Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Richard Hargreaves
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Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:40 pm

Can anyone help me with a question about numbers? I'm writing a chapter on the campaign in Poland for my next book, but all my research has drawn a blank.

Nine Polish infantry divisions plus a couple of cavalry brigades, staffs and a few mish-mash units were trapped in the "Bzura pocket" west of Warsaw between September 9 and 18.

What I cannot find is any figure on numbers of troops in the pocket.
According to Eighth and Tenth Army war diaries, between 87,000 and 93,000 prisoners were taken by September 20. Upwards of 30,000 troops slipped through the net and reached Warsaw. There are no estimates of Polish dead in the pocket, but using Falaise as an example, I'm guessing they must have been 10,000-20,000 dead.

From all this I'm estimating 150,000 Polish troops in the pocket. If anyone can give me anything more concrete, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks
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Post by Pirx » Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:49 am

Your questions about KIA polish troops in this battle has no answer. There is no documents or archive.
On this site http://www.1939.pl/i_redakcja.htm You can copy this question and maybe You find more info.
Also check this http://www.bzura39.republika.pl/bitwa_eng.html
Best regards.

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Post by Zalewski » Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:40 pm

Citi, tomb of soldier:

Leczyca (and 12 other willage around), 1284
Sochaczew, 3500
Juliopol, 2200
Rybno, 1586
Ilowo, 1033

other 12 willage, 1683

total died - 17 000 soldier

Ksiega Pochowanych Zołnierzy Polskich Poleglych w Obronie Ojczyzny, Pruszkow 1993, Edition AJAKS

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Post by Richard Hargreaves » Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:54 pm

Wow. Thanks for the information. My guess was reasonably accurate.
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Re: Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by Domen123 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:31 pm

Some fragments of some Polish relations / reports from the battle of Bzura:

Beginning of the Polish offensive at the Bzura:

8 September 1939:

"[To the] Commander of 70 Infantry Regiment

I report, that during the day I have reached the ordered area and captured it on 6:00. Moral condition of men - good. Physical condition of men and horses - heavy exhaustion caused by long march. My command post is in location Miłowice

Commander of I Dywizjon
Łoziński
major of artillery"


Fragment of relation of płk Władysław Wiecierzyński (9 September 1939):

"... On 18:00 on signal of a trumpet the assault begins. Awesome view. As far as in sight to the left and to the right infantry was flowing down towards the Bzura valley. They are going eagerly and birskly, like they hadn't marched 270 kilometres Leszno - Rawicz - Kutno at all. ..."


Some Polish relations related to German POWs during the battle of Bzura:

Fragment of relation of ppor. Lech Mroczkiewicz (10 September 1939):

"... Battlefield, road from Walewice to Bielawy, was densely covered with dead German soldiers. During the battle you could often hear cries of German soldiers: "Mutti", "mein Gott". One of German soldiers raised his hands up signalling that he wanted to surrender, and when ppor. Kurnatowski came closer to him - he fired, German soldier dropped dead. ..."

Fragment of relation of pchor. Wojciech Stanisławski (11 September 1939):

"... Our sanitary platoon under command of sierż. pchor. Witold Jeszke reached Piątek at dawn and occupied designated position in beautiful, new-built school. Immediately white flag with the Red Cross was put up on the roof. ..."

Fragment of relation of Janusz Roszko (11 September 1939):

"... division of general Wład [14 ID] captures Piątek. There is plenty of German prisoners, many of them wounded. Field hospital in Piątek at school contains wounded of both sides. Despite the Red Cross signs German bombing raid turns the hospital into the pile of rubble. ..."

Fragment of relation of kpt. Stefan Koźniewski (12 September 1939):

"... Attacking under heavy fire of German artillery and not paying attention to heavy casualties, soldiers were attacking with great bravado, taking Biała Góra by storm. Enemy infantry regiment was beaten up by Polish battalion and retreated in a hurry far away towards the west, losing 70 KIA, many WIA and around 200 POWs captured. ..."

Fragment of the order of general Kutrzeba (commander of Army "Poznań") to his soldiers from 11 September 1939:

"... according to recent incomplete reports only during the previous day [so 10 September] our units have captured around 1000 enemy soldiers, several guns, machine guns, AT guns, AFVs and planes, the enemy lost several hundred KIA, including the commander of 30 German division*, and many wounded. ..."

* In fact general Kurt von Briesen was heavily WIA by Polish artillery fire (14 dal - 14. heavy artillery dyon) around 6:00 on 10th of September near his headquarters in Piątek, but he didn't die from these wounds. Wrong information was probably provided to the Poles by some of German POWs who thought that their general is dead, during interrogations.

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Re: Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by Domen123 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:39 am

I'm guessing they must have been 10,000-20,000 dead.
Richard, your guess could not be more accurate.

According to "Army Poznan 1939", KAW, 1987, by P. Bauer and B. Polak, p. 60 - Army "Poznan" lost 10,000 fallen and DoW + 25,000 wounded during the "Defensive War of Poland" - of course the vast majority of them during the battle of Bzura and the battle of Puszcza Kampinoska.

To this we must add casualties of Army "Pomorze".

Total Polish casualties during the battle of Bzura (I'm not shure if together with the battle of Puszcza Kampinoska or without this battle) are usually given as 15 / 16,000 killed + DoW and 32 / 34,000 wounded. But some sources say about 18,000 killed + DoW (and give the number of wounded as also 32 - 34,000).
Leczyca (and 12 other willage around), 1284
Sochaczew, 3500
Juliopol, 2200
Rybno, 1586
Ilowo, 1033

other 12 willage, 1683

total died - 17 000 soldier

Ksiega Pochowanych Zołnierzy Polskich Poleglych w Obronie Ojczyzny, Pruszkow 1993, Edition AJAKS
I have got a little bit different data.

Łęczyca - 629 (maybe without these 12 villages around ??)
Sochaczew - 3693
Rybno - 1000
Ilowo - 1200

Łowicz - 269
Kompino - 342
Młodzieszyn - 3773

Łomianki (in Puszcza Kampinoska - so this is rather the battle of Puszcza Kampinoska) - 2500

Of course many sources consider the battle of Bzura and the battle of Puszcza Kampinoska as one and the same battle.

Three Polish generals lost their lives during the battle of Bzura and the battle of Puszcza Kampinoska:

Franciszek Wład - KIA on 18.09.1939 near Iłowo (at the Bzura)
Stanisław Grzmot-Skotnicki - died of wounds in Tułowice (near Sochaczew) on 19.09.1939
Mikołaj Bołtuć - KIA on 22.09.1939 near Łomianki near Warsaw (in Puszcza Kampinoska = Kampinoska Primeval Forest)

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Re: Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by tigre » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:29 pm

Hello to all :D; a little complement............................................. ......

Surroundings of Piatek - September 1939.

The advance continued without pause. It was thus arrived at the ninth day of march, September 9, 1939. The division was overextended. The unit had to cover a distance of 30 km. Now it was approaching the area between Kutno and Lodz. On the left flank was the Polish army coming from the north, which had gathered around Kutno, and its breakthrough towards the south should be avoided. Farther on the right flank were the own troops in a hard battle; for them the Division represented the only cover against the Poles in the north, near Kutno. As a long chain marched the division between both sides with its double mission, entirely on its own and without the support of special weapons. But it had the weapons and equipment of an active infantry division and knew how to make good use of it.

In the afternoon of September 8, 1939, the leader of the 2nd Platoon of the 3rd Company (Pi. Btl 30) was given the task of exploring from Piatek, about 20 kilometers east of Leczyca, heading north to no man's land in order to check the location and nature of the bridges over the Bzura, located about 7 kms north of Piatek. With a force of 4 soldiers the patrol left in a light vehicle. Without resistance the patrol reached the heights south of the Bzura. The river valley was about 1 kilometer wide. The path ran along an embankment approximately 1,20 meters high and with a lot of vegetation at the edges. The valley was dry. A first bridge over a tributary was intact, the second about 100 meters as well. On the third bridge, near the far end of the valley were soldiers. Assuming the soldiers were German, the patrol approached the bridge. Both sides were surprised to be face to face with the enemy. The German patrol was able to escape with one WIA, the vehicle received several shots, mainly in the pneumatic boat in the back of the car.

On September 9, 1939, the platoon commander was ordered to prepare for demolition the three bridges on the Bzura reconnoitered the day before without infantry cover. However, it was only possible to reach the first bridge. On the other two bridges there was already strong Polish security. Under a strong hostile fire the bridge was prepared for a demolition with electric detonators. The cable was about 200 meters long, the demolition device was at the southern end of the valley. By the 18:00 hours arrived an infantry company, the 9 or 10./ IR 6 under Oberleutnant Lübbe, and occupied a defensive position. The platoon of the 3rd Company was replaced by a Platoon of the 1st Company under Leutnant Kaiser.

The ignition line was still intact. As night fell, on 9 September 1939, the Poles attacked in strength in order to force the breakthrough towards Lodz (Litzmannstadt). The demolition of the bridge failed. The cable was apparently destroyed by artillery fire. On the night of September 10, 1939, the infantry company was overrun, Oberleutnant Lübbe was KIA. The Poles continued the penetration towards Piatek during the night ...................

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Sketch of Piatek and its surroundings ............................................ ....

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Death card of Oberleutnant Lübbe .........................................

Sources: Männer der Nordmark an der Bzura Dr. Christian Kinder.
PIONIER BATAILLON 30. GESCHICHTE 1936-45. PIONIER KAMERADSCHAFT LÜBECK.
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... at30-R.htm
Http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1870476

Cheers. Raul M 8).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - gluckliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo!!! :beer:
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by tigre » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:30 am

Hello to all :D; a little more............................................. ......

Surroundings of Piatek - September 1939.

The III./ 57 pp of the 14 DP (Polish) acted on the right wing of the Polish regiment. After the preparation of artillery on identified Germanic pockets of resistance, the attack was launched around 06:00 hours and the Polish battalion won Goślub then stroke Janowice. In the first phase of the battle against the Germans the Poles were rejected, but the Polish artillery massed its fire on Janowice enough to allow the locality to be conquered. The III battalion went on the pursuit towards the south reaching the objective - the Piatek - Leczyca road. There was where the position of the 6./ AR 30 was hit................

Overview map http://zbigkurzawa.cyberdusk.pl/GENEALO ... 1_1939.jpg

Position of the 6./ AR 30 armed with light howitzers le FH 18 of 10.5 cm ....................

Image

Image

Image

Sources: Männer der Nordmark an der Bzura Dr. Christian Kinder.
http://odkrywca.pl/nowy-gaj-piatek-10-0 ... 63374.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Battle on the Bzura, September 1939

Post by tigre » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:48 pm

Hello to all :D; a little more............................................. ......

Surroundings of Piatek - September 1939.

Two days remained the battalion (I./ IR 6) in Walkowice and on September 15, 1939, the Kp Führer (acting cmdr) in a truck marched with the Hauptfeldwebel and eight men of the company (3./ IR 6) By Slugi once more towards the battlefield to verify the terrain. The fallen comrades were not found, in those two days the enemy had discarded them. Some 30 comrades were buried in a common grave in the cemetery of Piatek. Among them the cmdr of the regimental howitzer company (13./ IR 6), a SA Obergruppenführer (Joachim Meyer-Quade), the Hauptmann of the 7./ IR 6 and a Leutnant of artillery. These last three were buried in a recent grave. From another comrade the Hauptfeldwebel received 17 dogtags of fallen men from the company and in a rural house were found payment and identity books (soldbuch).................

Image
A howitzer 15 cm sIG 33 of the 13./ IR 6 completely destroyed (possibly blasted by its own crew or Polish soldiers after its capture) after the hard fighting ............................

Image
Two German soldiers (cyclists) observing the remnants of a 10.5 cm leFH 18 in the wiped out position of the 6. / AR 30 ................................................

Sources: Männer der Nordmark an der Bzura Dr. Christian Kinder.
http://odkrywca.pl/nowy-gaj-piatek-10-0 ... 63374.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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