Battle of Modlin

The Battle of Modlin was a battle that took place during the 1939 German invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War. Modlin Fortress was initially the headquarters of the Modlin Army until its retreat eastwards. From 13 September to 29 September 1939 it served as a defensive citadel for Polish forces under the command of General Wiktor Thommée against assaulting German units. This fighting was closely linked with the strategic situation of the Battle of Warsaw.

Battle of Modlin
Part of Invasion of Poland

Ruins of the southern bridgehead
Date13–29 September 1939
Result German victory
 Germany  Poland
Commanders and leaders
Hermann Hoth
Adolf Strauss
Werner Kempf
Wiktor Thommée
Units involved
4 infantry divisions
2nd Light Division
Panzer Division Kempf
100 aircraft
40,000 men (peak)
96 guns
7 TK-3 tankettes
Armoured train "Śmierć"
Casualties and losses
900 killed
670 wounded
1,300 killed
4,000 wounded
35,000 captured

The Polish forces defending the fortress included the armoured train Śmierć ("death") and the Modlin anti-aircraft battery, which was credited with shooting down more Luftwaffe planes than any other in the entire September campaign.

Fortress Modlin capitulated on 29 September, one of the last to lay down its arms in the campaign, surrendering 24,000 troops.[1]:78 Several days earlier, Rochus Misch attempted to negotiate the surrender of the fortress despite being wounded, an act for which he was awarded the Iron Cross.[2]

Soldiers of the Panzer Division Kempf committed the Massacre in Zakroczym on 28 September 1939.


  1. Zaloga, S.J., 2002, Poland 1939, Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd., ISBN 9781841764085
  2. Schnoor, Stefan; Boris (15 May 2011). "The last survivor of Hitler's downfall - The Fuhrer's bodyguard gives last interview". Daily Express.

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