Polish Forces Attempt to Break Through German Positions around Tomaszów
Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski took place from 17 September to 26 September 1939 near the town of Tomaszów Lubelski.
It was the second largest battle of the Invasion of Poland (Battle of Bzura was the largest) and also the largest tank battle of the campaign. It resulted in the destruction of the Polish forces.
The battle can be divided into two phases - from 17 to 20 September and from 21 to 26 September. In the first phase (also known as the First Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski), Polish forces were composed of Army Lublin and Army Kraków under general Tadeusz Piskor attempted to break through the German positions around Tomaszów towards the Romanian Bridgehead area. The Polish forces included one of the largest Polish armored units of that time, the Warsaw Armoured Motorized Brigade. This phase ended with the capitulation of the Army Lublin on 20 September.
The second phase (also known as the Second Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski) involved Polish units from the so-called Northern Front - remaining elements of Army Lublin, Army Modlin and Operational Groups Wyszków, Narew and Anders Cavalry under generals Emil Krukowicz-Przedrzymirski and Stefan Dąb-Biernacki. Similarly, those Polish units attempted to break through the German positions towards the south. Only the cavalry group under general Władysław Anders was successful; most of the remaining Polish forces failed to break through and capitulated around 26 September.
On September 10th, German entered Poznan after Army Poznan withdrew from the city. Following September 18th, the largest tank versus tank engagement of the campaign took place near Tomaszow Lubelski, where some 80 Polish tankettes and tanks met in combat with German tanks.