Hello folks I wish to know some details about a litle engagement in Poland 1939.
On 01 september 1939, in the afternoon the 3rd Panzer Division had forced the river Brahe at Hammermuhle, reaching Swiekatowo by nightfall. On 02 september 1939 the Polish 27 Infantry Division was moving back towards Torun, marching in two columns.
The western column, 50 Infantry regiment (50 Pulk Piechoty) plus III/ Light Artillery Group (3/27 pal) under LtCol Adam Werschner marched off via Trutnowo - Świekatów - Serock – Wudzyń. The eastern column, the bulk of the division (mainly 23 Infantry Regiment, 24 Infantry Regiment and 27 Light Artillery Group) under Gen. Brig. Juliusz Drapella via Błądzim - Tuszyny - Łowin - Pruszcz Pomorski. In this scene took place the following story:
Four tanks against a whole division. (from: http://www.deutsche-landser.de/berichte/15001.htm
The abteilung advanced to Swiekatowo and went into position. It was ordered that a platoon proceed to Tuszyny to clear up the situation; the division did not know yet what happened to the north in the Tucheler Heide. Presumably polish troops will try to break through towards the south, this fact must be avoided.
The First Lieutenant that led the platoon pressed on with its four heavy tanks in loosely formation. It was in the morning, 02 september, around 11:00 hours; a clear and beautiful autumn day. The First Lieutenant was sat down in the foremost tank, slim and blond, already knew the fight in Spain, earning there the Spanish's Golden Cross. He opened the hatch and searched for the enemy; the engines roared, the chains rattled. Left of the First Lieutenant was sat down the gunner and right of him the loader and in front beside the driver, was sat the radio operator constantly in connection with the company, that remained in Swiekatowo. The First Lieutenant was constantly connected with the other 3 tanks of the platoon by a laryngeal microphone and by its headphones. So the panzers rattled to the north.
Nothing was seen. Everything was calm. The small place Tuszyny with its straw-covered little houses lay peacefully in the midday sun. As precaution the First Lieutenant closed the hatch’s tower of his vehicle, but the place was not occupied by the enemy. Without firing a shot, the tanks advanced through it. At the town exit the platoon took a position, left and right of the road leading north. The situation remained calm, only polish civilians trying to flee towards north. The hatches were opened and the crews sat down on the edge of the road enjoying of a breakfast. One hour had past. Suddenly ones pointed out to the place where the road and the dark forest merged each other, 3 kilometers away. Did not somewhat moved there?. It looked like… the point of one polish column. The men climbed onto theirs tanks, the hatches were closed, the turrets turned, the eyes kept watching through the visors. The platoon´s leader ordered fire. The distance was, however, too large yet; forward, instructed the First Lieutenant and the tanks moved. At 800 meters the tanks fired on again and this time the poles fled toward the forest. We shall chase them, asked one sargeant by radio, no, we hold the position answered the First Lieutenant. The tanks moved back to the town’s exit. It became 01:00 PM and the forest’s edge remained quiet and empty. One half hour past when the poles resumed the march again and emerged from the forest, infantry, riders, cars, unit’s trains, etc. The cannons were aimed toward the enemy. The gunners let them approach, the point was now at 1500 meters; the First Lieutenant ordered that we should open the fire at 1200 meters. As it was ordered, the guns spat its projectiles and the tanks trembled. The panic spread again among the polish troops; the vehicles were blown up, the men and horses ran about. Each tank delivered 10 shots, 40 shots in total it was enough, the road was empty and quiet again. The crews opened the hatches of its tanks, because it became hot inside. The First Lieutenant tried to get in contact via radio communication with his company at Swiekatowo asking for reinforcements. The radio operator tried again and again but without success. It was 3:00 PM now, a polish recce plane approached fast, circled over the tanks and disappeared. The poles knew now what had happened, only four tanks.
The position was changed, the tanks moved 800 meters further ahead in order to take a new position at a farmstead located there. Meanwhile the communication with the company was restored again, the First Lieutenant asked for reinforcements but the company answered that a polish attack was coming at Swiekatowo; so the platoon must hold its position at all cost alone, reinforcements would be send ASAP.
The poles advanced again from the forest’s edge. The enemy were closer and closer, the gunners recognized the brown kaki silhouttes. The cannons targeted the enemy and fired at 500 meters and each shot was a direct hit. The poles were near Tuszyny and tried to go around the farmstead which was burning now. It was 05:00 PM and the tanks were still holding its position without relief. The ammunition became scarce, the First Lieutenant had only 5 shells in his panzer. Nevertheless the platoon shot lively. Suddenly two german tanks arrived as reinforcement and the First Lieutenant ordered “forward”, the poles did not expect this. The sixs tanks rolled on in a thick cloud of dust. Some poles started to run, some held up and some remained laid. Suddenly the tank was hit, the driver turned the vehicle and disappeared inside a house. The First Lieutenant ordered “ polish pak ahead turn to the left”. They had driven directly onto an antitank position but nothing happened, a miracle, the projectile slipped under the belly’s tank, only later the radio operator informed that he had been wounded in his arm. Finally the village was empty of enemies and five tanks gathered. At the village exit, behind a house laid the missed tank. “Shot! thought the first lieutenant. He knew the picture of a shot tank still from Spain. He approached. Not far from the tank also laid the Polish Pak with its crew. The tank must have destroyed it at the same time, while it was shot. Beside the tank laid the tank leader and the gunner side by side. Inside he found the driver and the radio operator. All dead. Only the loader is missing. One company of another abteilung relieved the plattoon and proceeded the advance, the First Lieutenant returned to Swiekatowo and delivered his report about the action at Tuszyny.
Any idea about who was the First Lieutenant (Spanish's Golden Cross winner). Any info would be appreciate. Regards. Tigre
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.