September 12, 1939
The first German units arrived near Lwow. German infantry under the command of General Field Marshall List began immediate military assaults on Polish fighters in the area, while other German troops are moving north from their bridgeheads over the San River. German motorised units under the command of Colonel Ferdinand Schorner captured the city of Sambor 66 kilometers from Lwow, and ordered his units to move on from there to break through the weak Polish defenses to capture Lwow. The assault group was composed of two motorised infantry companies and a battery of 150mm guns. The Germans outflanked the Poles and reached the outskirts of Lwow but suffered heavy casualties from Polish gunfire. Though numerically weaker, the Polish forces repelled the German advance with only three infantry platoons and two 75mm guns. The units soon received reinforcements and held their positions until dawn. Command of the city center was given to General Francisek Sikorski, a veteran of World War I, and the Polish-Bolshevik War. The General is the brother of General Wladyslaw Sikorski.
A Polish infantry around Poznan that was supposed to have marched to Berlin unexpectedly altered their course and attempted to take the German 8th Army in the flank. After a violent battle Polish troops succeeded in pushing back German forces 12 miles south of Kutno and recaptured Lowicz.
The German 3rd Army under General Georg Von Kuchler broke through Polish lines along the Narew River and veered southward in order to cut Warsaw off from the East. Polish cavalry units under the command of General Wladylaw Anders attempted a counter-offensive which had failed. After heavy fighting Anders ordered a retreat to new positions in the south. Other Polish units fighting in the area under General Juliusz Zulauf had to retreat as well and are heading towards Warsaw.
In the continuing battle of Bzura, the Poles have reached the Strykow-Ozorkow line. On the same day, General Tadeusz Kutrzeba was informed that Army Lodz had retreated to the stronghold Modlin Fortress. Upon hearing of this Kutrzeba stopped the offensive and tried to break through to Warsaw, through Sochaczew and Kampinos Forest.
Chancellor Hitler arrived in Poland yesterday to review military strategy and called on General Rundstedt to re-organize the German 8th Armies of the Group South. In the first phase of the Battle of Bzura, the 30th German Infantry Division under the command of General Kurt Von Braisen, together with 8th Armies of General Blaskowitz, were destroyed by the Polish infantry. The Poles engaged the enemy in vicious hand-to-hand combat to re-capture every plot of ground. Over 1,500 German soldiers have been killed and wounded in action, and over 3,000 German troops were taken prisoner by the Polish infantry. Since the battle at Bzura began the Poles have been gaining considerable advantage but victory did not come easily.
|German Panzer destroyed by Polish Infantry|
|German tanks destroyed by Polish Infantry|
|German soldiers captured by Polish Infantry|
In Gdynia, which is now called Gotenhafen by the German occupation, Poles have started evacuating the city.
In Eastern Poland, Luftwaffe planes are bombing Kremieniec (Kremenets in German), an open village where Warsaw's diplomatic community has sought refuge since the siege of Warsaw. No comments have been made by Poland's allies.
|Kremieniec Destroyed by German troops|
Polish officials who have sought refuge in Romania now found themselves interned by the Romanian government. German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop threatened the Romanians not to give asylum to Polish nationals crossing the border and promised swift military reprisals in the event of non-compliance.
In the Western Front, the French Army has advanced 8 km (5 miles) into German territory on a 24 km (15 miles) frontage in the Saarland region. According to the French units, their action had forced German troops to withdraw 6 infantry divisions from Poland for reinforcement, although Britain appears doubtful of these claims. As a result of the advance, the front is now placed to within half a mile of the Siegried Line. A frontal assault on these defenses is now out of the question, at which General Gamelin is calling for an end to the military operation.
The Anglo-French Supreme War Council met for the first time today at Abbey-ville, in northern France. Meanwhile, a Czech army-in-exile is being formed in France.
In Britain today, the Home Office opened an inquiry into blackout rules.
The United States Navy has begun making daily patrols along the entire length of the eastern seaboard, including the Caribbean.
|German UBoat in the Caribbean|