For centuries, Eastern Europe was a battleground between two Slavic peoples: the Russians and the Poles. More often than not, the more numerous Russians emerged victorious, so much so that Poland was wiped off the map more than once.
However, there was one moment in history when the Poles had a real opportunity to bring their rival and neighbor to its knees. That was at the turn of the 17th century, when Russia was in the throes of political turmoil following the death of Ivan the Terrible, known as the Time of Troubles. Forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied the Kremlin, and the Polish heir to the throne was elected Russian tsar.