Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Battle of the Day: The Battle of Krasnobrod, 1939

On this day in 1939, the Battle of Krasnobrod was fought in Poland between Poles and Germans. It is notable for featuring the last traditional European Cavalry Charge on record.

Suite101.com has a fine article concerning the last traditional European Cavalry Engagements, the climactic encounter occuring on this day in history:

"On September 23rd the 25th Wielkopolska Uhlan Regiment fought what could be the last cavalry on cavalry engagement when it forced a smaller German cavalry unit off of a hill near Krasnobród and then went on to capture a divisonal headquarters. Contrary to popular belief and Nazi myth, Polish Cavalry was able to charge German mechanized units and make a difference. On the first day of the war, September 1, the German 4th Panzer Division met the Polish Wolynska Cavalry Brigade head on about 100 miles south of Warsaw and lost more than 50 tanks in the exchange.

"The Polish cavalry was wiped out in the campaign as a force but its remnants fought in both the British and Soviet armies later in the War. Elements of the regular polish cavalry served with the Canadian reorganized 1st Free Polish Armored Division fighting in tanks across Western Europe in 1944, ending up capturing the German naval base at Wilhelmshaven in May 1945."