Battle of Kock (1939)
The Battle of Kock, was the final battle in the Invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 at the beginning of World War II. It took place between 2–5 October 1939, near the town of Kock
Kock is a town in eastern Poland, about 45 km north of Lublin and 120 km south-east of Warsaw. It lies in Lublin Voivodeship, in Lubartów County. It is the capital of the Kock Commune.As of 2004, its population numbered 3,509.-History:...

, in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...


The Polish Polesie Independent Operational Group, led by General Franciszek Kleeberg
Franciszek Kleeberg
Franciszek Kleeberg was a Polish general. He served in the Austro-Hungarian Army before joining the Polish Legions in World War I and later the Polish Army. During the German Invasion of Poland he commanded Independent Operational Group Polesie...

, fought the German 14th Motorised Corps, led by General Gustav Anton von Wietersheim
Gustav Anton von Wietersheim
Gustav Anton von Wietersheim was an officer in the German Army from 1902 to 1942, and a General in the Wehrmacht Heer during World War II...


Before the battle

The Polish battle plan was disorganized due to few officers being available. The Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 had destroyed the Polish reserve  and forced it to withdraw
Withdrawal (military)
A withdrawal is a type of military operation, generally meaning retreating forces back while maintaining contact with the enemy. A withdrawal may be undertaken as part of a general retreat, to consolidate forces, to occupy ground that is more easily defended, or to lead the enemy into an ambush...

. Having taken heavy losses, the Polish armies retreated to Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 and the Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 river. From there, they took the route from Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 to Sandomierz
Sandomierz is a city in south-eastern Poland with 25,714 inhabitants . Situated in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship , previously in Tarnobrzeg Voivodeship . It is the capital of Sandomierz County . Sandomierz is known for its Old Town, a major tourist attraction...

. From Sandomierz, they were able to move on to the Lublin
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 350,392 . Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river...


The eastern edge of the Vistula was defended by Lublin's weak army. The Polish forces were only camped in areas where they could cross the river easily, (in case of an attack). Other German forces advanced to the Vistula and went on towards Zamość
Zamość ukr. Замостя is a town in southeastern Poland with 66,633 inhabitants , situated in the south-western part of Lublin Voivodeship , about from Lublin, from Warsaw and from the border with Ukraine...

 and Włodzimierz Wołyński.

The Polish Army at Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 and Małopolska suffered heavy losses, and did not reach the San river front. Therefore, they were unable to organize a proper defence. Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 Rydz Śmigły was tasked with the defence of southern Poland. The commander of army area IX Brześć
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

, General Franciszek Kleeberg, was responsible for the defence of the line from Pińsk
Pinsk , a town in Belarus, in the Polesia region, traversed by the river Pripyat, at the confluence of the Strumen and Pina rivers. The region was known as the Marsh of Pinsk. It is a fertile agricultural center. It lies south-west of Minsk. The population is about 130,000...

 to Brześć.

Group organisation

On 8 September, General Franciszek Kleeberg received orders from Marshal
Marshal of Poland
Marshal of Poland is the highest rank in the Polish Army. It has been granted to only six officers. At present, this rank is equivalent to a Field Marshal or General of the Army in other NATO armies.-History:...

 Edward Rydz-Śmigły to organize a division of infantry from the depot division (a depot was where reserve soldiers and recruits were trained). Kleeberg was also ordered to organize a defensive line from Brześć to Pińsk. While his forces were well-trained, they lacked heavy equipment as it had previously been dispatched to the front-line divisions.
Polesie Independent Operational Group
Independent Operational Group Polesie
Independent Operational Group Polesie was one of the Polish Army Corps that defended Poland during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. It was created on 11 September 1939 and was commanded by general Franciszek Kleeberg...

 under General Franciszek Kleeberg
Unit Polish name Commander Composition
60th Infantry Division 60 Dywizja Piechoty „Kobryń
Kobryn or Kobrin is a city in the Brest voblast of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn Raion. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest. Kobryn is located at Latitude...

Colonel Adam Epler Seven battalions of infantry, an artillery unit, one anti-tank battery
Drohiczyn Poleski Group Grupa Drohiczyn Poleski Lt. Colonel Kazimierz Gorzkowski Three battalions of infantry, an anti-tank unit
Jasiołda Group Grupa Jasiołda One infantry battalion, one machine-gun battalion, one anti-tank company, one unarmed labour battalion
Labour battalion
Labour battalions have been a form of alternative service or unfree labour in various countries in lieu of or resembling regular military service...

Brześć Fortress Group Grupa Forteczna Brześć General Konstanty Plisowski
Konstanty Plisowski
Konstanty Plisowski was a Polish general and military commander. He is known as the commander in the Battles of Jazłowiec and Brześć. He was murdered by the Soviets in the Katyn Massacre.- Biography :...

Three infantry battalions, one engineer battalion, two FT-17
Renault FT-17
The Renault FT, frequently referred to in post-WWI literature as the "FT-17" or "FT17" , was a French light tank; it is among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history...

 tank companies, two armoured train
Armoured train
An armoured train is a train protected with armour. They are usually equipped with railroad cars armed with artillery and machine guns. They were mostly used during the late 19th and early 20th century, when they offered an innovative way to quickly move large amounts of firepower...

s, an artillery group
Riverine Flotilla
Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy
The Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy , better known as the Pinsk Flotilla, was the inland branch of the Polish Navy operating on the Vistula river and in the area of the Pinsk Marshes between the Polish-Bolshevik War and World War II...

Flotylla Rzeczna Several dozen small river motor boats, monitors and artillery ships
Eight Anti-aircraft batteries

The Battle of Brześć and Kobryń

After breaking through the Polish line in the Battle of Wizna
Battle of Wizna
The Battle of Wizna was fought between September 7 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial stages of Invasion of Poland. It was arguably the most heroic battle in the campaign, in which 720 Poles defended a fortified line for three days against more than...

, the German XIX Panzer Corps under General Heinz Guderian
Heinz Guderian
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II. He was a pioneer in the development of armored warfare, and was the leading proponent of tanks and mechanization in the Wehrmacht . Germany's panzer forces were raised and organized under his direction as Chief of Mobile Forces...

 started its rapid advance south. The corps, composed of the 3rd and 10th Panzer
A Panzer is a German language word that, when used as a noun, means "tank". When it is used as an adjective, it means either tank or "armoured" .- Etymology :...

 Divisions, the 20th Motorised Infantry Division, with the 2nd Motorised Division in reserve, was ordered to capture the old fortress in Brześć Litewski and then strike further southwards towards Kowel and Galicia. The purpose of this attack was to cut Poland in two and paralyse the defences east of the Bug River
Bug River
The Bug River is a left tributary of the Narew river flows from central Ukraine to the west, passing along the Ukraine-Polish and Polish-Belarusian border and into Poland, where it empties into the Narew river near Serock. The part between the lake and the Vistula River is sometimes referred to as...


Initially, Guderian's forces advanced almost unopposed. However, on 14 September, they were stopped in the area of Brześć Fortress and Kobryń
Kobryn or Kobrin is a city in the Brest voblast of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn Raion. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest. Kobryn is located at Latitude...

 by a four-battalion-strong improvised force under General Konstanty Plisowski
Konstanty Plisowski
Konstanty Plisowski was a Polish general and military commander. He is known as the commander in the Battles of Jazłowiec and Brześć. He was murdered by the Soviets in the Katyn Massacre.- Biography :...

. In the three-day-long battle, (it became known as the Battle of Brześć
Battle of Brzesc Litewski
Battle of Brześć Litewski was a World War II battle involving German and Polish forces that took place between 14 and 17 September 1939, near the town of Brześć Litewski...

), both sides suffered significant casualties. Although the Poles finally withdrew from the area on 17 September, the Germans did not start the pursuit soon enough to rout the retreating Poles. The simultaneous attack on Kobryń
Kobryn or Kobrin is a city in the Brest voblast of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn Raion. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest. Kobryn is located at Latitude...

, which is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Kobryń
Battle of Kobryn
The Battle of Kobryń was one of the battles of the Invasion of Poland. It was fought between September 14 and September 18, 1939, between the German XIX Panzer Corps of General Heinz Guderian and the improvised Polish "Kobryń" Infantry Division of Colonel Adam Epler...

, was inconclusive, with the Polish improvised 'Kobryń' Infantry Division under Colonel Adam Epler withdrawing unopposed.

Both Polish units from Kobryń and Brześć were soon joined by the Podlaska Cavalry Brigade
Podlaska Cavalry Brigade
The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade was a military unit of the Polish Army, created on April 1, 1937. Its headquarters were located in Białystok, it was based on the Cavalry Brigade "Białystok", existing between February 1929, and March 30, 1937.- History :In February 1929, the Polish Army created the...

. The unit, commanded by General Ludwik Kmicic-Skrzyński, successfully evaded encirclement by withdrawing through the Białowieża Forest. General Kmicic-Skrzyński, with his chief of staff, Major Julian Szychiewicz, went to Wołkowysk where he made telephone contact with General Franciszek Kleeberg. The two agreed to join their forces and move southwards, towards the Romanian Bridgehead
Romanian Bridgehead
The Romanian Bridgehead was an area in southeastern Poland, now located in Ukraine. During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 , on September 14 the Polish Commander in Chief Marshal of Poland Edward Rydz-Śmigły ordered all Polish troops fighting east of the Vistula to withdraw towards Lwów, and...


The 16th Motorised Infantry Regiment with artillery and Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 help, began an attack on the positions of the 83rd Polish Infantry Regiment on 18 September, capturing a number of Polish positions. The Polish counter-attack, which began at 17.00 hours, regained some territory. Kleeberg began withdrawing his forces to Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. Over the next two days Polish forces were ordered to concentrate north of Kowel. While on the march, a formation of the Polesie Group was attacked by fifth columnists and from the air, but loose groups of Polish soldiers joined the group.

After a battle with Red Army forces, General Kleeberg decided to march to the relief of Warsaw on 22 September. He first planned to capture crossing places on the Bug River. The concentration area would be near Włodawa. Formations, organized by Colonel Brzoza-Brzezina, fought only against the Germans. They could fight the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 but only if they, (the Poles), were attacked first. Between 22 and 25 September, elements of the Polesie Group were attacked by German aircraft during the march to Włodawa. On the last day of these attacks, General Kleeberg received information that Włodawa had been captured by unknown Polish units. Most personnel were soldiers from destroyed Polish formations who had not been caught by the Germans and were looking for commanders and formations which still fought. His staff began organising the defence of a bridgehead in Włodawa.

Elsewhere, between 17 and 26 September, formations of the Polesie Group crossed the Bug river and entered an area near Włodawa. After receiving information about the surrender of Warsaw, General Kleeberg asked his commanders their opinion after informing them of the political and military situation. He also asked General Zygmunt Podhorski, the commander of the 'Zaza' cavalry division, (comprising two brigades of cavalry ['Pils'and 'Edward'], two infantry battalions ['Olek' and 'Wilk'] and divisional artillery), to join him. General Podhorski agreed, then decided that he would first go to Stawy near Dęblin, the location of the main arsenal of the Polish army. They would then move to the Holy Cross Mountains and engage in guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...


Kleeberg decided to re-organise his command. The 'Kobryń' division would get little in the way of re-supply but would be re-named the 60th Infantry Division. The 'Brzoza' and 'Drohiczyn' groups would be merged – Colonel Brzoza-Brzezina would command the resultant 50th Infantry Division with three infantry regiments and a division of artillery. The 60th Infantry Division would be commanded by Colonel Adam Epler, comprising: three infantry regiments, a division of artillery, a motorised company of 37 mm anti-tank guns, four independent and seven independent formations. In all, Kleeberg had some 18,000 men.

On 28 September, the Polish forces began to march south to the Parczew-Wojcieszków line with the 'Zaza' cavalry division securing the march. One of the Uhlan
Uhlans were Polish light cavalry armed with lances, sabres and pistols. The title was later used by lancer regiments in the Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies....

 regiments from the 'Edward' brigade successfully crossed the Wieprz river and captured Spiczyn; another cavalry regiment from the 'Zaza' Division captured Jawidz and Wymysłów after some resistance. The Germans suffered heavy losses. The next day there was more fighting between the 'Zaza' Division and the Germans near Spiczyn. That evening, the 60 thInfantry Division broke contact with the Germans and went into a forest near Czeremniki. The Germans, using a formation of infantry and supported by two tanks, attacked the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment unsuccessfully.

By 30 September, Polish forces were situated between the rivers Tyśmienica and Wieprz. The following day, forces from the 'Polesie' Group passed the Świderki
Świderki is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Wojcieszków, within Łuków County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It lies approximately north of Wojcieszków, south of Łuków, and north of the regional capital Lublin.-References:...

 colonies of Bystrzyca, Wola Osowińska, Bełcząc and Ostrówek. The 'Zaza' Division had settled in forests near the Tyśmianka river. One squadron of the 2nd Uhlan Regiment, who were defending a road, destroyed a German reconnaissance patrol. The command element of 5th Uhlan Regiment, and the 'Olek' and 'Wilk' infantry battalions attacked the Germans in Kock and captured the town.

The Battle of Kock

On 30 September, the commander of 10th Army, Walther von Reichenau
Walther von Reichenau
Walter von Reichenau was a German Generalfeldmarschall during World War II.-History:Reichenau was born in Karlsruhe to a Prussian general and joined the German Army in 1903. During World War I he served on the Western Front...

, ordered his staff to plan the destruction of a large Polish force which was located between the Bug and Vistula rivers. This task would involve the XIV Motorised Corps. It was made up of the 29th and 13th Motorised Infantry Divisions and some independent units. Each German motorised division had a paper strength of 16445 soldiers, 2676 trucks and staff cars, 1944 motorcycles, and 18 armoured cars.

2 October

The commander of XIV Corps knew that Polish forces were situated in the forests northwest of Kock. He believed that the commander of the Polish forces was unaware of Warsaw's capitulation.

The commander of 13th Motorised Infantry Division, General Paul Otto, was of the opinion that the Polish forces had become so demoralized that they were incapable of combat, and that a single German battalion would be enough to disarm the Poles and take them to a Prisoner of War camp. Otto sent a force consisting of 3rd Battalion, 93rd Motorized Infantry Regiment supported by 8th Battery, 13th Regiment of Light Artillery. The battalion commander decided to divide his forces into two groups which were sent to Serokomla
Serokomla is a village in Łuków County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It is the seat of the gmina called Gmina Serokomla. It lies approximately south of Łuków and north of the regional capital Lublin....

 and Kock. He could count on help from the 93rd Motorised Infantry Regiment with some support forces which followed him.


At 08:30, a column of half-tracks and truck-mounted infantry came under fire from a guard platoon of No.2 company of the 'Wilk' battalion. After a protracted engagement the German troops withdrew. The Polish 179th Infantry Regiment was alerted and moved to defensive positions near and in Kock. At about 11:00 the German lead elements attacked the Polish positions, which were now 2 battalions strong. In spite of supporting artillery fire, the attack failed. At dusk German motorcyclists appeared near the church in Kock and began firing, but subsequently withdrew when the fire was returned.


A company of motorized infantry entered the village of Serokomla. This led to the beginning of a chaotic action between the Germans and Uhlans from the 'Pils' Cavalry Brigade, (commanded by Colonel Plisowski). The Poles were supported by an artillery unit from the same brigade. The Germans were forced to withdraw to the south of the village (see 3 OCT).


German losses were 300–400 killed and wounded. Five officers, 180 NCOs and privates were captured by the Polish. Components of the 'Pils' cavalry brigade lost about 200 killed or wounded.

3 October

The stiff Polish resistance forced General Otto to use all his forces for an assault. He was going to split Polish forces in two and destroy them. He decided that the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment supported by part of the divisional artillery would attack Annopol, Pieńki and Talczyn. This force was tasked with destroying the Polish 50th Infantry Division. The 93rd Motorised Infantry Regiment was ordered to capture Serokomla then Hordzież and to destroy a defensive formation of the 'Zaza' cavalry division. The 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment entered the field of battle in the afternoon.

General Kleeberg thought that the main German advance would be toward the 'Zaza' cavalry division at Serokomla Hordzież. He decided that part of the cavalry would fend off the German attack. The rest would join a counter-attack alongside the 50th Infantry Division on the right wing and rear of the 13th German Motorized Infantry Division. The 60th Infantry Division and the 'Podlaska cavalry brigade
Podlaska Cavalry Brigade
The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade was a military unit of the Polish Army, created on April 1, 1937. Its headquarters were located in Białystok, it was based on the Cavalry Brigade "Białystok", existing between February 1929, and March 30, 1937.- History :In February 1929, the Polish Army created the...

' would close off potential German attack routes. If this counter-attack was successful, the German division would be forced to withdraw behind the river Wieprz.

Between 07:50 and 09:30, two regiments of the 50th Infantry Division (the 180th and the 178th, less its 2nd battalion), attacked. They were supported by a howitzer
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent...

 battery. The attack was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 Gorzkowski. Initially successful, the Polish units were halted and then forced onto the defensive. The cavalry attack by the Uhlans was also stopped and forced to withdraw west of Wola Gułowska.

At 10:30, German artillery begun to fire on Polish cavalry positions. The Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

's 93rd Motorized Infantry Regiment began an attack on the 'Wilk' battalion positions, inflicting heavy losses. The 33rd Infantry Regiment began a gradual attack on the Polish 50th Infantry Division.

After heavy fighting, the German advance was stopped. Otto decided to support the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment with the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment. German formations captured Wola Gułowska, but in the evening, they were forced to withdraw from the eastern part of the area and go on the defensive in the west part.

4 October

Due to the 13th Motorised Infantry Division's failure, the commander of XIV Corps. was forced to use the 29th Motorised Infantry Division. General Otto ordered the 93rdInfantry Regiment to move from the Wieprz river to Dęblin. The 66thMotorised Infantry Regiment would attack Adamów i Wola Gułowska, and the 33rd Infantry Regiment would clear the area to the north of Kock.

General Kleeberg suspected that the main combined attack of the 13th Motorised Division and the 29thMotorised Division would be on Adamów and Krzywda. He thought there was a chance to destroy the 13thMotorised Division as they had already sustained heavy casualties and materiel losses. The 'Zaza' cavalry division and the 50thInfantry Division would defend their positions, the 60thInfantry Division would attack the 13th Motorised Division. The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade would oppose the 29thMotorised Infantry Division.

In the morning, the main elements of 13thDivision attacked the 'Zaza' cavalry division and the 50thInfantry division. By 12:00 noon part of the 66thInfantry Regiment had captured Zakępie and advanced on Adamów where they were halted by the 1st Battalion of the 180th Infantry Regiment.

About 11 hours apart, first from the west and then the east, forces from the 66th regiment attacked the 'Olek' and 'Wilk' battalions who were defending Czarna. The defenders sustained heavy casualties from artillery fire and 'Wilk' was forced to withdraw to the eastern edge of the Adamów forest. 'Olek', moving to Adamów, later deployed to Gułów. Between 10:00 and 11:00 formations of the 66th Regiment attacked formations of cavalry from the 5th Uhlan Regiment who then withdrew from Wola Gułowska and Adamów to the south-east.

At about 12:00 the 66thInfantry Regiment attacked the 2ndSquadron of the 2ndUhlan Regiment in Zarzecze which withdrew with heavy casualties. The commander of the regiment moved the 4thSquadron south from Helenowka to try to assist the 2nd Squadron while the 3rdSquadron held the enemy to the west of Wola Gułowska. The 3rd and 4th Squadrons, with elements of the 10th Uhlan Regiment fought near the Turzystwo village cemetery and the church in Wola Gułowska. Ground was lost and regained repeatedly until an attack by the 2ndBattalion, 184thInfantry Regiment and the Uhlan Squadron enabled the Polish to dig in.

5 October

The commander of XIVth Motorized Corps. decided that he would use two of his divisions. They would attempt to encircle and destroy the Polish forces. The 13th Motorized Division advanced on Bystrzyca
Bystrzyca is a common Polish toponym, derived from the Slavic root *-bystr, denoting speed or fast flow.- Rivers :*Bystrzyca , a tributary of the Oder*Bystrzyca , a tributary of the Wieprz*Bystrzyca Dusznicka, a tributary of the Nysa Kłodzka...

 and Adamów
Adamów may refer to any of the following villages in Poland:* Adamów, Łęczna County in Lublin Voivodeship * Adamów, Łuków County in Lublin Voivodeship * Adamów, Zamość County in Lublin Voivodeship...

 then Wróblina
Wróblina is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Tuliszków, within Turek County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, in west-central Poland. It lies approximately south of Tuliszków, west of Turek, and south-east of the regional capital Poznań....

 and Stanin
Stanin is a village in Łuków County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It is the seat of the gmina called Gmina Stanin. It lies approximately south-west of Łuków and north of the regional capital Lublin.-References:...

; the 29th Motorised Division advanced on Radyryż Kościelny and Wróblina where they met troops from the 13th Division.

General Kleeberg decided to destroy the 13th Motorised Infantry Division by using forces from the 50th and 60th infantry divisions and the 'Zaza' cavalry division. The Podlaska cavalry brigade defended the position under Radoryż Kościelny and Wróblina.

The Fighting in Wojcieszków, Gułów and Adamów

13th Division's artillery began to fire on the 180th Infantry Regiment battalion's positions in Adamów and the 'Olek' Battalion in Gułów grange at 05:30. Two and a half hours later, the 66th Infantry Regiment's advance began. After a short fight at 10:00, the Germans captured Adamów, they then attacked the Polish position on hill 170 and Gułów, which they captured after heavy fighting. The 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment took many losses. The division occupied positions on the eastern edge of Adamów forest. General Podhorski sent the 'Pils' cavalry brigade to support them. After contact with the enemy brigade, they began an attack on the German positions in the forest. They captured the forest and, there, they established defensive positions.

After the capture of Adamów and Gułów grange by the 66th Infantry Regiment, the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment began to advance, capturing Wojcieszków and Glinne. The Polish 178th Infantry Regiment withdrew. The commander ordered his force to re-take Wojcieszków and Glinne, which they did, but they withdrew after taking heavy losses. The advance of the 180th Infantry Regiment on Adamów failed. Colonel Brzoza-Brzezina sent the 178th infantry regiment who soon met the German advance. The 1st battalion included a part company of sappers. The 2nd and 3rd battalions took heavy losses and withdrew to Burzec.

Meanwhile, an attack by the Polish 184th infantry regiment, with the support of a battalion of the 179th infantry regiment, recaptured the church and cemetery in Wola Gułowska. An advance by the 182nd Infantry Regiment with the help of three 100mm howitzers broke the German defence in Helenów.

At 16:00, the last German advance from Adamów began on positions of the 10th Uhlan Regiment in Krzywda forest by the 182nd regiment in Helenów and the 184th regiment in Wola Gułowska. The 10th Uhlan Regiment, after a hard fight, withdrew into the forest. Most forces of the 'Brzoza' division successfully defended their positions in Burzec. The 182nd Infantry Regiment held their position. The 184th regiment had to withdraw due to a lack of artillery ammunition. During this time two key Polish advances began. The 2nd battalion of the 183rdInfantry Regiment, with artillery support, began an assault with the bayonet on the Germans who had attacked the southern wing of the 'Pils' cavalry brigade.

The assault succeeded and the Germans began to escape, being chased by infantry and cavalry. The rear of the southern wing of the 13th Motorised Division was attacked by the 'Edward' cavalry brigade, they captured Poznań village, including a German artillery battery, (which had to be destroyed when the cavalry were forced to withdraw due to them coming under fire from another German artillery battery). Elements of the 13th Motorised Division began to withdraw. One of the last attacks was by the 29thMotorised Division on the 'Podlaska' Cavalry Brigade positions and the rear of the 'Brzoza' Division. After which both Polish formations withdrew to the south of Kryzywda.

The Polesie Independent Group surrendered on 6 October at 10:00. In his last order General Kleeberg wrote that the reason for his decision to capitulate was that they were surrounded and ammunition and food were depleted.

Further reading

  • Jan Wróblewski "Samodzielna grupa operacyjna "Polesie" 1939", Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, Warsaw 1989.
  • Marian Porwit
    Marian Porwit
    Marian Porwit was a Polish military officer, a Colonel of the Polish Army and a military historian. A commander of one of the sections of the Polish front during the Siege of Warsaw of 1939, after the war he became one of the most renowned historians documenting the history of the Invasion of...

    "Komentarze do historii polskich działań obronnych 1939", Volume 3 "Czytelnik", Warsaw 1973.
  • Stanley S.Seidner, Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz Rydz and the Defense of Poland, New York, 1978.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.