Alternate History

Battle of Šatov (Munich Goes Sour)

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Battle of Šatov
Part of Battle of the Border
Map Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec Day 1 (FG)
The German attacks on the Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec sector on October 1, 1938.
Date October 1 – October 12, 1938
Place Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec, Czechoslovakia
Result German victory
  • German XVII. Armeekorps breaks through the border fortification line
Nazi Germany Germany Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Commanders and leaders
Nazi Germany Gen.d.Inf. Werner Kienitz
(CO of XVII. Armeekorps)
Nazi Germany Gen.Lt. Albrecht Schubert
(CO of 44 Inf.Div.)
Nazi Germany Gen.Maj. Alfred Ritter v. Hubicki
(CO of 4. Lei.Div.)
Czechoslovakia Col. Jiří Jaroš
(CO of Pěší pluk 24)
Czechoslovakia Brig.Gen. František Hněvkovský
(CO of 19. divize "Arbes")
Czechoslovakia Col. M. Hradečný
(CO of Pěší pluk 81)
XVII. Armeekorps:
  • Inf.Regt. 132 of the 44. Inf.Div.
  • Art.Regt.109
  • One battalion of 10. Kav.Schützen-Regt.
  • One company from Pz.Abt. 33
On October 1:
  • Stráž obrany státu Logo One battalion of Stráž obrany státu (State Defence Guard) manning three fortified infantry block houses:
    • MJ-S 2 Úvoz
    • MJ-S 3 Zahrada
    • MJ-S 4 Zatáčka
  • Two battalions from Pěší pluk 24
  • One artillery battery

From October 2:

  • One battalion from Pěší pluk 81
  • One artillery battery
Casualties and losses
2,300 killed
110 armoured vehicles (60 tanks) destroyed
400 killed
300 wounded
100 captured

Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Battle of the Border
(Opava    Operation Freudenthal    Šatov    Znojmo   České Budějovice)

Bohemian front
(Plzeň    Prague)

Moravian front
(Olomouc    Brno)

Hungarian front
Komárno    Zvolen    Kosiče)

The Battle of Šatov was fought between Germany and Czechoslovakia between October 1 and October 12, 1938. It was fought around the small town of Šatov in the Znojmo Sector of the Czechoslovak border fortification line.

Despite the invading German forces' vast numerical superiority, the Czechoslovak defenders managed to prevent a German breakthrough through the fortified line between Hnanice, Šatov and Chvalovice for two weeks.

The defence was concentrated around the three fortified infantry block houses MJ-S 2 Úvoz, MJ-S 3 Zahrada and MJ-S 4 Zatáčka, fifty light fortifications and various improvised defences manned by soldiers of the Stráž obrany státu (State Defence Guard), Pěší pluk 24 and 19. divize "Arbes".

After two weeks of constant artillery barrages and attacks the defenders were running out of ammunition and had suffered heavy lossed. On October 12, the Germans finally broke through, forcing the Czechs to retreat. By the morning of October 13, the Germans had captured Znojmo and were advancing northwards.


According to the Czech mobilization scheme, the IV. armáda ”Neruda” was to defend southern Moravia and prevent a German offensive towards Brno. Under the command of Gen. Lev Prchala, the army comprised 4 infantry divisions, two fast divisions and three border defence areas.

Along the German-Czech frontier were men of the State Defense Guard (Stráž obrany státu, SOS) manning the border fortifications, whose task was to gain time and offer delaying actions and harsh resistance in order for the mobilization to be completed and the main forces to respond to the attack.

The closest regular army unit was the Pěší pluk 24 of Hraniční oblast 38 “Cyril” located in Znojmo, 7 km north of Šatov. Further north, the 19. divize “Arbes” under the command of Brig. Gen. František Hněvkovský was located around the town of Třebíč, 53 km from Brno. One regiment (Pěší pluk 74) was located in Vladislav, a second (Pěší pluk 81) in Moravské Budějovice and a third (Pěší pluk 93) in Výčapy. An Artillery Regiment (Dělostřelecký pluk 19) was located in Stařeč and a mixed motorized section (Smíšený přezvědný oddíl 19).

On September 30, 1938 one SOS battalion as well as two battalions of Pěší pluk 24 and one artillery battery of Dělostřelecký pluk 19 were deployed at the Hnanice-Šatov-Chvalovice in anticipation of a German attack following the Czechoslovak government's refusal to abide by the Munich Agreement.


Infantry blockhouses

Light fortifications

The majority of the fortifications in the sector were fifty light fortifications of the type LO vz. 37 Řopík built in 1937.

The vz. 37s represented by following chiefly the principle of flanking fire a very modern concept of fortifications and had a crew of two to seven men depending on type and performance. They had one or mostly two main embrasures and could stand artillery shelling from calibre 75 mm to 150 mm. The armament consisted of light or heavy machine guns (Lk vz. 26s or Tk vz. 24s) and the personal firearms of the crew.

Order of Battle

Nazi Germany Germany Nazi Germany

Gen.d.Inf. Werner Kienitz.jpg Gen.Lt. Albrecht Schubert.jpg
Gen.d.Inf. Werner Kienitz.
Gen.Lt. Albrecht Schubert.
  • XVII. Armeekorps
  • CO: Brig.Gen. Gen.d.Inf. Werner Kienitz
  • 44. Infanterie-Division
  • CO: Gen.Lt. Albrecht Schubert
    • Infanterie-Regiment 132
      • I./Inf.Regt. 132
      • II./Inf.Regt. 132
      • III./Inf.Regt. 132
    • Artillerie-Regiment 109
  • 4. Leichte Division
  • CO: Gen.Maj. Alfred Ritter v. Hubicki
    • I./10. Kavallerie Schützen-Regiment
      • 1. Schwadron
      • 2. Schwadron
      • 3. Schwadron
      • 4. Schwadron
    • I./Panzer-Abteilung 33

Flag of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Flag of Czechoslovakia

Brig.Gen. František Hněvkovský.jpg Col. Jiří Jaroš.jpg
Brig.Gen. František Hněvkovský.
Col. Jiří Jaroš.

Dělostřelecká baterie: Artillery Battery.
Dělostřelecký oddíl: Artillery Section.
Kanonová rota: Anti-Tank Gun Company.
Minometná rota: Mortar Company.
Pěší pluk: Infantry Regiment.
Polní prapor: Field Battalion.
Prapor: Battalion.

On October 1:

  • Pěší pluk 24
  • CO: Col. Jiří Jaroš
    • II. polní prapor
    • III. polní prapor
    • Minometná rota
      • 3 squads with two 81,3 mm vz. 36 mortars each
    • Kanonová rota
      • 3 squads with four 37 mm KPÚV vz. 37 anti-tank guns
  • 1. dělostřelecká baterie (of the I. dělostřelecký oddíl)
    • Four 75 mm vz. 15 mountain guns (Škoda)
  • Stráž obrany státu Logo Stráž obrany státu (State Defence Guard)
    • 18. Prapor SOS located in Znojmo
      • 902 men; of whom 655 were soldiers, 143 members of the Finance Guard (finanční stráž), 87 Gendarmes and 17 policemen.
    • Fifty light fortifications LO vz. 37 Řopík.
    • Three fortified infantry blockhouses:
      • MJ-S 2 Úvoz
      • MJ-S 3 Zahrada
      • MJ-S 4 Zatáčka

From October 2: From October 2, all troops were under command of the CO of 19. divize "Arbes", Gen. František Hněvkovský.

  • Pěší pluk 81
    • II. polní prapor
  • 4. dělostřelecká baterie (of the II. dělostřelecký oddíl)
    • Three 100 mm vz. 14/19 light howitzers (Škoda)

The Battle

October 1: First assault

Map Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec Day 1 (FG)

The German attacks on the Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec sector on October 1, 1938.

On October 1, at 06:00, German artillery positioned in Austria began shelling the Czech fortified positions around Šatov and north of Hnanice and Vrbovec as well as shelling the towns themselves. Due to the heavy morning fog, the advancing German troops had to rely solely on artillery for the first hours of the day, a problem that would be a constant nuisance throughout the campaign. The artillery bombardement continued for one and a half hour.

At 08:00 the German Fourteenth Army crossed the Czech border and initiated the invasion of Czechoslovakia. The 1st Battalion of Infanterie-Regiment 132 crossed the border at Mitterretzbach and began advancing on Hnanice. The 1. Abteilung of the 10. Kavallerie Schützen-Regiment crossed the border border between Kleinhaugsdorf and Hatě and advanced towards Chvalovice, while the 3rd Battalion of Inf.Regt. 132 crossed the border further east and advanced on Dyjákovičky.

After breaking through the detachments of the State Defense Guard, the German units seized the small towns of Hnanice, Chvalovice and Dyjákovičky, right in front of the main Czech fortified line of defense.

At the same time, German artillery again shelled the Czech positions around Šatov and north of Hnanice and Chvalovice while the main force prepared to attack the main line itself.

At 1000 hours the 2nd Battalion of Inf.Regt. 132 and the 1st company of Pz.Abt. 33 crossed the border and advanced towards Šatov and the area directly east of the town. At 1030 the German tanks and two companies of Inf.Regt. 132s 2nd Battalion reached the Czech fortified positions east of Šatov. However, the German artillery had not sufficiently damaged the Czech defences and the anti-tank obstacles in front of the bunkers and the advancing tanks were welcomed at 250 metres by 37 mm KPÚV vz. 37 anti-tank guns dug in near the railway line, and were forced to fall back after losing five tanks. The German infantry were left alone on a flat open field, right in front of the Czech positions, without any cover, and was forced to retreat due to machine gun fire from the towers of the infantry block house MJ-S 4 Zatáčka.

At 1300 the Germans started an assault on the Czech positions north of Hnanice, around and east of Šatov and at Vrbovec. After two hours of artillery shelling the the 1st Battalion and two companies of the 2nd Battalion of Inf.Regt. 132 attacked the Czech positions north of Hnanice and around Šatov. However, the Germans were forced to retreat due to continuing firing from the Czech bunkers as well as Czech artillery fire, taking heavy casualties.

East of Šatov the German tanks, which made up of a mixture of Panzer I and Panzer II type-tanks, renewed their attack with infantry support under the cover of heavy fire. However again the German tanks were forced to a halt in front of the anti-tank obstacles, and after taking fire from the dug in anti-tank guns at the railway line as well as the 47 mm vz. 36 anti-tank cannon inside the from MJ-S 4 Zatáčka, the germans were forced to fall back after losing four tanks.

At the same time the 1. Abteilung of the 10. Kavallerie Schützen-Regiment attacked the Czech positions north of Chvalovice while the 3rd Battalion of Inf.Regt. 132 attacked the enemy positions north of Dyjákovičky. However, heavy machine gun fire and artillery made any attempts on breakthrough futile, and the Germans called off the attack.

October 2-4: Continued attacks

Map Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec Day 2 (FG)

The German attacks on October 2, 1938.

Map Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec Day 3 (FG)

The German attacks on October 3, 1938.

File:Map Hnanice-Šatov-Vrbovec Day 4 (FG).jpg

October 5-10: Artillery shelling

October 11-12: Renewed attacks

October 12: Breakthrough

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