Excerpts from "Polish Armed Forces in the World War 2, Volume I - September Campaign 1939, Part II - Course of Operations from 1 to 8 September", chapter "Supply & Logistics in period 1 - 5 September", pp. 425 - 427:
"(...) Polish medical service almost immediately faced extremely difficult tasks.
Vast majority of its formations started to mobilize only during the general mobilization. Even divisions mobilized already during the alarm mobilization in most cases didn't have their field hospitals with them yet (field hospitals were mobilized in alarm mobilization only for divisions from Corps Districts VII and VIII). Out of non-divisional medical units, only part of surgeon and anti-gas units as well as 9 sanitary trains and 11 motorized sanitary columns (out of 36 sanitary trains and 17 motorized sanitary columns included in the mobilization plan) were mobilized during the alarm mobilization. In addition, some of medical units mobilized as part of the general mobilization, had very late dates of mobilizational readiness (up to 20th day of mobilization).
From domestic medical formations all peaceful hospitals (district hospitals and such - in total 13) and wartime hospitals located in Corps Districts VII and VIII were mobilized in alarm mobilization.
Expectations regarding the inflow of wounded were based on experiences of the First World War. It was considered, that the number of wounded will grow systematically and basing on this, dates of mobilizational readiness of medical formations were calculated.
Indeed the number of wounded during the very first days of war (at least those wounded who actually could be evacuated from the battlefield and float away to the rear area instead of being captured by the Germans) was relatively not too big. As of 4 September the total number of wounded in military hospitals amounted to around 12,000 (including some number of civilian wounded). Additionally in sanitary trains (if they were all fully filled with wounded) there were up to 4,500 further wounded (on that day 15 sanitary trains were on the move with transports of wounded - including 9 typical and 6 improvised trains). The number of still empty beds in all working at that time military hospitals amounted on 4 September to 7,620.
However, other, not expected previously problems, emerged.
First of all the number of wounded among the civilian population immediately started to grow to very large numbers as the result of German air attacks against settlements, cities and roads crowded with civilian refugees.
Secondly, evacuation of wounded with use of railway trains was being conducted very slowly because of constant air attacks of the railway network by enemy Air Force. There were also cases of enemy Air Force attacking sanitary trains directly, as the result of which casualties were suffered. One of sanitary trains (No. 25) was thoroughly bombed and destroyed at the railway station Szydlowiec.
Thirdly, coordination of the evacuation of wounded became very difficult due to problems with communication.
On 5 September the main Chief of the Medical Service described the situation as follows:
"Sanitary trains in usually sufficient numbers. But due to difficulties with communication... they are not able to capably shuttle, which causes slow evacuation and getting behind of wounded in the operational area. Evacuation from the area of combats to hospitals and to evacuation stages is hindered by lack of means of motor wheeled transport. Individual sanitary chiefs try to carry out evacuation using local means of transport with great effort to complete it. Detailed situations in the operational terrain are unknown due to lack of reports from medical chiefs and as the result of difficulties with obtaining communications with them."
But the most burdened with consequences was the necessity of radical change of the entire plan of dislocating military hospitals (both field and domestic) due to unfavourable development of situation on the frontline.
On days 3 - 4 September evacuation further hinterland of district hospitals from Poznan, Krakow, Torun and Lodz had to be started. Also new places of concentration for army evacuational hospitals had to be designated along the line of Bug-Wisla-San rivers (Brest Litovsk, Warsaw, Lublin and Jaroslaw). Wartime hospitals were ordered to concentrate in the south-eastern part of the country (including Lwow).
Implementation of all those new orders could no longer be carried out without considerable confusion. Some voivodeship hospitals had just finished their concentration or were during the process of concentration: some others were on the move to their previously designated places of concentration. Now everything had to be rolled up or doubled back. In such a way in a period of a constant growth of the influx of wounded, a general evacuation of hospitals from from the west to the east and to the south started. Additionally this evacuation was going to take place in the most difficult conditions due to activity of German Air Force and more and more difficult situation of the railway services."
Later I will post more information about problems with other aspects of logistics & supply. Many of them also resulted from late mobilization of services, supply columns, etc. for most of divisions - even if combat elements of those divisions were already mobilized & concentrated on 01.09.1939, they often had incomplete services.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.