German Garrison in Fraustadt, Germany 1939

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tooz
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Joined: 31 Jan 2011 05:49

German Garrison in Fraustadt, Germany 1939

Post by tooz » 07 Jun 2022 05:49

Greetings all. I am trying to find out the name and designation of those German units that were attacked in Fraustadt, Germany 1939. I know it was the Polish 55th Poznan Infantry Regiment that attacked, but who were the German units defending?

tooz
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Posts: 23
Joined: 31 Jan 2011 05:49

Re: German Garrison in Fraustadt, Germany 1939

Post by tooz » 07 Jun 2022 05:51

This was the only offensive action taken buy the Poles in German territory.

gebhk
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Re: German Garrison in Fraustadt, Germany 1939

Post by gebhk » 08 Jun 2022 09:20

Hi Tooz

According to Zawilski and others, prisoners form 61 Grenschutz Regiment and 252 ID were taken in the fighting for Leszno and surrounding areas on 1 September. I seems likely, therefore, that soldiers form these formations were among the German opposition to Gen Abraham's reprisal raid on Fraustadt (now Wschowa) on 2 September 1939.

Best as I can make out:

The Polish raiding party was made up of
HQ from Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade, Brigade CO leading personally.

Main assault group (c 7 officers and 300 men) - CO Cpt Lesisz
2nd Infantry Company, I battalion, 55 Infantry Regiment (Cpt Lesisz)
MMG platoon, ? from 55 Infantry Regiment (the MG company of I battalion seems most likely source)
2 Armoured Car Platoon from 71 Armoured Dywizjon, Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade (2nd lt Jerzy Gerżabek) (3x wz 34 armoured cars)
Artillery platoon, 55 Infantry regiment (Cpt Snitko) (2x 75mm wz 02/26 cannon)

Northern (right flank) guard- CO 2nd lt Tadeusz Stryja
2nd platoon, 2nd Squadron, 17 Lancer Regiment (2nd lt Stryja)
2-3 squads of cyclists
MMG on taczanka
Horse-drawn radio station

Southern (left flank) guard - CO Gen Abraham (in cc car [Lazik])
Scout tank squadron from 71 Armoured Dywizjon (13x TK3) (lt Wacław Chłopik)
7 Bicycle Squadron of Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade (lt Zbigniew Barański)
Several motocycles with sidecar mounted BARs

The infantry were motorised with impressed civilian buses and debussed on the Polish side. 1 Infantry platoon (Stanisława Rybczyński) attacked and captured a border post. 2 infantry platoon (Lt Konwinski) simultaneously attacked a German ?Grenshutz guardhouse blocking the way to Geyersdorf (now Dębowa Łęka). A German motorcycle patrol intervened but after a brief exchange of fire the motorcyclists were driven off and the post captured. The surviving Germans escape in a truck. Third platoon (2nd lt Perkiewicz) passes through 1 and 2nd platoons and now leads the advance on Geyersdorf. The armoured car platoon is unable to cross the border immediately because of anti-tank ditches, however, Gen Abraham's group joins the assault on Geyersdorf. Supported by supperessive fire from the 2nd scout tank platoon (2nd lt Jan Dąbrowski), 1st scout tank platoon (lt Bronisław Kalinowski) enters the village and takes prisoner memebers of 118 (?108) Grenzwacht Regiment (including 7 wounded). The joint assault is supported by Cpt Snitko's guns, still deployed on the Polish side and the village is quickly captured. Surviving German military flee in the direction of Fraustadt, accompanied by many civilian refugees.

Cpt Snitko's artillery platoon is now limbered up and brought up to the area of Geyersdorf. 36 rounds are fired on Fraustadt, some 5km away, mainly on the army barracks there. This is a reprisal for the earlier German shelling of and 5th columnnist attacks in Leszno. Gen Abraham now orders both groups to retire. The order does not reach lt Perkiewicz's 3rd platoon, who continue to advance to the outskirts of Fraustadt before realising they were on their own and wisely beating a hasty retrreat. Lt Stryja's platoon retires last, unmolested while on German soil. It was only when they reached the village of Święciechowa, already on the Polish side of the border, they were met by Nazi flags and cheering ethnic Germans who had mistaken them for invading German troops. The crowd turned nasty when they realised their mistake but was rapidly dispersed, the flags were torn down and the ringleaders arrested and shipped off to Leszno.

This was by no means the only Polish action on German territory in 1939. Just in our area of interest, on 1st September, after evicting the Germans from Rawicz, Cpt Otworowski chased the attackers back into Germany with a company of infantry from 3rd battalion 55 Infantry Regiment and a platoon of armoured cars from Wolynska Cavalry Brigade. In the village of Konigsdorf (now Załęcze), a German motorised supply column was surprised and destroyed, the Poles claiming up to 80 vehicles destroyed. Some authors place these events in time on 2nd September. Numerous actions were also carried out by Polish cavalry in East Prussia with the attacks on Reuss (now Cmochow) on 3-4/9 and Bialla (now Biala) being perhaps the most noted.

Albeit calling all these activities, including the Fraustadt one, offensive actions seems to be overegging it somewhat. Reconnaissance in force is probably the grandest spin one can put on this... :thumbsup:.

gebhk
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Posts: 2092
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: German Garrison in Fraustadt, Germany 1939

Post by gebhk » 28 Jun 2022 13:50

Having poked about in this some more, I have to disagree with myself!

It would appear that Rawicz, where the first prisoners were taken, was sufficiently further south to be in the operational zone of a different group - the 14 Border Command of von Gienath. The troops further north in Fraustadt and Geyersdorf were much more likely to belong to Grenzschutz Abschnittkommando 13 (von Schenkendorf) which is confirmed by the capture of soldiers from 108 and/or 118 GS regiments. This would. most likely, make the motorcycle platoon the 13 GS Motorcycle Platoon and the trucks belong to 313 Landwehr Motor Section.

In their Atlas, Aksamitowski et al indicate 62 Landwher Division also to be operating in this area, however I have found no other confirmation of this (or indeed that a Division with such description even existed), so am sceptical - albeit very happy to be corrected by anyone with better knowledge/sources.

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