September 9, 2010

Poles Counterattack At Bzura

September 9, 1939

German Command believed that almost all the Polish forces had retreated east of the Vistula River. But in fact fresh units from the Poznan Army and part of the Pomorze Army joined forces in the area around Kutno. Under the command of General Tadeusz Kutrzeba ten more Polish divisions were added. The Poznan Army launched a massive counter-attack from its positions south of the Bzura River targeting the German 8th Army, which was advancing between Leczyca and Lowicz towards Strykow.

Commander Kutrzeba detected that the German position was weakly secured from the North by only the 30th German Infantry Division along a 30 kilometer defensive line while the rest of the army was advancing towards Warsaw. The main thrust of the Polish offensive came from the Knoll-Kownacki Operational Group consisting of two columns of Polish Infantry (the combined strength of the 14th, 17th, 25th and 26th Divisions) under the command of General Edmund Knoll-Kownacki. This group made up the right wing of the offense and included the Podolska Cavalry Brigade under General Stanislaw Grzmot-Skotnicki, in the area of Leczyce. The left wing, advancing from Lowicz to the area of Glowno, was the Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade under General Roman Abraham. Attacks by these two groups inflicted considerable losses on German units, the 30th and 24th Infantry Divisions. Polish TKS reconnaissance tanks proved very useful in the military operation. Over 1,500 German soldiers have been killed or wounded in action and 3,000 taken prisoner.

The Polish Cavalry is legendary for it's strategic military power. They were able to force back German units by advancing towards their vulnerable flanks and disorganizing the rear. German infantry had to retreat 20 miles south from their original positions. This gave the Poles a chance to recapture several towns including Leczyca and Piatek and the Gora Swietej Malgorzaty village.

Polish Cavalry on the attack

One of the soldiers of Polish infantry

Polish Infantry Launching Attacks

Polish soldiers watch German POWs
Polish TKS Reconnaissance Tank

The German 4th Panzer Division attempted another attack on Ochota today but was repelled again by Polish forces. Of a total of 220 tanks the Panzer division lost 80 tanks to the Poles.

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov congratulated Germany for the "entry of German troops into Warsaw" and promises Soviet intervention within the next few days.

The last contingent of 13 RAF squadrons arrived in France today, begun five days ago to strengthen the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Goring scoffed that Berlin will never be subjected to enemy aerial attack and threatened Britain with reprisals if the RAF bombed Germany.  He added boastfully that "the Polish Army will never emerge again from the German embrace."

French troops advanced into the Warndt forest across the German border and occupied three square miles of German territory.  The action is widely viewed as more propaganda than military purpose since the region, referred to by the French as "occupied Germany" is deserted, heavily mined and booby-trapped.

Ribbentrop invited the Soviets to advance to their new common frontier, the Narew, Vistula and San Rivers.


1 comment:


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