Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

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5th Horseman
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Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby 5th Horseman » 27 Nov 2009 04:46

I have read several sources which state Poland began a secret mobilization in August 1939.
Is that true.
Does anyone have any info on which units were regular army before this and which were mobilized in August and when.
What was the Order of Battle for the Polish Army, on say, the 1st of September, 1939.
Thanks for any help/insight into this critical period.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Ironmachine » 27 Nov 2009 08:17

For the 1 September 1939 OOB, a good start is here:
http://www.orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/029_poland/1939/_army.htm
Click on the different symbols for further detail...

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Slavomir » 28 Nov 2009 21:44

Hello,

First units (four infantry divisions and cavalry brigade) were put at full strength in March 1939 after German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Moreover some units along the western borders were strengthened by calling in reservists for exercises.

Between 14 and 16 of August two additional divisions and cavalry brigade were alarmed and put in full strength. Few days later 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade was transferred to the Cracow Army area

On August 23 all air force and air defense units as well as 15 infantry divisions and 7 cavalry brigades were put in strength. The first transports to the west started within the following 4 days

On August 27 further 3 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades were raised as well as parts of 3 divisions foreseen to be put at full strength in the mixed mobilization

On August 29 the general mobilization was declared, however under the pressure from the government and French and British ambassadors it was cancelled, just to be declared again on August 30.

As for the OOB given on Niehorster's site that was planned order. Just to give you the example, lets take a look on Army "Lodz".
From 5 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades, only 3 were in place (10,28,30) and one cavalry brigade (Wolynska). 2nd Inf Div was on transports and started to arrive in the army's AOR 3 september, as well as Kresowa Cav Bde. 45th Inf Div was unable to fully mobilize as its mobilizations centers were soon threatend by German advance.

Best regards

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Razjel » 16 Dec 2009 04:40

I will scope on a smaller unit, but I think it's also very interesting.
As Slavomir said, some units were mobilised in March 1939. Apart from those 4 divisions and one cav. bde several smaller units were mobilised, mainly to screen the further mobilisation, fortify and guard the vital areas. As an example we have the I. /33 Inf. Reg. and the pioneer platoon of 33 Inf. Reg. from 18 Inf. Div., mobilised in Łomża (Lomza or Lomscha in German sources), this units had to guard the Narew Line and build up bunkers, shelters, trench lines and barbed-wire lines. According to the relation of Lt. Col. Lucjan Stanek, the commander of 33 Inf. Reg.the mobilisation proceeded without problems and delays. If You want further info about this small forces, just write :wink:

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby murx » 03 Jul 2010 04:38

By international laws a mobilisation at the borders of a neighbored state is one possibility of a "declaration of war" towards another country. Itz seems WW II started earlier as given in the official version of WW II history.

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby CJK1990 » 03 Jul 2010 18:04

murx wrote:By international laws a mobilisation at the borders of a neighbored state is one possibility of a "declaration of war" towards another country. Itz seems WW II started earlier as given in the official version of WW II history.


Interesting. Can you provide the relevant International Laws?

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby JonS » 05 Jul 2010 02:23

murx wrote:By international laws a mobilisation at the borders of a neighbored state is one possibility of a "declaration of war" towards another country. Itz seems WW II started earlier as given in the official version of WW II history.

Tell me, when did Germany start mobilising - 1932 wasn't it?

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby voodoo34 » 17 Sep 2010 15:20

5th Horseman wrote:What was the Order of Battle for the Polish Army, on say, the 1st of September, 1939.

Full Polish mobilization plan new book "Najlepsza broń. Plan mobilizacyjny "W" i jego ewolucja" Rybka Ryszard and Stepan Kamil
http://www.akademicka.pl/cgi-local/star ... 83-5&uid=0

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Baltasar » 20 Sep 2010 08:02

JonS wrote:
murx wrote:By international laws a mobilisation at the borders of a neighbored state is one possibility of a "declaration of war" towards another country. Itz seems WW II started earlier as given in the official version of WW II history.

Tell me, when did Germany start mobilising - 1932 wasn't it?


Only if you count the expanding of ones armed forces as a mobilisation. Nazi Germany introduced conscription on March 15th 1935, Reservists were called upon (read: mobilised) in July and August 1939 in preparation for war.

As for the Polish 'mobilisation', I really doubt that mobilising a fraction of ones forces would justify a casus belly, especially if the guys on the other side don't need to feel threatened because of the comparativly small size of the force mobilized. We're not talking about the whole of the Polish armed forces being mobilised in one go, it may rather have been up to 100,000 men. Compare that to what the Wehrmacht had at the ready at any given point in early-mid 1939.

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Peter K » 12 Dec 2010 02:37

Note that Polish mobilization (excluding improvised units, which were not planned) ended on 14.09.1939. But of course in fact it never ended as planned, because it was interrupted by German air and ground military actions.

Here a very interesting table taken from the article by Rafał Białkowski (pages 10 - 27):

http://www.martola.com.pl/biuletyn-dws-2010-07_HQ.pdf

It shows planned strength of the Polish army* after mobilization and its real strength on 01.09.1939. As can be seen the Polish army had roughly 70% of the planned post-mobilization strength mobilized on 01.09.1939:

Two of the 3 planned reserve groups ("Kutno" and "Tarnow") were in fact non-existant when war started:
(apart from that Army "Prusy" was a reserve army, while all other armies were along the frontier)

Podział sił2.jpg


Note that the number of AFVs includes all armoured vehicles - both tanks and armoured cars.

One cavalry regiment = 5 squadrons. Apart from regiments also non-regimental squadrons are included. Of course one cavalry squadron was more or less of 1/2 infantry company size and one regiment - of infantry battalion size.

*This table includes everything on the anti-German and anti-Slovakian front except for forces in the Coastline (which included among other units further 12 infantry battalions). It also doesn't include forces which yet on 01.09.1939 (and according to the mobilization plan) weren't on the western front, but along the Polish-Soviet border (this includes apart from other units 24 infantry battalions of KOP, Border Protection Corps - 22 rifle battalions and 2 fortress battalions) and in eastern Poland (apart from other units 10 infantry battalions - all of them National Defence).

And here planned dislocation of Polish forces along main directions of German attack:

A - from East Prussia towards Warsaw and Brest (A "Modlin", odwód "Wyszków" and SGO "Narew")
B - from West Pomerania and East Prussia towards Torun and Poznan (A "Pomorze" and A "Poznań")
C - from Silesia towards Warsaw (odwód "Kutno", A "Łódź", A "Prusy" and A "Kraków" in Czestochowa gap)
D - from Upper Silesia and Czechoslovakia (rest of A "Kraków", A "Karpaty" and odwód "Tarnów")
dispositional units of the CiC (still being formed Warsaw Armored-Motorized Brigade and other units)

battalions / squadrons / HMGs / light arty / heavy arty / AA arty / AT arty / AVFs (as in the previous table):

Planowane rozmieszczenie.jpg


Those 455 planned infantry battalions (of which 316 actually mobilized on 01.09.1939) included:

39 infantry divisions with 353 battalions (including 24 KOP and 12 ON)
56 ON (National Defence) usually weak battalions (including 14 in 3 mountain brigades and 42 attached to individual armies and operational groups)
14 KOP (Border Protection Corps) battalions - 5 regiments (12) and 2 independent battalions
10 rifle battalions
7 HMG and support weapons battalions
9 fortress battalions (including one company of in fact battalion strength)
3 battalions of 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment (2nd Mountain Brigade)
3 improvised battalions in Army "Pomorze" (battalion ON "Grudziadz", improvised IV./67 Inf.Rgt. and improvised "assault battalion" of 16th Infantry Division)
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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Peter K » 14 Feb 2011 14:23

Here there is an interesting discussion on alternative history - Germany attacks Poland on 26 August 1939 (as was initially planned, but in the last moment the attack was postponed after Mussolini refused to enter the war):

http://www.dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=124917

It seems that - paradoxically - the fact that the Polish army was not yet concentrated along the borders (most of units were already mobilized but still in their peacetime garrisons) was favorable for the Poles. Also the German army invading Poland on 26 August would have numbered only between ca. 30 and ca. 37 divisions (sources vary), the rest (infantry divisions of further waves) were not yet fully mobilized and concentrated. On the other hand, the Polish Air Force was still largely stationing in air bases (instead of field airports), so it would have suffered heavy losses on the ground by Luftwaffe attacks during the first day. Anyway, situation of many Polish divisions would have been more favorable than in reality and along many directions the initial German attack would have hit emptiness.

Probably it would have been realistic to organize defensive positions along the line of rivers.

Anyone knows the exact dislocation and organization (OdeB) of German invasion forces on 26 August?

I know there were differences in composition of individual Corps compared to 1 September.

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Razjel » 07 Apr 2012 20:47

First of all - here's an example of the 3. Armee. Divisions Gefechtstande by 19:00, 26 of August - I've used the original names, as written in the document:
Gr. Medem - Elbing (Elbląg)
Grz. W. 1 - Altmark (Stary Targ)
XXI AK - Riesenburg (Prabuty)
21 ID - Marienwerder (Kwidzyn)
228 ID - Rosenberg (Susz)
AA (mot.) - Guhringen (7 nordl.) (Goryń)
Grz. W. 11 - Gr. Herzogswalde (Laseczno)
I AK - Neidenburg (Nidzica)
61 ID - Kl. Sakrau (Zakrzewko)
Pz. Div. Kempf - Gerrau (Górowo)
11 ID - Neidenburg (Nidzica)
Korps zbV. - Ortelsburg (Szczytno)
1 ID - Pushallewen ? (Puchałowo)
12 ID - Willenberg (Wielbark)
1 KB - Friedrichshof (Rozogi)
Gr. Brand - Angerapp (near Mieduniszki)
F. Lotzen - Lotzen (Giżycko)

206 ID - Kleszewen (Kleszczewo)
217 ID - Grieslienen (Gryźliny)

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Re: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Peter K » 19 Jun 2013 02:05

About the size of the Polish Army in first days of September 1939 (excerpt from "PSZ" book):

"W zapoczątkowaniu systematycznego prowadzenia Ordre de bataille, raportów stanu i strat natrafiono od razu na duże trudności. Przede wszystkim w sztabach armii oddziały I (organizacyjne) zaliczone zostały do III rzutu mob. i w chwili wybuchu wojny nie były jeszcze na miejscu. Poza tym sieć łączności N. D. była od razu przeciążona sprawami operacyjnymi i trudno było uzyskać połączenie dla innych celów. Stopniowo coraz częstsze uszkodzenia tej sieci tym bardziej utrudniały sytuację. Mimo to O. I. sztabu N. W. zestawił w dniu 5 września "Codzienny raport stanów liczebnych z dnia 4 IX", ujęty wedle poszczególnych armii i w. j. Jest to jedyny raport jaki się zachował, a prawdopodobnie nawet jedyny, jaki został sporządzony.

Raport ten wykazuje następujący "stan żywionych" wojska w polu (z wyjątkiem obszaru nadmorskiego):

686,692 oficerów i szeregowych
257,016 koni.

Jednakowoż dane te nie są ścisłe, a częściowo odbiegają one nawet bardzo daleko od rzeczywistości. Niektóre jednostki - jak się zdaje - całkowicie pominięto; w innych znów nie podano oddzielnie ilości oficerów. Co najważniejsze jednak - raport wykazuje faktycznie nie stany z dnia 4 września, ale raczej ostatnie stany, jakie przed 4 września O. I. sztabu N. W. zdołał zebrać od armii (z 3, a może nawet z 2 września). Tym się tłumaczy fakt, że w raporcie wykazane są (i to z niemal pełnymi stanami) także i w.j., które w dniu 4 IX faktycznie już nie istniały.

Raport ten (podpisany przez ppłka dypl. Ruchaja z O. I. sztabu N. W.) zachował się w aktach O. III sztabu N. W."

Source:

"Polskie Siły Zbrojne w II wojnie światowej", Vol. I, "Kampania wrześniowa 1939", Part II, pp. 427-428 and 810.

============================================

Translation will be provided later - but soon (or maybe someone else will be faster than me :)).
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: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby Peter K » 19 Jun 2013 11:13

Translation as promised:

"In initiating systematic way of keeping track of the Ordre de bataille, reports of personnel strength and casualties, considerable difficulties were immediately encountered. First of all, in headquarters of armies units I (organizational) had been included among the III echelon of mobilization and when war broke out they were not in their places yet. Morevoer liaison network of the General H. Q. was since the very beginning overloaded with operational matters and it was hard to make contact / obtain connection for other purposes. Gradually more and more frequent damages of that network were all the more making the situation harder. Despite this Unit I of the General HQ on 5 September set together "Daily strength report from 4 IX", arranged according to individual armies and tactical units. This is the only such daily report that survived, and probably even the only one, which was compiled.

The report shows the following "headcount of fed" of forces in the field (apart from the coastal area):

686,692 officers and men
257,016 horses.

However, these data are not precise, and partly / in some parts they even very considerably diverge from reality. Some units - as it seems - were totally omitted / overlooked; in some others again the number of officers was not reported separately. And what is most important - the report shows in facts not headcounts / personnel strength data from 4 September, but rather last known data, which could be gathered from armies by Unit I. of the General H. Q. (from 3, or maybe even from 2 September). This is how we explain the fact, that in this report there are listed (moreover, with almost full strength) also such units, which in fact already did not exist on 4 IX.

This report (signed by Lt.Col. Ruchaj from Unit I. of the General H. Q.) survived among documents of Unit III of the General H. Q."
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: Polish Mobilization and OoB 1939.

Postby AlekBolduin » 19 Jun 2013 13:12

It have been deducted, losses 1-4 september? for example, knocked out of western operational group "West" of «Pomoze» Army? Or losses impact during of Germans strike at the z "Krakow" and "Lodz" armies?


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