Stefan Dąb-Biernacki (7 January 1890, Gnojno - 9 February 1959, London) was a Polish general.
Members of the Polish Legions in World War I, fought in the Polish-Soviet War commanding regiments and later 1DPLeg. Has distinguished himself during the retreat from Ukraine, and battles in 1920 on Vistula and Niemen, receiving Virtuti Militari medal, but was also criticized by some for overly risky strategies resulting in heavy casualties.
Commander of 1DPLeg until 1926, worked with GISZ until 1930, later an inspector of the army. In 1931 he caused controversy by ordering one of his political opponents, journalist Stanisław Cywiński, assaulted and demanded his imprisonment in Detention Camp Bereza Kartuska.
In Polish Defensive War of 1939 commander of Army Prusy and later of the Northern Front. After the defeat at battle of Tomaszów Lubelski managed to evacuate to France through Hungary. Criticized for his actions; particularly abandoning his units during retreat beyond Vistula; in 1940 he was forced to retire. Spent the rest of his life in London. Some historians do believe that the "abandonment" version of his resigntion is false; by ordering a lower—ranking general, General Skwarczynski, to sign the surrender, he allowed for the officers and enlisted men from units not under General Przedrzymirski's direct command to escape imprisonment, and possibly saved their lives.
Honours and awards
- Knight's Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari (previously awarded the Gold Cross and Silver Cross)
- Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
- Cross of Independence
- Cross of Valour (four times)
- Gold Cross of Merit
- Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France)
- Order of Lāčplēsis (Latvia)
- Officer's badge "Parasol"
- Janusz Odziemkowski, Leksykon Wojny Polsko-Rosyjskiej 1919-1920, Oficyna Wydawnica RYTM, 2004, ISBN 83-7399-096-8, p. 220
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