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Battle of Karlovy Vary (Fall Grün)

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Battle of Karlovy Vary
Fall Grün Karlovy Vary
German soldiers watch the destruction of a street in Karlovy Vary, October 8, 1938.
DateOctober 7 - October 8, 1938
Result Decisive German victory
Flag of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Nazi Germany
Flag of Czechoslovakia Div. Gen. Jan Šípek Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Gen.d.Inf. Gustav v. Wietersheim
1,000 men,
100 mortars, anti-tank cannons and howitzers,
Aircraft support
5,000 men,
65 tanks,
200 mortars, anti-tank cannons and howitzers,
Aircraft support
Casualties and losses
320 killed, 300 WIA, 380 POWs
360 killed, 500 WIA

The Battle of Karlovy Vary was a military engagement between the Republic of Czechoslovakia and Nazi Germany fought between October 7 and 8, 1938, in the town of Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia. It was one of the heaviest battles of the opening phase of the German Invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Prelude to the Battle

While the Germans faced heavy fortified positions along most of the German-Czech frontier, the troops of the German Tenth Army did not face heavy fortifications at the border, and thus were able to penetrate the Czech defensive lines in Western Bohemia. On October 1, following air strikes carried out by Stuka dive bombers and an artillery barrage, they crossed the border and then managed to break through the relatively light border fortifications positioned along the border at most places the following day at noon, however without the consequence of heavy losses among the storming infantry and field engineers.

The Germans advanced relatively quickly through Western Bohemia, meeting effective, though light resistance. On October 1, they captured Aš (Asch) and Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad) and Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) without meeting any resistance. On October 3, the Germans captured Cheb (Eger) after facing moderate resistance from Czechoslovak Border Guards and artillery fire.

On October 6, the German forces of the XIV. Armeekorps under command of Gen.d.Inf. Gustav v. Wietersheim had surrounded the spa town of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad).

The Battle

On 7 October, around 07:00, the received reports of elements of the 2. Infanterie-Division (mot.) and 13. Infanterie-Division (mot.) approaching from Březová from the south, Čankov from the north and Dalovice and Všeborovice. Those forces consisted of armored scouts and have engaged Czech infantry units on their approaches.

At 10:05 German artillery opened fire on the Czech defences around and within the town itself. At the same time, bombers of the began bombing the centre of Karlovy Vary, killing. Two hours later the German troops attacked the Czech positions surrounding Karlovy Vary, but the attacked was repulsed.

After they had regrouped, they attacked the Czech positions again, and this time they broke through the defences and began to push into the city, increasingly encircling the city. By the end of the day the Germans had made several headways into the city.

By October 8, the advanced German armoured units have been reinforced with infantry and several mortars. The Czech defenders delayed the German advance, particularly by holding the bridges, but later that day the coordination of the defence reached its breaking point. At 13:00 the defence collapsed and the remaining Czech defenders capitulated to the Germans.


The fighting in the city resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. The Germans suffered 860 casualties: 360 were killed and 500 were injured. Czechoslovakia suffered 320 killed and 300 injured. 380 Czech soldiers were taken prisoner as well.

As a result of the fighting, around 100 civilians were killed and 150 injured as a result of the German aerial bombardement and by crossfire during the fighting in the city.

See also

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)

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