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Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Piece of Polish History: The Polish Thermopylae

Dearest hearts,

Today I'm going to share with you a little piece of Polish history related to the Second World War and this month. #DidYouKnow that Polish history had it's very own Polish Thermopylae, called The Battle of Wizna. The Battle of Wizna was fought between 6th and 10th of September 1939, between the Polish forces and the Germans during the initial stages of taking over Poland. It is connected to the Thermopylae battle where 300 Spartans bravely stood up against the entire Persian army.
Lessen Moczulski, Polish historian, claims that a group of Polish people between 350 and 720 managed to defend a fortified line from the German troops - about 40.000 of them! Wladyslaw Raginis, captain, is the hero of the Battle and the commanding officer of the Polish troops. He made an oath to hold position and fight against the Germans for as long as he would live. The Polish forces fought bravely for 3 days without any rest, without any sleep. Captain Raginis, started to see that they would loose the Battle so he asked his troops to surrender and he committed suicide by throwing himself of a grenade, fulfilling his oath.
Here are the statistics:
Polish forces:
720 men (20 officers)
Six 76 mm guns
42 MGs – machine guns
2 URs – antitank rifles
German forces:
42,200 men
350 tanks
657 mortars, guns and grenade launchers
Aircraft support
The Poles were outmanned 60:1! The exact Polish losses are unknown, due to the fact that very little is known about the POW (Prisoners of War) taken by the Germans. German losses are also not known. In his diary, Heinz Guderian understated the number of German soldiers killed in actions. It is known though that at least 10 tanks and several other AFVs were destroyed in the struggle. Polish people are very proud of their history and even if the Battle was won by the Germans it is still seen as a victory in spirit. Few people would show such bravery as the ones that stood 60:1!

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Polish History