27 October 2012

New Polish Early War releases from FiB

Forged in Battle recently released their long awaited 10th motorized cavalry brigade miniatures for the Early War Poles. The 40 miniature blister should be enough to make 2 platoons which is a 2/3rd of a company, imo the ideal size for the cavalry/motorized cavalry companies in Flames of War. Now we just have to sit tight for them to release the other set of miniatures they previewed earlier this spring - the dismounted cavalry which I thought looked exceptionally good even for FiB standards (and that could double as Warsaw armoured motorized brigade troops).

It's also great to see a completely unannounced blister containing the 75mm artillery which was very common. This particular model could serve as either infantry gun platoons for regular army, or as part of a light artillery battery for a motorized brigade due to the wheels (regular cavalry had old fashioned limbers). In one email I received a while back there was also a mention about 7TP tanks in the pipeline. Of course I did my best to try to convince them to work on a Vickers E tank for the Poles while they are at it.

The 10th motorized cavalry brigade is a subject of endless discussion. Did they all wear leather trench coats/tank crew jackets as they were called the "Black brigade" by the Germans? The written sources point towards no, not all of them had this leather jacket. Further investigation on the 10th motorized cavalry brigade is difficult as many sources are fragmented and incomplete. The units that formed the 10th motorized in 1937 were the 24th Uhlan regiment and 10th mounted riflemen regiment and both equipped with regular cavalry branch uniforms.

The cavalry uniform was made of the wz.19 greatcoat, wz.19 long cavalry jacket, cavalry pants, cavalry boots, field caps etc. They were pretty much wearing regular cavalry uniforms save for having spurs on their boots (though the officers retained their spurs early on as a trademark item).

However, the modernization and standardization of the whole Polish army called for equipping the units with the newer wz.36 type uniform (worn by the regular army branch). During this transition of uniform types the 10th motorized also received a batch of typically "tank crew" type uniform pieces such as black berets which were used along with Adrian helmet and leather jackets.

The WW1 helmets came from an army surplus depot and was only used by the 10th motorized cavalry brigade.

Boiling down all sources for the 10th motorized it can be asserted that the jackets were only used by a fraction of the brigade, the highest probability is officers and motorcycle troops. The regular rank and file in all likelihood had a cavalry styled uniform with cavalry greatcoats and a mix of Adrian helmets, Austrian WW1 helmets and black berets.

The Warsaw armoured motorized brigade on the other hand was created in 1939 and was still not fully formed when the war broke out. The little information about them that exist suggest that they did not have the same uniforms as the 10th motorized brigade, but rather regular army and regular cavalry uniforms - with the addition of black berets. As they were garrisoned in Warsaw when the invasion began they could have been waiting for their new equipment to arrive.

Why the mix of cavalry and regular army uniforms? Well the Warsaw armoured motorized brigade was formed from the 1st Mounted Rifle regiment and the 1st Infantry regiment. So obviously not all soldiers had cavalry equipment and uniforms as they hailed from different parent organizations.

Btw, putting some finishing touches to the Forged in Battle mounted cavalry , pictures of this new platoon will be up soon.

1 comment:

  1. Great News as I will start building a polish Early War Army next month!

    ReplyDelete

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