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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Western Front (1944-1945) > The battle of Paulis (14-19 September 1944)|
|Posted by: dragos October 11, 2005 07:36 pm|
| The Reserve Infantry NCOs School of Radna, commanded by Colonel Alexandru Petrescu, was ordered to organize a defense along Paulis - Ghioroc - Cuvin and to block the Hungarians' advance on the Mures riverbed. The "Paulis" Detachment was made of three battalions of cadets, one platoon of 93rd Infantry Regiment, one battery of the 38th Artillery Regiment (without guns), the 1st Battalion from the 96th Infantry Regiment and the 61st Heavy Artillery Battalion.
Advancing on the northern bank of the Mures River, on the direction Simbateni - Minis, concomitently with a enveloping maneuver of the righ flank of the Romanian troops, the Hungarian 1st Armored and 6th Reserve Infantry Divisions made contact with the "Paulis" Detachment west of the village of Paulis, on 14 September.
The first assault of the Hungarian troops, carried out with two infantry battalions supported by tanks, was repulsed by the 2nd and 6th Companies of cadets, with heavy losses for the Hungarians. Five more attacks were carried out subsequently against the Romanian positions, but by nightfall the Romanian units were holding their positions firmly. The four anti-tank guns of the "Paulis" Detachment scored 18 tanks and 3 armored vehicles destroyed.
The following day the Hungarians concentrated the attack on the 1st Battalion from the 96th Infantry Regiment, at Hill 471. After a strong artillery preparation the Hungarians forced the Romanian troops to fall back on successive lines of defence, being stopped on Cladova's Valley only after they seized the villages of Cuvin and Ghioroc. In the morning of 16 September, a Romanian counter-attack by surprise, without artillery preparation, carried out by the 5th Company of cadets, managed to destroy a large part of the Hungarian forces which broke through the defense perimeter the previous day.
The climax of battle was reached on 17 September, when the Hungarian command commited all the available forces in the attack. After a 45 minutes artillery preparation, the Hungarians managed to breach south-east of Minis, where they clashed with the 3rd Company of cadets, on defense at Hill 365. The attempt of driving away the Romanian unit failed. By the afternoon a Soviet battalion from the 32nd Motorized Infantry Regiment (53rd Soviet Army) arrived in the area. The counter-attack carried out by the Soviet battalion together with the 1st Battalion from the 96th Infantry Regiment and one company of cadets, north of Ghioroc, forced the Hungarian troops to retreat towards Cuvin. The following day the entire "Paulis" Detachment launched the attack, and by the evening of 19 September the initial disposition was restored.
In the fights at Paulis Hungarians lost 1,287 men (387 POW), 23 Turan and Toldi tanks, and left behind large quantities of equipment. The "Paulis" Detachment lost 377 men (65 KIA).
Photo source: http://members.tripod.com/VirtualArad/Paulis/virtual_paulis_home.htm
|Posted by: Carol I October 11, 2005 07:58 pm|
Dragos, your photo does not show. Hopefuly the one below will.
|Posted by: SiG October 31, 2005 06:58 pm|
|Do you have any figures about the total forces involved? How many men did the Paulis detachment have? How many men did the Hungarians have? How many tanks?|
|Posted by: Iamandi November 07, 2005 07:26 am|
| I have read a book about this subject: "Cel mai greu examen". I fotgot the name of the writer. Nice book.
|Posted by: dragos November 07, 2005 07:45 am|
|Susan, Dumitru - Cel mai greu examen : Paulis - 1944, Editura Dacia, 1989|
|Posted by: Carol I November 07, 2005 11:08 pm|
| Book on Păuliş (from eBay):
http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/8113/6576268057a7at.jpg http://img107.imageshack.us/img107/4870/6576268057b4ub.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/2547/6576268057h3vy.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/8467/6576268057i3hy.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/9070/6576268057j4cq.jpg
http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/1393/6576268057c2vq.jpg http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/5083/6576268057d0bs.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/2217/6576268057e7ef.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/3913/6576268057f6uy.jpg http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/9628/6576268057g6ge.jpg
|Posted by: György February 11, 2006 02:09 pm|
| Dear Dragos,
I'd like to know whether the sant antitank line near Cuvin can be seen today. I'm very much interested in the topic as my grandfather took part in this battle.
|Posted by: Imperialist February 11, 2006 03:06 pm|
From Dragos' post, Paulis detachment was made up of 4 infantry battalions and 1 heavy artillery battalion.
You can use this http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=2463 to form an estimate for the forces involved.
|Posted by: Florin March 03, 2006 05:33 pm|
| [split from http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=1352 topic]
I have doubts regarding "briefly taken". The way I know it: yes, the enemy of the day reached the center of the city, maybe even conquered the center of the city, but Arad did not fell 100% into the enemy's hands.
Also... Weren't also the Germans around? You mentioned the Hungarian Army. Some Romanians who witnessed those days recall mostly the Germans as the main actors in the area. Especially considering the fact that the Germans brought so many enforcements and fresh troops in the area where Arad is, these troops being taken from other areas of Balkan Peninsula. Actually the German troops near Arad were strong enough to keep the Romanian-Soviet advance to a halt, for almost 2 months.
|Posted by: Dénes March 03, 2006 05:50 pm|
| The battle for Arad was an independent action of the Hungarian army. The Germans were not involved in it in numbers. The city was hold by Hungarian forces for more than a week. I don't know your sources (since you repeatedly use the word 'enemy', I believe they must be exclusively Rumanian), but mine are very specific about this.
Here is an excerpt from a manuscript I am working on, dealing with this specific event:
"In the meantime [early September 1944], the independent [Hungarian] IV Corps was advancing on the right wing of the offensive, penetrating into the Romanian-held area of Western Transylvania, at Arad. It consisted of the 1st Armored Division, the 6th Replacement Division, the 1st Field Cavalry Replacement Brigade, the 20th and 31st Battalions, the 61st Pontoon Battalion, and the 7th Assault Gun Battalion. This was actually the last independent offensive action of the Honvédség during the Second World War. The IV Corps took Arad on September 13, 1944, less than 13 hours after the offensive started. The IV Corps advanced on Lipova (Lippa) on September 14, but encountered initial resistance west of Păuliş (Ópálos, Alt-Paulisch) from ad-hoc units made up by Romanian cadets from Radna [Máriaradna] (students of the Reserve Infantry NCOs School). The ad-hoc unit – called "Păuliş" Detachment – was made of three battalions of cadets, one platoon of 93rd Infantry Regiment, one battery of the 38th Artillery Regiment (without cannon), the 1st Battalion from the 96th Infantry Regiment and the 61st Heavy Artillery Battalion. The Rumanian defenders put up a stiff fight, with the help of significant close air support (which the attackers totally lacked), considerably slowing the Hungarians’ advance along the Mureş (Maros, Mieresch) River’s northern bank towards Radna. During six days of battle, they claimed 23 Hungarian light and medium tanks (Toldi and Turán) destroyed or damaged, along with three other vehicles. The Rumanian cadets were soon reinforced with experienced Soviet units from the 53rd Soviet Army. Together, they managed to repulse the Hungarian offensive, at significant cost. The 7th Assault Gun Battalion destroyed during these battles 67 T-34 tanks, but lost 8 StuG IIIs completely, 10 were badly damaged and 12 lightly damaged.
When the Soviet and Rumanian allies counterattacked, they completely overwhelmed the badly trained and poorly armed Hungarian units, which gave ground and evacuated Arad on September 21. It was on this day that SS-Obergruppenführer Artur Phleps, Commander-in-Chief of the Gruppe Siebenbürgen (Transylvania Group) lost his life nearby Arad, under uncertain circumstances, shortly after being captured by Soviet troops. Born in Transylvania in 1881, following a notable military career first in the Austro-Hungarian Army, then in the Royal Romanian Army, Phleps ended up volunteering in the Waffen-SS in 1941. Following the Romanian about-face, the gifted commander was ordered by Himmler back to his native land, to organize the region‘s defense against the Allied enemy. Less than a month later, he found his death as POW to the Soviets, not too far away from the place of his birth."
|Posted by: Florin March 06, 2006 06:13 pm|
Some of my bad sources were the studies written in the days of the Communist regime, when it seems that for the sake of the good relations between Romania and Hungary (both Communist in those days), some actions of the Hungarian Army were passed toward the Germans. Also, as I said, in the memory of some people living in those days the Germans remained as the main player around Arad. But these people are not historians, so you have priority.
Also, while you mentioned that the Germans were not present in big numbers, you mentioned that a notable SS commander was sent to that area. Maybe it was to mobilize the German ethnics for "the cause". The German ethnics, especially the young ones, who were in Hitlerjugend, did their best to support Germany. Most of them did that in uniforms, not in civilian clothing, and this again raise the question about your remark saying that the Germans were not present in numbers.
Regarding Arthur Phleps, I am not surprised at all that he died in custody of the Soviets, as POW. Almost all SS prisoners were killed by the Soviets, and this started from 1941. The luckiest ones got a fast bullet in head. The unluckiest ones were tormented for hours: tongue cut, eyes pierced etc.
First I learned about these things as child, from my grandfather, and later from books. To be fair, the Russian prisoners did not have quite a good treatment, especially in 1941 and 1942.
|Posted by: Florin March 06, 2006 06:44 pm|
Maybe the Hungarian planes were busy with some more important assignments.
My grandmother witnessed a low altitude Hungarian airplane spraying with machine gun bullets the civilians passing along a bridge, near Simeria.
I know I am malicious writing this, but I cannot refrain to don't mention it.
|Posted by: Dénes March 06, 2006 07:19 pm|
The question arises: how could your grandmother differentiate between a Hungarian and a German airplane flying overhead (both A.F. flew German a/c types)?
|Posted by: Florin March 06, 2006 07:32 pm|
From the symbol painted on the wings - this would be scholastic answer. More realistic - she heard other eyewitnesses of the same event, and she trusted their say. If the eyewitness would be my grandfather, I would think the first option.
I think as child I asked your question, and if I remember right the answer was the second option.
|Posted by: Florin March 07, 2006 02:05 pm|
Why did that happen?
without aerial support?
What was the problem, the gasoline or the number of planes able to take off?
I know 1944 was a hard year for every Axis country, but Romania also sustained continued attacks (sometimes daily, for weeks) since March 1944. Needless to add here, Romania lost many planes and pilots (some of them aces) due to the American daytime attacks.
However, elements of the Romanian aviation made their mark in the events following August 23, 1944. I understand that the Hungarian aviation had to cover a wide area, but this was also the case with the Romanian aviation. However, the Romanian planes involved themselves not only above Paulis, but also around Bucharest/Bucuresti and other areas.
From the airfields of Szeged, Hodmezovasarhely and Bekescsaba even a Stuka could be above Arad in less than a half of hour.
I think it would be very interesting if you would mention more about the readiness for fight of the Hungarian air force at August 23, 1944, and if you can mention how many planes were in Transylvania, and how many were in mainland, around Budapest etc. Also it would be interesting to learn how many planes positioned in Hungary were moved to Transylvania as a result of the events of August 23.
|Posted by: Dénes March 07, 2006 02:45 pm|
| Yes, it would be interesting to study the activity of the Royal Hungarian Air Force in the Autumn of 1944, but it would be off topic here I am afraid.
|Posted by: New Connaught Ranger April 28, 2007 12:35 pm|
| Hallo Gentlemen
in June 2001, I was traveling from Bavaria, Germany, to vist Deva, Hunedoara County, Western Romania.
Shortly after leaving ARAD a main town situated close to the Romanian-Hungarian border, I spotted a large monument in the distance through the front window of the bus, snatching up my camera, I snapped the following picture of this impresive looking monument.
I always wondered what it was for, but when you are a bus passenger you are a captive, no chance to jump out and investigate
I always said If I ever got the chance to go by car to ARAD I would get the driver to stop and let me look at the monument more closely well finally on the 26th of April 2007 I got the chance.
Sadly the date in bronze has been vandalised
Right-hand side details of the soldier.
Left-hand side details of the soldier.
Side profile of the monument.
Silently, guarding the place where so many gave up thier lives.
May they all Rest In Peace.
Kev in Deva.
|Posted by: dragos April 28, 2007 01:17 pm|
| The detailed map of the battle
|Posted by: New Connaught Ranger April 28, 2007 01:54 pm|
More names on a marble stone, quite seperate from the main monument.
Inscription on the side of the block of marble.
English Language notice.
German Language Notice.
Romanian Language Notice.
Hungarian Laungauge Notice.
Land to the right rear side of the statue, pity about the rubbish
Land to the left rear of the statue.
My driver Ovidiu, and a shot of the rear of the monument.
Hope you like the pictures.
Kevin in Deva.
|Posted by: Taranov March 25, 2011 08:10 pm|
| Bit ressurection of thread
Small gift from me - few pages from 18 Tank Corps battle report, Central Defence Ministry Archive of Russian Federation. Need russian language reading skill
Also 18 TK been main force in Battle of Arad.
|Posted by: Florin March 28, 2011 02:26 am|
| Taranov, your interesting material is not an incentive strong enough to make us refresh our Russian skills (if any). As I got older and lazier, can you translate for us the 4 rows under the first title (that one mentioning Arad)? Those 4 rows mention the strength of the enemy force: 1 tank division, then what ?
Also, what is the meaning of that list of equipment, at the bottom of the first page? And on the next page, those “500 soldiers and officers”, what’s the story with them?
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 01, 2011 05:05 pm|
| At the beginning of September, to the IV Corps (Hungarian Royal Army) belonged the 1st Honvéd Armored Division (Staff Colonel Koszorús Ferenc) concentrated in the Pécs-Szigetvár zone, 6th Camp Training Division (Major General György Vukováry), 8th Camp Training Division (Dr. Béla Temesy Major General) and 1st Training-Camp Hussars Regiment (Colonel Joseph Auerhammer). Temporarily out of 4th Camp Training Division (Tarnaváry Árpád Major General), on September 9 from Orosháza Hódmezővásárhely region will be directed the 20th (Regular) Infantry Division. After September 20, from the Subotica- Hódmezővásárhely district will be delivered to the IV Corps the 23rd Reserve Division (Major-General Deseő Gusztáv).
From 12 September, the 4th Camp Training Division was moved to the VII. Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Géza Vörös, the younger brother of former chief of staff. The other corps division was the 12 Reserve Division (Bela Nemeth Major General). The Army Corps Command was given to Lieutenant-Colonel Pesty Endre former Chief of Staff.
The 1st Honvéd Armored Division was the IV Corps largest battle experienced unit. The Commander Koszorús, Chief of Staff Colonel, was the 1st Armored Division chief of staff, participated in the 1942 Don campaign, with more then one year on front, and was reputed experienced armor officer. The division chief of staff of the 1944 in early September, Pállfy Muhoray Zoltan was Chief of Staff Captain. Both officers understood each other perfectly.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 01, 2011 06:19 pm|
| The division 1st tank regiment (Col. Zoltan Balo) was made from two tank battalions. A tank battalion of the 1943 year table of organization consists of two heavy tank-companies (11-11 Turan75 and 5-5 Toldi40), two mid-tank-companies (17-17 Turan40 and 5-5 Toldi40), a light-tank-company (eight light tanks) and an armored SPG section (one tank, four Nimrod SPG). However, on 2 September 1944 the tank regiment still had fewer tanks than the TO&E. F.I. the 1/III tank battalion received 5-Toldi light tanks, 3 companies with each 7 Turan, 5 Toldi and 3 Nimrod were available. Also the tank training units and the self-propelled artillery battalion was still necessary. A total of 24 Turan-75 tanks were handed over to the Regiment. Overall, the division prior to the onset of the attack, received an additional 60 armor.
However on the 13 September 1944, before the attack was ordered the 1st Armored Division possessed, according to the data available, 61 Turan-40 medium, 63 Turán-75 heavy and 77 light Toldi tanks (total 201 tanks), and also 42 Nimrod SPG and 5 Csaba reconnaissance armored machine guns.
Source : Számvéber Norbert -Páncélosok a Tiszántúlon (Paktum Nyomdaipari Társaság
Budapest, 2002) The translation accuracy is doubtful, since I don't know hungarian and the hungarian-english internet translator is approximate.
|Posted by: Dénes April 02, 2011 06:37 am|
Thanks, Taranov, for sharing these documents with us. Such inputs are always welcomed.
Can anyone help with translating these Soviet documents? It would be very important to see what these primary documents say.
|Posted by: Petre April 02, 2011 08:28 pm|
| Edited translation:
La 11.09 18.00, B.78 indep.motociclete, intarit cu 3 SU/R.1438 autotunuri soseste in raion Lugoj, pentru a bloca caile de acces in oras dinspre S si SW. Detasamentul a intrat in Lugoj la 12.09 06.00 unde a ocupat dispozitiv de aparare.
3. Cucerirea zonei. Batalia pentru Arad
Gruparea inamica ungara (D.1 Tc., D.5 I.Usoara, D.6 si 19 I.) atacand dinspre W ocupa Arad la 13.09 si, dezvoltand ofensiva spre E, perecliteaza iesirea din munte(?) a trupelor noastre.
Cdt. C.18 A.Tc. sovietic a hotarat sa arunce in lupta un puternic detasament inaintat in raionul PAULIS – vest LIPOVA si sa nu permita desfasurarea inamicului la E de soseaua DEVA-ARAD.
La 14.09 11.00 Detasamentul Inaintat sov. ( un Bt./Bg.32 I.Mo. intarit cu R.452 AAT (19 x 76 mm) si 3 Tc./Bg.110 Tc) comandat de loctiitorul Cdt.Bg.32, Lt.Col.Gorcinski, iese pe aliniamentul PAULIS-ZABRANI.
Inamicul a reusit sa ajunga la PAULIS. Detasamentul sov. a intrat in lupta din mars si a respins atacul tancurilor inamice spre W, luand dispozitiv de aparare pe alin. PAULIS-ZABRANI.
14-19.09 Det.inaintat a mentinut cu tarie aliniam. PAULIS, respingand in 5 zile 23 atacuri ale tancurilor si inf. inamicului, provocandu-i mari pierderi. Luptand sub atacurile Av.inamice, a provocat urmatoarele pierderi : 4 Tc., 4 transp.blindate, 3 tunuri, 28 mitr., 2 aruncatoare, 20 masini inf., 500 morti, 160 soldati prizonieri.
Inamicul nu a reusit sa ocupe PAULIS si neintampinand rezistenta necesara din partea trupelor romane, ataca spre NW si pe 15 si 16.09 cucereste SHIRIA, SPINENI, GAUTZ (TAUTZ)(DRAUTZ), amenintand cu ofensiva pe directia NADASH si taierea comunicatiei DEVA-ARAD. Totodata, inamicul in ofensiva pe directia SHIRIA la 15.09 ocupa COVASANTZ, CUVIN, GHIOROC si ataca Detasamentul inaintat dinspre Nord, ataca pe drumuri de munte si ocupa CLADOVA, amenintand sa cada in spatele Detasamentului.
Cdt. C.A.Sov. a hotarat la 15.09 sa intareasca Detasamentul cu 9 Tc./Bg.110 Tc. si apararea in CAPRUTZA cu 3 x SU-85/ R.1438 Autotunuri.
Din 9 Tc. au ajuns la PAULIS 5 Tc., intrand imediat in lupta. T-34 au fost atacate pe drum de Av.
Incepand cu 16.09 in raionul LIPOVA ajung trupe din avangarda A.53 Sov., intarind pozitiile Detasamentului.
Directiva operativa a Fr.2 Uk. a stabilit misiunea C.18 A.(Tc.) : in coop.cu trupele A.53, la 22.09 ocupa ARAD.
Trupele C.18 A.(Tc.) gata de lupta, prin mars de noapte la 16/17.09 se concentreaza in raionul ODVOSH, CAPRUTZA, BARZAVA(?).
In dimineata 19.09 trupele C.A. sov. se concentreaza in raion NW si NE LIPOVA.
Pe 18.09 ajung in raionul LIPOVA, PAULIS fortele principale ale D.243 I.(/C.57 A.)
Ptr. asigurarea zonei in vederea ofensivei spre ARAD, Cdt. A.53 a dat misiune D.243 I. ca impreuna cu forte ale C.18.A.(Tc.) pe 19.09 sa ocupe CUVIN, GHIOROC, asigurand in acest fel pozitiii de plecare la atac la ofensiva asupre ARAD.
|Posted by: Dénes April 03, 2011 07:23 am|
| Excelent, Petre. Mersi.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 03, 2011 06:05 pm|
|There are many errors (not to tell them actually lies) in the quoted soviet document, which do not match any Romanian nor Hungarian military documents from the time. But without a doubt is very useful to know the former enemy oppinions (I refer here to the Soviet Union) in order to complete the image of the battlefield from september 1944. I support my statements on the documents reviewed by me personally in Arad Museum and in the former Lipova Garrison Museum, documents to which I had access.|
|Posted by: Dénes April 04, 2011 05:27 am|
OT. I've spent my draft period there, in Lipova garrison (UM01191). Is it still an Army barracks?
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 04, 2011 04:53 pm|
|Yes, I visited the Barracks last time in spring 2002, and from what I know, few years later the unit was disbanded. The barracks remained under the army guard as a repository of materials and ammo, and the last year a new military unit was established there. I must say though that I didn't served in the military there, but away from home, in Oltenia, some 10 years ago.|