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Independent Operational Group Silesia

Silesian Voivode Michał Grażyński, Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły, and General Władysław Bortnowski in Czech Cieszyn, 12 October 1938

Independent Operational Group Silesia (Polish: Samodzielna Grupa Operacyjna Śląsk, SGO Śląsk) was an Operational Group of the Polish Army, created in September 1938 to annex Zaolzie from Czechoslovakia.



The Group was commanded by General Władysław Bortnowski and comprised several Army units and five air squadrons. Altogether, 35,966 Polish officers and soldiers participated in the annexation of Zaolzie.

The Group comprised mostly units of the 4th Infantry Division, as well as regiments of the 14th Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Division, 16th Infantry Division, 23rd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, and 21st Mountain Infantry Division. Additionally, a cavalry regiment was created, comprising units of the Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade and the Pomeranian Cavalry Brigade.

Annexation of Zaolzie regionEdit

Ruling that mandates exclusive use of Polish language on the annected territory issued in Czeski Cieszyn by Leon Malhomme

After its creation, the military unit was stationed near the border of Poland and Czechoslovakia.

As a result of Munich crisis, Czechoslovak government yielded to the Polish pressure and gave up a part of Cieszyn Silesia region (namely Zaolzie) to Poland (as demanded by Poland under a threat of military action). The Independent Operational Group Silesia was carrying out the annexation from 2 to 11 October 1938.

Group terminationEdit

On Dec 9, 1938 the Independent Operational Group Silesia was ordered to leave the occupied territory and the group was dissolved after that.

See alsoEdit


  • Marek Piotr Deszczyński, Ostatni egzamin. Wojsko Polskie wobec kryzysu czechosłowackiego 1938-1939 (The Final Exam: The Polish Armed Forces in the Czechoslovak Crisis of 1938–1939), Warsaw, 2003.

External linksEdit