This book provides a concise history of a seminal battle between a newly independent Poland and Bolshevik Russia. Lenin sought to take advantage of the chaos that had taken hold in Central and Eastern Europe in the immediate aftermath of the First World War by overrunning Poland and thereby invading Germany and using it as a springboard for European domination and worldwide revolution.
Had the Poles been defeated in August 1920, the course of European history would have been very different. It is precisely because of the Poles' success in preventing a Bolshevik victory and Europe's preoccupation with postwar recovery that the Battle of Warsaw was overlooked and quickly forgotten. Yet the impact of that battle is evidenced by "the democratic and civic instinct" in Central and Eastern Europe today, which is "largely the product of the two decades of freedom secured by [Józef] Piłsudski and his armies on the Vistula in 1920."