Tank battles in Poland 1939

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Peter K
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Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 23 Dec 2008 15:46

[Split from Tank Aces of WWII]


"Panzerwaffe officer captured during first days of September 1939 was praising speed and nimbleness of a Polish tankette, claiming that: "...it is very hard to hit such a small cockroach from a gun"."

"Cockroach versus Panzers":

Plutonowy podchorąży rez. Roman Edmund Orlik (71. armoured dyon of Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade) was one of the first tank aces of WW II:

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In September of 1939 his tank was TKS tankette with automatic gun calibre 20mm:

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His driver was kapral Bronisław Zakrzewski:

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- On 14th of September during the battle of Brochów he eliminated 3 tanks from Panzer-Regiment 36. from 4. Panzer-Division.

Map is showing the battle of Brochów (14th - 15th of September 1939). Map is showing situation around 20:00 on 14th of September 1939 - it comes from the album "Army Poznań 1939" by Piotr Bauer and Bogusław Polak:

"Offensive of Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade on Brochów on 14th of September 1939 (situation at 20:00)":

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The battle of Brochów was fully won by the Poles.

- On 18th of September during the combat of Pociecha he eliminated 3 tanks from Panzer-Regiment 11. from 1. Leichte-Division. He also destroyed several motorized vehicles during that combat and took 2 prisoners of war (tank crew). He also tried to rescue the crew of one of those eliminated by him German tanks - which started to burn - but he - unfortunately - didn't manage to rescue them and all of them died.

Among tanks eliminated by Orlik on 18th of September there was tank of Leutnant (or Oberleutnant ?) Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor - commander of a platoon. The whole his platoon was eliminated during that combat and Prinz Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor was heavily WIA and severely burned - and after a few minutes he died. He was born in 1916 and was first son of Victor III August and Elizabeth zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Öttingen-Spilberg:

http://www.gen.heinz-wember.de/hohenloh ... IA1879.htm

Orlik's victories (kills) during combat of Pociecha (1., 2. and 3.):

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- On 19th of September Orlik eliminated 7 German tanks (from Panzer-Abteilung 65. or from I. battalion of Panzer-Regiment 11.) during the battle of Sieraków. Most of those 7 tanks eliminated (most probably 6 of them) were Pz-35(t) tanks.

His tankette was one of 2 tankettes from 71. armoured dyon of Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade (both of them were TKS tankettes with 20mm automatic guns) which broke through to Warsaw (during the night from 20th to 21st of September 1939). He was later fighting in Warsaw until 28th of September 1939.

Orlik's victories (kills) during the battle of Sieraków (1., 2., 3., [...], 7.):

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Total: 3 + 3 + 7 = 13 kills.
Last edited by Peter K on 29 Dec 2008 12:21, edited 1 time in total.

Peter K
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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 23 Dec 2008 22:52

If it comes to the battle of Sieraków itself:

- On 19th of September Orlik eliminated 7 German tanks (from Panzer-Abteilung 65. or from I. battalion of Panzer-Regiment 11.) during the battle of Sieraków. Most of those 7 tanks eliminated (most probably 6 of them) were Pz-35(t) tanks.


German sources say that during the failed German Panzer counterattack on Sieraków, Panzer-Abteilung 65. lost 26 KIA and WIA tank crewmen (including 4 officers, 5 NCOs and 17 soldiers).

The majority of tanks of Panzer-Abteilung 65. which took part in the attack (and most probably the whole Abteilung took part) were eliminated during that battle. Also Bade writes about this. According to Bade (and also according to German daily reports) the remaining German tanks escaped towards Hornówek and Lipków.

German tanks were attacking (according to Bade - but Polish sources confirm it) in two separated groups at the same time (it is possible - but not certain -, that apart from Panzer-Abteilung 65. also I. battalion of Panzer-Regiment 11. took part in that attack - or at least some part of it). Both groups were defeated and dispersed.

From the first group the Poles eliminated 27 tanks - 7 by Orlik, 20 by 7. light artillery dyon (direct fire) and 7. horse rifle regiment (the majority by regimental AT guns). During combats with this group the Poles (7. horse rifle regiment) lost 56 men - 14 KIA and 42 WIA.

From the second group the Poles eliminated 11 tanks - including 2 by direct fire of artillery platoon from 14. light artillery dyon (porucznik F. Orzeszko) and 3 by platoon of AT guns cal. 37mm of podporucznik Wiktor Ziemiński from 14. uhlan regiment (two of them were destroyed by Wiktor Ziemiński himself). The remaining 6 were eliminated by elements of 17. and 14. uhlan regiments and 9. horse rifle regiment.

Before the German counterattack, during the Polish attack on Sieraków (in the morning - the attack started , around 10:00 - so after less than 10 hours - Sieraków was captured), platoon from 15. light artillery regiment eliminated 2 tanks. Few tanks were also eliminated by 6. uhlan regiment - which was fighting north of Sieraków. And also in Sieraków (during the Polish attack) - apart from 34 German trucks (full of equipment and ammo), which were captured and later destroyed there, a few tanks were eliminated. While conquering Sieraków Polish forces also captured 9 machine guns.

Polish forces which took part in the battle of Sieraków - Laski (elements of Wielkopolska and Podolska Cavalry Brigades) were fighting both with tanks of Panzer-Abteilung 65. and tanks of I. battalion of Panzer-Regiment 11. during that day.

During the battle of Sieraków the Poles captured - according to the Polish sources - 70 POWs from II./KSR.4 and inflicted heavy casualties to it.

According to the German sources - both the German daily reports and relation of Bade - II./KSR.4 was dispersed and crushed during that day, and the remaining rests of it gathered on the road from Truskaw to Izabelin, where they established a hedgehog defence.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 25 Dec 2008 22:00

By the way - do you know any German Panzer aces from the Polish campaign?

I have heard that during the Tank battle near Piotrków Trybunalski (5 IX) one of German Panzers (1. Panzer-Division) eliminated 7 Polish tanks and that during the same battle one of Polish 7TP tanks (2. light tank battalion) eliminated 5 German Panzers. But I don't know their surnames and don't have any more exact info on both figures. I will soon try to find some more info on it.

But I know that during the same battle, another Polish 7TP - commanded by plutonowy podchorąży Mieczyslaw Białkiewicz - knocked out 2 German tanks.

According to memories of Oberstleutnant Eberbach, on 12th of September Hauptmann Schnell (Panzer-Regiment 35.) - not alone, but together with his marching column - eliminated 7 Polish tanks.

I'm looking for confirmation of it in Polish sources - but maybe someone has got some more detailed info on it from German sources?

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 29 Dec 2008 12:44

- On 18th of September during the combat of Pociecha he eliminated 3 tanks from Panzer-Regiment 11. from 1. Leichte-Division. He also destroyed several motorized vehicles during that combat and took 2 prisoners of war (tank crew). He also tried to rescue the crew of one of those eliminated by him German tanks - which started to burn - but he - unfortunately - didn't manage to rescue them and all of them died.

Among tanks eliminated by Orlik on 18th of September there was tank of Leutnant (or Oberleutnant ?) Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor - commander of a platoon. The whole his platoon was eliminated during that combat and Prinz Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor was heavily WIA and severely burned - and after a few minutes he died. He was born in 1916 and was first son of Victor III August and Elizabeth zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Öttingen-Spilberg:

http://www.gen.heinz-wember.de/hohenloh ... IA1879.htm

Orlik's victories (kills) during combat of Pociecha (1., 2. and 3.):

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And here some interesting pictures related to this event:

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The same Panzer IV B:

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After transporting it to some factory (I don't know the exact place):

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Here the same place - more wrecks can be seen:

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Wow... - he destroyed Panzer IV B with use of TKS with 20mm gun... - it is like destroying Panzer IV B with use of some poor version of Panzer II...

Previously I thought that Prinz von Ratibor was fighting in Pz-35(t)... - but it seems that I was wrong.

And - when looking more carefully - even in the picture above, when Orlik marked his tank victories during the combat near Pociecha - three tanks can be seen, including 2 smaller (Pz-35ts) and one larger - this larger one is probably Panzer IV of von Ratibor - and it is burning in the picture... Everything correct.
Last edited by Peter K on 29 Dec 2008 23:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 29 Dec 2008 14:53

OK - if there is a new, separate thread about tank battles in Poland, I will post some photos of German tanks which were destroyed most probably during tank battles:

Several photos of Panzer IV completely destroyed in Głowaczów on 10.09.1939 during the battle with Polish 7TP tanks from 1. Light Tanks Battalion. On 10th of September the battalion was succesfully securing withdrawal of Polish units from Army "Prusy" (Northern Grouping of Army "Prusy") towards the area east of the river Vistula against German forces which were trying to cut-off route of the Polish withdrawal.

During succesfull withdrawal behind the river Vistula, six 7TP tanks from 1. Light Tanks Battalion sunk in the river:

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And here one photo of completely destroyed Panzer IV most probably during the battle of Piotrków Trybunalski on 05.09.1939 - it is possible that by Polish 7TP tank from 2. Light Tank Battalion - but the photo comes from the album of soldier from I. battalion of Panzer-Regiment 23. (so it is also possible that this is one of a few Panzer IVs this battalion had got - and that it was destroyed during the battle at the Bzura after 08 / 09.09.1939 - I'm not shure):

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Several Polish tanks also took part in repulsing the German attacks on Warsaw on 9th and 10th of September 1939.

Photos below show German tanks destroyed on 9th of September in Warsaw along part of Grójecka street, between Częstochowska street and Rokosowska street, next to Winnicka street.

Those tanks were those which managed to break through the second Polish barricade in Grójecka street, but were destroyed before reaching the third barricade in this street:

These concrete tanks which can be seen below were not destroyed by Polish tanks, but - anyway - some Polish tanks participated in the battle of Warsaw and eliminated some German tanks, not in Grójecka street, but somewhere in Warsaw:

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 30 Dec 2008 14:46

Orlik's victories (kills) during combat of Pociecha (1., 2. and 3.):


By the way - this map was made by plutonowy podchorąży Roman Edmund Orlik himself, but most probably after the war - so at least several years later.

It is really impressive how damned exact it is, despite it was made so long after that event:

"gęsty młodnik" - subtitle which can be seen in Orlik's map - is exactly the same type of trees as can be seen in the photos of this destroyed Pz-IV ("gęsty młodnik" = "dense young forest").

A forest road which is marked in Orlik's map can also be clearly seen in all of these photos.

More over:

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In my opinion Orlik shot at least one long series or maybe even the whole magazine of his 20mm bullets towards this Panzer IV - probably from a very short distance (all of them hit in the same place, more or less).

It is obvious that after receiving at least several succesfull hits, ammunition inside this Panzer IV exploded. It also burnt out, as can be seen both in the photos and in the map made by Orlik himself - and as is also written in the subtitle below the first photo of this wreck which I posted in this thread.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Baltasar » 04 Jan 2009 15:56

Domen121 wrote:Among tanks eliminated by Orlik on 18th of September there was tank of Leutnant (or Oberleutnant ?) Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor - commander of a platoon. The whole his platoon was eliminated during that combat and Prinz Victor IV Albrecht von Ratibor was heavily WIA and severely burned - and after a few minutes he died. He was born in 1916 and was first son of Victor III August and Elizabeth zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Öttingen-Spilberg:

http://www.gen.heinz-wember.de/hohenlohe/ViktorIIIA1879.


According to that page, Victor IV wasn't count of Ratibor, therefor his name was indeed Viktor Albrecht Johannes Josef Michael Maria v.Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Victor IV v.Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst for short. The title of count of Ratibor fell to Franz Albrecht who apparently was adopted in 1926/27.

The family came from Austria /Schlesia, not Germany, although Victor IV fell while serving in the Wehrmacht in Poland.

@Domen, are you sure that this is the same tank on both pictures? The turret seems to be pointing in slightly different directions and I can't see the top hatch really good on the second photo.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 07 Jan 2009 22:06

@Domen, are you sure that this is the same tank on both pictures? The turret seems to be pointing in slightly different directions and I can't see the top hatch really good on the second photo.


Which both pictures? - because there are more than 2.

The family came from Austria /Schlesia, not Germany, although Victor IV fell while serving in the Wehrmacht in Poland.


I forgot to add that Polish soldiers managed to identify him by finding his hunter legitimation.

his name was indeed Viktor Albrecht Johannes Josef Michael Maria v.Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst.


Yes, this is his full name and surname.

According to that page, Victor IV wasn't count of Ratibor


The title of count of Ratibor fell to Franz Albrecht who apparently was adopted in 1926/27.


How is this possible?

He was the first son of Herzog von Ratibor, Prinz zu Hohenlohe und Fürst von Corvey Victor III August Maria zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst von Ratibor and princess Elizabeth zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg.

So how is this possible that he wasn't Prinz von Ratibor if he was the first son of Herzog von Ratibor & bla bla bla... ?

The family came from Austria /Schlesia, not Germany, although Victor IV fell while serving in the Wehrmacht in Poland.


Well, not only Germans served in Wehrmacht in 1939 - it was III Reich, not Germany - there was a number of Austrian divisions (e.g. 2. Panzer "Wiener" division, 4. Leichte, etc.).

It seems that some of them served also in other divisions (in this case 1. Leichte, which was - by the way - equipped with big amount of Czechoslovakian tanks... ).

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Baltasar » 08 Jan 2009 09:48

Domen121 wrote:
@Domen, are you sure that this is the same tank on both pictures? The turret seems to be pointing in slightly different directions and I can't see the top hatch really good on the second photo.


Which both pictures? - because there are more than 2.
Sorry, I was referring to the last two pictures.


According to that page, Victor IV wasn't count of Ratibor


The title of count of Ratibor fell to Franz Albrecht who apparently was adopted in 1926/27.


How is this possible?

He was the first son of Herzog von Ratibor, Prinz zu Hohenlohe und Fürst von Corvey Victor III August Maria zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst von Ratibor and princess Elizabeth zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg.

So how is this possible that he wasn't Prinz von Ratibor if he was the first son of Herzog von Ratibor & bla bla bla... ?
Frankly, I don't know. However, the page your are referring to clearly states that he wasn't the count of Ratibor. It is even more interesting, because the adopted son was only adopted after the old count died, while the first son was still alive. May be the title fell to a brother of the old count because both male heirs were still immature, one being 7 years, the other only 3 years old and recently adopted.

If I'm not mistake, the title of Prince is only awarded to direkt heirs of a king or emperor, not a duke.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 08 Jan 2009 11:50

Sorry, I was referring to the last two pictures.


For 99,99% in both pictures there is the same tank :wink: - one more photo of its right side:

http://img.odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsf ... naer51.jpg

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 18 Jan 2009 03:36

Some info on Prinz Victor IV:

The first one confirms that he was KIA on 18th of September:

http://www.thepeerage.com/p9743.htm#i97428

http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/hohenlohe.html

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 04 Feb 2009 22:45

Most probably another photo of this Panzer IV Ausf B which belonged to Prinz von Ratibor and was destroyed by Roman Orlik near Pociecha (it appeared not a long time ago on Ebay.de and later - from ebay - on Polish forum odkrywca - it is also present on Historical Media internet site, I guess):

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And let's take a look once again on the map of that combat made by Roman Orlik himself:

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Peter K » 11 Nov 2009 23:47

Publication containing memoirs and accounts of 12 Polish tankmen fighting in units equipped in 7 TP tanks (7 accounts of soldiers serving in 2nd light tanks battalion, 4 - soldiers defending Warsaw, 1 - battle of Tomaszow Lubelski):

http://www.caw.wp.mil.pl/biuletyn/r2/r2_10.pdf

The account of the commander of 2nd company / 2nd light tanks battalion (bczl) - cpt. Konstanty Hajdenka - is very interesting. It covers the period 1 IX - 20 IX (when he crossed the Hungarian border). It is on pages 223 - 233.

The most interesting part is the description of his combats near Piotrkow (Petrikau) Trybunalski.

Below page 272 some photos of 7 TP tanks and knocked out 7 TPs can be found.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by sabinex » 31 Aug 2013 21:06

We have to remember about World War II. Tomorrow will be anniversary, everybody will heard about this day. But we have to remember about this terrible day everyday to rescue memory of thousands people.

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Re: Tank battles in Poland 1939

Post by Hawker » 01 Sep 2013 22:12

The 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade - General's Maczek experiment with a strong Blitzkrieg like armoured unit. It was active in the area of Lesser Poland and Silesia, used 40 TKS tanquettes and Vickers tanks. They have stopped XXII Korps, destroyed 50 german tanks. Later they won every single battle and withdrawed to Hungary due to Soviet invasion.

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