September 1917

The long way to Passchendaele

By Alessandro Chebat

"I confess I stick to it more because I see nothing better, and because my instinct prompts me to stickto it, than to any convincing arguments by which I can support it."

(From a letter of Sir William Robertson - Chief of the Imperial General Staff - to Douglas Haig)

 

At 3:50 am on the morning of 31 July 1917, nine British divisions leapt out of the trenches and ran up the slopes of Pilckem Ridge: the Battle of Passchendaele had begun. The clash - more than a real battle - can be considered a military campaign that broke down into a series of seemingly independent operations. Although the battle bears the name of the village of Passchendaele, it occupied only a ridge to the east of Ypres. The ultimate goal of the operation was to control the ridges east and south of Ypres, which the British plans assumed would lead to the conquest of Flanders

From the outset of Passchendaele there were a series of political, social and military variables that would go on to affect the final outcome of the battle. The first of these variables can be found in the tactical-strategic vision of Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces. He, on the one hand, was persuaded that the clash that would decide the fate of the Great War would take place on the Western Front - in Flanders - on the other hand, he felt that this would only be achieved through the use of new innovative means and strategies, maintaining great pressure on the enemy and in close collaboration with the French forces.

The success of Haig's strategic plans was undermined from the outset by the profound crisis that swept through the French army after Nivelle's bloody and failed offensive. On 27 May 1917, what had begun as a wave of desertions turned into an actual general mutiny. The French authorities intervened by pouring in loyal troops and stymieing the revolt at its inception. General Petain was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army, working to locate and punish the culprits among the mutineers while promising and implementing improvements in the quality of life of the soldiers. Petain was also aware of how the mutinies had affected 43% of the 113 infantry divisions of the French Army. The fact that the morale crisis had mainly affected the infantry (the most sacrificed branch of service that had suffered enormous losses since the beginning of the war) and that the soldiers refused to return to attack, though they would defend the trenches and French soil, convinced Petain to no longer employ French units in large operations for a medium-to-long period, and rather to keep on the defensive. The task of wearing down the Germans on the battlefield was thus passed on to the British, a task that Haig was determined to take on even to extreme consequences.

Despite the lack of French support, Haig, in collaboration with Reginald Bacon, Admiral of the Royal Navy, developed a plan for the landing at Ostend of 9,000 Royal Marines - supported by three infantry divisions - that would then destroy the German right flank in Flanders. The occupation of Flanders, in addition to being considered the springboard for the breakthrough of the German lines, was of vital importance for the control of the Belgian ports from which (according to the English) the German U-Boots departed for their deadly raids against Allied merchant shipping.

Following the involvement of Colonel Aymler Hunter-Weston - a veteran of Gallipoli - the landing plans became more ambitious, and huge floating pontoons were constructed to carrying three divisions, tanks and artillery. Landing zone: Middelkerke, near Niuwpoort. However, to ensure the success of operations, it was necessary to occupy the ridges south and east of Ypres and the German-controlled rail lines.

The first of these preparatory operations was the Battle of Messines, whose ridge was considered vital for linking the Middelkerke landing zones with the main thrust of the Ypres attack. Command of the operations was entrusted to General Erbert Plumer. Extremely popular and a rigorous planner, Plumer was an officer anxious to save the lives of his men, preferring a more cautious approach to weaken the opponent by encirclement and placing him under a sort of siege. The Battle of Messines took place in June 1917, but its planning had begun in 1916, with the arrival of Royal Engineers Tunnelling Companies, which dug a dense network of tunnels and chambers under the ridge of Messines, depositing 500 tons of Ammonal - a highly explosive material - divided into 24 charges. The explosions took place at 3:10 am on the morning of 7 June, after a two-week bombardment by British artillery, creating 19 huge craters. The Spanbroekmolen mine, loaded with over 41 tons of explosives, created a crater 120 metres in diameter. The explosion was heard in the suburbs of London.

About 10,000 Germans died at Messines, along with a further 15,000 wounded, missing and prisoners. There was also considerable booty of weapons and materials including 65 guns, 94 trench mortars, and about 300 machine-guns. To create an even more devastating effect, a barrage from more than 2,000 English guns further devastated German positions. By 10 June, the Germans retreated from their now indefensible positions, and pulled back 4 kilometres to the east. Messines may be considered as the most successful British Army action on the Western Front. Carefully planned and executed with care, the operation was celebrated as an overwhelming British victory, convincing many senior officers of the possibility of achieving further large-scale success against German forces, forgetting, however, that the Battle of Messines involved limited tactical objectives and was not aimed at the strategic breakthrough of the front. This optimism proved to be fatal two months later in the wider and more ambitious Battle of Passchendaele.

Following the victorious fighting at Messines, Douglas Haig appointed as 5th Army commander (which was to bear the burden of the imminent offensive) General Hubert Gough, replacing Plumer, who had acquitted himself so well in handling the clash. Thus began the second preparatory phase, which would later create the  muddy hell that characterized the Battle of Passchendaele. On 22 July, 2,300 medium and large calibre guns began a barrage of the German positions that would last until 31 July. However, this massive bombardment did nothing but upset the ground, destroying the ancient water drainage system that had reinforced the fields in this part of Flanders for centuries and prevented them from turning into marshland. This, coupled with heavy rains, quickly transformed the battlefield into a huge, miry swamp, slowing down the progress of the troops. Immediately after the bombing ended, at 3:50 am, the British infantry leapt out of the trenches and began to advance along a 25-kilometre front, achieving some initial success and reaching the Steenbeck River line. Nevertheless, all the attacks on the Menin road, the main objective of the battle, were repulsed by the Germans who inflicted severe losses on the British. 

In the two months since the attack at Messines, the Germans had had time to strengthen their defences in view of the likely offensive. These defences did not consist of linear trenches, but rather isolated bunkers and pillboxes, built of reinforced concrete and equipped with machine guns. Against that system - which was well suited to the marshy ground and allowed the Germans to defend large portions of land with relatively few men - the British troops were bled dry. From the English side, the massive use of artillery and tanks turned out to be useless: the tanks sank in the mud while the effect of the shells was lessened and muffled by the mud. In any event, it was the obstinate German resistance that checked the British advances: in the Battle of Hill 70 alone - undertaken to liberate Lens - Canadian troops lost nearly 10,000 men dead, wounded, and missing. In the Battle of Langemarck, from 16-18 August, the 8 British divisions employed exceeded 36,000 losses. Both battles failed to achieve their goals. The British troops achieved victory in the Battle of Pilckem, though at a cost of nearly 32,000 dead and injured.

In spite of deploying massive amounts of resources and consuming a great quantity of ammunition, for more than a month Gough's sector attacks along a very large front had resulted in failure, achieving only limited successes at the cost of enormous losses. The horrible weather conditions, impractical terrain, and exhaustion of the soldiers drove Haig to change his strategy: on 20 September, the task of conquering the important Menin road was entrusted to Plumer, the victor of Messines, who indeed took over command of operations.

The burden of the offensive was transferred from Gough's beleaguered 5th Army to Plumer's 2nd Army. The tactics utilized, however, were different: smaller attacks were made against well-defined objectives - defined as "bite and hold" - always staying within the range of British artillery. This use of artillery - called a "Creeping Barrage" - consisted of advancing the infantry under the cover of artillery fire. Upon achieving their objective, the troops waited for the artillery to move forward to support further advances and cut off the deadly German counterattacks. With the aid of an intense bombardment on 26 September, British and Australian troops finally managed to take the Menin road with relatively light losses. On 3 October, they also occupied the Polygon Wood, against which many earlier attacks had failed.

In general, these little "bites" created by Plumer made considerable advances and some 10,000 prisoners were taken. German reports recorded episodes of psychological collapse in many of their units due to the intensity of fighting and heavy losses. Ludendorff feared the collapse of the front in Flanders. In those days he wrote: "Day of fierce fighting in which everything seemed to conspire against us. Perhaps we will be able to make up for the loss of ground, but our ability to fight has suffered another hard blow."

In any event, not even a brilliant general like Plumer could change an already compromised situation. The British Supreme Command, still convinced that it could make the landings and emboldened by the successes achieved in the second phase, decided to continue the offensive. On 28 September, Haig wrote in his diary: "The enemy vacillates". From 9-26 October, three waves of British attacks were launched that went on to fail. The front fell back into stalemate. The Germans, though suffering an enormous amount of losses - for the first time greater than those of the British - abandoned their rigid defence strategy and returned to a more elastic one. Mustard gas was again used to repulse the stubborn attacks of the British troops.

The conclusion of the battle began against a bombed-out moonscape. The impassable ground - upon which death came not only from weapons but also from the muddy craters which literally sucked soldiers into them - and the progressive depletion of the troops, brought an end to the battle. The horror of the situation was expressed by an anonymous British headquarters official visiting the infernal scene of the battlefield at Passchendaele: "Good God, did we really send men to fight here?" This utterance reflects not only the psychological but also the physical distance between high-ranking officers - proponents of the offensive - and their subordinates.

 On 4 November, Canadian infantry units finally took Passchendaele, ending the battle. During the last five days of fighting the British lost 130 officers, and more than 2,000 soldiers, while the injured numbered 8,000. German losses were even greater. To date, numerical estimates regarding the "human cost" of Passchendaele are debated. The most reasonable estimates put the numbers of dead, wounded, missing, and captured at 260,000 on each side, for a total of between 500,000 and 600,000 total losses. However, higher estimates that take into account the constant rotation of units at the front, hospital deaths and mild injuries, bring the numbers to more than 400,000 losses per side.

In the end, there was a rather rare instance, in which both sides on the field immediately considered Passchendaele as a failure and a black page in their respective military histories. The battle was undeniably a tactical English success, however, strategically, it was nothing short of a debacle, especially given the great hopes of the British placed on the offensive. In fact, these were only partially satisfied and were not followed by any great breakthroughs, and resulted in a return to the war of attrition that so characterized the Western Front. Even the secondary intent of siphoning off German reserves to give the French breathing space turned out to be just as much of a failed attempt because, in the final tally Passchendaele ended up wearing out and killing off the British troops along a section of the front that the German command did not even consider important. Finally, the British did not grasp the enormous losses and the extent to which the Kaiser's army fell into disarray after the battle. The German High Command - despite the fact that its troops had stemmed the attack - stated that "Germany was close to utter destruction after the battle in Flanders in 1917" and was no longer capable of bearing up against an assault of that size in the West. In any case, the inactivity of the French troops, the route of the Italians at Caporetto, and the collapse of the Russian army would give the Germans the opportunity to reorganize and prepare the Kaiserschlacht for the spring of 1918, which according to the plans would lead the German army to victory before the arrival of American troops.

 

Il consiglio della Reggenza (12 settembre 1917 - 14 novembre 1918)

di Wojciech Łysek

Il 27 ottobre 1917 il Consiglio della Reggenza proclamò: "Ci rendiamo conto che con la stessa mano dobbiamo asciugare le nostre lacrime, curare le ferite, ovviare alla miseria causata dalla guerra attuale (...) Senza differenza di età, stato e confessione, in nome della patria, chiamiamo tutti a sostenere attivamente il Consiglio di Reggenza. Vi invitiamo, popolo della Polonia, a lavorare insieme per l'amata Polonia.

Fondato nel gennaio 1917, il Consiglio Provvisorio di Stato non mantenne le premesse originarie. Non assunse direttamente l'amministrazione del paese e si indebolì in seguito alla crisi degli attivisti sostenitori degli Imperi centrali. Dopo la Crisi del Giuramento (9-11 luglio 1917), il 24 agosto 1917, i membri del Consiglio Provvisorio di Stato si dimisero. Malgrado l'epilogo, uno dei pochi successi ottenuti fu l'idea di istituire un Consiglio della Reggenza, designato come "rappresentante dello Stato polacco". Nell'agosto 1917 fu avanzata la candidatura del conte Adam Tarnowski, aristocratico austro-ungarico e diplomatico di origine polacca, tuttavia i tedeschi erano riluttanti ad accettare questa nomina, considerandolo un candidato poco capace. I Passivisti, cioè i sostenitori della cooperazione con la Russia e, dopo la Rivoluzione di febbraio, anche con l'Intesa, presentarono la candidatura di Józef Świeżyński, attivista della Lega delle Nazioni. Tuttavia, l'11 settembre 1917, accettarono di affidare questa funzione al leader del conservatorismo liberale, Jozef Ostrowski.
In assenza di sostegno della élite politica polacca, gli imperi centrali considerarono la nomina di un re, ma non erano d'accordo sulla definizione del candidato. Gli imperatori di Germania e Austro-Ungheria, il 12 settembre 1917, in un proclama del governatore generale, esprimevano la loro intenzione di creare uno stato polacco, come già indicato nell'atto del 5 novembre 1916. Tre giorni dopo fu emanato un decreto, in cui i sovrani degli imperi centrali garantivano "la costruzione dello stato polacco" sulla base di "quanto era permesso dalla situazione militare". Durante la delicata scelta del monarca, (che in ultima analisi non avvenne mai) il Consiglio della Reggenza, composto dall'arcivescovo Aleksander Kakowski, e dai proprietari terrieri Zdzisław Lubomirski e Józef Ostrowski, si sarebbe riunito nel Castello Reale di Varsavia. Accanto al Consiglio, della reggenza il decreto prevedeva la creazione di una sorta di parlamento, denominato il Consiglio di Stato .
L'arcivescovo Kakowski divenne reggente come continuatore della tradizione che voleva la presenza del primate di Polonia nella fase dell'interregno. Lubomirski agì come coordinatore dirigendo il Comitato Civico (agosto 1914 - settembre 1915) e divenendo sindaco di Varsavia (agosto 1916 - ottobre 1917). Entrambi, insieme a Ostrowski, erano precedentemente legati ai Passivisti tuttavia, dopo la caduta dello Zar, si avvicinarono alla fazione favorevole agli Imperi centrali. La presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri fu affidata Jan Kucharzewski, storico e attivista, il 7 dicembre 1917. Il suo gabinetto comprendeva otto capi di dipartimento. Fu altresì creato il dipartimento degli affari politici, che si occupava anche della politica estera.
Secondo il decreto, il Consiglio della reggenza era l'autorità suprema del Regno di Polonia, anche se le sue funzioni in politica estera dovevano essere esercitate solo dopo la fine dell'occupazione, che sarebbe avvenuta solo dopo il trattato di Brest-Litovsk del 3 marzo 1918 mentre l'emanazione di eventuali leggi doveva essere comunicata al governatore generale, nominato dagli imperi centrali.
Vi erano molti partiti coinvolti nella definizione della composizione del Consiglio di Reggenza. I Passivisti, e soprattutto i democratici, malgrado non volessero essere responsabili delle decisioni degli imperi centrali e temessero che il Consiglio della reggenza diventasse il fulcro del radicalismo sociale, aderirono al Consiglio di Stato. L'Organizzazione militare polacca e il Partito socialista polacco, entrambi associati a Józef Piłsudski, attendevano in disparte senza apparire apertamente al Consiglio. Il 25 ottobre 1918, dopo grandi sforzi, fu formato un governo che avrebbe cercato di influenzare gli eventi in corso. In opposizione al Consiglio, il 15 agosto 1917 a Losanna si insediò il Comitato Nazionale della Polonia, dominato dai Democratici nazionali, che aspirava a diventare l'unico organo rappresentativo del potere politico polacco. Allo stesso modo, i rappresentanti del movimento comunista polacco diedero vita ad iniziative simili.
La cerimonia di insediamento del Consiglio della Reggenza si svolse il 27 ottobre 1917. I suoi membri giurarono su "Dio e la Polonia" che avrebbero "agito in nome del bene comune per la creazione dell'indipendenza della patria".

Il 18 dicembre 1917, il primo ministro Kucharzewski chiese alla Germania e all'Austria-Ungheria l'autorizzazione ad avviare negoziati di pace con la Russia a Brest, in Lituania. Il 9 febbraio 1918, tuttavia, fu annunciato che i colloqui di Brest con il Consiglio centrale dell'Ucraina (Central'na Rada) erano già terminati. Circolarono informazioni circa una clausola segreta per la quale l'Ucraina avrebbe dovuto ricevere la regione storica di Chelm (Chełmszczyzna). Di conseguenza, l'11 febbraio 1918, Kucharzewski si dimise e il 13 febbraio il Consiglio della Reggenza, in un messaggio alla nazione polacca affermò come gli Imperi centrali danneggiassero gli interessi polacchi, in quanto "la regione trasferita all'Ucraina è nella sua maggioranza polacca e cattolica". Questo appello fu un decisivo passo in avanti verso l'emancipazione politica della Polonia, tanto che il Consiglio di stato iniziò la stesura della Costituzione e a l'organizzazione del Senato e della Camera dei Deputati.
Di fronte alla sconfitta della Germania, il 7 ottobre 1918 il Consiglio della Reggenza annunciò "l'istituzione di uno Stato polacco indipendente, sovrano su tutte le terre polacche". Il 12 ottobre 1918, privò il governatore generale Hans von Beselera del comando dell'esercito. I soldati giurarono su Dio fedeltà allo Stato polacco e al Consiglio Reggente “come sostituto temporaneo della futura Polinia". Il 23 ottobre 1918, Józef Świeżyński fu nominato primo ministro.
Il 10 novembre 1918, Piłsudski tornò a Varsavia, ricevendo il comando dell'esercito dal Consiglio della Reggenza. Il 14 novembre 1918, il Consiglio si sciolse, dando pieni poteri politici a Pilsudski. I decreti del Consiglio di Reggenza furono la base per il funzionamento dell'amministrazione centrale della Polonia indipendente.

 

Bibliografia:

Andrzej Ajnenkiel, Formowanie się centralnych ośrodków władzy w Polsce w listopadzie-grudniu 1918 roku [w:] Rok 1918. Odrodzona Polska w nowej Europie, pod red. Andrzeja Ajnenkiela, Warszawa, Wydawnictwo NERITON, Instytut Historii PAN, 1999.

Andrzej Ajnenkiel, Odbudowa państwowości polskiej po pierwszej wojnie światowej, „Państwo i Prawo” 1967, z. 8-9.

Andrzej Chwalba, Historia Polski 1795-1918, Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2000.

Stefan Kieniewicz, Historia Polski 1795-1918, Warszawa, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 1997.

Władysław Kumaniecki, Odbudowa państwowości polskiej. Najważniejsze dokumenty 1912 – styczeń 1924, Warszawa-Kraków, Księgarnia J. Czerneckiego, 1924.

Piotr Mikietyński, Niemiecka droga ku Mitteleuropie. Polityka II Rzeszy wobec Królestwa Polskiego 1914-1916, Kraków, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze „Historia Iagellonica”, 2009.

Janusz Pajewski, Odbudowa państwa polskiego, Warszawa, PWN, 1985.

Mieczysław Pruszyński, Tajemnica Piłsudskiego, Warszawa, Polska Oficyna Wydawnicza „BGW”, 1997.

Zdzisław J. Winnicki, Rada Regencyjna Królestwa Polskiego i jej organy (1917-1918), Wrocław, Wydawnictwo „Wektory”, 1991.

The Regency Council (12 September 1917 - 14 November 1918)

by Wojciech Łysek

On 27 October 1917, the Regency Council proclaimed: "We realize that with the same hand we must dry our tears, treat our wounds and relieve the misery caused by the war being waged (...) We call on everyone, whatever their age, status or confession, in the name of the fatherland, to actively support the Regency Council. We invite you, the people of Poland, to work together for our beloved Poland.

The Provisional Council of State, established in February 1917, did not keep its original promises. It did not take over the running of the country directly and was weakened as a result of the crisis brought about by the activists that supported the Central Powers. After the Oath Crisis (9-11 July 1917), on 24 August 1917, the members of the Provisional Council of State resigned. Despite the way it ended, one of the few successes it achieved was the idea of setting up a Regency Council to "represent the Polish state". In August 1917, Count Adam Tarnowski, an Austro-Hungarian aristocrat and diplomat of Polish descent was put forward as a candidate; the Germans however were reluctant to accept this nomination, considering him inadequate. The Passivists, or those who were in favour of co-operating with Russia and, after the February Revolution, with the Entente as well, proposed the candidature of Józef Świeżyński, an activist for the League of Nations. However, on 11 September 1917, they accepted the leader of liberal conservatism, Jozef Ostrowski, for this role.
With no support from the Polish political élite, the Central Powers considered appointing a king but did not agree on the definition of the candidate. The Emperors of Germany and Austro-Hungary, on 12 September 1917, in a declaration from the Governor General, expressed their intention to create a Polish state, as already indicated in the Act of 5 November 1916. Three days later, a decree was issued in which the Central Power sovereigns guaranteed "the construction of the state of Poland" on the basis of "the extent that the military situation allowed it". During the delicate choice of the monarch, (which in the final analysis was never made) the Regency Council, composed of Archbishop Aleksander Kakowski and the landowners Zdzisław Lubomirski and Józef Ostrowski, allegedly met in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Alongside the Regency Council, the decree provided for the creation of a sort of parliament known as the State Council.
Archbishop Kakowski became regent continuing the tradition of the Primate of Poland being present in the interregnum stage. Zdzislaw Lubomirski acted as co-ordinator running the Civic Committee (August 1914 - September 1915) and becoming the Mayor of Warsaw (August 1916 - October 1917). Both, together with Ostrowski, had been previously linked with the Passivists but after the downfall of the Tsar, moved closer to the faction favourable to the Central Powers. The historian and activist Jan Kucharzewski became President of the Council of Ministers on 7 December 1917. His cabinet comprised eight heads of departments. A department of political affairs was created as well, which also carried out foreign policy.
According to the decree, the Regency Council was the highest authority in the Kingdom of Poland, even though it was only to carry out foreign policy after occupation had ended, which was not until after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on 3 March 1918. The Governor General, appointed by the Central Powers, on the other hand, had to be informed of the issuing of any laws.
There were many parties involved in deciding who would sit on the Regency Council. The Passivists, and the Democrats in particular, joined the State Council although that they did not want to be held responsible for the decisions of the Central Powers and feared that the Regency Council would become a hub for social radicalism. Polish military organisation and the Polish Socialist Party, both associated with Józef Piłsudski, adopted a wait-and-see-attitude and did not feature openly in the Council’s discussions. On 25 October 1918, after huge effort, a government was formed that was to attempt to influence the events unfolding. In opposition to the Council, on 15 August 1917 the Polish National Committee, dominated by the National Democrats, was established in Lausanne and aspired to become the only body to represent Polish political powers. Representatives of the Polish Communist movement set up similar initiatives.
The ceremony for the installation of the Regency Council took place on 27 October 1917. Its members swore on oath to "God and Poland" that they would "act on behalf of the common good to bring about independence for their homeland".

On 18 December 1917, Prime Minister Kucharzewski asked Germany and Austria-Hungary for permission to enter peace negotiations with Russia in Brest, Lithuania. On 9 February 1918, however, it was announced that the talks in Brest with the Central Council of Ukraine (Central'na Rada) had already ended. Information was circulating about a secret clause through which the Ukraine was to acquire the historic region of Chelm (Chełmszczyzna). Consequently, on 11 February 1918, Kucharzewski resigned and on 13 February, the Regency Council, in a message to the Polish nation claimed that the Central Powers were damaging Polish interests, as "in the region transferred to the Ukraine there was a majority of Poles and Catholics". This plea was a decisive step forward towards Poland’s political emancipation, to the point that the State Council started drawing up the Constitution and organising the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Faced with the defeat of Germany, on 7 October 1918, the Regency Council announced "the establishment of an independent state of Poland sovereign over all Polish lands". On 12 October 1918, the Council removed the Governor-General Hans von Beseler from command of the army. The soldiers swore allegiance on God to the Polish state and the Regency Council “as a temporary replacement of future Poland". On 23 October 1918, Józef Świeżyński was appointed Prime Minister.
On 10 November 1918, Piłsudski returned to Warsaw and took over command of the army from the Regency Council. On 14 November 1918, the Council dissolved itself and granted Pilsudski full political powers. The decrees of the Regency Council laid the foundations for the functioning of the central administration of independent Poland.

 

Bibliography:

Andrzej Ajnenkiel, Formowanie się centralnych ośrodków władzy w Polsce w listopadzie-grudniu 1918 roku [w:] Rok 1918. Odrodzona Polska w nowej Europie, pod red. Andrzeja Ajnenkiela, Warszawa, Wydawnictwo NERITON, Instytut Historii PAN, 1999.

Andrzej Ajnenkiel, Odbudowa państwowości polskiej po pierwszej wojnie światowej, „Państwo i Prawo” 1967, z. 8-9.

Andrzej Chwalba, Historia Polski 1795-1918, Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2000.

Stefan Kieniewicz, Historia Polski 1795-1918, Warszawa, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 1997.

Władysław Kumaniecki, Odbudowa państwowości polskiej. Najważniejsze dokumenty 1912 – styczeń 1924, Warszawa-Kraków, Księgarnia J. Czerneckiego, 1924.

Piotr Mikietyński, Niemiecka droga ku Mitteleuropie. Polityka II Rzeszy wobec Królestwa Polskiego 1914-1916, Kraków, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze „Historia Iagellonica”, 2009.

Janusz Pajewski, Odbudowa państwa polskiego, Warszawa, PWN, 1985.

Mieczysław Pruszyński, Tajemnica Piłsudskiego, Warszawa, Polska Oficyna Wydawnicza „BGW”, 1997.

Zdzisław J. Winnicki, Rada Regencyjna Królestwa Polskiego i jej organy (1917-1918), Wrocław, Wydawnictwo „Wektory”, 1991.

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