Rovno Operation of 1920

Rovno Operation of 1920


an offensive operation by Soviet forces of the Southwestern Front against Polish forces near the city of Rovno from June 28 to July 11 during the Soviet-Polish War of 1920.

After their defeat in the Korosten’ and Novograd-Volynskii regions and east of Vinnitsa, the Polish forces, including the Second, Third, and Sixth armies, made an attempt to halt the forces of the Southwestern Front on the Proskurov-Rovno-Sarny line. The command of the Southwestern Front (commander A. I. Egorov; members of the Revolutionary Military Council J. V. Stalin and R. I. Berzin) decided to strike with the First Horse Cavalry Army in coordination with forces of the Twelfth and Fourteenth armies in the general direction of Rovno to break up the Polish forces in the Ukraine, driving the northern group back to the Poles’e and the southern group into Rumania.

On June 28, Soviet forces launched the offensive. The First Horse Cavalry Army (about 17,500 infantry and cavalry) began the battle for Rovno on July 2, circling the city on the south and southwest. The Polish Second Army (about 14,000 infantry and cavalry) attempted to halt the attack by counterstrikes against the First Horse Cavalry Army with the forces of an assault group coming from the south (the 18th Infantry Division, the 10th Infantry Brigade, and a uhlan regiment) and the 6th Infantry Division supported by armored trains and tanks coming from the north. The forces of the First Horse Cavalry Army, however, forestalled the enemy and took the city of Rovno on July 4. In subsequent days the enemy introduced the 1st Division of Legionnaires into the battle from the north and the 16th Infantry Division from the south. On July 9 the northern strike force was able to break into Rovno, but on the morning of July 10, Soviet forces again liberated the city. Pursuing the withdrawing enemy, advance units of the First Horse Cavalry Army reached the Ikva River by late July 11.

As a result of the Rovno Operation of 1920, favorable conditions were established for an offensive against Lublin and for delivering a strike against the flank of the Polish armies, which had retreated under the onslaught of the forces of the Western Front.