While Poland did not exist as an independent state during World War I, its geographical position between the fighting powers meant that a lot of fighting occurred on the Polish lands between 1914 and 1918. When the War started, Polish territory was split during the partitions between Austria-Hungary, the German Empire and the Russian Empire, and became the scene of many operations of the Eastern Front of World War I. In the aftermath of the war, following the collapse of the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, Poland became an independent republic.
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