Polish plans

Polish plans

You have to admit, that from the very beginning of the existence of an independent state, the Soviet Union was considered the greatest enemy of the Republic of Poland. He was considered the only potential aggressor, with which the war might cause some difficulties. Therefore this, to 1936 year, practically the only plans in the event of an armed conflict, developed in the Polish headquarters, were strategies of fighting with the soviets. The war with Germany was almost completely rejected – after all, the German armed forces were not that strong then, to be able to threaten the independence of the Republic.

Views on this matter changed only after the death of the current Commander-in-Chief and changes among the highest military in the country, when, in the light of the course of events at that time, the real threat of an attack by the Third Reich began to be predicted, which is at the stage of intensive rearming.

It was a fact, that 1936 it was a bit of a late deadline for planning a defense war. General Staff, in order to catch up as quickly as possible, he began to act in full swing, to be able to develop an appropriate strategy. After two years of investigating potential Wehrmacht combat actions, that could happen in the near future, in the fall 1938 year (after claims from the German side) in a hurry to prepare the so-called. plan “WITH”, constituting an operational tactic in the event of a war with Germany.

According to fundamental assumptions, presented by Marshal Rydz-Śmigły at a confidential meeting at the Royal Castle, in the event of a possible German aggression against Poland, The Polish Army was supposed to lead a defensive tactic, slowly moving back into the country, thus slowing down the march of the Wehrmacht. The Polish Army was to avoid major battles and lead a coordinated retreat across the Vistula to the south-east. In the meantime, France, after the regrouping of forces, it was to strike from the west to Germany. This would relieve the eastern front and allow the Poles to repel the enemy.

Plan “WITH” precisely defined the distribution and behavior of the Polish Army units. According to assumptions, it was to be broken down into 7 army and one (greater) independent branch. On the north, in the corridor between West Pomerania and East Prussia, the Army was located “Pomerania” under the command of gen. Władysław Bortnowski, intended to cover possible activities towards Gdańsk and Pomerania. The Army was to operate in the vicinity of Poznań “Poznan”, commanded by gen. Tadeusz Kutrzeb. It was to assume the main burden of the German attack on Greater Poland, aimed at isolating the Army “Pomerania”.

The area, where the center of gravity of the Polish troops was located, was southwestern Poland. This area has become a special defense area, for it was for strategic reasons (underbelly of the country, the site of the most likely and strongest German attack), economic (protection of areas such as the COP, Upper Silesia, or South Polish industrial districts), and political (protection of communication with Romania). They found their place there: Army “Boat” (gen. Julius Rómmel), to defend Łódź at all costs and insure Warsaw and the Army “Cracow” (gen. Antoni Szyling), whose task was to defend the Silesian agglomeration, covering a possible retreat beyond the Vistula, i – together with the Army “Carpathians” gen. Kazimierz Fabrycego – repel attacks from Slovakia towards the forks of the Vistula and San rivers.

In the north, however, possible attacks by East Prussia, inland, the Army was to fight back “Modlin”, under the command of gen. Emil Przedrzymirski-Krukowicz. It was to be assisted by the Independent Operational Group “Narew” (gen. Czesław Młot-Fijałkowski), located in the Suwałki region, and, constituting a reserve, The Operational Group “Wyszkow”.

In the center of the country there was a fairly strong Revolutionary Army “Prussia” (gen. Stefan Dąb-Biernacki), about to be thrown into battle in place, where it would be needed most, which was to be assessed in the first moments of possible aggression. Moreover, an Odwód was established in the vicinity of Kutno “Kutno”, and at the forks of the Vistula and San River, the Southern Reservoir.

As I mentioned, the actions of these divisions were to be only delaying, for it would be impossible to stop the German troops completely, which is easy to guess, comparing the combat potential of the Polish Army and the Wehrmacht. The Poles were to wait for their front to be relieved by the attack of France on Germany, the nature of which was described in the working protocol signed by France and Poland on the day 19 May 1939 year. He predicted, that the French troops would begin operations “immediately”, and three days after the mobilization was announced, the ground forces would start. On the fifteenth day, the French were to expand “offensive actions with the main forces”.

There is no need to single out the word of the French.

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