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.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Event Registration is Closed
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.