Contrary to popular belief the Germans didn't have it all their own way in Poland. Polish soldiers gave accounts of themselves that would rival those of the famous German tank and fighter aces. Today we look at one such story.
Roman Orlik
The Germans attacked Poland on 1st of September 1939, two weeks later one Polish soldier would gain notoriety as the first tank ace of the war. Roman Orlik was a lieutenant in the Wolynska Cavalry Brigade. However he didn't ride a horse, he commanded a TKS tankette. The TKS was a small, barley armoured box with Carden-Loyd tracks and a 20mm cannon. Lt Orlik commanded the tankette and manned the gun, his driver was Corporal Zakrzewski.

Lt Orlik's first taste of combat was on the 14th of September. As part of the Polish offensive to drive the Germans back. As the attack ran out of steam, the Poles made one final push to keep the attack moving. Lt Orlik was positioned on a small hill overlooking the River Bzura towards Brochow. His role was to give covering fire to the attacking infantry. His fire knocked out three panzers. Although the attack succeeded, ultimately the German resistance was to great, and the Germans resumed the offensive, pushing the Polish forces back.
On September the 18th Lt Orlik was placed in command of a patrol, his TKS and two TK-3 tankettes (the same tank armed with only a MG). The patrol was ordered to scout the Kampinoska forest. As the three tankettes approached a crossroads, Lt Orlik heard the sound of engines coming down the road from his right. He ordered the two TK-3's to take cover, then pulled off the road to the left and advanced. As he advanced he saw a patrol of German tanks. Two Panzer 35(t)'s and a Panzer IV Ausf B. The later was commanded by the 23 year old Prince Ratibor.
Prince Ratibor
Lt Orlik hit the lead Panzer 35(t) as it approached the crossroads. Both the remaining German tanks shifted off the road away from the Polish tankette, and returned fire. They didn't know exactly where the TKS was though, so their fire was wide. Lt Orlik himself had displaced, shifting further back. He then spied the Panzer IV as it passed the crossroads, he emptied a full magazine into the panzers side setting it on fire. As he continued to move left he spotted the remaining Panzer 35(t) through some bushes as it drove along the road, and promptly knocked it out with another burst.
Prince Ratibor's Panzer IV
After the fighting had ended Lt Orlik raced forward to help rescue the crews of the tanks he had destroyed. He managed to save the tank commanders from two of the Panzer 35(t)'s. Prince Ratibor's Panzer IV was engulfed in flames, and the ammunition detonated. Lt Orlik did manage to rescue to badly burnt Prince, however he soon died of his injuries.
One of the captured German officers remarked to Lt Orlik about the TKS:
" is very hard to hit such a small cockroach with a gun."
Prince Ratibor's Panzer IV
The next day the Wolynska Cavalry brigade was in position at Sieraków with their 37mm guns looking down the road towards the direction the Germans would come from. Lt Orlik and his platoon were on a wooded hill on the left flank of the road. 27 German tanks, mostly Panzer 35(t)'s advanced on the village at about 1000. Another group attacked further along the line. The Lead German tank advancing down the road was hit by the 37mm AT gun waiting for it. Immediately the Germans deployed off the road and spread out advancing towards the village. This gave Lt Orlik perfect flank shots from his hidden position. In the Fight that followed he knocked out a further seven German tanks. Almost all the German tanks in both groups were smashed.

But again tactical victory wasn't matched by strategic victories. By the 20th Warsaw was nearly fully encircled and under siege. Lt Orlik wasn't finished yet though. He lead another TKS in a night infiltration on the 20th/21st September, and managed to reach Warsaw. He fought until the siege ended.
Lt Orlik survived the war, resuming his job as an architect. After the war he wrote a book about his experiences, and remembering the words of the German tank officer he called it "Cockroach Vs Panzers". Roman Orlik died in 1982.