Tuchola Forest

Tuchola Forest

The Tuchola Forest ( _pl. Bory Tucholskie; _cs. Tëchòlsczé Bòrë; _de. Tuchler or Tucheler Heide) is a large forest near the town of Tuchola ("Tucheln") in northern Poland, and lies between the Brda and Wda Rivers.


The area was formed during the last glacial age and is covered with low hills and more than 900 post-glacial lakes. With 1,200 km² of dense spruce and pine forest, the area is one of the biggest forests in Poland and Central Europe. Since 1996 part of the area has been designated as the Tuchola Forest National Park, covering convert|46.13|km2|sqmi. Approximately 30% of the area is inhabitated by the Kociewiacy people.

The largest towns in the area are Czersk and Tuchola.


During the German Empire era, "Truppenübungsplatz Gruppe" (now ) was a military exercise area in which medical research was conducted, leading to publication of the name in scientific reports of the early 20th century. During World War I, pacifist doctor Georg Friedrich Nicolai was banned from Berlin to the remote area which had to be ceded in 1919 to Poland as a result of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1939, during the Invasion of Poland at the very beginning of World War II, the major Battle of Tuchola Forest was fought in the area. Soon, the former military test area was occupied again by German troops [Heinz Guderian: Erinnerungen eines Soldaten, "Ich hatte am 3.9 ... meinen Sohn Kurt wiedergesehen und mich dabei an den Türmen von Kulm, meiner Geburtsstadt, erfreut, die vom Ostufer der Weichsel herüberwinkten. Am 4.9 ... bei ihren Waldgefechten und endete auf dem alten deutschen Truppenübungsplatz Gruppe westlich Graudenz.", 1951, [http://books.google.com/books?id=vn4ZAAAAIAAJ&dq=%22truppen%C3%BCbungsplatz+gruppe%22&q=%22truppen%C3%BCbungsplatz+gruppe%22&pgis=1#search] ] , and called "Truppenübungsplatz Westpreußen", or by its code name, „Heidekraut“.

Between August 1944 and January 1945, SS troops under Hans Kammler and Walter Dornberger carried out extensive tests of the A-4 missiles (V-2 rockets), after the test site near Blizna was discovered by the Home Army and then bombed by the Allies. Approximately 107 missiles were fired, in southbound direction, for tests and training purposes. In January 1945 the site had to be evacuated before the Red Army offensive overran the area.

After World War II the forest was a safe haven for many anti-communist partisans, among them Zygmunt Szendzielarz.


* Erich Wernicke: "Wanderungen durch die Tuchler Heide". Kafemann, Danzig 1913 ( [http://kpbc.umk.pl/dlibra/doccontent?from=rss&id=26840 Digitalisat] )

ee also

* List of V-2 test launches
* Rocket launch site

External links

* [http://park.borytucholskie.info/ Bory Tucholskie National Park]
* [http://www.astronautix.com/sites/heikraut.htm Rocket launches at "Heidekraut"]
* [http://www.v2rocket.guide-warsaw.com/index.php?option=com_alberghi&task=detail&Itemid=2&id=1 V2 rocket range Heidekraut today]

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