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Kapitulacja Westerplatte

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Uploaded on Dec 30, 2007

Scena pochodzi z filmu "Westerplatte", z roku 1976, i przedstawia scenę kapitulacji załogi placówki. Mnie szczególnie urzekła scena kiedy Niemiecki dowódca pyta się majora Sucharskiego czy warto było tak długo się bronić, i nie dostaje żadnej odpowiedzi./
At the end of August 1939 the German pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein came to Danzig (Gdańsk) under the pretext of a "courtesy visit" and anchored in the channel near Westerplatte. On September 1, 1939, at 0445 local time, as Germany began its invasion of Poland, Schleswig-Holstein suddenly started to shell the Polish garrison with its 280 mm and 150 mm guns.

This sneak attack was followed by an attack by German naval infantry who were hoping for an easy victory, but soon after crossing the artillery fire-breached brick wall they were ambushed and repelled by the Polish small arms, mortar, and machine gun fire from a concealed and well-positioned firing points (crossfire tactics). Another two assaults that day were repelled as well, with the Germans suffering unexpectedly high losses. The only Polish field gun was put out of the action after firing 28 shells at German positions across the channel (silencing several firing positions and hitting a command post). Defenders also counter-attacked and destroyed a German police guard post using hand grenades, but two Poles were mortally wounded in this action. On the first day, the Polish side lost one man killed and seven wounded (three of which died later, including two captured who died in a German hospital), while the German marines alone lost 17 men killed and 54 seriously wounded out of 225 deployed (company commander was also mortally wounded); in all, 40-50 troops were killed according the German sources.[2] The German losses would have been even greater if not for the order by Sucharski for the mortars to cease fire in order to conserve ammunition after just a few salvos (because of this order only 104 out of 860 grenades were fired when the mortars were destroyed the next day).

Over the following days, the Germans bombarded the peninsula with naval and heavy field artillery, including 210 mm howitzers. A devastating dive-bombing raid by Ju 87 Stukas on September 2 (26.5 tons of bombs in two waves) destroyed the Polish mortars, directly hit one guardhouse with a 500 kg bomb (destroying it completely), killed at least eight soldiers, and shocked Major Sucharski, after which Captain Dąbrowski took over command of Westerplatte. After the Stuka raids, which covered the whole area in an enormous cloud of smoke, the Germans believed that no one could possibly have survived it; however, it later turned out the relatively few Polish soldiers were killed and the defence was not broken. Repeated day-time and night-time attacks by the German naval infantry, Danzig SS and police, and Wehrmacht (including an attempt of a cross-channel desant), were again repelled by the Poles with a considerable German losses, but nowhere close to the scale of the disaster suffered on September 1. A German armoured draisine was also hit and destroyed by a Polish AT gun.In all, approximately 3,400 Germans (including support troops) were tied-up by being engaged in the week-long action against the 182-strong Polish garrison. On September 7, Major Sucharski reclaimed some of his mental stability and decided to quit what he decided was the hopeless fight. Even though many of his officers and soldiers were against the idea, he surrendered the Military Transit Depot on the same day. The Polish defence impressed the German commanders so much that the German commander, General Friedrich Eberhardt (later the military governor of Kiev during the Soviet-German War), allowed Sucharski to retain his ceremonial szabla (Polish sabre) in captivity.

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