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Ostatnia zmiana: 4-02-2011 19:34


Roshan Bridgehead.


Rozan is located in the Mazowsze Depression. The first references concerning the city are related to XI century. The trade and administrative significance of Rozan was a result of the bridge across the Narev, where three important merchant routes crossed: Warsaw - Konigsberg, Warsaw - Grodno and Thorn - Grodno. The successful development of Rozan, like many other cities of Mazowsze, came to an end with the Swedish wars. By this time the gradual decreasing of its regional significance had begun. In the XIX century near Rozan, several battles related to the Napoleonic wars and the November, 1830, and January, 1863, insurrections took place. By the Tsar's order of 1869 Rozan lost its city status as of May 19, 1870.

Regardless of the loss of city status, Rozan became a garrison of the Tsar's troops which were stationet in Kaszewiec. A preliminary project for the fortifications of Rozan fortifications was created in Russian Headquarters in 1899; however, it never came to realization. Crossings across the Narev were protected only by temporary fortifications - infantry redoubts. Just after the Russo-Japanese War, it was decided to construct formidable fortifications as a part of a proposed fortified bridgehead. The idea of the plan was to block both highways Warsaw - Kowno (Kaunas) and the important crossing across the Narev. On the right bank of the Narev three concrete forts were constructed. All of these were typical forts for the purpose of close defence, and they had no positions for heavy artillery. The main weapons of the forts were 76.2-mm (3-inch) guns. For close defence the fort's main armament was the 57-mm short barrel Nordenfelt guns, and Maxim machine guns intended for flanking fire across the fort moats. The intervals between the forts were no more than 1 viorst (1.06 km). The construction work was started in 1905 and was carried out over a five-year period. The support base for the fort's garrison was to be a barracks concentrated in "Zabalkansky Camp" near the Rozan - Ostrow road. In the barracks was stationed the 29th Chernigovsky Infantry Regiment. In 1910 it was replaced by the 21st Muromsky Infantry Regiment.

During the Great War, fighting occurred at the bridgehead, for several days but the forts remained despite the threat of encircling German troops. During the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, Rozan was by-passed during the combat actions of August 6,1920, when Soviet troops unsuccessfully attempted to cross the Narev. However, the fortifications remained defended because of the threat of being encircled by Soviet troops.

In July and August, 1939, the forts received some modernization. There were plans to build two reinforced concrete field casemates for one machine gun at the gorge rampart of the each fort. Seven such casemates were to be constructed. In July, construction began on two light casemates for one machine gun at the Fort No.1. however, by September, 1939, only one casemate had been completed. Two such casemates were placed at the approaches to the forts at Height 131. It is important to note that in a similar way, namely, by adding reinforced concrete to machine gun casemates, the Belgians modernized their forts.

On September 5, 1939, at about 10.00, the German Tank Division "Kempf" began its assault on the defended Rozan bridgehead which was held by two battalions of the 115th Reserve Infantry Regiment. It was decided to support the defence from the former Russian forts. On the roads, anti-tank obstacles were installed.

The first German attacks, carried out by the tank division, used several German tanks to assault the garrison of Fort No.1. During this engagement, several German tanks were destroyed. At about the noon the Germans began a general assault after an intensive artillery and air bombardment. The attack ended at about 18.00. The enemy took major losses in personnel without achieving any success. During the two days that followed, the Germans crossed the Narev above and below the bridgehead. However the Polish counter-attacks failed to liquidate the enemy bridgeheads because of the absence of artillery support. Unsatisfactory leadership at the operative level and inconsistent orders by the commanders led to the fall of the remaining Polish fortified bridgehead without a fight on the night of September 5/6. Unfortunately, the bridge across the Narev was not blown up. This situation led to the formation of a break in the Polish defensive lines for many kilometers along the River Narev at the junction of Army "Modlin" and Special Operative Group "Narev"... A breach leading deep into the Polish defences and rear areas was open.

In the zone of the barracks and garrison area, the Wehrmacht stationed second-rate units later in 1939. There was also a camp for military prisoners: Italian, Czech, French and British.

A major assault by the Red Army in the autumn of 1944 liberated Rozan with the forts and formed a significant bridgehead after several days of combat. Rozan and neighbouring villages were largery destroyed by air and artillery bombardments, although the forts were not seriously damaged.



Translated by Vladimir Kalinin, consultations: Joe Kauffmann & " Roger".







Roshan Bridgehead


Fortification de Rozan


Festung Rozan


Le fortificazioni di Rozan




Muzeum Ziemi Makowskiej i Garnizonu Różan

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