Edmund Knoll-Kownacki

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Edmund Knoll-Kownacki
Knoll-Kownacki Edmund.jpg
Gen. Knoll-Kownacki in full uniform, 1930's
Born(1891-07-12)July 12, 1891
Pomiechówek near Płońsk, Congress Poland, Russian Empire
DiedSeptember 2, 1953(1953-09-02) (aged 62)
Wales, United Kingdom
Years of service1912
RankGenerał brygady
AwardsVirtuti Militari Polonia Restituta Commander's Cross with Star Polonia Restituta Commander's Cross Polonia Restituta Officer's Cross Krzyz ZaslugiKrzyz Niepodleglosci Star of Romania Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous 10 Years of Independence medal Commemorative medal for the war of 1918-1921
Other workfarmer

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


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 nom de guerre Kownacki, he graduated from the Rifleman Squad School in Nowy Sącz in 1914.

World War I[edit]

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 horse artillery (part of Legion 1st artillery regiment), later upgraded to a wing. After the Oath crisis of August 6, 1917 he was interned by Germans 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.

Polish-Bolshevik War[edit]

In 1919 organized and commanded Junior Officers  Artillery School in Poznan.  At the sam time he concluded his  studies in the General Staff Artillery Study Center in Warsaw. During the  Polish-Soviet war he was commanding Legion’s  First Field Artillery Brigade, assuming later command of Legion’s 1st Infantry Brigade. For his valour in the battlefield, he was awarded Virtuti Military Cross (number 176) in 1921.


Completed studies at Ecole Supérieure de Guerre in Pari, 1924. Received diploma of Polish General Staff Officer in 1925, the rank of brig. general in 1927 at the age of 36 and assumed command of the 13th Infantry Division and garrison in Rowne.

World War II[edit]

He led an ops group that belonged to the Poznań Army, his ops group led the counterattack during the Battle of Bzura. After the defeat, he led elements of his ops group to Warsaw. After the capitulation of Warsaw, he became a prisoner of war and was in detention through 1945 (from 27 April 1942 in Oflag VII-A Murnau).

After the war[edit]

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.


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

Honours and awards[edit]