Józef Bem (1794-1850)

Polish general, whose leadership skills were appreciated in many countries. His bust stands in the Łazienki gardens.

He learned military art in Cracow, in the Elementary School of Artillery and Engineers. He was involved in the French campaign of 1812 against Russia. In 1813, he was granted the Knight’s Cross of Legion d’Honneur.

During the November Uprising, he became a major and took charge of the 4th Light Cavalry. He was awarded the Virtuti Militari Golden Cross and promoted to colonel for his merits in the Battle of Ostrołęka. In 1831, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. During the defence of Warsaw, he was the leader of artillery.

He participated in the revolutions of 1848 (Spring of Nations). He took charge of an army in Transylvania and defeated the Austrian military several times. In August of 1849, he became the Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian army, and after the fall of the revolution, he left for Turkey. Subsequently – already in Turkey – he formally adopted Islam to be able to join the Sultan’s military. He was interned following the reconciliation of Russia and Turkey. He adopted the name ‘Murat Pasha’ and was appointed General of the Turkish army. He died of malaria in Aleppo. 

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