Soldiers of Poland second to none
Wrath of the Wehrmacht brought to a halt....
Battle of Wizna (Polish Thermopylae)
On September 2 Captain Władysław Raginis was named the commander of the Wizna area.
His forces numbered approximately 700 soldiers and NCOs and 20 officers armed with 6 pieces of artillery (76mm), 24 HMGs, 18 machine guns and two Kb ppanc wz.35 anti-tank carbines.
On September 8 general Heinz Guderian, commander of the XIX Panzer Corps, was ordered to advance through Wizna towards Brześć. By early morning of September 9 his units reached the Wizna area and were joined with 10th Panzer Division and "Lötzen" Brigade already present in the area. His forces numbered some 1 200 officers and 41 000 soldiers and NCOs, equipped with over 350 tanks, 108 howitzers, 58 pieces of artillery, 195 anti-tank guns, 108 mortars, 188 grenade launchers, 288 heavy machine guns and 689 machine guns. Altogether, his forces were some 60 times stronger than the Polish defenders.
720 Polish guys with 6 cannons for 3 days stopped German offensive of 42 000 soldiers, 350 tanks, 660 cannons and air support ..
It is alleged that Heinz Guderian, in an attempt to end the Polish resistance, threatened the Polish commander that he would shoot the POWs if the remaining forces did not surrender.
Exact Polish losses are unknown, mostly because very little is known of the soldiers that were taken POW by the Germans. It is estimated that most of Polish soldiers were killed in action, with some 40 successfully withdrawing and additional 40 taken POW. Those numbers however are not certain.
German losses are not known either. In his diaries general Heinz Guderian understated the number of German soldiers killed in action. It is certain, however, that the Wehrmacht lost at least 10 tanks and several other AFVs in the struggle.
Battle of Wizna is the theme of one of the Sabaton songs on "The Art of War" album, entitled "40:1", for an estimated ratio of forces on both sides of battle (in fact, with 42200 Germans and 720 Poles, it is 59:1).