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Piłsudski, Józef

Piłsudski, Józef (1867–1935) Polish general and statesman, instrumental in securing Poland's independence. During World War I he led Polish forces against Russia, hoping to establish a Polish state. After independence, Pilsudski became head of state. His attempt to create a larger Polish state during the Polish-Soviet War failed, although he inflicted a remarkable defeat on the invading Russians in 1920. He retired in 1923, but seized power again in 1926 and established an authoritarian personal rule that lasted until his death.

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