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Encyclopedia > Battle of Hel
Hel Peninsula as seen from Landsat satellite in 2000
Hel Peninsula as seen from Landsat satellite in 2000
Polish September Campaign
WesterplatteKrojanty • Lasy Królewskie • Mokra • Gdańsk Bay • Pszczyna • Mława • Tuchola Forest • Jordanów • Borowa Góra • Mikołów • Węgierska Górka • Tomaszów Mazowiecki • Wizna • Łódź • Piotrków • Różan • Radom • Łomża • Wola CyrusowaWarsawGdyniaHelBzura • Jarosław • Kałuszyn • Węgrów • LwówModlin • Kobryń • Brześć • Kępa Oksywska • Tomaszów Lubelski • Wólka Węglowa • Kampinos Forest • Janów Lubelski, Wereszyca, and Hołosko • Krasnystaw • Grodno • Cześniki • Krasnobród • Władypol • SzackWytyczno • Parczew • Kock

Battle of Hel was one of the longest battles of the Polish Defence War of 1939 in 1939. The Hel Peninsula, together with the town of Hel, was one of the longest-defended pockets of Polish Army resistance against the German invasion. Approximately 3,000 soldiers of the Land Coastal Defence (Lądowa Obrona Wybrzeża) units under Kmdr Włodzimierz Steyer defended the area against overwhelming odds from September 9 until October 2 , 1939. Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 360 KB)Hel Peninsula as seen from the Landsat satelite. ... Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 360 KB)Hel Peninsula as seen from the Landsat satelite. ... Hel Peninsula as seen from Landsat satellite in 2000 Hel Peninsula (Polish Mierzeja Helska) is a 35 km long and sand-bar peninsula in northern Poland separating the Bay of Puck from the open Baltic Sea. ... The Landsat program is the longest running enterprise for acqusition of imagery of Earth from space. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... Combatants Poland Germany Soviet Union Slovakia Commanders Edward Rydz-ÅšmigÅ‚y Fedor von Bock (Army Group North) Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group South) Ferdinand ÄŒatloÅ¡ (Field Army Bernolak) Strength 39 divisions, 16 brigades 4,300 guns 880 tanks 400 aircraft Total: 1,000,000[1] 56 German divisions, 4 brigades... Westerplatte Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 1 to September 7, 1939 Place Westerplatte peninsula in Gdańsk Result ? Westerplatte is a peninsula in Gdańsk, at an estuary of the Dead Vistula (one of the Vistula delta estuaries), in the Gdańsk harbour channel. ... The Battle of Krojanty was part of the Polish September Campaign of the Second World War. ... Combatants Germany Poland Commanders Georg-Hans Reinhardt, Friedrich Kirchner Julian Filipowicz Strength 2 panzer divisions, infantry division cavalry brigade, elements of one infantry division Casualties ca. ... Battle of the GdaÅ„sk Bay took place on September 1, 1939, shortly after the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War. ... Battle of Pszczyna (Polish: Bitwa PszczyÅ„ska) refers to the series of battles on 1 and 2 September 1939 near the town of Pszczyna during the Polish September Campaign. ... The Battle of MÅ‚awa, otherwise known as the Defence of the MÅ‚awa position, took place to the north of the town of MÅ‚awa in northern Poland between September 1 and September 3, 1939. ... Combatants Poland Germany Commanders StanisÅ‚aw Maczek Ewald von Kleist Strength 1 motorized brigade reinforced with infantry 2 Panzer divisions, 1 infantry division Casualties {{{notes}}} The Battle of Jordanów took place on September 2, 1939, during the Polish Defensive War and the opening stages of World War II. It... Battle of Borowa Góra (Polish: ) refers to the series of battles from 2nd to 5th of September of 1939 that took place near the hills of Góry Borowskie, south west from Piotrków Trybunalski and east of BeÅ‚chatów. ... Battle of Wizna Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 7-September 10, 1939 Place Wizna near Poland Result unconcluded Battle of Wizna (sometimes referred to as the Polish Thermopylae) was fought between September 6 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial... The Battle of Łódź was fought on September 8, 1939, between Poland and Germany. ... Battle of Radom. ... Battle of Warsaw Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date 8 to September 28, 1939 Place Warsaw, Poland Result Polish defeat The 1939 Battle of Warsaw was fought between the Polish Warsaw Army (Armia Warszawa) garrisoned and entrenched in the capital of Poland (Warsaw) and the German Army. ... German battleship Schleswig-Holstein stationed at Danzig harbor is shelling nearby Polish positions at Gdynia. ... Battle of Bzura (also known as Battle of Kutno) took place during the Second World War, Polish September Campaign between 9 September 1939 and 19 September1, 1939 and was fought between Polish and German Nazi forces. ... Combatants Germany, Soviet Union Poland Commanders Ferdinand Schörner, Filip Golikov WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Langner, StanisÅ‚aw Sikorski Casualties unknown unknown The Battle of Lwów (sometimes called the Siege of Lwów) was a battle for the control over the Polish city of Lwów between the Polish Army... Battle of Modlin Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 13 to September 29, 1939 Place Modlin village, Modlin Fortress Result Polish capitulation During the Polish September Campaign at the beginning of the Second World War, Modlin Fortress was a headquarters of the Modlin Army until it retreated eastwards. ... Battle of KobryÅ„ was one of the battles of the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... Battle of Brześć Litewski (otherwise known as the Siege of Brześć, Battle of Brest-Litovsk or simply Battle of Brześć) was a World War II battle that took place between September 14 and September 17, 1939, near the town of Brześć Litewski (now Brest, Belarus). ... Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski took place from 17th September to 26th September 1939 near the town of Tomaszów Lubelski. ... The Battle of Grodno took place between September 21 and September 24, 1939, during the Polish Defensive War. ... The Battle of Krasnobród took place on September 23, 1939 near the town of Krasnobród. ... Battle of Szack Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 28, 1939 Place Szack, Poland Result Polish victory Battle of Szack was one of the major battles between the Polish Army and the Red Army fought during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... The battle of Wytyczno took place on October 1, 1939 near the village of Wytyczno near WÅ‚odawa in Poland. ... The Battle of Kock was the final battle of the Polish September Campaign at the beginning of World War II. It took place from October 2nd through October 5th, 1939, near the town of Kock, Poland. ... Polish Defence War of 1939 Conflict World War II Date 1 September - 6 October 1939 Place Poland Result Decisive German and Soviet victory The Polish September Campaign (alternatively refered to as the German plan Fall Weiss) refers to the conquest of Poland by the armies of Nazi Germany and the... Hel Peninsula as seen from Landsat satellite in 2000 Hel Peninsula (Polish Mierzeja Helska) is a 35 km long and sand-bar peninsula in northern Poland separating the Bay of Puck from the open Baltic Sea. ... Motto: none Voivodship Pomeranian Municipal government Rada Miasta Helu Mayor MirosÅ‚aw WÄ…doÅ‚owski Area 21,3 km² Population  - city  - urban  - density 4 874 (2001) none /km² Founded City rights prior to 1198 13th century (conf. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... October 2 is the 275th day (276th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 90 days remaining. ...

Contents


Before the battle

Hel was a Polish military port since 1928, and Polish military had been in control of the northern part of the peninsula since 1920s. In 1936 that part was officially named Fortified Region Hel (Rejon Umocniony Hel). Approximately 3,000 soldiers were stationed in the area, and the Fortified Region included three coastal (anti-ship) and anti-air gun batteries. The coastal batteries were divided into one 4x152mm battery and 2 older 2x105mm batteries, and three batteries with 8x75mm guns total. Anti-air batteries had 6x75mm and 8x40mm guns, and two 120mm reflectors. Seaport, a painting by Claude Lorrain, 1638 The Port of Wellington at night. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ...


The battle

One of four 152mm Bofors Polish guns from Hel Fortified Region that survived the Battle of Hel. This battery was commanded by kmdr. ppor Heliodor Laskowski.
Enlarge
One of four 152mm Bofors Polish guns from Hel Fortified Region that survived the Battle of Hel. This battery was commanded by kmdr. ppor Heliodor Laskowski.

Hel has been the target of air attacks fromt the first day of the campaign (1 September) [1]. German army forced Polish units of Armia Pomorze to retreat from the Danzig Corridor in the first week of September, and has begun the assault of the Polish forces in Hel on 9 September. After Armia Pomorze was defeated in the battle of Bory Tucholskie, and other Polish strongholds on the coast capitulated (battle of Westerplatte, battle of Gdynia and battle of Kępą Oksywska/Oksywie), from 20 September onward Hel was was the only pocket of Polish resistance in northern Poland. Bofors is an iron works, cannon maker, and defence industry located in Karlskoga, Sweden. ... A Polish map showing the territory known as the Polish Corridor The Polish Corridor was the name given to a strip of territory which was transferred from Germany to Poland by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. ... The Battle of Bory Tucholskie, in July of 1944, took place in Lovrejs, between the 57th Europa Armored Brigade, and the 1st Giovanni Lee Army. ... Westerplatte Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 1 to September 7, 1939 Place Westerplatte peninsula in Gdańsk Result ? Westerplatte is a peninsula in Gdańsk, at an estuary of the Dead Vistula (one of the Vistula delta estuaries), in the Gdańsk harbour channel. ... German battleship Schleswig-Holstein stationed at Danzig harbor is shelling nearby Polish positions at Gdynia. ...


Hel coastal batteries damaged a German destroyer on 3 September[2]. Several Polish light minelayers lied a minefield near Hel in the night from 12 to 13 September. After some of them were sunk by German airforce on the following day, due to German control of the Baltic Sea, the remaining units docked at Hel port and the crews joined the ground forces, while the ships armanents were stripped and converted into additional land gun emplacements[1]. German naval units, including battleships "Schleswig-Holstein" and "Schlesien", were shelling the Hel peninsula[1] from 18 September, but with little effect. Shleswig-Holstein was lightly damaged by Polish coastal batteries on 25 September[1]. Hel anti-aircraft batteries proven to be exremly efficient[1], shooting down between 46[2] to 53[1] Germans aircraft during the battle. A minelayer is a naval ship used for deploying sea mines. ... A landmine is a type of mine which is placed onto or into the ground and explodes when triggered by a vehicle or person. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ... The Schleswig-Holstein, was a German battleship, that fought in both World Wars. ... Schlesien was a German battleship that fought in World War I and World War II. Schlesien was one of five pre-dreadnought, Deutschland class battleships, not to be confused with a class of pocket battleships of the same name. ...


By September 14 Polish forces on Hel were cut off from the mainland. After being initially stalled by Polish defences[1], Germans brought lang artillery batteries and an armored train battery to support their barrage[1]. German forces slowly advanced, although they were still facing significant resistance and counterattacks. On September 25, after Germans have taken the village of Chałupy (today part of the town of Władysławowo), Polish military engineers detonated a number of torpedo warheads in the narrowest part of the peninsula, and for a time separated the peninsula from the mainland transforming it into an island[1]. On 1 October, commander of Polish navy, counter-admiral Józef Unrug, taking into consideration that the outpost was running out of supplies[2], and that no relief force would be coming, gave the orders to capitulate, and Germans occupied the peninsula by 2 October. After the capitualtion of Hel, the only organized Polish resistance was carried out by Independent Operational Group Polesie, eventually defeated during the battle of Kock. WÅ‚adysÅ‚awowo (Kashubian/Pomeranian: Wiôlgô Wies) is a town on the south coasts of the Baltic Sea in the Kashubia or Eastern Pomerania region, north-western Poland, with some 10,000 inhabitants. ... A torpedo in Rail terminology refers to a small explosive device strapped to the top of the rail to alert an approaching train of immediate danger ahead. ... Counter Admiral is an Anglification of a naval rank found in some European navies; in the Deutsche Marine: Konteradmiral. ... Józef Unrug Vice Admiral Józef Unrug (1884-1973) was a German-born Polish naval officer who helped to reestablish Polands Navy after World War I. He served as commander of the Polish Navy during the opening stages of the World War II. Biography Józef MichaÅ‚ Hubert... Independent Operational Group Polesie (Samodzielna Grupa Operacyjna Polesie, SGO Polesie) was one of the Polish Army Corps that took part in the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... The Battle of Kock was the final battle of the Polish September Campaign at the beginning of World War II. It took place from October 2nd through October 5th, 1939, near the town of Kock, Poland. ...


Notes

[1] Sources vary when giving the information on capitulation of Hel, with dates of 1 and 2 October. For example, Commager writes that miltary activities ceased on 1400, 1 October, but Kaufmann and Jurga note that Hel has surrendered on 2 October.


References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Henry Steele Commager, The Story of the Second World War, Brassey's, 2003, ISBN 1574887416, Google Print, p.16-19
  2. ^ a b c J. E. Kaufmann, Robert M. Jurga, Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II, De Capo Press, 2002, ISBN 030681174X Google Print, p.272

 
 

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