We’ve recently had our early war Polish army range repainted by the talented hands of Stephan Huber. It’s also given us the opportunity to re-organise the range into more manageable packs as well making individual models available via our Reinforcements system. We have several new models for this range on the way but for now check out the new-look range here. See something of interest? Just click any image and you’ll be sent to the store so you can add that particular model or squad to your collection.
There are few more heroic and stirring sights than Polish cavalry dashing themselves in a desperate charge against German armoured might; lance against Krupp steel. Only, it largely didn’t happen, of course. Gallant though they were, the Polish Cavalryman was no fool. After reforms in 1936 the Polish cavalry was reorganised into twenty six regiments, of four squadrons each with one hundred and twenty men in each squadron. They were supported by HMG and anti-tank squadrons, backed too with tankettes and infantry on bicycles. Sadly for the romantics amongst us, the lance had been retired and was used largely for ceremonial purposes.
The cavalry force was still the best equipped, best trained and indeed largest mounted force in the world, but its role of dashing cavalry had been sensibly changed to that of a ‘fire brigade’, that is a mounted reserve of quality mounted infantry. They rode to the theatre of operations then dismounted and fought with conventional rifle and machine guns, where they fought well against a determined and more mechanised aggressor.
This is not to deny the Polish cavalry their due however, as there were recorded sixteen cavalry charges in World War 2, some of which carried the day, though most were with sabre, and few, if any at all, against armoured units.
Warlord Games however salute the brave Poles, whose motto was “Honour and Fatherland”, and we supply models with lances for the old fashioned cavalry types who still hear the snorting of the horses and the jangle of the bits before the trumpeter sounded the Charge! Simply head to the Polish Cavalry page and have a look at what we’ve to offer!
Just what the infantry and cavalry need; the reassuring tap-tap-tap of a heavy machine gun covering their front!
The WZ30 was the rugged and standard medium/heavy machine gun of the Polish army. Solid and dependable it was in fact pretty much a copy of the classic Colt machine gun from the USA, who foolishly had not patented the design in Poland!
Either way it gave good service in all branches of the armed forces and here it is in all its glory!
The classic infantry support weapon. As with most armies of the period the Poles adopted the 81mm medium mortar. Capable of laying down a rain of shells in short time, this is the weapon you want to either smother the foe with firepower or to break up any assault on your position.
The mortars were normally grouped together with the heavy machine gun company of the Battalion.
Like so many other of the world’s armies in the 1930’s Poland flirted with small tanks, unable to afford larger gun-armed tanks in quantity. When the Germans crashed over their borders in September 1939, they too arrived, we should remember, with many or mostly machine gun armed tanks with paper-thin armour.
Opposing this Blitzkrieg, as it came to be known, was the stolid Polish infantryman, backed up by a few medium tanks and up to five hundred Tankettes. These were mostly used for reconnaissance, although its machine gun would be an unpleasant foe for advancing German light troops, and later on, the Poles re-equipped some with a long 20mm cannon, giving them a useful anti-tank capability.
The Tankettes therefore are not going to survive much contact with anything else than armoured cars and light tanks, but with its low silhouette and speed, it should give the Germans a shock if used en masse!
The Polish infantry squad was a powerful fighting force, comprising of up to 19 men. The riflemen were equipped with Mauser bolt-action rifles and the squad support weapon was the well proven Polish-made Browning automatic rifle, or RKM WZ.28. This machine gun was adequate for most of its roles but would be overpowered by the shattering rate of fire of German MG34’s.
The Polish infantryman of our period was well-trained and highly motivated, attacked as he was on two fronts in a dastardly move by two of the world’s most aggressive powers. Our Early War Polish Squad pictured above is just the thing to get started with your own force. Expand upon this squad with individual models choosen from the list below. Click a model’s image and you’ll be taken to the relevant store entry. Easy stuff!
We have more new miniatures on the way for the Poles but for now there’s plenty for you to get stuck into!