Flag of Poland (with coat of arms)

This article details the order of battle of the Polish army units which participated in the Zaolzie Operation in October 1938.

On September 7, 1938, the Polish High Command created the Operational Group Śląsk under the command of General Władysław Bortnowski. An Operational Group (Polish: Grupa Operacyjna, abbreviated GO) was the highest level of tactical division of the Polish Army before and the Invasion of Poland. It was corps-sized, although various Operational Groups varied in size. They first appeared in Polish tactical scheme during the Polish-Bolshevik War, most probably under the influence of French Military Mission to Poland. After the war they were dissolved.

Originally the Operational Group Śląsk consisted of the 10. Brygada Kawalerii. In case there would be clashes with the Germans over the Zaolzie/Cieszyn area, the 10th Cavalry Brigade retake the land immediately after the Czechoslovaks had withdrawn from the area, before the Germans could do the same. If needed, the brigade would be reinforced with two infantry divisions.

Military Strength 1938

The military strength of Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, France and the Soviet Union on September 30, 1938.

On September 16, the KOP Regiment "Osowiec " was sent to Silesia, and on September 19 it was decided to send the 21. Dywizja Piechoty and 10. Brygada Kawalerii to the region close to the Polish-Czech frontier. There the GO merged with the 23. Dywizja Piechoty. On September 21, 1938 the Independent Operational Group Śąsk (Samodzielna Grupa Operacyjna Śąsk, SGO) was created, which was further strengthened with the four. Dywizja Piechoty, Wielkopolska Brygada Kawalerii and an improvised Tank Group. The air fleet at disposal for the operation consisted of five fighter squadrons(among them were 111th, 112th, 121st and 131st esk.), two squadrons of light bombers (21st and 22nd), one reconnaissance squadron and five platoons of support aircraft.

In total the operational group amounted: 35,966 men and officers, 8371 horses, 267 cars, 707 trucks, 459 motorcycles, 103 tanks, nine armoured cars, 1012 light machine guns, 445 heavy machine guns, 117 cannons, 117 anti-tank guns and 103 planes. However, the units weren't fully mobilized, and thus were at peace time level. The same situation ruled for the artillery, which lacked eight artillery divisions. The tank forces of the SGO consisted mainly of TK-3 and TKS tankettes, with a few Vickers Mk. E light tanks.

Unit Commander    Remarks   
   4. Dywizja Piechoty       Col.dypl. M. Bołtuć   
   21. Dywizja Piechoty       Brig.Gen. J. Kustroń   
   23. Dywizja Piechoty       Brig.Gen. Jan Jagmin-Sadowski   
   Wielkopolska Brygada Kawalerii       Brig.Gen. R. Abraham   
   10. Brygada Kawalerii Zmotoryzowanej       Col. A. Trzaska-Durski   
   Śląsk Brygada Obrony Narodowej       Col. A. Trzaska-Durski   
   Cieszyńska Brygada Obrony Narodowej       Lt.Col.dypl. J. Gabryś       Only half strength.   
   Regiment KOP "Różan"       -   
   Improvised Tank Group       -       Consisted of one tank battalion.   
   18. DAC       -       Comprised 220 mm wz. 32 "Škoda" howitzers.   
   Engineer battalion       -   
   Armoured train       -       In reserve.   

See also

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