A village called Nadbory

Nadbory is a small village in the administrative district of Gmina Jedwabne, within Łomża County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, in north-eastern Poland.

It is located It lies approximately 12 kilometres (7 mi) north-east of Jedwabne, 31 km (19 mi) north-east of Łomża, and 54 km (34 mi) north-west of the regional capital Białystok.

The battle occurred on the 9th September 1939, in the vicinity of the small village of Nadbory, which was located in the northeastern part of Poland, near the border with the Soviet Union. The Polish forces involved in the battle were part of the 18th Infantry Division, which was tasked with defending the area.

The battle began early in the morning when German forces, consisting of elements of the 2nd Panzer Division and the 206th Infantry Division, attacked the Polish positions around Nadbory. The Poles fought back fiercely, but they were heavily outnumbered and outgunned. Despite their valiant efforts, they were ultimately forced to retreat, and the Germans seized control of the area.

Location of Podlaskie Voivodeship within Poland,

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Podlaskie Voivodeship divided into counties.

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The Battle of Nadbory was a relatively small engagement in the context of the wider German invasion of Poland, but it was significant in that it demonstrated the overwhelming military superiority of the Germans.

The defeat at Nadbory was a crushing blow to Polish morale and contributed to the rapid collapse of the Polish defense effort.

“The hour of departure having been set by division at 5:30 .AM, the rifle companies left their positions about 4 :00 AM and marched to their trucks; the artillery limbered up a short time later. The last of the riflemen had scarcely, crossed the stream, when machine-gun and rifle fire broke loose from the north and strong Polish forces could be seen, advancing along the Lomza-Ostrow Mazowiecka highway and through the area west of the road. Soon Polish artillery joined the fire, its shells falling first on the road bridge and then on Nadbory itself. Our 1st Company, deployed along the road, was threatened in the rear and had to be withdrawn beyond the stream.

Meanwhile the combat group with its artillery and one half the infantry had started marching off in the direction of Ostrow Mazowiecka, leaving only two companies of infantry and a half battery of artillery available to go into position at Nadbory. Running out of ammunition, the tanks had to go out of action. Several staff cars of the combat group including a radio car, had to be abandoned.

German forces advance during the Invasion of Poland. Despite the often poor quality of the roads, the Germans were often able to cover large distances.

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The Polish forces estimated as one cavalry brigade, succeeded in crossing the stream and forcing the Germans to abandon Nadbory. While the reconnaissance detachment covered the withdrawal, the other forces still available were withdrawn behind the Orz sector to the southwest. Fortunately, the ford at Sokolowo had been improved and no delays occurred.

While the 2nd Company took up a defensive position, the 1st Company fought a delaying action and fell back gradually. The latter was then ordered to move immediately to Rogowo via Laski and there to block the hostile advance on the main road. The 2d Company received heavy enfilade fire from the east, while the Poles launched a frontal attack supported by artillery, forcing the company to retire to Ksiezopole. After the rifle units of the combat group had taken up a position behind the Orz, the 2d Company was moved back to Laski, boken up into several groups, and placed into the line again in the area between Gniazdowo-Sokolow.

The speed and intensity of the German operations during the Invasion of Poland often left their troops exhausted. Here, German soldiers grab a few moments sleep while travelling in a convoy.

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During this withdrawal, the anti-tank platoon remained with the rear guard and poured their armour piercing shells into the ranks of the Polish cavalry and infantry. Meanwhile the platoon of scout cars made repeated forays along the road and were the last elements to break contact with the enemy. The reconnaissance detachment lost only one dead; the missing reported to their companies during the course of the afternoon.

The 1st Company, having arrived at Rogowo, repulsed the hostile patrols operating in that vicinity. Scout cars operating toward the east beyond Stary revealed the movement of strong Polish forces from Nadbory in the direction of Glebocz. The enemy was withdrawing.

Polish 105-mm Schneider guns. Throughout the Invasion of Poland, the Poles made extensive use of field artillery as they attempted to stem the German advance.

Guns of Poland in 1939 (wio.ru)

While the reconnaissance detachment continued to furnish security along the Orz until 6:00 PM, the remainder of the combat group marched off to the south. When the former departed for Ostrow Mazowiecka, it ran into lively machine-gun and mortar fire shortly before reaching that locality. Friendly infantry had mistaken it for Polish troops. The error was soon rectified, however, and resulted in no loss of life. When we reached the town we found it jammed with troops. Civilians running about trying to get into their home before dark, added to the confusion.

After we had parked on a side street and eaten a meal, we resumed the march in complete darkness, heading for Brok. The endless trains of an infantry division were moving in the same direction. Shortly before reaching Brok, traffic became so jammed that all movement stopped. The reconnaissance detachment spent the remainder of the night sleeping in a ditch beside the road.”

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