Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 21 Nov 2009 14:16

What is source?
Report of komdiv Pietrov is quoted by J. Magnuski and M. Kolomijec in "Czerwony Blitzkrieg", page 70.
Why certainly?
Estimated average cost of a fierce battle against enemy of that strength for infantry formations of that size.

But of course losses of these two regiments in Grodno could have been even bigger - Belarussian Front had to suffer its casualties somewhere (up to 25 - 30 IX they amounted to 464 combat deaths, 34 DiA and 9 DoS according to Krivosheev + ca. 1,020 WIA) and Grodno was the biggest battle fought by this front in the entire campaign.

I wouldn't be surprised if between 1/2 & 1/3 of losses of Belarussian Front up to 25 / 30 IX were suffered in Grodno.

Another bloody battle of this front was the battle of Szack (82 KIA + 185 WIA according to Soviet sources), however during the battle of Szack 52nd Rifle Division (originally part of 23rd Corp of Belarussian Front) was temporarily subordinated to 15th Corp of Ukrainian Front (24 hours before the battle) - so I'm not sure if casualties of this division suffered during the battle of Szack are included into casualties of Belarussian Front or rather Ukrainian Front?
Or not always.
Always during combats in urban area (like the city of Grodno).

----------------------------

By the way - there are similar discrepancies if it comes to Soviet tank losses during the battle of Wilno.

Czeslaw Grzelak writes that Soviet forces in Wilno lost 13 KIA, 27 WIA and 5 destroyed BT-7 tanks.

While in fact only 25th Tank Brigade lost 4 destroyed tanks in Wilno - and this brigade couldn't lost any single BT-7 tank, because it simply didn't have any BT-7 tanks, instead it was equipped in T-26 tanks. Apart from 4 destroyed tanks (T-26) this brigade lost also several (ca. 5) damaged tanks in Wilno. Men losses were not reported.

Also 4 destroyed tanks, 2 destroyed armoured cars and 1 damaged armoured car were reported in Wilno by 36th Cavalry Brigade - probably some of these tanks were BT-2 or BT-5 and not BT-7 (I'm not sure how many tanks of each type did this brigade have). This brigade also suffered some men casualties in Wilno.

Further 3 destroyed tanks and 1 damaged tank as well as 1 KIA and 3 WIA soldiers were reported in Wilno by 6th Tank Brigade. Also 24th Tank Brigade reported 1 destroyed tank and 2 damaged armoured cars in Wilno.

Altogether it gives us 5 destroyed BT-7 tanks but apart from this also 4 T-26 and 3 BT-2 or BT-5. To this we must also add 6 damaged tanks, 2 destroyed and 3 damaged armoured cars. Men casualties were most probably also slightly higher because the number 13 KIA and 27 WIA refers most probably only to 36th Cavalry Brigade, maybe to 36th Cavalry Brigade and 24th Cavalry Brigade together. To this we must add also 1 KIA and 3 WIA from 6th Tank Brigade.

------------------------

My further doubts concern casualties of units of Ukrainian Front. From my calculations it appears to me, that three Rifle Corps of the Ukrainian Front – 8. Rifle Corps, 15. Rifle Corps and 17. Rifle Corps – suffered heavy men casualties, the bulk of men casualties of the entire Ukrainian Front; while at the same time all other units of the Ukrainian Front suffered very low men casualties. Another possibility is that something is wrong with Soviet reports.

Let’s explain this:

Losses of Ukrainian Front in period 17 IX - 25 / 30 IX according to Russian sources (Krivosheev) amounted to some 950 combat deaths, 42 DiA and 13 DoS as well as some 2,050 WIA (Krivosheev gives an incomplete figure of WIA).

While for example capturing the Romanian Bridgehead – which was being attacked by 25th Tank Corp, 26th and 23rd Tank Brigades, 4th and 5th Cavalry Corps and 13th Rifle Corp - cost the Soviets (compilation of sources):

25th Tank Corps – 8 KIA, 24 WIA
26th Tank Brigade – 8 KIA, 9 WIA
23rd Tank Brigade – 3 KIA
13th Rifle Corp (losses since 22 IX, without losses in period 17 – 21 IX) – 16 KIA, 65 WIA
4th Cavalry Corp - ?
5th Cavalry Corp - ?
Divisions introduced on this direction after 17 IX (for example 124th Cavalry Division and 146th Rifle Division from 7th Rifle Corp) – but such casualties are not even counted by Krivosheev and thus they are not included in his total casualties for the Ukrainian Front (he also doesn’t count such units in his calculations of total numerical strength of forces of Ukrainian Front as well as Belarussian Front, as they were from Reserves) - ?

Men losses of units attacking along the direction Tarnopol – Lwow (without 17th Rifle Corp) - compilation of sources:

24th Tank Brigade – 14 KIA, 5 MIA, 21 WIA
38th Tank Brigade – 8 KIA, 6 WIA
10th Tank Brigade – 1 KIA, 9 WIA
2nd Cavalry Corp - ?

Losses of 60th Rifle Division (according to Czeslaw Grzelak – losses until 25.09.1939 – in my opinion this data is falsified or incomplete) – 17 KIA, 66 WIA

36th Tank Brigade – at least 10 KIA and at least 13 WIA

In total it results in just 84 (at least) KIA / MIA and 213 (at least) WIA if not counting losses of 2., 4. and 5. Cavalry Corps – but according to Krivosheev (1st edition - so losses are incomplete and only until 25 IX) losses of all cavalry units in period 17 – 25 IX amounted to 28 KIA, so if this data is correct and cavalry losses were indeed so small, then even if these 3 corps suffered 100% of total cavalry losses, number of KIA won’t be higher than 118 - max. 150.

And the only remaining units of the Ukrainian Front to distribute these casualties between them are:

8th Rifle Corp without 60th rifle division (87th and 45th Rifle Divisions)
15th Rifle Corp without 36th tank brigade (44th and 81st Rifle Divisions)
17th Rifle Corp without 10th and 38th tank brigades (96th and 97th Rifle Divisions)

Losses of 60th Rifle Division after 25.09.1939
Losses of 13th Rifle Corp (72nd and 99th Rifle Divisions) in period 17 – 21.09.1939

So – if all of the above quoted figures concerning losses of individual units are correct – losses of these units – 8th, 15th, 17th Rifle Corps, 13th Rifle Corp in period 17 – 21 IX and 60th Rifle Division after 25.09.1939 – must have amounted to circa between over 800 and around 750 combat deaths as well as around 1800 WIA.

It means that we have on average 135 - 125 KIA and 300 WIA per each of these divisions (87, 45, 44, 81, 96, 97).

Then we know, that 87th Rifle Division from 8th Rifle Corp (Ukrainian Front) lost some 260 KIA / MIA and some 300 WIA during the three-days long battle of Borowicze - Nawoz - Husiatyn (21 - 23 IX) against Polish 3rd KOP regiment.

There is also this problem with the battle of Szack and casualties of 52nd Rifle Division during it (see above).

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 23 Nov 2009 06:16

Mm, it's a lot of text but all your reasoning is irrelevant because Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps consisted from 101st and 119th rifle regiments. See here, between notes {679} and {681}.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 23 Nov 2009 09:59

Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps consisted from 101st and 119th rifle regiments
No, 119th and 101st rifle regiments were from 5th Rifle Corps (13th and 4th Rifle Divisions). Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps consisted of armoured units only - 2 tank battalions and 1 reconnaissance battalion. Mechanized Group of 6th Cavalry Corps also consisted of 2 tank battalions (28th and 31st) as well as 2 platoons of AA MGs.

By the way - komdiv Pietrov clearly wrote in his report ("Czerwony Blitzkrieg", page 70):

"Casualties of armoured units in combats for Grodno: [...]"

And then he listed casualties of mentioned units (27th and 20th brigades, mechanized group of 16th RC). But komdiv Pietrov didn't mention losses of Mechanized Group of 6th Cavalry Corps (I quoted them from a different source).
See here, between notes {679} and {681}.
There is no information that 119th and 101st rifle regiments were parts of this mechanized group there.

Instead, I could find confirmation of information that they were part of 5th Rifle Corps in this article.

------------------------

Btw:

Before Soviet forces entered Grodno, also a battle of Skidel took place. During that battle Soviet forces - Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps - supported by Soviet partisans (sources which confirm participation of Soviet partisans in the battle: RGVA, F. 35086, op. 1, dz. 113, l. 17-18., RGVA, F. 35086, op. 1, dz. 113, l. 17-18. RGVA, F. 35086, op. 1, dz. 18, l. 210, RGVA, F. 35086, op. 1, dz. 275, l. 3., RGVA, F. 35086, op. 1, dz. 18, l. 210) fought against Polish group of cavalry of rtm. Wiszowaty (4 squadrons of cavalry and one battalion of dismounted artillery without guns - in total few hundreds men). According to mentioned documents, up to around 200 partisans were involved in that battle, of them only 26 survived and the remaining ones were killed. Soviets also lost 6 tanks during the battle as well as some regular soldiers. Polish losses according to report of rtm. Wiszowaty were 45 killed, including four officers (Lt. Krygier, Lt. Młynarski, Lt. Lisowski and Lt. Kazimierz Liszewski). This battle lasted for around 8 hours (on 20.09.1939).
Last edited by Piotr Kapuscinski on 23 Nov 2009 10:32, edited 2 times in total.

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 23 Nov 2009 10:27

Domen121 wrote:No, 119th and 101st rifle regiments were from 5th Rifle Corps (13th and 4th Rifle Divisions).
I'm sorry, of course 5th RC. My mistake and carelessness.
Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps consisted of armoured units only - 2 tank battalions and 1 reconnaissance battalion.
A company from recce btn.

I think Petrov considers them (Mechanized Group of 16th RC and Motorized Group of 5th RC) together, because they fought together and because 16th RC's Group could not lose so many men alone.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 23 Nov 2009 10:30

and because 16th RC's Group could not lose so many men alone.
Why not? This is only your assumption. Maybe he also includes casualties of this group from Skidel (see above)? In the battle of Skidel Soviet infantry (up to 200 partisans + one platoon of regular soldiers) suffered heavy casualties - only partisans lost up to 174 KIA men (only 26 survived). Soviet forces also lost 6 tanks. Polish losses were 45 KIA.

Anyway - Soviet reconnaissance battalion consisted of - apart from AFVs - also motorized infantry. So they had enough men to suffer such losses - and it only shows that casualties of Soviet infantry in Grodno were heavy (if a battalion which had got relatively low number of infantry lost as many as several dozens men - how many men could be lost by two infantry regiments which were involved in even heavier street combats than this reconaissance battalion?).
because they fought together
They quite often fought together in Grodno, but not all the time.

Sometimes 101st and 119th infantry regiments were supporting other units - for example 27th Tank Brigade.

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 23 Nov 2009 10:55

Domen121 wrote:Why not?
Because of character and duration of fights which were conducted by this group. It lost 1 burnt down tank and 1 damaged.
This is only your assumption.
But it explains similarity in losses which Petrov and Meltuykhov have resulted.
Maybe he also includes casualties of this group from Skidel (see above).
There were lost 1 wounded soldier, 1 armoured car was knocked out and 1 tank was damaged.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 23 Nov 2009 10:59

Domen121 wrote:Anyway - Soviet reconnaissance battalion consisted of - apart from AFVs - also motorized infantry.
You forget that there was only one company. And there is no info about it participation in fights from soviet side.
They quite often fought together in Grodno, but not all the time.

Sometimes 101st and 119th infantry regiments were supporting other units - for example 27th Tank Brigade.
21st September only by Mechgroup and only its tanks.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 23 Nov 2009 11:09

It lost 1 burnt down tank and 1 damaged.
What is the source? Komdiv Petrov writes:

"Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps - 25 KIA, 110 WIA, 1 burnt out tank"

He doesn't write how many tanks were lost in total (only that 1 was burnt out).
But it explains similarity in losses which Petrov and Meltuykhov have resulted.
Meltuykhov? I don't know his figures - what are they reffering to?
21st September only by Mechgroup and only its tanks.
Komdiv Petrov writes something else, for example (this refers to 21.09.1939):

"101st regiment, which crossed the river behind 119th regiment, together with one tank company from 27th Tank Brigade liquidated a group of around 250 officers defending the forested hill 1,5 km east from Grodno."

This is only 1 example of units from 101st and 119th regiments cooperating with other units, there are more.

It also should be noted that Mechgroup of 16 RC arrived in Grodno later than these two regiments. For example 119th infantry regiment was fighting in Grodno yet on 20.09.1939 in the evening (since around 7:00 PM).
You forget that there was only one company.
What source says that there was only 1 company from reconnaissance battalion?

A reconnaissance battalion had got 365 men, 15 machine guns and only 10 armoured cars.

To this we must add 2 tank battalions from rifle divisions - around 440 men.

In total 805 men, while only 74 tanks and 10 armoured cars (even fewer as not all were operational).
There were lost 1 wounded soldier, 1 armoured car was knocked out and 1 tank was damaged.
Polish sources say about 6 tanks including 2 light tanks (these 2 light ones at the beginning of the battle).

Soviet sources say about 1 T-28 tank (mechanic-driver inside this tank was WIA) and 1 armoured car.

Maybe Soviet sources mention only these 2 "light tanks" knocked out at the beginning.

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 28 Nov 2009 10:10

Domen121 wrote:What is the source? Komdiv Petrov writes:

"Mechanized Group of 16th Rifle Corps - 25 KIA, 110 WIA, 1 burnt out tank"

He doesn't write how many tanks were lost in total (only that 1 was burnt out).
Again look at reference that I give early.
Meltuykhov? I don't know his figures
In Alex Yeliseenko' post were mentioned his figures (57 KIA, 159 WIA, 19 destroyed/damaged tanks, 4 AC).
- what are they reffering to?
RGVA
What source says that there was only 1 company from reconnaissance battalion?
Meltuykhov again (see reference #679) and it was armoured car company.
A reconnaissance battalion had got 365 men, 15 machine guns and only 10 armoured cars.
You don't know an organisation of recce btn. It consisted from: command (5 men), staff (6), political management (2), signal platoon (20), engineer squad (9), motorcycle company (53), armoured car company (49), tank company (41), cavalry squadron (88), support units (46). In total 328 men, 10 armoured cars, 10 tanks, 4 76mm AA guns, 8 37mm guns, 6 AT rifles.
Polish sources say about 6 tanks including 2 light tanks (these 2 light ones at the beginning of the battle).

Soviet sources say about 1 T-28 tank (mechanic-driver inside this tank was WIA) and 1 armoured car.

Maybe Soviet sources mention only these 2 "light tanks" knocked out at the beginning.
Obviously not T-28, but T-38.
And you even cannot assume that the Polish sources have overestimated losses of the opponent.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 28 Nov 2009 10:39

You don't know an organisation of recce btn. It consisted from: command (5 men), staff (6), political management (2), signal platoon (20), engineer squad (9), motorcycle company (53), armoured car company (49), tank company (41), cavalry squadron (88), support units (46). In total 328 men, 10 armoured cars, 10 tanks, 4 76mm AA guns, 8 37mm guns, 6 AT rifles.
I was talking about organization of independent reconnaissance battalion of rifle division, which had got 365 men, 119 riding horses, 3 wagon horses, 4 cars, 24 trucks, 9 special cars, 2 tractors, 15 machine guns, 10 armoured cars.
- what are they reffering to?
RGVA
I was asking - casualties of what units are they reffering to?
In Alex Yeliseenko' post were mentioned his figures.
He didn't write casualties of which units are included in these figure.
And you even cannot assume that the Polish sources have overestimated losses of the opponent.
According to other sources (W. Cygan) Poles destroyed not 6 but 4 tanks with use of hand grenades and one artillery gun cal. 75 mm. According to the same source Polish casualties were also lower - 4 officers and ca. 20 privates KIA.

-----------------------------------------------

Edit:

By the way - at the beginning of this thread Henryk wrote:
henryk wrote: http://felsztyn.tripod.com/id18.html
Finally, even in the southern sector there was fighting with Soviet troops. Thus the KOP Regiment "Podole", apart from numerous smaller encounters along the border, defended the line of the Dniestr River until the evening of September 17, when the crucial bridge over it at Uscieczko was blown up by Polish troops. There were two clashes of Polish and Soviet armoured forces - one at Nizniow, on the river Dniestr, on September 17th; the second at Krasne, to the east of Lwow, on September 19th or 20th.
I found more info about this clash near Nizniow in the book “Przedmoście Rumuńskie. Wrzesień 1939” by Dubicki and Spruch. But according to what they write it was on 18 September:

Page 134:

“Soviet forces approached Nizniow on 18.09.1939, often carrying out fierce combats against Polish units in this area.”

Pages 148 – 149:

“Since 18.09.1939 the organized defence along the line of the Dniestr river de facto ceased to exist. In such situation many military units withdrawing through the area of the Bridgehead towards the Romanian border were encountering Soviet units as well as Ukrainian sabotage bands yet on their way. Usually in case of running into Soviet forces Polish units were being captured, only those units which had previously decided to withdraw towards Hungary as well as those which managed to break through in the course of combats avoided this faith. One of examples of such action is the fate of OZ broni pancernej nr 3 [Spare Unit of armoured weapons No 3], which during its withdrawal towards the Romanian border, on 18.09.1939 in the region of Nizniow fought a combat against a Soviet armoured unit. In the course of this combat casualties were suffered by both sides, but they were particularly severe for the Poles, because out of the initial strength of 2 light tanks, 2 armoured cars and 4 tankettes, only 1 tankette remained operational after the end of this combat. Nevertheless, Polish OZ managed to break through the enemy forces and was continuing its withdrawal after that combat, now changing the direction of its march towards Hungary. On 19.09.1939 it lost the only remaining tankette near Nadworna during combats against Ukrainian sabotage bands.”

More info about this combat certainly can be found in R. Szawłowski’s “Wojna polsko-sowiecka 1939”.

I wonder what Soviet armoured unit participated in that combat near Niżniów and what were its casualties?

I think that it must have been an independent tank regiment from 9th Cavalry Division (5th Cavalry Corps).

Paul_Atreides
Member
Posts: 585
Joined: 09 Sep 2008 08:05
Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Paul_Atreides » 06 Dec 2009 09:53

Domen121 wrote:I was talking about organization of independent reconnaissance battalion of rifle division, which had got 365 men, 119 riding horses, 3 wagon horses, 4 cars, 24 trucks, 9 special cars, 2 tractors, 15 machine guns, 10 armoured cars.
And it's wrong organization, see right one here
http://www.rkka.ru/org/str/04-20.xls

BTW AA guns which I mentioned in the previous post concern rifle division's AA btl.
I was asking - casualties of what units are they reffering to?
He writes: "...and in the morning it [Grodno] has been occupied by the Soviet forces which fights for the city cost the next losses..." That is reffering to all unints.
I wonder what Soviet armoured unit participated in that combat near Niżniów and what were its casualties?

I think that it must have been an independent tank regiment from 9th Cavalry Division (5th Cavalry Corps).
I can't found this place. Specify it on this map
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 12 Dec 2009 19:26

Hi Paul!

I have found an interesting article of Russian press about the battle of Grodno (published on 25.09.1939):

25 September 1939, "Pravda" reports:

"Combat against bands of officers in Grodno

X Grouping of the Red Army encounters heavy resistance of the enemy. Poles try they darndest to hold Grodno at any cost. They set the bridge on the Niemen connecting the two parts of the city on fire and they opened fire to our units from all possible ambushes, from windows and from attics.

Despite all of that our commander, comrade Petrov, ordered to capture the city. [...] Combat was extremely hard: there were 3,000 Polish officers and gendarmes in the city. Bands of officers barricaded themselves in the fort, in the cathedral and in the barracks. Enemies had got large number of MGs and in some houses they had got even up to 13 grenade launchers. Enemy was avoiding face-to-face combat. Bands of officers had chosen the rotten way of carrying out combat from ambushes. They put up the most fierce resistance in the cemetery and in the Poniemun property.

During the night our units broke through up to the cathedral, other units up to the barracks, where they encountered heavy resistance. At first we failed to capture some resistance nests. Before capturing them, resistance nests in the cathedral must have been captured, after that combined forces of infantry and tanks could strike them together.

Since the evening on 20 September until the noon of the next our unit of howitzers and our artillery were fireing at the cathedral, barracks, water plants and camp of officers. Our artillery crews were especially fiercely fireing at the cathedral and at the castle. During street combats our officers were the chosen target of the enemy. Many outstanding commanders lost their lives during this battle. Especially commanders of tanks and their crews distinguished themselves during the battle of Grodno.

When our first and second battalions were attacking towards the city centre the enemy formed a storm group composed of officer bands in the forest at the right bank of the Niemen river and ordered it to attack our units. However, our right wing and our rears were so well protected by machine gun teams, that the enemy was forced to withdraw with considerable casualties.

The battle of Grodno once again revealed the high combat efficiency of our Red Army soldiers. Especially productive despite difficult conditions was the reconnaissance service of Major K. Wiedenskog from the Belarusian Front."
I wonder what Soviet armoured unit participated in that combat near Niżniów and what were its casualties?

I think that it must have been an independent tank regiment from 9th Cavalry Division (5th Cavalry Corps).
I can't found this place. Specify it on this map.
It can't be seen on that map from "Czerwony Blitzkrieg" because it is not detailed enough. You can find it on this map:

From the book "Przedmoście Rumuńskie. Wrzesień 1939" by Tadeusz Dubicki and Krzysztof Spruch. You can see Soviet 13th Rifle Corps, 5th Cavalry Corps, 25th Armoured Corps and 4th Cavalry Corps attacking Romanian Bridgehead:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 13 Dec 2009 11:15

Vladimir Beshanov in his "Krasnyj Blickrig" (p. 95) writes:

"32. Tank Brigade and 143. Rifle Division were ordered to capture Kobryn and then to attack towards Czerniany and Maloryty. In the night on 22 September tank company from 32. Tank Brigade together with infantry attached to it, burst into Horodec at the Królewski Canal after combat against a Polish unit. Casualties were 6 KIA, 2 WIA, two destroyed tanks. Prisoners captured - 30 Polish officers and 300 soldiers. One armoured fighting vehicle was directed on a reconnaissance mission towards Annopol, but it was burnt by the Poles; its crew was also killed."

Commander of 32. Tank Brigade, major Bolotov, writes about the same event in his after-campaign report:

"Until 14:00 on 22.09. brigade captured Kobryn, liquidating single enemy groups. In the night on 22.09. in the eastern part of the locality Horodec company fought a combat against enemy group. There were no casualties, 30 officers and 300 privates were captured."

Morevoer according to major Bolotov losses of the brigade during the whole campaign amounted to:

- 1 T-26 tank, KIA: 1 platoon commander, 2 tank commanders, 1 mechanic-driver, 2 aimers = 6, WIA: 3 soldiers

While according to the report about losses and situation of armoured forces of Ukrainian and Belarusian Fronts in period 17 September - 2 October 1939 (report was written on 4 October) losses of this brigade amounted to:

- 4 + 61 = 65 armoured fighting vehicles, 5 killed [nothing is mentioned about wounded]

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 14 Dec 2009 09:54

Komdiv Andriej Jeriomienko (commander of 6th Cavalry Corps) about the battle of Grodno in 1939:

"Poles put up strong but completely purposeless resistance (...) For the first time I had an occasion to participate in a tank attack and to get to know about their combat value, to understand the sense of some tactical operations during an attack on big open spaces and in the developed area. This experience rather didn't belong to the category of pleasant experiences: during combats at the outskirts of Grodno the entire crew of [my] tank, which served as a mobile command post, were WIA, and all 3 tanks, from which I was in turn directing combats, were knocked out."

Source: Beshanov, "Krasnyj Blickrig", page 91

User avatar
Piotr Kapuscinski
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3722
Joined: 12 Jul 2006 19:17
Location: Poland

Re: Soviet vs. Polska. Sep.1939.

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 28 Dec 2009 12:54

Ppor. Rafał Czyżewski - officer serving in surplus unit of 86 pp from the Spare Unit of 19 DP (Spare Unit - OZ - of 19 DP numbered some 1000 men under command of Ppłk. Izydor Blumski) about his combats at the outskirts of Grodno and later (when units of Ppłk. Blumski were pushed from their initial positions into Grodno) combats inside the city:

"The enemy struck towards the gardens of Grodno, but was defeated between the fences and is now withdrawing towards Stanislawowo. Simultaneously from the direction of Skidel enemy armour is attacking. Tanks ran over us, but enemy infantry was defeated and after losing several KIA and captured wounded it retreated towards Skidel. At 11:00 I received an order to withdraw, covered by machine guns, to the Sekret forest. [...] at 12:30 I was encircled by enemy armour and called by Soviet forces to surrender. With heavy casualties I broke through behind the marshland towards Grandicze. Soldiers were fighting excellently, despite the fact that 50% of my company were Belarusians. Casualties were 2 officers and 57 men. On 21 September in the afternoon we decided to leave the city, this decision was forced by lack of ammunition and enemy superiority. Our units broke away from the Soviets and across Stanislawowo marched towards the Lithuanian border, which was crossed by the Spare Unit of 19 Inf.Div. on 23 September in Kodzie. Soldiers were disarmed and interned, but most of them soon escaped and broke through to the West."

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”