Sunday, April 19, 2015

V - Captured in Lwow or Brzezany?

X marks the location of Brzezany

To determine which of these 2 cities was a more plausible capture location, I have to cross reference some major and minor battles from the historical record and correlate the dates with the unanimous agreed upon capture date of September 19, 1939. Understanding the invasion advances and battles from both the East and West give key insights.

I have looked at over 50 documented battles and clashes in the Polish Eastern borderlands with around 30 Polish units involved with the Soviets. A sampling;

  1. Grodno- Fierce defense Sept 20-21
  2. Wilno - Fighting Sept. 18-19 NE Poland
  3. Polesie Region -  State border defense Sept 17/18-19/20
  4. Krasne - East of Lwow armored clash Sept.19-20
  5. Lwow - key to Romanian Bridgehead, defended  Sept 12-22, back and forth battles with Germans then Russian advance from East  joined Germans encircling the city forcing surrender.
  6. Lwow Region - 14 area locales Sept 13-22
  7. Brzezany - scant references, battle Sept. 18-19
For reference and to explain my analysis; In viewing the map of "Troop Movements after September 14, 1939" on this page, I have marked the location of Brzezany with an "X"  on the lower right hand corner. The dashed red line to the immediate left shows Soviet  advance to the West. In the direction of this advance, the first red/blue circled city is Lwow.

Remember the key September 17 Russian invasion date? Looking  at the invasion forces movement map after Sept. 14, 1939. It shows the Russian spearhead advance toward the East and toward Lwow, effectively swallowing Brzezany which is 89 km to SE of Lwow. So Brzezany was overrun and defeated days before the surrender of Lwow on September 22.

This correlates to the Eastern battle dates list including Brzezany. This would also explain why such a minor town and battle was listed in 2 different POW documents. It also makes sense that referring to a major battle/capture site as Lwow was listed, for convenience of the bulk processing of POW's even though not 100% accurate.

Based on these facts, I was initially confident Zygmunt Frackiewicz was captured in Brzezany, Poland likely defending the Romanian Bridgehead (an Eastern contingent escape route through neutral countries for eventual regrouping with French and UK Allies).


  1. Great research and analysis of available historical facts against our documents.

  2. One possibility is that they are both correct.
    Lwow is also the name of the province.