Tarnow and region - Tourist Information / Worth seeing / Other interesting places in Tarnow region / Pustków (Death Hill, V-missile base and SS military training ground)

Pustków (Death Hill, V-missile base and SS military training ground)

Location:

Province: Pokarpacie
District: Dębicki
Parish: Dębica

Distance from Tarnów: 50 km
Driving directions from Tarnów: Tarnów – Dębica (National road No. 4, towards Rzeszów) – Pustków (County road No. 985, towards Mielec)

 

Before the World War Two, within the framework of Central Industry District, a housing estate and chemical factories were built. During the WW II there was a massive SS military training ground “Truppen-Übungsplatz Dębica” (it was 25km long and 20km wide, located between Brzeźnica, Sędziszów and Dębica – Mielec railway line) and experimental V-1 and V-2 rockets base. The rockets were tested in separate training ground zone around Blizna town. Information about the experiments was gathered by the Polish military intelligence. In May 1944 V-2 rocket was launched and felt into the Bug River, in area of village Sarnaki but didn’t explode. After an examination by Polish soldiers, the missile was transported by airplane through Tarnów and Italy to London (“Third Bridge” action). In the night on 25 July 1944, on a grassy arranged airfield “Motyl” (butterfly), located in Wał-Ruda town near Tarnów, an allied plane - Douglas C-47 “Dakota” - landed. The plane took cargo and flew back to Brindisi airport in Italy. Action of Polish resistance allowed allies to prevent Great Britain from being destroyed. Knowing structure of the V-2 rockets allies were able to defend themselves effectively.

 

On this particular military ground SS troops were preparing for a strike on USSR. Military facilities and roads were built by locals and captives: French (there was a French prisoners of war camp in 1940), Soviets (1941-1942), Jews (a camp existed between 1940-1944), and Poles. Due to inhuman treatment, freeze, starvation and diseases prisoners died in great numbers. Many were murdered. It is estimated that during the existence of the military training camp ca. 15000 prisoners died or were killed: 7500 Jews, 5000 Russians and 2500 Poles. Executions and burnings of the corpses took place on a nearby hill called Death Hill.

 

More information at: www.ugdebica.pl and www.it.tarnow.pl/atrakcje/tarnow/tpl_taka_jest_historia_19.php (Polish only)

49.962609 21.451728