Operation Battle of Wola Cyrusowa

The 'Battle of Wola Cyrusowa' was fought between German and Polish forces near the village of Wola Cyrusowa in the area of Stryków during Germany’s 'Weiss' (i) invasion of Poland (8 September 1939).

The battle pitted Generalleutnant Conrad von Cochenhausen’s 10th Division against elements of the forces of the Polish Operational Group 'Piotrków' under Generał brygady Wiktor Thommée, and in a series of successive delaying actions, the Polish forces managed to regroup and withdraw to the east while at the same time inflicting heavy losses on the opposing formation. Even so, the Polish tactical success was only a temporary setback for the German invasion of Poland.

As a result of the strategic errors made by Generał dywizji Juliusz Rómmel, commander of the Armia 'Łódź', surviving Polish formations and units were left to form a defensive position against the German assault toward Warsaw, but were in an operationally poor situation too close to the German border. Because of that, the Operational Group 'Piotrków', together with the rest of the army’s elements, came into contact with the German forces right at the start of 'Weiss' (i) on 1 September and lost the chance to provide successful support for the Armia 'Kraków' and Armia 'Poznań' attempting to hold the areas on each side of the Armia 'Łódź'. The German superiority in mobile and air forces also meant that the Polish forces found it difficult to break contact with the Germans and regain any element of strategic initiative.

The chaos in the Polish ranks became greater as the rapid pace of the German advance made itself felt and as Rómmel and his staff lost contact with their army under unexplained circumstances and made for Warsaw. Command was taken over by Thommée.

To facilitate the regrouping of the dispersed forces of the Armia 'Łódź', Thommée ordered all the army’s formations and units to move to the forests in the area of the towns of Stryków and Głowno. The Polish forces included the Cavalry Brigade 'Wołyńska' and the the remnants of the badly-damaged 21st Vistula Uhlan Regiment, the 2nd Legions Division and the 28th and 30th Divisions.

The opposing forces were two infantry divisions of General Johannes Blaskowitz’s 8th Army in Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt’s Heeresgruppe 'Süd'. These were Generalleutnant Conrad von Cochenhausen’s 10th Division and Generalleutnant Friedrich Olbricht’s 24th Division, together with a number of smaller units of both General Wilhelm Ulix’s X Corps and General Walter Schroth’s XII Corps.

The first Polish units to reach the area were the Cavalry Brigade 'Wołyńska' and the 30th Division, which were ordered to secure the area in order to allow the other Polish formations and nits to join the core of the army. However, as a result of chaotic command during the first days of the war, all the divisions were dispersed and most regiments therefore operated independently. In the course of the withdrawal it emerged that the 36th Regiment of the 28th Division was separated from the main forces and had to break through German lines in order to regain the main forces. The same issue applied to the 30th Regiment of the 10th Division, which formed a defensive line in the village of Boginia and did not receive the order to withdraw.