5th Kresowa Infantry Division (Poland)

Of the 5th Infantry Division (5 KDP) – the largest infantry unit of the Polish Armed Forces in the West.

Division was formed in March 1943 on the basis of established even in the USSR 5 and 6 DP. Initially dwubrygadowa, at the end of the war expanded to the third brigade. Became part of the 2nd Polish Corps. She fought the Sangro and Volturno. By Gustav Line (the Battle of Monte Cassino) went to walk on the Adriatic. Then he fought in the area of Loreto, in the Apennines Emiliańskich and fought heavy battles over the Senio and the Bologna completed its conquest impressive 21 April 1945. After the war, remained in the composition of the occupation forces in Italy. In June 1946 she was transferred to England, and from September 7 commenced enrollment Polish Resettlement Corps. 5 KDP after five years of existence, has passed into history. The vast majority of the soldiers remained in exile.

The formation and training

In March 1943, carried out a further reorganization of the Polish Army in the East. Resolved 5th and 6th Infantry Division and its subsidiaries formed to 5 Infantry Brigade Vilnius and Lviv 6 Infantry Brigade. Both of these brigades and other units set up in the divisional Khanaquin of the 5th Infantry Division.

In mid-April division was transferred to Kirkuk u Agencies have to protect the oil fields. There has also been intensive training. Summer season brought a recurrence of the epidemic. Spread of malaria, diseases of the stomach, electric panels. Seriously increased mortality in the branches.

In June 1943 the Supreme Commander Gen. Sikorski visited the division. June 3 General met with Kresowiakami. During the meeting, was presented to him badge divisions. It was a kind gesture of reconciliation and to ensure that the division is ready to fight, and political issues come down to the background. The meeting ended with a parade. June 4 was a tactical exercise with firing munitions. Took part in all branches of the division. The highlight was the assault of 5 Infantry Brigade supported by artillery, mortar fires using yi machine guns. After the visit, Gen. 5 KDP Sikorski took command of Colonel (later General) Nikodem Sulik.

In August and September 1943 there has been a realignment of divisions to Palestine. The climate in Palestine was milder conditions of accommodation facilities and even better than in Iraq. Division deployed 20 km south of Gaza, in the area of ​​Mughazi-Nuseirat. Division began to receive new equipment and weapons. Free time to explore the uses of the Holy Land souvenirs.

In mid-January 1944 the division was transferred to Egypt u The soldiers were quartered in the camp Qassasin 30 km east of the city of Ismailia. Here division led all his troops to a full-time martial law. She received equipment strictly according to plan.

At the beginning of 1944 she started working for the transport of troops divisions on the Apennine Peninsula. Division embarkation in Port Said. On the ground, the Italian landed Feb. 21 in Taranto.

Fighting Division

Defense activities of the Sangro

From 8 to 26 March there was a shift in the division of land warfare. Division relieved Moroccan Infantry Division 2 section from Castel s Vincenzo – Hill 850 Strong German patrols constantly coming up in position 13 and 15 Battalion. March 10, 1944, operates five directional pal and III Squadron 4 pal gave away the first shots of the Germans.As a result of German artillery fire can. Burski Joseph was lightly wounded and evacuated to a hospital. Thus began the battle episode functioning branches divisions. March 31 assigned to the division Italian Battle Group with the support of artillery Polish mastered the hill of Monte Marrone. Made it difficult to combat the impact of the Germans in the borderland branches.

Stay “kresowiaków” in defensive positions on the river Sangro coincided with the winter. The soldiers had to acclimate to the ice and snow. Defensive positions were maintained, and the job done. Major losses from landing in Italy to leave for another part of the front were a total of 11 officers and 116 soldiers

Battles of Monte Cassino – operation “Diadem”

In connection with the proposed use of the 2nd Corps to battle for Monte Cassino, as part of Operation “Diadem”, was released on April 2 order of General Anders announcing the release of the Polish troops. April 15 5 KDP has been changed by a New Zealand 2 Infantry Division. She herself held on 25 – 27 April manned the boundary of British 78 DP and took the starting position for the attack.

According to the plan the night of 11/12 May 1944 on the stretch leading to the division of fire took 1:45 to prepare the attack.

Advancing on the right side of the body 5 Division launched an attack with two battalions in the first wave. These were meant to master the hill “Spectrum” and then hit the hill 575 In the second wave attacked 18 Battalion, who after learning the first-line battalions of the main subject was the task master of the hill “Balconies”. Enter the first line to fight secured 14 Battalion. Grouping shock commanded Infantry Brigade commander Col. Vilnius. Vincent Kurk. Reserve division accounted for 16 battalion and squadron of tanks.

Right wing attack reconnaissance regiments secured 15 Cavalry Regiment Cavalry Regiment Poznan and the Carpathian. Grouping guard commander commander Col. 6 Lviv BP Witold News-Sawicki.

About 2:30 15 Battalion captured soldiers back “Spectrum” and took 100 prisoners from a German regiment mountain. Around 5:00 the entire “spectrum” was captured. Further advance both battalions -15 bs on hill 517 and 13 bs on S. Angelo, however, broke down. 18 Battalion, having no communication with anyone, spontaneously set off up the hill. Germans began a counterattack. There has been strong impact fire on “Spectrum”. Communication between the shipping companies, battalions and divisions command was interrupted. The losses began to rise. Aviation, due to the low ceiling of clouds, it could not support the fighting battalion. Infantry withdrew from the hill. Another impact of the German 1 Parachute Rifle Division resulted in significant loss of personal information in battalions. It was decided to stop the attack and regroup.

The term of the new attack was determined on May 17.

The commander of the breakaway grouping appointed Colonel. Rudnicki. He was put at the disposal of five battalions of Vilnius BP and 16 and 17 Battalion of 6 Lviv Infantry Brigade. Grouping “ORE” in the first place was to recover the “spectrum”. The next task is to get the hill of S. Angelo and rub on the hill 575 16 Battalion was to get “Spectrum” and 17 Battalion – S. Angelo. Remained in reserve 13 and 15 battalion.

Created a secondary cluster of major. Wladyslaw Smrokowskiego. In his composition work: company commando squadron of tanks, four armored regiment reinforced with tanks and self-propelled guns battery with 7 pappanc. The grouping was to support 17 Battalion.

May 19 Second Polish Corps was tasked with leading the Piedimonte. In the newly created Grouping “BOB”, found, inter alia, 18 Battalion, Lt.-Col. Louis Domoni. Grouping received a task master Piedimonte – San Germano and continue to attack at San Castrocielo.

Commander 6 Lvov Infantry Brigade was ordered to attack the Pizzo Corno. This task is performed both reconnaissance regiments.

Battles of Piedimonte lasted from 20 to 25 May. In the morning, 25 May, 15 Battalion, with an 12 squads Cavalry Regiment occupied the town.

The operation “Diadem” of the 5th Infantry Division suffered heavy loss of life. In the period from April 24 to May 31 in total lost 2174 soldiers constituted over 15% of the passenger. In combat units, this percentage was much higher.

Fighting on the Adriatic – Ancona

After getting Piedimonte 5 KDP, acting in the composition of the Polish II Corps, has been tasked with conducting activities along the Adriatic coast and get Ancona. Agencies in the region have undergone division Casalbordino – Foscacesia. June 22 clarifies the task division. It was to “make deeper defense bypass enemy in the area west of Ancona and cut her on the river Esino”.

To this end, the division created a separate division under the command of Colonel. Rudnicki (grouping “Rudy”), composed of 15 p.uł., 16 battalion, four artillery regiment, battery, self-propelled guns, armored regiment, squadron 4 and 12 p.uł. By 25 June grouping “Rud” shrouded west wing of the Corps and was preparing to attack the base starting at Macerata.

Division acting forces won the whole sequence: Montefano, Montoro and the hill of the Palazzo del Cannone.

July 17 began the battle of Ancona.

5 KDP reinforced Carpathian Rifle Battalion and four armored regiment doing stroke auxiliary mastered the Monte della Crescia, San Stefano and Offagana. The 6 Brigade blocked the exit road from Ancona retreating German troops. 15 pots. Chiaravalle and rubbed on the evening on July 18 reached the river Esino.

After the capture of Ancona by the troops of 3 DSK battle fought along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, to the German line of defense – the Gothic Line.

Activities Apeninie Emiliańskim

The aim of the Apeninie Emiliańskim support was advancing with difficulty from Rimini to Bologna allied forces. Fighting took place in extremely heavy and almost bezdrożnym mountain terrain in adverse weather conditions. The only suitable for motor traffic on the soggy, cut by rivers and canals of the Po Plain was by Via Emilia.

September 28 by order of the commander of the 8th Army Gen. Richard Mc Creery body began redeployment to the area of ​​Rimini. October 14 ordered the corps commander Brig. Nicodemus Sulikowi 5 KDP troops to secure the entrance to fight all the forces of the body. 4 Division reinforced armored regiment and the British Mountain Artillery Regiment 7. The first step was to get M. Grosso and S. Pietro.

The first to attack was launched five Vilnius Infantry Brigade. She had a master Della Sega back and keep development division to attack from the outer reaches M. Marino, M.Grosso, winning hills, 552, 549 and 206, and mastery M. Grosso. In the second wave worked six Lviv BP and four armored regiment.

October 17th Brigade reached base five output in the region of M. della Sega. By evening, 20 October mastered commanded boundary. Incoming parts to fight six brigade October 26 she won the hill Mirabelle and Colombo. Measure 5 KDP on the Forli rejected the Germans about 20 km to the north. The pursuit of the enemy, however, made it difficult autumn thaw. Division resumed the attack on November 7. November 10 units of its front crossed the river in the area of ​​S. Lazarett and took part in the Battle of Faenza. By the end of the division reached the Senio. Here front stopped for several months. Units went to rest. Make up the lack of men and equipment.


Combat operations resumed April 9, 1945. Polish II Corps was tasked with breaking the German position on the River Senio, capturing bridgeheads over the river Santemo and continue running attack in the direction of Bologna.

Division secured the entrance to fight three DSK. From the April 12 attack led by three DSK (from April 9) compounded impact Clusters “Rud”. April 13 reached the boundary of the channel grouping del Molini and the eastern edge of Imola. 3rd Brigade crossed the river Santerno. Also on April 13 entered training camp to fight “cancer”. However, on April 14 to fight the group entered Pursuit 5 KDP. April 15th fought for Sillaro at the Castel Guelfo. Grouping “Cancer” before nightfall forced the river Sillaro and April 16 broken defense of Sillaro waist attack the body. Poles again come in contact with one fire Parachute Rifle Division, which defended the line of the river Gaian. On the night of 19/20 April the Polish units started to chase. The enemy withdrew. April 21 to Bologna came four Wołyńska Infantry Brigade.

Battle of Bologna was the last battle of the 5th Infantry Division in World War II. During the fighting on the Italian front division lost 5,127 troops, including 1,063 killed.

The memory of the 5th Infantry Division

To commemorate the contribution of five KDP in the victory of the Polish army at Monte Cassino on a hill 575, a monument with an inscription in Polish and Latin:

September 15, 1993 5 Mechanized Division of Gubin and was given the distinguished name of the “border”.

Organization and staffing



◾Brig. Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko (III – June 1943)

◾Brig. Nikodem Sulik (VIII 1943 – in 1946 and the June – August 1943)

◦Deputy Commander – Brig. Klemens Rudnicki (October 1943 – April 1945)

◦And the deputy commander – Colonel hurry. Joseph Werobej

◦Second Deputy Commander Colonel. Stanislaw Lityński (VII – November 1945)

◦divisional artillery commander:

◾Col. Art. Michael Branch (to September 1943)

◾Col.. Jerzy Marian Paul Orski (from September 1943)

◾Col.. Marian Korewo


◦Chief of Staff – Lieutenant Colonel. Stanislaw Maleszewski

◦Operating Officer – Capt. Dipl. Wladyslaw Zebrowski

◦Information Officer – Captain. Dipl. Anthony Rolski

◦Quartermaster – Major Colonel. Alexander Jedziniak


◦4 Wołyńska Infantry Brigade (from October 17, 1944)

◦5 Vilnius Infantry Brigade

◦6 Lvov Infantry Brigade

•Divisional Artillery:

◦4 Kresowy Light Artillery Regiment

◦5 Vilnius Light Artillery Regiment

◦6 Lviv Light Artillery Regiment

◦5 Kresowy Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment Light

◦5 anti-tank artillery regiment Kresowy

•divisional offices and services:

◦15 Cavalry Regiment Poznan

◦5 Kresowy Heavy Machine Gun Battalion

◦5 Kresowy Sapper Battalion

◦5 Borderland Communications Battalion

◦5 Police Squad

5KDP full time job consisted of 820 officers and 13 626 non-commissioned officers and privates. It had 7,294 rifles, 4,775 machine guns, 813 machine guns, 161 PIAT s and 824 guns. Division also had 52 armored cars, 63 armored cars, 120 reconnaissance vehicles and 300 trucks.

Symbols Division

The standard division

Banner, founded by Polish refugees in Palestine and spent the tomb of Christ, was given to Major November 11, 1943, in Jerusalem by Gen. Anders.

On the home page banner, the white squares in laurel wreaths placed the names of cities: Lviv, Vilnius, Tock, Tatiszczew, are related to the place of formation of the division in the territory of the Soviet Union. The image of the lower arm of the cross was the inscription: “Division Kresowa 1941″. On the reverse side of the white squares motif placed cross in Jerusalem, and in the middle of the cross is a sign: “Honour and Fatherland”.

Currently, the standard is exposed at the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum. GeneralSikorski in London.

Memorial badge

Badge has the form of the Order of Military Virtue, whose arms are connected by a cross of Monte Cassino. In positioned centrally imposed target bison, trademark division. The arms of the cross inscribed number and initials 5 KDP. The lower arm of the cross is a trademark of the British 8th Army. Dark yellow enamelled shield, shield border and bison – brown. Three-piece – made in silver. Dimensions: 42×40 mm. Design: FM Lorioli Fratelli – Milano – Roma.

Mark exploratory

Badge was a bison on the yellow shield in a brown border. The symbol chosen in a competition announced by the divisional command in 14 September 1942.

Polish Army in the East

PES Infantry Divisions in the West

Polish Army units distinguished name Kresowa

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One Response to “5th Kresowa Infantry Division (Poland)”

  1. Paul MICHNIEWICZ says:

    My father Lucjan Michniewicz was shot during the battle of Monte Casino during clean up while two German Para Troopers surrender to him a third was hiding in the ruble, he fired on his friends with MG42 shooting them in the back, the rounds going through them hitting my father in his legs.

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