A Motorized Reconnaissance Detachment in the Polish Campaign

This was provided by Raúl M (Tigre) from an article written by Wim Brandt in the Militar-Wochenblatt, December 1939 and published in the Foreign Military Digests on June 1940. This account deals with the activities of the SS reconnaissance detachment (Aufklärungsabteilung/SS-VT) in Poland as a part of Panzer-division Kempf.

Mlawa - 1 September 1939

The infantry (SS Reg.Deutschland) of the division (Panzerverband Kempf) on our left crossed the border south of Neidenburg 1 September 1939, in order to advance on the polish position located a few miles to the south near Mlawa (sketch Nº 1). These positions consisted of concrete machine gun nest connected by trenches and protected in front by barbed wire and tank barriers (sketch Nº 2). The Germans had no information concerning the size of the area covered by this defensive system and the nature of its construction.

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About 6 AM the infantry (SS Reg.Deutschland) occupied Bialuty without encountering much resistence and from there it continued its advance toward the south. At 06:40 AM the reconnaissance detachment (SS A.A.) was ordered to move to Bialuty by motor and to reconnoiter the country west of that locality, where in the area west of the Bialuty woods, a German infantry division was attacking southward (ID 61). At 07:05 AM we crossed the polish border at a point southeast of Krokau and shortly thereafter arrived at Bialuty where we established our command post in the church. Near the southwestern exit of Bialuty we came upon a road block consisting in trees and concealed mines, an obstacle which presented but little difficulty, as we were able to pass around it quite easily despite our heavy transportation.

At 08:00 AM three patrols were sent out from the reconnaissance detachment (SS A.A.) with order as follows:
Patrol Nº 1 to reconnoiter the Bialuty - Brodowo highway as far as the western edge of the wood.
Patrol Nº 2 to reconnoiter the road leading through the wood toward the southwest as far as the western edge of the wood.
Patrol Nº 3 to proceed to Ilowo and, while en route, to post a picket at the souhtwestern edge of the wood.

Up to 08:40 AM reports had been coming in that the wood was clear of enemy, whereupon the reconnaissance detachment (SS A.A.) proceeded to the southeast corner of the wood and halted. Here it concealed its vehicles in the wood camouflaging them against observation from the air and established a local outpost to the south.

In the meantime patrol nº 3 contacted some poles that were still facing northward: they occupied a position east of Janowo. They were fired on by our scout cars, an action which facilitated the advance of neighboring friendly troops moving down from the north. This patrol also reported that there were no poles in Sochy and that the adjoining division (ID 61) had reached Ilowo. The entired patrol then returned to the detachment.
Friendly artillery had been concentrating on the polish position since 10:00 AM . The polish artillery responded and some of their fire covered the corner of the wood where the reconnaissance detachment (SS A.A.) was located. With exception of one minor casualty, losses were avoided by hastily entrenching in front of the wood; the transportation as well as the artillery south and west of Bialuty suffered negligible damage and but few casualties. In the interim the infantry (SS Reg. Deutschland) had pushed forward as far as the line of block-houses. The Corps (I AK) had attached the tank regiment of our division (Pz Reg 7) to the division on our left (ID 11). This regiment attacked in the area south of Kuklin as far as the tank barriers.

The division (Panzerverband Kempf) received orders to attack in the afternoon following the artillery preparation. The reconnaissance detachment (SS A.A.) having been ordered to provide security for covering the gap between our division and the one on the right (ID 61), sent out a combat group with instructions to proceed in the direction of Pikielko. Upon reaching Szcepka this group suddenly came under heavy hostile fire, which it returned with some degree of success. However its progress was interrupted when it reached the line of block-houses. The infantry likewise was able to make but little progress during the course of the afternoon. The combat group was withdrawn to some extend during the night which with the exception of friendly harassing artillery fire passed rather quietly. Some poles taking advantage of the darkness deserted to the German lines.

Przasnysz and Ciechanow

Other than exchange of artillery fire, 2 September was uneventful. Twice polish planes flew over the front and were fired upon by our antiaircraft guns. One was brought down at Neidenburg the other turned and flew back behind the hostile lines. During the afternoon we were ordered by the division to break contact with the enemy at dusk. The division was to be shifted to the east, where the adjoining Corps had been able to advance with some degree of success. The relieved was successfully carried out by parts of the two adjoining divisions and the march was resumed on the Bialuty-Wetzhausen-Neidenburg highway. Moving via Kaltenborn-willemberg, the division reached Rodefeld at midnight (Skecht Nº 3).

Following instructions issued by the Ia of the division, three patrols were organized at 07:00 AM. Meanwhile the situation at Chorzele had developed as follows: a friendly division, after penetrating strong hostile resistence, was advancing on Grudusk; another division, pushing forward in the area south of Chorzele, was moving toward the southwest; and a cavalry brigade, coming from the northeast had arrived within twelwe miles of Przasnysz. Nothing was known concerning the disposition of the hostile forces. While the author was engaged in carrying out the details involved in reconnoitering the highway, with the view of facilitating the advance of the mechanized division on Przasnysz, the patrols were employed as follows:

Patrol Nº 1 to reconnoiter the stretch from Chorzele to Grudusk.
Patrol Nº 2 to reconnoiter the road Chorzele-Krzynowloga Mala intersection northwest Mchowo-Borkowo.
Patrol Nº 3 Chorzele-Swiniary-Mchowo-Olszewiec.

Having reached the ouskirts south of Chorzele, the reconnaissance detachment commander came upon the corps staff, where the Ia gave him a brief summary of the situation. At 07:30 AM corps had taken up the pursuit along the entire front and expected to occupy Przasnysz shortly. Further reconnaissance revealed that the Poles had blown up the bridge at Krzynowloga Mala, but a detour had been established. On the road to Mchowo we passed the mutilaties bodies of 24 polish soldiers and their horses, all that was left of a polish antitank platoon which apparently had touched off some polish mines concealed on the road. About 10:00 AM Germantroops passed the point where the road is intersected by the Krzynowloga Mala-Mchowo road; still no report had come in on Mchowo. Patrol nº 3 had experienced considerable difficulty on the sandy road and did not reach Mchowo until some time later. This road was indicated in the polish map as improved.
Meanwhile the division formed three pursuit groups, each group composed of infantry, artillery and tanks. The reconnaissance detachment being attached to the forward group. For the advance on Mchowo and Przasnysz the reconnaissance detachment was reinforced by a platoon each of engineers and infantry heavy weapons. The first mission was to occupy Mchowo and reconnoiter to the south thereof.
Patrol nº 1 reported from Grudusk that it had entered the town and put a polish tank out of action. Immediately taking advantage of the advance of one of our scout car the infantry occupied Grudusk and the patrol was recalled.
At 01:45 PM the reconnaissance detachment continued its advance until it reached the ouskirts of Przasnysz where it encountered a cavalry patrol moving up from the east. After both sides had gone into position and observed each other for a time, we finally recognized these horsemen as a German patrol from the cavalry brigade. Although our vehicles were of tipically German design, the camouflaged helmets worn by our men made identification difficult. The 1st company of the reconnossaince detachment then proceeded to Przasnysz and reported the town unoccupied by enemy troops. About 04:00 PM the reconnossaince detachment and the cavalry brigade entered the town and found that the greater portion of the civilian population had also fled. The Poles had blown up the bridge on the road to Chorzele but the one on the road to the east was still intact. Traffic, however, was blocked considerably by the cavalry watering their horses in the town an operation which delayed the forward elements of the mechanized division in reached the southern exit. The presence of Polish forces, presumably cavalry, temporarily held up the advance of our patrols on the road to Ciechanow.
Reinforced by heavy infantry weapons a rifle company attacked the wood about a mile southwest of Przasnysz; finally a battery of artillery arrived and opened fire forcing the enemy to retire. Polish cavalry retreating in the area south of Przasnysz was also brought under artillery fire.
From the division we learned of their intention to march on Ciechanow. The cavalry brigade had orders to continue advancing westward.
About 06:00 PM the detachment sent out a patrol, followed by the 1st Company, reinforced by an antitank platoon in the direction of Ciechanow; although, repeteadedly fired upon from the northwest, the company continued to drive ahead and by dusk it had reached Ciechanow. Polish troops filled the streets and the enemy occupied the barracks at the edge of the town. Despite this the company dispatched several patrols into the town, where they created a panic with hand grenades and sub machine guns. When the barracks were subjected to the fire of antitank guns and light mortars, the Poles cleared out promptly. By that time it was dark and so the company took up a defensive position at the northeastern exit of Ciechanow.
Meanwhile the main body of the pursuit group had halted at Wola Wierbowska on account of darkness. Nobody knew how far the 1st Company had been able to advance. While local security was being established at Wola Wierbowska Polish artillery opened fire from the northwest. The road became blocked when a direct hit struck an ammunition truck, setting it afire. During a fight with Polish stragglers concealed in a houses on both sides of the street a number of houses went up in flames. At this moment the 1st company radioed that it had reached Ciechanow. But due to the conditions of traffic in the rear and the rifle companies still being engaged at Wola Wierbowska we were unable to send reinforcements forward.
At 11:00 PM the reconnaissance detachment recived orders to proceed to Ciechanow with everthing available. Driving without lights we reached the northeastern limits of the town at midnight. A part of the 2nd Company secured the road to Grudusk; the remainder took up a position in depth along the route of advance.
During the night the Poles attacked from Ciechanow and were repulsed by the 1st Company. About 04:00 AM a Polish column moving from Grudusk was engaged by the security detachment from the 2nd Company and an antitank gun and annihilated. Several machine guns, two heavy infantry mortars, two antitank guns and a large number of horse-drawn vehicles were captured, and fifty prisoners were taken. There was no records of our own casualties.
During the morning, 3 September, the reconnaissance detachment completed the occupation of Ciechanow without encountering further resistence. Several patrols were sent out to the northwest, west and south, later they brought a number of Polish prisoners and a scout car and reported that large Polish forces were withdrawing to the west. Suddenly a hostile armored train approached Ciechanow from the south a captured a German sentry. When it was fired on by an antitank gun it withdrew. To prevent further surprises of that nature, the reconnaissance detachment from then on blew up every strecht of railroad track.
Shortly afternoon the pursuit group received orders to proceed eastward via Prasznysz. Mean while the Poles had vacated Mlawa and retired toward southwest. The German East Prussian Army was regrouped for an attack against the Narew. Having recalled all patrols by radio and loaded all booty of value, the reconnaissance detachment departed at 06:00 PM for Przasnysz, where it spent the night.

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Rozan

The reconnaissance detachment was the last unit to leave Ciechanow whence it followed the division to drazdzewo. On the march having received orders to reconnoiter the flanks of the division, it dispatched the following reconnaissance patrols:

Patrol No. 1: via Zamosc to Makow.
Patrol No. 2: via Sielun to Nozewo.
Patrol No. 3: via Zamosc to Nowa Wies.
Patrol No. 4: via Krasnosielc to Ruciesk.
Patrol No. 5: via Gaczyska to Baranowo.

Patrol No. 1 received instructions togain contact with friendly troops believed to be located in Makow, to reconnoiter the condition of the roads, and then to rejoin the detachment.
The other patrols were ordered to remain at their objectives until further orders.

The rest of the reconnaissance detachment moved from Drazdzewo to Zamosc, arriving at Krasnosielc about 11:00 AM, 3 September, where a destroyed bridge had held up the advance of the division the evening before. Meanwhile the engineers had built an emergency bridge, the approaches of which led across marshy meadows; this bridge presented further difficulty by restricting traffic to one direction. Upon caching Zamosc the reconnaissance detachment received orders to cross the Narew at Sielun, to drive ahead along the east bank of the river and prevent the Poles from destroying the bridge at Rozan. At the same time an attack was strike the weak Polish forces at Rozan (Sketch No. 4).

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At 1:00 PM our advance party reached Sielun, where it found the opposite bank of the Narew unoccupied by the enemy. Heavy firing could be heard in the direction of Rozan. The German attack there met with stubborn resistance and it was not until two days later that Rozan fell into our hands.
At Sielun the 2d Motorcycle Company prepared for the river crossing and the heavy machine-gun platoon of the 1st Motorcycle company was designated to cover the crossing. Engineer arrived shortly with collapsible rubber boat and experienced no djfficulty in unloading their equipment at the river bank. The 1st Company (less the five patrols) was sent to reinforce patrol No. 2, when the latter reported the presence of hostile forces at Ostrolenka. Meanwhile the reconnaissance had developed as follows:

Patrol No. 1, on the road to Makow, met a patrol from a friendly infantry division. Halfway to Makow it came upon a Polish tank, opened fire and forced it to withdraw. German troops were reported occupying Makow.
At Nozewo Patrol No. 2 drew some machine-gun fire, as well as mortar and machine-gun fire from the east bank of the Narew. In order to cover the flank of the division against Ostrolenka, the remainder of the 1st Company was sent to Nozewo as reinforcement for Patrol No. 2. Later these elements were relieved by a battalion of infantry.
Patrol No. 3 blew up the railroad tracks at Nowa Wies. When a Polish armored locomotive rolled up from the direction of Ostrolenka, this patrol opened fire with its antitank gun and forced the locomotive to withdraw.
Patrol No. 4 reached Ruciesk without encountering opposition and blew up the railroad tracks there.
Patrol No. 5 found itself opposed by hostile cavalry patrols at Baranowo. In the evening this cavalry and a mob of armed civilians surrounded the patrol and attacked it. However, by employing its light mortar and throwing hand grenades, the German patrol managed to withdraw.

At 1:45 PM the 2d Company (less motorcycles) crossed the Narew and made some progress. After it had covered about a mile, the company came upon a long line of Polish positions at, and south of Chelstic. As the Polish population was participating in the fighting, the Germans set the town afire. At Sielun Polish cavalry was observed approaching Chelstic from the northeast. Our own artillery in position west of Sielun was notified in time to open tire on this cavalry.
Disappointed at the size of the hostile resistance at Rozan, division ordered the 2d Company withdraw to the river at dusk and to cross the west bank under cover of darkness.
The reconnaissance detachment was now placed in reserve at Slawkowo. The difficulty of driving at night without lights was aggravated by the necessity of being required to wear gas masks when a warning was issued at Sielun. Still, the five-mile trip, requiring a full hour, was completed without any noteworthy mishap. At Slawkowo, following a two days rest, the detachment, on 6 September, experienced its first and only bombing raid by a Polish plane. The bombs missed the town by several hundred yards.

After the capture of Rozan the division was divided into several combat groups, with orders to advance on the Polish forces at Ostrolenka and Lomza from the south.
Other forces were directed against the Bug. Although the bridge at Rozan was speedily repaired, it was only wide enough to accomodate traffic in one direction.
The first group of the division crossed to the east bank and continued the march in a northeasterly direction. The reconnaissance detachment was attached to Group “K,” the second group that crossed the bridge. At 3:00 PM we motored out of Slawkowo and at Sielun were joined by the main body of the second group. The movement continued via Ponikiew Mala—Goworowo. The road from Rozan to Ponikiew Mala was littered with tbe remains of a polish column that had been annihilated in a German air raid. The 1st Motorcycle Company took over the security of Goworowo; the remainder of the reconnaissance detachment continued in the direction of Suchcice. Shortly before dark a German reconnaissance plane dropped a message stating that strong hostile cavalry was still occupying the wouds northeast of Rozan. Immediate reconnaissance in that direction, however, wae prevented by the Orz, a stream running parallel to the road. Polish stragglers roamed about tbe country.

The population was in arms. During the disturbance a section of Goworowo and several farm buildings were in flames.
At Suchcice we came upon the reconnaissance detachment of another division: it had marched over the same route and was facing a weak hostile force, Here we slept for a few hours in a ditch beside the road.
The following day the other reconnaissance detachment moved on via Dzwonek. Our detachment sent a motorcycle patrol across the railroad bridge to patrol a few miles to the north, where they failed to locate any enemy present.
In the meantime the 1st Company had returned, and at noon the reconnaissance detachment was attached to Group ‘St.” which was marching on Lomza via Laski —Sokolowo. A major delay was encountered in crossing the Orz at Sokolowo, where the Poles had destroyed the bridge across the stream. Ahout 5 :00 PM we reached Nadbory, where we made a brief halt in the wood southwest of the town.

About this time Group “St.” clashed with some Polish cavalvy in the area north of Nadbory. The concentrated fire of four German batteries forced the cavalry to withdraw to the northeast. The rifle companies of the combat group occupied the high ground north of the Ruz without encountering any resistance. During the night division issued orders to be ready to move to Ostrow Mazowiecka on 10 September. Meanwhile, a German division had crossed the Bug at Brok and was gaining ground to the south. Our division was to be shifted to that locality.

During the previous evening, the reconnaissance detachment, on orders of the Group “St.” had placed its 1st Motorcycle Company along the Ostrow Mazowiecka-Lomza road to cover the right flank. A platoon of the 2d Company was stationed as a security detachment at Ciagaczki. The rest of the reconnaissance detachment was placed in reserve in the area southwest of Nadbory. The left flank of the combat group was secured by another motorcycle company at Piski. South and southwest of Nadbory the batteries, were in position. A tank company (most of its tanks in need of repair and lacking adequate ammunition) stood near the group command post north of Nadbory.

Actions at Nadbory - Brok

The hour of departure having been set by division at 5:30 .AM, the rifle companies left their positions about 4 :00 AM and marched to their trucks; the artillery limbered up a short time later. The last of the riflemen had scarcely, crossed the stream, when machine-gun and rifle fire broke loose from the north and strong Polish forces could be seen, advancing along the Lomza-Ostrow Mazowiecka highway and through the area west of the road. Soon Polish artillery joined the fire, its shells falling first on the road bridge and then on Nadbory itself. Our 1st Company, deployed along the road, was threatened in the rear and had to be withdrawn beyond the stream.

Meanwhile the combat group with its artillery and one half the infantry had started marching off in the direction of Ostrow Mazowiecka, leaving only two companies of infantry and a half battery of artillery available to go into position at Nadbory. Running out of ammunition, the tanks had to go out of action. Several staff cars of the combat group including a radio car, had to be abandoned.
The Polish forces estimated as one cavalry brigade, succeeded in crossing the stream and forcing the Germans to abandon Nadbory. While the reconnaissance detachment covered the withdrawal, the other forces still available were withdrawn behind the Orz sector to the southwest. Fortunately, the ford at Sokolowo had been improved and no delays occurred.

While the 2nd Company took up a defensive position, the 1st Company fought a delaying action and fell back gradually. The latter was then ordered to move immediately to Rogowo via Laski and there to block the hostile advance on the main road. The 2d Company received heavy enfilade fire from the east, while the Poles launched a frontal attack supported by artillery, forcing the company to retire to Ksiezopole. After the rifle units of the combat group had taken up a position behind the Orz, the 2d Company was moved back to Laski, boken up into several groups, and placed into the line again in the area between Gniazdowo-Sokolow.
During this withdrawal, the antitank platoon remained with the rear guard and poured their armor piercing shells into the ranks of the Polish cavalry and infantry. Meanwhile the platoon of scout cars made repeated forays along the road and were the last elements to break contact with the enemy. The reconnaissance detachment lost only one dead; the missing reported to their companies during the course of the afternoon.

The 1st Company, having arrived at Rogowo, repulsed the hostile patrols operating in that vicinity. Scout cars operating toward the east beyond Stary revealed the movement of strong Polish forces from Nadbory in the direction of Glebocz. The enemy was withdrawing.
While the reconnaissance detachment continued to furnish security along the Orz until 6:00 PM, the remainder of the combat group marched off to the south. When the former departed for Ostrow Mazowiecka, it ran into lively machine-gun and mortar fire shortly before reaching that locality. Friendly infantry had mistaken it for Polish troops. The error was soon rectified, however, and resulted in no loss of life. When we reached the town we found it jammed with troops. Civilians running about trying to get into their home before dark, added to the confusion.
After we had parked on a side street and eaten a meal, we resumed the march in complete darkness, heading for Brok. The endless trains of an infantry division were moving in the same direction. Shortly before reaching Brok, traffic became so jammed that all movement stopped. The reconnaissance detachment spent the remainder of the night sleeping in a ditch beside the road.

Siedlce

On 11 September 1939 the situation northeast of Warsaw was as follows: Germans Forces were advancing from the north against Modlin and Warsazw. A bridgehead, nine miles deep, had been established south of Brok, on its southern front stood the advanced elements of the East Prussian Mechanized Division. Other German forces were marching north of the Bug toward the east, and motorized units were being employed against Bialystock from the north. While one reconnaissance detachment and group “K’ advanced on Wegrow and other parts of the division struggled through the sand at Lipski, the S.S reconnaissance detachment crossed a pontoon bridge at Brok and continued to advance toward Ziehieniec. The progress along the highway was continuously interrupted by traffic congestion, the shattered remains of Polish columns and the resistance offered hy the hostile artillery. At 2:00 PM we reached Wegrow, through which the leading elements of the division had already passed on their way to Kaluszyn (Sketch No. 5).

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At 1:30 PM we were ordered to Sokolow, where a number of prisoners were taken. When at 6:00 PM we left for Siedlce, We had to leave a patrol at Sokolow to guard the place and the prisoners. Siedlce had been almost entirely destroyed by fire. German fliers had completely destroyed the railway and traffic was impossible. Every stretch was blocked by trains, many of which were loaded with a vast amount of booty. The main highways out of Siedlce leading toward the south, southeast and east were reconnoitered by motorcycle patrols. Scout cars were sent toward the northeast and west. The rest of the reconnaissance detachment provided security toward the east and northeast.

On 12 September the main body of the division advanced via Seroczyn—Stozcek toward the Warsaw-Lublin highway, which was reached on the 13th by the advance Guard.
The roads leading toward the southeast, east and northeast were found by the patrols to be interrupted by road blocks and destroyed bridges. No organized hostile forces were found west of Siedlce, but everywhere our patrols found large numbers of stragglers. One patrol of twelve motorcyclists brought in 300 stragglers.

During the late afternoon, Group “K” arrived at Siedlce and continued on toward the southwest. In the evening, upon the arrival of a friendly division, the reconnaissance detachment followed its own division.

Seroczyn

The Headquarters Company and the 1st Company spent the night in Seroczyn, the 2d Company in Lomnica.
Group “K” occupied both places and the road between. At Seroczyn weak Polish forces bad been driven toward the northwest. The division Engineer Battalion, reinforced by an antitank company, provided protection toward the west. The 1st Company occupied the center of the town, while the Headquarters Company took over the school.
(Sketch No. 6.).

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About 4:00 AM on the 13th firing began, The Poles were attacking the school, assisted by two heavy machine guns in position about 150 yards from the building. This first attack was repulsed, the battery and a rifle company from Group “K” taking part in the defense. The Poles broke through the security detachments, but the engineers succeeded in holding the main part of the position. The 1st Motorcycle Company took up a position on the eastern edge of the town in preparation for a counterattack. After the hostile attack had been repulsed, the battery and the rifle company of Group “K” resumed their march toward the south.

The Poles soon began to attack again and succeeded in penetrating the western part of the town and occupying the Jewish cemetery opposite the school. Some penetrated the wood north of Seroczyn and brought the school under flanking fire. Then came a bombardment by heavy infantry mortars and 37-mm guns. Our casualties began to increase and we were forced to abandon the windows and carry on the defense in the garden and from behind the hedges. As our fire improved the Polish advance stopped but still the school was surrounded on three sides. At this point the 1st Company and the engineers began their counterattack.


The Poles north of the school were thrown back across the road and those in the Jewish cemetery suffered heavily when our mortars came into action. When the western part of the town was set on fire by tracer ammunition, the Poles were forced to abandon it. After a time troops on motorcycles and engineers reached the former positions west of the town and the Poles were mopped up by machine-gun fire as they retreated along the road toward Borki.


The Poles now proceeded to bombard the town with artillery. At Lomnica, which was also suffering from the effects of hostile fire, the enemy was met with such heavy machine-gun fire that he failed to attack. The scout cars established liaison with the 2d Company and, as they proceeded along the highway toward Siedlce they came upon the enemy (estimated one infantry regiment) with its heavy weapons in position on both sides of the road. The Poles had broken through at Wodynie and Olesnica, an operation in which the rear echelon of the division suffered heavy casualties. The division was now isolated. On the 14th it received gasoline by airplane and by the 15th it had restored contact with Siedlce.
Meanwhile a tank company arrived in Seroczyn from the southeast and mopped up the woods in the vicinity of Lomnica. In the afternoon it moved against Borki and annihilated the Poles located in the potato fields, but lost two tanks just outside of Borki.

The German losses amounted to about 40 dead and 120 wounded, of which 11 and 40 respectively belonged to the reconnaissance detachment. The Poles lost about 300 killed.
Neither side took any prisoners. Our detachment captured 12 machine guns and several light mortars.

During the night the reconnaissance detachment and the engineer battalion provided for an all-round defense of Seroczyn. On the following day contact was established with parts of an East Prussian infantry division north-east of Seroczyn, but this was soon cut by fresh Polish forces from Siedlce. During the evening of the 14th the reconnaissance detachment was relieved by an infantry battalion but remained for the night in Seroczyn.

On the 15th the 2d Company and the scout car platoon were sent to Siedlce for supplies. On the same date about 10,000 Poles and 30 pieces of artillery arrived in the locality.
At 5:00 AM the rest of the detachment moved to Nova-Kasielsk via Stocek, where security had been provided toward the east and west. At noon the 2d Company arrived with the division baggage and shortly thereafter we were ordered to Sobolew with Group “L.” . Meanwhile Group “St” had blocked the Warsaw—Lublin highway; Group ‘K” was to move to the Vistula southwest of Lascarzew, while Group “L” was to close the gap between the two groups.

When we arrived at Sobolow at 10:00 PM we found that Group “K” was still there, After passing the night in a small wood, we set out on the following morning sending motorcycle patrols and scout cars to the north and the south, while Group “K” advanced in the direction of the Vistula. Stragglers from the Polish Army were every-where. Slight resistance was encountered here and there, but eventually this fell away and the number of prisoners taken began to increase.

During the evening of 16 September the division was ordered to move into the area north of Modlin on the 17th, moving via Siedlce-Rozan. After a very strenuons march of almost 200 miles, the reconnaissance detachment arrived at Pultusk during the night where, in spite of the rain, our dead-tired troops slept in the open. The division was being reassembled for the siege of Modlin. The first motorized war of movement in the history of the world had reached its conclusion.

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