Battle of Păuliş
|Battle of Păuliș|
|Part of Battle of Romania, World War II|
|Commanders and leaders|
4 infantry battalions
1 heavy artillery battalion
1 Soviet infantry battalion
|1st Armored Division
6th Reserve Infantry Division
|1,800 men||20,000 men|
|Casualties and losses|
|377 men||1,287 men, 23 tanks|
The Battle of Păuliș took place in September 1944 in Arad County, western Romania as part of the wider Battle of Romania of World War II. It was fought between Hungarian and Romanian troops, after the Romanian royal coup which put Romania on the Allied side.
Advancing on the northern bank of the Mureș River, on the direction Sâmbăteni-Miniș, concomitantly with an enveloping maneuver of the righ flank of the Romanian troops, the Hungarian 1st Armored and 6th Reserve Infantry Divisions made contact with the "Păuliş" Detachment west of the village of Păuliș (Ópálos), on 14 September. The "Păuliș" Detachment included three battalions of cadets from the Reserve Infantry NCOs School of Radna, present-day Lipova (Lippa), Romania.
The first assault of the Hungarian troops, carried out with two infantry battalions supported by tanks, was repulsed by the 2nd and 6th Companies of cadets, with heavy losses for the Hungarians. Five more attacks were subsequently carried out against the Romanian defenders, but by nightfall the Romanian units were holding their positions firmly. The Hungarians lost 18 tanks and 3 armored vehicles.
The following day the Hungarians concentrated the attack on the 1st Battalion from the 96th Infantry Regiment, at Hill 471. After a strong artillery preparation the Hungarians forced the Romanian troops to fall back on successive lines of defense, being stopped in the Cladova Valley only after they seized the villages of Cuvin and Ghioroc. On the morning of 16 September, a surprise Romanian counterattack, without artillery preparation, carried out by the 5th Company of cadets, managed to destroy a large part of the Hungarian forces which broke through the defense perimeter the previous day.
The climax of battle was reached on 17 September, when the Hungarian command committed all the available forces in the attack. After a 45-minute artillery preparation, the Hungarians managed to breach south-east of Miniș, where they clashed with the 3rd Company of cadets, on defense at Hill 365. The attempt of driving away the Romanian unit failed. During the afternoon, a Soviet battalion from the 32nd Motorized Infantry Regiment (53rd Soviet Army) arrived in the area. A joint Romanian-Soviet counterattack north of Ghioroc forced the Hungarian troops to retreat toward Cuvin. The following day, the entire "Păuliș" Detachment attacked the Hungarian lines, and by the evening of 19 September the initial disposition was restored.