Alternate names



Short history of unit


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  • 5th Infantry Regiment
  • Group of Infantry Regiment No. 5, cover name “Jánošík”
  • Group “Plesnivec”


  • cap. Ján Stanek, commander of the Group
  • cap. Ludovít Krampl, chief of staff (until 10th September 1944)
  • cap. Ján Novák, deputy chief of staff (since 10th September 1944 in the position of the chief of staff)


from 3rd to 9th September 1944 Group of Infantry Regiment No. 5, cover name “Jánošík”

  • Staff of the Group
  • Command Company
  • - command platoon
    - guard platoon
  • Company of Escort Weapons
  • - signal platoon
    - mortar platoon (82 mm mortars)
  • 1st Infantry Battalion
  • - 1st infantry company
    - 2nd infantry company
    - 3rd infantry company
    - machine gun company
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion
  • - 1st infantry company
    - 2nd infantry company
    - 3rd infantry company
    - machine gun company
  • Combined Artillery Detachment
  • - 1st battery
    - 2nd battery
    - 3rd battery
  • Reinforcement Assets
  • - light tank company
    - anti-tank guns company
  • Company of the Military Flying School (called “Blue Devils”)
  • Combined Partisan Detachment
  • - Partisan Brigade of “Stalin”
    - Partisan Brigade for “Freedom of Slavonians”
  • Company Volunteers from the town of Revúca
  • Field Gendarmerie Detachment
  • from 3rd to 9th September 1944 Group of Infantry Regiment No. 5, cover name “Jánošík”

  • Headquarters of the Group
  • Secret Field Police Detachment
  • - 1 section
  • Field Gendarmerie Detachment
  • Staff Company
  • - 1st command platoon
    - 2nd guard platoon
    - 3rd fatigue platoon
  • Recon Company
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
    - 3rd platoon
  • Engineer Company
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
  • Signal Company
  • - 1st telephone platoon
    - 2nd radio platoon
  • Mortar Company
  • - 1st mortar platoon (3 pieces of 82 mm mortars)
    - 2nd mortar platoon (3 pieces of 82 mm mortars)
    - 3rd mortar platoon (2 pieces of 82 mm mortars)
  • Light Tank Company
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
  • Company of the Military Flying School
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
    - 3rd platoon
  • Anti-tank Guns Company
  • - 2 platoons of 4 pieces of 75 mm anti-tank guns\
  • 11th Independent Infantry Battalion
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
    - 3rd platoon
    - 4rd platoon
  • 12th Independent Infantry Battalion
  • - 1st platoon
    - 2nd platoon
    - 3rd platoon
    - 4rd platoon
  • Technical Battalion
  • - 1st technical platoon
    - 2nd technical platoon
  • Combined Artillery Detachment
  • - battery of 10 cm light field howitzers
    - battery of 10,5 cm light field howitzers
    - battery of 15 cm heavy field howitzers
    - battery of 7,5 cm mountain guns
  • Partisan Detachment of Ján Secanský
  • - around 80 partisans


The general history of the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia you can find in the chapter “SNU” on this website.  


In this part of this chapter we would like to draw your attention to the history of the Group “Jánošík” (later “Plesnivec”- see below) which was assigned under the 2 nd Tactical Group of the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia within the Slovak National Uprising in the period of time from 3rd September to 21 st October 1944. The Group commander was cap. Ján Stanek called “Ironstone” who was one of the charismatic leaders serving in the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia . Stanek took command on 3 rd September 1944 from lt.-col. Ján Václav who suffered the nervous breakdown after several serious discomfitures of the 5 th Infantry Regiment in the northeast operational area. On arrival at the battlefield around the village of Telgárt cap. Stanek began to reorganize decimated units retreating toward the town of Brezno. Immediately, at night from 3 rd to 4 th September 1944, established the battle group on the base of the 5 th Infantry Regiment under the cover name Group “Jánošík” (the composition see above). The Headquarters of this Group was set up in the village of Cervená Skala a few kilometers from the village of Telgárt . The Group was a part of the later created II. Tactical Group with the Headquarters in the town of Brezno . Commander of the II. Tactical Group was col. Michal Širica and the chief of staff was cap. Ján Stejskal.  

First clash

The first serious combat in the area around the village of Telgárt began on 5 th September 1944 at 5.20 a.m. and continued till the late of the afternoon. The village of Telgárt was captured by attacking units of Group “Jánošík” at noon . German units which hold the defense position in the village decided to inflame it than they have retreated. After this Germans withdrew and occupied a position on the hill called Besník (Hill 1000). From this position they tried to counter-attack the attacking units of Risers but without any success. In the area near the small railway tunnel fought against each other the tank units of both fighting sides. The Group “Jánošík” lost 2 pieces of Lt-38 light tanks against 1 German tank of an unknown type. The commander of the light tank company of Risers had to retreat because hit the strongpoint of German anti-tank guns. Before nightfall German units tried to attack positions of the Group on the flanks but they were thrown back by sharply aimed fire from the heavy machine guns. In the evening the situation at this part of the front was stabilized. Both sides took the defense positions waiting for the activities of the other side.

Stabilization of the situation at the frontline

After the first clash that happened on 5 th September 1944 the situation on this part of the frontline was longer stabilized. There was noticed just the odd exchange fire from the hand-held weapons occasionally varied by the artillery fire. On 10 th September 1944 during the reorganization of the Army of Risers (this day was officially established the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia) in the early afternoon German artillery batteries focused their activity on the first defense line of the Group “Jánošík” in the centre of its defense position. Slovak soldiers who served at the Eastern Front during Barbarossa Campaign in 1941 recognized that it can be an aiming fire for the forthcoming German attack. Considering this situation cap. Stanek issued the order to withdraw the first line units back into trenches of the second line position. On 11 th September 1944 at 6.00 a.m. after half-house's heavy artillery bombardment German infantry units began their attack against the centre of the defense position of Risers. This attack was stopped at 6.15 a.m. by heavy fire from mortars, light howitzers and heavy machine guns and surprised German infantry men ran back to their SP. Thereafter the Riser´s artillery began to shell the positions of the German artillery from the heavy 15 cm howitzers. The other artillery weapons moved their fire to the first German defense position where many of German infantry men withdrew. After one hour's fight the silence has spread over the battlefield. In the next few days Germans were forced to withdraw their units at the Eastern front where Red Army together with the 1 st Czechoslovak Army Corps lunched the attack across Carpathian Mountains near the town of Dukla (Carpathian - Dukla´s Operation began - for the more information see chapter CDO on this website). Germans left in this operational area just a few 2 nd line units which were strengthened by units established from German minority (Volksdeutsche) living in the area called Spiš (geographical area on the territory of Slovakia ) and in towns of Kežmarok and Poprad. Many of them were members of FS (Freiwillige Schutzstaffel), DJ (Deutsche Jugend), etc.

Perhaps we may recall one more action of the German infantry to seize Hill 1398 called Skalica at night from 13 th to 14 th September 1944 . This attack as many of them before failed and Risers captured 11 German soldiers (POWs).  

Attack preparations of the Group “Jánošík”

On 16 th September 1944 the Group “Jánošík” was renamed on the Group “Plesnivec”. The Headquarters of the Group issued orders to heighten the activity of the recon units. On 18 th September 1944 from the village of Cervená Skala where the Headquarters of the Group was still located the recon cavalry detachment set out to find enemy's bunkers, foxholes, pillboxes, trenches, obstacles and the other defense installations established deeply at the territory occupied by Germans. Before the planed attack it was also very important to know the positions of German artillery batteries. At night from 19 th to 20 September 1944 the other unit of Risers received the order to make a break-out against the enemy's defense position in the north. This unit should have found some POWs who could give the intelligence information for the Headquarters of the Group. All recon actions were very successful and uncovered the accurate places of German units including the successful annihilation of the one German artillery battery (3 cannons) situated beside of the saw-mill near Pusté Pole. The Headquarters of the Group “Plesnivec” received all important information before the forthcoming decisive offensive against Germans.  

The Group “Plesnivec” in the offensive (Last charge)

It was midnight . The forthcoming day 21 st September 1944 became the greatest day of the Group “Plesnivec” and at same time the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia, too. In front of the Headquarters in the village of Cervená Skala assembled the units which were advancing the frontline. Around 4.30 a.m. all attacking units were ready in SP to carry out the crucial offensive against Germans. From the village of Telgárt were fired out series of red signal rockets. At 5.30 a.m. the artillery of Risers began to fire out the first grenades at the positions of Germans. After 10 minutes the infantry battalions were advancing toward the first German defense position established on the Hill 1000 called Besník. The infantry of Risers forced the advanced German troops to retreat to their first defense position but they were not able to hold it because Risers´ artillery with the usage of the very good aimed sharp fire did not allowed taking a stable position from the side of Germans. The attack surprised Germans and their artillery was not able to make any effective measures against attacking Czechoslovak units. German artillery barrages were late and in many of cases grenades hit their own retreating soldiers. One under-strength German infantry battalion tried to counterattack Risers fighting on the Hill 1000 but they were thrown back to the forest by the artillery of Risers. A few minutes after 10.00 a.m. the Hill 1000 called Besník was definitely in the hands of the Group “Plesnivec”. It was a key to continue the attack because Germans caught in their third defense position and German artillery intensified its activity by bombardment of the Hill 1000. The reaction of the Risers´ artillery came very soon and the heavy artillery began to destroy the German artillery batteries. The attack did not leave many casualties in units of Risers which was a positive result of the attack. On the other hand Germans suffered very serious casualties what caused their forthcoming problems in this operational area as far as Grande German Offensive carried out in October 1944 at all fronts of the Uprising. The attack of the Group “Plesnivec” continued at 11.30 a.m. toward the third German defense position set up in the west from the Hill 1079. The rugged defense of Germans was broken in a few minutes and they escaped into near forests. Around 1.00 p.m. the activity of German artillery was sporadic, only. At 1.30 p.m. was the attack of Risers supported by the plane which bombarded Germans situated in the area of the hunting lodge Pusté Pole. At 3.00 p.m. Risers already attacked the area in the north from the village of Vernár supported by their artillery. All units of the Group “Plesnivec” advanced at all sectors of this part of the frontline pushing Germans back toward the town of Poprad . Approximately at 4.30 p.m. Risers captured the hunting lodge and at 6.00 p.m. reached the line on the river of Gelnica – the road Pusté Pole and the Ice-cave of Dobšiná when took the defense position. Germans in panic were retrenching on the line in the west over the cross-road Pusté Pole and in the southwest on the forest block of Javorina (Hill 1188). The attacking activities of the Group “Plesnivec” for the day of 21 st September 1944 finished but the offensive should have continued in next two days. The Headquarters of the Group was moved to the village of Telgárt .

On 22 nd September 1944 the offensive of Risers continued very successfully because of the esprit de Group was on the high level. The Slovak newspapers wrote that the battlefield around Telgárt was “Slovak Staligrad”. The general attack began at 5 minutes to 5 a.m. by the short artillery and mortar bombardment. After this the infantry advanced against German positions. Germans offered heavy resistance but the Risers´ artillery was one again successful. At the most of places the German defense was broken by attacking units but that time was very important not to lose contact with retreating German soldiers. 15 minutes past 6 a.m. were objectives of the attack achieved. After that moment the units took a little rest and continued to pursue of the enemy. In the afternoon the Headquarters of the Group “Plesnivec” was moved to the hunting lodge Pusté Pole. At 6.00 p.m. the commanders of the first line units were reposting to the Headquarters that Germans took defense position on the south-facing slopes of the villages of Hranovnica – Štavník – Betlanovce – Hrabušice and Spišské Tomášovce. In this situation all units of the Group “Plesnivec” took the strategic defense position for a long time.

This is the end of the story of the Group “Plesnivec” which was able to make the successful large offensive against the Germans near the village of Telgárt as one of the few units of the 1 st Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia during Slovak National Uprising and we must be proud of the soldiers who fought in its lines!


For the better illustration of strength and quality of German forces which fought in the battlefield around the village of Telgárt here is the information about them.  

Against the Group “Jánošík” (later “Plesnivec”) were probably embattled following German units:

  • 1st Striking Regiment of the SS Battle Group “Schäfer” (commander – SS-Sturmbannführer Ernst Schäfer). On 3rd September 1944 in the first decade of the battle this unit fought near Telgárt and Pusté Pole. Taking account of the historical sources this unit was a part of 1st German Tank Army under the Army Group “Heinrici”.
  • 208th and 86th Infantry Divisions of Wehrmacht. The lower units of these two divisions marched in the direction Southern Poland – Kežmarok – Spiš – Liptovský Mikuláš – Poprad – Prešov –Vernár – Telgárt and Horehronie (geographical area over the town of Brezno beside the headwater of the river of Hron (Grad)). The presence of 201st Infantry Regiment (commander – col. Martin Lezius), 202nd Infantry Regiment (commander – col. Körper), 203rd Infantry Regiment, 86th Field Artillery Regiment and 17th Anti-tank Guns´ Detachment was noticed.
  • There is a big probability that also several SS units were added to formations of the above-mentioned Wehrmacht units but their strength was not greater than a battalion. These SS units covered supporting activities, only. This was also confirmed by SS-men who were captured by Risers during the battle for Telgárt. They confined that Wehrmacht units attacking against the Group of cap. Stanek were refilled from regiments of 5th SS Tank Division “Wiking” and 11th SS Volunteer Tank Grenadier Division “Nordland”.
  • As mentioned above Germans also used “services” of Volksdeutche living at the territory of Eastern Slovakia.
  • • On 21st October 1944 the Group “Plesnivec” really met the SS unit rather the Right Regimental Group of 18th SS Volunteer Tank Grenadier Division “Horst Wessel” (commander SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Trabant) that was struggling on the town of Brezno from the southeast direction.

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1 st Guard Storm E. B.