The volunteer regiments were first established in the wake of the terrible defeat of Vilnius. A massed assault by Soviet armor and infantry divisions had breached the European defensive line and were about to attack the European defensive positions from the rear. When news reached Central and Western Europe, Irish general Sir Brian Turley uttered the now famous words: “They must not be allowed to succeed”.
In these times of calamity, a wave of patriotism and resistance swept through Europe and nowhere was the outcry for defiance stronger than in the nations closest to the impending danger. Thousands of Polish and Lithuanian volunteers enlisted in defense of their homes and families. A hastily formed army of the elderly and youths with elements from the Polish armed forces marched towards the breach in the line in an attempt to hold the pouring soviet divisions in place until the position could be reinforced by regular soldiers. What occurred later was called the “Miracle of Vilnius”.
Under-trained, under armed and under-supplied, the volunteers were fighting heroically and dying in their thousands but their line and positions remained firm. In the face of an enemy in possession of overwhelming power and numbers, the volunteers managed to grind down the soviet advance into a bloody stand still until the 3rd, 10th and 15th Hungarian mobile divisions arrived and pushed the red tide back and fill the breach.
The volunteers remained in service and their numbers swelled as other European nations also formed their volunteer armies and placed them under the command of the European army. They are poorly armed and trained in the basics of army discipline and marching order. What they lack in armaments and experience, they make up with bravery and numbers!
No Strategies posted.