7th Infantry Division (Poland)

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Soldiers of the 7th Division of the Home Army during the Operation Tempest.

The 7th Infantry Division (Polish: 7. Dywizja Piechoty, 7 DP) was the name of several units of the Polish Army.

The original division was formed in 1918 and took part in shielding the Polish borders during the Polish-Ukrainian War. During the Polish-Bolshevik War it was commanded by Col. Szubert and reinforced to three brigades (13th Bde under Herman, 14th Bde under Pogórzelski and 7th Artillery Bde under Luberadzki). It took part in the Battle of the Niemen as part of the Polish 3rd Army. After the war the division was dispersed in several barracks in western Poland, among them in Częstochowa, Piotrków Trybunalski, Lubliniec and Łódź. Mobilized prior to the outbreak of World War II, it took fought in the Invasion of Poland during 1939 as part of the Kraków Army's northern wing. Dislocated on the main axis of the German panzer assault, the division was surrounded on 3 September and almost destroyed the following day in the area of Potok Złoty, in a battle with three German panzer divisions. Only several battalions managed to escape from the pocket and continued their fight separately, as part of other divisions.

After the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of 1941, in February of the following year the 7th Division was recreated in the Soviet Union as part of the Anders Army/Polish Armed Forces in the East. Withdrawn to Persia, it was disbanded and its units were attached to the 6th Division.

During the Operation Tempest, the division was recreated by the Radom-Kielce inspectorate of Armia Krajowa. Composed of two regiments (27th and 74th), it took part in heavy fights against the Germans. After central Poland had been taken over by the Soviet Army, the majority of its soldiers returned to the underground, risking arrest by the omnipotent NKVD.

At the same time one of the units of the Polish People's Army formed under guidance of the Soviet Union received the same number (see pl:7 Łużycka Dywizja Piechoty). Formed north of Lublin, it was formed of three infantry regiments and one artillery regiment. Insufficiently equipped and trained, the unit was attached to the Second Army and dispatched to the front near Rothernburg, where it stormed the Lusatian Neisse river with heavy casualties. After several days of heavy fighting on a bridgehead to the west of the river, the division was levied and withdrawn to the rear.

After the war ended, the PPA 7th Infantry Division, under the control of the Second Army, was assigned to protect the Mużakowa - Kopaczów section of the western border. The divisional headquarters was stationed at Lubań, with regimental staff at Mirsk (33rd Infantry Regiment), Zgorzelec (35th Infantry Regiment), Bogatynia (37th Infantry Regiment), and Jędrzychowice (38th Artillery Regiment). Since 1947, the sub-units became a part of Operational Group Wisła.

Before being transferred from OW IV to OW V, in 1949 the division was stationed as follows:

In accordance with Ordinance No. 0026/Org. of the Minister of National Defence, on 4 September 1956, the 7 Łużycka Infantry Division was reorganized as the 2nd Warsaw Mechanized Division. The division headquarters was at Nysa.

Bibliography for 1919-39 7th Infantry Division[edit]

  • Piotr Zarzycki, Plan mobilizacyjny „W”. Wykaz oddziałów mobilizowanych na wypadek wojny, Pruszków 1995, ISBN 83-85621-87-3.
  • Tadeusz Jurga: Wojsko Polskie : krótki informator historyczny o Wojsku Polskim w latach II wojny światowej. 7, Regularne jednostki Wojska Polskiego w 1939 : organizacja, działania bojowe, uzbrojenie, metryki związków operacyjnych, dywizji i brygad. Warszawa : Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej 1975.
  • Wyszczelski, Lech (2006), Wojsko Polskie w latach 1918-1921, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Neriton, ISBN 83-89729-56-3 
  • Jagiełło, Zdzisław (2007), Piechota Wojska Polskiego 1918-1939, Warszawa: Bellona, ISBN 978-83-11-10206-4 
  • "Almanach oficerski": praca zbiorowa, Wojskowy Instytut Naukowo-Wydawniczy, Warszawa 1923
  • "Księga chwały piechoty": komitet redakcyjny pod przewodnictwem płk. dypl. Bolesława Prugara Ketlinga, Departament Piechoty MSWojsk, Warszawa 1937-1939. Reprint: Wydawnictwo Bellona Warszawa 1992