This might help a little.
Hartfeld and Dobrostany
Before Dobrostany, to the north of Grodek.
Saturday September 16th, in the afternoon.
Behind us, where we’ve come from, farmers toiled in the field – as in the depths of peacetime.
Suddenly shots crash.
Pfui, pfui, pfui whistling over us. The telephone wire along the road begins to swing wildly. Several wires are shot and fall down.
Enemy machine-guns bark in a lively fashion. We leap from the truck and jump into ditches which offer some protection. Gun and machine-gun fire seems to be coming from both sides, the shells of anti-tank guns landing are clearly visible. For several moments the vehicles remain on the road, abandoned; some receive hits. The situation seems to be completely chaotic; the protection of the forest offers good cover for the enemy. Under a hail of bullets, the machine-guns are offloaded, mortars and infantry guns are assembled and brought up. After a short time the first shots crash, we wait instinctively for them to land on the enemy’s side. Shot after shot leaves the barrel, our machine-guns begin to fire with their rapid tack – tack – tack, but the enemy also shoots continually.
Our open ground on the other hand offers bloody awful cover compared with the enemy’s well-camouflaged position. So we go over to the attack, making use of any cover in leaps and bounds. There’s the satisfying rattle of our machine-guns, and the shells hurtling over our heads seem to bring us some relief. As darkness sets in the shooting seems to relax.
Dig in! A potato field is perfect, and ditches and foxholes are quickly dug. We lie next to each other at intervals. We pull our tent cloth over us. The cool of night makes itself felt. The glow of a burning farm very close lights up no man’s land. So we lie in our burrows, the broad heavens arching above us. There’s hardly any thought of sleeping.
“Hurrah – hurrah!” As if a thousand throats are screaming, the cries roar towards us from behind. The noise gets louder, machine-guns bark, for a moment the connection between the two is unclear. Enemy in our rear? Thoughts race through our minds at lightning speed. We can clearly make out: “German soldiers, give yourselves up! Offensive!” Who’s saying that? Orders arrive: The enemy is trying to storm the village to our rear. There’s crashing on all sounds, on all sides bitter fighting. In a flash, the village goes up in bright flames, thick clouds of smoke drift across the entire field. This hellish dance seems to last forever; my watch already shows that it’s 2am. [VII Armeekorps, Wir zogen gegen Polen, Berlin, 1940]
Ruins of the Polish Southern Army
Grodek-Jagiellonski, September 18th, 11am
The glow of fires flaring up and the rumble of battle during the night informed us of the bitter battle involving our troops and the Polish divisions which were stubbornly trying to force a breakthrough to Lemberg. This morning we drove there. The road had already been secured; the Kampfgruppen Pemsel, Utz and Kress are clearing out the forest at Dobrostany, ten kilometres north of Grodek, as far as Janow, from where the Munich division is advancing on Lemberg...
We see signs of the hasty retreat on the road to Grodek. A field kitchen has been knocked into a ditch by a shell, abandoned buses stand by the road, Polish caps and sacks lie about in huge numbers. We pass through Ukrainian villages; life continues its course there as if nothing has happened. The farmer drags his plough across the wide field to prepare to sow his grain for the winter; black and white speckled cattle graze in the meadows and maids raise water buckets from wells, herds of geese cry. A refreshing breeze greets us from the forest - the sun toys with the breaking day. A wonderful land appears before us; its fertility is so blatantly contrasted by the poverty of its people. [Leixner, Leo, Von Lemberg bis Bordeaux: Fronterlebnisse eines Kriegsberichters, Franz Eher Verlag, Munich, 1941]