29 August 2013

Chain of Command 1939 Polish army PDF and info

Too Fat Lardies have made the very first PDF supplement for Chain of Command available for free download. It covers the regular Polish infantry platoon. I must comment on the dedication and strife for historical accuracy of Too Fat Lardies, it was an refreshing experience to help them out with information about the Early War Polish army. It  makes me reassured that the same level of care and knowledge is being put into their other army lists that are currently available and those to be released in the future.

The POLISH INFANTRY PDF which you can download through the Too Fat Lardies blog can also be used to represent Polish mountain troops and KOP (Border Protection Corps) fighting along the German/Slovak border.

The KOP forces fighting on the eastern front against the Soviet invaders were of slightly poorer quality and under armed since the better trained troops and most of the heavy equipment had been relocated towards the Polish-German border earlier in 1939. In fact - troops and equipment were being sent to strengthen the crumbling frontline as late as September 17th, the day of the Soviet invasion.

You could also use this organization to represent Polish sailors fighting on land and Polish naval infantry fighting around Gdynia as they were organized according to regular infantry standards. It is harder to tell how the sailors from the river flotillas were organized after having scuttled their patrol boats as they were fighting with the more loosely ad-hoc organized remnants of the Operational Group Polesie.

This PDF however cannot be used to properly represent Polish cavalry formations, neither can it be used to represent either the 10th Motorized cavalry brigade or the Warsaw armored motorized brigade as the  platoon structure and platoon support was different - and the platoons were considerably smaller than the large regular infantry platoon.

The support options for the Polish infantry platoon reflect every single item that the Polish infantry would have fought alongside across Poland durign the invasion. Tanks were in general quite rare and mainly used in a support role and in small numbers when fighting alongside infantry. Tankattes and amored cars were probably the most common armored support that the Polish infantryman would encounter during the campaign.

Some tanks were even more rare than others, Poland had for instance only a handful of H-35 tanks which had been bought for evaluation, the R-35 was available in larger quantities (49). The wz.29 armored car was also very rare compared to the smaller and more version wz.34. The up armored 7TP also often called 9TP or "7TP 1939" was delivered in 1939 and only 11 prototypes of this improved tank took part in battle - and all took part in the fighting in and around Warsaw where they were attached to the city defense HQ.

Of the tankettes, Poland had vast numbers of MG armed tankettes, while the 20mm gun version was slowly replacing the MG version. But at the outbreak of the war the 20mm version was in minority with only around 24 vehicles which were spread out among the tankette units in Polish reconnaissance companies.

The most numerous Polish tanks were the single turret 7TP, available with around 150 vehicles, of which around two dozen were twin MG turret version that had not yet been converted with the single turret AT gun. The other most numerous tank would be the obsolete FT-17, available with around 100 vehicles. The Poles being aware that these vehicles were not suited for modern warfare used them defensively around garrison fortresses such as that of Brest.

Lastly there were the Vickers E tanks, Type A with twin MG turrets and Type B with a single AT turret. Their exact number is unknown as sources are not in agreement, they were very few and formed two under strength companies. The tanks fought alongside both Polish motorized brigades. They were really intended for training before the war broke out, but were pressed into service and served with distinction alongside the 10th motorized cavalry brigade.

Regular infantry formation would come into contact with these vehicles, but it would be extremely rare if they saw two kinds of tanks during the same battle. The most probably mix of vehicles would be tankettes with Vickers tanks, tankettes with 7TP tanks. It is highly unlikely that the R-35/H-35 and the 7TP would have shared the same battlefield, equally unlikely as the FT-17 serving alongside anything beyond tankettes or regular armored cars.

Polish armored support during the campaign was spread thin and only operated in larger formations on a select few occasions such as the battles of Piotrkow-Trybunalski and Tomaszow-Lubelski.

About troop quality and the amount of platoon support, if you want to reflect it in Chain of Command and put together your own lists before there will be any more official Polish ones released:

Cavalry formations and the two motorized brigades which were based upon cavalry organization differ - mainly they had fewer men in each platoon compared to the big infantry platoons.

The cavalry and 10th motorized cavalry brigade would also be rated as better than the infantry as it had better training and was deemed an elite formation in the Polish army. The same goes for the 10th MCB, which was a transformed cavalry unit that became a motorized brigade - though they further proved their worth in their combat actions during the campaign.

The Warsaw armored motorized brigade was made up of a mix of regular cavalry and regular infantry units so it's quality was somewhat lower not only because of the mix of troop types but also because it had just recently been created and not given the chance to train in its new role as much as the 10th MCB had done. As such the Warsaw brigade should have the same platoon rating as the infantry "Regular"

As for platoon support, the cavalry should have a lower number since they had very vehicle little support other than tankettes and armored cars, though they had 37mm and 75mm guns.

Both motorized brigades were given crap vehicles (tankettes and Vickers tanks) but looking at the big picture their troops had more armored support than the regular infantry forces, so I guess they could be bumped up a noth or two on the platoon support.


Players who want to get a better understanding of the battles and fighting during the Polish campaign are welcome to download my campaign book "Poland in Flames". It was written with Flames of War in mind, but the historical descriptions of the battles, as well as the rough outline of the scenarios should be of interest to anyone looking to learn more about the invasion of Poland 1939. You can download POLAND IN FLAMES HERE

TFL are already working on the Early War German lists, hopefully Magnus and I will be able to play both armies in their final shape and form this Sunday down at the club.


  1. Its not a PDF, its an MS Office document (which is completely useless to me since i do not have MS Office)

    1. The document is a PDF on my computer when I download it?

    2. Just checked again, its a PDF now. Dont know what happened the first time, but seems a few others had the same problem at first.

  2. I have same as Anatoli- once I download it on my pc it's save as pdf file.

  3. Give that man his money back! lol


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