Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Battle of Wizna in 1939

In 1939 Poland was halfway through a six-year military expansion plan aimed at modernizing and strengthening the armed forces. The war at Wizna happened in the early days of the Nazi invasion of Poland. It was fought between September 7 and September 10, 1939. Around 350 to 720 Poles defended a fortified line for three days against more than 40,000 Germans, command by Heinz Guderian. Led by Captain Władysław Raginis, the Polish soldiers held the Wehrmacht for three days.

A fortified defense line guarding the crossing of the Narew River was located near the village of Wizna. Captain Władysław Raginis had an infantry battalion, including a fortress company and an engineer company, at his disposal. The battalion occupied eight reinforced concrete bunkers, with the one located on Góra Strękowa serving as the headquarters.

Captain Władysław Raginis, swore to hold his position as long as he was alive. When the last two bunkers under his command ran out of ammunition, he ordered his men to surrender their arms and he himself then committed suicide by throwing himself on a grenade.

The lessons learned by the German Army in its operations in Poland were put to use in the later campaigns against the western Allies, the Balkan states, and the Soviet Union. Poland also formed the testing ground for new theories on the use of armored forces and close air support of ground troops.
Battle of Wizna in 1939

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