XXII Armeekorps 1939

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Miha Grcar
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XXII Armeekorps 1939

Post by Miha Grcar » 24 Jul 2006 20:13

Hi all,

I am having some problems with the XXII A.K. battles in Poland, sept. 1939. I have a basic structure, but I need some details as in; march routes, battles, losses (if it is possible), encirclements...

As I understand the Korps crossed the Polish border in the Tatra moutains. On which border crossing? It then proceed north through Orava Valley towards Cracow.

By 5 September it reached the line Cracow - Nowy Sacz (a rough estimate). Did it face any serious opposition?

It then advanced alongside XVII Armeekorps over Dunajec River (?) and crossed Wislota River (?) at Debica. It seems that elements of the Korps advanced in the direction of Radymno and the other wing of the Korps through Galicia over River San and encircled remnants of the Polish Carpathian army.

Could anyone give me a little more to work with?

best,
Miha

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Miha Grcar
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Post by Miha Grcar » 24 Jul 2006 20:26

The same applies also to the XXII A.K. subordinate divisions: the 2. Panzer and 4. leichte Division. Any info on those units is just as welcome!!

best regards,
Miha

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Post by Peter K » 13 Jul 2007 15:39

My grandfather fought against soldiers from 4. German leichte Div. and 81. Russian rifle division near Lwow and Tomaszow Lubelski (Battle of Tomaszow Lubelski) - my grandfather was in 9. Legionnary Regiment from 3. Legionnary Infantry Division (he served there since 31. August). That Division since 17. September was part of new-formed "Operational Group of general Kruszewski" (Kruszewski's Group had 16000 soldiers and 100 artillery pieces) and it participated in "Second Battle of Tomaszow Lubelski" (he was fighting near Zamość, Hrubieszów, Chełm, Strzyżów, Komarów, Łabunie, Krynice), as part of Polish "Northern Front" (38 - 45,000 soldiers). He and his friend were captured by Soviet troops from 8. Rifle Corp (81. rifle division) after skirmish between 9. Regiment reconessaince patrol and Russian reconessaince batalion in village Strzyżów near town Hrubieszow ("Zamojszczyzna" region - WEST OF RIVER BUG!!!!) on 23. September 1939, but after 2 hours they managed to run away and join their unit. Later he was wounded in left hand, but he was still fighting (of course he received medical help) and when Polish "Northern Front" (led by gen. Dąb-Biernacki) was finally destroyed, he and some friends from his regiment, together with some guys from horse artillery regiment (also in "Kruszewski's Group") broke threw enemy lines and, luckilly, found front units of "Zgrupowanie KOP" ("Group of Borderland Defense Corp" soldiers - on 20. September it had about 8700 soldiers) under command of gen. Wilhelm - "Orlik" - Ruckemann near town Równe (it was 26. or 27. September). They joined KOP units. So - again - my granfather was fighting with Red Army in Battle of Szack (Polish victory) and Battle of Wytyczno (1. October 1939, Soviet victory - after end of the battle Polish forces withdrew to Wólka Wytycka - Mietełka region). "Zgrupowanie KOP" lost 93 soldiers in Battle of Wytyczno (most of them were murdered by Soviets or died of wounds after they were captured - Russians hadnt helped Polish wounded, only few of these number were KIA), and "Orlink" - Ruckeman decided, that it is totally pointless to continue fighting - Soldiers were ordered to do what they suppose is the best to them, and "Zgrupowanie KOP" was dissoluted. Some soldiers of "Zgrupowanie KOP" decided to continue fighting (my grandfather with them), but most part went to their homes on their own or surrendered to Russians. My grandfather and other soldiers decided to join the nearest polish unit - "SGO Polesie" (Independent Operational Group "Polesie" - gen. Kleeberg). Some of them managed to find SGO "Polesie" forces and took part in the last big battle of Polish Campaign - Battle of Kock Battle of Kock started on 2. October and it lasted till late evening hours on 5. October. Kleeberg forces (18,000 men) managed to stop german 13. and 29. Motorized Divisions attacks, and almost destroyed some units from 13. Motorized Division. But SGO "Polesie" had to stop fighting because ammo reserves had run low. On 6. October, in the morning, soldiers of "SGO Polesie" started surrendering - my granfather went to German captivity. But some small groups of SGO "Polesie" soldiers (mostly cavalary groups) were fighting in Serokomla Forest untill 12. October!!!

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Post by Peter K » 13 Jul 2007 16:37

Something about 4. Leichte and 2. Panzer Divisions:

1. September:

German advances along Jabłonka - Nowy Targ road, towards Chabówka - Jordanów. Other units are moving to region near city Żywiec. 2. Panzer Division is moving very fast from Jabłonka to Jordanów region. It is clear that Germans want to surround Army "Kraków" forces - they avoid fights with polish fortifications line (60 km long "Śląsk Fortifications" line) and they are attacking Polish flanks. Gen Szylling, Army "Kraków" commander, send his best reserve unit - 10. Motorized Cavalary Brigade - from Kraków (Cracow) to the south - near Jordanów. This is horrible mistake of Szylling - now he has no possibilities of supporting other endangered units - Army Cracow havent got any reserve units, if Germans break Polish lines, Poles will have to withdraw or they'll be surrounded and destroyed.

2. September:

At the sunrise on 2. September XVIII AK and XXII AK are moving from Spytkowice and Nowy Targ towards Jordanów. While moving towards Jordanów, XVIII AK runs into Polish 1 KOP Regiment and 10. Motorized Cavalary Brigade defensive lines (with strong anti-tank forces). After heavy fighting, around midday XVIII AK retreats to Spytkowice. In the afternoon, another German assault begins. 2. Panzer Division breaks threw Polish lines and captures village Wysoka. Poles withdraws to Jordanów. In the meantime, near village Chabówka, 1 KOP Regiment is attacking by 4. Leichte Div. Some units from col. Maczek's Motorized Brigade support the Kopist's (soldiers of KOP) and German attack is stoped - losses in 4. Leichte Division are high. Then, col. Maczek orders 24. Motorized Ulans Regiment (supported by one Tankettes squadron) to counter-attack on German lines in Wysoka village. Wysoka goes from hands to hands several times, fights between 24. Regiment and and 2. Panzer Div last all day, and finally Maczek orders Ulans to go back to Jordanów. Poles retreats but exhausted Germans are not chasing them.

Around 18:00 general Szylling is telegraphing to Śmigły-Rydz to report him situation of Army Kraków:

Szylling:

Northern region: Żarki is captured.
Central region: German tanks from 5. Panzer Div. captured Oświęcim and are moving towards Zator. In Pszczyna Forest general Mond with few batalions left and is struggling - we dont have radio and phone connection with him. At Bielsko line - no fights. Our forces withdrew from Węgierska Górka - Germans havent chace them. Enemy are attacking across mountains, from the west. North of Żywiec, enemy is reatreating towards Oczków. In Chabówka region, Jordanów is captured. Our units are fighting between Jordanów and Sucha - now near Osielec. Pilots report that new German division has been seen in that region - its marching towards Jabłonka, Czarny Dunajec and Nowy Targ. That is all.

Śmigły:

And Krakowska Cavalary Brigade?

Szylling:

Near Zawiercie - between Brigade and 7. Infantry Div. enemy unit is marching, towards Żarki

Śmigły:

What enemy unit?

Szylling:

Motorized unit, which for one day was between Częstochowa and Krakowska Cavalary Brigade

Śmigły:

And whats with 7. Infantry Division?

Szylling:

It was ordered to withdraw to Janowo region.

Śmigły:

General Szylling, i will give You reply in 10 minutes. I must think. In the meantime, please prepare Yourself for orders, for writing them.

Half an hour later, they decided to withdraw all Army Cracow units to new defensive line - along Nida and Dunajec rivers.

In the next few days, it became clear that it was a mistake - it would be better to stay on the first line and fight here, even if it was very dangerous and situation of Army was bad.

Source:

Czesław Grzelak and Henryk Stańczyk, "Kampania Polska roku 1939" (Polish Campaign - 1939), page 160 - 163 (of 536)

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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 16 Jul 2007 15:50

It's worth getting the diary of Austrian soldier Wilhelm Pruller, who provides a day-by-day account of the march of 4th Light Division in Poland. Not sure about other languages, but in English it's Diary of a German Soldier.

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Re: XXII Armeekorps 1939

Post by Peter K » 28 Nov 2009 14:21

I am having some problems with the XXII A.K. battles in Poland, sept. 1939. I have a basic structure, but I need some details as in; march routes, battles, losses (if it is possible), encirclements...
Losses of 4. Leichte-Division (period 01.09.1939 - 21.09.1939) - at least 323 KIA/MIA and 507 WIA, 25+ tanks destr.

Losses of 2. Panzer-Division (fragmentary data):
- Panzer-Regiment 3. = 61 (6) KIA / 60 (9) WIA (period 01.09.1939 - 20.09.1939)
* II./Pz.Rgt.3 - losses on 02.09.1939 (battle of Wysoka-Jordanow) = 12 tanks destr., 4 tanks req. major repairs as well as many more tanks (including at least 4 - 5 from 8. Pz.Kp. of Pz.Rgt.3) knocked out and requiring repairs
* II./Pz.Rgt.3 - losses on 08.09.1939 (battle of Biskupice Radłowskie) = 18 (2) KIA, 1 - 2 MIA, 21 WIA, 23 tanks destr.
* 3. Kp from I./Pz.Rgt.3 = 17 (1) KIA -> 11 (1) KIA on 2.9.39, 1 on 8 - 9.9.39, 2 on 11 - 12.9.39 and 3 on 24.9.39
- Panzer-Regiment 4. = 11 KIA / 21 (at least 1) WIA
- Panzer-Jaeger-Abteilung 38. = 12 KIA (incl. 6 near Biskupice - Kolbuszowa and 2 near Mosty Wlk.) / 12 WIA
- I./Schtz.Rgt.2 - losses on 08.09.1939 (battle of Biskupice Radłowskie) = 33 (1) KIA, 10 MIA and 72 WIA
- 2. Kp from Kradschtz.Btl.2 - losses on 08.09.1939 (combats near Radomyśl) = 12 (1) KIA

Major battles and combats of the 2. Panzer-Division:

1 IX, Jablonka - Spytkowice
2 IX, Wysoka - Jordanow (German losses: ca. 50 tanks, there are photos with ca. 35 - 40 German graves)
3 IX, Jordanow
5 IX, Pcim
6 IX, Wisnicz Nowy - Bochnia
7 - 8 IX, Radlow, Biskupice, Wisloka (German losses: 64 Germans were buried in Biskupice after the battle)
8 - 9 IX, Radomysl - Kolbuszowa
9 - 10 IX, Jaroslaw
12 - 13 IX, Radymno
14 IX, Uhnow - Zamosc
14 - 16 IX, Tomaszow - Hrubieszow - Wlodzimierz - Sadowa Wisznia - Jaworow - Rawa Ruska
16 IX, Oleszyce - Cieszanow
17 - 18 IX, Zolkiew
17 - 18 IX, Janow
17 - 21 IX, Mosty Wielkie
18 - 21, Tomaszow Lubelski
19 - 20 IX, Zamosc
23 IX, Podlodow (Pz.Rgt.4 lost 1 officer WIA)
23 - 26 IX, Tomaszow Lubelski - Krasnobrod
24 - 25 IX, Rzyczka - Rawa Ruska

Franz Joseph Strauss (former soldier of Pz.Rgt.3) in his book "Friedens und kriegserlebnisse einer generation" writes about combats near Biskupice Radlowskie in 1939: "Poles with contempt of death defend the bridgehead Biskupice - Radlow. Their AT guns are hitting our tanks from the closest distance. Their soldiers are throwing hand grenades into openings of our tanks and are even jumping onto our tanks with bunches of grenades in their hands."

By the end of the Polish Campaign 2. Panzer-Division had got only 1/4 of its initial tank strength operational.

Claims of enemy losses by 2. Panzer-Division / Polish losses:

2 IX - German est. say about 274 Poles WIA, KIA or captured, 6 AT guns, 1 mortar, 2 armoured cars (???)
7 - 8 IX, Biskupice - Polish losses: 243 KIA (of them 178 buried in Biskupice) - German est. say about 500 KIA
23 IX, Podlodow - German est. say about ca. 100 KIA, 2 light and 2 heavy guns, 1 AA gun, 2 AT guns, 11 HMG
24 - 25 IX, Rawa Ruska - after the battle ca. 2,000 Polish soldiers of Group "Dubno" signed capitulation

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