- May 5, 2007
Winner said:Not really. Polish military was too old-fashioned to deal with blitzkrieg tactics. The Germans just exploited the doctrinal weakness of their enemies and defeated them with numerically inferior force.
I hope it won't happen in this AAR too
Actually it is not correct.
The only clash which seen moderate numerical advantage on Polish side was at Lvov against the 1st Mountain Division which appeared rather quickly marching from eastern Slovakia and managed to block the path before the southern group of Army Kraków.
The only battle lost mostly because of a number of mistakes with relatively similar chances of success happened at Piotrków Trybunalski - the relatively ready northern group of reserve Army Prusy was mostly defeated by the XVIth Panzer Corps and that could be avoided with better use of existiing forces.
The entire rest seen serious numerical advantage on German side.
Let's not forget that most of the army kept its integrity for a long time, despite tiresome night marching and the usual enemy pressure.
Cavalry especially fought very well - the avarage survival time for a regiment of cavalry was 21 days.
Combat performance was also comparable, but only Poles seen enemy forces enjoying numerical advantage as well as greater mobility.
Suprisingly German recon was poor (its mistakes were costly) and they clearly lacked much when it comes to certain cases of greater pressure from the Polish side (Kałuszyn, Mszczów, earlier parts of battles at Bzura and Tomaszów Lubelski) especially during the night fighting, but all in all they could afford it all enjoying almost all advantages anyone could enjoy.
To quote the Duke: "Better die on your feet than live on your knees."
Only sometimes it is a good idea. Besides I didn't see Poland make such decision anytime during the 2nd WW - armies fought untill it made sense, untill there were supplies and possibility to achieve something etc.
Even if the last priority was to escape through Romania or Hungary, or Latvia or Lithuania it was taken the moment it became obvious there is no chance to win i.e. after the Soviet attack.
Ironically a day before a bottle of champagne was opened in the HQ of the Polish Army because there were some promising prospects to achieve a notable and important victory in the south i.e. destruction of German XXIInd Panzer Corps and establishemnt of a new line of defence.
Unlike some people think the famous battle at Bzura didn't end the campaign. Even Warsaw had no crucial value anymore at that time.
So what you are saying is not too useful here. The usual Polish proverb is to fight another day if you lose in the beginning - no wonder the last battle of the campaig ws actually fought to reach Kielce area - where Swiętokrzyskie Mountains allowed organised guerilla activity which already started some 3 weeks earlier.
Gen. Kleeberg was going to survive to kill, not to be killed with no results.
There are only some, rare cases where Polish units frought to the death - at Węgierka Górka and Wizna, some units at Mława against Germans and at Sarny against the Soviets - each time fortification crews which are always a bit suicidal.
Asking smaller nations to acept that is quite silly. Besides the Czechs already know well what can happen - tested and felt in 1618-22.
Some can afford losses, some cannot because there is noone else left to carry on after it is all over.
So much with this awfully long off-topic. My apologies.