Battle for the Three Hills

The Battle of Borowa Góra, a series of clashes that took place from September 2nd to 5th, 1939, will forever be remembered as a direct consequence of the early stages of the German Invasion of Poland.

This engagement occurred in the vicinity of Łódź, and was fought between the Wehrmacht and the Polish Army near the Góry Borowskie hills. These three hills, standing at 278 meters above sea level, were of critical strategic importance to the Germans as they sought to advance towards Radomsko, Piotrków Trybunalski, and Bełchatów, and ultimately into the heart of central Poland.

The Polish forces defending this area comprised of the 2nd Legions' Infantry Regiment, which was a part of the 2nd Legions Infantry Division, led by Col. Ludwik Czyżewski, and the 146th Infantry Regiment, which was a part of the 44th Infantry Division, under the leadership of Col. Artur Pollak. Both of these units were part of the Łódź Army.

Meanwhile, the invading German XVI Army Corps consisted of the 1st and 4th Panzer Divisions, the 14th Infantry Division, and the 31st Infantry Division.

The fighting that ensued was intense, and resulted in significant casualties on the Polish side. The 2nd Legions' Regiment alone suffered 663 casualties, including 16 officers and 67 non-commissioned officers.

Nevertheless, the Polish defenders put up a valiant effort against the German onslaught, and the hills remained under their control for the duration of the engagement. The Battle of Borowa Góra serves as a poignant reminder of the immense sacrifice and courage exhibited by the Polish soldiers in the face of overwhelming odds.


In the midst of this conflict, General Wiktor Thommée, a commanding officer of the Piotrków Operational Group of the Łódź Army, issued orders to Colonel Czyżewski to defend a 25-kilometer line in the Rozprza area. Czyżewski, in turn, decided to focus on manning three main defensive positions and patrolling the space between them due to the shortage of soldiers.

The heart of the Polish defense was set up on the Góry Borowskie hills. As night fell on September 2nd, the Polish units took up their positions.

In the village of Janów, Janowski's headquarters were located in a public school. General Juliusz Rómmel, who was keenly aware of the German army's superiority, knew that reinforcements were necessary to bolster the Polish defense.

Consequently, he sent the 301st Battalion of Light Tanks, under the leadership of Major Edmund Karpow, to support Colonel Czyżewski. This unit comprised of 49 7TP tanks, which were an adaptation of the British Vickers tanks.

Despite the overwhelming odds that faced the Polish defenders, they stood firm and fought bravely, determined to protect their homeland against the German invaders.

The Battle of Borowa Góra serves as a testament to the unyielding spirit and unwavering commitment of the Polish soldiers, who valiantly fought against an enemy that outnumbered them in both men and machinery.

The battle

The Battle of Borowa Góra was a desperate struggle that took place on the outskirts of Łódź, as the Wehrmacht sought to smash through the Polish lines and advance deeper into central Poland. The Germans were bent on securing the strategic high ground of the Góry Borowskie hills, which formed a critical juncture on the road to Radomsko, Piotrków Trybunalski, and Bełchatów.

The Poles, under the command of General Wiktor Thommée, knew that they had to hold their ground at all costs. But with only limited troops at his disposal, Colonel Ludwik Czyżewski had to make some tough decisions.

Czyżewski ordered his men to man three key defensive positions, centered around the Góry Borowskie hills, and patrol the space between them. His forces were supposed to hold the line until the 4th September, when a Polish counterattack was planned from the Sulejów forests. But when the Germans arrived on 3rd September, they attacked with such ferocity that the Poles were caught off guard. The Panzers rolled in, supported by the Luftwaffe, and the fighting raged on for hours.

Despite their courage, the Poles could not hold out forever. By the evening of 3rd September the Germans had captured Rozprza, and were preparing to push on. The tanks of the 4th Panzer Division launched an attack on the Góry Borowskie hills, but the Polish 3rd Battalion, led by Major Żelazowski, put up a fierce resistance. The Germans were forced to retreat and regrouped overnight to attack again the following morning.

On 4th September, the Germans continued their assault, with the infantry of the 31st I.D. attacking along the road to Bełchatów. Despite their initial successes, they were soon pushed back by the Polish defenders. But near Rozprza, where the Panzer divisions were present, the Poles faced greater danger.

The 1st Panzer attacked Rozprza, and the 4th Panzer concentrated its efforts on capturing Jeżów. The fighting continued through the night, and by the morning of 5th September the Germans were attacking once again, with the full support of the Luftwaffe.

It was at this point that Colonel Czyżewski realized that he could not hold his ground any longer. With some of his troops not even aware of his orders to retreat, he gave the command to fall back towards Dłutów.

This opened the road to Piotrków for the Wehrmacht, and marked a bitter defeat for the Poles. Despite their valiant efforts, they had been outmatched and outgunned by the enemy.