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Wawelberg Group

2 The Group
The Groups deputy commander was Lt. Edmund Cha-
raszkiewicz. Puszczyski recruited, from among his
soldiers, two ocer cadets (podchory), the brothers
Tadeusz and Janusz Meissner. All four men would later
be decorated with the Virtuti Militari,[4][5] 5th class, on
June 27, 1922.[6] Puszczyski divided his men into four
teams A, G, U and N. These designations came from
the initial letters of the Polish phrase Akcja Gwna
Unieruchomienia Niemcw (Main Operation to Immo-
bilize the Germans).[7] All the agents were armed, wore
civilian clothes, and were provided with money.[5]
The men of the Wawelberg Group knew that, to over-
German train derailed by the Poles at Kdzierzyn-Kole come German military superiority in the area, they had
to cut the rail and telegraph links between Upper Silesia
The Wawelberg Group (Polish: Grupa Wawelberg), and Germany. Therefore the teams were deployed about
also known as the Konrad Wawelberg Destruction the western part of Upper Silesia, ready to attack. Team
Group (Polish: Grupa Destrukcyjna Konrada Wawelber- G, 13 men commanded by Lt. Wodzimierz Dbrowski,
ga), was a Polish special-forces unit. The group began the was deployed near Gogolin and ordered to watch the rail
Third Silesian Uprising on May 2/3, 1921 by blowing up line between Krapkowice and Prudnik.[7] Team U, 10
seven rail bridges linking Upper Silesia with the rest of men commanded by Lt. Edmund Charaszkiewicz, was
Germany. deployed on the border between Gubczyce and Prud-
nik counties, to keep an eye on the rail lines Gogwek
Racawice lskie Prudnik, and Gubczyce Racaw-
ice lskie.[7]
1 Origins Puszczyski Wawelberg himself, with a small
team (including former German Army sapper Wiktor
The Wawelberg Group was organized by the Polish Gen- Wiechaczek and miner and explosives expert Herman Ju-
eral Sta's Section II (Intelligence) as the Destruction rzyca), deployed in the deep rear of the German positions,
Oce in the waning days of 1920 (see History of Pol- at the village of Szczepanowice (German: Sczepanowitz),
ish intelligence services[1] ) as rumors ew that the Inter- some ve kilometers west of Opole (since 1936, it is a
Allied Plebiscite Commission would grant almost all of district of Opole). Their task was to blow up the crucial
Upper Silesia to Germany. Prompted by the rumors, the 200-meter-long Oder River rail bridge.[8]
Polish Military Organization of Upper Silesia, which ac-
tively cooperated with the Polish Army, had begun form-
ing a small, highly specialized unit which would come to
be called the Wawelberg Group. 3 Operation Bridges
The Destruction Oce took the Wawelberg name from
the nom de guerre of its commander, Captain Tadeusz The Poles plan, Akcja Mosty (Operation Bridges),
Puszczyski Konrad Wawelberg.[2] Puszczyski was was implemented on the night of May 2/3, 1921.[8]
a graduate of the Warsaw Polytechnic and had served in Puszczyski and his men, equipped with some 320 kilo-
the World War I Polish Legions[3] and in the Polish Mil- grams of explosives, after initial diculties managed to
itary Organization. He had also participated in the 1920 destroy a span of the Szczepanowice bridge. The other
Second Silesian Uprising. His crucial task was to nd groups also succeeded in their objectives. Altogether
the right people and carry out acts of sabotage in the rear the Poles managed to destroy seven rail bridges at such
of the German positions. All the men in the Wawelberg places as Szczepanowice, Kluczbork, Kdzierzyn-Kole,
Group had to be skilled combat engineers with extensive Gogwek and witochowice.[9]
knowledge of explosives. The blowing up of the bridges initiated the Third Silesian


Uprising, the greatest and best-organized of the three. 7 References

The Germans, taken by surprise, needed time to re-
pair their severed communications and to transport their Janusz Meissner, Wspomnienia pilota - Jak dzi
troops, and the Poles took advantage of the situation. pamitam (Memoirs of a Pilot: As I Remember It
All the major rail lines leading to Upper Silesia (such Today), vol. 1, Krakw, Wydawnictwo Literackie,
as the Wroclaw Opole Katowice, and the Nysa 1985.
Kdzierzyn-Kole) had been immobilized. Two German
military rail transports had also been destroyed.[7] Ks. dr Zygmunt Nabzdyk, "Plebiscyt i Trzecie Pow-
stanie lskie na ziemi prudnickiej", Ziemia Prud-
nicka magazine, 2001.
4 Aftermath Mieczysaw Wrzosek, Powstacze dziaania zbrojne
w 1921 w opolskiej czci Grnego lska, Instytut
After the operation, most of the Polish agents managed lski w Opolu, Opole, 1981.
to withdraw to Sosnowiec, which due to its proximity to Zyta Zarzycka, Polskie dziaania specjalne na
the border was the main base of Polish operations.[5] The Grnym lsku, 1919-1921, Warszawa, MON,
Germans captured an unknown number of the men who 1989.
had blown up the bridge at the village of Dobra; they were
imprisoned for a few weeks at Opole.[7] Also caught, near Encyklopedia powsta lskich, Instytut lski w
Gubczyce, were two Poles who were trying to make their Opolu, Opole, 1982.
way to Czechoslovakia, but the Germans did not know
their identity and released them.[7] Zdzislaw P. Wesolowski, The Order of the Virtuti
Militari and Its Cavaliers, 17921992, Miami, Hall-
The Germans announced, in the June 18, 1921 Amts-Blatt mark Press, 1992, ISBN 0-934527-00-9.
der Kniglichen Regierung zu Oppeln (Ocial Gazette of
the Opole District), a reward of 10,000 Reichsmarks for
information about the perpetrators of the attacks.
8 External links
Photograph of the destroyed bridge in Szczepanow-
5 See also ice

Upper Silesia plebiscite Another photo of the Szczepanowice bridge

Tadeusz Puszczyski

Edmund Charaszkiewicz

Janusz Meissner

6 Notes
[1] (Polish)

[2] (Polish)

[3] (Polish)

[4] Index of Surnames Polish Order of the Virtuti Militari Re-

cipients (1792-1992) (English)

[5] (Polish)

[6] Wesolowski, pp. 231, 296, 319.

[7] (Polish)

[8] (Polish)

[9] (Polish)

9 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

9.1 Text
Wawelberg Group Source: Contributors: Matthead, MistToys, Pi-
otrus, Klemen Kocjancic, Manxruler, Molobo, Carabinieri, Appleseed, SmackBot, Tymek, ShelfSkewed, Cydebot, JGHowes, Nihil novi,
Vasyatka1, SchreiberBike, HexaChord, Addbot, AnomieBOT, LucienBOT, Helpful Pixie Bot, BG19bot, Marcocapelle, Khazar2, Kbigeo
and Anonymous: 8

9.2 Images
File:Wykolejony_pociag.jpg Source: License: Public
domain Contributors: Jan Wimmer,Eligiusz Wrzosek Dzieje ora polskiego"t.2 1794-1921, Warszawa 1973 Original artist: unknown-

9.3 Content license

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0