Polish Forces in the West 1945
Polish Forces in the West 1945
The Polish Land Forces formations organization followed the Brittish pattern.
1st Polish Corps in the UK
1st Polish Armoured Division – in Germany
4th Infantry Division (dywizja grenadierow)
16th Tank Brigade
1st Polish Airborne Brigade (parachute) – fought in operation Market Garden in Holland in 1944.
1th Polish Armoured division (1 polska dywizja pancerna).
Formed on 26 Feb 1942 in the United Kingdom from Polish troops that had escaped from France in 1940.
1942- UK: formed with 16th Tank Bde and 10th Armd Cavalary Bde.
1943 – UK: reorganised with 10th Armd Cav Bde and 3rd Rifle Bde in Oct.
1944- Europe, landed in Normandy on 30 Jul and fought through the Normandy campaign to the Falaise pocket (as part of 1th Canadian Army)
Belgium, Holland and Germany
1945 – Germany: Kusten Canal, reached and captured Wilhelshaven port at the end of war.
Organization of Polish 1st Armoured Division
10th Polish Armd Cavalary Brigade (3 x tank regiments , 1 motor battalion):
1st armoured regiment
2nd armoured regiment
24st Lancers regiment (tank regiment)
10th Dragoon regiment (motor battalion)
3rd Rifle Brigade (3 inf battalions, 1 support squadron):
1st Highland infantry battalion (batalion strzelcow podhalanskich)
8th infantry battalion
9th infantry battalion
1 support company
1th motorized artillery regiment
2nd motorized artillery regiment
1 anti tank regiment
1 light aa regiment
10th Mounted Rifle regiment (pulk strzelcow konnych) – armd recce regiment
1 divisional signal battalion
1 armoured divisional engineer battalion
1 tank replacement squadron
Logistics and othe troops
2nd Polish Corps
Formed in Palestine in 1942 from Polish troops evacuated from Sovjetunion in 1942.
1944- Italy: landed in Taranto Bari and Neapels
1944-1945- Italy: Monte Cassino, Loretto, Ghotic Line, caputred the city of Bologna in April 1945.
Organization of 2nd Polish Corps
12 Podolski Lancers (pulk ulanow podolskich) – reconaissance armoured car regiment
7th Armour regiment (pulk pancerny)
7th Anti tank regiment
7th Light anti-aircraft regiment (pulk artylerii przeciwlotniczej)
8th Heavy anti-aircraft regiment (pulk artylerii przeciwlotniczej ciezkiej)
1 Survey regiment
663rd air reconaisencre squadron (Air observation post squadron)
2nd Artillery Group:
9th,10th,11th,12th and 13th heavy artillery regiments (pulk artylerii ciezkiej)
10th and 20th engenieer battalions, 11th Railway Engineer battalion
11th Signal battalion
Medical corps, ordnance corps, geographic corps, legal corps, pay corps and other service units
2nd “Warszawska” Polish Armoured Division (2 Warszawska Dywizja Pancerna)
2nd Armoured Brigade (3 x tank regiment and 1x motor battalion):
4th tank regiment “Skorpion”
1st Krechowiecki Lancers (pulk ulanow krechowieckich) - tank regiment
6th tank regiment “Dzieci Lwowskich”
2nd commando battalion (2 batalion komandosow zmotoryzowanych) - motor battalion
16 Pomorska Infantry Brigade (pomorska brygada piechoty) with
3 infantry battalions (64th,65th and 66th) and 1 support company (mortars).
7th Horse artillery regiment (pulk artylerii konnej)- sp howitzers
16th Pomorski artillery regiment
2nd Anti-tank regiment
2nd light anti-aircraft regiment
Karpathian Lancers (pulk ulanow karpackich) - armd recce regiment
2nd engineer battalion
2nd signal battalion
9th tank replacement squadron
3rd Carpatian Rifle Division (dywizja strzelcow karpackich)
3 infantry Bgdes:
1st BSK (brygada strzelcow karpackich) with 1,2 and 3 inf battalions
2nd BSK with 4,5 and 6 inf battalions
3rd BSK with 7,8 and 9 inf battalions
1st,2nd and 3rd light artillery regiments
3rd light anti-aircraft regiment
3rd anti-tank regiment
7th Lubelski Lancers ( pulk ulanow lubelskich) - armoured car recce regiment
3rd engineer battalion
3rd signal battalion
3rd HMG battalion
5th Kresowa Infantry Division (kresowa dywizja piechoty)
3 infantry brigades:
4th Wolynska Inf Bde (wolynska brygada piechoty) with 10th,11th and 12th inf battalions
5th Wilenska Inf Bde (wilenska brygada piechoty) with 13th,14th and 15th inf battalions
6th Lwowska Rifle Bde (lwowska brygada strzelcow) with 16th, 17th and 18th inf battalions
4th,5th and 6th light artillery regiments
5th light aa regiment
5th antitank regiment
25th Wielkopolski Lancers ( pulk ulanow wielkopolskich) - armoured car recce regiment
5th engineer battalion
5th signal battalion
5th HMG battalion
14th Wielkoposka Armoured Brigade
3 tank regiments:
15th Poznanski Lancers (pulk ulanow poznanskich)
3rd Slaski Lancers (pulk ulanow slaskich)
10th Hussars regiment (pulk huzarow)
14th tank replacement squadron
14th engineer company
14th signal company
2 Corps Base
The infantry of 2nd Corps base consisted of headquaters and four infantry battalions(A, B, C and D), the usual services including four general hospitals and miscellaneous units.
The estabishment of the 7th infantry Division with served as the Corps reserve and as the Army Training Centre are detailed bellow:
7th Infantry Division
17th Inf Bde with 21st,22nd and 23rd inf battalions and MG company
17th light artillery regiment
17th engineer company
17th signal company
army training centre, special courses and schools
Organization of Units:
Armoured and Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments and Tank Battalions:
Except in some minor details all were organized alike and capable of
preforming same role
Headquarters: 4 cruiser tanks
Headquarter squadron: 4 troops: anti -aircraft (4 tanks fitted with 20mm
guns), recce (11 light tanks), intercommunication (8 scout cars) and
3 tank squadrons: each a headquarters of 4 tanks and 5 plts x 3 tanks each,
total 19 tanks.
Some tank squadrons had 4 plts x 4 tanks each (when fitted with Shermans
with 76mm gun) and one headquarter of 4 tanks.
Total tanks (Shermans or Cromwells): 61, light tanks(Stuarts): 11.
Strength: 36 Officers and 630 Other ranks.
Armoured Car regiments (Corps level):
Headquarters: 3 armoured cars
4 x armd car squadrons: each a headquarters with 4 armd cars, 5 troops x 2 armd cars and 2 scout cars each, a heavy troop with 2 armd cars and a support troop of rifelmen in amoured Half-Track carriers.
Total armd cars: 67, total scout cars: 67
Streng: 55 Officers and 680 Other ranks
Reconaissance Regiments ( in the Infanty Division only):
Headquaters: 1 armd car
Headquarter squadron:antitank battery (eight 6pdr-guns), mortar troop (six 3-in mortars), signals and administrative troops.
3 x reccon squadrons: each with headquarters, 3 troops with scout troops with armd cars, light recce cars and Bren carriers and one assault troop of rifelmanin armd half-track carriers
Total armd vechicles: armd cars: 28, light recce cars: 24, Bren carriers: 63.
Strength: 41 Officers and 755 Other ranks.
1 x Support company: 4 plts: mortar (six 3-in mortars), carrier (13 Bren carriers), anti-tank (six 6-pdr guns) and assault pioneer.
4 x rifle companies: each 3 plts of 3 sections. The section contined 10 menwith one light machine gun (mg), the plt 1 officer and 36 men, with one 2-in mortars. The company with 5 officers and 122 men with 3 PIAT anti-tank systems at company headquarters.
Battalion transport included 38 carriers of all kinds and 55 cars, trucks and lorries.
Strenght: 35 Officers and 786 Other ranks.
1 x support company: 5 plts: 3 anti-tank plts ( total 12 pcs 6-pdr guns)and 2x plts medium machine guns (8 mg).
3 x motor companies: each 3 plts of riflemen in half-tracks and 1 plt in Bren carriers.
One motor company had 11 half tracks and 13 Bren carriers
Strenght: 37 Officers and 782 Other ranks.
1x heavy mortar company: 4 plts x 4 mortars, total 16 pcs of 4.2-in mortars
3 x machine gun companies: each 3 plts of with total of 12 medium machine guns.
Strenght: 35 Officers and 662 Other ranks
Artillery Field Regiments:
3 x batteries: each of 2 troops with four 25-pdr guns, total 24 guns per regiment.
Tractor- towed or self-propelled. Amunition carried in first line: HE 144, smoke 16, armour-piercing 12 rounds per gun.
Artillery Medium Regiments:
2 x batteries: each x 2 troops of four5.5-in guns, total 16 guns per regiment, tractor-towed.
Ammunition carried in first line: HE 100, round per gun.
Artillery Heavy Regiments:
2 x batteries of four 7.2-in howitzers or four 155 US guns (Long Tom), total 16 howitzers and guns per regiment.
Light anti-aircraft regiments:
3 x batteries: each x 3 troops with 6 guns (40 mm Bofors), total 54 guns per regiment.
Heavy Anti-aircraft regiments:
3 x batteries: each x 2 troops with 4 guns (3.7-in guns), total 24 guns per regiment.
4 x batteries: each battery of one troop with 6-pdr guns and 2 troops with 17pdr guns,
Total, 12 pcs of 6-pdrs and 36 pcs of 17-pdr guns per regiment.
2 x batteries: each one observation, one sound-ranging and one survey troop.
Air Observation Post squadrons:
The squadrons were provided on the scale one per corps plus one spare per army.
They contained 3 flights, each of 4 aircraft. Total 12 aircrafts per squadron.
1 x headquarter company: 5 plts which included two mortar (each four 3-in mortars) and one anti-tank (10 PIAT).
3 x rifle companies: each 3 plts.
Strength: 29 Officers and 584 Other ranks
Field companies (or squadrons) on the establishment of divisions had 3 identical platoons (or troops) and a strength of 7 officers and 250 other ranks.
The field park company (or squadron) contained one workshop and one stores platoon (or troop), its task being to act as a base for the field companies and hold the specialistand bukly equipment such as dozers. The divisional bridging platoon , now separated from the field park company, carried the materials for 80 feet of Bailey bridging capable of taking loads of 40 tons.
Divisional signals contained 3 or 4 companies (or squadrons) depending on the type of division, the total strength approx 28 Officers and 700 Other ranks. One company(or squadron) provided the communications for divisional hedaquarters, a second supplied sections to the divisional artillery units and a third to the headquarters of infantry brigades,
the reconaissance regiment the machine gunners and the engineers. Additionally, in the armoured division, a fourth squadron preformed the same function for the armored brigade and its units.
Sro 12 Kwi, 2006 8:51