The insurgent accounts of witness
My war 1939-1945
Availing myself of the opportunity I'd like to correct some mistakes - retained and repeated up to now by many authors, connected with the story of the so-called "trap-tank" that exploded on the 13th of August on Kilinskiego Street (refer to the story: "A trophy death").
- Adam Borkiewicz in the fundamental work "The Warsaw Uprising" describing that event calls the tank that exploded as "the tank of Marck I type." Adam Borkiewicz's example was followed by many authors.
- Browsing German literature in the armour that was made available to me by the Museum of the Polish Army (in 1966) I realized that Marck I wasn't for sure that tank on which I was then sitting and moving. During some further search I found this I'd been looking for - it was a storm vehicle "Borgward IV" (B IV).
- The model of vehicle made by me is presented in the photographs.
The storm cannon StuG 40 protects and brings the storm vehicle Bogvard IV to the attacked object.
On the 13th of August 1944 B IV was escorted and protected by two StuG 40 cannons.
From the B IV ramp a storage container with explosives was slid down
B IV is withdrawing leaving a mine that will be set off by wireless or by the time fuse
when the vehicle has withdrawn into the safe distance.
B IV was even identified with "Goliath." Both models, at the same scale, are presented in the picture, it's plain to see they are different.
"Goliath" a self-propelled mine, remote-controlled by an electric cable pulled out from the inside spool of the vehicle compared to the crew mine carrier B IV.
A fragment of "Goliath" track is located in the wall of St. John Cathedral commemorating a barbaric attack on the temple
.- It's false that a German driving BIV that got stuck on the barricade was shot - he managed to escape!
- The opinions are popular that the command was to be blamed as they let that, tragic in consequences, explosion happen. With all possible firmness I want to contradict it! The command was suspecting a probable Germans' trick and there was given a clear order of Cpt. "Gustaw" to stay away from the vehicle, the barricade crew to withdraw even 50 meters till the vehicle would be examined by the bomb disposal expert what was to happen in the evening. It should be added that BIV was a new type of gun, introduced for the first time in Warsaw and not recognized by the insurgents yet.
As a result of self-propelling mechanism the vehicle was directed into the Old Town what led to the tragedy!
- Lots of divergences can be found in the description of B IV attack on the barricade where it was gained. The majority of authors says that (next to other divergence) B IV was brought to the barricade by two "Tigers." Facts were different: in the attack on the barricade BIV was protected by the fire of the two StuG 40 storm cannons, as "Tigers" in that time and in that place were absent.
- Completing the above-mentioned notes I'll quote some technical details.
"Borgward IV" had the following measurements: the length 365cm, the width 182cm, the height 137cm, speed limit up to 40km/ph, the weight from 3,5 to 5 tonnes depending on the armour-plate thickness (10-20 mm), the explosive load 500kG.
B IV equipped with a radio apparatus for the remote control and for letting off the load. I suppose that if that apparatus had worked effectively, Germans wouldn't have risked the life of soldiers driving that vehicle. One could also assume that there was a deficiency of well-trained crews.
Those interested in that topic please refer to the article of Witold Piasecki "Wiktor" (a bomb disposal expert) published in "Zycie Warszawy" ("Life of Warsaw" newspaper) on the 13th of August 1993 and also to the valuable publication of Janusz Ledwoch about the armour entitled "Warsaw 1944." The Publishing House "Militaria," Warsaw, 2002.
in our times
drawn up by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
translation: Małgorzata Szyszkowska
Copyright © 2011 SPPW1944. All rights reserved.