It Was Faith Killed the Beast


Saluting a forgotten American hero:


Hollywood mogul Merian C. Cooper, creator, producer, and co-director of the original “King Kong,” was an authentic hero of the August 15, 1920 Battle of Warsaw, which in David and Goliath fashion saved Europe from Communism. Remembered today in its centennial year as the “Miracle on the Vistula River,” the battle eternally links Poland and America in a historic fight against totalitarian revolutionaries.

Following World War I, the map of Europe was radically redrawn. Poland, occupied and dismembered by aggressor nations for more than 100 years, was recreated as an independent nation. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party, having seized control of a demoralized and destabilized Russia in a brazen 1917 coup, marched on Poland in 1919, expecting to sweep across its fragile, uncertain borders and export their Communist revolution to Germany and beyond.

A fighter pilot in World War I, Cooper sought to repay America’s debt to the Polish heroes Tadeusz Kościuszko, Casimir Pulaski, and others who risked their lives fighting for America’s freedom in our Revolutionary War. He recruited nine fellow American aviators and veterans of the Great War to fly with him on Poland’s behalf against the oncoming Bolsheviks. 


Cooper and his Kościuszko Squadron flew over 400 combat missions in the 20-month-long Polish-Soviet War and had a dramatic impact on the miraculous Polish victory. The mission of the Kościuszko Squadron was to prevent the Bolsheviks’ 16,000-strong Cossack cavalry from linking up at Warsaw with more than 100,000 Soviet infantry. The “magnificent ten” succeeded, relentlessly diving out of the sky and scattering the fierce Cossacks so effectively they were eventually forced to retreat.

With the Bolshevik infantry smashed at the gates of Warsaw, Lenin sued for peace, settling instead to build his fanciful utopia within the boundaries of Russia. Diplomat and author Edgar Vincent, First Viscount D’Abernon, called “The Miracle on the Vistula” the 18th-most decisive battle in world history. Had it gone the other way, all of Europe likely would have fallen under the red flag. 

Three American aviators were killed in the heroic campaign. Cooper himself was shot down, captured by the Bolsheviks, and imprisoned in a Soviet prisoner of war camp in Moscow. 


Go here to read the rest.  History, so much more fascinating than any novel.

Published in: on August 24, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on It Was Faith Killed the Beast  
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