Slovaks Fast Units in Russia 1941.

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tigre
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Slovaks Fast Units in Russia 1941.

Post by tigre » 07 Apr 2007 16:56

Hello folks, greetings from Argentina. Sailing on the web I've stumbled with this interesting article (own free translation), please feel free to improve it.....

Breakthrough the Molotov Line at Sanok - Jun 1941.

On Jun 22 1941 at daybreak, the President of Slovakia, Josef Tizo declared the State of Readiness in the country for the goverment had broken the Diplomatics relations with the Soviet Union and the Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs V. Tuka, handed over the communication to the Soviet ambassador in Bratislava. The Slovak Army’s Commander, General Ferdinand Czatlosz ordered that one Fast Group (Rychla Skupina) was to be organized under Col Rudolf Pilfousek. The Unit consisted of :

One Reconnaissance Battalion (two companies) - 2. Cavalry Reconnaissance Group (Motorized).
One Motorized Infantry Battalion - II./ Infantry Regiment 6 (Motorized) under Major Jan Kallo.
One Artillery Group belonging to the 11. Artillery Regiment.
One Tank battalion - (two tank squadrons and two antitank companies) under Major Dobrotka.
Engineers.
Signal
Supply trucks Column.

It was armed with 661 pistols; 813 rifles; 85 LMG; 98 HMG; 23 antitanks guns vz 37 M of 37 mm; 4 light guns vz 15 (mountain) of 75 mm; 9 light howitzers vz 30 of 100 mm; 3 armoured cars OA vz 30 and 47 tanks (30 LT-35, 10 LT-38 and 7 LT-40).

On Jun 23 1941, the Fast Group (RS) Commander was told that it (the Group) was subordinated to the German 17 AOK under General Infanterie v. Stulpnagel. On Jun 24 1941, the Fast Group crossed the international border between Slovakia and the General Gouverment thru the Dukla Pass and was billeted in the following towns: HQ and the Artillery group at Haczow; the tank battalion at Komborni; the infantry battalion at Jesienica - Stara Wies and the Cavalry group at Humniska.

Thru Sanok - Jun 1941
Image

German and Slovaks troops - Sanok Jun 1941.
Image

The Molotov Line.

The line stretched from the height of Sanok thru Bykowce and Zalusz up to Lesko running pararell to the San river and roughly 200 - 300 meters far from the opposite bank. It consisted of one antitank / antipersonnel obstacle 2 meters high and 3 meters wide fortified with bunkers armed with antitank guns of 45 mm and others with 2 cannons of 76 mm built with walls of 1 to 1,5 meters thick able to resist shells up to 150 mm; however the works were not finished yet. Troops of the Soviet 26 Army manned the fortifications mainly the 72 Mountain RD and the 93 NKVD Border Unit (Major V. Abyzov).

1941 - Molotov Line - sector of Zalusz - Lesko.
Image

The German 454 Sich. Div. had failed in crossing the San river and breakthrough the Molotov Linie between Zalusz and Lesko, so in compliance with orders issued by the German 17 AOK the Slovak Fast Group (RS) got across the San River at Dydnia on Jun 25 1941 at 17:00 hours without met the enemy.

On Jun 26 1941 at 12:30 hours the RS met enemy resistance for the first time at Wojtkowa but it was crushed with light casualties: one KIA (Stefan Fabry) and three WIA and seized the crossroad Kuzmina - Roztoka. Later at 18:00 the Group took up defensive positions on the high ground 500 meters east of the village of Trzcianiec.

On Jun 27 1941, as it was ordered the Slovak Fast Group was to press along the line Kuzmina - Tyrawa Woloska - Zalusz in order to catch the fortified position from behind; now the Fast Group joined force with the German “Schnell Gruppe Coretti” under Oberst Julius Coretti (Sich. Reg. 4’s Commander), the german group consisted of Sich. Reg. 4, 303 Polizei Btl (Oberstleutnant Baath) and some Police staff. Before starting the movement one slovak tank squadron checked the town of Wojtkowa. At 10:00 hours the Axis force started its march; the slovaks were organized as follows: vanguard one cavalry squadron reinforced with the OA vz 30, two tank Platoons from the 2. Tank Squadron and one antitank Platoon), then one bike squadron, the II./ RI 6 (Mot) the tank unit. One tank Platoon of 3. Tank Squadron and one antitank squad reinforced the German II./ Sich. Reg. 4 which secured towards Roztoka. The 8./ Sich. Reg 4 secured Kuzmina.

At Tyrawa Woloska the Fast Group met about 150 russian soldiers which in sight of the tanks fled towards Rakowa. The Axis force reached Zalusz at 13:00 hours; after negotiating a big bend on the road one bunker located towards Sanok and armed with two 45 mm cannons opened fire on the column and destroyed one vehicle of the Schnell Group Coretti killing six men so the Radfahr troops (303 Police Battalion) assailed the fortification and conquerer it by 13:45 hours.

Bunker and destroyed german vehicles - Zalusz Jun 1941.
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meanwhile the Slovaks proceeded to lesko with the 2. Tank squadron under 1º Lt Vanco ahead (1. Tank Platoon of 1º Lt Jan Kuklis with five LT-38 and 2. Tank Platoon 1º Lt Pavla Chlebus with five LT-35). The tanks engaged the bunkers but without success so the infantry of the II./ RI 6 (Mot) under Major Jan Kallo, together with the engineers moved forward and with artillery fire support furnished by the slovak Artillery Group RA 11 and the german AR 221 shelling across the San, assailed the bunkers from its rear cutting off the hostile crews.

Bunker at Lesko - Jun 1941. Inspected by Major Kallo, II./ RI 6 (Mot).
Image

At 16:00 hours the battle was over, 13 bunkers were taken in the Lesko area and 9 more at Zalusz, 200 prisoners were taken also. Own losses one LT-38 (Karol Penciak, Stefan Galbavy, Ludovit Mackovicky and Frantisek Zan) was hit several times and destroyed killing all the crew, also two wounded.

Destroyed LT-38 (Karol Penciak)
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At 19:00 hours the Slovak Fast Group moved again along the line Olchowcec - monastirzec - Tyrawa Wolawa and the German 454 Sich. Div. got across the San river.

Source: Slováci proti Molotovovej línii. http://www.druhasvetova.sk/index.php

Best Regards. Tigre.

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KACKO
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Post by KACKO » 07 Apr 2007 18:54

Here are the links to articles, to make it easier for non Slovak or Czech speaking members: http://www.druhasvetova.sk/view.php?naz ... 2006120003 and here http://www.druhasvetova.sk/view.php?naz ... 2006120013 are very good articles about Slovak actions agains Molotov line with picture (in Slovak) written by Slovak historian PhDr. Pavel Mičianik.

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tigre
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Molotov Line - Jun 1941

Post by tigre » 07 Apr 2007 21:45

Hello folks, thank you KACKO. Here another shot of the knocked Penciak's LT-38.....

Source: Slovakiske mobile enheder i Rusland - Chakoten.

Regards. Tigre.
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KACKO
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Post by KACKO » 07 Apr 2007 23:54

Hi, hello Tigre, what is : Slovakiske mobile enheder i Rusland - Chakoten. Book?
Do you speak Slovak?

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tigre
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Chakoten.

Post by tigre » 08 Apr 2007 05:18

Hello to all interested chakoten it's the website of The Danish Military Historical Society
here goes the link http://www.chakoten.dk/slovakmobil.html

Cheers. Tigre.

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KACKO
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Post by KACKO » 08 Dec 2007 22:41

Hello everybody,

articles Slovaks against the Molotov Line (I.) and (II.) are now translated to English.

http://www.druhasvetova.sk/search.php?r ... &rstema=14
Last edited by KACKO on 09 Dec 2007 15:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 09 Dec 2007 09:17

KACKO wrote:Hello everybody,

articles Slovaks against the Molotov Line (I.) and (I.) are now translated to English.

http://www.druhasvetova.sk/search.php?r ... &rstema=14


Ура!!!

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tigre
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Slovaks Fast Units in Russia 1941.

Post by tigre » 09 Dec 2007 11:57

Hello chap; nice to greet you again :D . Good news. Here goes an map of the Zaluz area...................

As the source, really I could not recall (I've found it on the web).

Cheers. Tigre 8-) .
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