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Ruszki & Kiernozia 39- Panzers crushed by infantry

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Category: General History
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Topic: Ruszki & Kiernozia 39- Panzers crushed by infantry
Posted By: Domen
Subject: Ruszki & Kiernozia 39- Panzers crushed by infantry
Date Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 16:31
Ruszki and Kiernozia 1939 - Panzers crushed, dispersed and encircled by infantry.

Both battles - battle of Ruszki and battle of Kiernozia - took place during the battle of Bzura, during the failed German massive Panzer attack on the Polish forces.

In the battle of Ruszki Panzer-Regiment 35. was defeated. The regiment suffered heavy casualties in the previous battles. When the battle of Ruszki beginned, Panzer-Regiment 35. had got only 89 operational tanks (out of the initial amount of 177 - 182 tanks).

According to the German data in the battle of Ruszki German Panzer-Regiment 35. lost 23 destroyed tanks + some more damaged. Panzer-Regiment 35. lost also 30 dead (16 KIA, 14 MIA) and 19 WIA during that battle. According to the Poles Polish forces reported eliminating 29 tanks in the battle of Ruszki (so probably 6 were damaged). The majority of those tanks were later blown up by the Poles when they rejected the German forces and captured the battlefield (that is why percent of totally destroyed tanks out of the total casualties was so high). Colonel Eberbach (commander of Panzer-Regiment 35.) wrote in his memories about the battle of Ruszki - "there was like in the Devil's Kettle":



The same tank after transporting it to Sochaczew (it was staying there at least untill winter):



Somewhere near Ruszki:





In the battle of Kiernozia the whole 1. Panzer-Division was defeated. At first the German Panzer attack was doing well, but when the German forces rushed deep into the Polish positions, both Panzer-Regiments of the division were dispersed and encircled by the Poles inside terrain controled by the Polish forces. The majority of dispersed German tanks also lost contact with both the divisional command and with other tanks. During the night those tanks were under constant attacks of the Polish infantry. Germans called this defeat "Hell at Kiernozia". Percent of destroyed and burned tanks out of all casualties was certainly also very high because the Poles captured the terrain after the battle and finished off the majority of previously eliminated and then captured tanks. I don't have, however, any accounts on German casualties in that battle. After the failed attack, during the following days and nights dispersed and encircled German tanks were trying to escape by breaking through the Polish encirclement and regroup. Finally part of them managed to break through, part was destroyed, and the rest of remaining tanks was liberated by other German units.

Panzer IV of captain von Kockeritz (commander of 8. company of Panzer-Regiment 1.) - destroyed by Polish 37mm AT gun on 16th of September. Von Kockeritz was KIA:



The same tank (wider view):



We can see tanks destroyed during one of combats in village Skowroda (7 - 8 km from Kiernozia) - 18th of September:





Destroyed Panzer IV:



The same as in the previous photos (wider view):





Different wreck:



Panzer IV number I01 of commander of I battalion of Panzer-Regiment 1. from 1. Panzer-Division:




Replies:
Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 21:24
WWII tank assaults lacking infantry support were ending terrible as a general matter.

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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 14:32
Quote
WWII tank assaults lacking infantry support were ending terrible as a general matter.


They had got strong infantry support.

Panzer-Regiment 35. during attack on Ruszki was supported by Waffen SS motorized regiment, elite "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" and by 12. Infanterie-Regiment (motorized).

Tanks of 1. Panzer-Division during attack on Kiernozia were supported by divisional motorized infantry - 1. Schutzen-Brigade (motorized) - and other units.

Attacking with tanks, lacking infantry support, is a pure stupidness - and it doesn't happen during battles unles the commanders are stupid.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 15:40
"At first the German Panzer attack was doing well, but when the German forces rushed deep into the Polish positions, both Panzer-Regiments of the division were dispersed and encircled by the Poles inside terrain controled by the Polish forces. The majority of dispersed German tanks also lost contact with both the divisional command and with other tanks. During the night those tanks were under constant attacks of the Polish infantry."
 
This discription sounds like the German tanks lost contact with their infantry and were encircled by the Polish forces. Which meant inevitable defeat given that German even didn't have many heavy tanks at this stage of WWII.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 17:45
Quote
This discription sounds like the German tanks lost contact with their infantry and were encircled by the Polish forces.


That's right - they lost contact with infantry which was supporting them - but it was because of the enemy resistance.

They lost contact with infantry because infantry was rejected by the Poles and couldn't advance further - tanks attacked then alone, but couldn't break the resistance of the Polish AT resistance nests and were dispersed, suffering heavy casualties in next combats with each of the Polish nests - they were trying then to make a detour round the Polish resistance nests - and in this way they were advancing slowly inside the Polish positions, but were finally stopped on the next defensive line (villages Błędów, Karnków, Rożyce, Osiek) by heavilly outnumbered and much weaker Polish forces (one infantry regiment with support of 2 AT guns, 1 howitzer 155mm and unidentified number of AT rifles) - this was the decisive moment of the battle. That German attack was chaotic and was easilly repulsed by the Polish infantry regiment (58. Infantry Regiment) with heavy casualties for the attackers (over a dozen of tanks).

Then the Germans tried to regroup at least partially and repeated the attack more briskly, but the Poles had already received reinforcements in the meantime and the attack was rejected again. Soon dispersed German forces were counterattacked by the Poles, encircled and decisively crushed.

Quote
German even didn't have many heavy tanks at this stage of WWII.


1. Panzer-Division had got the biggest number of heavy tanks of all German Panzerdivisions. On 1st of September it had got:

56 Pz-IV, 26 Pz-III, 12 Pz-Bef, 122 Pz-II, 93 Pz-I = 309 tanks


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 27-Nov-2008 at 13:44
By the way - my sources for info above are:

Memories of Oberstleutenant Eberbach - commander of Panzer-Regiment 35. - "Sturmfahrt auf Warschau", German daily reports from ww2 day by day, memories of porucznik Jakiel - commander of recon company of 58. Infantry Regiment, book "Bzura 1939" by Tadeusz Jurga, Warszawa 1984 (chapter "Panzer attack in the region of Sochaczew and Brochów"), monograph by Jerzy Godlewski "Bitwa nad Bzurą" ("The battle of Bzura"), memories titled "Tanks were burning at the Bzura" by Witold Engel, Wincenty Iwanowski - "Combats of Operational Group of general Knoll-Kownacki with the German XVI Panzerkorps 16-17 IX 1939", part I and part II.


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 27-Nov-2008 at 14:36
Wow those tanks sure took a beating... wonder what hit them? 

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Defenders of Ulthuan, Cult of Asuryan (57 Kills and counting)




Posted By: Klaus Fleming
Date Posted: 27-Nov-2008 at 20:11
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

Wow those tanks sure took a beating... wonder what hit them? 
 
You know, I'm wondering the same thing.
It looks like someone took a gigantic can opener and just tore those things apart. It's amazing how the entire superstructure of some of those tanks has been completely removed from the chassis.
I don't think that damage was caused by anti-tank guns; I'm guessing someone stuck a satchel charge at the rear end of the tank, and the explosion consequently dismantled the whole tank. However, I wonder what kind of explosive would be powerful enough to cause the damage in those photos - a bundle of hand grenades probably wouldn't do the job.


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Quae ante pedes


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 28-Nov-2008 at 17:28
Quote
Wow those tanks sure took a beating... wonder what hit them? 


Quote
I don't think that damage was caused by anti-tank guns;


Of course it wasn't caused by AT guns - only Panzer IV of von Kockeritz (first photo from the battle of Kiernozia) was destroyed by AT gun (several hits can be seen).

Polish 37mm AT gun couldn't cause so huge damage (it could do it only if it hit the ammunition section - then usually a tank was blown up by internal explosion).

Quote
I'm guessing someone stuck a satchel charge at the rear end of the tank, and the explosion consequently dismantled the whole tank. However, I wonder what kind of explosive would be powerful enough to cause the damage in those photos - a bundle of hand grenades probably wouldn't do the job.


You are right. The majority of them were blown up by the Polish sappers and infantry after they were eliminated (but with smaller damages) in the previous combats.

The sappers blown up those wrecks to increase damages their received in the previous combats and to make shure that none of them will be later repaired by the Germans in factories or in workshops.

However - I'm almost shure that some part of them - didn't even need to be blown up by the sappers, because they were totally destroyed due to the direct and indirect field artillery fire.

The Poles commonly used their 75mm cannons and 100mm howitzers direct AT fire - those cannons proved to be very efficient in doing this before the war. The Poles made a lot of tests and invented a special tactics of fighting against tanks by light artillery (75mm and 100mm guns) by direct fire. They also modified a bit big percent of their 75mm type 1897 and 02/26 field guns - that they were better in direct AT fire. Often using artillery to direct AT fire was one of things which the Germans admired and were scared the most in the Polish army after and during the Polish campaign.

For example - on 16th of September one Polish light battery reported eliminating - by direct fire - 22 German tanks (most probably from 1. Panzer-Division) in combat between Giżyce and Janów (it was also part of the battles of Ruszki and Kiernozia - part of that German failed massive Panzer attack which is discussed in this thread). On the next day the Polish sappers - to make shure that none of those 22 tanks will be repaired - blown up the vast majority of them - so almost all of them were destroyed.

However - not only light guns were used that way in the Polish army.

Despite the Polish heavy artillery (105mm cannons / 120mm cannons / 155mm howitzers) were not very suitable to the direct fire, they were still sometimes used that way. It was hard to aim accurately while conducting the direct fire with 155mm howitzer, but if there were a lot of enemy tanks attacking it was not a problem, because every shot was hitting some of those tanks or was exploding near to some.

The Polish 155mm field howitzer was so powerful, that it usually didn't even need to hit accurately into target to eliminate the enemy tank (especcialy when it was a light tank) - and if it managed to hit accurately, the tank was usually not only simply eliminated, but the results of such a hit for a tank were really terrible - often it was totally destroyed after such a hit (like some of those wrecks which can be seen in the photos above).

It is known that during some combats in the battle of Kiernozia the Poles used 155mm howitzers in that way - with considerable results.

Kielmansegg in his book titled "Panzer zwischen Warschau und Atlantik" while describing the battle of Piotrków Trybunalski (5 - 6 IX 1939) writes that one of the German Panzer attacks was repulsed by the Polish battery of 155mm howitzers by direct fire.

The Germans were so shocked with the terrible effects of this direct fire, that after receiving two accurate hits (and one hit of 155mm howitzer = one destroyed tank), the rest of tank crews simply ran away.

Of course I don't say that every one hit by direct artillery fire (especcialy when it was 75mm / 100mm or 105mm gun) = destroyed tank. Only some hits were causing such a huge damage to the tank (when 155mm was shoting - it was probably the majority of hits). The rest were causing smaller damage, but there is no doubt that every direct artillery hit into the German tank in 1939 = eliminated tank - stabbed armour.

During the battles of Kiernozia and Ruszki, such eliminated tanks were later finished off by sappers with explosives - as Klaus Fleming noticed and as is recorded in sources which are describing the battles of Kiernozia and Ruszki.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 28-Nov-2008 at 18:00
And here is an interesting photo of Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) of Leutnant Wendtl from 1. Leichte-Division destroyed by - this time indirect - artillery hit, during the Polish campaign:



The major difference can be seen - indirect artillery hits were hitting into the upper armour of the tank (because the bullet was falling down, not flying horizontally).

It was much harder to hit the single tank by indirect fire than by direct fire - it was easier when there were a lot of tanks grouped in small area.

Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) tanks suffered huge casualties during the Polish campaign - but after the end of the Polish campaign the majority of eliminated tanks were repaired by excellent Czechoslovakian mechanics in workshops, or (those which were more seriously damaged), in Skoda factories.

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Edit:

Some more photos from the Polish campaign related to the discussion:

Panzer IV destroyed in the Polish campaign. The photo comes from the album of a soldier of I. battalion of 23. Panzer-Regiment which was fighting mainly in the battle of Bzura (supporting mainly the German 17. Infantry Division):



It can be one of its Panzer IV, but it can also be Panzer IV from some other unit - most probably it is Panzer IV from 1. Panzer-Division and it probably could be destroyed in the battle of Piotrków Trybunalski and Tomaszów Mazowiecki (5 - 6 IX 1939) or in the battle of Kiernozia which is discussed in this thread:

As we can see it is also heavily destroyed:



Panzer IV destroyed in Mszczonów (another Polish victory over the 4. Panzer-Division):



Four photos of a Panzer IV tank which was destroyed in Polskie Łąki - most probably on 3rd of September - it is from 3. Panzer-Division from the XIX Corps under command of Heinz Guderian:







Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 30-Nov-2008 at 13:44
By the way - it should be stressed that according to the relation of pułkownik Ludwik Głowacki, during the combat near Ruszki (which was the main part of the battle) 6. battery of 17. light artillery regiment (4 howitzers 100mm) - which was under his command - eliminated 22 enemy tanks by indirect fire (on the next day - 17th of September - those 22 tanks were blown up by the Polish sappers, to make shure that none of them will be repaired).

According to the same relation at the beginning of the combat of Ruszki, AT platoon from 3. battalion of 68. infantry regiment (AT guns were hidden in the forest) eliminated one enemy tank - it was also finished off by the sappers on the next day to increase the level of damage - so to make the wreck impossible to be repaired.

So all together the Poles reported destroying 23 German tanks in the combat near Ruszki (in the whole battle of Ruszki Polish forces reported eliminating 29 tanks, including 23 with such a high level of damage, that they were reported as destroyed).

Once again Polish data is 100% in agreement with the German data, which also says about 23 destroyed tanks (the majority of them were from 6. company of II. battalion of PR.35 - which was almost completely eliminated).

The only difference is that Oberstleutenant Eberbach - commander of PR.35 - writes in his memories, that those German tanks were eliminated by AT guns hidden in the forest.

In fact only the first one was eliminated by the Polish AT gun hidden in the forest - the remaining 22 were eliminated by 6. light battery with 4 howitzers 100mm, by indirect fire. Those howitzers came into combat several minutes after the battle beginned - so at the beginning only AT platoon of 3. battalion of 68. infantry regiment was fighting with the Germans.

According to the Polish data, those 4 howitzers shot around 250 rounds during that combat. The combat lasted for over an hour. Polish howitzers destroyed also over 30 enemy motorcycles during it. Casualties of 6. light battery from 17. light artillery regiment were reported as 6 wounded, 0 dead - this includes 5 gunners and one officer - major Alojzy Krannerwetter.

To this we must also add casualties of infantry on both sides.

In his memories, Oberstleutenant Eberbach also writes that the Germans captured 2 Polish guns during the battle of Ruszki (they were not from 6. battery - I don't know from which unit could they be) - but it was during the initial stages of the battle - the German advance towards Ruszki - not during the combat near Ruszki, which was the main and decisive part of the battle.

The Poles reported that those 23 destroyed tanks were from:

"SS "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" maybe also from 4. Panzerdivision"

Of course SS "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" did not have any tanks - tanks were from PR.35, and "LAH" was supporting it during the battle - so destroyed motorcycles and prisoners who were captured by the Poles, were from "LAH" and maybe also from 12. Schutzen-Regiment.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 30-Nov-2008 at 14:28
By the way - it would be a very interesting thing to make a small comparison of the battle of Mokra (1 IX 1939) and the battle of Ruszki (16 IX) - especcialy in context of casualties suffered by the German tanks in both battles.

Panzer-Regiment 35. took part in both battles and I know its casualties in both battles - so we can compare its casualties in them.

Well - in the battle of Mokra Panzer-Regiment 35. lost around 45 - or even more - tanks, but according to the German data only 14 of them were damaged so heavily - level of damage was so high -, that they were reported as destroyed by the Germans.

So - de facto - Panzer-Regiment 35. in the battle of Mokra lost fewer tanks as "Totalshaden", than in the battle of Ruszki - despite the fact that its overal losses in the battle of Mokra were around two-times higher than in the battle of Ruszki.

Also its men casualties in the battle of Mokra were lower than in the battle of Ruszki - according to the German data - 14 KIA, 15 WIA, no MIA.

And in the battle of Ruszki - 30 dead (including 16 KIA and 14 MIA) and 19 WIA.

It of course resulted from the fact, that the Poles captured the battlefield after the battle of Ruszki - and from the fact that the Poles did not capture it (finally - because temporary they captured it - and it is possible that the Poles made use of it, "finishing off" some of the German immobilized wrecks) after the battle of Mokra - because the Poles withdrew from the battlefield soon after the end of the battle.

I think that it also resulted from the fact, that in the battle of Ruszki the majority of German tanks were eliminated by howitzers calibre 100mm (and then once more were blown up by the sappers and infantry - increasing levels of damages), and in the battle of Mokra tanks were being eliminated mainly by weapons of smaller calibre, which were - almost always - inflicting smaller damages - that is, AT guns calibre 37mm and field guns calibre 75mm type 02/26 - and also AT rifles.

But it does not change the fact, that on 8. / 9. of September - soon before the attack on Warsaw - Panzer-Regiment 35. had got 120 tanks operational (out of the initial amount of 177 - 185 tanks - according to different sources) - so 57 - 65 tanks fewer than on 31st of August (of them surely around 45 - maybe a bit more - are losses due to the battle of Mokra - and the remaining casualties are mainly from the battle of Tomaszów Mazowiecki - Piotrków Trbunalski 5. - 6. IX 1939 - and also combats of this regiment in the battle of Borowskie Mountains, combats near Radomsko, and Polish bombardments of XVI Panzerkorps by the Bombers Brigade - and also other, smaller skirmishes, which were fought by the tanks of this regiment during their battle-route towards Warsaw - provided they suffered any casualties in those skirmishes).

Capturing the battlefield by one of sides of the conflict, affects in a considerable way the results of the combat - we can say - affects casualties (but does not multiply or increase it !).

But - as I wrote - it does not multiplies casualties - they are still the same (optionally they increase only a bit due to - for example - capturing tanks which were not damaged, but - eg. - abandoned by the crew or got stuck in the mad - and normally would be easilly recovered). Whereas for shure it was increasing level of damages inflicted - therefore - percent of casualties not possible to be repaired - "Totalshaden" - was certainly higher.

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Edit:

Not to be groundless in my statements, I am placing here several photos which are showing wrecks of German tanks from the battlefield of Mokra - we can clearly see, that the level of damage of the vast majority of them is much less serious than in the photos showing wrecks from the battlefield of Ruszki or - even the more - from the battlefield of Kiernozia. They are not so heavily damaged as those wrecks:

http://img99.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo633zt4.jpg">

http://img390.imageshack.us/my.php?image=panzwrba6.jpg">

http://img390.imageshack.us/my.php?image=panzwraga7.jpg">

http://img352.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wrakieh7.jpg">


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 05-Dec-2008 at 20:59
On Polish WW2 forum we found more photos of this tank:



And now it can be clearly recognized that it is also Panzer IV (previously I thought that it is rather some kind of smaller tank):







Posted By: Husaria
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2008 at 20:28
I am enjoying these Battle reports during the september campaign its a breath of fresh air talking about somthing not very well known. Thanks Domen Clap


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"The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons."
-Russian military doctrine.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 07-Dec-2008 at 23:27
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

The majority of those tanks were later blown up by the Poles when they rejected the German forces and captured the battlefield
I see mostly German soldiers on your pictures. What's the reason for it?


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 08-Dec-2008 at 19:11
well because even when the Poles inflicted heavy casualties on advancing German columns, in the end they were victorious, and those pictures were all taken by Germans after the battle, probably also to analyze the loss in materiel.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 09-Dec-2008 at 00:07
It was just an rethorical question. I can't see the intention of those threads. What does Domen wants to show us?


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 09-Dec-2008 at 17:44
well it is obvious that some of the Polish people have huge complexes because of the fast defeat in ww2 and they want to show the world that Poles are fierce fighters nevertheless and didn't easily succumbed to the German war-machine. if you check the forum you'll see that some Poles spend a lot of time trying to proove the world that they had, amongst other things, the best cavalry of the world throughout history, and particularly Polish Hussaria was unbeatable and did defeat any enemy ever. just to sum it up.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 09-Dec-2008 at 23:36
That's what my first idea was. So they are "im Felde unbesiegt" as wellWink


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 18:21
yes, like Americans in Vietnam...  LOL


Posted By: Klaus Fleming
Date Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 19:44

I applaud the existence of this thread because of these unique photographs.

In fact, I'd like to see more of them.



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Quae ante pedes


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 14-Dec-2008 at 14:30
Here some different photos / interesting materials from Poland - 1939 - not really related to the topic of this thread:

Polish propaganda video made in September 1939, showing some of the wrecks of Luftwaffe planes which were shot down over Warsaw - "Shot down bandits over Warsaw":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2WMTuD5dBI

In Polish helms and Polish hats German soldiers look much better... :



They look good in German helms probably only if they are like these ones:



"Totentafel 3. Kompanie Panzer Regt. 3 Polenfeldzug":



Churchill invaded Poland together with the Germans!:



Burning palace in Kozienice:



"Polen Petrikau Piotrkow Bank Gebäude Werbung":



"Polen 06.09.1939 Kloster der schwarzen Madonna":







Fortunately love is stronger than war:



"Hey!, shoot me in the ass!":



Group of German POWs captured in Praga district (Warsaw):



"Oskar Prinz von PreuBen - gefallen am 5. September 1939":



And here several more photos - this time without any description (because there was an "interesting", short discussion on the previous page, I decided to check if anybody remembers also the other side of the medal).

I wonder if anybody of you will guess what do they show:

http://img68.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sowiecias0.jpg">























Quote
Quote The majority of those tanks were later blown up by the Poles when they rejected the German forces and captured the battlefield.


I see mostly German soldiers on your pictures. What's the reason for it?


You can see German soldiers walking around destroyed and blown up by Polish sappers wrecks of Panzerwaffe tanks.

The Polish forces marched towards Warsaw after few days and the Germans captured the terrain.

Photos were made by the German soldiers / photographs.

====================================================

More photos:

One place in 1939 (church can be seen in the distance) - we can see German soldiers during combat:



And here the same place - the same church - today:



This is the church in Bojszowy - and those soldiers are soldiers of 5. Panzer-Division who were attacking there on 2nd of September - the area was defended by Polish II. battalion of 73. Infantry Regiment.

The Germans attacked at 14:00.

The Polish battalion was heavily outnumbered (like 10:1 in soldiers, in firepower - even much more) and had got support of only 1 howitzer.

The German soldiers - lead by Obst. Schuckelt - didn't manage to break the Polish resistance - and lost their only chance for operational succes yet on the second day of war.

The Poles resisted them until the evening (until 21:00 - when the Germans finally stopped their actions) and during the night succesfully withdrawed, destroying the only bridge on the river Gostynka behind them - that is why the Germans could not cross this river for the long time since that moment.

If they had won, they would have been able to cross the river on 2nd of September and they could have even encircled the whole Army "Cracow" - or at least part of it. But they didn't manage to do this and Army "Cracow" was fighting untill 21st of September 1939.

==========================

Another photo:

Destroyed German equipment after one of numerous combats against the Polish 10. Motorized Brigade somehwere in Beskid Wyspowy highland-mountain area:





Posted By: Husaria
Date Posted: 14-Dec-2008 at 23:07
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

well it is obvious that some of the Polish people have huge complexes because of the fast defeat in ww2 and they want to show the world that Poles are fierce fighters nevertheless and didn't easily succumbed to the German war-machine. if you check the forum you'll see that some Poles spend a lot of time trying to proove the world that they had, amongst other things, the best cavalry of the world throughout history, and particularly Polish Hussaria was unbeatable and did defeat any enemy ever. just to sum it up.


Poles feel that way because it pisses many off that most people(none Poles particularly) think we did ludicrous things such as cavalary charges with lances and sabres against panzers or that ALL polish commanders were  romantic old fashioned incompetents(which there were some but it is unfair to label them all like that)also France is shown in a much more better light than Poland in the west. When you hear about the fall of France it sounds more like a france did all they could and that their was nothing wrong that they did. While Poland is crushed utterly like some ant. Ok you can do that but i find it ironic when the entire capture of Poland was longer than Frances. All these things just reinforce Polish stereotypes of fat dumb Poles siting on ponys. I am sure you have heard atleast one joke making fun of Polish intellegence. As for Hussaria i agree with you, thats just a matter of national pride thats realy more harmless than hurtful, Ive heard Germans(ones i know anyway) tell me how Poland got demolished by them in world war 2 as a brag anytime somthing like that is brought up so its not like were the only ones that do it.


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"The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons."
-Russian military doctrine.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 18:06
yeah but it's interesting for me to observe how Poles make such a big deal out of it, Poland was hardly the only country that was overrun by the Wehrmacht, but I've never seen ex-Yugoslavians or Norwegians brag about their resisstance vs the Wehrmacht, even though Norwegians for example even sunk a German warship with coastal guns. or Greeks resistance vs the Italian invasion.


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 19:10

Wow, those are some great pics. 

I'm curious about the sentiment behind  "Churchill invaded Poland together with Germans" - what was that about? I never knew wartime Poles had any sentiments like this and I can't quite figure out where they're coming from with that.



Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 19:21
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

yeah but it's interesting for me to observe how Poles make such a big deal out of it, Poland was hardly the only country that was overrun by the Wehrmacht, but I've never seen ex-Yugoslavians or Norwegians brag about their resisstance vs the Wehrmacht, even though Norwegians for example even sunk a German warship with coastal guns. or Greeks resistance vs the Italian invasion.
 
Temujin, what's the problem? This is historical forum about military history. Domen is interested in the war in 1939 and he shares with us his knowledge. These are little known facts outside Poland but also for many Poles. That is the reason the forum was created for. To share our knowledge and to talk about it.
Do you have any problem that somebody writes about defeats of Wermacht?
You charge some Poles about complexes. But it seems that you and Beorna have some complexes. Why can't you talk about little known historical facts without excitements?
 
And tell me, who says that 'Polish Hussaria was unbeatable and did defeat any enemy ever'.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 19:46
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

yeah but it's interesting for me to observe how Poles make such a big deal out of it, Poland was hardly the only country that was overrun by the Wehrmacht, but I've never seen ex-Yugoslavians or Norwegians brag about their resisstance vs the Wehrmacht, even though Norwegians for example even sunk a German warship with coastal guns. or Greeks resistance vs the Italian invasion.
 
Poles talk about it because WWII had an immense impact of them. 16% of pre-war population perished (in percentages it's even more than in the USSR); not to say how much that war changed the whole nation. Thus it's natural that everything that related to WWII gets so much attention there.


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Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 21:31
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

 
Temujin, what's the problem? This is historical forum about military history. Domen is interested in the war in 1939 and he shares with us his knowledge. These are little known facts outside Poland but also for many Poles. That is the reason the forum was created for. To share our knowledge and to talk about it.
Do you have any problem that somebody writes about defeats of Wermacht?
You charge some Poles about complexes. But it seems that you and Beorna have some complexes. Why can't you talk about little known historical facts without excitements?
 
And tell me, who says that 'Polish Hussaria was unbeatable and did defeat any enemy ever'.


LOL I having problems? i don't think so. do you see me posting threads of German victories 24/7? no. you said he wants to get facts straight, does he really? his portrayal of the 1939 campaign is "one-sided" to say the least. and his topics are factually inaccurate anyways. here he said "Panzer crushed by infantry" one thing, they were not "crushed" because the very same unit eventually routed the Poles form their position. on the other thread he said "Panzer stopped by Cavalry Brigade". they were not stopped by a Cavalry brigade but by an armorued train and if you pitch an armoured train vs relatively light tanks, it's not surprising the train wins. above all, the 1939 camapign is not obscure, there are only two groups of people, those who know the 1939 camapign existed, and those who do know the 1939 camaping in detail also know about Mokra and the Bzura battle, so again i don't really see the point of that all. and what do you expect from me personally? there are only two options for me: ignore those threads (which i did before beornas post) or give my comment and that's what i did. if you don't like my comments it's your problem. Domen can post as many of those threads as he like and post so many pictures as he can find, i really couldn't care less.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 22:18
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

 and his topics are factually inaccurate anyways.
 
If you see Domen's mistakes, correct him. That is the reason the forum was created for. To talk.
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

above all, the 1939 camapign is not obscure, there are only two groups of people, those who know the 1939 camapign existed, and those who do know the 1939 camaping in detail also know about Mokra and the Bzura battle, so again i don't really see the point of that all.
 
This is the point I completly disagree. Look, there are thousands of books for example about Napoleon and his wars, and still people (including you) talk about him and his wars.
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

and what do you expect from me personally?
 
Calm down, and don't read 'between lines'. I mean, try not to take everybody around you as your enemy Smile.  


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 22:53
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

[
Temujin, what's the problem? This is historical forum about military history. Domen is interested in the war in 1939 and he shares with us his knowledge. These are little known facts outside Poland but also for many Poles. That is the reason the forum was created for. To share our knowledge and to talk about it.
Do you have any problem that somebody writes about defeats of Wermacht?
You charge some Poles about complexes. But it seems that you and Beorna have some complexes. Why can't you talk about little known historical facts without excitements?
Thanks for your psychological oppinion. Germany lost the whole war and hundreds of battles and you can read about it where ever you want to. Even the greatest Nazis in Germany don't pretend we won it. So, I think I can speak for Temujin too, we speak with you about every defeat of the Wehrmacht if you want to. Dome's pictures are very interesting and impressive. But the context of his pictures let ones suppose that Poland had won the whole campaign of 1939. Nobody denies that Polish soldiers fought as brave as they could. So we shouldn't start any new campaign here in 2008. We won't.
 
BTW, forgive me, but it are comments like these that, for my opinion, go too far. I am sure you don't want to see such comments about Polish soldiers or any other soldiers or civilians, don't you?
 
Quote They look good in German helms probably only if they are like these ones:




Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 22:57
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Wow, those are some great pics. 

I'm curious about the sentiment behind  "Churchill invaded Poland together with Germans" - what was that about? I never knew wartime Poles had any sentiments like this and I can't quite figure out where they're coming from with that.

 
"If the 3rd Squad will fly, Mr. Churchill stopps to lie."
I don't know the connection between this and the Polish campaign. As far as we don't know the reason for it, see it as a propaganda gag for the population inside the Reich.


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 23:23
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

"If the 3rd Squad will fly, Mr. Churchill stopps to lie."
I don't know the connection between this and the Polish campaign. As far as we don't know the reason for it, see it as a propaganda gag for the population inside the Reich.

Is that in German? I didn't really think to look at the language, I just assumed it was Polish, but now I look it seems to be German (although I'd hardly know!) in which case it makes much more sense.



Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 23:32

Yes, it is German. The sentence in Polish would be: Przwszwsky wszynchzechszy 3 Churchilowski wsyprzewszychzry.

 

OK, just a joke.Big%20smile



Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 07:00
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

So, I think I can speak for Temujin too, we speak with you about every defeat of the Wehrmacht if you want to.
 
I don't need that. In fact this is not my favourite period of history.
 
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

Dome's pictures are very interesting and impressive. But the context of his pictures let ones suppose that Poland had won the whole campaign of 1939.
 
Really? Do you think that there are people who might believe that Poland won the war in 1939? I would be surprised if you know any.
 
Ok, a short explanation for those of you, who have believed that Poland won the war. Poland lost the campaign of 1939 and the whole WWII. The Second World War has finished only in 1945. Poland lost 1/3 of its pre-WWII population (half of them were killed), 20% of its pre-WWII territory and its independence.
 
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

So we shouldn't start any new campaign here in 2008. We won't.
 
Clap
 
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

BTW, forgive me, but it are comments like these that, for my opinion, go too far. I am sure you don't want to see such comments about Polish soldiers or any other soldiers or civilians, don't you?
 
Yes, I agree. It is not a pleasing comment almost 7 decades after the 1939 war. Anyway it expresses feelings of the Poles from WWII and later times. My grandfather, who saw soldiers of Wermacht who killed his parents, his sister, her housband and their 1 year kid, had those kinds of feelings until his death in 1990's.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 17:20

Not many people remember, that Poland was not defeated by the Germans, but by the Germans together with the Soviet Union - they were even cooperating on the battlefields in Poland, on both strategical and tactical level - the Soviet units were often helping the German ones in destroying the Polish forces - they had even established this in top-secret agreement.



Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 17:46

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Not many people remember, that Poland was not defeated by the Germans, but by the Germans together with the Soviet Union - they were even cooperating on the battlefields in Poland, on both strategical and tactical level - the Soviet units were often helping the German ones in destroying the Polish forces - they had even established this in top-secret agreement.

There was a secret agreement between the Soviets and Germans to carve up Poland however, as far as I know, there were never any combined actions on the battlefield - German and Soviet forces steered well clear of each other. Keep in mind that at this time, the agreement was still secret and the Soviets didn't want anyone to know that they were actually co-operating with the Germans. This was why, despite having agreed to invade on the same day, they held off until (as they believed, anyway) the Polish government fled across the border. They then entered, falsely claiming to be attempting to stabilize a dangerous situation and preventing the Germans from advancing further east. 

If they had co-operated on the field, their lie would be exposed, so they avoided this.

I might also make note that the Soviets were not the only ones to participate in the annexation of sovereign territories alongside the Germans. The Poles, themselves, less than a year before they were invaded, took advantage of the Munich Conference to participate in the occupation and annexation of Czechoslovakia during the German invasion, issuing an ultimatum against Czechoslovakia and annexing a small territory (Zaolzie) with the Podhale Rifles. Admittedly this was quite a different business though - it was not a secret agreement, Zaolzie was majority ethnic Polish, it had been a long-running border dispute dating back to 1918, and of course the Poles weren't making a grab for European domination but simply being revanchist.



Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 17:46
Lol - who edited my post?


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 17:48

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Lol - who edited my post?

My finger slipped. I meant to quote you, not edit you ... I hope it's restored now? I'm not sure if I had quoted the full text! I'm still getting used to the mod tools, "edit" is right under "quote". If I've missed some, I really apologize.



Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 17:56
You deleted the whole text except the first statement...

Quote
If I've missed some, I really apologize.


OK, no problem.

Quote
There was a secret agreement between the Soviets and Germans to carve up Poland however, as far as I know, there were never any combined actions on the battlefield - German and Soviet forces steered well clear of each other.


In general - you are right - but there were some (even numerous) exceptions.

There are some sources which say about such actions - here some examples:

1.

One of examples of such kind of German-Soviet co-operation is the Soviet combat action of Separated Group from the Soviet 44. Rifle Division (the majority of this division) which was sent to eliminate the Polish units in the area Krasnobród on 26th of September. The Soviet group attacked towards Krasnobród due to the German request and was subordinated to the German command during that mission.

Soviet primary source which mentions about that action is:

Rossijskij gosudarstwiennyj wojennyj archiw (RGWA), 35084-1-24, k. 57.

2.

Such an option was possible due to resolutions which were established in paragraph 5. of the "Top-secret protocol of establishments between people's komissar of defence of USSR and representatives of the German High Command".

Paragraph 5. of this protocol stated (my translation):

"If the German representatives are asking the Red Army command for help in destroying Polish military units or bands [...], Red Army commands (leaders of marching columns) in accordance to the need, will give at the disposal [of the German Army], forces necessary to destroy obstacles located along the route of the German units."

"Top-secret protocol of establishments between people's komissar of defence of USSR and representatives of the German High Command" was prepared during long-lasting discussions and negotiations which lasted from 16:20 on 20th of September and ended on 21st of September at 4:00.

The protocol was signed from the German side by: Generalleutnant Kostring, Oberst Aschenbrenner, Oberstleutnant in General Headquarters Krebs. From the Soviet side it was signed by Kliment Voroshilov and Boris Shaposhnikov.

3.

Fragment from the Battle Diary of German VII Armee Korps - it can be found in the German book titled "Wir zogen gegen Polen" – 20th of September 1939:

“Military Support”:

When units of Polish army were pressing forward to the west from the region of fierce fighting near Łabunie, and seriously disrupted withdrawal of the division towards the first German-Soviet demarcationline, Corps sent one of artillery commanders to Russians as an envoy. He had to send them greetings and establish contact [with Russian forces].

At the entrance to the city of Zamość waited a horseman in civilian clothes with red band on arm: Pole in Russian service. Overtaking in gallop the German envoys, he led them to the Russian headquarters, located in high, bright-white city hall in Zamość.

"High, bright-white" City Hall in Zamość (modern-day photo):

http://imageshack.us">

[…] [In Russian headquarters located in high, bright-white city hall in Zamość] [German] Colonel pass on printed in Russian language welcoming speech [to the Russians]. [Russian] Komissar reads it carefully, as an answer he expresses deep gratitude, he adds however, that [the main] headquarters of the Russian Corps is located not in Zamość, but in a village, 3 hours away from Zamość.

[…] After friendly goodbye, several Russian officers in cars accompanied the Germans [in way from Zamość] to the general [of the Russian Corps].

Characteristic for the new friendship is an event from the passage route. That is, when it started to rain, Russians immediately in a pleasant way invited German envoys to take seats in their roofed cars.

[…] Young, fair-haired [Russian] officer welcomes German officers and leads them to the general. Welcome is warm. [Russian] Commander yet in his first words voices his joy because of signing the German-Russian pact. He has full understanding for [German] request on military support [of the Russian side]. He promises [to give] every realisable help [to the Germans].

[…] Afterwards, the general invites German colonel and his companions for a meal. But before, after an animated discussion, people went to the dining room, the Russian commander clasped both his hands in grip and said:

"Russia and Germany go together, this is a guarantee of peace for Europe!" […]”

http://imageshack.us">

Description under the photo says:

“Region of Zamość, 20th of September 1939: discussion of a situation in Soviet headquarters of the Corps.”


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:02

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

You deleted the whole text except the first statement... 

Dammit. I'm really sorry about that ... wasn't intentional at all. Unfortunately it appears I had only done a partial quote. If you're able to restore the text or the gist of the text, please go ahead and do so! If not, I can only offer an apology.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:08
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Not many people remember, that Poland was not defeated by the Germans, but by the Germans together with the Soviet Union - they were even cooperating on the battlefields in Poland, on both strategical and tactical level - the Soviet units were often helping the German ones in destroying the Polish forces - they had even established this in top-secret agreement.

 
What people do you mean? In fact most Western historians as a rule emphasize Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the Soviet invasion of Poland.
 
However, the participation of the Soviet Army in the actual fighting was minimal; there were no any serious engagements except some minor clashes. Also the Polish army had an order to avoid military confrontation with the Soviets.
 
It was obvious that Poland is doomed and it's military largely defeated, and France and England were not going to provide any substantial military assistance from the West; that was in fact the main reason why Stalin gave the order to invade.
 
Although Hitler was asking him to invade simultaneously, Stalin carefully waited until the main Polish forces had been defeated and it become clear that France and England would remain just passive observers.
 
So, yes Soviet invasion, of course, helped to destroy the Polish state but it's actual role in the destruction of the Polish army was minimal at best.


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Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:15
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

In general - you are right - but there were some (even numerous) exceptions.

There are some sources which say about such actions - here some examples:

Very interesting! It seems that they coordinated on a few occasions where the secrecy of the agreement wasn't likely to be exposed. 

Excellent photographic documentation again, too. I'm really surprised such damning evidence managed to survive.



Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:21

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

It was obvious that Poland is doomed and it's military largely defeated, and France and England were not going to provide any substantial military assistance from the West; that was in fact the main reason why Stalin gave the order to invade.

That must have given the Germans pause for a while ... Stalin was obviously waiting to see how the cards fell, and if the situation had been different, may even have attacked the Germans in Poland. After all, he had not long before proposed a pact with Britain, France, and Poland against Germany, which failed because the Soviets demanded the right to enter Poland at will for up to 10 years in order to create a front against Germany - and Poland, correctly, didn't think that the Soviets would leave if they ever entered.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:31
The failure of the negations of the defence pact between the USSR, England and France is a very difficult issue. And IMO the main failure was the dubious position and mistrust of the Soviets mostly by England and France. Churchill simply called an embarassing failure of the British foreign policy. Stubborness of Poles was also a very important factor in the failure of the negotiations.
 
I agree that they have reasons to mistrust the Soviets. However, in the end it turned out that their calculations went wrong and it were the Germans who posed the biggest threat.


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Posted By: Roberts
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:37
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:


The failure of the negations of the defence pact between the USSR, England and France is a very difficult issue. And IMO the main failure was the dubious position and mistrust of the Soviets mostly by England and France. Churchill simply called an embarassing failure of the British foreign policy. Stubborness of Poles was also a very important factor in the failure of the negotiations
I agree that they have reasons to mistrust the Soviets. However, in the end it turned out that their calculations went wrong and it were the Germans who posed the biggest threat.

Germans biggest threat? SU had no desire to see free Poland, otherwise they would help to defend Poland from German attack at all costs. Without SU alliance Germans wouldn't even attack Poland.


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:57

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

I agree that they have reasons to mistrust the Soviets. However, in the end it turned out that their calculations went wrong and it were the Germans who posed the biggest threat.

Too true, but putting myself in their shoes - not knowing the future - if I was Poland, there's just no chance in hell I'd give the Soviets the right to enter at will for a whole decade. 



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:57
Originally posted by Roberts Roberts wrote:

Germans biggest threat? SU had no desire to see free Poland, otherwise they would help to defend Poland from German attack at all costs. Without SU alliance Germans wouldn't even attack Poland.
Please explain me why would SU fight for Poland when Poland before the war was even more hostile towards SU than towards Germany and no one of the Western Powers was really eager to make an alliance with SU also given the recent "soft" reaction to the German annexation of Czechoslovakia?
 
Who would guarantee to the Soviets that England and France for whatever reasons wouldn't support the Germans if they engage in a fighting with the Soviets in Poland?
 
Do you know that in the 1930th there were active discussions in Poland about the joint military operations against the "Red threat" together with Germans?
 
Do you know that Poland at that time was in fact an aggressive military dictotorship that openly supported German aggression against the Czechs and was an active participant of the rip of Czechoslovakia?
 
Do you know that in 1939 Polish officials, according to Ribbentrop, openly discussed with him their "interests" in the Soviet territory and hypotized on the posssible plans of oint attack against the USSR?
 
Now, tell me why should Stalin knowing all the factors above should be so eager to protect Poland at any cost? He was just a cold- blooded pragmatic politician who thought only about his own interests.
 
He didn't see any clear "friendly" messages from the West including Poland, so obviously he went with the other side. At least, as he thought, he could bought some time before the final confrontation with the IId Reich.
 
Yes, Stalin could have stayed neutral of course, but he had his own interests and imperialistic agenda. And the Western politicians including Poles underestimated him.
 
So, all the parties are guilty, but only the USSR.


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Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 18:58
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/PJE.DOM/USTAWI%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml - file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/PJE.DOM/USTAWI%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml - OK – I’m trying to repeat here at least part of what was deleted in my previous post, and I'm also adding some new things / replies.... :

Quote
Temujin, what's the problem? This is historical forum about military history. Domen is interested in the war in 1939 and he shares with us his knowledge. These are little known facts outside Poland but also for many Poles. That is the reason the forum was created for. To share our knowledge and to talk about it.


Yes, that is true. I’m interested in history in general, especcialy in history of WW2 – also the Polish Campaign. Probably one of reasons why I’m interested in the Polish Campaign so much is the fact, that my granfather and his brothers took part in it. My grandfather was fighting in the second biggest battle of the Polish campaign – the battle of Tomaszow Lubelski. What is even more interesting – he was fighting against both the Soviets and the Germans – at the same time (around). And what is probably the most interesting – he was both in the Soviet and German captivity.

He was serving in 9. Legionary Infantry Regiment which on 17th of September was part of 39. Infantry Division which was part of Operational Group of general Kruszewski – which was part of the Northern Front.

He fought in the second biggest battle of the Polish Campaign – the battle of Tomaszów Lubelski – which took place between 17th and 27 – 28th of September 1939.

He was fighting mainly near Zamość.

He was first captured by the Soviets but he escaped during the same day – and joined his unit again. Then he took part in further combat and was wounded by grenade in his left forearm. Then he went to the German captivity, after his unit surrendered to the Germans.

The battle of Tomaszów Lubelski is a forgotten battle – it is described very poorly even in the Polish historiography. There are only several books which write anything about it – and there is no any monograph of it.

More over – the best (in my opinion) – book which mentions about it – “Army Modlin 1939” by Jurga and Karbowski – does not tell the whole truth about this battle, because it was written when Poland was under rule of communists and was in “friendship” with the Soviet Union – so at those times there was – officialy – no Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

The authors could hardly write anything (or at least they couldn't write the whole truth) about the Soviet participation in that battle and influence of the Soviet invasion on the course of that battle.

Quote
Poland was hardly the only country that was overrun by the Wehrmacht


The problem is that Poland was not overrun by the Wehrmacht but by the Wehrmacht and the Red Army together.

If you analize the situation in Poland in the evening on 16th of September carefully, you will see that although some part of the Polish army was encircled, Poland was not defeated yet and there was a big chance for further, long and efficient resistance.
It is also not true that France and Britain did not plan any military actions in the Western front.

In fact it is not known what exactly was established in Abbeville - as some documents from this conferention remain top-secret even today.

But - as you will see below - France declared that it will soon start its great offensive in the West even on 16th of September.

Also numerous French and English ships with equipment and support for Poland were enroute to Romania soon before the Soviet agression.

Quote
his portrayal of the 1939 campaign is "one-sided" to say the least. and his topics are factually inaccurate anyways. here he said "Panzer crushed by infantry" one thing, they were not "crushed" because the very same unit eventually routed the Poles form their position.


The same unit did not route the Poles from their position. The same unit was not able to take part in combat during the next 4 days – and the terrain after the battle was captured by the Poles.

Quote
Stalin carefully waited until the main Polish forces had been defeated and it become clear that France and England would remain just passive observers.


In my opinion it is not true. Not only because the main Polish forces were not defeated until 17th of September, but also – or mainly - for other reasons.

In my opinion Stalin just waited as long as he could – as long, as he knew that France and Britain are not able to help Poland yet.

When they were to start to help Poland soon - he attacked.

Stalin also waited as long as he could, because he wanted to observe how the German forces operate in Poland. Every Polish general which was captured by the Soviets, was asked about details of the German weak and strong sides, details of their tactics, etc.

Quote
So, yes Soviet invasion, of course, helped to destroy the Polish state but it's actual role in the destruction of the Polish army was minimal at best.


If not a considerable help of the Western Allies – Poland could not win that war.

That is clear and obvious.

But the Soviet invasion shortened the Polish resistance – it shortened it VERY MUCH.

Also the order of marschal Rydz-Śmigły – “not to fight with the Soviet forces unles it is absolutely nescessary” – shortened the Polish resistance – sadly…

Quote
However, the participation of the Soviet Army in the actual fighting was minimal; there were no any serious engagements except some minor clashes. Also the Polish army had an order to avoid military confrontation with the Soviets.


The biggest engagement in which the Soviet army participated – was the battle of Tomaszów Lubelski. And it was the second biggest battle of the whole Polish Campaign.

But in general – you are right.

There were not many big Polish-Soviet battles.

But this was because of the order of the Polish High Command – not because there were no Polish units in the eastern parts of the country.

The Soviets captured a lot of POWs!!!!

Ukrainian Front captured 392,334 POWs !
Byelorussian Front captured 60,202 POWs !

Together: 452,536

More over - around 100,000 Polish soldiers (or even more) escaped to foreign countries after 17th of September - mainly to Romania and Hungary (around 80,000 or more).

=================================

This map (made by me) is more accurate than the majority of similar maps that can be find anywhere (maybe there are some mistakes, but its the first version) - it is showing situation on 16/17 of September, shortly before the Soviet agression. It is showing German forces (divisions, brigades and independents regiments) and Polish forces (divisions, brigades, independent groups and regiments, and some other units of these bigger ones):

(I used map with modern-day borders to make it - no matter cause its test version only):

http://img300.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb1jn5.png">

Yellow-coloured divisions and brigades at the Bzura battle are those which broke through the Bzura line and later broke through to Warsaw and to Modlin after the battle in Puszcza Kampinoska:

Of course there were no 12 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry brigades in the Bzura pocket as German sources sometimes clime (which was - by the way - not closed by the Germans yet on 17th of September):

Germans engaged most of their forces in the Bzura battle and the battles of Warsaw, Modlin and Puszcza Kampinoska as can be seen in the map. Untill those battles ended, they couldn't move these forces anywhere (for example - to the south-eastern front - which was much more important if they wanted to defeat Poland).

So the battle of Bzura - although it ended with the Polish defeat (it lasted untill 22nd of September - and the battle in Puszcza Kampinoska untill 24th of September) - it was strategical Polish succes (because it was engaging for such a long time, so many German forces - which could be send to any other - more important - areas of the frontline).

But the Soviets helped them since 17th of September, so they didn't have to move there their main forces.

http://img300.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb1jn5.png">
http://g.imageshack.us/img300/wpiwh17ix2mb1jn5.png/1/">

And here the same map with marked advances of forward Soviet units untill the evening of 19th of September (and blue arrow shows probable Soviet escapade in strength of at least one battalion towards Zamość on 19th - 20th of September):

http://img504.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb2ux4.png">

http://img504.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb2ux4.png">
http://g.imageshack.us/img504/wpiwh17ix2mb2ux4.png/1/">

And here is the area of Romanian Bridgehead where marschal Rydz-Śmigły - before the Soviet Agression happened -, planned to concentrate all forces (as many units as possible) and defend against the Germans untill Spring of 1940:

Romanian Bridgehead was a mountain-highland, very forrested area with lots of natural obstacles (for example - rivers), with very bad roads (when it rained a lot - like in Poland during Autumn -, there was a lot of mud and roads were practically blocked for motorized vehicles).

Soviets invaded without declaring war on 17th of September (around midnight during the night from 16th / 17th of September) by surprise, and captured almost 3/4 of this area before 19th of September ended:

On 17th of September when first messages from the new frontline reached Headquarters of the Polish Army (located near Stanisławów) - marschal Rydz-Śmigły at first wanted to declare war to the USSR, but after this initial decision and after three following meetings with most important Polish officers and members of Government - under influence of fatal news from the frontline (news about terrible Soviet superiority in numbers and equipment) - he decided - in the late afternoon of 17th of September - to give his famous order to all units: "Don't provoke Soviets to fight and withdraw to Romania, defend only if the Soviets attacks first, try to negotiate with them if possible".

http://img137.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mapaprzedmociarumuskiegnu2.png">

French embassy in Poland - general Louis Faury - on 16th of September 1939 considered these plans as possible to realize and sent a message to Gamelin telling this. He also promised to general Stachiewicz that the French general offensive in the West will start on 21st of September 1939. He explained that the French general offensive will start on 21st of September (not on 17th / 18th of September as was previously said), because of mobilizational problems and problems with combat-readiness and concentration of some units.

First allied supplies of equipment, ammunition and weaponry for Poland reached Romanian ports in Constanza and Galati on 16th of September 1939 - Polish envoys were send to Romania on that day to receive them.

Quote
Not many people remember, that Poland was not defeated by the Germans, but by the Germans together with the Soviet Union - they were even cooperating on the battlefields in Poland, on both strategical and tactical level - the Soviet units were often helping the German ones in destroying the Polish forces - they had even established this in top-secret agreement.


Also movements of the Soviet forces had influence on the orders given to the German units.

For example on 17th of September elements of 2. Panzer-Division (the majority of its tanks included here - three battalions - PR.4 and II./PR.3 - with over 80 tanks) had got orders to attack towards Żółkiew - Kamionka Strumiłowa - and either Tarnopol or Brody.

On 17th of September at 10:10 5. Panzer-Division received orders to move to the area east of Przemyśl and then prepare for the new operation which was to be started on 18th of September. On 18th of September the division (with all forces) was to attack towards Lwów, attack Lwów directly - capture it - and advance across the city of Lwów towards the eastern suburbs of the city, and then attack towards either Tarnopol or Stanisławów.

Orders for parts of 2. Panzer-Division (with the majority of its tanks - over 80 tanks in PR.4 and II./PR.3) and for 5. Panzer-Division - green arrows show ordered directions of their planned offensive:

http://img142.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb3ye8.png">

http://img142.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wpiwh17ix2mb3ye8.png">

Both orders never came into realization because of the Soviet agression.

On 17th of September at 12:00 headquarters of the 5. Panzer-Division received information from the headquarters of the Corps that the Red Army attacked Poland and that previous orders are no longer current.

On 18th of September at 0:30 2. Panzer-Division received order to stop its attack towards Żółkiew - Kamionka Strumiłowa and further either towards Tarnopol or Brody, and to go to the area of Rawa Ruska. This order was gave in connection with movements of the Soviet Army and with initial discussions about the Soviet-German demarcationline.

Both orders were directly connected with the Soviet agression of Poland and both orders had got major influence on the further course of some of the Polish-German battles.

For example:

At 11:00 on 18th of September elements of 2. Panzer-Division (those three tank battalions with around 80 tanks included here) were alarmed in Rawa Ruska, that the Poles broke through in Tomaszów Lubelski and that the German 4. Light Division which is defending there was defeated and is in serious troubles. These forces immediately at 11:00 advanced towards Tomaszów to rescue the German forces there.

In the early morning of 18th of September in Tomaszów Lubelski there were the following units of 4. Leichte-Division (the vast majority of this division):

One Abteilung of 10. Schtz.Kav.Rgt.,
11. Schtz.Kav.Rgt.,
102. Art.Rgt.,
50. Pzabw.Abt.,
part of 9. Aufk.Rgt. – II(Pz.Spah)/9. Aufk.Rgt.
33. Pz.Abt. - headquarters of 33. Pz.Abt + stab kompanie + leichte kompanie (formed from the remaining operational tanks of all three divisional leichte kompanies).

All in all in Tomaszów Lubelski there were around 20 - 25 Panzers and Panzerspahwagen (AFVs) of 4. Leichte-Division.

Another Abteilung of 10. Schtz.Kav.Rgt. was in Zamość as a part of Kampfgruppe Stollbrock (from 2. Panzer-Division).

In Tomaszów Lubelski there were no the following units of the 4. Leichte-Division:

part of 9. Aufk.Rgt. - I.(Kradschutzen)/9. Aufk.Rgt.
Pionierbataillon (mot.).

Most probably these two units were in the area near Hrubieszów or in Hrubieszów.

Before 13:00 the Poles captured over half of the city of Tomaszów Lubelski and opened their way to the south and south-east from Tomaszów towards Bełżec and towards Rawa Ruska - which was their goal.

Unfortunately - around 13:30 German relief from Rawa Ruska arrived across Bełżec to the area Tomaszów and started its counterattack to rescue the 4. Light Division. The German relief attacked Polish rears and the Poles had to withdraw from Tomaszów after 16:00 on 18th of September - all captured terrain was lost.

More over - the fierce Panzer-battle of Tomaszów Lubelski between the Polish Warszawska Panzer-Motorized Brigade and the reliefing forces of the German 2. Panzer-Division supported by few remaining operational armoured vehicles of 4. Leichte-Division started then.

If not the order given to 2. Panzer-Division at 0:30 on 18th of September because of the Soviet agression - 2. Panzer-Division would not be able to go to Tomaszów to rescue the 4. Light Division, or at least would not be able to get there in time - before the battle was completely won by the Poles.



Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 19:16
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Wow, those are some great pics. 

I'm curious about the sentiment behind  "Churchill invaded Poland together with Germans" - what was that about? I never knew wartime Poles had any sentiments like this and I can't quite figure out where they're coming from with that.

 
I supose it's communist propaganda.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 19:19

Quote

Wow, those are some great pics. 

I'm curious about the sentiment behind  "Churchill invaded Poland together with Germans" - what was that about? I never knew wartime Poles had any sentiments like this and I can't quite figure out where they're coming from with that.

 
I supose it's communist propaganda.


"Churchill" is painted on this German truck - and this photo was taken in Poland, 1939 - that is why I wrote that "it seems that Churchill invaded Poland together with the Germans".


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 19:27
Another myth is that Luftwaffe managed to destroy the Polish air force. It is not true.

On 17th of September in the mornig, the two biggest Polish air units – Brygada Bombowa and Brygada Pościgowa, after reorganization, had got:

On 17th of September both these units were parts of High Command's Disposal Aircraft in Romanian Bridgehead:

1.    Brygada Pościgowa:

1.    dyon – 20 x PZL P-11 C fighter
2.    dyon – 20 x PZL P-11 C fighter
3.    dyon – 14 x PZL P-7 fighter

Total: 54 fighters

On 1st of September it also had got 54 fighters (on 17th of September, after receiving replacements - it had got 100% of its initial strength).

The only difference was that on 1st of September it had got 44 PZL P-11 fighters, and only 10 - worse than P-11 - PZL P-7 fighters. And on 17th of September it had got 40 P-11 and 14 P-7.

2.    Brygada Bombowa:

On 17th of September it had got 21 PZL 37 A “Łoś” bombers – 60% of its initial strength.

The day before – on 16th of September – Bomber Brigade made at least 3 bombing raids (in strength of 8 PZL 37 A bombers each) on the columns of 4. Leichte Divison. Enemy was succesfully bombed without own casualties.

Both units had been reorganized and constantly moved on new airports (finally Brygada Pościgowa was moved to Brzeżany in Romanian Bridgehead) before – so they were not participating in any major combats for the long time. But on 16th / 17th of September both units were combat-ready again.

Luftwaffe’s “amazing succeses” in the Polish Campaign are myths. Of course there were several succeses and Luftwaffe had some influence on the course of the war.

But Luftwaffe didn't manage to eliminate Polish Air Force. By the way - Polish air units suffered bigger casualties due to enemy AA fire, accidents and breakdowns (and problems with spare parts / lack of spare parts), and due to friendly-fire of Polish - especcialy - AA defence.

I have a breakdown of Polish planes captured in Poland by the Soviet Ukrainian Front only - total 254 planes. Another more than 200 planes evacuated to Romania. Some more evacuated to Hungary, and some accidentialy landed in USSR and were captured there. There was also a number of planes shot down by Russians or captured / shot down by Germans after 17th of September. Some more planes were destroyed by the Poles on the ground, because the Poles didn't want them to be captured by either Soviets or Germans.

======================================

The Germans lost at least 247 combat planes shot down over Poland in September of 1939 (sometimes higher numbers are given - up to 285 shot down aircraft).

Daily breakdown of these losses (the minimal - not the maximal - given figure - so 247):

Unknown date ( ??? ) - 6

1 IX - 44
2 IX - 14
3 IX - 22
4 IX - 19
5 IX - 13
6 IX - 18
7 IX - 8
8 IX - 6
9 IX - 14
10 IX - 14
11 IX - 14
12 IX - 5
13 IX - 6
14 IX - 8
15 IX - 5
16 IX - 4
17 IX - 9

Soviet invasion of Poland. Evacuation of Polish Air Force.

18 IX - 2
19 IX - 0
20 IX - 1
21 IX - 3
22 IX - 1
23 IX - 1
24 IX - 1
25 IX - 3
26 IX - 2
27 IX - 4

Total: 247

And here breakdown of victories of Polish fighters in combats against Luftwaffe:

Date - Number of victories:

Unknown date ( ??? ) - 3

1 IX 1939 - 23
2 IX 1939 - 13
3 IX 1939 - 14
4 IX 1939 - 11
5 IX 1939 - 6
6 IX 1939 - 14
7 IX 1939 - 1
9 IX 1939 - 4
10 IX 1939 - 3
11 IX 1939 - 1
12 IX 1939 - 2
13 IX 1939 - 2
14 IX 1939 - 2
15 IX 1939 - 3
16 IX 1939 - 1
17 IX 1939 - 3 + 8 (Soviet)

Soviet invasion of Poland. Evacuation of Polish Air Force.

Total: 106 + 8 (Soviet) = 114

On 17th of September Polish fighters shot down 8 Soviet planes (5 fighters, 2 bombers, 1 recon plane).

Polish bombers gained 8 victories in combats against Luftwaffe.

Polish Anti Aircraft defence shot down at least over 110 Luftwaffe planes (the exact amount is not known). It also shot down some Soviet planes.

=======================================

By the way - I'm going to buy this book:

http://www.dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=96&t=121689&p=1337824&hilit=straty+lotnictwa+sowieckiego+1939#p1337824

"Red starts - ally of black crosses over Poland. Soviet Air Force over Kresy. September - October 1939."



When I read it I will post some info about overal Soviet Air Force casualties in the Polish campaign and Polish Air Force casualties in combats against the Soviets (as far as I know there are such info in chapters 3.3., 2.7., 2.4., 1.3.).

Chapters 1.8 and 2.6 seems to be very interesting:

"1.8. Spadochroniarze sowieccy nad Polską 17 IX 1939" ("1.8. Soviet paratroopers over Poland 17 IX 1939").

"2.6. Sowiecki desant na Stanisławów!" ("Soviet airborne landing in Stanisławów").

======================================

Armoured forces in Romanian Bridgehead:

In the map above you can see 21. Light Tanks Battalion in Stanisławów. On 17th of September it had got 45 Renault R-35 tanks.

Armored unit in Łuck on 17th of September had got 11 x 7 TP tank, 8 x R-35 tank, 3 x H-35 tank, 2 tankettes and 2 armoured cars. There was also other armored unit in Łuck which had got 6 x Vickers E, 4 x TKS and at least 1 armoured car. This gives us at least 34 AFVs.

10. Motorized Brigade which was fighting near Lwów on 17th of September had got 18 x TKS - maybe some of them were with 2cm gun.

There were also 3 Renault FT-17 tanks from 113. company of light tanks in the area. Also another improvised company was formed in Brześć and later moved towards Włodzimierz Wołyński - most probably it had got 15 tanks.

Another 50 R-35 tanks for Poland - from first transports of allied supplies - were enroute to Romania on 16th of September. But after the Soviet agression transport with these tanks was stopped and tanks were transported to Tunisia.

All in all - Poles could easilly gather a considerable armoured "fist" in Romanian Bridgehead within few days - if not the Soviet invasion. It would consist of (at least):

103 x Renault R-35 tanks
17 x 7TP and Vickers E tanks
3 x Hotchkiss H-35 tanks
24 x tankettes
3 x armoured cars
18 x Renault FT-17 tanks

Total: at least 168 AFVs

It should be noticed that French Renault R-35 and Hotchkiss H-35 tanks were in general better than most of German tanks - they had thick armour and quite good gun. Vickers E were also very good tanks what they proved in the battle of Wiśnicz Nowy on 6th of September (company of 16 Polish Vickers E tanks caused major losses to very superior in numbers German armoured forces, losing only 1 tank). Polish 7TP tanks had got excellent guns but thin armour (I know even one particular example when - at least German sources claim this - on 19th of September - Polish 7TP tank from Warszawska Armoured-Motorized Brigade was eliminated by German Panzer II - with 20mm automatic gun - from a distance of 700 metres...).

Those forces could be incorporated into 10. Motorized Brigade, or a separate, improvised unit could be formed of them.

Also at least three Polish armoured trains were in the region on 17th of September (51., 53. and 55.).

It seems that the biggest Panzer-battle of the Polish Campaign would be fought in Romanian Bridgehead if not the Soviet agression.

There was also a possibility of transporting relatively quickly French tanks Char D1 and Char D2 (considerable amount) from Africa to Poland - and also further transports with R-35.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 19:38
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

file:///C:/DOCUME~1/PJE.DOM/USTAWI~1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml - file:///C:/DOCUME~1/PJE.DOM/USTAWI~1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml -

Quote
Stalin carefully waited until the main Polish forces had been defeated and it become clear that France and England would remain just passive observers.


In my opinion it is not true. Not only because the main Polish forces were not defeated until 17th of September, but also – or mainly - for other reasons.

In my opinion Stalin just waited as long as he could – as long, as he knew that France and Britain are not able to help Poland yet.

When they were to start to help Poland soon - he attacked.

Stalin also waited as long as he could, because he wanted to observe how the German forces operate in Poland. Every Polish general which was captured by the Soviets, was asked about details of the German weak and strong sides, details of their tactics, etc.

 
Sorry, but it doesn't make sense. If Stalin would really want to minimize the possible effect of the France and England participation in the war, he would attack on September 1. Also Stalin didn't know anything about whether France and Englans were going to really help Poland. He had an impression that England and France were not willing to really fight for Poland, but he didn't want to risk a serious war with them in case they would fight.
That's why he waited so long.
 
In case, he really wanted to crush Poland before any French and English aid could come, he would attack on September the 1st.
 
In fact, Hitler was pissed off with Stalin's tricky behavoir.


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Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 20:29
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

It should be noticed that French Renault R-35 and Hotchkiss H-35 tanks were in general better than most of German tanks - they had thick armour and quite good gun. Vickers E were also very good tanks what they proved in the battle of Wiśnicz Nowy on 6th of September (company of 16 Polish Vickers E tanks caused major losses to very superior in numbers German armoured forces, losing only 1 tank). Polish 7TP tanks had got excellent guns but thin armour (I know even one particular example when - at least German sources claim this - on 19th of September - Polish 7TP tank from Warszawska Armoured-Motorized Brigade was eliminated by German Panzer II - with 20mm automatic gun - from a distance of 700 metres...).

Those forces could be incorporated into 10. Motorized Brigade, or a separate, improvised unit could be formed of them.

Also at least three Polish armoured trains were in the region on 17th of September (51., 53. and 55.).

It seems that the biggest Panzer-battle of the Polish Campaign would be fought in Romanian Bridgehead if not the Soviet agression.

There was also a possibility of transporting relatively quickly French tanks Char D1 and Char D2 (considerable amount) from Africa to Poland - and also further transports with R-35.




from what you wrote so far it seems you think Poland could have still won if it was not for Stalins invasion. this, i completely disagree with. first, even though there were still active elements of the Polish Army, most of them were heavily reduced by casualties etc. also i think your estimates for the "Romanian bridgehead" are overly optimistic. the tanks, and i mean all of them, including the R-35 and H-35 which had weaker guns, are inferior to the best German and Czech tanks. if you think the Romanian bridgehead has a chance, you should analyze the odds of a similar sitaution. i'm talking about the Courland pocket in 1945. there was no chance Poland could turn the tide even without Soviet intervention. those troops still in the process of mobilization in Eastern Poland were not able to stand against the invasion as better equipped regular troops were already beaten and the Polish supply depots in the western parts of the country were gone. Poland is no Soviet Union that could recover from such a blow and such huge losses in ground and manpower. so i'd say it's at best wishful thinking.


Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 20:30
Stalin's paranoia wouldn't allow him to fully trust his intelligence service.  He therefore wasn't sure what England and France would or wouldn't do.  Also, by this time Stalin had become suspicious of Hitler's true intentions and was playing his own games with Hitler's intelligence services which, for no obvious reason [at that time anyway] was doing it's best to keep the Soviets informed of what was actually going on. 


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 20:37
Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

Stalin's paranoia wouldn't allow him to fully trust his intelligence service.  He therefore wasn't sure what England and France would or wouldn't do. 
 
Intelligence report would show only that France and England were not going to attack. It's a fact that the French military attache in Poland was lying that France is going to attack while it the decision not to attack Germany had been already taken.
 
The paranoia you're talking about developed later, when Stalin didn't trust the reports about German preparations for the war with the USSR
 
Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

Also, by this time Stalin had become suspicious of Hitler's true intentions and was playing his own games with Hitler's intelligence services which, for no obvious reason [at that time anyway] was doing it's best to keep the Soviets informed of what was actually going on. 
 
Stalin was always suspicious of Hitler's true intentions from the very beginning.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 20:55
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

The paranoia you're talking about developed later, when Stalin didn't trust the reports about German preparations for the war with the USSR

Idunno, Stalin seemed awfully paranoid long before that - look at the Purge, for instance. From what I can tell, he never trusted his underlings unless he didn't have a choice.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 22:18
I meant there was no particular paranoia regarding intelligence reports in 1939.

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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2008 at 23:14
Quote
from what you wrote so far it seems you think Poland could have still won if it was not for Stalins invasion.


I think you didn't understand me correctly.

I clearly wrote that Poland could not have won alone (this means - without significant military help of France and Britain) even if the Soviets hadn't had attacked.

But I wrote that if not the Soviet Invasion, Poland could resist at least twice that long as it happened in real (so at least around 2 months, not 1 month and 6 days).

And - with significant supplies of equipment / ammunition / weaponry from France and Britain through Romania - maybe even longer than 2 months (maybe until Spring of 1940 ? - but it is very doubtful - it depends on military help of France - if France had started strong offensive, the Germans would have sent the majority of their forces from Poland to the Western Front, and Poland would have been able to resist even until Spring of 1940 - of course with supplies of France and Britain transported to Poland via Mediterranean and Blac sea and via Romania by trains).

Quote
as better equipped regular troops were already beaten


The majority of them were not beaten yet.

If you are talking about the battle of the Bzura and Kampinoska primeval forest - the decisive (and last) part of it was just beginning around 16th - 17th of September (and in real it lasted until 22nd of September at the Bzura river and until 24th of September in the Kampinoska primeval forest) - the exact result of it was not clear yet on 17th of September.

Of course significant part of the Polish Army (for example units in Warsaw, Modlin, Army "Poznan" and Army "Pomorze") were "practically" encircled ("practically" - because in fact not all of them and not completely encircled) - or if weren't, would soon be - so they could not take part in the further defence of the Romanian Bridghead (there was no chance for them to get there before the Germans) - but they could resist even longer than in real (so longer than until 30th of September - when last units in Modlin surrendered) - giving a lot of time for other Polish units to withdraw towards the Romanian Bridgehead, as the majority of the German army was fighting with them and was being significantly delayed by them.

The battle of Bzura - althouth it happened to be tactical Polish defeat, terrible defeat - it was - in fact - strategical and operational Polish success (maybe not "awesome" success, but success) - because it forced the majority of the German forces which were operating in Poland to stay in Central Poland - and these forces would be much more nescessary for the Germans in the south-eastern part of the frontline, if not the Soviet agression.

German plans failed due to the battle of Bzura - because to eliminate the Polish forces which attacked their 8. Army in this area, they had to "withdraw" huge part of their forces (big parts of 10., 3. and 4. Armies !!!) from the east towards the west - towards Kutno and river Bzura in Central Poland.

The Soviet agression made it much easier for the Germans to finally deal with Poland, because they no longer had to regroup, prepare new offensive and send the majority of their forces to the south-eastern area of the frontline (and if not the Soviet agression, they could do this only after defeating Armies "Poznan" and "Pomorze" and forces in Warsaw and Modlin, as well as those remaining units which were encircled near Radom, and were still resisting until around 18th - 19th of September).

Dealing with the Polish resistance in Central Poland (Kutno, Bzura, Warsaw, Modlin, Radom) would take at least additional three-four weeks for the Germans (since 17th of September) - and then they would have to prepare new offensive - but first they would have to regroup (and this would also take some time), because their forces - especcialy armoured and Panzer forces - were heavilly exhausted.

Number of operational tanks in most of the German Panzer-Divisions was extremely low during the third week of September (around 20th - 25th of September) - in real Panzerwaffe ended practically all of its operations in Poland around 20th - 25th of September - so it finally could rest and start repairing damaged tanks.

If not the Soviet agression, Panzerwaffe would not receive such a "gift" - and at least several more fierce and bloody further offensives against Polish forces would be "prepared" for it in the future.

And weather in October and November is not so good for Panzers, as it was in September. Also roads in former Eastern Poland (today Ukraine, Belarus) were much worse than in western and central parts of the country - as well as terrain in general (for movements of motorized and armoured forces).

Around 17th - 18th of September around 50% of all German tanks (around 1200 - 1400) were not operatable (so damaged or destroyed) due to the Polish resistance.

Despite the fact, that Panzerwaffe (thanks to the Soviet agression) practically ended all of their last operations in Poland between around 20th and 25th of September - by 10th of October still over 800 of German tanks were not operatable (these were those which were destroyed, as well as those which could not be repaired / rebuilt within 14 days - so in "short-term repair").

According to the original German report made on 10th of October it was the following amount:

Pz I - 320
Pz II - 259
Pz III - 40
Pz IV - 82
Pz 35(t) - 77
Pz Bef III - 13
Pz Bef 38(t) - 7
Pz Bef inne typy - 34
Pz 38(t) - amount is not given (but higher than 0).

Total: at least 832 tanks.

Some of these over 800 tanks - these which were the most heavilly damaged during the Polish Campaign - were still being rebuilt even as late as during the Spring and Summer of 1940 - so after circa one year.

Also M.
Alexander, in his book titled: "The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French Defence, 1933-1940", Cambidge 2003, on page 334 wrote:

"By mid-October the 2e Burreau was sharing its "high-grade intelligence indicating that [Germany's] armoured vechicles suffered severly in the Polish campaign, some having been destroyed in combat but many requires serious and protracted repairs"


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2008 at 23:36
"But Luftwaffe didn't manage to eliminate Polish Air Force. By the way - Polish air units suffered bigger casualties due to enemy AA fire, accidents and breakdowns (and problems with spare parts / lack of spare parts), and due to friendly-fire of Polish - especcialy - AA defence."

This is probably what's happening most. From 79 damaged Bf 109 there were just 7 completely destroyed by Poles. A better quote had the Polish army with He111 and Do17 when from 38/30 completely lost planes 24/23 was shot down by Flak and hunters.
 
The German Army lost about 15000 men, about 30000 were wounded. From the motorized vehicles about 50% were damaged, but mostly without hostile influence. 217 Tanks were completely damaged. It is hard to give an amount of German shot down airplanes. One is 285, but it is probably wrong and the real amount less.
 
Of course the Polish campaign would last longer if not the Russians had invaded Poland. But the most Polish troops were encircled. With the Battle of Lublin, 23rd of September, the most of the Polish army was beaten. I think the Polish casualties, soldiers and civilians, were big enough at those days and a lot followed. But I fear if the campaign would have last much longer the Polish casualties would have been much higher.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2008 at 23:49
Quote
217 Tanks were completely damaged.


Actually - 236, not 217 - according to the official data. And this is only amount of tanks which were written-off (scrapped) in September of 1939 - not during the following months (it is supposed that some tanks - even over 100 - which were eliminated during the Polish campaign in September - were written-off - scrapped - during further months - so October, November, December, January 1940, etc. ...).

According to official German data (source: book "Die Offensive gegen Kursk" by Toeppel), similar figure for the battle of Kursk (Operation "Zitadelle" together with Operation "Kutuzow") is 248 - only 12 more than in the Polish Campaign, according to the same, official sources...

And this number (248) includes these losses: between 5th of July 1943 and 20th of July 1943 the whole Army Group "South" lost 121 tanks as "Totalshaden" - according to the same, official German sources.

And this does not change the fact, that on 1st of July 1943 the Germans had got 2730 tanks operational in units which took part in the battle of Kursk, and on 31st of July 1943 - only 1485 (1245 fewer) in same units...

Similar losses (around 1200 - 1400 German tanks eliminated by the Polish Army) were sustained by Panzerwaffe in Poland - but during only around 17 - 20 days, not the whole month.

To this we must add Soviet casualties (according to official, Soviet sources, they lost 471 tanks including 47 written-off - so completely destroyed and not repaired).

Quote
From 79 damaged Bf 109 there were just 7 completely destroyed by Poles.


You quoted Marius Emmerling. Emmerling is a controversial author because he claims that the majority of the German planes which were supposed to be shot down by the Polish Air Force, fell down due to break downs.

He claims that Polish fighers shot down only around 50 - 60 planes, not 106 - as was previously said. The remaining machines allegedly just fell down because of failures.

But the Polish air victories are well confirmed.

It is also clear that the German casualties were higher when the Polish fighters were gaining more victories - as can be seen from the table below:

The Germans lost at least 247 combat planes shot down or fell down over Poland in September of 1939 (sometimes higher numbers are given - up to 285 shot down aircraft).

Daily breakdown of these losses (the minimal - not the maximal - given figure - so 247):

Unknown date ( ??? ) - 6

1 IX - 44
2 IX - 14
3 IX - 22
4 IX - 19
5 IX - 13
6 IX - 18
7 IX - 8
8 IX - 6
9 IX - 14
10 IX - 14
11 IX - 14
12 IX - 5
13 IX - 6
14 IX - 8
15 IX - 5
16 IX - 4
17 IX - 9

Soviet invasion of Poland. Evacuation of Polish Air Force.

18 IX - 2
19 IX - 0
20 IX - 1
21 IX - 3
22 IX - 1
23 IX - 1
24 IX - 1
25 IX - 3
26 IX - 2
27 IX - 4

Total: 247

And here breakdown of victories of Polish fighters in combats against Luftwaffe:

Date - Number of victories:

Unknown date ( ??? ) - 3

1 IX 1939 - 23
2 IX 1939 - 13
3 IX 1939 - 14
4 IX 1939 - 11
5 IX 1939 - 6
6 IX 1939 - 14
7 IX 1939 - 1
9 IX 1939 - 4
10 IX 1939 - 3
11 IX 1939 - 1
12 IX 1939 - 2
13 IX 1939 - 2
14 IX 1939 - 2
15 IX 1939 - 3
16 IX 1939 - 1
17 IX 1939 - 3 + 8 (Soviet)

Soviet invasion of Poland. Evacuation of Polish Air Force.

Total: 106 + 8 (Soviet) = 114

On 17th of September Polish fighters shot down 8 Soviet planes (5 fighters, 2 bombers, 1 recon plane).

Polish bombers gained 8 victories in combats against Luftwaffe.

Polish Anti Aircraft defence shot down at least over 110 Luftwaffe planes (the exact amount is not known) - and this number (over 110) is confirmed even by Marius Emmerling. Polish AA defence also shot down some Soviet planes.

Quote
The German Army lost about 15000 men, about 30000 were wounded.


Actually - according to figures established in 1944 it (only Heer + Luftwaffe + Kriegsmarine) lost at least 16,663 KIA in during the Polish Campaign in September (+ some more - several hundred KIA at least - in Poland, in October). Number of wounded was higher than 30,000 (at least around 34,000 - 35,000 in September).

I have even got a breakdown of these losses for each army.

Small comparison - casualties on the whole Eastern Front (according to similar, official German data) in 1943:

July 1943 - 35,047 KIA
August 1943 - 36,603
September 1943 - 20,301

Source:

http://radikal.ru/F/s39.radikal.ru/i083/0809/31/a05180a34913.jpg.html

This includes casualties in the battle of Kursk in July of 1943 (they were lower than casualties in Poland in 1939) - if you want, I can give some exact, official data on them.

Quote
With the Battle of Lublin, 23rd of September, the most of the Polish army was beaten.


Battle of Lublin (it should be rather called Battle of Tomaszow Lubelski) ended on 27th - 28th of September - and also Soviet forces participated in it (my grandfather took part in it and was captured first by the Soviets, later escaped, and later was wounded and surrendered to the Germans with his unit).

Quote
But I fear if the campaign would have last much longer the Polish casualties would have been much higher.


Of course - but also German casualties would be much higher (especcialy men losses).

In France in 1940 German men casualties during the first phase of the Campaign ("Fall Gelb") - when the German Army crushed the main French and English forces - were much lower than during the second phase of the campaign ("Fall Rot") - during which the Germans were fighting mainly with reserve divisions, poorly equipped and trained... - but defending in heavy terrain.

Quote
From the motorized vehicles about 50% were damaged, but mostly without hostile influence.


Mostly (vast majority) with hostile influence.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2008 at 23:42

There is a lot of official data and not all give the same amounts. But I think it is not very important if 236 or 217.

Yes, I mentioned those of Emmerling. I know he is discussed controversially but mostly in Poland.

When the war began at the 1st of September, only in one capitol people were chearing. Since month placards were hanging in the streets that were calling for to march to the neighbour's capitol, chauvinistic politicians were calling for annexions of great parts of their neighbour country. This was not Berlin - it was Warsaw. Polish newsletter were cheering for a Polish successful march on Berlin, even when German troops stood before Bromberg, they spoke about French campaigns through the Westwall and of success in East Prussia allthough no Polish soldier ever went to. The connection between the Reich and East Prussia was fullfilled still on September 4th. The Polish government left Warsaw on the 5th of September (!) and left towards the Romanian border. On the 14th of September the Polish government, till that day, talking about one victory after the other, gave up the chance to win. The main forces of Poland were defeated. Only greater troops in Warsaw hadn't surrender, on Hela and in Modlin too. The last fights were in early Oktober around Kock. But I can't see any chance for Poland that they could have won. And I can't see why the appearance of the SU was responsible for the Polish defeat. Nobody denies the strong resistance of the Polish forces. They fought brave. There is a German joke, about the three wishes of German soldiers. The first one is the mass of soldiers as the Russians have, the 2nd the mass of material that the Americans had and the 3rd wish is the Italians as enemies. I'd never heard this about Poles. So you needn't win the war after it's over and creating myths.



Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2008 at 05:45
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

The Polish government left Warsaw on the 5th of September (!) and left towards the Romanian border. On the 14th of September the Polish government, till that day, talking about one victory after the other, gave up the chance to win. The main forces of Poland were defeated. Only greater troops in Warsaw hadn't surrender, on Hela and in Modlin too.
 
Here are some facts about Polish army.
 
On the 1st September, Polish army was composed of:
- 20 divisions of infantry
- 5 brigades of infantry
- 8 brigades of cavalry
- 1 mechanised brigade
 
Just before Soviet agression, Polish army was composed of:
- 26 divisions of infantry
- 4 brigades of cavalry
- 2 mechanised brigades
 
It was the effect of mobilisation.
 
In the meantime, Polish army lost:
- 11 divisions of infantry
- 7 brigades of cavalry
 
As you can see, Polish army just before Soviet attack, wasn't much weaker than in the first day of the war.
Moreover, Polish government was still in Poland when Soviet Union joined to war.
 
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

So you needn't win the war after it's over and creating myths.
 
I don't see it in this way. I think that Domen wants to show you uknown to you point of view. Unknown, because neither Germany, nor Soviet Union, nor France nor GB were interested in showing truth about the war in Poland.
 
France ad GB could say "Poland has fallen too fast, so we can't meet our obligations". The fact that Polish army just before Soviet agression wasn't defeated was inconvenient very much for French and British politicians.
Germany could say "We have won the war in 2 weeks", what in fact means "Our Furher is a genius and our soldiers are so good".
Soviet Union could say "Poland doesn't exist. Polish government has left Poland. We are entering Poland to defend our Belarussian and Ukrainian brothers".
 
There is only one problem. Polish army existed on the 17th September, 1939. Although it was partially demaged, thanks to mobilisation it wasn't much weaker than in the first day of the war. Polish army was fighting. Polish government left Poland only after Soviet attack.
 
Nobody says that Poland could win the war alone. But it is more than certain that French and British offensive from the West, had to change military situation in Poland. It had to change because western German borders were weakly protected. First of all, Germany had to move Luftwaffe to western front. Second of all, it had to deploy most of its divisions to western front. Germany in 1939 didn't have enough forces to fight on 2 fronts simultaneously. The winter was coming... Germany wasn't ready for a long war. It was ready only for a short campaign against one enemy.
Poland had its problems too. Polish army had stocks only for 3 months of fighting. The help from France and GB was necessary. Therefore Polish army and Polish government was withdrawing to Romanian bridgehead. It was the place where the Poles could gain supplies.
 
If GB and France had met their obligations and if SU hadn't attacked, everything would happend. And I think it is Domen's point.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2008 at 23:05
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

As you can see, Polish army just before Soviet attack, wasn't much weaker than in the first day of the war.
Moreover, Polish government was still in Poland when Soviet Union joined to war.
 
9/17: Brest-Litowsk captured, 600 POW's. Deblin lost, 100 undestroyed planes captured. around Sedlice 12000 POW's captured.
9/16: SE of Warsaw 8000 POW's captured. Bialystok lost
9/15: Gdingen lost.
9/13: Sambor and Jaworow lost. Polish Troops South of Radom destroyed. 5 Div and 2 Cav.Brig. encircled at Kutno. Less resistance in South Poland. 60000 POW's captured at Radom. 18th Polish Div. surrendered North of Ostrow-Mazowieka. 6000 POW's. Osowiec lost.
9/12:Betwen Zwolen and Lysa Gora 4 Div surrender. Sambor lost, Krakowicze lost. An unknown amount of POW's South of Radom.
9/11:Neustadt and Putzig lost.
9/9: Just a few Polish planes in the air. German troops cross Bug, Wieprz and San
9/7: Neu-Sandez lost. Krakow lost. Kielce lost. In the Tucheler Heather 9th and 27th Polish Div., one Polish Tank-Bat., two Hunter-Bat's and Cav.Brig Pomorska destroyed. Westerplatte lost. Great parts of Prov. Posen lost.
9/6:Upper Silesia lost. Cichanow lost. 10000 POW's captured. Bromberg lost.Kielce lost.
9/5: 7th Polish Div destroyed. Jaworzno lost.. Graudenz lost. 40 Polish airplanes lost (15 in Air fight)
9/4:7 Airplanes shot down over Warsaw. Ostrowo, Krotoschin and Lissa lost. Corridor opened.
9/3: Tschenstochau lost.
9/2: Pless lost. Wielun lost.
 
That's doesn't sound like an Polish success. But you're right, Polish fighting went on. But on 9/19 50000 POW's captured at Bzura, 10000 POW's north of Lemberg. On 9/20 at Bzura more POW's captured, now 105000. Till 9/21 there were still 170000 POW's captured, but nine Div and parts of ten more Div were still fighting at the Weichsel river. At Zamosz and Tomaszow 60000 POW's captured and in Gdingen 12000 POW'S.
 
The OKW reported on 9/23, mission acclompished.Only warsaw, Modlin and Hela went on fighting. About 450000 Polish soldiers were captured till that day. On 9/27 41st Polish Div and 1st Cav Brig were captured east of Bilgoraj. On 9/28 Warsaw and Modlin surrendered, with about 140000 soldiers. 910/2 Hela surrendered with 4000 soldiers and 0n 10/6 Kock with 17000 soldiers.
 
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

I don't see it in this way. I think that Domen wants to show you uknown to you point of view. Unknown, because neither Germany, nor Soviet Union, nor France nor GB were interested in showing truth about the war in Poland.
This sounds like a Polish kind of "Dolchstoßlegende".
 
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

France ad GB could say "Poland has fallen too fast, so we can't meet our obligations". The fact that Polish army just before Soviet agression wasn't defeated was inconvenient very much for French and British politicians.
Germany could say "We have won the war in 2 weeks", what in fact means "Our Furher is a genius and our soldiers are so good".
Soviet Union could say "Poland doesn't exist. Polish government has left Poland. We are entering Poland to defend our Belarussian and Ukrainian brothers".
 
There is only one problem. Polish army existed on the 17th September, 1939. Although it was partially demaged, thanks to mobilisation it wasn't much weaker than in the first day of the war. Polish army was fighting. Polish government left Poland only after Soviet attack..
I hope I could show you that the Polish army, also heavyly and brave fighting was beaten and encircled on all parts of the front.
 
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

Nobody says that Poland could win the war alone. But it is more than certain that French and British offensive from the West, had to change military situation in Poland. It had to change because western German borders were weakly protected. First of all, Germany had to move Luftwaffe to western front. Second of all, it had to deploy most of its divisions to western front. Germany in 1939 didn't have enough forces to fight on 2 fronts simultaneously. The winter was coming... Germany wasn't ready for a long war. It was ready only for a short campaign against one enemy.
Poland had its problems too. Polish army had stocks only for 3 months of fighting. The help from France and GB was necessary. Therefore Polish army and Polish government was withdrawing to Romanian bridgehead. It was the place where the Poles could gain supplies.
 
If GB and France had met their obligations and if SU hadn't attacked, everything would happend. And I think it is Domen's point.
And if the USA hadn't helped the Allies and Russia than Germany had won the war. If the Italians hadn't failed in Albania or  in Africa Hitler had attacked Russia earlier and we hadn't moved troops to africa and, and, and. If there weren't the word if. I can't see that Russia is responsible for the Polish defeat. But I can agree that a allied attack in the West could have had helped the Polish troops, but perhaps just for awhile. We'll never know.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 21-Dec-2008 at 20:35
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

This sounds like a Polish kind of "Dolchstoßlegende".




Quote And if the USA hadn't helped the Allies and Russia than Germany had won the war. If the Italians hadn't failed in Albania or  in Africa Hitler had attacked Russia earlier and we hadn't moved troops to africa and, and, and. If there weren't the word if. I can't see that Russia is responsible for the Polish defeat. But I can agree that a allied attack in the West could have had helped the Polish troops, but perhaps just for awhile. We'll never know.


very good points. i don't see how this talk changes anything because the battles & wars we talk about have already been fought and they are long over.

let's speak hypothetically. now we change all history books. we will give full credit to all Polish achievemnts and we will write that Poland could have hold out longer. we will write Poland was militarically a great nation that fought well. at the end of the day, what will it change for you? what will it change for Poland? what will it change for the world? will Poles walk in the street with heads raised up and pride in their chetsts? what will be the difference? will Poland or Polish people gain a new status in the world? i still fail to see the point of those threads. yes, there were a lot of interesting new photos and some of the info was maybe not so very well known to the general public. (the Osprey book on the 1939 campaign deals very well with Polish air combat sucesses as well as Mokra).


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2008 at 05:36
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

 at the end of the day, what will it change for you?
 
Temujin,
 
If somebody, who is not interested in history, wrote this, I would understand him. But you? You, who are a fierce debater of so many historical discussions? Do you remember our hot discussion about .... a role of lance pennats? 
And now you ask "what will it change?" Maybe nothing. But the man like you, should understand very well the importance of the TRUTH for people interested in history.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2008 at 18:04
Since we've been discussing the Polish campaing in such in details, I want to add that besided "cooperation" there was a number of clashes betrween the advancing German and Soviet forces.
 
Some skirmishes have lasted for hours. At one instance Soviet bombers attacked a German column near Belostok on another German artillery opened fire on advacing Soviet tanks.
A German ifantry formations had a sevaral  hours combat with a Soviet cavalry division.
In another "accident"  Soviet tanks attacked German 2nd mountain division's units near Lvov.
 
Both sides had casualties...


-------------
Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2008 at 18:00
Quote
Yes, I mentioned those of Emmerling. I know he is discussed controversially but mostly in Poland.


Well, it is hard for him not be discussed in Poland, if he is half Polish, was born in Silesia, and knows Polish really pretty well...

He is present on the Polish WW2 forums - including dws forum - and I was even discussing with him in this thread (and some other also):

http://www.dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=121285

http://www.dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=121285&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=750

I think his books are pretty good, but he made some mistakes because he was not comparing Polish and German sources.

We proved him that he was mistaken in some cases - for example the case of air victories of Gnys on 1st of September.

And no - German reports were not mistaken in that case !!! He just did not understand them correctly - and did not compare them correctly with Polish reports and relations !!!

Quote
and of success in East Prussia allthough no Polish soldier ever went to.


Actually, there was an escapade to East Prussia made by Podlaska Cavalry Brigade - several dozen POWs from Grenzschutz and Selbshutz were captured during it as far as I remember.

Quote
The main forces of Poland were defeated. Only greater troops in Warsaw hadn't surrender, on Hela and in Modlin too.


Look at the maps which I posted before once again, because you are writing rubbish.

Quote
The Polish government left Warsaw on the 5th of September (!) and left towards the Romanian border.


Towards Włodzimierz Wołyński (it is not near Romanian Border).

Later to Stanisławów in Romanian Bridgehead.

It left towards Romania on 17th of September - after the Soviet agression.

Quote
On the 14th of September the Polish government, till that day, talking about one victory after the other, gave up the chance to win.


Can you explain it further and more precisely, because I don't know what do you mean - give some facts, not empty slogans.

Quote
Deblin lost, 100 undestroyed planes captured.


It is a myth created by the Germans.

All of them were damaged (or in combat, or later - purposely by the Poles), and the number was lower than 100 (several dozens).

Quote
9/13 Polish Troops South of Radom destroyed.


It is a shame for you!

You are from Germany and you cannot even use German sources properly!

Read my posts on Axis History Forum in this thread:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=145228

Quote
9/12:Betwen Zwolen and Lysa Gora 4 Div surrender.


4. Infantry Division took part in the battle of Bzura - between 11th and 22nd of September.

It surrendered on 22nd of September, not 12th of September.

Be friendly and give sources for your claims on the next time Wink

Quote
9/6:Upper Silesia lost. Cichanow lost. 10000 POW's captured.


Capturing 10 thousands POWs in the battle of Mława was invented by Robert Kennedy in his book "The German campaign in Poland".

In fact the Germans did not capture even 1 thousand POWs during the battle of Mława.

If you want I can give you figures from the Polish reports about strength of both divisions of this army after the end of the battle.

Quote
That's doesn't sound like an Polish success. But you're right, Polish fighting went on. But on 9/19 50000 POW's captured at Bzura, 10000 POW's north of Lemberg. On 9/20 at Bzura more POW's captured, now 105000. Till 9/21 there were still 170000 POW's captured, but nine Div and parts of ten more Div were still fighting at the Weichsel river. At Zamosz and Tomaszow 60000 POW's captured and in Gdingen 12000 POW'S.
 
The OKW reported on 9/23, mission acclompished.Only warsaw, Modlin and Hela went on fighting. About 450000 Polish soldiers were captured till that day.


These figures are correct.

But it was all after 17th of September - after the Soviet agression.

And the Poles had no longer any reason to fight, because after the Soviet invasion the war was definitely lost.

Quote
On 9/27 41st Polish Div and 1st Cav Brig were captured east of Bilgoraj.


Because the Soviets attacked them from the east, and they were negotiating with the Germans, that they will surrender if the Germans allow them to march across their lines towards the west - to escape from the Soviets.

Quote
9/7: Neu-Sandez lost. Krakow lost. Kielce lost. In the Tucheler Heather 9th and 27th Polish Div., one Polish Tank-Bat., two Hunter-Bat's and Cav.Brig Pomorska destroyed. Westerplatte lost. Great parts of Prov. Posen lost.


9th and 27th divisions were not destroyed but suffered big casualties (9th division lost around 50% of its forces, 27th division - around 30%).

Pomorska C.B. was not destroyed, but lost around 50% of its strength.

"Prov. Posen" - you mean - Greater Poland - was not defended on that day (only on 1st and 2nd of September there were some combats with attacking regiments of Grenzschutz).

Quote
(the Osprey book on the 1939 campaign deals very well with Polish air combat sucesses as well as Mokra).


German and Polish reports - if you know how to read and interprete them correctly - deals very well with Osprey book...

Read memories of Eberbach and some Polish and German combat reports before reading poor books by Osprey publishing:

http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=29235

Quote
Since we've been discussing the Polish campaing in such in details, I want to add that besided "cooperation" there was a number of clashes betrween the advancing German and Soviet forces.
 
Some skirmishes have lasted for hours. At one instance Soviet bombers attacked a German column near Belostok on another German artillery opened fire on advacing Soviet tanks.
A German ifantry formations had a sevaral  hours combat with a Soviet cavalry division.
In another "accident"  Soviet tanks attacked German 2nd mountain division's units near Lvov.
 
Both sides had casualties...


There were 3 or 4 such events (one of them near Lwów).

In every such case Germans were "begging the Soviets to forgive them" and both allies were declaring that it was a mistake, and confirming their "friendship" (faked, but still "friendship")...

Quote
There is a lot of official data and not all give the same amounts. But I think it is not very important if 236 or 217.


According to Toeppel - book "Die Offensive gegen Kurks" - according to official data in the battle of Kursk - together with Operation "Kutuzow" - in July of 1943 the Germans lost 248 tanks as "Totalshaden".

The difference is that the Soviets which opposed the Germans there, had got 5 Panzer Armies - and how many Panzer Armies did Poland have in 1939 ???

Quote
When the war began at the 1st of September, only in one capitol people were chearing.


Yes - and it was Berlin.

In Warsaw people were chearing, but on 3rd of September, not on 1st of September - when England and France declared war to Germany.

Quote
But I think it is not very important if 236 or 217.


The problem is that it is only the number of tanks which were written-off in September of 1939, not the number of those, which classified to be written-off due to the Polish campaign.

It is a huge difference between these two kinds of numbers.

According to Czechoslovakian sources, 6 Pz-35(t) were classified to be written-off in 1941, but only 1 of them really WAS written-off in 1941.

And in 1942 10 such tanks were written-off (including 5 which were - in fact - lost yet during the previous year).

So tank was lost in 1941, but was written-off from Panzerwaffe resources in 1942 - one year later!

It clearly shows, that casualties in Poland were higher than 236 tanks - because 236 were written-off in September, but some of tanks which were lost in Poland in 1939, were still being write-off during the following months of the following year - 1940 - and also of 1939.

I have a data in which there are more than 100 tanks, which were written-off from Panzerwaffe in period since October 1939 until the beginning of the Westfeldzug, for which reason of writing-off is not given.

I'm pretty shure that those 100+ tanks were written-off due to the Polish campaign of 1939.

So the complete number of "Totalshaden" (tanks completely destroyed) during the Polish Campaign, most probably was around 350 - 300 - if not including the Soviet tanks (the Soviets written-off 47 tanks in September of 1939 due to the Polish campaign + maybe some more later).

For this problem see my posts here:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=75823&start=30

At least around 102 - 105 additional completely lost tanks - which were written-off after September of 1939 - are "for the Polish Campaign" most probably.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 00:54
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


Actually, there was an escapade to East Prussia made by Podlaska Cavalry Brigade - several dozen POWs from Grenzschutz and Selbshutz were captured during it as far as I remember.

OK, that was for sure a great victory

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:


The main forces of Poland were defeated. Only greater troops in Warsaw hadn't surrender, on Hela and in Modlin too.

Look at the maps which I posted before once again, because you are writing rubbish.
So perhaps we have different maps. I am convinced my are correct.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

The Polish government left Warsaw on the 5th of September (!) and left towards the Romanian border.

Towards Włodzimierz Wołyński (it is not near Romanian Border).
Later to Stanisławów in Romanian Bridgehead.
It left towards Romania on 17th of September - after the Soviet agression.
I said they left towards. I did not say they went to Romania or they stayed directly at the border. But as far as I can see, you agree that they did not believe Warsaw is sure any longer for them. Or was it just a vacation tour?

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

On the 14th of September the Polish government, till that day, talking about one victory after the other, gave up the chance to win.

Can you explain it further and more precisely, because I don't know what do you mean - give some facts, not empty slogans.
You can search in Polish gazettes for it. But as far as I can see, you are still talking of an polish victory against the German forces.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

Deblin lost, 100 undestroyed planes captured.

It is a myth created by the Germans.
All of them were damaged (or in combat, or later - purposely by the Poles), and the number was lower than 100 (several dozens).
Well I did not proof it. So I accept the possibility that I went wrong. But I do not trust your sources.
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

9/13 Polish Troops South of Radom destroyed.

It is a shame for you!
You are from Germany and you cannot even use German sources properly!
The OKW e.g. reports:" The south of Radom encircled Polish troops have finished to exist.; great prey of POW's, Artillery and military equipment still uncounted."

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

9/12:Betwen Zwolen and Lysa Gora 4 Div surrender.

4. Infantry Division took part in the battle of Bzura - between 11th and 22nd of September.
It surrendered on 22nd of September, not 12th of September.
Be friendly and give sources for your claims on the next time Wink
I did not say 4th Division, I wrote four Divisions

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

9/6:Upper Silesia lost. Cichanow lost. 10000 POW's captured.

Capturing 10 thousands POWs in the battle of Mława was invented by Robert Kennedy in his book "The German campaign in Poland".
In fact the Germans did not capture even 1 thousand POWs during the battle of Mława.
If you want I can give you figures from the Polish reports about strength of both divisions of this army after the end of the battle.

Perhaps this he invented the idea that 10000 POW's were captured in the battle of Mlawa. Again I didn't write they were captured at Mlawa. It was late, so I apologize, I wrote very shortened. I mentioned that during the campaign from East Prussia via Mlawa towards Rozan at the Narew about 10000 POW's were captured.
 
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

That's doesn't sound like an Polish success. But you're right, Polish fighting went on. But on 9/19 50000 POW's captured at Bzura, 10000 POW's north of Lemberg. On 9/20 at Bzura more POW's captured, now 105000. Till 9/21 there were still 170000 POW's captured, but nine Div and parts of ten more Div were still fighting at the Weichsel river. At Zamosz and Tomaszow 60000 POW's captured and in Gdingen 12000 POW'S.The OKW reported on 9/23, mission acclompished.Only warsaw, Modlin and Hela went on fighting. About 450000 Polish soldiers were captured till that day.

These figures are correct.
But it was all after 17th of September - after the Soviet agression.
And the Poles had no longer any reason to fight, because after the Soviet invasion the war was definitely lost.

Glad to hear that I qouted it correct. So about 850000 soldiers were still in action, but encircled, pressed together of very small areas. Where was the rest of you army? This is quite a half, isn't it?

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

9/7: Neu-Sandez lost. Krakow lost. Kielce lost. In the Tucheler Heather 9th and 27th Polish Div., one Polish Tank-Bat., two Hunter-Bat's and Cav.Brig Pomorska destroyed. Westerplatte lost. Great parts of Prov. Posen lost.

9th and 27th divisions were not destroyed but suffered big casualties (9th division lost around 50% of its forces, 27th division - around 30%).
Pomorska C.B. was not destroyed, but lost around 50% of its strength.
"Prov. Posen" - you mean - Greater Poland - was not defended on that day (only on 1st and 2nd of September there were some combats with attacking regiments of Grenzschutz).
Ok. Not destroyed. Your 50% make it clear, it was aPolish success.
Not defended - but lost.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

German and Polish reports - if you know how to read and interprete them correctly -
and I am sure you're the one who only can. I met a lot guys here like you.
 

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Since we've been discussing the Polish campaing in such in details, I want to add that besided "cooperation" there was a number of clashes betrween the advancing German and Soviet forces.
Some skirmishes have lasted for hours. At one instance Soviet bombers attacked a German column near Belostok on another German artillery opened fire on advacing Soviet tanks.
A German ifantry formations had a sevaral  hours combat with a Soviet cavalry division.
In another "accident"  Soviet tanks attacked German 2nd mountain division's units near Lvov.
Both sides had casualties...

There were 3 or 4 such events (one of them near Lwów).
In every such case Germans were "begging the Soviets to forgive them" and both allies were declaring that it was a mistake, and confirming their "friendship" (faked, but still "friendship")...
This happens when two armies are rolling towards each other. You choice of words show me very clear, that you're far from objectivity.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

[QUOTE=beorna]
When the war began at the 1st of September, only in one capitol people were chearing.

Yes - and it was Berlin.
In Warsaw people were chearing, but on 3rd of September, not on 1st of September - when England and France declared war to Germany.

the main German population was not happy about a war. Yes, the Nazis cheered, that's what they ever did untill the end.
 


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 01:01
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That's doesn't sound like an Polish success. But you're right, Polish fighting went on. But on 9/19 50000 POW's captured at Bzura, 10000 POW's north of Lemberg. On 9/20 at Bzura more POW's captured, now 105000. Till 9/21 there were still 170000 POW's captured, but nine Div and parts of ten more Div were still fighting at the Weichsel river. At Zamosz and Tomaszow 60000 POW's captured and in Gdingen 12000 POW'S.The OKW reported on 9/23, mission acclompished.Only warsaw, Modlin and Hela went on fighting. About 450000 Polish soldiers were captured till that day.


These figures are correct.
But it was all after 17th of September - after the Soviet agression.
And the Poles had no longer any reason to fight, because after the Soviet invasion the war was definitely lost.


Glad to hear that I qouted it correct. So about 850000 soldiers were still in action, but encircled, pressed together of very small areas. Where was the rest of you army? This is quite a half, isn't it?


But these figures are as for 23rd of September, not as for 17th of September.

The vast majority of those soldiers were captured - as you even noticed - after 17th of September.

To this you must the Soviet figures - these are of course figures for the whole campaign - but they probably captured the majority of those soldiers during first several days (maybe during the first week):

- Ukrainian Front claimed capturing 392,334 Polish POWs.
- Byelorussian Front claimed capturing 60,202 Polish POWs.


To this we must add those who escaped to Romania and other neighbouring countries between 17th and 23rd of September (of course many escaped also later - after 23rd of September).

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the main German population was not happy about a war.


As well as the main Polish population.

But unfortunately it was not "the main population" which was rulling over III Reich - as well as the II Republic of Poland...

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Perhaps this he invented the idea that 10000 POW's were captured in the battle of Mlawa. Again I didn't write they were captured at Mlawa. It was late, so I apologize, I wrote very shortened. I mentioned that during the campaign from East Prussia via Mlawa towards Rozan at the Narew about 10000 POW's were captured.


Well - this explanation changes everything.

I suppose that it is very possible that they captured around 10,000 along the whole frontline during the first six days.

I suppose that the majority of them were from 7. Infantry Division - which was destroyed - and some parts of Army "Pomorze" which were encircled and later defeated or at least suffered huge casualties.

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Not defended - but lost.


Why not defended? - Corridor was defended.

But militarilly it was a huge mistake to put there so big forces - because it was later hard for them to get out of this area, when Guderian cut them off after some initial, fierce battles.

Politically it was a good move - because Poland showed the world that Pomerania is important for it.

But it is not politics which wins military conflicts...

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I did not say 4th Division, I wrote four Divisions


OK - sorry. Btw - I must check this info.

Do you know which divisions is it about ?

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The OKW e.g. reports:" The south of Radom encircled Polish troops have finished to exist.; great prey of POW's, Artillery and military equipment still uncounted."


Yes - but OKW report was wrong. Of course - some part of Polish forces near Radom surrendered on 11th and 12th of September. But the majority of them - did not surrender. Big part of them broke through to the eastern bank of Vistula, and some other part was still fighting with the Germans in the area around Radom - Kielce.

Read the link which I provided (to this forum) - read my posts there - I quoted there some German reports from a later period.

Even on 18th of September there was still Polish resistance in the area around Radom.

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But as far as I can see, you are still talking of an polish victory against the German forces.


When did I write anything like that?

I only wrote that if not the Soviet invasion there was a chance for further, longer than in real, resistance.

Not that there was any chance for victory in the campaign (although there were some battles, which were won by the Poles - and there would be more of them probably, if not the Soviet agression - for example the second biggest battle of the Polish Campaign - the battle of Tomaszow Lubelski and Zamosc).

But in general overwiev, Poland had no chance with Germany, if fighting alone (without help of Britain and France) - it was simply by the power of numbers (here mainly), technology and industry - and resources (of ammo for example).

Of course Polish commanders in some cases could command much better, than they actually did. In some other cases they were commanding very well. The Polish defensive plan might have been better. But Poland was the first country in history to stand against "Blitzkrieg" - so we shouldn't expect that Polish commanders were clairvoyants...

Anyway - Poland itself - the whole country - had got ammo for its army only for around 2 - 2,5 months of war.

Without supplies from Britain and France - after around 2 months - every remaining Polish soldier / tank / gun would ran out of ammo...

And Poland could not produce ammo as fast as it was nescessary - especcialy that Germans captured the major part of the Polish military industry by around 17th of September....

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OK, that was for sure a great victory


For Polish propaganda - certainly...

By the way - I don't know if you know about it, but the German propaganda was not better than the Poles in this case.

On 8th or 9th of September (I don't remember exactly) German newspapers wrote that Warsaw was captured - and Germans also sent such a message to their embassy in Moscow - Schulenburg - who told to Molotov about it ...

On the following day he had to apologize and make "small" correction of this info Clap

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But as far as I can see, you agree that they did not believe Warsaw is sure any longer for them. Or was it just a vacation tour?


They left Warsaw because it was endangered by advancing German XVI Panzer-Korps (especcialy 4. Panzer-Division - parts of which reached Warsaw in the late evening on 8th of September - and its major forces on 9th of September 1939).

They didn't want to be captured or encircled - because then they wouldn't have been able to command / rule any longer.

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So perhaps we have different maps. I am convinced my are correct.


Maybe correct but probably they are incomplete and do not show every unit (maybe they only show German units ?) - so probably they are not so precise.

My is more complete - shows more units - and is more exact probably.

And the German units are also marked correctly on my map - I checked it by comparing it with the German maps (for example those from Robert Kennedy's book - "The German Campaign in Poland" - which shows only German units - as the name of the book itself suggests...).

Cheers!

And Marry Christmas to everybody!



Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 07:10
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

When the war began at the 1st of September, only in one capitol people were chearing. Since month placards were hanging in the streets that were calling for to march to the neighbour's capitol, chauvinistic politicians were calling for annexions of great parts of their neighbour country. This was not Berlin - it was Warsaw. Polish newsletter were cheering for a Polish successful march on Berlin, even when German troops stood before Bromberg, they spoke about French campaigns through the Westwall and of success in East Prussia allthough no Polish soldier ever went to.

 
Please don't put us this nazi crap propaganda. 
Yes, Polish were happy when German attacked, surely they danced on the streetsLOL and in Germany there was a mourning. I'm waiting when You start to claim that Poland started the war. Your opinions are as idiotic as opinion that Poland would win the war if not Soviet Union's attack.
Simple Germans were happy with the war until they started to lose it and opposition against Hitler was tiny.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 22:43
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

 
Temujin,
 
If somebody, who is not interested in history, wrote this, I would understand him. But you? You, who are a fierce debater of so many historical discussions? Do you remember our hot discussion about .... a role of lance pennats? 
And now you ask "what will it change?" Maybe nothing. But the man like you, should understand very well the importance of the TRUTH for people interested in history.


yes of course we discuss about issues that are not very clear, for example the lance pennon discussion you mentioned. but what's exactly to discuss here? no one said that Poland was overrun without ressistance and in some cases, which are discussed here, showed strengh. but i'm disturbed by a few issues: - the sentationalist nature of Domens thread titles (Panzer crushed by infantry).  - selective presentation of favourable sources and events while at the same time ignoring negative ones. - revisionistic nature of what is presented. takign into account everything that has been written, the Polish Army at the time of Soviet intervention was already with it's back on the wall and the campaign so far (again, despite the individual sucesses here and there) was a rather smooth and decisive one and i have not a single reason to believe that this would have changed without Soviet support. it also never has been mentioned so far that the common German soldiers in this camapign were Green, it was the first war since 1918 and it was fought in a new mode of warfare compared to the previous one. tecnically, in fact the last major war Poland had was both more recent (by a few years) as well as in the new mode of warfare, that is mobile warfare as opposed to trenchwarfare.

but comign back to your original argument. what we discuss here is not a question of was it this way or was it that way. no, what we discuss here is simply just "what if". and it has already pointed out. like Beorna pointed out already, the whole point of Domens work here constitutes the "unbesiegt im Felde" (undefeated on the (battle)field)-rhetorics and the "Dolchstosslegende".


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 25-Dec-2008 at 10:37
First reason of a quick defeat was that Polish army streched their defensive lines along the border instead of focusing along the rivers in the centre Poland. Thanks to such position of Polish army German divisions easily went through Polish lines and sourraunded Polish divisions separating one from the other. Decision of Polish army headquater to defend whole territory instead of preparing tougher defence in a better terrain was made because Poland was afraid that Germans will take Western Poland and stop. This could cause that Wetern allies would accept German's territory gains as Poland left it without fight anyway. So Poland would be beaten without any fight.
Nevertheless Poland was doomed anyway, its defence could have only last maybe 2 weeks longer.
This discussion ia really amusing. I think our Germans colleagues think we are completelly crazy and think Poland would have beat Germany if not SU attackUnhappy.
And Beorna really amused me when He talked about Polish pre war propoganda. In his opinion our goverment should have been saying that we'll lose, let's run away. So we should lay down and wait for execution. That would be not chauvinistic. Really if You know countries that are to be attacked by the neighbourg and scream they will lose please anknowledge us.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 25-Dec-2008 at 22:39
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it also never has been mentioned so far that the common German soldiers in this camapign were Green it was the first war since 1918 and it was fought in a new mode of warfare compared to the previous one.


And Poles were veterans of 10 wars each - and they also knew Blitzkrieg and modern tactics very well since centuries, because there were a lot of countries before Poland, which met with it and with modern warfare in general.

It was so even though 10% to 15% of the Polish army in 1939 were Ukrainians or Belorussians the majority of whom had never seen anything except their own village - and who didn't want to fight at all after the Soviet agression of 17th of September - there was also a significant number of Germans in the Polish Army in 1939 - the majority of whom didn't fight brave or even didn't fight at all against the Germans.

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German soldiers in this camapign were Green


They were less green than any other soldiers in the world at that time.

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in fact the last major war Poland had was both more recent (by a few years) as well as in the new mode of warfare, that is mobile warfare as opposed to trenchwarfare.


Wow !

Polish victory over the Soviets in 1920 influenced only in negative way on the Polish defensive war of 1939.

Becuase Polish commanders used their "confirmed in real" experiences from the war of 1920 in 1939... (for example - mobile war of infantry is nothing odd, bombers and fighters not very nescessary - only recon and communication planes are useful, cavalry is pretty good as not only tactical but also strategical mean of offensive, no experience with combats against tanks - since the Red Army of 1920 practically didn't have them at all).

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This discussion ia really amusing. I think our Germans colleagues think we are completelly crazy and think Poland would have beat Germany if not SU attack.


Poles wouldn't have beaten Germans and wouldn't have captured Berlin - this is certain.

The problem is if the Germans would have beaten the Poles.

I am not shure if the Germans would have had things to bit Poland with, if not the Soviet agression on 17th of September, because according to general Mueller-Hillebrand ("Das Heer, 1933 - 1945", volume 1, page 161) Hitler started war with only 6-days resources of calibre 20mm ammo - which was a basic ammunition for both German tanks (Panzer II) and AA guns.

During the first 6 days of the campaign he ran out of this resources, during the next days he was using what he managed to produce in period between 1st and 6th of September, and also current production, during the following days - only current production.

By around 25th of September he probably didn't have a single 20mm bullet in the whole III Reich...

Of course if general Mueller-Hillebrand's data isn't wrong.

================================

By the way:

I know that our discussion is heavily "off-topic" at the moment, but let's come back to the main topic for a moment - because I have got some new interesting photos, related to it:

The battle of Kiernozia:

More photos from the same places - villages Sierżniki and Skowroda (even same soldiers can be seen) - more tanks which were destroyed in these two villages during the battle of Kiernozia:



Is it the same tank as in the previous photo or some other one?:



More tanks destroyed in this place:



The same tank:



Another one:



================================================

The battle of Ruszki - more photos:

"106":



"534" - what are they doing?:

[/quote]

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but what's exactly to discuss here?


Hmmm - read the topic - the topic is the battles of Ruszki and Kiernozia...

But we are actually discussing something different - the whole campaign.

I'm not against it - and it is my thread - so we can discuss what we are and what we want - even though it actually is a total off-topic. Big smile

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Thanks to such position of Polish army German divisions easily went through Polish lines and sourraunded Polish divisions separating one from the other.


In some places easily - in some other hard.

It also depends what do you name as "easily" - because the major part of the German divisions encountered heavy resistance during the Battle of the Border - but this resistance at the border, although fierce - wasn't very long because the Poles started their withdrawal very soon - after a few days, in some other parts of the frontline - after several days.

Some divisions were surrounded or separated - but the majority were not.

This your statement is a big generalization - like those in programmes on Discovery Channel.


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 18:38
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


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This discussion ia really amusing. I think our Germans colleagues think we are completelly crazy and think Poland would have beat Germany if not SU attack.


Poles wouldn't have beaten Germans and wouldn't have captured Berlin - this is certain.

The problem is if the Germans would have beaten the Poles.

I am not shure if the Germans would have had things to bit Poland with, if not the Soviet agression on 17th of September, because according to general Mueller-Hillebrand ("Das Heer, 1933 - 1945", volume 1, page 161) Hitler started war with only 6-days resources of calibre 20mm ammo - which was a basic ammunition for both German tanks (Panzer II) and AA guns.

During the first 6 days of the campaign he ran out of this resources, during the next days he was using what he managed to produce in period between 1st and 6th of September, and also current production, during the following days - only current production.

By around 25th of September he probably didn't have a single 20mm bullet in the whole III Reich...

Of course if general Mueller-Hillebrand's data isn't wrong.

 
I think You are totally wrong. On 17th September Germans were on the outskirts of Warsaw. So the answer is yes, they would have beaten Poles without SU involvment, with not much delay. Somehow German's bullets were enough to finish the campain. 
I must say that if You claim that without SU invasion Poles would have repeal German's attack, I'm not suprise they laugh from this.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 21:11
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:



And Poles were veterans of 10 wars each - and they also knew Blitzkrieg and modern tactics very well since centuries, because there were a lot of countries before Poland, which met with it and with modern warfare in general.

It was so even though 10% to 15% of the Polish army in 1939 were Ukrainians or Belorussians the majority of whom had never seen anything except their own village - and who didn't want to fight at all after the Soviet agression of 17th of September - there was also a significant number of Germans in the Polish Army in 1939 - the majority of whom didn't fight brave or even didn't fight at all against the Germans.


Poland always emphasized on mobile warfare, that's nothing new. the state of the Polish Army in 1939 could have been better but it could have been worse too. the Polish-Bolshewik War taught many new lessons, almost all of Stalins main generals like Voroshilov, Timoshenko and Budenny were in the Cavalry and accordingly influenced military thinking particularly after the purge of Tukhachevsky. eventually they were sacked, but Red Cavalry played also an important role in ww2 for them (defense of Moscow, encircling German 6th Army in Stalingrad, Operations in Manchuria).

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They were less green than any other soldiers in the world at that time.


that's nonsense. look at the Gran Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay in the 30s. Bolivia had a German trained Army and the Paraguayans a French trained Army and the Paraguayans won. then there was also the Spanish Civil War and the second Sino-Japanese War. the soldiers of those countries were certainly more experienced in 1939 than the German Army.

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Wow !

Polish victory over the Soviets in 1920 influenced only in negative way on the Polish defensive war of 1939.

Becuase Polish commanders used their "confirmed in real" experiences from the war of 1920 in 1939... (for example - mobile war of infantry is nothing odd, bombers and fighters not very nescessary - only recon and communication planes are useful, cavalry is pretty good as not only tactical but also strategical mean of offensive, no experience with combats against tanks - since the Red Army of 1920 practically didn't have them at all).


you must be kidding me. the Polish Cavalry was not very well used in 1939, the Polish high command certainly didn't learned their lesson. and talking about Soviet tanks, they had next to Britain the second largest number of tanks, armoured trains and armoured cars, you can read that in every book. they were heavily used during the Russian Civil War which occured at the same time as the Polish-Bolshewik War. if the Poles didn't learned their lessons, you have no reason to blame the German Army.


BTW, another last note. you always repeat to say that the Poles at the border retreated, but you never talk about defeat. you make it sound as if they retreated because they were bored or had nothing better to do, as if it was their free will to do so. Tongue


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 23:13
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I think You are totally wrong. On 17th September Germans were on the outskirts of Warsaw. So the answer is yes, they would have beaten Poles without SU involvment, with not much delay.


Read my posts on the previous pages of this topic.

Warsaw was not important for the Poles any longer. Warsaw could have been captured by the Germans - it wouldn't have changed the general situation. Marschal Rydz-Smigly ordered Warsaw to defend as long as possible only because he wanted to delay the Germans. He was concentrating his forces in totally different part of the country - and there he planned to establish further defence against the Germans.

In 1940 France was still fighting after Paris was seized by the Germans, I see no reason why Poland could not (while actually even in real it was - but against two invaders).

It was the south-eastern part of the frontline - Romanian Bridgehead, Lwów (Lemberg in German), Polesie, Kobryn, Wolhynia (Wołyń in Polish), Roztocze and Eastern Lesser Poland, which was the most important for further defence of Poland. And it was there where the Poles planned to resist the Germans - if not the Soviet agression.

I remind all of you that Lemberg and huge area around it was never captured by the Germans, even though the Germans started to attack it on 12th of September 1939. On 17th of September it was the Polish army which gained a big succes near Lwów - 10th Motorized Brigade recaptured Zboiska and hills around it, which would soon make it very easy for forces of Sosnkowski (3 infantry divisions) - which were fighting with the Germans west of Lwów - to get to Lwów or the area north of it (between Lwów and Żółkiew) very quickly. Unfortunately after the Soviet agression 10th Motorized Brigade was ordered to withdraw to Romania - and the succes was lost, because after the 10th Brigade withdrawed, the Germans recaptured previously lost ground without combat.

The Germans - however - withdrawed from the area near Lemberg on 21st of September - they didn't manage to acomplish their tasks - the battle of Lemberg was won by the Poles.

On 22nd of September a treaty between the Soviets and the Polish commanders of Lemberg was signed, and the Polish forces in Lemberg gave the city to the Red Army. Red Army allowed Polish soldiers to go to their homes - as was established in the treaty. But they did not keep all conditions of the treaty - because instead of letting officers go - as they promised in the treaty -, they captured all of them (and later all of them were murderred in Katyn).

When Red Army seized the city, Polish poet - Wladislav Broniewski - who was in Lwów on 22nd of September - wrote a short poem:

"Byłby drugi Grunwald i byłyby drugie Płowce
Gdyby nie te bombowce
I gdyby nie te czołgi
Które przybyły znad Wołgi"

"There would be second Grunwald and there would be second Płowce
If not these bombers
And these tanks
Which came from the Volga"

Lemberg was the goal which the Germans simply had to (and wanted to) reach, if they wanted to defeat Poland and to carry out new offensive against the Polish forces in Romanian Bridgehead, Eastern Lesser Poland and Wolhynia - which would have been absolutely nescessary to defeat Poland, if the Soviets hadn't have beginned their invasion.

And - as I posted previously (attaching suitable maps to my posts - showing situation in Poland on 17th of September and the German plans before the Soviet agression) - the German High Command planned to carry out an offensive against the Polish forces in Romanian Bridgehead - and - of course - capturing Lemberg during it (and later attacking towards Kamionka Strumilova - Tarnopol or Brody and towards Stanislavov - today Ivano-Frankovsk) - but they simply didn't have forces nescessary to do it in this region of Poland - because the majority of their forces were involved in different parts of Poland.

One + half very weakened Panzer divisions - which the Germans planned to use during this offensive - was not enough to capture Lememberg, defeat 10th Motorized Brigade and other forces which were defending the area around Lemberg - and also not enough to defeat forces which were on their farther route. It was not enough to end this planned offensive with succes.

It simply shows us how little the Germans knew about the strength of the Polish forces in this region - especcialy around Lemberg. They underestimated it, if they thought that they could capture Lemberg - and advance farther - by an attack of such - relatively small - forces.

Full scale attack on Lemberg in strength of only one, much weakened Panzer-Division (5. Panzer-Division) must have ended in the same way as the attack on Warsaw carried out by 4. Panzer-Division ended - or even worse. So - total failure.

Especcialy that on 9th of September Warsaw was defended by much smaller and weaker forces, than Lemberg on 17th of September.

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Bolivia had a German trained Army and the Paraguayans a French trained Army and the Paraguayans won. then there was also the Spanish Civil War and the second Sino-Japanese War. the soldiers of those countries were certainly more experienced in 1939 than the German Army.


In both wars - Gran Chaco War and Spanish Civil War - a lot of German soldiers took part - both land forces and Luftwaffe (see for example "Legion Condor") - and they gained a lot of new experiences during those wars.

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you must be kidding me. the Polish Cavalry was not very well used in 1939


The Polish Cavalry was used very well in 1939, but Cavalry is not a strategical mean of offensive !!

It is good for manoeuvre and offensive on tactical level - but not on strategical level ! Motorized, mechanized and armoured forces are suitable for such operations - not cavalry!

The Poles - however - had got different experiences - because in 1920 they managed to beat the Soviets with cavalry and infantry - used on strategical level !

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Poland always emphasized on mobile warfare


Of course! - and in 1920 it worked - because both Poland and its enemy didn't have practically any motorized or armoured forces - so - so called - "fast arms"!

And in 1939 Polish infantry had to race with German motors!

What is better in mobile warfare - infantry on foot or motorized infantry ?!

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the Polish high command certainly didn't learned their lesson


They certainly did!

During the Polish-Soviet war of 1919 - 1921 - as I have already written - they learned that fighters and tactical bombers are not nescessery - because recon planes are the most important to win the war! - they also learned that motorized forces are expensive but not nescessary luxury - and that phone communication is OK - radio - not nescessary!

But all of those allegedly - but in fact falsely - "useful" "experiences" turned out to be completely false and obsolete during the future conflict in 1939!

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and talking about Soviet tanks, they had next to Britain the second largest number of tanks, armoured trains and armoured cars, you can read that in every book. they were heavily used during the Russian Civil War which occured at the same time as the Polish-Bolshewik War.


Give me exact numbers! - how many tanks did the Soviets use during the Polish-Soviet war of 1919 - 1921 ???!!

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you always repeat to say that the Poles at the border retreated, but you never talk about defeat. you make it sound as if they retreated because they were bored or had nothing better to do, as if it was their free will to do so.


Because the majority of the Polish units was ordered to withdraw, although they held their defensive positions - only some units were pushed aside.

And another thing is that even being pushed aside (lost some ground) does not mean being defeated.

See in which places did the Germans break through the frontline - and you will not ask such questions any more.

On 7th of September Polish frontline was broken only in two places - between positions of Army "Łódź" and Northern Grouping of Army "Prusy" near Koluszki - Tomaszów Lubelski - Rawa Mazowiecka - by 4th Panzer-Division (which later reached outskirts of Warsaw on 9th of September and attacked it but was defeated); and between positions of Army "Cracow" and Southern Grouping of Army "Prusy" - near Kielce - Busko - by 3rd Leichte Division and 2nd Leichte Division (which later contributed very much - together with other divisions, including 1st Leichte, 29th and 13th Motorized and several infantry divisions - in encircling and defeating Southern Grouping of Army "Prusy" during the battles in region of Radom and Iłża).


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 09:06
So You claim that Polish forces would gather somewhere around Lwow to counterattack and Germans didn't have resources to conquer this region (e.g. lack of ammunition). May I ask how do You come up with this stories? Somehow Germans didn't run out of ammunition in any of their campaigns therefore I don't think they would forget such a "small" detail attacking Poland. Also I don't think that that Lwow region was most important in Poland and fall of Warsaw wasn't important. In fact it was dexciesive. So what there were still fights after this happened when these fights had no impact on result of the campaign.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 17:47
what a nonsense you talk about. there's so many fantasies in your post. how would Germany run out of ammunition but not your Lwow region which was isolated and crammed by retreating Polish units, how would that work? and again, it's not Germanies fault that the Polish Army was not modern, that's just how i was. and the fall of a capital is always a serious loss not only to administration but also to the morale of the whole Army. i already pointed out the victories of Red cavalry forces particularly in encircling the 6th Army in Stalingrad as well as the sucesses of the Cavalry-Mechanized Group of General Pli'ev. Poland never used larger formations of Cavalry than Brigade, left alone Cavalry Corps, so it is justified when i say the Polish Army mismanaged their Cavalry forces. don't know about the air force but certainly mechanized forces were intensively used durign the Russian Civil War. if they didn't had much of them in the Polish-Bolshewik War, well than good for Poles because there could have been a different outcome then. Whites were heavily supplied with tanks by the Entente forces and armorued cars & traisn were either self-made druing the war or also imported from Entente powers, mostly England. many of them were then also captured by Bolshewiks. those Germans that fought in the Spanish Civil War were only a fragment of the main Army and mostly general officers which also fought as junior officers in ww1 already. i seriously doubt you know much about ww2 at all. have you ever heard of the Kurland pocket, the former Army Group North? do you seriously believe they could have held out forever? i repeat, there is no way Poland could have won the 1939 campaign even without Soviet help. that's like saying Germany could have won ww2 without Amercian help and it's completely tedious to discuss this.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 18:33
Hello to you all
 
Sorry to barge in like this but this seems a really hot topic. Why not open a separate thread about the invasion as a whole.
 
Anyway about the quality of german forces in the polish campaign. Most Germans were like it or not raw recruits. Untill late 1935, germany had only 100k troops because of the Versailles treaty. They had no big guns, no tanks, limited number of vehicles and airplanes. The smallness of the army was a blessing for the Nazis. Only select soldiers and partiularly the officer corps (the real secret of the success of Nazi armies) were left. Such high selectivity meant a concentration of the best military mind in the world at that time. When Hitler began his rearmamant program the numbers rose quickly to nearly two million on the even of the Polish campaign. No way the  Nazis could have trained all these men by that time. In my opinion, the Polish campaign was a massive training exercise designed to graduate those millions who were undertrained. There were many debacles in that campaign  to prove this.  
 
Only the Luftwaffe was up to the task and had the training of expertise for this campaign.
 
As for the Polish campaing. I am with Domen that Poland could have at least delayed the Germans for enough time so that the French grow some backbone and end Nazi Germany from the South. I don't agree with him however in his opinion that Poland could have won. All the engagements that the Polish successded in were small action, Brigade or division level victories. This war was fought on corps and field Army levels and the Poles lost every major engagement there. Their armies were encircled by the end of the second week of the campaign and by the 17th, the Germans achieved all the strategic objectives they planned.
 
Al-Jassas 
 


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 23:16
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


The vast majority of those soldiers were captured - as you even noticed - after 17th of September.

To this you must the Soviet figures - these are of course figures for the whole campaign - but they probably captured the majority of those soldiers during first several days (maybe during the first week):

- Ukrainian Front claimed capturing 392,334 Polish POWs.
- Byelorussian Front claimed capturing 60,202 Polish POWs.


To this we must add those who escaped to Romania and other neighbouring countries between 17th and 23rd of September (of course many escaped also later - after 23rd of September).
so about 850000 captured after the Russian invasion, 450000 thousand captured from Russians and many who escaped to Romania? How many soldiers did you have?


Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


OK - sorry. Btw - I must check this info.
Do you know which divisions is it about ?
I must confess I am a rookie in modern history. Even if I am convinced you are on a wrong way I suppose you know much more about the war than me. I  am sorry I can't help you. I have a lot of material about German troops but I am lacking of informations of Polish ones. I am sure it is easy for you to find it out.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


I only wrote that if not the Soviet invasion there was a chance for further, longer than in real, resistance.
well, I can agree with this. But how long and with what result?

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

  there were some battles, which were won by the Poles - and there would be more of them probably, if not the Soviet agression - for example the second biggest battle of the Polish Campaign - the battle of Tomaszow Lubelski and Zamosc)..
Here too, I agree. Polish troops fought brave. This is even reported, e.g. in OKW reports. Nobody's speaking of Polish chicken.

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:


By the way - I don't know if you know about it, but the German propaganda was not better than the Poles in this case.
I think it is not necassary to speak about Nazi propaganda. They probably founded modern desinformation.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 23:19
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

This discussion ia really amusing. I think our Germans colleagues think we are completelly crazy and think Poland would have beat Germany if not SU attackUnhappy.
That's what it seems
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

And Beorna really amused me when He talked about Polish pre war propoganda. In his opinion our goverment should have been saying that we'll lose, let's run away. So we should lay down and wait for execution. That would be not chauvinistic. Really if You know countries that are to be attacked by the neighbourg and scream they will lose please anknowledge us.
I can't see where I said this.


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 23:33
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

 
Please don't put us this nazi crap propaganda. 
Yes, Polish were happy when German attacked, surely they danced on the streetsLOL and in Germany there was a mourning. I'm waiting when You start to claim that Poland started the war. Your opinions are as idiotic as opinion that Poland would win the war if not Soviet Union's attack.
Simple Germans were happy with the war until they started to lose it and opposition against Hitler was tiny.
I can't see what it has to do with Nazi propaganda. I know that the Nazi government accused Poland of an anti-German policy especially against the German minority. But do you want to say that the Polish government was no nationalistic undemocratic regime? Weren't there voices that wanted to invade Germany and to take Berlin? Was your government a peaceful one? So there is a difference between the German invasion into the Czech Republik and the Polish participation? And what was in the 20th. I did not say Poland started the war. Such an accuse is - let me say it in your own words - idiotic. And I am convinced Hitler had invaded Poland in any case. But Polish government gave him a lot of amunition and made it easier for him.
BTW. Simple German weren't happy with the war. There was a great fear, because they could rember to WWI. When Poland was overrun and the Balkan and Skandinavia and France untill 1940 it changed. Lots of Germans were deeply impressed by those succesful campaigns., so that they supported Hitler's policy. But it doesn't last for long.


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 10:04
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

And Beorna really amused me when He talked about Polish pre war propoganda. In his opinion our goverment should have been saying that we'll lose, let's run away. So we should lay down and wait for execution. That would be not chauvinistic. Really if You know countries that are to be attacked by the neighbourg and scream they will lose please anknowledge us.
I can't see where I said this.
 
When the war began at the 1st of September, only in one capitol people were chearing. Since month placards were hanging in the streets that were calling for to march to the neighbour's capitol, chauvinistic politicians were calling for annexions of great parts of their neighbour country. This was not Berlin - it was Warsaw. Polish newsletter were cheering for a Polish successful march on Berlin, even when German troops stood before Bromberg, they spoke about French campaigns through the Westwall and of success in East Prussia allthough no Polish soldier ever went to.
 
Your own words or someone was posting from Your computer?


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 11:10
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

I can't see what it has to do with Nazi propaganda. I know that the Nazi government accused Poland of an anti-German policy especially against the German minority. But do you want to say that the Polish government was no nationalistic undemocratic regime? Weren't there voices that wanted to invade Germany and to take Berlin?
 
It was nationalistic and undemocratic like most goverments in Europe this time but far from facism. When Germans remilitarizied Rehn region Pilsudki asked France and England to attack Germany and throw the nazis out. We see now how many people that move would save. later on there were only voices that when we are attack by Germany we'll conquer Berlin. I don't see anything strange in it. It's simple propoganda.
 
Was your government a peaceful one? So there is a difference between the German invasion into the Czech Republik and the Polish participation? And what was in the 20th.
 
Much peacufull than German for sure. Yes, there is a diffrence. Germany wanted to annihilate Czech Republic, Poland wanted to take back territory grabbed by Czech Republic 20 years earlier in the same way while Poland was fighting SU. Though it was a very bad thing to cooperate with Nazi regime. And in 20th Poland was fighting for its survival. There was a war with SU, Ukrainians, Germans, Lithuanians and Czech grabbed Zaolzie. So I don't know what You mean by what was in 20s.
 
I did not say Poland started the war. Such an accuse is - let me say it in your own words - idiotic. And I am convinced Hitler had invaded Poland in any case. But Polish government gave him a lot of amunition and made it easier for him.
BTW. Simple German weren't happy with the war. There was a great fear, because they could rember to WWI. When Poland was overrun and the Balkan and Skandinavia and France untill 1940 it changed. Lots of Germans were deeply impressed by those succesful campaigns., so that they supported Hitler's policy. But it doesn't last for long.
[/QUOTE]
 
So You think Polish goverment should have been quiet and pretend that Germany who didn't recognize Polish border are our friends?
 


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 13:57
Quote
So You claim that Polish forces would gather somewhere around Lwow to counterattack


I didn't say anything about any counterattacks. On 17th of September after 17 days of destructive campaign Polish army was not strong enough to carry out any counterattacks.

I said about defence - and waiting for help of France and Britain.

Quote
and Germans didn't have resources to conquer this region (e.g. lack of ammunition). May I ask how do You come up with this stories?


I gave my sources - general Mueller-Hillebrand (no - he is not Polish) book titled "Das Heer 1933-1945", volume 1, page 161.

+ knowledge about ammunition usage and production in September 1939.

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Somehow Germans didn't run out of ammunition in any of their campaigns therefore I don't think they would forget such a "small" detail attacking Poland.


Well - general Mueller-Hillebrand writes something different - and he does not "think" - he knows.

Quote
Also I don't think that that Lwow region was most important in Poland and fall of Warsaw wasn't important. In fact it was dexciesive. So what there were still fights after this happened when these fights had no impact on result of the campaign.


To conquer Poland and destroy the Polish army the Germans would have had to capture Lwów, Romanian Bridgehead and other areas of Eastern Poland.

In real they didn't have to, because the Soviets did it for them.

Romanian Bridgehead was the most important for Poland, because our allies - France and Britain - were sending supplies for fighting Polish army across the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and later across Romania - via railways - to Kuty / Stanislavov / Kolomyja in Romanian Bridgehead.

Romanian Bridgehead was also the most important for Germany - because there (around Drohobycz and Stryj) - there were Polish resources of petroleum.

It was so called "Drohobycko-Stryjskie Petroleum Oilfield" - today it is in Ukraine and they still extract petroleum there - even though we have got year 2008.

They also had to conquer Romanian Bridgehead to have a possibility of conquering Romania in the future - and it was important for them (the biggest petroleum resources in Europe were in Romania).

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I don't think they would forget such a "small" detail attacking Poland.


They forgot about many "small" details attacking Poland - for example about France and Britain.

Hitler didn't want to start a World War when attacking Poland - he wanted to conquer Poland only (and at the beginning - even not the whole Poland, but only Gdansk / Danzig).

But they had got their "Ribbentrop-Molotov" agreement - and they didn't forget about it.

Quote
so about 850000 captured after the Russian invasion, 450000 thousand captured from Russians and many who escaped to Romania? How many soldiers did you have?


On 1st of September Poland had got around 900,000 - 950,000 soldiers already mobilized - of them only around 70% were fully mobilized and concentrated (combat ready).

During the whole campaign Poland mobilized around 1,350,000 soldiers - including all reserves.

Many of them did not take part in combat either with the Germans or with the Soviets and also did not escape to Romania / Hungary / Lithuania - but just were demobilized after 17th of September - and went back their homes (for example major part of - very strong, much stronger than full-strength infantry division - Operational Group "Wlodzimierz Wolynski" was demobilized in this way - including all Ukrainians who served in its ranks, because after 17th of September they didn't want to fight with Russians).

On 1st of September some Polish units were officialy mobilized, but their real strength was much lower than it should be. For example 41. Infantry Division had got only strength of one, weak infantry regiment (it had got only 3 weak infantry battalions on 1st of September - it also had got only 4 AT guns, 4 mortars and 8 guns then).

Some units were destroyed before they were fully mobilized and before they gained full combat readiness - and soldiers which should have been serving in those units, were incorporated to other units or other units were formed of them.

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Poland never used larger formations of Cavalry than Brigade, left alone Cavalry Corps, so it is justified when i say the Polish Army mismanaged their Cavalry forces.


I agree - forming only brigades was not a very good way of using cavalry.

But during the campaign, some Operational Groups (GO) of cavalry were formed:

- GO Kaw. Number 1 - formed before the war
- GO Kaw. Number 2 - formed before the war (one cavalry brigade - Kresowa brigade + one cavalry regiment - so its real strength was only a little bit bigger than strength of one cavalry brigade)

- GO Kaw. gen. Romana Abrahama
- GO Kaw. gen. Władysława Andersa
- GO Kaw. gen. Grzmot-Skotnickiego
- GO Kaw. gen. Podhorskiego

We can say that such a Operational Group was a kind of improvised Corps.

They generally did well practically in all operations.

For example GO Kaw. of general Roman Abraham - Wielkopolska + Podolska Cavalry Brigades + remaining regiment of Pomorska CB - between 14th and 21st of September succesfully forced the way across Bzura (near Brochów) to Warsaw, through Kampinoska Primeval forest for the Polish forces of Army "Poznan", inflicting huge casualties to the Germans - especcialy to 1st Leichte-Division - which was later withdrawn from the front by the Germans because of very big casualties - 4. Panzer-Division, 29th Motorized Infanterie-Division and 31st Infanterie-Division).

GO. Kaw. of general Anders was also doing pretty well during the first stages of the battle of Tomaszów Lubelski - despite fighting against superior in numbers and equipment enemy - but later it suffered huge casualties due to huge mistakes commited by its commander after 17th of September (when he received information about the Soviet agression, he wanted to escape to Romania as fast as possible - and he abandoned big part of his forces, betraying his superior - general Dąb-Biernacki.

Quote
Untill late 1935, germany had only 100k troops because of the Versailles treaty.


As you wrote - Reichswehr was in fact "a Wehrmacht in a pill" - it wasn't very hard for the Germans to transform 100k-Reichswer into several-million Wehrmach, because they actually had got it - but in a pill.

Those 100k troops were in fact all officers - all of them were trained to be officers.

And all of them were elite - because Germany could have only 100k troops, so it was choosing only the best ones to serve in the army.

To this we must add the fact of military cooperation of Germany and the Soviet Union before the war - and experiences which were gained by German officers in Soviet Union.

Quote
Anyway about the quality of german forces in the polish campaign. Most Germans were like it or not raw recruits.

When Hitler began his rearmamant program the numbers rose quickly to nearly two million on the even of the Polish campaign. No way the  Nazis could have trained all these men by that time.


As far as I know the Germans had got huge reserves of trained recruits (I mean - men who were after compulsory military service) - bigger than Poland (and Poland had got over 3 millions of such men as far as I remember - but there was not enough armament for so many of them).

So they were not "raw recruits" - but trained recruits - although the majority of them did not participate in real war before (as well as even bigger percent of Polish soldiers).

Quote
As for the Polish campaing. I am with Domen that Poland could have at least delayed the Germans for enough time so that the French grow some backbone and end Nazi Germany from the South. I don't agree with him however in his opinion that Poland could have won.


And that is what I want to say - only the first of these two statements. I don't say that Poland could have beat Germany alone - without France.

Quote
Quote
I only wrote that if not the Soviet invasion there was a chance for further, longer than in real, resistance.


well, I can agree with this. But how long and with what result?


Well, who knows. It depends.

But I suppose that at least around twice as long as in real (so around 2 months - not 1 month and 5-6 days).

In extremely comfortable (for the Polish side) conditions maybe longer. Marschal Rydz-Smigly planned to resist and hold on in Romanian Bridgehead as long as until the Spring of 1940 (so around 6 - 7 months).

You know that Autumn, Winter and Spring - especcialy in former Eastern Poland (today Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania) are not very comfortable for Panzerwaffe and Luftwaffe as well as for motorized forces.

But any organised resistance longer than 2,5 months could have been carried out only thanks to supplies from France and Britain - because Poland itself had got enough ammunition only for around 2 - 2,5 months of intensive war.

Quote
All the engagements that the Polish successded in were small action, Brigade or division level victories. This war was fought on corps and field Army levels and the Poles lost every major engagement there.


In general - yes. But there were a few exceptions (on Corps level).

There was also one moderate succes on army level - the first phase of the battle of Bzura was a succes on army level - the whole 8. Army was pushed aside and suffered heavy casualties - and its 30. Infanterie-Division was completely defeated and crushed. But the Polish offensive at the Bzura was soon ended by orders to withdraw from the Polish commanders, who lost their belief in possibility of completely beating the whole 8. Army.

It was especcialy fault of general Bortnowski - who suffered from nervous breakdown since his army suffered huge casualties during the battle of Bory Tucholskie in Pomerelian Corridor.

It was Bortnowski who forced general Kutrzeba (who had got weak character and easily agreed with Bortnowski) to stop the offensive.

But the battle at the Bzura in general - although it ended with the Polish defeat - was a Polish strategical and operational success - because it forced the Germans to involve there the major part of their forces in Poland - including the majority of Luftwaffe. Other parts of the frontline were relieved thanks to the battle of Bzura.

There was also a big chance to win the battle of Tomaszów Lubelski and Lwów (on army level) if not the Soviet agression.

Quote
Their armies were encircled by the end of the second week of the campaign


Only some of them, not all.

Quote
and by the 17th, the Germans achieved all the strategic objectives they planned.


Here I cannot agree - they did not achieve all strategic objectives they planned. They didn't even achieve yet the main objectives of their "Fall 5 September" which was ordered on 5th of September 1939 - so 12 days before.

"Fall 5 September" was ordered on 5th of September, when the Germans realized, that they would not manage to encircle and destroy Polish army west of the river Vistula - and in fact - they did not.

But they also did not manage to complete objectives of "Fall 5 September" - including its main objective - encircling Polish armies east of the river Vistula.

It is sometimes said that Guderian was doing excellent during the Polish campaign (that he was "unrestricted") - while in fact it was so only during the first phase of the campaign.

XIX Corps of Guderian failed in completing all of its major tasks during the second part of the campaign - it was stopped and repulsed by units of the Northern Front (Operational Group of Piekarski - 2 infantry divisions) in the south (near Chełm Lubelski and Sawin) and by 60. Infantry Division from Operational Group "Polesie" in the east - near Kobryn.

Also units of 14. Army did not manage to complete their objectives which were ordered to them in "Fall 5 September" - they completed only some of these objectives, but the most important ones were not completed (including capturing of Lwów and connecting with forces of Guderian in region of Włodawa or Chełm Lubelski - so encircling the Polish army).

They did not manage to capture Lwów and the did not also manage to encircle it or to isolate Lwów from the rest of the country or from the Polish units in Romanian Bridgehead in any way - even on 19th of September - when the Soviets were already at the outskirsts of Lwów - railway transports were still going across Lwów from the south-western part of the country towards Romanian Bridgehead.

More over - the Germans lost some ground near Lwów on 16th and 17th of September due to successes of Polish 10. Motorized Brigade near Zboiska - which would have soon lead to connecting with forces of Sosnkowski, which were fighting west of Lwów and trying to get to the region north of Lwów (between Lwów and Żółkiew).

4. Leichte-Division - which was ordered to establish contact with forces of Guderian near Chełm Lubelski or Włodawa - was stopped and repulsed by the Poles (Operational Group "Wlodzimierz Wolynski" of general Sawicki) near Włodzimierz Wolynski - and had to retreat to the area of Rawa Ruska - Tomaszow Lubelski - and regroup there.

Also IV Armee-Korps from 10. Army - 4. and 14. Infanterie-Divisionen - did not manage to capture Chelm Lubelski, as they were ordered - because first they were delayed by Polish units near Lublin, and later were stopped by units from the Northern Front (mainly 39. Infantry Division from Operational Group of general Kruszewski).

The last few days before the Soviet agression were days during which the Germans were almost always failing while trying to complete all of their most important tasks.

And on 18th of September the battle of Tomaszów Lubelski beginned - by unexpected attack of the Polish forces on the German 4. Leichte-Division in Tomaszow Lubelski and the area around it...


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 17:49
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

I can't see what it has to do with Nazi propaganda. I know that the Nazi government accused Poland of an anti-German policy especially against the German minority. But do you want to say that the Polish government was no nationalistic undemocratic regime? Weren't there voices that wanted to invade Germany and to take Berlin? Was your government a peaceful one? So there is a difference between the German invasion into the Czech Republik and the Polish participation? And what was in the 20th. I did not say Poland started the war. Such an accuse is - let me say it in your own words - idiotic. And I am convinced Hitler had invaded Poland in any case. But Polish government gave him a lot of amunition and made it easier for him.
 
Yes. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget that the foreign policy of Poland before the war was absolutely not peaceful at all. As I said before, it was an aggressive military dictatorship that was bullying its neighbors and dreaming about "new lands" in the East. And Czech crisis was not the only one when the Polish dictatorship cooperated with Hitler there were other instances as well. Check, for example, this out:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_Polish_ultimatum_to_Lithuania - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_Polish_ultimatum_to_Lithuania
 
And yes, besides the above, ethnic minorities were descriminated in Poland that gave perfect reasons for both Germany and USSR to invade.
 
Originally posted by beorna beorna wrote:

BTW. Simple German weren't happy with the war. There was a great fear, because they could rember to WWI. When Poland was overrun and the Balkan and Skandinavia and France untill 1940 it changed. Lots of Germans were deeply impressed by those succesful campaigns., so that they supported Hitler's policy. But it doesn't last for long.
 
AFAIK Germans were not happy with the war at all including the military headquaters; and this kind of scepticism was present until the time when France was overrun. Only then many Germans somehow were convinced in the "great abilities" of the Furher and somekind of selfconfidence appeared.


-------------
Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 18:03
well, Domen is right that the thread has gone off-topic. we'll leave this thread to be discussed about Ruszki & Kiernozia. all discussion about whether or not Poland could have defeated Germany with France or not and so on will have to go to a new thread in historical amusement because it is a "what if" discussion. whether or not Poland was a good or bad country before the invasion is also not a matter of militarical importance here. at the end of the day, Germany & Soviet Union were the aggressors.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 19:55
Hello Domen
 
I hope you open a new thread for a more expanded discussion on the invasion of Poland as a whole. I think you are more qualified to start the discussion than me, since you are Polish and I am not.
 
As for what you said, training 100k men is easy, training 2 million in just 4 years is a bit difficult. Yes there were trained paramilitaries in Germany but these are not professional soldiers. To train a professional soldier you need time, lots of it. An ordinary infantryman takes from 3 to 6 months at the most. This contains both basic training and combat training as well as maneuvers and such. Germans only had about half a million men in the army by early 38, the real expansion came much later, since the summer of 38. this means almost 1.5 million were incorporated during this time (and according to some sources even more). Now training this number, of officers and soldiers, is almost impossible in that short time.
 
There is no doubt that the reicheswehr was the finest collection of officers in any army in the world, but wars are fought with foot soldiers and Germany didn't have that much of them in the Polish campaign.
 
As for the Lwow pocket, I must admit, I am not well versed in this subject but one should remember, Lwow, as far as I understand, was in the Soviet area of occupation, Germany had no interest, yet, in taking Lwow or reaching to Romania. The Germans wanted three things: Warsaw, Danzig and the lands west of the Wisla. All these were secured by the 17th.
 
Al-Jassas 


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2008 at 20:41
Quote
As for the Lwow pocket,


It was not a pocket. The Germans did not manage to isolate or encircle Lwow.

Quote
Lwow, as far as I understand, was in the Soviet area of occupation, Germany had no interest, yet, in taking Lwow or reaching to Romania.


At the beginning (before the agreement about the demarcation line on 20th and 21st of September was signed) Lwow was in the German sphere of interests if I remember correctly. Later they changed Lwow to the Soviets for the area between the rivers Vistula and Bug (because at the beginning the Soviet sphere of interests was east of Vistula, not east of Bug).

There were at least three different versions of German-Soviet demarcation lines, before the final one was established.

And btw - they had to have interest in it, because they ordered their two (or rather 1,5) Panzer divisions to carry out offensive against the Romanian Bridgehead - across the city of Lwow.

Later this offensive was cancelled because of the Soviet agression.

Quote
The Germans wanted three things: Warsaw, Danzig and the lands west of the Wisla. All these were secured by the 17th.


They also wanted to encircle and destroy the Polish army east of the Wisla - which was ordered in "Fall 5 September" - and it was not completed by the 17th of September.

Quote
and dreaming about "new lands" in the East.


Not in the East certainly - in the East they had got enough.

If they had been dreaming about new lands in the East, they would have simply taken them in 1921 - because the Soviets were ready to give the whole Ukraine and the whole Belarus to Poland after they lost the war of 1919 - 1921 - as the price for peace.

But Poland refused to taking those lands, because it was afraid of too big amount of agrresive and hostile minorities.

Poland not only did not take those lands, but simply left them to the Soviets without any demands - just left them.

It was a mistake - because by this move in 1921 Poland simply left its Ukrainian allies (Ataman Semen Petrula) on their own - and did not use the occasion to create an independent state of Ukraine between its and Soviet territories - as it planned before the Soviet counteroffensive and the battle of Warsaw (the Polish army - together with reinforcements of Semen Petrula - even captured Kiev).

Quote
Unfortunately, a lot of people forget that the foreign policy of Poland before the war was absolutely not peaceful at all. As I said before, it was an aggressive military dictatorship that was bullying its neighbors.


But it was only after May of 1926 - when Pilsudski and Sanatia get the power - and especcialy after 1935, when Pilsudski died (because he was rather peacfull and as long as he lived he had got big influence on everything which was happening in the country - later - not).

They were later slowly transforming Poland from a democratic country which it was before 1926 - towards authoritarianism (not a dictatorship for shure - rather authoritarianism - rules of group of people mainly related to the armed forces - old "friends" of Pilsudski from the Polish Legionaries from the times of World War I).

Quote
And yes, besides the above, ethnic minorities were descriminated in Poland that gave perfect reasons for both Germany and USSR to invade.


Ethnic minorities were not discriminated in Poland by any official organization or the government.

All organizations / groups of people which were trying to discriminate ethnic minorities were being recognized by the government as illegal (for example anti-Jewish organization ONR "Phalanx").

But there were some separatistic Ukrainian organizations and Jewish-Belorussian pro-revolutionary, communistic organizations - these were mainly terroristic organizations - and the government was eliminating them for obvious reasons - the same as those because of which - for example - Spain and France were fighting with Basque people.

Quote
And Czech crisis was not the only one when the Polish dictatorship cooperated with Hitler there were other instances as well. Check, for example, this out:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_Polish_ultimatum_to_Lithuania - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_Polish_ultimatum_to_Lithuania


Not only Poland was hostile towards Lithuania, but also Lithuania was hostile towards Poland - they didn't like that Poland had got Wilno (even though Wilno was inhabited by the Polish majority and only approximately 2-3% of all its inhabitants were Lithuanians - fewer than Jews / Belorussians / Russians and even local German minority), they also wanted some other Polish territories for themselves.

And Poland wanted also Kaunas - some radical groups even wanted to invade Lithuania and capture the whole of it.

And - by the way - Polish secret service established, that the Lithuanian secret service was cooperating with the Soviet one in case of infiltration of Poland. Lithuanians were also trying to block Polish river trades.

So it worked in both ways - not in one way. Both Poland and Lithuania were hostile and agressive towards each other, not only Poland towards Lithuania.

Enough to say, that before the Polish ultimatum to Lithuania - Polish-Lithuanian relations were so cold, that there were no embassys and no diplomatic relations at all - and borders were closed.

After the Polish ultimatum, situation got better, borders were opened and Polish-Lithuanian diplomatic contacts were established again. But of course this "friendship" was faked and caused by force:

Here is an original video about it:

"Lithuania accepts Polish peaceful propositions":

http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=uxuqbkb1CEc&feature=channel_page

And military parade in Wilno - "favorite city of marschal Pilsudski" - after accepting Polish ultimatum by Lithuania.

Quote
Here too, I agree. Polish troops fought brave. This is even reported, e.g. in OKW reports. Nobody's speaking of Polish chicken.


It is true. As you wrote - even the German combat reports (as well as chronicles such as "Wir zogen gegen Polen") in most cases say about bravery and fierce resistance of the enemy, which is unusual and rare for the whole World War II - especcialy Eastern front where the enemy was considered as someone worse, "Untermenschen", and was ususaly showed in this way, even during late stages of the war, when the Germans were starting to fail in the Eastern Front.

But the German propaganda was saying something totally different than official reports about bravery of the Poles - it was trying to show Polish soldiers in a very bad light - for example famous video "Kampfgeschwader Lutzow":

http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=GzuypvnmCBw&NR=1

http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=X25lanYgSro&feature=channel_page

In this video Poles were charging against tanks with sabers or running away after first shot.

More over - and what is very funny - Polish gun or AT gun shot from several dozen metres was doing nothing to the German tank according to this video.

Another stupid thing is in 1:01 - when a German soldier destroys Polish machine gun - which is around 0,5 metre (OK - maybe 2 metres) away from himself - by a grenade LOL - and nothing happens to him Clap.


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 29-Dec-2008 at 21:57
By the way - some interesting quotations:

British general, weekly-summing up report from Chiefs of Staff Commitee to War Cabinet - 8th of September 1939 (fragment):

"U.S.S.R.
33. There have been rumours ever since the German-Soviet non-aggression pact was signed on 22nd August that a military pact was also contemplated. Certain Soviet Officers have gone to Berlin but there is no confirmation yet that a military pact will be concluded. The reports of Soviet military concentrations on her Western frontiers are not conclusive and appear, at present, to be no more than is reasonable under the present circumstances. There are few signs that the Soviet is yet likely to abandon the policy of leeting other nations fight, while she waits to reap the benefits later."

Similar report from 13th of September 1939 (fragment):

"SOVIET RUSSIA.
33. It is estimated, that of approx. 4,000,000 men now with the Red Army approx. 1 1/2-million are concentrated on or near the Polish frontier. It is reported that transport and material are being requisitioned and the railways leading to the Polish frontier have been closed to normal traffic. One report states that these measures appear to have been taken with the knoweldge of the German Government, but this cannot yet be accepted as definite.
Propaganda has been chiefly directed, against Poland and Great Britain, though the tone of the press has not been particularly favourable to Germany."

===============================================

And here another photo of "534" destroyed during the battle of Ruszki on 16th of September (probably the best one):







Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2009 at 23:07
Quote
Here too, I agree. Polish troops fought brave. This is even reported, e.g. in OKW reports. Nobody's speaking of Polish chicken.


Here is a photo taken by German infantry soldier - Hugo Jaeger - during the Polish campaign (most probably on 19th or 20th of September):



Can our German friends translate it Wink ???


Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2009 at 00:04
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:

They look good in German helms probably only if they are like these ones:



I wished you had the same respect!


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2009 at 10:37
Quote
I wished you had the same respect!


I wished all of German soldiers had the same respect:





Nice Panzers! - German 29. Motorized Division had no Panzers!

Angriff !! - very nice "Angriff"!

"Tapfere Ponische Soldaten" killed 22 men of Oberstleutnant Walther Wessel from 29. Motorized Division in Forest Dabrowa (near Ciepielow), before they were defeated - including 14 from 1st Kompanie - among them "favourite" officer of Mr. Wessel - Hauptmann von Lewinski - who was killed by Polish sniper by one shot from a tree, and after he shot von Lewinski (head-shot), he was spotted and killed by other officer and "knocked out" from a pistol:

Later German soldiers panicked and ran into the forest, where the Poles killed 13 more of them - but soon other companies arrived with relief and situation was again under control, Polish soldiers surrendered:



So Mr. Wessel got angry - he was screaming in his anger:

"Where is my Lewinski !! - they killed my Lewinski !!!, they killed my Lewinski !!"

And ordered to execute Polish POWs, breaking the Law of War... :





During the same day Oberstleutnant Wessel and his men once again took bloody revenge for the death of their von Lewinski and 21 other men - this time on innocent civilians -, murdering several dozen civilians in Ciepielów - including 10-year old little girl - Zosia Wrzochal....



Posted By: beorna
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2009 at 11:01
I am talking about you.
But if you think war is a crime I will agree with you, but then all wars please. It's funny but I don't know a nation that started an unjust, unwarranted war. I never heard from politicians: "Come on we rob our peaceful neighbours". Everybody calls his war just.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2009 at 20:05
Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:



So Mr. Wessel got angry - he was screaming in his anger:

"Where is my Lewinski !! - they killed my Lewinski !!!, they killed my Lewinski !!"



why do Poles kill their own people?


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 04-Jan-2009 at 00:28
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by Domen Domen wrote:



So Mr. Wessel got angry - he was screaming in his anger:

"Where is my Lewinski !! - they killed my Lewinski !!!, they killed my Lewinski !!"



why do Poles kill their own people?
 
LOL that's actually interesting. I was always wondering if those nobles from Prussia with names finished with "ski" were of Polish origin or where else their names come from


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 04-Jan-2009 at 22:15
Mr. Von Lewinski actually seems to be of Jewish origin.

-------------
Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 05-Jan-2009 at 19:08
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

 
LOL that's actually interesting. I was always wondering if those nobles from Prussia with names finished with "ski" were of Polish origin or where else their names come from


those are usually from Silesia with such names. other Prussians often end with Slavic -ow like Bredow, Bülow. those are similar to slavic names of Russia, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria (-ov). other, non-noble Germans of those names are descendants of common Poles who migrated to Industrial Centers like the Ruhr area, or naval yards near Bremen and Hamburg and so on in the 19th century.

i'm surprized Domen was so happy that a Polish sniper killed a descendant of his own people... Confused


Posted By: Domen
Date Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 16:30
Quote
I am talking about you.


OK - sorry. I've already said that I didn't want to say something rude. It was supposed to be a joke, but probably it wasn't very funny.

Quote
But if you think war is a crime I will agree with you, but then all wars please. It's funny but I don't know a nation that started an unjust, unwarranted war. I never heard from politicians: "Come on we rob our peaceful neighbours". Everybody calls his war just.


Yeah, that's true.

Quote
I'm surprized Domen was so happy that a Polish sniper killed a descendant of his own people... Confused


And you would be surprized how many polonized descendants of German people as well as how many members of German minority in Poland who served in Polish Army, were killed by the Wehrmacht during Polenfeldzug Confused.

Even my grand grandfather surname was Meller (as well as my grandfather's surname) - but he did not fight in WW II (he fought in World War I and in Polish-Soviet war and of course survived - he died in 1978).

He received a medal but I'm not shure for which war - Polish-Soviet or WW I.

By the way - I've read somewhere that nowadays no more than 30% of all Germans (even if not including Turks) are descendants of ancient Germanian tribes.

Quote
other Prussians often end with Slavic -ow like Bredow, Bülow. those are similar to slavic names of Russia, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria (-ov).


Or maybe similar to forgotten Medieval names of native Prussians? - native Prussians were not destroyed, as many thinks - by the Teutonic Order and crusaders from the whole Europe who were helping it - they were simply conquered and Germanized.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 19:54
native Prussians were not slavs but baltics though.



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