The reconnaissance detachment was the last unit to leave Ciechanow whence it followed the division to Drazdzewo. On the march having received orders to reconnoiter the flanks of the division, it dispatched the following reconnaissance patrols:
Patrol No. 1: via Zamosc to Makow.
Patrol No. 2: via Sielun to Nozewo.
Patrol No. 3: via Zamosc to Nowa Wies.
Patrol No. 4: via Krasnosielc to Ruciesk.
Patrol No. 5: via Gaczyska to Baranowo.
Patrol No. 1 received instructions togain contact with friendly troops believed to be located in Makow, to reconnoiter the condition of the roads, and then to rejoin the detachment.
The other patrols were ordered to remain at their objectives until further orders.
The rest of the reconnaissance detachment moved from Drazdzewo to Zamosc, arriving at Krasnosielc about 11:00 AM, 3 September, where a destroyed bridge had held up the advance of the division the evening before. Meanwhile the engineers had built an emergency bridge, the approaches of which led across marshy meadows; this bridge presented further difficulty by restricting traffic to one direction. Upon caching Zamosc the reconnaissance detachment received orders to cross the Narew at Sielun, to drive ahead along the east bank of the river and prevent the Poles from destroying the bridge at Rozan. At the same time an attack was strike the weak Polish forces at Rozan (Sketch No. 4).
At 1:00 PM our advance party reached Sielun, where it found the opposite bank of the Narew unoccupied by the enemy. Heavy firing could be heard in the direction of Rozan. The German attack there met with stubborn resistance and it was not until two days later that Rozan fell into our hands.
At Sielun the 2d Motorcycle Company prepared for the river crossing and the heavy machine-gun platoon of the 1st Motorcycle company was designated to cover the crossing. Engineer arrived shortly with collapsible rubber boat and experienced no djfficulty in unloading their equipment at the river bank. The 1st Company (less the five patrols) was sent to reinforce patrol No. 2, when the latter reported the presence of hostile forces at Ostrolenka. Meanwhile the reconnaissance had developed as follows:
Patrol No. 1, on the road to Makow, met a patrol from a friendly infantry division. Halfway to Makow it came upon a Polish tank, opened fire and forced it to withdraw. German troops were reported occupying Makow.
At Nozewo Patrol No. 2 drew some machine-gun fire, as well as mortar and machine-gun fire from the east bank of the Narew. In order to cover the flank of the division against Ostrolenka, the remainder of the 1st Company was sent to Nozewo as reinforcement for Patrol No. 2. Later these elements were relieved by a battalion of infantry.
Patrol No. 3 blew up the railroad tracks at Nowa Wies. When a Polish armored locomotive rolled up from the direction of Ostrolenka, this patrol opened fire with its antitank gun and forced the locomotive to withdraw.
Patrol No. 4 reached Ruciesk without encountering opposition and blew up the railroad tracks there.
Patrol No. 5 found itself opposed by hostile cavalry patrols at Baranowo. In the evening this cavalry and a mob of armed civilians surrounded the patrol and attacked it. However, by employing its light mortar and throwing hand grenades, the German patrol managed to withdraw.
At 1:45 PM the 2d Company (less motorcycles) crossed the Narew and made some progress. After it had covered about a mile, the company came upon a long line of Polish positions at, and south of Chelstic. As the Polish population was participating in the fighting, the Germans set the town afire. At Sielun Polish cavalry was observed approaching Chelstic from the northeast. Our own artillery in position west of Sielun was notified in time to open tire on this cavalry.
Disappointed at the size of the hostile resistance at Rozan, division ordered the 2d Company withdraw to the river at dusk and to cross the west bank under cover of darkness.
The reconnaissance detachment was now placed in reserve at Slawkowo. The difficulty of driving at night without lights was aggravated by the necessity of being required to wear gas masks when a warning was issued at Sielun. Still, the five-mile trip, requiring a full hour, was completed without any noteworthy mishap. At Slawkowo, following a two days rest, the detachment, on 6 September, experienced its first and only bombing raid by a Polish plane. The bombs missed the town by several hundred yards.
After the capture of Rozan the division was divided into several combat groups, with orders to advance on the Polish forces at Ostrolenka and Lomza from the south.
Other forces were directed against the Bug. Although the bridge at Rozan was speedily repaired, it was only wide enough to accomodate traffic in one direction.
The first group of the division crossed to the east bank and continued the march in a northeasterly direction. The reconnaissance detachment was attached to Group “K,” the second group that crossed the bridge. At 3:00 PM we motored out of Slawkowo and at Sielun were joined by the main body of the second group. The movement continued via Ponikiew Mala—Goworowo. The road from Rozan to Ponikiew Mala was littered with tbe remains of a polish column that had been annihilated in a German air raid. The 1st Motorcycle Company took over the security of Goworowo; the remainder of the reconnaissance detachment continued in the direction of Suchcice. Shortly before dark a German reconnaissance plane dropped a message stating that strong hostile cavalry was still occupying the wouds northeast of Rozan. Immediate reconnaissance in that direction, however, wae prevented by the Orz, a stream running parallel to the road. Polish stragglers roamed about tbe country.
The population was in arms. During the disturbance a section of Goworowo and several farm buildings were in flames.
At Suchcice we came upon the reconnaissance detachment of another division: it had marched over the same route and was facing a weak hostile force, Here we slept for a few hours in a ditch beside the road.
The following day the other reconnaissance detachment moved on via Dzwonek. Our detachment sent a motorcycle patrol across the railroad bridge to patrol a few miles to the north, where they failed to locate any enemy present.
In the meantime the 1st Company had returned, and at noon the reconnaissance detachment was attached to Group ‘St.” which was marching on Lomza via Laski —Sokolowo. A major delay was encountered in crossing the Orz at Sokolowo, where the Poles had destroyed the bridge across the stream. Ahout 5 :00 PM we reached Nadbory, where we made a brief halt in the wood southwest of the town.
About this time Group “St.” clashed with some Polish cavalvy in the area north of Nadbory. The concentrated fire of four German batteries forced the cavalry to withdraw to the northeast. The rifle companies of the combat group occupied the high ground north of the Ruz without encountering any resistance. During the night division issued orders to be ready to move to Ostrow Mazowiecka on 10 September. Meanwhile, a German division had crossed the Bug at Brok and was gaining ground to the south. Our division was to be shifted to that locality.
During the previous evening, the reconnaissance detachment, on orders of the Group “St.” had placed its 1st Motorcycle Company along the Ostrow Mazowiecka-Lomza road to cover the right flank. A platoon of the 2d Company was stationed as a security detachment at Ciagaczki. The rest of the reconnaissance detachment was placed in reserve in the area southwest of Nadbory. The left flank of the combat group was secured by another motorcycle company at Piski. South and southwest of Nadbory the batteries, were in position. A tank company (most of its tanks in need of repair and lacking adequate ammunition) stood near the group command post north of Nadbory.
The actions at Nadbory - Brok will follow ASAP. Regards. Tigre.
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.