Fights for the Ferdinand Barracks

The Barracks main building in 1863.

On the eve of the First World War, two divisions of the 11th regiment of field howitzers and the 11th division of heavy howitzers were accommodated in these barracks, built during the reign of Emperor Ferdinand I. In the end of October 1918, the barracks were used by various units of the Austro-Hungarian army.

According to the plans of the November uprising, the barracks were to be occupied by the squads of the 30th battalion of field riflemen (56 % of its personnel were Ukrainians, some were located in the place already) and by artillerymen. According to the memoirs of senior lieutenant Ivan Rudnytskyi, the 15th infantry regiment was later renamed the Prince Lev Regiment, to which 50 soldiers with a machine gun were attached. The commandant of the Ukrainian garrison became senior lieutenant of the 30th battalion of field riflemen Severyn Kozak.

On November 3, the first Polish offensive toward the center of the city began in the vicinity of Gródecka and Janowska streets. The offensive met with an organized armed rebuff on the part of the Ukrainian garrison deployed in the Ferdinand barracks. On the following day, a counteroffensive by the Ukrainian forces from the Ferdinand barracks and the police barracks (Kazimierzowska, now Horodotska street 24/26) started under the command of reserve lieutenant Mykola Ziniuk. His squad liberated the houses at the beginning of Janowska street and helped the squad of the USR lieutenant Vasyl Klym to capture the Stracenia mount and to repel several Polish counterattacks. Subsequently, the Ukrainian military had to leave these positions.

In the next two days the situation of the garrison became worse, the Polish forces surrounded the barracks again. The defenders ran out of ammunition and food, there was no water supply, there were killed and wounded. Subsequently, the high command sent reinforcements. 20 people of the Sich Riflemen, with a machine gun and a mortar, broke through the siege and into the barracks. Subsequent fighting took place in a kind of front line, which was held until November 21. Despite the use of artillery, the sewer explosion and non-compliance with the ceasefire, the Poles failed to capture the object.

On November 21, the withdrawal of the Ukrainian armed forces from Lviv began. The Ukrainian garrison managed to leave the Ferdinand barracks unnoticed.

Fights for the Ferdinand Barracks

The Barracks main building in 1863.
View of the city from the Stracenia Mount, 1920s
Memorial to executed Wiśniowski and Kapusciński on the Stracenia Mount
Destruction of the Barracks. Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
Destruction of the Barracks. The main building as seen from the rear side. Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
Destroyed barracks. On the background, the residential buildings on Janowska street (today Shevchenka)