16. Staff of the Ministry of Military Affairs
Our greatest achievement was the establishment, in March 1927, of a completely secret Staff of the Ministry of Military Affairs. The Staff was composed of three sections: (1) Organizational Section; (2) Intelligence; (3) Propaganda. General V. Kushch was appointed Chief of Staff, and I was put in charge of Section one. Gen. V. Zmienko was chief of the 2nd Section and Professor L. Chykalenko of the 3rd. All sections were located in apartments in Warsaw, absolutely unknown to the police, and part of the 2nd Section was somewhere in the eastern border zone. The task of the 1st Section was to prepare the soldiers living in dispersed places to mobilize in one place in the event of a change in the political situation, and to inform them about military affairs and our future needs and possibilities. For this purpose, we had to establish contact not only with groups of soldiers now in civilian status, but even with individual men. We had to prepare mobilization data (mobilization plan and register) considering our position of emigres, organizational data (ranks of individuals, qualifications for jobs), estimate of indispensable arms, technical and material equipment, training material, logistics, etc. For greater secrecy the 1st Section was ostensibly engaged in collection of historical material and its publication, and the tribunes for this were the magazine "Tabor" and a weekly "Tryzub" (Trident) published in Paris under the editorship of Professor Prokopovych.
On May 25, 1926 on a street in the Montmartre section of Paris, the Bolshevik agent Schwartzbart killed the defenseless Simon Petlura with seven bullets. This coincided with the moment of Marshal Pilsudski's accession to power in Poland. From this it is clear that the Bolsheviks had been keeping an eye on Petlura all the time, but he would not hide, in spite of warnings of our Government and of all our older officers. From the comparison of these events one can reach the conclusion that Petlura was a very dangerous enemy of Bolshevism, primarily because he was the symbol of the nation's political aspirations, and the most popular figure in Ukraine. The Bolsheviks obviously hoped that with Petlura's death there would be a complete breakdown among Ukrainian emigres and of national-political aspirations in Ukraine. They were wrong to the extent that they had to resort to action of physical extermination of the resisting population of Ukraine, by means of the artificial famine of 1932-33. They were wrong again because after Petlura's death, a wide network of conspiracy was established in Ukraine under the name "Soyuz Vyzvolennya Ukrainy" (Association for Liberation of Ukraine), composed of the most select group of idealistic Ukrainian intellectuals under the leadership of Academician professor Serhiy Yefremov. Among emigres, political leadership passed according to the Constitution to one of our most eminent political leaders, the late Prime Minister A.M. Livytsky, no less active in continuing efforts in behalf of Ukraine. All Ukrainian emigres rallied around him in the tragic moment, and he was also the representative of the Association for Liberation of Ukraine in the West.
Schwartzbart was tried in Paris in 1927, free on bail furnished by the Bolsheviks. Nearly all our political leaders, under A.M. Livytsky, went from Poland and Czechoslovakia to attend the trial. The French court freed Schwartzbart, and we should remember this.
The leading spirit and direct leader of our political activities in the world, and particularly in Poland and Czechoslovakia was our new President, A.M. Livytsky, a man of high personal culture, boundless energy, huge erudition and initiative, a man who knew how to appraise current political conditions, foresee them, and properly utilize them. A.M. Livytsky activated the UNR Government, bringing into it, in addition to the eminent Minister of Foreign Affairs, professor A. Choulgine, professor R.S. Smal-Stocki as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in direct charge of all diplomatic activities of the Government in Warsaw, the late professor O. Lototsky, the late professor A. Yakovliv, and others. Thanks to President Livytsky, the B.U.D. (Brotherhood of Ukrainian Statehood) broadened its activities, working as the representation of the Association for Liberation of Ukraine in the West.12 I had the honor of being made a member of B.U.D. by the unanimous decision of the members. The B.U.D. functioned as the supreme decisive factor of Ukrainian internal and external emigre politics until the outbreak of World War II, when it was liquidated by the Gestapo.
In August 1927, the Staff of the Ministry of Military Affairs was reorganized. I was made nominal chief of Staff, retaining my position of chief of the 1st Section. Gen. Kushch devoted all his time to the magazine "Tabor," which became a monthly. The 1st Section consisted of several subsections, I headed the subsection of mobilization and organization, Col. A. Kmeta was in charge of training and liaison with "school groups" which were actually mobilization centers; Lt.-Col. 0. Vyhovsky kept statistics and personnel files of our officer corps; Major I. Zvarychuk was secretary of the Section and my assistant. I was a charge of the Section until 1936.
In 1928, we started assigning our officers to foreign armies as contract officers for the purpose of preparing them for senior commanders. Officers were selected during conferences presided over by President A.M. Livytsky and participated in by Generals V. Salsky, V. Kushch, M. Bezruchko, V. Zmienko and myself. We selected people having the best qualifications and relatively young. By 1936 we had assigned fifty-seven officers to the Polish Army in rank from lieutenant to lieutenant-colonel, two officers to the French Army, and one each to the Finnish and Turkish Army. In addition, several officers obtained permission from the Minister of Military Affairs to enroll in private courses for staff officers conducted by General Golovin in Paris. For purposes of secrecy several officers were given aliases. The work and service of those officers was under direct supervision of Gen. Salsky, and all correspondence was handled by the 1st Section. It gives me real satisfaction to state here that the selection of officers was excellent, and, with the exception of two instances, the attitude of the respective foreign commands and their officer-colleagues was the most courteous, particularly in Poland. According to Polish Army regulations, annual reports were issued on officers up for promotion, and those on our officers were so impartial and favorable that I, knowing these men personally, could not have issued any better. Then we also succeeded in getting some of our officers through the Polish High Command and General Staff College, and one of them, Colonel P. Samutyn finished it with exceptionally high grades. On my request, Col. Samutyn was assigned to my Section for three months to help in current work and apply his newly gained knowledge to our Section. Our graduates of the Staff College were assigned to the General Staff. The work of my section, in addition to current matters and handling correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Military Affairs, produced under my direction some results but unfortunately merely of a theoretical nature. Thus, we made a complete re-registration, including all personal and service data, of about 4,000 officers and about 900 non-commissioned officers. We worked out a mobilization plan with mobilization centers and time schedules for assembling our men and gradual retraining. All programs of training were worked out, based on our experience and Polish, French and German manuals, with our own traditional forms of arms and tactical training intact. I personally worked out a manual-of-arms for the infantry and rules for garrison troops, excising from them old and obsolete forms which we had copied from Russian manuals. Drafts of these manuals were sent to all our centers and to experienced officers for their comments, and all their remarks, with the exception of one officer's who had submitted his highly personalized views, were incorporated in the final text. Later I started on a field-service-manual, but this was never finished. The biggest job was classification of all units, (O.D.B.) from a platoon to an infantry division, with all its component parts, artillery, cavalry, armored units, engineers' detachments, liaison, intelligence, and logistics. We calculated all the necessary funds for arms, uniforms, food, and transportation, and figured norms of pay. The complete draft of this classification was about 350 pages long. As far as I can recall, we also planned formation of light, mobile divisions and our plan called for about 400 officers in each division while Soviet and Polish divisions at the time had each over 600 officers.
No lesser work of organization was performed with the so-called "school groups," i.e. concentrations of our former soldiers. I have already noted that through this organization we were able to keep in touch with nearly all soldiers and as far as possible we encouraged them to study military literature. Although the Staff had very modest financial means, we equipped each group with a fair-sized military library, chiefly in Polish and Russian, and we kept replenishing these libraries. The total number of our "school groups" in Poland was above seventy, with several more in Czechoslovakia, Rumania, France, and Belgium. Some groups held periodic meetings encouraged by the Staff, and they discussed what they had been reading. Other groups were less active, this depended mainly on the commanding officers in charge. I visited groups that displayed only paper activities and removed commanders of such groups. A tactical assignment published in "Tabor" evoked a lot of interest, but some officers solved the problem in favor of the "Blue" side without waiting for new developments to be published which would influence the situation.
I succeeded in assembling a large military library for our Staff, and as of the time of my departure from the Staff, it had over 400 volumes by such authors as F. Foch, A. Diaz, M. Kukiel, Fuller, Svechin, Kakurin, Sikorski, Stachiewicz and others, and of course, von Clausewitz. All historical-operational and tactical studies published in Polish were supplied to us by the Historical Bureau free of charge.
As I had noted, our daily work was covered under activities of historical research of our recent past. This was done in the Polish Bureau of Military History, whose chief was General J. Stachiewicz, a man highly esteemed by Polish military circles, and who was a very hard worker in spite of his advanced stage of tuberculosis. He was a real gentleman, highly cultured and of profound military erudition and a retentive memory. A former member of Pilsudski's Legion, General Stachiewicz was completely at home with the Ukrainian problem and I never found it difficult to enlist his support of our work. Our relations were such that shortly before his death he presented me with his portrait, inscribed "To my dear General Shandruk." Staff-Colonel E. Perkowicz was Gen. Stachiewicz's aide. Born in Bila Tserkva in Ukraine near Kiev, he was a true friend of mine and a defender of the Ukrainian cause. He spoke Ukrainian beautifully and had such a command of Ukrainian literature that he could recite from memory Shevchenko's Haydamaky, Kavkaz, Zapovit, and other poems. Due to Gen. Stachiewicz's poor health. Col. Perkowicz discussed many problems with me, and things were all the more easy since he was an experienced field and staff officer. Col. Perkowicz was a man of very strong character and unshaken faith in Ukrainian independence, he preached Ukrainian-Polish friendship and the necessity of an alliance between the two in defense against Moscow. At that time I was preparing for publication my book "The Ukrainian-Muscovite War Documents" edited and published by the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Warsaw, and Col. Perkowicz wrote a special study on the basis of this book. New circumstances existing in 1938, did not permit publication of his work. Subsequently Gen. Stachiewicz's place as chief of the Bureau was taken by Staff-Colonel T. Rakowski, also a fine gentleman and a soldier of great merit. We also had many dealings with the Nationality Division of the Polish General Staff, under direct command of a great gentleman Staff-Colonel T. Pelczynski (later General, Chief of Staff of General T. Bor-Komorowski, Commander of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa or AK) during the late stages of World War II). Lt-Col. Charaszkiewicz was division chief, and in direct charge of our affairs was Capt. W. Guttrie. We also had dealings with Minister Col. T. Schaetzel, and our Government with the well-known Polish leader T. Holowko. I mention these people because they had faith in the Ukrainian cause as compatible with Poland's essential interests and did not falter from the straight path of aiding us in our efforts.
Along the line of civilian contacts which I knew well from reports read at meetings of the Board of B.U.D., we also had real friends in the persons of Senator S. Siedlecki, Senator Colonel Adam I. Koc, former Minister L. Wasilewski, director of the Eastern Institute S. Paprocki, and others. Among the younger Polish generation were such adherents of aid to Ukraine in her liberation struggle as the distinguished newspapermen W. Baczkowski and J. Gedroyc. I had ample opportunity to speak with those leaders and I always found them to be uncompromising in their understanding of our cause. Naturally, we also had not so much enemies among the Poles, as people who simply ignored us or considered us merely as "Ruthenians" i.e. as people without a legitimate claim to nationhood. I mention them and their attitude because during the course of my duties I was able to observe them at close range.
At that time the "Prometheus" organization came into existence, uniting official and community representatives of all emigre groups of nations formerly under Russia which proclaimed their independence in 1917-1918, but were again under the occupation of Moscow. Professor R. Smal-Stocki was permanent chairman of "Prometheus" and he made me a member of its Ukrainian division. Under the excellent leadership of Prof. Smal-Stocki "Prometheus" united within its ranks so many active leaders of Moscow-enslaved nations that Moscow made numerous demands of its liquidation upon the governments of Poland and France, where it was most active. In addition to uniting emigre representatives of about twenty-three nations, "Prometheus" found a way to maintain liaison with underground organizations in their respective homelands. The permanent secretary of "Prometheus" was the very active leader from North-Caucasus, Eng. Mr. Balo Bilarti. After the occupation of Poland, the Germans dispersed "Prometheus" and did the same later in France, but nevertheless it still maintains a representation in the West.
The Polish Bureau of Military History began publication of the Polish Military Encyclopedia in 1934. Its editor was the well-known Polish historian Major Otton Laskowski, and he offered that I take part in composing Ukrainian parts of the Encyclopedia, which I readily accepted. I worked on about eighty articles, of which I mention the most important: Khmelnytsky, Doroshenko, the Battle of Poltava, Cossacks, Konotop, Kuban, Sahaydachny, the Armies of the UNR and UHA, the Chortkiv Offensive, Nyzhniv, Mohyliv Pod., S. Petlura, A. Livytsky, V. Salsky, M. Bezruchko, Yu. Tyutyunyk, etc. All my articles were published in the Encyclopedia without change of my interpretation of facts. The work also served as a cover for my other work.
 B.U.D. – had been organized in 1919-1920 in Kiev.