20 May 2014

Polish 1939 military uniform guide (museum pictures)

During my second trip to Warsaw (last month) I went to the army museum again with the intention of taking pictures of the collar insignia of Polish 1939 infantry and cavalry uniforms as this is something that can be hard to find on the internet and Polish uniform details are pretty cool imo and worth checking out if you intend to paint specific units or formations for your wargaming collection or just a historically accurate display model.

A lot of really good pictures of WW2/1939 uniforms can be seen in my PREVIOUS POST from my first visit to Warsaw as well. This post however covers a bunch of items that I missed during my last visit - or because the items were new on display!

Starting out with collar tabs for officers and troops based upon army branch (top to bottom):

Sappers & Engineers

Aircraft personel
Signal personel
Armoured train sappers
Motorized infantry


Catholic clergy
Protestant clergy
Orthodox clergy


Administrative controllers

Muslim clergy
Jewish clergy
Border protection corps

Closeup on the collar tabs, shoulder straps and rogatywka hat of an infantry officer

Polish regular army (right) and cavalry (left) uniforms, soldiers fighting in the  Tuchole forests, battle of Wizna, Bzura counterattack and Wegierska Gorka.

Polish infantry fighting along the coast in battles such as Westerplatte and around Gdynia. Notice how the infantry uniform (center) in the center has a different tan color compared to the muddy brown uniform of the regular infantry. Also worth mentioning is the sailor uniform, as a large number of sailors served as regular infantry units in the battles raging around Gdynia. Also featuring here is a uniform of a Polish railway worker.

Uniforms of Polish pilots and the uniform of a Motorized infantry major (with black beret instead of a rogatywka hat). Also featuring below is the overall used by anti-aircraft battery/anti gas attack crews.

The uniforms of the border protection guard, below you can see the uniform of a private and a lance corporal. Notice that the border protection corps (KOP) didn't use Rogatywka hats, but instead used the so called round "English caps".

Uniforms used by the sailors and navy infantry at Hel peninsula and the river flotilla fighting on land during the final stages of the September Campaign at Kock.

"Garrison" type hats (as opposed to the soft fabric field caps) used by officers depending on troop type and army branch:

Regimental colors of Polish cavalry regiments (featured on the collar, as you can see on this uniform)

Cavalry regiment colors of the 1-27th cavalry regiment (picture one and two)
1-3rd Lancer regiments (bottom 3 on second picture)
1-10th mounted rifle regiment (picture three)

Picture three also shows:
Border protection corps cavalry (bottom three. First from the left)
Horse artillery (bottom three. Second and third from the left)

Some mixed pictures from the 1939 exhibition

A great painting of the Polish armed resistance fighters (led by Major Jan "Ponury" Piwnik ) in the southern mountain region post 1939 capitulation.


  1. What a fantastic guide. Thank you so much for doing this. I've always been tempted by early war Poles. If I ever do them this guild will be invaluable.

    1. Autocorrect fail. should read 'guide' not 'guild' above. Apologies.

  2. "Ponury" force will be post-1942 not 1939, as in September 1939 we led his unit of police to Hungary :)

  3. its nice post thanks for this article


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