15 September 2013

More Chain of Command lists for Poland 1939

Two officiall and two un-official lists for Chain of Command and the Polish 1939 campaign.

Official German Heer and SS infantry over at the Too Fat Lardies blog

Official Soviet infantry over at the Too Fat Lardies blog (this list also works for the Winter War 1939/40.

And two list by me who are yet to be approved, these are historically accurate Cavalry and Motorized cavalry platoons. They share the exact same support chart as the Polish infantry platoon.
Get the list for the additional Polish platoons here HERE.

With these additional Polish lists and the already released and TFL approved Polish infantry list you should be able to fight play almost any Polish force during the September Campaign. I will release more Polish platoons in the near future as the platoon level gameplay offers interesting opportunities to field stuff like National Guard and other second rate units.

The Motorized cavalry platoon comes with two ratings, Elite for 10th motorized cavalry brigade and Regular for the Warsaw armoured motorized brigade. Both lists are based upon the WAMB platoon structure since information about the 10th MCB have been lost, but it is almost certain that the Warsaw brigade - which was raised later - followed the same structure and content of the 10th MCB

A few comments on the ratings and support options for the lists

Germans, Heer troops are rated Regular, while SS are Green but also have the rule Diehards which make them ignore the effects of shock. The reason why SS have this combination is simply because the SS infantry during the Polish campaign was made up of rather poorly trained volunteers - they had great morale and willingness to fight but their actions were described as reckless and frustrating to their Heer commanders who had a hard time controlling the troops. The SS units took heavy casualties during the fighting in Poland due to their reckless behavior.

Something you may notice is the limit on German SS support, in Poland the SS units had no tanks of their own - there were only SS armored cars acting in reconnaissance units. It wasn't until France that the SS got their own tank formations.

However, you could bypass this restriction if you want to play the SS as part of Panzerdivision Kempf, which was an experimental formation that mixed Heer Panzers and SS infantry, recon and artillery units. It was disbanded after the Polish campaign. The Panzerdivision Kempf was mainly made up of PzI (61 tanks) and PzII (82 tanks), Befehlpanzer (13)  but also included a couple PzIII (3 tanks) and PzIV (9 tanks). So if you are going to include tank support in a "Kempf" SS platoon it should be limited to German models - meaning no Pz35t or Pz38t.

Soviet infantry, the opposition that the Soviet Red Army met during the Polish campaign was a mix of shattered and reformed Ad-hoc formations, border protection units that had been stripped of much of their heavy equipment and Polish forces focused on withdrawing towards the Hungarian, and Romanian borders. The conditions were quite favorable and the Soviet numbers overwhelming which meant that the weaknesses of the Red Army would not be fully exposed until the Winter War with Finland. This is why the rating is Regular  for Poland and Green for fighting in Finland during the winter months. Adding to that, the Soviet forces in the east/Manchuria were not as affected by the purges and would retain their competent commanders.  As such I think this is the best representation of 1939/40 Soviet troop that we can get in a WW2 ruleset. At least the first one I have come across outside of my own September Campaign book for Flames of War.

Polish cavalry.These troops were rated as the elite in the Polish army. Their training was longer and more rigorous than the regular infantry and the whole formation was filled with a very high fighting spirit and long traditions. Polish cavalry units fought very well during the Polish campaign, from the very first to the very last battle of the campaign. The platoon is represented as dismounted, because on this scale that Chain of Command represents it would not be correct to represent mounted cavalry - as horses were primarily used for transportation. And cavalry charges would also not fit this platoon vs platoon level game.

Polish cavalry didn't serve alongside tanks for the most part but instead had reconnaissance tanks and armored cars to make up the armored support. During later stages of the campaign, where divisions and regiments began to mix as they were withdrawing from the crumbling western front the likelihood of cavalry units serving with some kind of tanks increased.

But in  general you should limit your armored support to tankettes and armored cars.

Polish motorized cavalry: 10th Motorized cavalry brigade.
This was probably the best Polish formation during the war. Both motorized brigades were modeled using cavalry units which meant a very high standard of soldiers. On top of this the 10th motorized cavalry brigade was very well led, was fighting in very favorable terrain and the officers knew how to utilize that terrain for maximum effect. The brigade also had the highest number of machineguns and anti-tank guns compared to any other Polish unit during the campaign, which can explain why they did so well. The 10th motorized cavalry brigade however was sent into battle with poor tank support. The brigade only included Vickers E tanks, both single and twin turret versions. These tanks had been used as training tanks before being rushed to the front, the commander Stanislaw Maczek still managed to use them to great effect and they were a valued part of the brigade until the tanks ran out of fuel and had to be left behind. The brigade also had access to tankettes, including a few with the 20mm gun.

If you want to play this force historically, you should limit your tank support to tankettes and Vickers E tanks type A/B.

Polish motorized cavalry: Warsaw armoured motorized brigade.
The Warsaw armoured motorized brigade (WAMB) was raised prior to the outbreak of the war. It was the second of Poland's two motorized brigade but was still forming when the invasion began. It consisted of both regular infantry and cavalry units, as opposed to the 10th motorized cavalry brigade. The force also had very little time to train together and can be assumed to have had a lower standard than the more purebred 10th MCB.

The WAMB was also less equipped with anti-tank guns than the 10MCB, and was organized to include the same old Vickers E tanks (both single and twin turret version) but it was fortunate enough to absorb the remnants of the 1st Light tank battalion (made up of 7TP) tanks and served alongside them until the two battles of Tomaszow-Lubelski where the whole force was destroyed.

If you want to play this force historically you should limit your tank support to Vickers E type A/B, single turret 7TPjw tanks and tankettes.


  1. Really interesting stuff. How did you decide on the various Force Ratings?

    1. They are just estimated force ratings, based upon what other forces have (both in the core rules and the released PDF lists). It's quite hard to pinpoint exactly how the force rating is classed, but I don't think one point one way or the other is going to tilt the balance. The important thing is for these additional Polish lists to have a higher force rating as they are in many ways better than the regular infantry platoon.


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