5th Infantry Division (Poland)

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Not to be confused with 5th Kresowa Infantry Division (Poland).

5th Lwów Infantry Division (Polish: 5 Lwowska Dywizja Piechoty) was a unit of the Polish Army in the interbellum period, with headquarters stationed in Lwów. It was created on May 20, 1919, during the Polish-Ukrainian War in Eastern Galicia.[1] Originally, it consisted of three infantry regiments, but later it was strengthened with additional two. During Polish September Campaign it was commanded by General Juliusz Zulauf. The Division consisted of these regiments:

  • 19th Infantry Regiment, stationed in Lwów and Brzeżany
  • 26th Infantry Regiment, stationed in Grodek Jagiellonski
  • 38th Lwów Rifles Infantry Regiment, stationed in Przemyśl
  • 39th Lwów Rifles Infantry Regiment, stationed in Jarosław
  • 40th Children of Lwów Infantry Regiment, stationed in Lwów

Polish September Campaign[edit]

The division, without the 19th Infantry Regiment (which had been transferred to the Pomorze Army), was in early September 1939 transported to the area of the fortress of Modlin. This part of Poland was regarded as crucial in Polish defensive plans, because of the Wehrmacht's advance towards Warsaw from Eastern Prussia. The Division was ordered to hold such locations as Zegrze, suburbs of Modlin and the line of the Narew river.

First contact with the enemy took place in the night of September 11–12, when the Germans began crossing the Narew between Zegrze and Serock. Polish troops were trying to halt the Wehrmacht, but without success. On September 13, the enemy crossed the Narew near the village of Debe and quickly advanced towards Warsaw. Soon afterwards, the Division was destroyed and its remnants withdrew to the Polish capital.

Operation Tempest[edit]

In the first half of 1944 the 5th I.D. was recreated as the 5th "Children of Lwów" Infantry Division of the Home Army. Commanded by Colonel Stefan Czerwinski, it took part in the Operation Tempest in the area of Lwów. Together with the 14th Uhlan Regiment of the Home Army, the Division (numbered at around 3000) engaged in street fighting in Lwów (July 23–26, 1944).

5th Infantry Division in Polish People's Army[edit]

5th Division movements on the Eastern Front in 1944-1945

Formed on the Eastern Front as part of the Soviet-controlled Polish People's Army, the 5th Infantry Division trained for combat near Łuków in the second half of 1944. It was to be part of the Second Army formed on the liberated territories of Poland. In January 1945 it was ordered to move gradually towards the front and to continue training. It entered combat in the last month of the war, on April 16, 1945, as part of the southern wing of the Battle of Berlin, and subsequently fought in the Battle of Bautzen. In the final days of the war it took part in the Prague Offensive. Soon after the war, it received the honorific name "Saska" (Saxonian).

The division continued to serve in postwar Poland until it was disbanded in 1957. Its name "Saxonian" was given to the 5th Armoured Division which continued its traditions.


  1. ^ Dziennik Rozkazów Wojskowych Nr 41 z 12.04.1919 r.

See also[edit]