In September of 1942, in the Powiat of Pinczow (north-western part of Malopolska, to the north of Cracow) was formed the first GL full-time field partisan detachment in the Pinczow-Miechow area (and the first one by any resistance organization in the area). It was made up of 18 (or 19) partisans. The detachment was organized by Franciszek Kucybala ("Stary Franek", "Bolek"), a member of the command of the GL's Podokreg (Sub-district) of Miechow since July, and Zygmunt Sliwa; however, the commander of the detachment became a certain "Jozek" (real name unknown) and thence the detachment's name.
F. Kucybala, in the presence of Roman Sliwa ("Karol Weber") who at that time was the commander of the GL's Obwod (Region) IV Krakowski since July, handed-over to the detachment nine weapons (in addition to probably some other equipment, food provisions, and even possibly footwear and/or clothing), that were probably collected among the local GL members (who in turn acquired them by a wide variety of means - preserved "September" weapons, capturing or stealing from the Axis, possibly even by some domestic weapons manufacturing of their own), and ordered it to establish a base of the partisan operations against the Germans in the Lasy Mieleckie forest complex, around 100 kilometers to the east. This not only entailed a lengthy journey on foot to an unknown territory, but also required the not entirely easy crossing of the Vistula River. The possible motivation for that order was the desire to spread partisan warfare in that heavily forested part of Poland, as the Pinczow-Miechow environs were relatively densely populated for a rural area and devoid of any major forests; therefore, theoretically their current location was not well suited to full-time field partisans.
The detachment was soon on its way, and during the course of its march it dis-armed a few policemen and gendarmes, supplementing in this way its meager stock of weapons and ammunition but suffering two fatalities in the process. The detachment did not pick up any new volunteers during its march.
After arriving in the environs of Mielec the detachment soon encountered a large group of some German troops that were conducting military exercises; the detachment was encircled by them in a tiny forest and destroyed. The German losses from that battle are apparently unknown, but 11 partisans were killed, while five who managed to fight their way out of the encirclement made their way back to the Pinczow area.
The causes that likely contributed to the detachment's rapid demise were likely:
1) Lack of a support base and familiarity with the new area of operations.
2) Poor armament.
3) Exhaustion from the preceding march.
4) Inexperience and perhaps insufficient training.
5) Bad luck.
It is interesting to note that by late 1942 the GL leadership in general abandoned the idea of transferring new partisan detachments to distant and unfamiliar areas of operations.
Afterwards, in November of 1942, the local GL went on to establish the more long-lasting and successful Partisan Detachment "Mnich", but, unlike its short-lived predecessor, this unit stayed at its home base of operations.
Hypothetical Order of Battle:
There is no specific information on the detachment's order of battle given in the sources listed below, but based on the general directives issued by the command of the GL's Obwod IV in Summer of 1942 (as mentioned by Wazniewski), and adjusting it to the detachment's numerical size (the actual GL combat druzyny were somewhat more numerous) it was probably as follows:
Two to three partisans, including the commander.
1st Druzyna (Section)
Seven to eight partisans.
2nd Druzyna (Section)
Seven to eight partisans.
Atlas Historyczny Polski, edited by Wladyslaw Czaplinski & Tadeusz Ladogorski, Panstwowe Przedsiebiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych im. Eugeniusza Romera, 7th edition, Wroclaw, 1987.
Encyklopedia Drugiej Wojny Swiatowej, Wydawnictwo MON, Warszawa, 1975.
Wladyslaw Wazniewski, Walki Partyzanckie nad Nida, 1939-1945; Z Dziejow Walki Podziemnej na Ziemi Miechowsko-Pinczowskiej, Wydawnictwo MON, Warszawa, 1969.
GL - People's Guard
AL - People's Army
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Created, Researched, and Maintained by the Polish Resistance Movement.
Copyright © 2008.
Copyright © 2008.