7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

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7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 20 Feb 2009 15:06

I have read that 7. Flieger-Division under command of Generalleutnant Kurt Student took part in some heavy combats during the Polish Campaign, fighting around Sucha near Radom (III/FJR 1), and later - since 24th of September - around Wola Gułowska and Dęblin (II/FJR 1) - some sources say that around Wola Gułowska it was fighting also - among other units - against SGO "Polesie" (so probably the battle of Kock - Wola Gułowska is near Kock). I have also read that in the middle September it was ordered to capture or secure / protect some Polish airfield / airfields between the rivers Vistula and Bug (probably airfield in Dęblin?).

I found some photos showing soldiers of 7. Flieger-Division in Poland:

Dęblin:

Image

Polish POWs can be seen:

Image

Could anyone write something more about that?

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter H » 21 Feb 2009 05:56

Some additional information here:

viewtopic.php?f=83&t=63313

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter H » 21 Feb 2009 06:29

From Eric Queen's Red Shines the Sun... , condensed from pages 62-67:

Wola Gulowska

On September 22 1939 ,II/FJR1 was ordered by the 7.Flieger Division to proceed to the airbase at Ulenz(at the Demblin-Brest crossroads) 19km east/northeast of Demblin.Its mission was to secure valuable war equiment that had been left behind and to clean out the surrounding forests of any remnants of the Polish army.The airbase was 9 km in front of the army's(IR 93) security line...a reconnaissance team had reported that there was a Polish force near Lendo..an attempt to intercept these troops failed,the Poles had withdrawn towards Walentinow,one hour before the battalion arrived..Near Leopoldow,8 km northwest of Ryki,the battalion captured a freight train full of war equipment..in the afternoon of the 23rd,an ethnic German from the German settlement of Jozefow(5km northeast of Adamow)..reported there were 500 men (Polish artillery and cavalry) in the forest east of Okrzeja.

Realising that the presence of Polish forces only 12 km from his location posed a great threat,in the evening of September 23rd,Hauptmann Prager ordered his company commanders to surround the forest east of Okrzeja and clean out the Polish troops...the start of the attack was set for 11.30am,the morning of the 24th..there was a Polish captain in the village(Wota Gulowska) standing in an open area without any weapons,in front of the church.Olt.Bohmler took him prisoner and ordered him to get into the vehicle.Suddenly,the Polish captain gave a sign by lifting his arms several times.Directly afterwards Bohmler and his men began taking small arms fire from all sides..the Polish captain was shot and in a matter of moments,there were three dead from Bohmler's group and eight injured(two of them died soon afterwards).

At 9.15am upon being informed of the situation,Hauptmann Prager decided immediately to turn west and enter Wola Gulowska...they came under small arms fire from the church tower and surrounding houses as they entered the village..the garden next to the church and some of the surrounding houses were cleared out with grenades...the fighting was over 15 minutes after the battalion arrived.Soon after the regimental commander Oberst Bruno Brauer,arrived in Wola Gulowska to inform Hauptmann Prager that the 3rd Battalion was on its way.They arrived around noon.Oberst Brauer then ordered both formations to do a thorough search of the entire forest.

In total the 2nd Battalion suffered 21 casualties;eight dead and 13 wounded.Total Polish losses were 58 dead,35 wounded,266 taken prisoner,167 horses captured,and 12 vehicles(with weapons and equipment) seized.


Photos of Wola Gulowska from Eric Queen's excellent book.

Photo One--"members of 8th Company carry the body of their comrade"

Photo Two--"Oberst Brauer(far right) talking with local priests"

I think the tall officer next to Brauer is Wolf-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg.
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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Fallschirmjäger » 22 Feb 2009 06:29

Thanks for all the info Peter.

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 23 Feb 2009 23:45

Thanks Peter for this excellent input!

I will try to find out what Polish sources say about this event. By the way - the Polish unit was not from SGO "Polesie" if the combat took place on 24th of September.

Cheers!

Domen

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 24 Feb 2009 10:53

fighting around Sucha near Radom (III/FJR 1)


I found more info about this combat.

Commander of III/FJR1 Oberst Sydow was ordered by von Richthofen to surround and comb the nearby forest. The Germans did not carry out a proper reconnaissance of this terrain before the attack and Fallschirmjägers encountered strong unit of Polish cavalry which fired at them and forced them to retreat. Fallschirmjägers suffered casualties - both dead and wounded.

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 24 Feb 2009 11:19

As I analyse casualties during the combat of Wola Gułowska from the data in your description:

There were three phases of this combat as I can see:

1. Poles fired at the German unit - 3 KIA, 8 WIA (2 of them soon died of wounds), Polish casualties - 1 killed officer
2. Assault on the village (15 minutes of fierce combat) - II battalion takes part
3. Clearing out the forest (probably at least 1 hour - 2 hours or more) - both battalions (II and III) take part

Polish casualties, phase 1. - 1 killed officer
Casualties of II/FJR 1, phase 1. - 3 KIA, 8 WIA (2 of them died of wounds soon)
Polish casualties, phases 2. + 3. = 58 killed, 35 wounded
Casualties of II/FJR 1, phases 2. + 3. = 8 KIA, 13 WIA

Casualties of III/FJR 1, phase 3. = ???

Also III battalion participated in clearing out the forest (3. phase). What were its casualties?

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 24 Feb 2009 22:51

an ethnic German from the German settlement of Jozefow(5km northeast of Adamow)..reported there were 500 men (Polish artillery and cavalry) in the forest east of Okrzeja.


It was II./1. PAC (Heavy Artillery Regiment) - but without guns, because it had left all of its guns (12 x 155mm howitzer) in the forest Kozia Woda on 18th of September.

Total Polish losses were 58 dead, 35 wounded, 266 taken prisoner, 167 horses captured and 12 vehicles (with weapons and equipment) seized.


In the cemetery in Wola Gułowska there are burried only eleven soldiers from II./1. PAC (Heavy Artillery Regiment) who were KIA in Wola Gułowska. There are no any other cemeteries in the area with any soldiers KIA in this area between 21st and 30th of September.

there was a Polish captain in the village(Wota Gulowska) standing in an open area without any weapons,in front of the church.Olt.Bohmler took him prisoner and ordered him to get into the vehicle.Suddenly,the Polish captain gave a sign by lifting his arms several times.Directly afterwards Bohmler and his men began taking small arms fire from all sides..the Polish captain was shot


Polish sources give the Polish casualties during the combat of Wola Gułowska as 11 KIA (all of them are burried in the cemetery in Wola Gułowska) - including 2 captains:

kan. Bryłka
plut. Jan Dmitryszyn
kpt. Jan Zdzisław Hennig, commander of 5 battery.
kan. Jan Matuszkiewicz,
plut. Michał Michalczuk,
ppor. rez. Józef Walenty Piaskunowicz,
bomb. Leon Raflaski,
kan. Antoni Rastenis,
kpt. Józef Sobczak, commander of 6 battery.
kan. Józef Sobiecki,
kan. Marian Trzaska

And:

- 30 wounded (including heavily wounded commander of II./1. PAC - kpt. Zbigniew Bolesław Mokrzycki - who died of wounds on 27.09.1939).
- 140 Polish soldiers were captured

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter H » 25 Feb 2009 00:53

Domen

Great work!

III battalion participated in clearing out the forest (3. phase). What were its casualties?


None given by Eric Queen.Whether this was zero or not given is not indicated.

Peter

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter K » 03 Mar 2009 17:46

Hi Peter!

Do you happen to know where those German Fallschirmjägers who lost their lives on 24.09.1939 near Wola Gułowska might be buried?

I suppose that directly after the battle they were buried in or near Wola Gułowska (there is even a photo showing the grave of corporal Bader). Are they still buried there? Maybe somewhere in the cemetery in Wola Gułowska?

Cheers!
Peter

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Mar 2009 19:25

Hi Guys,

German paratroops were also used to occupy Spisska Nova Ves (?) airfield in friendly Slovakia by air immediately before the war so that a Stuka group could operate from there, well to the south/rear of Poland's western border. Some paratroops were then reportedly flown into captured Polish airfields. Whether these were the same units mentioned above, I do not know.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by phylo_roadking » 03 Mar 2009 20:24

According to Hooton, they were flown there on the 28th of August not to take the airfield to allow stukas to deploy to there for operations into Poland....but to secure the airfield perimeter against a Slovak Army mutiny nearby, as Stab and II/StG 77 were already deployed there by agreement for the coming campaign; the Slovak Republic being the only other Axis country to assist Germany in the Poland campaign, mobilising some 115,000 reservists as "Field Army Bernolak", also based in Spišská Nová Ves :wink:

A coincidence between that Field Army basing and the mutiny? Interestingly, the Slovak government had called up 160,000 reservists, but only 115,000 entered service i.e. showed up...does anyone know if that "army mutiny" was related to a possibly-unpopular call-up???

"Spišská Nová Ves" appears in LW records etc. as Zipser Neudorf.

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter H » 04 Mar 2009 00:18

Domen121 wrote:Hi Peter!

Do you happen to know where those German Fallschirmjägers who lost their lives on 24.09.1939 near Wola Gułowska might be buried?

I suppose that directly after the battle they were buried in or near Wola Gułowska (there is even a photo showing the grave of corporal Bader). Are they still buried there? Maybe somewhere in the cemetery in Wola Gułowska?

Cheers!
Peter


Hi

According to Eric Queen "the eight fallen of the 2nd Battalion were buried at the Fort Iwangorod cemetery".Is this nearby?Of the eight only three are named..Bader,Mensch,Weise.

Peter

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Mar 2009 01:18

Regarding this -

Some paratroops were then reportedly flown into captured Polish airfields. Whether these were the same units mentioned above, I do not know.


...I think it would be a different element of 7.Fliegerdivision;

On September 1, 1939 the Gruppe moved forward to Aslau, 90 kilometers, west of Breslau in Silesia, for the attack on Poland under 7. Fliegerdivision. Operating from Aslau, Görlitz, and Sagan over the next several weeks, the Gruppe flew numerous routine cargo flights into Poland. The first and only combat mission was flown on 13 September when air-landing troops were carried to Lodz, Poland


http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/2072/Kgrzbv9.html

I would take it from that that the elements of 7.Fliegerdivision that saw action in Poland were gathered there in Silesia. It's more likely that the troops sent to Zipser Neudorf were sent from there to Slovakia. Regarding their return -

Image

...here you can see that Spišská Nová Ves was in the rear of Slovak 1st infantry division "Jánošík"...which only penetrated 30 KM into Poland, halted on September 7th, then was withdrawn at the end of September again. That doesn't take any "mutinous" Slovak units in the division very far at all from Spišská Nová Ves during the fighting, so I wouldn't have thought the FJ "security detachment" was withdrawn...?

Now, according to Jean-Yves Nasse -

II/FJR1 - Wola-Gulowska,Deblin sectors
III/FJR1 - Radom
I/FJR2 - defence of Zisper-Neuforf,Deblin airfields

BUT

According to lexicon-der-wehrmacht -

Aufgestellt im Juni 1939. Das Regiment untersteht der 7. Flieger-Division. Ende Juli 1939 waren bereits 2 Bataillone aufgestellt. Als im September 1939 Polen angegriffen wurde, wurden das I. und II. Bataillon zur Verteidigung der Flugplätze von Zisper-Neudorf und Deplin, unter dem Kommando von Hauptmann Pietzonka, eingesetzt. Einige Teile des I. Bataillons wurde in Bodengefechte verwickelt., so z.B. bei Vola-Guloska im Kampf gegen ein polnisches Artillerie-Regiment, wo der erste Fallschirmjäger im Kampf fiel. Es kam aber zu keinerlei Sprungeinsätzen im Polenfeldzug.


."..the 1st and 2nd battalions were used for the defense of the airfields at Zisper Neudorf and Deplin, under the command of Captain Pietzonka."

In other words, Nasse mentions only ONE battalion of FJR2 being used, whereas lexicon-der-wehrmacht says two. Neither however mentions withdrawals from one location to secure the other :wink: One battalion at Zipser Neudorf, and the other at Deblin?

The only other possibility is that lexicon-der wehrmacht has gotten tangled up over the identity of "des I. Bataillons", given what Nasse says about 2nd battalion FJR1 being in the Deblin "sector" as well. But even THAT would still mean it wasn't I /FJR2 at Deblin - and BOTH sources agree THAT was the element at Spišská Nová Ves 8O

The one consistent thing in all that is at least it being I/FJR2 that was at Zipser Neudorf/Spišská Nová Ves if not elsewhere, and it being elements of FJR1 that were in combat in Poland.

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Re: 7. Flieger-Division during the Polish Campaign

Post by Peter H » 04 Mar 2009 06:51

From Eric Queen,funeral at Fort Iwangorod
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