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Edmund Knoll-Kownacki : biography

July 12, 1891 - September 2, 1953

Gen.bryg. Edmund Stanisław Knoll-Kownacki (1891 – 1953) was a Polish military officer and a high-ranking commander of the Polish Army.


Graduated in December 1924 with a General Headquarters Officer diploma.


Son of Kazimierz and Maria von Eynatten. After his matura exam in 1908 in Kaluga, he continued his education at the Department of Natural Sciences of the Moscow State University. After five semesters he was transferred to the Moscow Agricultural Institute. In the course of his studies he was subjected to compulsory military service for 12 months. He entered the army in September 1912 at the 19th Battery of Horse Artillery in Dubno, after which he passed his officers exam, earning the rank of reserve warrant officer.

In May 1913 he received his diploma in agricultural engineering. He worked for a year as a veterinary inspector in the Central Agriculture Association in Warsaw. Meanwhile, he entered the Rifleman Squads, with the nickname Kownacki. He graduated from the Rifleman Squad School in Nowy Sącz in 1914.


  • Warrant officer – September 15, 1913
  • Lieutenant – May 15, 1915
  • Capitan – November 1, 1916
  • Major – October 13, 1918
  • Colonel – June 1, 1919
  • Brigadier-general – January 15, 1927

World War II

In the battle since 1939; became a prisoner of war and was in detention through 1945 (since 27 April 1942 in Oflag VII-A Murnau).

Polish-Bolshevik War

September 1, 1919 – 1921.

After the war

Freed from imprisonment in 1945, lived in France. After arriving in Great Britain and demobilizing, he settled on a small farm in Wales.

He died on September 2, 1953 and was buried at the Beaumaris cemetery in Llangefni, Wales. He was married to Janina Chramiec, and had a daughter, Maria Barbara.

World War I

On August 6, 1914, at the beginning of World War I, he became a commissioned troop commander in the 2nd Rifleman Battalion. From 13 September he was a member of 1st Uhlan Squadron of Władysława Beliny-Prażmowskiego. From October 1914 he organised and commanded a battery of cavalry (part of 1st artillery regiment), later upgraded to a wing. After the Oath crisis of August 6, 1917 he was interned in a camp at Beniaminów. Granted temporary leave in May 1918 to deal with family matters, he never returned to the camp. On October 25 he was appointed to Polska Siła Zbrojna (Polish Military Force) and assigned to Headquarters of Artillery Inspector. In November he organized the 1st regiment of Legion's field artillery which he commanded on the eastern front.

Honours and awards

  • Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari (1921)
  • Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, previously awarded the Commander's Cross and the Officer's Cross
  • Cross of Independence
  • Cross of Valour (six times)
  • Gold Cross of Merit
  • Commemorative Medal for War 1918-1921
  • 10 Years of Independence medal
  • Military Merit Medal (Austria-Hungary)
  • Commander of the Legion of Honour
  • Order of the Crown of Romania, 2nd class

Category:1891 births Category:1953 deaths Category:People from Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki County Category:Polish generals Category:Polish Rifle Squads members Category:Polish people of World War I Category:Polish military personnel of World War II Category:Polish people of the Polish–Soviet War Category:Moscow State University alumni Category:Commandeurs of the Légion d'honneur Category:Silver Crosses of the Virtuti Militari Category:Recipients of the Cross of Independence Category:Commanders with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta Category:Recipients of the Cross of Valour (Poland) over 5 times Category:Recipients of the Gold Cross of Merit (Poland) Category:Recipients of the Military Merit Medal (Austria-Hungary) Category:Grand Officers of the Order of the Crown (Romania)

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