Drama in Szczekociny 1939.

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Drama in Szczekociny 1939.

Post by tigre » Wed Jun 08, 2022 11:39 am

Hello to all :D; something on the subject.............................

Drama in Szczekociny -September 1939.

Szczekociny was in the line of the main enemy attack, which was the 10th Army (General W. von Reichenau) of Army Group South (Colonel General G. von Rundstedt). The straight-line distance of Szczekociny from the borders of the German Reich was only 70 km. The city's location on the weaker northern flank of the "Kraków" Army (Brigadier General Antoni Szylling) weakened its defensive position. Another unfavorable fact was the lack of army reserves and fortifications prepared in time. It should be noted at this point that in the defense plan of Poland, the most important role was played by the "Krakow" Army, the so-called "Hinge". Their goal was to block enemy troops until the remaining armies withdrew to the Vistula-Narew defense line. The concept of an encirclement from two directions had been developed in the German general staffs: East Prussia and the Silesia-Częstochowa region towards central Poland. Most of the Polish army was to be surrounded, with a cut off retreat beyond the Vistula and the San. The area east of the Saint-Vistula-Narew line was to be occupied by the Red Army in accordance with a secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939.

On the night of August 19-20, 1939, the 2. Le. Div left his peace garrison, the motorized march continued through Zwickau-Annaberg-Komotau-Brüx-Dux towards Teplitz-Schonau; the Pz Abt 66 was transported by rail. In the second week of August it occupied a staging area in the Groß Strehlitz area. For its part, the 3. Le Div was on the march towards the Polish border as of August 20, 1939. First, it followed the Autobahn to Forst, to reach Liegnitz, in Military District VIII. From there it went along country roads to the outskirts of Jauer, also Military District VIII. On the afternoon of August 23, 1939, the division continued towards the border. It went southeast through Jauer, Striegau, Schweidnitz and Reichenbach. On the afternoon of August 25, 1939, the orders for the Fall Weiss were received. The direction of march was now changed to the east. The Oder was crossed south of Oppeln near Krappitz. The 5./ KSR 8 arrived at Guttenberg and went to a school around 10:00. This Squadron, commanded by Rittmeister Freiherr von Wolff (later awarded the Knight's Cross), advanced around 8:00 p.m. to take up a reserve position through Zochwald to the border. Squadrons from KSR 9 advanced to the border deployment overnight. Around 02:00 hours on August 26, 1939, the regiments were ordered to fall back. They then moved back about 60 kilometers to the west and settled in the Proskau area.

On the night of August 31, 1939, the closest Polish Army unit to Szczekociny was the Krakow Cavalry Brigade (BK) commanded by Brig. Zygmunt Piasecki, deployed on the Warta River, mainly near the town of Woźniki (55 km). On the border, near the town of Kalety and further north near Koszęcin, the 3rd pułk ułanów (lancers regiment) of the cavalry brigade, the "Lubliniec" National Defense Battalion, an armored squadron, units of the Border Protection Corps (KOP) and a squadron of cyclists. Across the border, the German 2. Le. Div (Generalleutnant G. Stumme) was ready. Apart from the tanks, the light division had several dozen armored vehicles and artillery of various calibers, from grenade launchers and mortars to howitzers. The disproportion of forces between the Polish cavalry brigade and the German light division was enormous in terms of equipment and personnel. Cavalrymen partially made up for this difference in bravery, unit mobility, and knowledge of the terrain. Unfortunately, they were practically defenseless against bombing aircraft. Ground-based anti-aircraft defense was ineffective and the few aircraft owned were obsolete and slower than the German ones (except for Łoś bombers).

The second Polish unit near Szczekociny was the 7th Infantry Division (DP) commanded by Brigadier General Janusz Gąsiorowski. The major had been released from the hospital at his own request, having returned to the division just hours before the war broke out after several operations. Not being well versed in the latest preparations of his unit, he had great difficulty commanding it and the burden of managing the division fell to his deputy, Colonel Dipl. Kazimierz Janicki. Spread out on too long a front (about 40 km) on the outskirts of Częstochowa, this unit was a weak obstacle, especially for the armored forces. The regulation defensive front of the infantry division in the Polish army was 7-8 km. There was a gap between the BK Kraków and the 7th Infantry Division and the two units had no direct contact with each other.

The lack of divisional cavalry due to late mobilizations and unfinished fortifications (12 combat bunkers compared to 61 planned), as well as the extension of some units to the very border weakened the defense force of the 7th Division. Meanwhile, its main task was to act as a retarding and protective effect. Only in the creators' minds did the plan work well. In fact, the 7th DP was alone and lost in the overwhelming advantage of the enemy. According to the eminent General Kazimierz Sosnkowski (initially removed from defensive actions), the road to Kielce and Radom was by no means assured.

Unfortunately, the general was right. The Germans skilfully exploited the weakness of the Polish defense lines in this area by deploying powerful fists: the XVI Motorized Corps (General E. Hoepner) with the 1st and 4th Armored Divisions, and the XV Light Corps (Gen. H. Hoth ) along with selected infantry divisions. As a result, Szczekociny found itself near the most dangerous section of the entire Polish front. In the last days of August, the Polish command erred in announcing two general mobilizations, causing delay and chaos. At the end of the month, the mobilization was carried out by 66% and the concentration by 45%. The lack of transportation also affected the Polish concentration, which on September 1 was not even 50% carried out.

For the "Krakow" army, practically this meant having no reserves. The breach of the front line on its northern wing opened the way for the Germans to the Świętokrzyskie mountains, Warsaw and the Vistula. With optimistic propaganda in the press and posters plastered ("Strong, Compact, Ready", "We will not surrender to our attacker, we will win", etc.), it is difficult to suppose that the inhabitants of Szczekociny were aware of the real threat of war in July. People deluded themselves into thinking that Hitler was lying, that he was just scaring with war, and that he was basically talking about Danzig and the so-called "Corridor" in Pomerania. Only in the last days of August, after the mobilization order, did the illusions of peace burst like a soap bubble. In society, however, one did not feel the horror of the situation, but the excitement and curiosity. The population massively bought food products and listened to bad news on the radio. Overall, optimism and a sense of ultimate victory prevailed, as they had the help of strong allies.

Sources: https://historiaszczekocin.pl/dzieje-sz ... -1939-roku
https://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gl ... 3leD-R.htm
http://obronanarodowa1939.pl/bataliony- ... iniec.html
http://www.jura-pilica.com/?wrzesien-1939,379
http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/photos/ ... /2lei1.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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The 2. Le Div on the way to the Polish border taking advantage of the motorway network...............
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Drama in Szczekociny 1939.

Post by tigre » Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:51 pm

Hello to all :D; something on the subject.............................

Drama in Szczekociny -September 1939.

The Battalion ON "Lubliniec".

The Battalion ON "Lubliniec" (in some studies known as the Battalion ON "Kosięcin") was formed in May 1939 as part of the Sieradzka Brigade of National Defense (ON) on the basis of Military Training District No. 174. The unit supplying the battalion was the Lubliniec 74th Infantry Regiment. The battalion command was located in Lubliniec, the special subunits and the 1st company were stationed in Woźniki, the 2nd company in Kosięcin (Koszęcin), and the 3rd company in Kamienica Polska. Major Franciszek Żak was the battalion commander. On August 24, the soldiers took up defensive positions in the Koszęcin area. Shortly before the outbreak of war, the battalion was attached to the 3rd Uhlans Regiment of the Cracow Cavalry Brigade of the "Crakow" Army. Brigade Commander Brigadier General Zygmunt Piasecki reinforced the battalion with a heavy machine gun platoon.

3. Leichte Division.

On the afternoon of August 31, 1939, the units returned to the border. The division formed two combat groups (kampfgruppe) for the next few days. The Commander of KSR 9 (Oberst Wilhelm Dietrich von Ditfurth) commanded the division's left Kampfgruppe. The I. Abteilung of the regiment, under Oberstleutnant Crisolli, together with the I. Abteilung of the 80th Artillery Regiment, under Maj. Wenghoffer, and the IV/68 Frontier Guard Battalion formed the 2nd Kampfgruppe and took up positions in the Dramatal - Larischhof area. When war broke out, the Kampfgruppe should simulate a stronger opponent in order to lure the enemy and release the 2. Light Division. Our own division would follow as the second wave behind the 2. Light Division.

First day of war.

On the morning of September 1, between 04:45 and 05:45, German troops, largely armored and motorized, moved towards the border throughout the "Krakow" Army sector. The ground forces were supported by the Luftwaffe, dropping high-explosive and incendiary bombs and firing machine guns at people working in the fields with impunity and then fled east.

The front line was marked by fire and smoke from villages burned by the aggressor. On the first day of the war, German planes appeared over Szczekociny. They did not cause losses when flying to targets located east of the city, ie. in the Tunnel, Kielce Radom. There were also sounds of artillery fire from the west and northwest. The population began to leave the city to seek refuge in the nearby towns and forests. The inhabitants knew nothing or very little about the situation on the border, and it was fragmentary, unverified information, usually rumours.

In the northernmost wing of the "Krakow" Army, which consisted of the isolated Polish 7th Infantry Division and the Krakow Cavalry Brigade, 6 large units, including 2 armored and 2 light divisions, with a total of about 1000 tanks and armored vehicles. attacked. Immediately at dawn, in the direction of Woźniki, defended by the Cracow Cavalry Brigade, the 2. Light Division advanced from Tworóg to Kalety, and further back the 3. Light Division (Generalmajor A. Kuntzen).

Sources: https://historiaszczekocin.pl/dzieje-sz ... -1939-roku
https://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gl ... 3leD-R.htm
http://obronanarodowa1939.pl/bataliony- ... iniec.html
http://www.jura-pilica.com/?wrzesien-1939,379
http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/photos/ ... /2lei1.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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The 2. Le Div finds the first obstacles that are cleared by the sappers.....................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Drama in Szczekociny 1939.

Post by tigre » Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:13 pm

Hello to all :D; something on the subject.............................

Drama in Szczekociny -September 1939.

First day of war.

At 04:45 hours the front line regiments of the 2. Le Div, KSR 6 and KSR 7, crossed the border at Stahlhammer and Seifersdorf and advanced towards Koszęcin (10 km east of the border) with the support of Pz Abt 66. Towards evening the Aufkl. Regt 7, after taking Kosieglowy, reached the Warta. In the south of the attack sector, the Pz Abt 66 attacked Woźniki.

Both light units operated north towards Koszęcin. A total of about 180 tanks (*) participated in the German attack. The Germans easily crossed the shallow Mała Pane River. The town of Kalety, the key point of the Świerklanie forests, was lost at 08:00 hours to the overwhelming forces of the 2. Light Division. On the fifteen kilometer line of operation of the BK "Krakow", the enemy's advances were delayed by the strenuous effort of the incomplete 3rd Uhlans Regiment (Colonel Cz. Chmielewski) with the National Defense Battalion "Lubliniec" (Major F. Żak) and an armored squadron. Between 08:00 and 09:00 hours the battalion was forced to leave Koszęcin by a heavy armored attack by the 2. Light Division. The soldiers' retreat was covered by the 2nd Battalion of the Polish 74th Infantry Regiment and a platoon of light artillery from the 7th pal. The soldiers withdrew in two groups: one from Koszęcin along the road through the Lipowiec - Łazy - Babienica forest, and the other from the Koszęcin-Piasek area along the edge of the forest through Prąd and beyond Psary. Under pressure from the 2. Le Div, the Kraków Cavalry Brigade fell back on Woźniki at 08:30 hours. Most of the brigade occupied the main position: Woźniki-Ligota Woźnicka-Rudnik Mały. In the evening the brigade repelled another attack by the German 2. Le Div.

In the northern wing of the army the forces of the XVI. Corps (Mot) of the 10th Army, attacked in the direction of Częstochowa and Kłobuck. Further north in the 7th DP sector, Krzepice fell first after a brief engagement between ON company and elements of the German 4th Panzer Division. To the north of the 7th DP, the Volyn Cavalry Brigade commanded by Col. Dipl. Julian Filipowicz ("Łódź Army") repelled four attacks by the 4. Pz in the Mokra area. It was the only known episode of World War II when a relatively weak cavalry brigade managed to hold off a strong armored division. Unfortunately, it did not help the Polish 7th Infantry Division in the defense of Częstochowa, although its operational front decreased from 40 to 10 km. Troops from the 7th Infantry Division (27 pp) deployed to the border held off pressure from the neighboring German 4th Infantry Division alongside an active Border Guard formation. By noon they managed to defend the cities of Panki and Przystań. The National Defense Battalion at Kłobuck managed to further slow the Germans. In the afternoon, by order, it was withdrawn.

At Wilkowiecko, a divisional cavalry squadron, attempting to hold off German tanks from the German 1st Armored Division (Lt. Gen. R. Schmidt) and cover the 7th DP contact point with the Volyn Cavalry Brigade, was shattered. Until noon, the 2nd Battalion of the Polish 74th Infantry Regiment fought to hold Lubliniec against the main forces of the German 4th Infantry Division (Major General E Hansen). The Polish troops suffered very heavy losses. Until 3:00 p.m., the village of Truskolasy was bloodily defended by the 1st Battalion of the Polish 27th Infantry Regiment, supported by a battery, in the fight against the front of the German 14th Infantry Division (Lt. Gen. P. Weyer ). After a hard fight, the battalion managed to fall back on their regiment.

The remaining battalions of the 74th Infantry Regiment, fighting near Lisów and Boronów, were further delayed. Despite this, they withdrew to the main position near Częstochowa. The fights for Częstochowa were carried out successfully, the opponent suffered heavy losses, but due to the unfavorable development of the situation on the front of the 7th Infantry Division, it was forced to withdraw from the city on the night of the September 1 to 2 to avoid the encirclement. The balance of the first day of the war was valued by the Supreme Command, and years later by historians, as favorable, as the combat units fulfilled the tasks entrusted to them. However, from the first day of the war, the drama of the lack of reserves began, especially in the Armies of "Krakow" and "Prussia", where the mobilization and transportation of troops were still ongoing.

(*) Pz Abt 66 - 2.Le Div 41 Pz Kw I, 42 Pz Kw II, 2 Pz Bef; Pz Abt 67 - 3. Le Div 23 Pz Kw II, 55 Pz Kw 38 (t), 2 Pz Bef 38 (t)

Sources: https://historiaszczekocin.pl/dzieje-sz ... -1939-roku
https://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gl ... 3leD-R.htm
http://obronanarodowa1939.pl/bataliony- ... iniec.html
http://www.jura-pilica.com/?wrzesien-1939,379
http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/photos/ ... /2lei1.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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War-bridge across the Malapane at Stahlhammer..........................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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