Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

German unit histories, lineages, OoBs, ToEs, commanders, fieldpost numbers, organization, etc.

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Hans
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Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:15 pm

Is anyone able to tell me which Poznan [Posen] based units were facing the Russians in 1939?
Thanks in advance.

- Hans
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Njorl » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:09 pm

Hallo Hans,

What do you mean by "facing the Russians in 1939"? Do you mean fighting Soviets after 17th September 1939? And do you mean units based in Poznań/Posen only, or whole DOK VII (Dowództwo Okręgu Korpusu Nr VII, Corps Area Command Nr 7) with its headquarter in Poznań/Posen?

KOP (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza, Border Defence Corps) units were screening the Polish-Soviet border in September 1939, but they were not Poznań-based.

It would help if you gave some background for your question.

Regards
MJU
"Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you" W. Blake, Proverbs of Hell

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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:01 pm

Hi MJU,
You have already given me part of the answer. The reason for my question is that my Polish step-father [deceased] was taken prisoner by the Russians in September 1939, later exchanged to Germany. He was born in Nadnia, and the only information I have is that he served as an Infantrist, in the 6th Batallion [this from German POW records]. As there were no doubt many 6th Btls., I assume rightly or wrongly that it most probanly was a Poznan based unit, in view of the fact that he lived close to Poznan. Father hardly ever spoke about the war, and I suppose, like other kids I was not all that interested when he did. Now of course when I am interested it's to late to ask. At the back of my mind I recall that he was in a Border Protection Regiment which I again supposed to be based in or near Poznan. It seems from your information that my supposition is wrong.

Kind regards,
- Hans
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Njorl » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:02 pm

Hallo Hans

KOP units were meant to protect Polish-Soviet border (borders with other neighbouring countries were protected by Border Guard) and its members were rather carefully picked from regular military units (not drafted directly to KOP). Serving in a KOP unit was regarded as an honour as they were often regarded as elite units.

KOP units were not raised on the same territorial basis as regular units. They served in the East, so their composition was important - it had to be more 'trustworthy/reliable' and should have no connection to local society. So more soldiers from western regions/voivodeships of Poland served in KOP.

This 6th battalion may lead to a bit different conclusion thou. After mobilisation, the personnel that was left was organized into replacement/surplus units (eg. OZ - Ośrodek Zapasowy) that were sent to eastern regions of Poland. Regular regiment had only 3 battalions (I, II, III), and all other numbered ie. IV, V, VI were 'extra' ones - they could be created from these replacement/surplus units.

In my opinion (of course I may be wrong) it is more probable that your stepfather was in such surplus/replacement unit than in KOP. The fact that he came back from Soviet captivity is important. It is reported that KOP guards did not have easy life with Soviets...

What do the German records exactly say about this "6th Batallion"?

Regards
MJU
"Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you" W. Blake, Proverbs of Hell

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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Hi MJU,
Thank you for your, to me valuable information.
The only information apart from personal information and PoW No. and Stalag No. & place from German records is as follows:
poln. Dienstgrad: Infantrist
poln. Truppenteil: 6. Btl.

As you can see it's not much to go on.

Do you have any information as to where i could write to in Poland to get more information? The relatives in Poland can't help as father's generation has died out.

Regards,
- Hans
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by tobysr » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:22 pm

This is an area I would like to explore as well. My father lived in the west of Poland on the old border between Poland and Germany. He was sent from the west of Poland, he wasn't a regular soldier, and sent to the Eastern front to fight the Soviets. He was captured on the first day of the campaign and ended up as a Soviet POW and then exchanged with other Polish POWs and sent to Germany. I cannot find out how to access any records prior to him being sent to the Stalag in Nurnberg. The International Tracing Service (ITS). Have provided some basic information about his POW time in Germany, but I cannot find out where to get information about his Polish service and his time as a Soviet POW. If anyone has a lead so that I have a direction to go in with this I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:38 pm

Yo Bro.,

Dad was captured on the 3rd day. :beer:

PS. The Russkies won't play ball.
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:06 pm

Hi MJU,

New information received from WAS[t] today states that my step father served in 6.Batal. K.O.P.
Again thanks for your earlier assistance.

- Hans
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Njorl » Sat May 12, 2012 12:28 pm

Hello Hans,

Interesting information.

This "6.Batal. K.O.P." can be Batalion KOP "Iwieniec" [KOP Battalion "Iwieniec"] (created as 6 Batalion Graniczny,[Border Battalion] later renamed to 6 Batalion Graniczny "Iwieniec").

Please see HERE for additional information in Polish.

Most relevant information from above source would be that:
- between Sept. 4. and 6. 1939, the battalion mobilised (in 2nd wave of general mobilisation) III batalion 207 Pułku Piechoty (Rezerwowego) [III battalion of 207 Infantry Regiment (Reserve)]; it was commanded by Major Jan Styliński; it took part in defence of Lwów [Lviv, Lemberg] as a part of 35 Infantry Division,

- when mobilisation of III/207 pp has been completed, new reservists were pressed into its ranks and the battalion was recreated; the battalion has been subordinated to commander of Pułk KOP "Wilejka" [KOP Regiment "Wilejka"]; OdeB of recreated Batalion KOP "Iwieniec": battalion's headquarters, reserve company, HMG company, signal platoon, 1 Kompania "Żebrowszczyzna" with reserve platoon and 3 sentry posts/watchtowers: "Zagajno", "Wołma" and "Joachimowo", 2 Kompania "Raków"with reserve platoon and 2 sentry posts/watchtowers: "Kuczkuny" i "Pomorszczyzna"; 17.09.1939, after Soviet invasion, the Batalion KOP "Iwieniec" took part in several-hours-lasting fights with units of Soviet 6th Cavalry Division, as a aresult of which the battalion was destroyed; kapitan Edward Michał Nowrat - battalion's commander - and his deputy were shot/executed on the spot after they surrendered their battalion south of Lida; one of battalion's bigger fights was held against Soviet 145th Cavalry Regiment in area of Żukowo-Borek village at Niemen river.

Now, if your Dad was captured on 3rd day - this would mean September 20th - then it would be too early for surrendering Lwów to Soviets (22.09.1939), and too late for border fights. More in-depth investigation is needed :wink:

Regards
MJU
"Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you" W. Blake, Proverbs of Hell

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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Hans » Sat May 12, 2012 5:22 pm

Hi MJU,
Great information & certainly helps in piecing together fathers history. Certainly grateful for your valuable input. As always there remain gaps but every little bit helps.

- Hans
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Re: Polish Units on the Eastern Front 1939

Post by Njorl » Sun May 13, 2012 12:37 am

Hello Hans,

In Szczecin there is Museum of Polish Border Formations and Archive of Border Guards:

ARCHIWUM STRAŻY GRANICZNEJ
BIURO OCHRONY INFORMACJI NIEJAWNYCH
UL. ŻOŁNIERSKA 4
71-141 SZCZECIN
e-mail: [email protected]

I've read that they have some (1000+ units) archival documents created by KOP units - including KOP battalions. Maybe it's worth contacting them.

Regards,
MJU
"Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you" W. Blake, Proverbs of Hell

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