Polish army order of battle in 1939

Polish OOB during the invasion of Poland. In the late thirties Polish headquarters prepared "Plan Zach贸d" (Plan "West), a plan of mobilization of Polish Army in case of war with Germany. Earlier, the Poles did not regard the Germans as their main threat, priority was given to threat from the Soviets (see: Plan East).

The overall operational plan assumed the creation of 30 infantry divisions, 9 reserve divisions, 11 cavalry brigades, two motorized brigades, 3 mountain brigades and a number of smaller units. Most Polish forces were grouped into 6 armies and a number of corps-sized "Operational Groups". Later in the course of the war other operational units were created.

Placement of Polish divisions on September 1st
Placement of divisions on September 1, 1939
Dispositions of opposing forces, August 31, 1939, and the German plan.

Armies

Karpaty Army

Created on July 11, 1939, under Major General Kazimierz Fabrycy. Armia Karpaty was created after Germany annexed Czechoslovakia and created a puppet state of Slovakia. The main aim of the army was to secure mountain passes in the Carpathians. Initially the army consisted of 2 improvised mountain brigades and a number of smaller units, but later in the course of war was joined by forces of the withdrawing Armia Krak贸w.

Additionally, mobilisation plans called for creation of the Tarn贸w Group consisting of:

Krak贸w Army

Created on March 23, 1939, as the main pivot of Polish defence. Its main task was to delay advancing German troops and withdraw eastwards along the northern line of the Carpathians. It consisted of 5 infantry divisions, 1 mountain infantry division, 1 motorized cavalry brigade, 1 mountain brigade and 1 cavalry brigade under gen. Antoni Szylling.

Krak贸w Army Unit Polish name Commander Remarks
  Army units 鈥 gen. Antoni Szylling
6th Infantry Division from Krak贸w 6 Dywizja Piechoty Bernard Mond
7th Infantry Division from Cz臋stochowa 7 Dywizja Piechoty gen. bryg. Janusz G膮siorowski
11th Infantry Division from Stanis艂aw贸w 11 Dywizja Piechoty gen. bryg. Bronis艂aw Prugar-Ketling
Krak贸w Cavalry Brigade from Krak贸w Krakowska Brygada Kawalerii gen.bryg. Zygmunt Piasecki
10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade from Rzesz贸w 10 Brygada Kawalerii Zmotoryzowanej p艂k. Stanis艂aw Maczek
  艢l膮sk Operational Group 鈥 gen. Jan Jagmin-Sadowski
23rd Infantry Division from Katowice 23 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. W艂adys艂aw Powierza Upper Silesian
55th Infantry Division, reserve division made of several units from the area of Upper Silesia and Jaworzno 55 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Stanis艂aw Kalabi艅ski reserve
  Bielsko Operational Group 鈥 gen. Mieczys艂aw Boruta-Spiechowicz
21st Mountain Infantry Division from Nowy S膮cz and Bielsko-Bia艂a 21 Dywizja Piechoty G贸rskiej gen. J贸zef Kustro艅
1st Mountain Brigade, made of several National Defence units from 呕ywiec, Zakopane and Jas艂o. 1 Brygada G贸rska p艂k Janusz Ga艂adyk mostly elite KOP troops

Lublin Army

An improvised army created on September 4 from 1 motorized brigade and various smaller units concentrated around Lublin, Sandomierz and upper Vistula. Commanded by mj. gen. Tadeusz Piskor.

艁贸d藕 Army

Created on March 23, 1939, under gen. Juliusz R贸mmel. Armia 艁贸d藕 was to become a bolt between Armies "Krak贸w" and "Pozna艅". However, because of mistakes committed by Gen. R贸mmel, the army was located too close to the German border and joined fighting from the very beginning of the campaign, which deprived it of any possibilities of cooperation with the surrounding units. It consisted of 4 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades.

Modlin Army

Created on March 23, 1939, for defence of Warsaw from the north. The army was to defend fortified lines along the border with East Prussia near M艂awa, and then retreat towards Narew river. Led by brig. gen. Emil Krukowicz-Przedrzymirski. Consisted of 2 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades.

Pomorze Army

The Army was created on March 23, 1939, to defend Toru艅 and Bydgoszcz and to carry out delaying actions in the so-called "Polish Corridor". It was led by Lt.-Gen. W艂adys艂aw Bortnowski and consisted of five infantry divisions, two National Defence brigades and one cavalry brigade.

Pomorze Army Unit Polish name Commander Remarks
  Army units 鈥 gen. W艂adys艂aw Bortnowski
9th Infantry Division from Siedlce 9 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. J贸zef Werobej
15th Infantry Division from Bydgoszcz 15 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Wac艂aw Przyja艂kowski Greater Polish
27th Infantry Division from Kowel 27 Dywizja Piechoty gen.bryg. Juliusz Drapella
Pomeranian National Defence Brigade Pomorska Brygada Obrony Narodowej
Che艂mno National Defence Brigade Che艂mska Brygada Obrony Narodowej
  Operational Group "East" 鈥 gen. Miko艂aj Bo艂tu膰
4th Infantry Division from Toru艅 4 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Rawicz-Mys艂owski, p艂k. J贸zef Werobej
16th Infantry Division from Grudzi膮dz 16 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Zygmunt Szyszko-Bohusz Pomeranian
  Czersk Operational Group 鈥 gen.bryg. Stanis艂aw Grzmot-Skotnicki
Pomeranian Cavalry Brigade from Bydgoszcz Pomorska Brygada Kawalerii gen.bryg. Stanis艂aw Grzmot-Skotnicki
Independent Units Chojnice and Ko艣cierzyna Oddzia艂y Wydzielone "Chojnice" i "Ko艣cierzyna"

Pozna艅 Army

The Armia Pozna艅 led by mj. gen. Tadeusz Kutrzeba was to provide flanking operations in the Grand Poland and withdraw towards lines of defence along the Warta river. It consisted of 4 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades.

Prusy Army

Under gen. Stefan D膮b-Biernacki. Created in the summer of 1939 as the main reserve of the Commander in Chief. According to the "Plan West" (Plan Zach贸d, code name for the Polish mobilization plan) it was to be composed of units mobilized as the second and third waves and its main purpose was to cooperate with the nearby armies "Pozna艅" and "Krak贸w".

Mobilized in two groups. Because of fast German advance both groups entered combat separately and most units did not reach full mobilization. It consisted of 6 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry brigade and a battalion of tanks.

Prusy Army Unit Polish name Commander Remarks
  Army units 鈥 gen. Stefan D膮b-Biernacki
39th Infantry Division, made of several regiments of the Border Defence Corps 39 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Bruno Olbrycht reserve
44th Infantry Division, made of several regiments of the Border Defence Corps 44 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Eugeniusz 呕ongo艂艂owicz reserve
  Northern group 鈥 gen. Stefan D膮b-Biernacki
13th Infantry Division from Rowne 13 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. W艂adys艂aw Zubosz-Kali艅ski Kresowa
19th Infantry Division from Wilno 19 Dywizja Piechoty gen. J贸zef Kwaciszewski
29th Infantry Division from Grodno 29 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k. Ignacy Oziewicz
Wile艅ska Cavalry Brigade from Wilno Wile艅ska Brygada Kawalerii p艂k. Konstanty Drucki-Lubecki
1st tank battalion 1 battalion czo艂g贸w
  Southern group 鈥 gen. Stanis艂aw Skwarczy艅ski
3rd Legions Infantry Division from Zamo艣膰 3 Dywizja Piechoty Legion贸w p艂k. Marian Turowski
12th Infantry Division from Tarnopol 12 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Gustaw Paszkiewicz
36th Infantry Division, made from troops of Border Defence Corps of the Podole area. 36 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Micha艂 Ostrowski reserve

Warszawa Army

For a detailed description of the Warszawa Army operations see: Siege of Warsaw (1939)

Created on September 10, 1939, from various units in Warsaw and Modlin Fortress area. Initially it consisted of approximately 25 infantry battalions and 40 tanks. Later it was reinforced by forces of 艁贸d藕 Army and elements of Modlin Army. It was commanded by col. Walerian Czuma, although the nominal commander was gen. Juliusz R贸mmel.

Warszawa Army Unit Polish name Commander Remarks
  Modlin Fortress 鈥 gen. Wiktor Thomm茅e
2nd Legions Infantry Division from Kielce 2 Dywizja Piechoty Legion贸w p艂k Antoni Staich elements
8th Infantry Division from Modlin 8 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Tadeusz Wyrwa-Furgalski elements
28th Infantry Division from Warszawa 28 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Broniewski elements
30th Infantry Division from Kobryn 30 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Leopold Cehak elements
  Western Approach 鈥 p艂k Marian Porwit
13th Infantry Division from Rowne 13 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k W艂adys艂aw Zubosz-Kalinski reinforced
15th Infantry Division from Bydgoszcz 15 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Zdzis艂aw Przyja艂kowski reinforced
25th Infantry Division from Kalisz 25 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Franciszek Alter elements
Combined Cavalry Brigade Zbiorcza Brygada Kawalerii gen. Roman Abraham combined
  Eastern Approach 鈥 gen. Juliusz Zulauff
5th Infantry Division from Lw贸w 5 Dywizja Piechoty gen. Juliusz Zulauff elements, 1 regiment
8th Infantry Division from Modlin 8 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Tadeusz Wyrwa-Furgalski routed, 1 regiment under Sosabowski
20th Infantry Division from Baranowicze 20 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Wilhelm Liszka-Lawicz
44th Infantry Division 44 Dywizja Piechoty p艂k Eugeniusz 呕ongo艂艂owicz reserve, routed
1st "Defenders of Praga" Infantry Regiment 1 pu艂k piechoty Obro艅c贸w Pragi p艂k Stanis艂aw Milian improvised
2nd "Defenders of Praga" Infantry Regiment 2 pu艂k piechoty Obro艅c贸w Pragi p艂k Stefan Kotowski improvised

Operational Groups

Operational Group Wyszk贸w

Was one of the reserves of the northern front of Polish defences, created on September 1, 1939. According to Plan West, it was supposed to defend the line of the Narew river from Wehrmacht units advancing from East Prussia. Due to rapid German advance, the group withdrew towards the Bug river, and on September 11, Polish Commander in Chief Edward Rydz-艢mig艂y ordered General Wincenty Kowalski, commandant of Operational Group Wyszk贸w, to merge his unit with Northern Front under General Stefan D膮b-Biernacki.

It consisted of the following units:

Independent Operational Group Narew

Consisted of 2 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry brigades:

Independent Operational Group Polesie

Supporting forces

Air support

Naval and river support

See also

Other Languages