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THE UKRAINIAN GALICIAN ARMY: THE REGULAR ARMY OF THE WESTERN UKRAINIAN NATIONAL REPUBLIC

The Ukrainian Galician Army was created following the 1 November 1918 Uprising in Lviv and the establishment of the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR). It was set up as a regular army of the ZUNR by the law of 13 November 1918 on compulsory military service, which empowered the State Secretariat for Military Affairs (DSVS) to divide the country into military districts, to define an organizational structure for the army, and to call up Ukrainian males between the ages of 18 and 35 for military duty. Initially, the UHA was formed around a nucleus consisting of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and other Ukrainian detachments of the Austro-Hungarian army, which recognized the authority of the Ukrainian National Rada and took part in the November Uprising. The first regular UHA units were soon joined by worker and student detachments, which sprang up spontaneously to resist the Polish underground in Lviv and the Polish army invading Galicia. At the beginning of December 1918, when Gen Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko took command of the UHA, the army numbered 30,000 officers and men, half of whom were combat-ready. In June 1919 the UHA at its maximum strength numbered 70,000 to 75,000 men, including reserves. Its proportion of officers to men was very low, only 2.4 percent. To overcome the shortage of staff and higher officers, non-Ukrainian specialists of the Austrian-Hungarian army and officers of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic were recruited. To train young officers three infantry schools, an artillery, and a communications cadet school were set up in Galicia, and one infantry and artillery school in central Ukraine. The bulk (67 percent) of the combat force was infantry. Each kurin had a machine-gun company. About 10 percent of the soldiers belonged to artillery units, with 58 batteries on the Polish front and 47 on the Soviet front. The UHA also had two or three armored cars and two armored trains. Cavalry did not play an important role. In the Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918-19, the UHA scored some important victories against the numerically stronger and better-equipped Polish forces. After the Chortkiv offensive it retreated across the Zbruch River and joined up with the UNR Army to take part in the Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917-21. Reduced by typhus to a mere 5,000 combat-ready men, the UHA accepted absorption into the Red Army and became the Red Ukrainian Galician Army. Having been thrown into battle against the Poles, its First Brigade was defeated and captured; its Second and Third brigades deserted the Red Army and allowed themselves to be disarmed by the Poles. By the end of April 1920 the UHA had ceased to exist... Learn more about the Ukrainian Galician Army, the regular army of the Western Ukrainian National Republic, by visiting the following entries:




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UKRAINIAN GALICIAN ARMY (UHA). The regular army of the Western Ukrainian National Republic. The Supreme Command of the UHA was set up in November 1918 in Lviv. Its chief, the UHA supreme commander, was appointed by the head of the Ukrainian National Rada and later by the dictator of the Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic. The supreme commanders of the UHA were Col Dmytro Vitovsky (29 October-5 November 1918), Col Hryhorii Kossak (to 9 November), Col Hnat Stefaniv (to 10 December), Brig Gen Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko (to 9 June 1919), Maj Gen Oleksander Hrekov (to 5 July), Brig Gen Myron Tarnavsky (to 7 November), and Brig Gen Osyp Mykytka (to 10 February 1920). The UHA was a well-organized and disciplined force. The territory under its control was divided into 13 military districts of four or five counties each. The commands of the districts were responsible for security and public order in the army's rear. They conducted drafts, trained draftees and organized them into infantry units, and protected government property. In December 1918 all field units were brought under the Supreme Command of the UHA, and in January-February 1919 they were organized into three corps, each consisting of four brigades. A brigade generally had three to six infantry battalions (sometimes merged into two regiments), a cavalry company, a field artillery regiment with four to six batteries, a sapper company, and communications, auxiliary, and support groups. In June 1919 the UHA at its maximum strength numbered 70,000 to 75,000 men, including reserves...

Ukrainian Galician Army



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OMELIANOVYCH-PAVLENKO, MYKHAILO, b 8 December 1878 in Tbilisi, d 29 May 1952 in Paris. Supreme commander of the Ukrainian Galician Army and the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic. Having commanded a company in the Russian Army during the Russo-Japanese War and graduated from general staff school (1910), he served during the First World War as a regiment commander, corps chief of staff, and director of an officer candidate school in Odesa. In 1917 he joined the UNR Army and commanded a Ukrainian brigade in Katerynoslav, the Third Rifle Division in Poltava (1918), and the Zaporozhian Kish. Between 10 December 1918 and 7 June 1919 he was the supreme commander of the UHA. After returning to the UNR Army he took command of the Zaporozhian Corps and then of the entire army (December 1919-November 1920) during and after the First Winter Campaign. During the interwar years he lived in Prague, where he headed the Alliance of Ukrainian Veterans' Organizations. After the Second World War he served as defense minister in the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic (1945-8), which promoted him from major general to lieutenant general, and continued to be active in veterans' affairs in West Germany and France. He is the author of Ukrains'ko-pol's'ka viina 1918-1919 rr. (The Ukrainian-Polish War of 1918-19, 1929), Zymovyi pokhid (The Winter Campaign, 1934), and two books of memoirs (1930, 1935)...

Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko



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JEWISH BATALLION OF THE UKRAINIAN GALICIAN ARMY. The battalion was formed from Jewish militia units in the city of Ternopil during June 1919 as part of the UHA. It was commanded by Lieutenant Solomon Leimberg and initially was under direct operational control of the First Corps Headquarters. The battalion reached a total strength of 1,200 soldiers, who were organized into four infantry companies, one machine-gun company, one engineer company, and other units. After basic training in Ostapie, Skalat county, the battalion was sent to the Polish front and was in combat from 14 July 1919. During the withdrawal of the UHA to the east, the battalion initially had responsibility for rear guard security and later participated in combat against the Red Army forces in Proskuriv and captured the town of Mykhalpil (Mykhailivka). In Vinnytsia the battalion's mission was to secure the city and the headquarters of the First Corps. In the march on Kyiv in late August 1919 the battalion was attached to the 6th Brigade with the mission of gaining and securing the rail station at Sviatoshyne. In September 1919 the battalion was temporarily stationed in Berdychiv, where its actions in securing the town gained wide support among the local people. After transfer to Vinnytsia in late autumn 1919, the battalion was so decimated by the typhus epidemic that it was disbanded and its surviving soldiers were reassigned to other UHA units...

Jewish Battalion of the Ukrainian Galician Army



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CHORTKIV OFFENSIVE. Military operation by the Ukrainian Galician Army, under the command of Oleksander Hrekov, against the Polish army from 7 to 28 June 1919, which resulted in the UHA's retreat to a triangle of land in southeastern Galicia bounded by the Zbruch River and Dnister River and the Husiatyn-Ulashkivtsi-Tovste-Ustechko line. The goal of the operation was to throw back the Polish forces to the Zolota Lypa River in order to give the UHA, which numbered 19,000 combat-ready officers and men and 50 batteries, greater space to maneuver. The offensive, which began on 7 June, initially yielded a tactical advantage: on 8 June the UHA took Chortkiv, defeated the Polish army, and forced it to retreat a distance of 150 km. The UHA successfully fought engagements at Yazlivets (10 June), Buchach (11 June), Pidhaitsi (14 June), Nyzhniv (14 June), and heavy battles at Ternopil (14 June) and Berezhany (21 June), but a shortage of arms and ammunition prevented it from consolidating these victories. On 28 June the Polish forces, armed with 38,600 bayonets, 2,100 sabers, 797 machine guns, and 207 cannons, broke through the Ukrainian front lines at Yanchyn and forced the UHA, armed with 24,000 bayonets, 400 sabers, 376 machine guns, and 144 cannons, to retreat to the Zbruch River and enter the territory of central Ukraine on 16 July. The Chortkiv offensive, waged with inadequate forces, could not yield strategic gains for the UHA. Nonetheless, the UHA's victories displayed its value as a military force and gave proof of its high morale, later exhibited in battles against the Red Army in eastern Ukraine...

Chortkiv Offensive



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TARNAVSKY, MYRON, b 29 August 1869 in Baryliv, Kaminka-Strumylova county, Galicia, d 29 June 1938 in Lviv. Commander of the Ukrainian Galician Army. After attaining the rank of major (1916) in the Austrian army, he was given command of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel (1918), and commanded the 16th Infantry Regiment in central Ukraine. In February 1919 he joined the UHA, and soon he became commander of the Second Corps and a full colonel. In July 1919 Tarnavsky was appointed supreme commander of the UHA and was promoted to brigadier general. He oversaw UHA operations in central Ukraine, its Kyiv offensive (and the caprure of Kyiv on 30 August 1919), and its tragic demise in the so-called Quadrangle of Death, when, in order to save the remnants of his army, he was forced to negotiate with Anton Denikin's Volunteer Army. On 7 November 1919 he was relieved of duty and courtmartialed for arranging a politically unauthorized armistice with Denikin. After his acquittal he served briefly as acting supreme commander of the UHA. In 1920 he was interned in the Polish internment camp in Tuchola. After his release he lived in rural Galicia...

Myron Tarnavsky



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RED UKRAINIAN GALICIAN ARMY (ChUHA). The official name of the Ukrainian Galician Army after its forced absorption into the Red Army in February 1920. By December 1919 the 20,000-strong UHA stationed in eastern Podilia and northwestern Kherson gubernia was reduced to 5,000 active men by a typhus epidemic. The army began negotiations with the advancing Red Army and on 12 February 1920 agreed to become an autonomous part of the Red Army, on the condition that it would fight on the Polish front. Gen Osyp Mykytka, the commander of the UHA, and Gen Gustav Ziritz, his chief of staff, were deported to Moscow and executed. Under Volodymyr Zatonsky's direction the Bolsheviks reorganized the UHA into three brigades and assigned them to different Soviet divisions. The commanders of the brigades were Lt Col Alfred Bizanz, Capt Yuliian Holovinsky, and Capt Osyp Stanimir. The Bolshevik interference and propaganda aroused much hostility among the rank and file. In mid-April 1920, shortly before the Polish invasion of Ukraine, the Second and Third brigades of the ChUHA deserted the Red Army. Soon afterward they were surrounded by the Poles, and surrendered. The Bolsheviks retaliated by executing many Galician soldiers and officers left in the rear. The First Brigade continued to fight as part of the Red Army's Tarashcha Division against the invading Polish army. The Poles defeated it at Makhnivka and then let most of the soldiers return home but interned the officers...

Red Ukrainian Galician Army


The preparation, editing, and display of the IEU entries about the Ukrainian Galician Army, the regular army of the Western Ukrainian National Republic, were made possible by the financial support of the CANADIAN FOUNDATION FOR UKRAINIAN STUDIES.



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