Between Waterloo and the Alma: The Polish-Russian War of 1831, Part II: Ostrolenka

Tadeusz Stachowski writes that it was not so much the material loss suffered at Ostrolenka, as the moral defeat, that broke the spirit of the Polish opposition.

Two of the three dictionaries of battles currently available in this country state that Ostrolenka was a battle of the Crimean War. There is only one Ostrolenka, a town on the river Narev in North Eastern Poland and the well-known, full-scale battle fought there was between the Poles and the Russians on May 26th 1831.

Grochow and Ostrolenka, the two main battles of the Polish-Russian War of 1831, divide the Great Polish Revolt into three distinctive parts. The reluctant protagonist of the first three months was General Chlopicki. Though initially bitterly opposed to participation, once involved he played his part well.

When wounded at Grochow, he named Jan Skrzynecki as his successor. In contrast to Chlopicki, Skrzynecki, though only a colonel before the Revolution, from the very beginning aimed at the highest military honours. But his abilities did not match his ambitions.

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