Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
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Dimitrii
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Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Post by Dimitrii » 24 Feb 2021 21:02

Hello,

I sometimes see this town popping up, but where any battles there? I cannot find much about it.

Thanks in advance,

GregSingh
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Re: Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Post by GregSingh » 25 Feb 2021 00:31

German 10.PzD from Guderian's XIX.AK was moving unchallenged along the road from Bielsk to Brest-Litovsk during 13-14 September 1939, passing Kleszczele on the way. Not much action there at all.

Perhaps you meant July 1944 ?
That's when the action was!
You can get pretty damn far in life by just saying what you're going to do and then doing it.

gebhk
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Re: Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Post by gebhk » 25 Feb 2021 11:06

What GregSingh said. No mention in either of the two 1939 campaign 'bibles' and nothing on local history sites. The Germans came, stayed for a few days then handed the town over to the Soviets. The usual bunch of murders, rapes and thievery aside, nothing of note.

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Dimitrii
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Re: Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Post by Dimitrii » 25 Feb 2021 14:48

Thanks a lot, you guys are the best! Any (German) deaths occured there must be due to Polish stragglers?

gebhk
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Re: Poland: Kleszczele, September 1939

Post by gebhk » 15 Mar 2021 13:18

Any (German) deaths occured there must be due to Polish stragglers?
Hi Dimitrii

I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. Please don't be offended if I am teaching granny to make babies, as they say in Poland, however:

1) The people compiling the casualty lists in Poland did not always have as good a grasp of local geography as they might have done. Thus, the name of a dead individual being placed against a Polish place-name is no guarantee that the dead person actually died there (assuming that you can even be sure the place name given actually exists) and not somewhere else.

2) The place of death may well be different to where the hapless soldier was injured. High concentrations of deaths often indicate a hospital rather than a battlefield, in which many soldiers succumbed to their wounds after being injured elsewhere.

3) In any large collection of armed, trigger happy, young men brimming with testosterone and with access to lots of heavy machinery, unfortunate 'incidents' are likely to occur resulting in some tragic deaths.

In short it's impossible to reach any conclusion without a case-by-case investigation of the causes of death. And even then...... I know of at least one case where a young German soldier slipped off in search of the usual unofficial entertainment. The father of the girl involved took very physical exception to the less than consensual relationship about to take place. To avoid the predictably murderous reaction of the Germans, should the facts of the case come to light, the villagers bundled the body out into the nearest woodland and arranged a neat tableu after firing the dead soldier's rifle a few times into the air. As there were no repercussions after the body was found by a patrol sent to investigate the gunfire, it seems likely that the German authorities swallowed the idea that the young man had died fighting stragglers.

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