit of Jacques Chirac, that such "Untermenschen" as the Poles had to be ruled by the superior--technologically and otherwise--German "Volk."

Having said that, most European armies, including Germany's, were largely horse-drawn in the early stages of World War II. The honor of staging the last great, and victorious, cavalry charge on a European battlefield goes, I believe, to the Italian army on the Eastern Front in August 1942 during the battle of Isbuscenskij.

Radek Sikorski is the former deputy minister of defense of Poland and a resident fellow at AEI.

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