Full Name: Józef Klemens Piłsudski
Profession: Statesman and First Marshall
Why Famous: Józef Piłsudski is regarded as one of the fathers of the modern Polish state. As a young man he was sent to Siberia for five years by the Russians, on his return he joined and became leader of Poland's Socialist Party.
Predicting WWI he organised Polish military units and fought against Russian forces for the Austro-Hungarian side. After the independence of Poland in 1916 he resisted German control and on his return from imprisonment was elected head of state and commander in chief of the Polish army.
After battles against the Russian Red Army to preserve Polish boundaries, Piłsudski handed over power to a democratic government in 1922 before seizing power back again in 1926 during a period of crisis. Refusing the office of President he ruled as the country's de facto leader until his death.
- 1918-11-10 Independence of Poland proclaimed by Józef Piłsudski
- 1918-11-22 Marshal Józef Piłsudski becomes 1st President (dictator) of Poland
- 1920-08-15 Polish troops commanded by Józef Piłsudski defeat the Soviets at the Battle of Warsaw (Miracle upon the Vistula)
- 1922-12-01 Polish state Chief Marshal Józef Piłsudski resigns
- 1926-05-12 General Józef Piłsudski returns to power in Poland after coup d'état against the Witos regime