The Front Line

A Ukrainian soldier on pl. Rynok. Photo from the collection of Stepan Hayduchok.

The line of the Ukrainian-Polish confrontation began to form at the end of 1 November 1918. This was due to the lack of Ukrainian military forces in the city. The newly formed Ukrainian authorities disposed a little more than 2 thousand servicemen in a city with over 200 thousand inhabitants. The Ukrainians failed to take control of all strategic points and to prevent the organization of Polish resistance. To a certain extent, the Ukrainians were favoured by the fact that the Polish forces were initially scattered and divided because of their political convictions. At first this led to the emergence of two separate centers of the uprising: in the Henryk Sienkiewicz school, under the command of captain Zdzisław Trześniowski, and in the House of Technicians, led by Ludwik Wasilewski.

The lack of military control by the Ukrainian authorities pushed the Poles to take active action. Already on 1-2 November 1918 they controlled the upper part of Horodotska street, the military airfield at Levandivka, the railway station vicinities (around the church of St. Elizabeth), the Novy Svit and Vulka districts, and the sector stretching toward Stryi.

In the north of Lviv, in the area of ​​Zamarstyniv, the Polish forces seized the neighbourhood of the city's slaughterhouse; in the northwest sector they fought for the city gas station, the House of the Invalids and the Strachennia Mount. Thus, the Polish forces gradually took Lviv in a semi-circle. The fierce fights for the main railway station (11 November 1918) and attempts to attack the center of the city of Lviv (4-9 November 1918) turned the events into a positional war. It was at that time that the main line of confrontation was formed, which almost did not change in the center, moving in different directions only on the flanks. Five main lines of confrontation were formed. From the Polish side they were as follows:

I — House of Technicians (from Potockiego street to Lenartowicza and Pełczyńska streets);

II — Church of St. Mary Magdalen (from Pełczyńska, Lenartowicza, Nowy Świat streets to Karpińskiego and Mickiewicza streets);

III — Konarski school (from Karpińskiego and Mickiewicza streets with the Directorate of Railways to the line formed by Na Blonie street, with Bema, Góra Stracenia and Lwa Sapiegi streets);

IV — Main Railway Station (from Na Blonie street to the upper part of Horodotska street);

V — Sienkiewicz School (from Horodotska street, the Bilczewskiego square and Lwa Sapiegi street to Potockiego street).

Later, the sixth section was added: the territory of the Klepariv and Zamarstyniv districts.

On the Ukrainian side, the confrontation line was divided into five groups:

I — Lychakiv and Stryi suburbs, Persenkivka, barracks of the 15th infantry regiment on Jabłonowskiego and Ziblikiewicza streets;

II — Citadel, Ossolineum, Main Post Office (later the row of townhouses in front of it);

III — Provincial Sejm, National Bank, the Austro-Hungarian Bank (later the Gołuchowski Palace, from Sykstuska street to Kazimierzowska street);

IV — Ferdinand barracks, police barracks, barracks on Misjonarska street;

V — Pidzamche.

Separately, there were artillery positions at the Vysoky Zamok (High Castle).

The Front Line

A Ukrainian soldier on pl. Rynok. Photo from the collection of Stepan Hayduchok.
Henryk Sienkiewicz school. Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
Zdzisław Trześniowski ("Tatar"), commandant at the Sienkiewicz school (1-2 November), and later of Mary Magdalene school. Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
Weapons stored at the Sienkiewicz school. Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
"Dom techników" (Technician's House). Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
Fights in the Jesuit Garden (now Ivan Franko park). Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930
'A Polish  the Jesuit garden (now Ivan Franko park). Source: Semper Fidelis, 1930