Alternate History

Battle of Ostrava (Munich Goes Sour)

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Battle of Ostrava
DateOctober 6 - October 7, 1938
Result Decisive German victory
Flag of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Nazi Germany
Flag of Czechoslovakia Div. Gen. Emil Fiala Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Gen.Lt. Walter Petzel
Hraniční pásmo XIII “Rostislav“:
Local SOS units
II. Armeekorps:
3. Infanterie-Division
Casualties and losses
562 killed,
1,300 wounded
2,000 captured
122 killed,
310 wounded

The Battle of Ostrava took place between October 6 and October 7, 1938 between the Republic of Czechoslovakia and Nazi Germany over the city of Ostrava, Czechoslovakia.

Prelude to the Battle

The Second Army began ground operations soon after 8 o'clock in the morning, securing the border stations without facing resistance. After securing the border stations, German troops poured over the German-Czech frontier. However, they ran shortly thereafter into the Czech border fortifications, and after attempting to storm the line twice in under two hours, GenObst. Gerd v. Rundstedt, the commander of the Second Army, decided to halt operations temporarily, seeing that the attacks were futile and the large number of casualties resulting from them. Thus he ordered the artillery and air force to soften up the positions.

After four days of heavy fighting, on October 5, the 3. Infanterie-Division finally broke through the lines where the fortifications were limited, after the defences had been softened with artillery shelling, and thus began its advance towards Ostrava. By the evening the same day, the Germans had pushed around 25 km inland, and encircled Ostrava. Gen.Lt. Walter Petzel, the commander of 3. Infanterie-Division, gave the orders for the capture of the town to begin the next day.

The Battle

In the early hours of October 6, German artillery of the Artillerie-Regiment 3 bombarded the Czech soldiers of the SOS unit defending the city, while Dornier Do-17 bombers of the 8./KG153 and Junkers Ju-87B Stuka dive bombers of the 9./St.G.165 attacked them from the air.

Three hours later, the begun its assault on the town. They managed to secure the suburbs of Ostrava, but when they began to attack the town proper the assault was repulsed by the Czech defenders. Subsequently the Germans continued to push into the city, with Luftwaffe bombers of making the defence of the town even more difficult. While the Czechs furiously fought back only armed with small arms, machine guns and mortars, the poorly coordinated Czech defence was no match for the superior German forces.


The losses sustained by the German troops were unexpectedly light. Only 210 had been killed and 310 had been wounded. On the other hand, the Czechs had a total of casualties 1862: 562 killed and 1300 wounded.

2000 Czech soldiers were also taken prisoner, along with several machine guns, mortars and rifles.

Due to the heavy casualties sustained in the assault on the Czech border fortifications, the 3. Infanterie-Division was ordered only to secure the town and then wait until the remaining elements of the Second Army had broken through the Czech lines, which occurred on October 15.

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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