Hello to all
; a little more on this subject...............................
First Casualties – Westerplatte 01 Sep 1939.
In late evening 31 August 1939 on the desk of the Chief of the Executive No.3, Division II, Chief Staff Pomorze rung the phone. Die Gäste kommen durch die Brücke... - Major Jerzy Żychoń barely recognized his agent's voice breaking from the excitement. The man on the other end of the wire whispered the phrase on one breath, and hung up.
At dawn 1 September 1939 on Westerplatte soldiers from the detachment of Warrant-Officer Jan Gryczman were getting ready to march out to the barracks after a tiresome night duty. The soldiers were collecting their weapon when suddenly a shot resounded. Its echo bounced from the red-brick wall surrounding the tiny peninsula of Westerplatte, flew over the port canal and farther to the sleeping city, to the mouth of Vistula, and vanished somewhere over Mottlau. Gryczman instinctively looked at his watch. The time was 4:17.
Gryczman did not neglect the sudden alarming signal. He ordered his soldiers to re-assume their action stations. Intuition did not fail him. Exactly at 4:45 Schleswig-Holstein's eighteen guns of calibres ranging from 88 to 280 mm opened fire at Westerplatte. Their salvos covered the barracks, outposts, storages, as well as the railway siding; under its rubble was buried its supervisor, Stefan Najsarek - probably the first casualty of the Second World War
. The artillery fire and explosions on Westerplatte merged in one hellish roar, which overwhelmed even the invaders.
The Poles did not let to catch them by surprise. Germans' first attack cost them dearly. Few returned back beyond the red-brick wall.
“Huge 280mm shells needed to go 600m to explode, while in fact they made only 400m. During the fights we found a lot of such "chests" and we used them as a cover. The first attack ended at 1000hr. Our company lost 127 men out of 225
. [...]” Heinz Denker.
Defense of the Polish Post Office in Danzig – 01 September 1939.
On Sep 01 1939, at 03:30 hours all the communications lines with Warsaw were broken also the phone and the energy lines were cut, shortly before 05:00 hours sounded the first shots. Two assault groups belonging to the Danziger Schutzpolizei jumped off against the main entrance but were repelled with heavy machinegun fire, although the Germans managed to break through the entrance and briefly enter the building. The fight lasted only a few minutes but two attackers were mortally wounded
and five were severely wounded.
Source: Die Glocken der Marienkirche. Freitag, Lutz Herdenhttp://www.freitag.de
War – 01 Sep 1939.
The preparations at the airfield of Nieder Ellguth lasted all night. The first plane to take off was the machine of Oberleutnant Mertz who was a staffel’s commanding officer. At the airfield of Balice the personnel of the III/ DM2 were violent woken up by bombs, Captain Medwecki rushed into the pilot’s quarter and shouted to ppor (Leutnant) Wladyslaw Gnys “you’re coming with me”. Both polish pilots took off at 06:00 hours but shortly after reaching an altitude of 300 meters were fired upon by a German Ju-87 flown by Frank Neubert (pilot) and Franz Klinger (gunman). The ppor Gnys could escape the enemy’s fire but Cpt Medwecki was shot down
At 06:00 hours the Luftwaffe bombed the Navy’s main aerial station at Putzig; among the killed was the Commanding Officer of the Navy Flight Division Lt Commander Szystowski
. He was the first navy officer killed in the war
Source: Luftflotte IV – 1939. Krzysztof Janowicz.
The Zweite Weltkrieg. Janusz Piekalkiewicz.
Cheers. Raúl M