IntroductionWładysław Anders was a Polish General who served in the First World War, the Greater-Polish Uprising (1918-1919), the Soviet-Polish War (1919-1921) and Word War II. During his military service he was injured 8 times. His greatest feat of arms was the victory over the Germans in the famous battle of Monte Cassino in 1944. After the war he lived in exile and eventually died in 1970.
Youth and educationWładysław Anders was born on August 11, 1892 in the village Krośniewice-Błonie, near Kutno. During this period, this region was still a part of the Russian Empire. His parents, Albert and Elisabeth Anders, were of Baltic-German descent. He had three brothers and one sister. Anders graduated at a secondary school in Warsaw. Early on, there arose with him an interest in horses and cavalry.
Early military careerIn September 1910 he voluntarily joined the tsarist Russian army and received training as a reserve officer. After passing his exams, he was promoted to officer (praporszczyka). In 1912, he took part in a three-month long reserve training with the 19th Hussars in Riga. Meanwhile, he began a study at the Riga Technical University and joined in with the Polish student association ‘Arkonia’.
During Word War I, Anders served as a lieutenant in the 1st Krechowiecki Lancers regiment and was wounded three times. In 1916, he was promoted to captain and in 1917 he graduated from a shortened training at the General Staff Academy in St. Petersburg. During the February Revolution of 1917 he was stationed in Romania as Chief of Staff of the Russian 7th Jager division. Shortly afterwards he decided to join the 1st Polish Corps (I Korpus Polski w Rosji) in the tsarist army, under the command of General Jósef Dowbór-Musnicki. This corps fought against the Bolsheviks on the side of the Germans and stood up for the interests of Poland on Russian territory.
After the German Empire capitulated in 1918 he joined the army of Great-Poland as chief of staff and participated in the Greater-Poland Uprising (1918-1919) in the then Prussian province of Posen (today Polish Poznan). During the Soviet-Polish War (1919-1920) he served as a lieutenant-colonel in the 15th Poznan regiment of Uhlans and got wounded during the battle of the Berezina (1919). On July 15, 1920, Anders received promotion to major and he was allowed to use the rank of lieutenant-Colonel with approval of above. A year later, this rank was officially assigned to him.
In October 1921, Anders began a study at the Military Academy (École Supérieure de Guerre) in Paris and returned in 1924 as a colonel back in Poland, where he received his appointment as chief of the personal staff of the Inspector-General of Cavalry Tadeusz Rozwadowski. In November 1924, Anders was appointed garrison commander of Warsaw.
Anders served as chief of staff on the side of the government during the May coup (12-14 May 1926) of Marchal Jósef Pilsudski. Between 1928 and 1939 he was garrison commander and commander of the Baranowiczse Kresowa and Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade. In 1932, he led the Polish national team during the equestrian events of the Club of Nations in Nice (France) and won four 1st prizes. On January 1, 1934, Anders was appointed brigadier.