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Polish military in 1939 in pictures.


Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #1
Goebbels claimed that Poles attacked tanks with sabers and foul language, the West and communist Russia parroted how obsolete and weak the milion strong Polish army was so for all our non-Polish and Polish members, let the pictures do the talking, Polish army equipment first, pictures from Polish perspective of 1939 later.

Polish armor.

Tankettes were the most numerous element of Polish armor, cheap to produce but inadequate due to their relatively weak armor, none the less heavily armed versions proved effective when Seargant Orlik destroyed 3 German tanks (2 pz 35T and 1 Pz I) using his 20mm armed tankette.

Approximately 500 tankettes took part in the September campaign, due to inadequate armor they suffered heavy losses yet the re-armed tank destroyer versions had considerable success.

TKS, at nearly 300, armed with a machinegun they constituted the major variant among Polish tankettes.

Testing of the tankette chassis prior to the purchase by the Poles sometime in the 30s.

German soldiers inspect captured tankettes.

37mm armed medium tank destoyer tankettes, an unknown number between one and two dozens were rearmed with a 37mm main gun before the outbreak of the war.

Self propelled artillery version, a dozen of these were built before the war, despite satisfactory performance the limits of this variant meant it never entered mass pruduction, the existing models took part in defence of Warsaw.

20mm armed light tank destroyer variant, between 20 and 30~ of these took part in the September campaign.

Light artillery tractors.

This weird creature was an attempt to give the tankette a turret, 2 prototypes were made, at least one was used in combat.

Next tanks.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,423
28 Sep 2009 #2
#1
Goebbels claimed that Poles attacked tanks with sabers and foul languag

It wasn't Göbbels....

historynet.com/polish-cavalry-charges-tanks.htm

....This "skirmish at Krojanty," described in sensationalist terms by journalists like William Shirer, is almost certainly the source material for the fanciful tale of Polish cavalry charging tanks....

Somehow the same with "polish jokes"...Poles are eager to pin all their warts on Germans somehow....
Mr Grunwald 23 | 1,661
28 Sep 2009 #3
Somehow the same with "polish jokes"...Poles are eager to pin all their warts on Germans somehow....

Well Poles been more depressed knowing it was an American's fault!
Don't make them more depressed BB the goverment tries so hard that people won't sing Rota :=)
make people more depressed then they will just get the lust for conquest! ;)
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #4
Apart from about 500 tankettes Poland had 320~ tanks of varying types.

FT-17.

In September 1939 102 tanks armed with 8mm machineguns and 37mm main guns took part in combat grouped with tankettes into 3 armored companies, the tank is roughly comparable to the German Panzer I (though it is better armed having an actuall anti-tank capacity).

R-35

Poland purchased 100 Renault-35 from France, the first shipment of 50 made it to Poland and took part in the campaign.

Vickers 6-ton.

Armed with a 37mm cannon aproximately 26 Vickers tanks took part in combat in September 1939.

7-TP.

The best Polish tank in use in 1939, responsible for spearheading the first major armored engagement of the war (won by Poles) at Tomaszów Lubelski, this 7.5 ton tank was arguably the best machine used on both sides of the conflict in September 1939.

Between 140 and 160 7tps took part in the September campaign.

Next, tank and tank destroyer projects and prototypes.

@BB

I never said it was the Germans, i said it was Goebbels and yes it was started by reporters, not sure which since there were several cases, Germans at large were impressed apart from Heinz Guderian who got one of his major humiliations of WW2 at Wizna and had nothing good to say about Poles afterwards.

Lets roll on to armored cars.
Mr Grunwald 23 | 1,661
28 Sep 2009 #5
If you find anything more I will be happy to look at them :=)
So that you won't think I am here just to babble and nobody is watching ^^

I wanna see more vote!
sjam 2 | 541
28 Sep 2009 #6
IMO the best site on the Polish defensive war September 1939.

Kampania Wrzesniowa Polska 1939
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #7
Armored prototypes and projects.

In 1939 Poland had 5 main projects regarding armor, two of which were about to enter production, the other two were in the final stages of development.

Light tank prototype.

PzInż140 was a 4 ton tank supposed to replace all the tankettes, its final version was supposed to be outfitted with either 37mm gun or 20mm rapid firing gun, the tankettes would then be relegated to the role of light tank destroyers, artillery tractors or scrapped.

By 1939 several working prototypes were built.

10TP cruiser tank, an advanced light tank comparable, tnhis 12 ton vehicle was supposed to become the main tank of the cavalry brigades by 1941, two fully working prototypes took part in September campaign.

PzInż160 medium self propelled gun, this was an advanced project, a wooden mock up existed and the project itself was in final assesment by the army, this is the computer rendering of how the machine spg was to look (there exist original plans but they're notoriously hard to come by).

20/25TP

In 1939 a medium 25 ton tank project was finalized and to enter a prototype phase, the tank was originally conceived with 2 turrets (as on picture) but finally was supposed to stay with just a single turret that would house a 75mm gun.

Its OK, there's some innacuracies but i mostly have beef with their pictures, i prefer to dig up rarer ones (though they have some good ones that i use).
Mr Grunwald 23 | 1,661
28 Sep 2009 #8
Ooo 10TP allmost resembles a Soviet one!
BBTBr.Panc looks like a British one!
20/25TP looks like a German tank destroyer!
Oops sorry Nazi destroyer ;)
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #9
Ooo 10TP allmost resembles a Soviet one!

They're both built using an American christie chassis, the Soviets had a very close equivalent to 10TP, it was called BT-7.

They were both VERY similar, they were both the fastest tanks in the world throught WW2 and possibly the most manouverable, here's both of them for comparison.

Russian BT-7

Polish 10 TP

Another project was the 14tp, a 15 ton fast tank armed with a 47mm main gun that was an evolution of 10TP, there existed a mock up but i was unable to locate pictures (they're out there though) so a computer rendering and scale comparison of 14TP and 23TP against their counterparts of the period:

Now for armored cars.

Now for armored cars.

Armored Peugot cars, armed with a 37mm Pateux main gun and a 7.92mm machinegun, by the outbreak of WW2 they have been withdrawn from the army as obsolete and given to police, approximately 20 of these vehicles took part in the war as part of the border corpse and police units.

Wz28, heavily armed with a 37mm main gun, approximately 50 of these halftracked cars took part in the battle.

Modified to an all wheel drive for greater speed the Wz34, two variants existed, armed with a 37mm main gun or with a 7.92mm machinegun.

Between 60 and 80 of these cars took part in the war.

Not technically an armored car, this armored scout car was to enter service in motorised reconnesaince companies sometime in the winter of 1939, two prototypes took part in the war.

On to trucks, tractors and bikes.

Also who says only Germans had monopoly on cool propaganda posters:)
Crow 139 | 8,273
28 Sep 2009 #10
Polish military in 1939 in pictures

there wouldn`t be Polish 1939 if there was no Serbian 1914 year, in Sarajevo
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,423
28 Sep 2009 #11
Also who says only Germans had monopoly on cool propaganda posters:)

What does it say?

(Please not "Berlin in one week" or so....)
Borrka 37 | 594
28 Sep 2009 #12
(Please not "Berlin in one week" or so....)

Boring.
Are you very proud of what nazi Germany has done to Europeans (including Germans) ?
Everybody believed that given mighty France and British support it could have worked.
Being German I wold rather shut up.
Thanks God I'm not.
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #13
(Please not "Berlin in one week" or so....)

Cool not stupid.

It translates roughly to "Violence has to be repulsed with violence." and the smaller sign above the blurred tanks says "We will not surrender what is ours, invaders will be defeated."

there wouldn`t be Polish 1939 if there was no Serbian 1914 year, in Sarajevo

True if it wasnt for Gavril we'd all just go *POP* and vanish, you're like a living perpetum mobile Crow, in goes everything and out comes Serbia.

Everybody believed that given mighty France and British support it could have worked.

Given just French support it had every chance to work, 1939 is the year when Germany is still weak, the briliant victory was won mainly due to several crucial polish strategic mistakes and Russian invasion, without it pulling off a 5 week low cost campaign would have been impossible, Hilderbrand and Mannstein both agree that Poland might have bled German resources white if not for Polish mistakes and Russian invasion (which is not to say Germany wouldnt win, with the resources of Austria and Czechoslovakia and a new concept of war behind their belt it would just take them longer and castrate their army in the process).
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,423
28 Sep 2009 #14
Cool not stupid.

Also true...

Thanks for the translation!
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Sep 2009 #15
Before i roll on a beer, Polish army motorised component just prior to the war.

Motorised infantry squad (from the Polish motorised-armored brigade).

C2P medium artillery tractor towing what looks like a 155mm howitzer (sorry thats actually a 75mm AT gun)

Ambulances.

More of the C2P medium tractor.

Domestically built truck for motorised units, 200 entered the ranks before the war.

C4P medium tractors towing 37mm Bofors AA guns and searchlights.

Motorised company.

C4P medium tractor/troop transport.

Citroen halftrack towing a 75mm howitzer manned by an artillery section.

An infantry unit mounted on lorries.

Citroen halftrack with a 75mm gun.

Polish mechanized unit parked outside a manor.

Sokól-1000 bike.

Polish motorised recon on campaign (soldiers wear German Stahlelms, some of the old German helmets were in use in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Hungary.)

C2P towing a 120mm mortar.

Partially motorised cavalry unit.

Light engineering tractor.

All terrain recon/light duty transport.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,423
28 Sep 2009 #16
Boring.

Not boring...funny!

Thanks God I'm not.

Yeah me too!!!
Mr Grunwald 23 | 1,661
30 Sep 2009 #17
They were both VERY similar

I tell you I know some things ;)

What does it say?

(Please not "Berlin in one week" or so....)

"W Tydzień! Berlin!" ?

I like "Zwarci i zjednoczeni, Zwycieżymy wroga!" much better :D
I got it as a poster in my room and "WARA" at my door xD
"WARA" all who wants to get into my room hihi :P

"To arms!".

"United and unified we will, We will conquer the enemy!":)

Same poster!
It was To arms! & United and unified we will defeat the enemy!

Wonderfull pictures! Many of them never seen! (pictures, I have seen most of the vehicles but thoose tanks :O)
Torq 32 | 2,897
2 Oct 2009 #18
This "skirmish at Krojanty," described in sensationalist terms by journalists like William Shirer, is almost certainly the source material for the fanciful tale of Polish cavalry charging tanks

But of course, Polish cavalry DID charge German tanks with lances!
Don't you read French comic books?

Of course, to be fair to our French friends, they also have slightly better sources: 39-45strategie.com/La-cavalerie-Polonaise.3764.0.html
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
7 Oct 2009 #19
This is a rare one, from a friend who sent this to me i got the description, Polish infantry turning their gun on a Pz35T (seen in a distance) thats speeding towards their position.

A Pz II tank after a direct hit with a 100mm artillery shell, an engine, a piece of hull and a turret.

Mors smg, one of the few surviving pictures.

Polish sharpshooter, probably from the Hel naval base.

A section of a heavy armored train.

Polish 23TP medium tank with a single turret(artist rendition).
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
8 Oct 2009 #20
Sokrates

Thanks a lot for posting all these really cool pictures - I've enjoyed them.

I have some intersting 'on field' pictures of my grandad taken just prior to the outbreak of the war which if I can find I'll try to post. One of the most interesting ones is him in full dress uniform pushing a wheel barrow next to what I think were some very round and high embrasures.

Do you have any more pictures of Polish cavalry in action?

Cheers, Dan

Goebbels claimed that Poles attacked tanks with sabers and foul language

Whilst the material I've read suggesat that the above appears to have been a myth created by an Italian journalist at the front, I've been told of a skirmish in the first few days of WW2 where a small squadron of Polish cavalry met an equal sized squad of German cavalry on an opposing hill. They both eyed each other off and allowed each other the courtesy to form up. They then charged each other with sabres and the cavalry man who relayed the story said the Gerries fled in the first clash but after he took down one German with a cut from the top of the collar bone down to the chest - stirring stuff!
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
8 Oct 2009 #21
Bugger i posted Mors twice, i'll have some battlefield pictures sent to me from Germany in a few days.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
8 Oct 2009 #22
this 7.5 ton tank was arguably the best machine used on both sides of the conflict in September 1939.

Ie,a licensed copy,with some mods,of the british vickers.

the West and communist Russia parroted how obsolete and weak the milion strong Polish army was

Well,lets face it,it was weak,in terms of not being mobilised and being scattered very badly. In 39 the Poles in places put up some of the most heroic defensive AND offfensive actions of ww2 but that doesnt detract from its overall weakness,ie,it lost,just as the french and british did 6 months later.....
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
8 Oct 2009 #23
Ie,a licensed copy,with some mods,of the british vickers.

Different turret, different gun, modified hull, completely differnt optics - Poles took a very poor tank and made a Panzer III equivalent (from Hildebrands own words) it had very little of the original british crapbox left in it.

Well,lets face it,it was weak

Was it? It fought a week longer then the French, British and Low Countries, it made Germans fight the first massive battle of WW2 where 650.000 soldiers fought on both sides.

Also Blitzkrieg is a myth, unlike in Russia, France and everywhere else Poles actually stopped Wehrmacht all across their 2000km border for 3 days.

Turns out Polish army with its outdated equipment performed better then the combined armies of the entire Western Europe.

In 39 the Poles in places put up some of the most heroic defensive AND offfensive actions

And some of the most succesfull ones, before Russia and Normandy Poland was the site of the largest armored battle, largest aerial battle and largest land battles (multiple) which cost Germans a grand total of 1/5th of their materiel.

that doesnt detract from its overall weakness,ie,it lost,just as the french and british did 6 months later.....

On the contrary it did not lose like the French and British, it managed hold Germans along the entire border, it managed to win a number of massive battles, Polish army outperformed the West.

In addition Poland was forced to fight over half a milion Soviets and 50.000 Slovaks and unlike France it did not have allies, fortification lines or buffer states (low countries).

So if you state that Polish Army was weak then how do you describe the French/British/Low Countries performance which having much greater resources and superior strategic situation performed that much worse then Poles?

I've been told of a skirmish in the first few days of WW2 where a small squadron of Polish cavalry met an equal sized squad of German cavalry on an opposing hill. They both eyed each other off and allowed each other the courtesy to form up. They then charged each other with sabres

Village of Żubrówka i believe.
Harry
8 Oct 2009 #24
Village of Żubrówka i believe.

Krasnobród. I was there last month.

Amazingly enough, OziDan's version is wrong. The Poles charged German troops and then German cavalry counter-charged. Nobody gave anybody the courtesy of forming up, no matter what it said in the book our favourite racist had read to him.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
8 Oct 2009 #25
Amazingly you're still consumed by hatred to anything Polish.

This is not Ozi's version, but a historic fact.

What you keep on repeating clearly shows you much prefer to form your opinions on the basis of Nazi propaganda. No surprise here. Most people hating Poles and Poland would.
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
8 Oct 2009 #26
What you keep on repeating clearly shows you much prefer to form your opinions on the basis of Nazi propaganda. No surprise here. Most people hating Poles and Poland would.

Actually there were multiple examples where cavalry units showed each other such courtesy initially.

The Poles charged German troops and then German cavalry counter-charged.

Normally i ignore your posts all together but you seem determined to infest my thread, Poles did not charge German troops, they were charged downhill by what was probably a reinforced squadron of Siebzehnte Reiter Regiment or 17th Bamberg Reiter regiment, after the German commander was killed his unit was routed, during pursuit however Poles got into a crossfire from concealed machinegun nests and the squadron was almost destroyed.

Nobody gave anybody the courtesy of forming up,

Quite the opposite, Hildebrand makes mention of such things, Guderian scornuflly remarks about "ridiculous concessions" a dragoon unit under him made, Major Rożniak mentiones it in his memoirs, there are at least several documented cases where Polish and German cavalry not only allowed time to form up but didnt collect prisoners and allowed the defeated to witdhraw in peace.
gumishu 11 | 5,335
8 Oct 2009 #27
Krasnobród. I was there last month.

I actually have no knowledge of that skirmish (including when and where) - but if it's true what OziDan says (that it happenned within a couple of days from the start of the war) it couldn't have been Krasnobród because it's deep into Poland (well - was then) in Lublin area - if there was some cavalry battle around Krasnobród I bet it happenned no earlier than 10th or perhaps even 12th of September

23 września 1939 miała tu miejsce szarża 25 Pułku Ułanów Wielkopolskich podpułkownika Stachlewskiego

this is from Wikipedia entry on Krasnobród
aaa
Guderian troops weren't there (his troops operated further north)
southern 75 | 7,096
9 Oct 2009 #28
German soldiers inspect captured tankettes.

German soldiers seem to laugh actually.

Only Czechs had some serious tanks at that period.(which Germans made use of).Can you imagine Germans using tankettes against the T-34s?
OP Sokrates 8 | 3,346
9 Oct 2009 #29
Only Czechs had some serious tanks at that period

7TP, 10TP, Pz III, PzIV R-35,D-2, BT-7, T-34, KV-1 and more.

There's quite a lot of countries, Poland included that had better tanks than the Czechs.
mets2redsox0 - | 40
9 Oct 2009 #30
Polish automatic rifle, Germans deny copying Gewehr-43 after it despite the guns being so similar.

come on, that's (Polish automatic rifle) a copy of the Browning A-5 Shotgun type action or a 1918 BAR (Browning Automatic Rfile) Machinegun and the Gewehr-43 is nothing more then a M-1 Garand Rilfe, Gezzs!.


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