The Volhynian Cavalry Brigade (Polish : Wołyńska Brygada Kawalerii) was a Polish cavalry brigade, which saw action against the invading Germans during the Invasion of Poland, a part of World War II. Raised from recruits in the area of Wołyń, the division was posted to the Łódź Army. During several desperate counter-attacks, the brigade suffered heavy casualties near Łódź. It was commanded by Colonel Julian Filipowicz. Most notably, the unit took part in one of the first battles of the German invasion of Poland (and thus, World War II), the battle of Mokra.
The Vohlynian Cavalry Brigade was formed on April 1, 1937, out of sub-units of the Równe Cavalry Brigade, and several smaller detachments. Formed out of recruits from the region of Volhynia, the brigade was decentralized and its units stationed in several towns from the region, including Równe, Dubno, Białokrynica and Ostróg by the Horyń. As part of the first wave of the Polish Army, the brigade was fully mobilized prior to the outbreak of World War II, and transported to the area of Łódź. In accordance with the Polish mobilization scheme, the brigade was attached to Wiktor Thommées, Piotrków Operational Group, of the Łódź Army. The brigade was to form that unit's mobile reserve and cover the planned retreat of the 7th Infantry Division.
After the beginning of the Invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the unit took part in the battle of Mokra, where it held its ground although with heavy losses. The brigade withdrew towards the east, and the following day defended the second line of defense near Ostrowy, where it suffered further casualties. On 2 Sept., the brigade held up the 4th Panzer Division (Wehrmacht). 59 On September 3, it reached the main line of defense of the Army along the Warta-Widawka line (Łękińsko-Łękawa-Janów). With its flanks covered from both sides, the 2nd Mounted Rifles Regiment made a successful sortie towards the village of Kamieńsk, on September 4, where it surprised the German 4th Panzer Division, and destroyed several of its tanks and a dozen of its fuel tanks, killing approximately 100 enemy soldiers. The following day, the entire brigade took part in a sortie towards the village of Wola Krzysztoporska and Jeżów, but were forced back after a German counter-attack.:
On September 7, 1939, the German forces finally managed to break through the lines of the Łódź Army and the brigade was forced to retreat after a skirmish against the German 18th Infantry Division near the villages of Zamość and Żeromin, both near the town of Tuszyn. Withdrawing towards Andrespol, on September 8, the unit entered the battle of Wola Cyrusowa, where it covered the western and northern flanks of the entire army, withdrawing eastwards. The result of the day-long battle against the German 10th Infantry Division, was that the Volhynian Brigade suffered significant losses. As the sun set, the Poles withdrew to the other side of the Mroga river and then towards Chlebów, where it spent the several hours to reorganize. Due to the fast pace of German armoured assault, the brigade had to retreat further eastwards and on September 10, it reached the Kampinos Forest through Miedniewice, Szymanów and Kampinos.
The brigade spent the following two days in the forests halfway between Warsaw and Modlin. It was joined by the retreating Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade, and received some reinforcements, although it was already in bad shape. By September 13, both units started a counter-assault in the direction of the town of Mińsk Mazowiecki. By now the brigade, was reduced to less than 50% of its original strength, but managed to retake the village of Cyganka, and continue its counter offensive towards Choszczówka, but a German counter-attack broke its momentum and forced them to retreat.
After the battle, the brigade ceased to exist as an organized force. The 21st Uhlan Regiment and the remnants of the 12th withdrew to Warsaw, where they fought in the defense of Warsaw until September 28, in the ranks of Roman Abraham's Combined Cavalry Brigade. The remaining forces of the brigade joined the forces of General Stefan Dąb-Biernacki's Northern Front and withdrew further eastwards, towards the Bug River. On September 22, near Sokółka they took part in the battle of Suchowola against the German 68th Infantry Division, and then in the battles of Krasnobród and Huta Różaniecka.
The Polish cavalry can trace its origins back to the days of medieval cavalry knights. Poland is mostly a country of flatlands and fields and mounted forces operate well in this environment. The knights and heavy cavalry gradually evolved into many different types of specialised mounted military formations, some of which heavily influenced western warfare and military science. This article details the evolution of Polish cavalry tactics, traditions and arms from the times of mounted knights and heavy winged hussars, through the times of light uhlans to mounted infantry equipped with ranged and mêlée weapons.
The Polish 1st Armoured Division was an armoured division of the Polish Armed Forces in the West during World War II. Created in February 1942 at Duns in Scotland, it was commanded by Major General Stanisław Maczek and at its peak numbered approximately 18,000 soldiers. The division served in the final phases of the Battle of Normandy in August 1944 during Operation Totalize and the Battle of Chambois and then continued to fight throughout the campaign in Northern Europe, mainly as part of the First Canadian Army.
The Battle of Wołodarka was a clash between the Polish Army and Siemion Budionnyi's First Cavalry Army. It took place May 29–31, 1920, near the Ukrainian village of Volodarka, in the course of the Polish Offensive on Kiev during the Polish-Soviet War.
The 28 Dywizja Piechoty was a Polish Army infantry division which saw action against the invading Germans during the Invasion of Poland of World War II. The division suffered heavy casualties in battles near Łódź and the remnants retreated to Warsaw, where they surrendered.
The Battle of Mokra took place on September 1, 1939 near the village of Mokra, 5 km north from Kłobuck, 23 km north-west from Częstochowa, Poland. It was one of the first battles of the Invasion of Poland, of the Second World War and one of the few Polish victories of that campaign, as well as the first German defeat of the conflict.
10th Infantry Division was a unit of the Polish Army during the interbellum period, which took part in the 1939 German Invasion of Poland. It was created in 1919 from the former Polish 4th Rifle Division. Stationed in Łódź and commanded in 1939 by General Franciszek Dindorf-Ankowicz, it was part of Łódź Army. Its task was to defend the fortified area along the upper Warta river, near the interwar border of Poland and Germany.
15th Poznań Uhlan Regiment – unit of Polish cavalry, part of Greater Polands Army, Polish Army of Second Republic and Polish Armed Forces in the West during World War II.
Żurawiejka was a short, two-line facetious couplet, written specifically for cavalry regiments of the Polish Army in the interbellum period. It humorously and ironically presented history of a given regiment, as well as its contemporary fate. Żurawiejkas were also used in cavalry regiments of the Imperial Russian Army, as the tradition of writing them, as well as the very name of the couplet, comes from Russian cavalry, and was taken over by the Poles in the interbellum period. Famous Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov is considered the father of żurawiejka, as he wrote first couplets while serving as a junker in the Russian Army. Żurawiejkas were sung by Polish cavalrymen at several occasions, mostly during different parties, and were usually associated with dancing. Returning topics of most of them are the Polish–Soviet War, drinking, looting, and women. They described a military unit in black humor, using derogatory terms and swear words.
The Battle of Krechowce took place on 24 July 1917, during World War I. Polish uhlans of the Russian Army were ordered to halt Imperial German Army forces advancing on the city of Stanisławów, located in Galicia in Austria-Hungary. The battle between the Polish and German forces took place near the village of Krechowce. The Polish uhlans managed to check the Germans for an entire day, then retreated to Stanisławów.
The First Krechowce Uhlan Regiment was a mounted unit of the Polish Army, active in the Second Polish Republic. Its traditions were continued during World War II, by a regiment of the same name, which was part of Polish Armed Forces in the West. 1st Krechowce Uhlan Regiment was formed in 1915, as a unit of the Imperial Russian Army. It fought in World War I, Polish–Soviet War and the Invasion of Poland, as part of Suwalska Cavalry Brigade. Until 1939, the regiment was stationed in Augustów. It ceased to exist in 1947. First commandant of the regiment was a Tsarist officer of Polish ethnicity, Colonel Bolesław Mościcki, who was killed in 1918 near Luninets. Last commandant was Colonel Leon Strzelecki.
The 9th Lesser Poland Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry regiment of the Polish Army, formed on November 21, 1918. Its first commandant was Rittmeister (Rotmistrz) Józef Dunin-Borkowski. The regiment fought in the Polish–Ukrainian War, Polish–Soviet War and the Invasion of Poland. In the Second Polish Republic, it was garrisoned in the towns of Czortków and Trembowla, and in 1939, it was part of Podolska Cavalry Brigade. The 9th Regiment was named after historic Polish province of Lesser Poland.
The 2nd Grochow Uhlan Regiment of General Jozef Dwernicki was a cavalry regiment of Polish I Corps in Russia, Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic, and the Home Army during Operation Tempest (1944). The regiment was formed in November 1917 in Volhynia, and in 1921–1939, it was garrisoned in Suwałki, in the barracks of former Imperial Russian Army's 2nd Pskov Dragoons Regiment. In the 1939 Invasion of Poland it was part of Suwalska Cavalry Brigade.
4th Niemen Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. It was garrisoned in the city of Wilno, and it celebrated its day on July 9, the anniversary of the 1920 Charge of Hrebionka.
10th Lithuanian Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. From 1922 until 1939, it was garrisoned in Białystok. The regiment was created as part of the so-called Lithuanian and Belarusian Self-Defence. Also, in 1920 - 1922, it belonged to the armed forces of the Republic of Central Lithuania. During the Invasion of Poland, it was part of Podlaska Cavalry Brigade.
14th Jazlowiec Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic, also a unit of Polish Armed Forces in the West and the Home Army. Stationed in the interbellum period in the garrison of Lwów, it was named after the village of Jazlowiec, where on July 11–13, 1919, one of the battles of the Polish-Ukrainian War took place.
17th Greater Poland Uhlan Regiment of King Boleslaw Chrobry was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. Formed in 1919, it was garrisoned in Leszno. The regiment, whose patron was King Boleslaw Chrobry, fought in the Polish–Soviet War and the 1939 Invasion of Poland, as part of Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade.
19th Volhynian Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit and brigade from the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. Formed in 1917, it fought in the Polish–Soviet War and the Invasion of Poland. In the interbellum period, the regiment was garrisoned in Ostrog, Volhynia.
21st Vistula Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. Formed in 1920, it fought both in the Polish–Soviet War and the Invasion of Poland. The regiment was garrisoned in the town of Rowne, Volhynia, and in 1939 belonged to Volhynian Cavalry Brigade.
25th Greater Poland Uhlan Regiment was a Polish cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic. Formed in 1920, it fought both in the Polish–Soviet War and the 1939 Invasion of Poland. In 1924–1939, the regiment was garrisoned in the town of Pruzany, and belonged to Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade.
The 27th King Stefan Batory Uhlan Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army during the Second Polish Republic. Formed in July 1920, it fought in the Polish-Soviet War and the 1939 Invasion of Poland. The regiment was garrisoned first in Wloclawek, to be moved in August 1921 to Nieswiez. In 1939, it was part of the Nowogrodzka Cavalry Brigade. It fought in several battles in September 1939, capitulating to the Red Army near Wladypol, on September 27, 1939.