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Encyclopedia > Battle of Wizna
Battle of Wizna
Part of Invasion of Poland

Positions prior to the battle
Date September 7September 10, 1939
Location Wizna, near Łomża, Poland
Result German victory
Belligerents
Nazi Germany Poland
Commanders
Heinz Guderian Władysław Raginis 
Strength
42,200 men
350 tanks
657 mortars, guns and grenade launchers
Aircraft support
720 men (20 officers)
Six 76 mm guns
42 MGs
2 URs
Casualties and losses
Soldiers: unknown

Vehicles: at least 10 tanks and several AFVs Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Wizna is a small town in Podlasie Voivodship, Poland. ... Łomża is a town in north-eastern Poland, located approx. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... Karabin przeciwpancerny wzór 35 (abbreviated kb ppanc wz. ...

Estimated: a few hundred killed and wounded, 40 captured

Battle of Wizna (sometimes referred to as the Polish Thermopylae) was fought between September 7 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial stages of Invasion of Poland. For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... 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 Defense of the Polish Post Office in Danzig (today GdaÅ„sk) was one of the first battles of the Polish September Campaign, and of the World War II in Europe. ... Forces as of 31 August and German plan of attack. ... The Battle of Krojanty was part of the Polish September Campaign of the Second World War. ... 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Contents

History

Eve of the Battle

Before the war the area of the village of Wizna was prepared as a fortified line of defence. It was to shield the Polish positions further to the south and guard the crossing of Narew and Biebrza rivers. The 9 kilometres long line of Polish defences was subordinate to the Polish Narew Corps shielding Łomża and providing defence of northern approach to Warsaw. The Wizna fortified area was one of the most important nodes in the area, providing cover of both the river crossings, and the roads Łomża-Białystok and roads towards Brześć Litewski on the rear of Polish forces. Wizna is a small town in Podlasie Voivodship, Poland. ... Narew (Belarusian: На́раў) is a river in western Belarus and north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Vistula river. ... Biebrza is a river in north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Narew river (near Wizna), with a length of 155 kilometres (28th longest) and the basin area of 7,057 sq. ... Łomża is a town in north-eastern Poland, located approx. ... Łomża is a town in north-eastern Poland, located approx. ... Coordinates: , Country Voivodeship Powiat city county Gmina BiaÅ‚ystok Established 14th century City Rights 1692 Government  - Mayor Tadeusz Truskolaski Area  - City 102 km² (39. ... Brest (Belarusian: , Russian: , Polish: ; Alternative names), formerly Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk, is a city (population 290,000 in 2004) in Belarus close to the Polish border where the Western Bug and Mukhavets Rivers meet. ...


The first construction works were started in April 1939. The spot was chosen carefully: most of the concrete bunkers were built on hills overlooking a swampy Narew River valley. They could be reached either through direct assault through the swamps or by attack along the causeway leading from the bridge in Wizna. Until September 1, 1939, 12 bunkers were built altogether. Six of them were heavy concrete bunkers with reinforced steel cupolas (8 tons of weight) while the other six were machine gun pillboxes. Additional four heavy bunkers were under construction at the moment the World War II started. In addition, the area was reinforced with trenches, anti-tank and anti-personnel obstacles, barbed wire lines and landmines. There were also plans of breaking the dams on the Biebrza and Narew rivers to flood the area, but the Summer of 1939 was one of the most dry seasons in Polish history and the level of water was too low. Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bunkers in Albania A bunker is a defensive military fortification. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... A bunker is a defensive warfare fortification to protect oneself. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses of the word, see Trench (disambiguation). ... Typical modern agricultural barbed wire. ... “Minefield” redirects here. ... This article is about structures for water impoundment. ... Biebrza is a river in north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Narew river (near Wizna), with a length of 155 kilometres (28th longest) and the basin area of 7,057 sq. ... Narew (Belarusian: На́раў) is a river in western Belarus and north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Vistula river. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Although not all bunkers were ready by the beginning of the war, the Polish lines of defences were well-prepared. The walls of an average bunker, 1.5 metres thick and reinforced with 20-centimetre-thick steel plates, could withstand a direct hit from even the heaviest guns available to the Wehrmacht at the time. The bunkers were situated on hills which gave good visibility of all the advancing forces. The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ...


First phase

On September 1, 1939, the Polish Defensive War of 1939 started. The German 3rd Army was to advance from East Prussia towards Warsaw, directly through the positions of Polish Narew Corps. On September 2 Captain Władysław Raginis was named the commander of the Wizna area. As his command post he chose the "GG-126" bunker near the village of Góra Strękowa. The bunker was located on a hill in the exact centre of the Polish lines. His forces numbered approximately 700 soldiers and NCOs and 20 officers armed with 6 pieces of artillery (76mm), 24 HMGs, 18 machine guns and two Kb ppanc wz.35 anti-tank carbines. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... East Prussia (German: Ostpreu en; Polish: Prusy Wschodnie; Russian: Восточная Пруссия — Vostochnaya Prussiya) was a province of Kingdom of Prussia, situated on the territory of former Ducal Prussia. ... For other uses, see Warsaw (disambiguation) and Warszawa (disambiguation). ... is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or Noncom, is an enlisted member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... The M2 machine gun with a tripod weighs 58 kg (128 lb). ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... The karabin przeciwpancerny wzór 35 (kb ppanc wz. ... An anti-tank rifle is a rifle designed for shooting at tanks. ...


After initial clashes at the border, the Podlaska Cavalry Brigade operating in the area was forced to withdraw and on September 5 left the area. On September 3 Polish positions were spotted from the air and strafed with machine gun fire from enemy fighters. Later that day one of the German bombers returning from a bombing raid over Warsaw was shot down by machine gun fire. is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers both to the terror bombing campaign by Luftwaffe during the September Campaign and to the German bombing raids on Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising. ...


On September 7, 1939, the reconnaissance units of the 10th Panzer Division of general Nicolaus von Falkenhorst captured the village of Wizna. Polish mounted reconnaissance squads abandoned the village after a short fight and retreated to the southern bank of Narew. When the German tanks tried to cross the bridge, it was blown up by Polish engineers. After dark, patrols of German infantry crossed the river and advanced towards Giełczyn, but were repelled with heavy casualties. is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 10th Panzer Division was created in 1939, and served in the Army Group North reserve during the invasion of Poland (1939). ... Narew (Belarusian: На́раў) is a river in western Belarus and north-eastern Poland, a tributary of the Vistula river. ...


On September 8 general Heinz Guderian, commander of the XIX Panzer Corps, was ordered to advance through Wizna towards Brześć. By early morning of September 9 his units reached the Wizna area and were joined with 10th Panzer Division and "Lötzen" Brigade already present in the area. His forces numbered some 1 200 officers and 41 000 soldiers and NCOs, equipped with over 350 tanks, 108 howitzers, 58 pieces of artillery, 195 anti-tank guns, 108 mortars, 188 grenade launchers, 288 heavy machine guns and 689 machine guns. Altogether, his forces were some 40 times stronger than the Polish defenders. is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Wizna is a small town in Podlasie Voivodship, Poland. ... Brest (Belarusian: , Russian: , Polish: ; Alternative names), formerly Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk, is a city (population 290,000 in 2004) in Belarus close to the Polish border where the Western Bug and Mukhavets Rivers meet. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 19th century 12 pounder (5 kg) mountain howitzer displayed by the National Park Service at Fort Laramie in Wyoming, USA A howitzer is a type of artillery piece that is characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at trajectories with... US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ... The M2 machine gun with a tripod weighs 58 kg (128 lb). ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ...


Second Phase

In the early morning German planes dropped leaflets asking the Poles to give up and claiming that most of Poland is already in German hands and further resistance is futile. In order to strengthen the morale of his troops, Władysław Raginis swore that he will not leave his post alive and that the defence will continue. Soon after that an artillery barrage started. Polish artillery was several times weaker and soon was forced to retreat towards Białystok. After the preparations, the Germans attacked the northern flank of the Polish forces. Two platoons defending several bunkers located to the north of Narew were attacked from three sides by German tanks and infantry. Initially the losses among German infantry were high, but after heavy artillery fire commander of the Giełczyn area First Lieutenant Kiewlicz was ordered to burn the wooden bridge over Narew and withdraw to Białystok. The remnants of his forces broke through German encirclement and reached Białystok, where they joined the forces of general Franciszek Kleeberg. A leaflet in botany is a part of a compound leaf. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... Coordinates: , Country Voivodeship Powiat city county Gmina BiaÅ‚ystok Established 14th century City Rights 1692 Government  - Mayor Tadeusz Truskolaski Area  - City 102 km² (39. ... Coordinates: , Country Voivodeship Powiat city county Gmina BiaÅ‚ystok Established 14th century City Rights 1692 Government  - Mayor Tadeusz Truskolaski Area  - City 102 km² (39. ... Franciszek Kleeberg (1888-1941) was a Polish general. ...


At the same time an assault on the southern part of Polish fortifications came to a stalemate. Polish bunkers were lacking adequate anti-tank armament, but were able to rain the German infantry with machine gun fire. However, at 6 o'clock in the evening the infantry was forced to abandon the trenches and field fortifications and retreat into the bunkers. The German tanks could finally cross the Polish lines and advance towards Tykocin and Zambrów. However, the German infantry was still under heavy fire and was pinned down in the swampy fields in front of Polish bunkers. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Category:Tykocin Tykocin is a small town in north-eastern Poland, with 1,800 inhabitants (1998), located on the Narew river. ... Coat of Zambrów   is a town in north-eastern Poland with 22,933 inhabitants (2003). ...


Although Raginis was subordinate to Lt.Col. Tadeusz Tabaczyński, commander of the Osowiec fortified area located some 30 kilometres to the north, he could not expect any reinforcements. On September 8 Marshal of Poland Edward Śmigły-Rydz ordered the 135th Infantry Regiment that constituted the reserves of both Osowiec and Wizna, to be withdrawn to Warsaw. When the order was withdrawn and the unit returned to Osowiec, it was already too late to help the isolated Poles at Wizna. 2nd fort in Osowiec Osowiec is a village in MoÅ„ki county (Powiat of MoÅ„ki) in Podlasie Voivodship in northeastern Poland. ... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Marshal of Poland (Marszałek Polski) is the highest rank in the Polish Army. ...


Heavy fights for each of the—now isolated—bunkers continued. Several assaults were repelled during the night and in the early morning of September 10. At approximately 12 o'clock the German engineers with the help of tanks and artillery finally managed to destroy all but two Polish bunkers. Both of them were located in the centre of Góra Strękowa and continued the defence despite having much of the crew wounded or incapacitated and most of the machine guns destroyed. It is alleged that Heinz Guderian, in an attempt to end the Polish resistance, threatened the Polish commander that he would shoot the POWs if the remaining forces did not surrender. (No captives were shot.) Captain Władysław Raginis then ordered his men to abandon the bunker and committed suicide by throwing himself on a grenade. is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ...


After the Battle

After the Polish resistance ended, the XIX Panzer Corps advanced towards Zambrów and Wysokie Mazowieckie finally encircling and destroying the Polish Narew Corps. Later it advanced further southwards and took part in the Battle of Brześć. Coat of Zambrów   is a town in north-eastern Poland with 22,933 inhabitants (2003). ... Wysokie Mazowieckie is a town in north-eastern Poland. ... Battle of Brześć Conflict Polish Defence War of 1939 Date September 14-September 17, 1939 Place Fortress of Brześć Result unconcluded 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...


Although all the bunkers were destroyed and the Polish resistance was finally broken, the fortified area of Wizna managed to halt the German advance for three days. The heroic struggle against overwhelming odds is nowadays one of the symbols of the Polish Defensive War of 1939 and is a part of Polish popular culture. For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ...


Opposing forces

Wehrmacht
3rd Army
von Kuechler
XIX Panzer Corps
Guderian
3rd Panzer Division
Stumpff
20th Motorised Division
von Wiktorin
10th Panzer Division
Falkenhorst
"Lötzen" Fortress Brigade
Offenbacher
42 000 men, 350 tanks, 108 howitzers, 58 pieces of artillery, 195 anti-tank guns, 108 mortars, 188 grenade launchers, 288 heavy machine guns and 689 machine guns
Polish Army
Narew IOG
Młot-Fijałkowski
Odcinek Obrony "Wizna"
Raginis
8th company of 135th Infantry Regiment
Schmidt
3rd heavy MG company of Osowiec fortress batt.
Raginis
Battery of positional artillery
Brykalski
136th company of engineers
Platoon of engineers and platoon of field artillery of 71st Infantry Regiment
Platoon of mounted reconnaissance of 135th Infantry Regiment
720 men, 12 bunkers, 6 pieces of artillery (76mm), 24 HMGs, 18 machine guns and two anti-tank carbines

The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... Field Marshal Georg von Küchler Georg von Küchler (May 30, 1881 - May 25, 1968) was a German field marshal during World War II. Küchler led the German 18th Army in 1940 in the invasion of neutral Holland and was able to defeat the much smaller Dutch army... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, (January 17, 1885 - June 18, 1968), German General that planned the attack on Denmark and Norway in 1940, Weserübung. ... Motto: none Voivodship Warmia i Mazury Municipal government Urząd Miejski w Giżycku Mayor Jolanta Piotrkowska Area 13,9 km² Population  - city  - urban  - density 29 800 - 2148/km² Founded City rights - - Latitude Longitude 54°02 N 21°46 E Area code +48 87 Car plates NGI Twin towns - Municipal Website Giżycko... 19th century 12 pounder (5 kg) mountain howitzer displayed by the National Park Service at Fort Laramie in Wyoming, USA A howitzer is a type of artillery piece that is characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at trajectories with... The M2 machine gun with a tripod weighs 58 kg (128 lb). ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ... Władysław Raginis Władysław Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... Władysław Raginis Władysław Raginis (1908-1939) was a Polish military commander during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... The M2 machine gun with a tripod weighs 58 kg (128 lb). ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... The karabin przeciwpancerny wzór 35 (kb ppanc wz. ...

Casualties

Exact Polish losses are unknown, mostly because very little is known of the soldiers that were taken POW by the Germans. It is estimated that most of Polish soldiers were killed in action, with some 40 successfully withdrawing and additional 40 taken POW. Those numbers however are not certain. Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Temporary grave of an American machine-gunner during the Battle of Normandy. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ...


German losses are not known either. In his diaries general Heinz Guderian understated the number of German soldiers killed in action. It is certain, however, that the Wehrmacht lost at least 10 tanks and several other AFVs in the struggle. This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Temporary grave of an American machine-gunner during the Battle of Normandy. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is a military vehicle, equipped with protection against hostile attacks and often mounted weapons. ...


See also

Battle of Zadwórze (sometimes referred to as the Polish Thermopylae) was a battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War. ...

External links

  • Wizna Web Page

 
 

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