October 2, 2018




Polish troops of the Independent Operational Group Silesia carried out the annexation of  Zaolzie, Czechoslovakia ( from October 2 to 11, 1938.)  The Group was established after the Munich Agreement, signed on September 30, 1938, in which the Allies acquiesed to Hitler's demand for the annexation of the Sudetenland.  The Czechoslovakian government finally yielded to pressure from the Polish government.  The Operational Group was established in September of 1938, numbering over 35,000 Polish officers and soldiers, among several army units and five squadrons, under the command of General Władysław Bortnowski.  The Group was disbanded in December of the same year. The Zaolzie region was created in 1920, when Cieszyn Silesia was divided between Czechoslovakia and Poland, in an attempt to resolve their border dispute.  Zaolzie formed the eastern part of the Czech portion of Cieszyn Silesia.  Despite this division, the conflicts persisted until annexation.  But after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the area was incorporated into Nazi German control.  After the war ended, the 1920 borders were restored.


The Battle of Kock was the final battle during the Invasion of Poland. The battle was fought near the town of Kock lasted until October 5, 1939 between the Polish Polesie Independent Operational Group, under the command of Polish General Franciszek Kleeberg, and the German 14th Motorised Corps, under the command of General Gustav Anton von Wietersheim.  On October 2, the German commanders were of the opinion that the Polish forces were incapable of combat because they became demoralized by Warsaw's capitulation.  They expected an easy victory. At 08:00 hours, the German infantry came under fire from the Polish guard platoon of No. 2 company of the 'Wilk' battalion.  After a lengthy exchange of fire and counterattacks, the German troops finally had to withdraw.  This gave the Polish 179th Infantry Regiment the time to move to defensive positions near and in Kock. By around 11:00 the German forces launched another attack on Polish positions, which had been strengthened by the addition of another battalion. But even with supporting artillery fire, the German attack failed again. Again, at dusk German motorcyclists advanced towards the church in Kock and began firing, but when the Poles returned fire, the Germans again withdrew. Polish fighters posed an insurmountable resistance in the ensuing days, but fate dealt a turn on October 5th. The final German assault succeeded when they were linked with another German artillery battery, and forced the Polish troops to withdraw. At 10:00 hours on October 6, 1939, Polish General Kleeberg ordered the Polesie Independent Group to surrender.  General Kleeberg wrote that the reason for his decision to capitulate was that they were surrounded by the Germans, and could no longer continue the fight as ammunition and food had been depleted.

The Battle of Hel ended on October 2, 1939 when Polish forces capitulated.  From September 9, 1939,  about  2,800  Polish soldiers of the Fortified Region Hel unit, and part of the Coastal Defence Group, fought overwhelming German forces.  Polish forces included three coastal anti-ship batteries consisting of one  4 × 152 mm battery, two older 2 × 105 mm batteries and three batteries with 8 × 75 mm guns in total.  The Poles also had anti-air batteries consisting of  6 × 75 mm and 8 × 40 mm guns, and two 120 cm searchlights. In total they had 46 guns, 1 destroyer, 1 minelayer, and 1 patrol boat.  Facing them were about 38,000 German forces, 2 pre-dreadnoughts, and 2 destroyers.  Despite the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, Polish forces launched counterattacks relentlessly.  On September 3, the Polish destroyer Wicher, and minelayer Gryf succeeded in damaging two German destroyers by gunfire. But the Luftwaffe attacked and sank both Polish ships.  By September 14, the Germans had cut off Polish forces from the mainland.  Polish defences managed to stall the German advance only temporarily.  With reinforcements of  land artillery batteries and an armored train battery, the Germans continued their advance, albeit slowly, amid fierce counterattacks from Polish forces.  On September 25, after the Germans captured the village of Chałupy, Polish military engineers detonated a number of torpedoes in the narrowest part of the peninsula.   By October 1, the Polish forces were running out of supplies, and stranded without any relief forces, were under orders by Jozef Unrug, the commander of the Polish Navy, to capitulate.


The Battle of Moscow, code-named Operation Typhoon, began on October 2, 1941, as German troops attempted to advance towards Moscow using a two pincer offensive; one strategically placed to the north of the city by the 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies,severing the Moscow–Leningrad railway; and another to the south of Moscow by the 2nd Panzer Army, while the 4th Army advanced directly towards Moscow from the west.  In the initial phase of the battle, the Soviet forces maintained a strategic defence of Moscow by establishing three defensive zones, as well as deploying reserve armies and bringing troops in from other military districts.  Having succeeded at halting the German offensives, the Soviets began their counter-offensive, which forced the German forces back to positions around the cities of Oryol, Vyazma and Vitebsk, which resulted in nearly surrounded three German armies. The battle ended on January 7, 1942.  Hitler's vision of capturing Moscow was a complete failure, and signaled the end of the German adventure in the USSR.  This defeat made Hitler so bitter that he fired Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch as commander of OKH,  and appointed himself as Germany's supreme military commander.


Germans executed Polish citizens:   In Warsaw, on October 2, 1943, the Nazi Germans distributed an announcement of the execution of 100 Polish hostages as revenge against Armia Krajowa (Polish Home Army) for the assassination of five German policemen and 1 SS-man.  The Nazis took hostages, arresting Polish people by the thousands from the time of the invasion and throughout the occupation of Poland.  Many of the hostages were the intelligentsia, that is, prominent citizens such as doctors, lawyers, profesors, priests, and leaders of political, social and economic organizations, and trade unions.  Mostly the Germans chose them at random.  For every German killed, between 50 and 100 Polish civilians were executed.  The Germans would target rural communities who were suspected of aiding the resistance, or hiding Jews, and "other fugitives".  In one case they rounded up about 20,000 villagers, some of whom were burned alive.  Poland was the only country in Nazi-occupied Europe where anybody helping the Jews would be condemned to death.  Despite these Nazi German threats, many Polish people continued to help the Jews, and the Polish Underground continued their plans to assassinate Nazi officers as well as sabotage their supplies and rail transports. 


Warsaw Surrendered:  After 63 days of fierce fighting, General Bor-Komorowski surrendered to the Germans on the condition that the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK) fighters would be treated as prisoners of war. The Nazi Germans agreed and took them as POWs. The Warsaw Uprising ended with heavy losses -  225,000 civilians and 20,000 Home Army soldiers were killed. Hitler ordered Warsaw razed without leaving a trace, turning Warsaw into a smouldering necropolis.

Warsaw Uprising: Polish Fighters Surrendered their Weapons on October 2, 1944. The next day the Germans began to disarm the Home Army soldiers. They later sent 15,000 of them to POW camps in various parts of Germany. Meanwhile, about 5,000 to 6,000 Polish resistance fighters tried to blend into the civilian population hoping to continue the fight later. The entire civilian population of Warsaw was expelled from the city and sent to a transit camp Durchgangslager 121 in Pruszków. Out of 350,000–550,000 civilians who passed through the camp, 90,000 were sent to forced labour camps in the Third Reich, 60,000 were transported to death and concentration camps (including at Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen, among others), while the rest were transported to various locations in the General Government. Polish casualties were 15,200 killed and missing,  5,000 WIA, and 15,000 POWs.  German casualties were 16,000 killed and missing, 9,000 WIA,  310 tanks and armoured vehicles, 340 trucks and cars,  22 artillery pieces, 4 rocket launchers, and 3 aircraft.


Pope's Speech at the United Nations: The following is an except of Pope John Paul II's speech to the United Nations General Assembly on October 2, 1979:  "….. Today, forty years after the outbreak of the Second World War, I wish to recall the whole of the experiences by individuals and nations that were sustained by a generation that is largely still alive. I had occasion not long ago to reflect again on some of those experiences, in one of the places that are most distressing and overflowing with contempt for man and his fundamental rights—the extermination camp of Oświęcim (Auschwitz), which I visited during my pilgrimage to Poland last June. This infamous place is unfortunately only one of the many scattered over the continent of Europe. But the memory of even one should be a warning sign on the path of humanity today, in order that every kind of concentration camp anywhere on earth may once and for all be done away with. And everything that recalls those horrible experiences should also disappear for ever from the lives of nations and States, everything that is a continuation of those experiences under different forms, namely the various kinds of torture and oppression, either physical or moral, carried out under any system, in any land; this phenomenon is all the more distressing if it occurs under the pretext of internal "security" or the need to preserve an apparent peace......."

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