During the 1905 Revolution in Russia and the Kingdom of Poland activists of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) decided to create a militant wing to conduct an armed campaign against Tsarist Russia. The militants were to be trained in a camp located in Galicia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Within a few months the socialists and their sympathizers in Cracow followed up this initiative by starting a training centre in their city. The instructors used standard military handbooks (mostly those that were in use in the armies of Poland's partitioning powers) as well as manuals they wrote themselves. The practical part of the training included shooting, use of explosives, and courses in sabotage (ie. disruption of enemy communication lines and transport routes). Formally, the training centre was commanded by Wladyslaw Jaxa-Rozen; in fact, command and coordination was in the hands of Józef Pilsudski, a fugitive who escaped from a Russian prison in 1901. The course, which lasted a few weeks, ended in a final exam. Afterwards, the participants were dispatched to the Kingdom of Poland where they were to serve as instructors of local combat groups. The Cracow base gradually transformed itself from a fast-track camp for anti-Russian militants into a centre of The Riflemen's Association, a paramilitary organization of the Polish independence-oriented left.
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