May 19, 2018


MAY 19


Russian army invaded Poland.  On May 18,  1792 Russian ambassador to Poland, Yakov Bulgakov, delivered a declaration of war to the Polish Foreign Minister Joachim Chreptowicz. The next day Russian armies entered Poland and Lithuania starting the Polish-Russian War.   Russia felt threatened by the formation of a new alliance between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Prussia, and the creation of a new Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 which instituted liberal reforms. Russia regarded Poland as a de facto protectorate. Alexander Bezborodko, chief author of foreign policy remarked that "The worst possible news have arrived from Warsaw: the Polish king has become almost sovereign"   The Kingdom of Prussia was equally opposed to to the new Polish constitution.  Poland was subjected to yet another partition in 1793 and by 1795 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceased to exist.


Franco-Polish Alliance: The Kasprzycki-Gamelin Convention was signed in Paris. (named after Polish Minister of War Affairs General Tadeusz Kasprzycki and Commander of the French Army Maurice Gamelin). It was a military, and not a state convention and therefore was not in force legally, as it was dependent on signing and ratification of political convention. It obliged both armies to provide help to each other in case of a war with Germany.


New Nazi battleship Bismarck left Gdynia, Poland:  Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power. Bismarck conducted only one offensive operation, in May 1941, code named Rheinübung. Accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, they raided Allied shipping lanes from North America to Great Britain. The two ships were detected several times off Scandinavia, and British naval units were deployed to block their route. The operation eventually ended with the sinking of the HMS Hood, and Bismarck.


Solidarity deputies proposed a no-confidence motion against the government of Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka.  Of the 460 seats in the Polish Sejm (lower House of Parliament) 223 voted against the Suchocka government while 198 supported her, and 24 abstained. (only 445 members were present to vote). The motion of no-confidence passed and President Wałęsa dissolved Parliament.  Suchocka government was criticized for its hard line policy against strikers, though welcoming market reforms. When teachers went on strike demanding an increase in salary Suchocka refused to bargain. Solidarity threatened to call a nationwide general strike if Suchocka's Cabinet didn't fall. If she had been reappointed, there would be no change as she would again have disregarded union demands.

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