Polish Army Equipment

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Tanks pictures are George's Parada gift.
I thank John Nicholas who has helped me with my English. Please visit his site: Guadalcanal Online: August 7, 1942 --> February 8, 1943


TK-3 tankette

Small, turretless reconnaisance and infantry support tank. Prototypes TK-1 and TK-2 were based on British Carden - Loyd tankette and TK-3 was better armored. About 300 standard version TK-3 and less than 100 in experimental versions (47mm gun, with turret, better engine) were produced in years 1931 - 1933. Polish Army still mantained about 250 tanks of this type in 1939, which were used in reconnaisance companies in cavalry brigades and infantry divisions. TK-3 was definitly outclassed by German tanks but were intensively used in combat.

Weight: 2.43t, Crew:2, Lenght: 2.58, Width: 1.78, Height: 1.32 Armament: 7.92 mm machinegun Armor: 3 - 8 mm, Engine: Ford A 3285 cm, 40 hp Max speed: 46 km/h, Range: 200 km on roads, 100 km in terrain

TKS tankette

Upgraded TK-3 with thicker and better profiled armor, stronger engine, better chassis, more modern observation and aiming equipment. About 300 were produced in 1934 - 1936. In 1939 less than 20 TKS tankettes were armed with 20 mm automatic cannon and were used in 10th motorised brigade. TKS were grouped in 13 machines reconnaisance companies attached to infantry divisions and cavalry brigades. As TK-3, TKS tanks fought even with German Panzers (TKS armed with 20 mm cannon as a part of Polish 10th motorised brigade fougth succesfully with 2nd Panzer Division tanks)

Weight: 2.5 - 2.8 t, Crew: 2, Lenght: 2.56 - 2.58, Width: 1.76 - 1.78, Height: 1.32 - 1.33 Armament: 7.92 mm machinegun or 20 mm automatic cannon, Armor: 3 - 10 mm Engine: Polski Fiat 2952cm, 42 hp Max speed: 40 km/h, Range: 180 km on roads, 140 km in terrain

Renault FT-17 light tank

Light, infantry support tank constructed in 1916 by Renault. Polish Army gained 120 FT-17 tanks in 1918 which were succesfully used in victorious war against Soviet Russia in 1919 - 1920. Upgraded many times by Polish engineers. Polish Army still had 102 FT-17 machines in 1939 which were formed in 3 companies and some pieces were used as parts of armored trains. FT-17s were attached to Polish "Lublin" army but were not used in combat. Definitly obsolete but French Army used these tanks in 1940.

Weight: 6.5 - 6.7 t, Crew: 2, Lenght: 5m, Width: 1.74, Height: 2.14 Armament: 37mm Puteaux SA 1918 cannon or 7.92 machinegun, Armor: 6 - 16 mm Engine: Renault 4480 cm, 39 hp, Max speed: 7.8 km/h, Range: 65 km on roads.

Vickers E light tank

Light, infantry support tank designed in british Vickers company. Polish Army bougth 38 Vickers tanks (22 in double turret version armed in machineguns and 16 single turret armed with 47mm gun) in 1931. They were modernised a few times in 1932 - 1936. The tanks were formed in 2 companies and attached to 2 Polish motorised brigades (Warszawska mot bde and 10th mot bde) in 1939. They saw intense combat.

Weight: 7.2 - 7.4 t, Crew: 3, Lenght: 4.87, Width: 2.41, Height: 2.08 Armament: 47mm Vickers-Armstrong gun joined with 7.92 machinegun or 2 machineguns only Armor: 5 -13 mm, Engine: Armstrong-Siddeley Puma 4650 cm, 92 hp Max speed: 32 - 35 km/h, Range: 160 km on roads, 80 - 90 km in terrain

7TP light tank

Light, infantry support tank based on british Vickers E. It was produced In 1935 - 1939. First versions had two turrets with machineguns, Later versions were equipped with single turret with 37 mm Bofors gun and a machinegun. About 135 tanks were produced. They were formed in 2 independent battalions 1st and 301st (which fought with 1st and 4th Panzer Division tanks) attached to "Prusy" and "Lodz" army and 2 independent companies of Warsaw garrison. 7TP was the best Polish tank of the campaign. The 7TP outclassed the PzI and PzII. It was equal to the PzIII , making in a tough opponent for German tankers. After the campaign, Germans tried to use captured 7TPs (they were presented with German crosses and painted in panzergrau in victory parade in Warsaw) but finally resigned and used them and as artillery tractors.

Weight: 8.6 - 9.8 t, Crew: 3, Lenght: 4.6, Width: 2.41, Height: 2.12 - 2.19 Armament: 37 mm Bofors gun and a machinegun or 2 machineguns Armor: 5 - 17 mm, Engine: diesel Saurer VBLDb 8550 cm, 110 hp. Max speed: 32 km/h, Range: 160 km on roads, 130 km in terrain

R 35 light tank

Light, infantry support tank designed by Renault in 1933 - 1935 years. Poland bought 100 of these vehicles in April 1939 but only 52 - 53 arrived before the war started. They were equipment of 21st light tank battalion which did not participate the campaign and crossed Rumanian border. Only a few of them were used in combat. The second transport going through Constance to Poland did not come in time.

Weight: 9.8 t, Crew: 2, Lenght: 4.02, Width: 1.87, Height: 2.13 Armament: 37mm Puteaux SA 1918 gun and 7.92 mm machinegun Armor: 14 - 45 mm, Engine: Renault 5800 cm, 82 hp, Max speed: 19 km/h Range: 140 km on roads, 80 km in terrain

Armored car wz.34

This light armored car was designed in Poland andentered service in 1934. It was built in 3 versions and in 2 armament versions: with a machinegun or with a 37mm gun. Polish Army owned about 80 cars of this type in September 1939 which were formed in 10 squadrons (8 cars in each) attached to cavalry brigades.

Weight: 2.1 - 2.4 t, Crew: 2, Lenght: 3.62 - 3.75, Width: 1.91 - 1.95, Height: 2.22, Armament: 37mm Puteaux SA 1918 gun or a single 7.92 machinegun Armor: 6 - 8 mm, Engine: Citroen-B-14, 14 hp or Polski Fiat 108, 23 hp Or Polski Fiat 108-II, 25 hp, Max speed: 50 - 55 km/h, Range: 180 - 250 km On roads, 90 - 150 km in terrain

Armored car wz.29

Medium armored car designed in Poland and produced in 1929 - 1930. 20 cars were made by Polish Ursus firm. Small modernisations were applied until 1939. The cars were equipment of 11th armored squadron in Mazowiecka cavalry brigade.

Weight: 4.8 t, Crew: 4-5, Lenght: 5.49, Width: 2.48, Armament: 37mm Puteaux SA 1918 gun and 2-3 7.92 mm machineguns, Armor: 4 - 10 mm, Engine: Ursus 2700 cm, 35 hp, Max speed: 35 km/h, Range: 380 km on roads, 250 in terrain

Armored trains

Types: medium "Marszalek" (say: marshalek), heavy "Danuta", heavy "Smialy" (say: shmyaly) Poland had 10 armored trains which participated numerous fights. Some of them had spectacular successes (for example one of them supported Wolynska cavalry brigade in battle with 4th Panzer division and stopped German tanks which broke through Polish lines). Depending on the type the trains were armed with: 2 75mm guns and 14 machineguns or 4 75mm guns and 22 machineguns or 2 100mm howitzers, 2 75mm guns and 22 machineguns. They were very successful designs and those captured by the Germans were used on Eastern front.

Sokol-1000 motorcycle: 3400 pcs
Solol-200 motorcycle: 70 pcs
Polski Fiat 508.III W terrain car and artillery tractor: 1500 cars and 400 artillery tractors
Polski Fiat 618 truck: 600 pcs
PzInz-303 - modern multi purpose tractor: a few pcs in 10th mot bde
C2P artillery tractor: about 200
C4P artillery and multi purpose tractor: about 400
C7P artillery and tank service tractor: 76


P-7 fighter

Designed in 1931 by Z. Pulawski was a breakthrough construction but was hopelessly obsolete in 1939. Some Polish fighter squadrons were equipped with P-7s. The plane was totally outclassed by German planes. Its only advantage was the turning ability. Sometimes the P-7 could get a good shot in.

Data: Max speed: 327 km/h on 4000m, Ceiling: 8500 m, Range: 600 km, Armament: 2 7.7 mm machineguns, Engine: Skoda Jupiter F-VII

P-11 fighter

Click here to see a beautiful P-11 image (92kb)

As P-7 modern in early '30s P-11 was obsolete in 1939. It entered service in 1935,and was built in A and a C versions. P-11 was a standard Polish fighter. Poor armament, low speed (it was slower even than German bombers excepting the Ju-87) were its main disadvantages. It was very difficult to fight using this plane against German Messerschmidts, but the excellent skills of Polish pilots made that P-11 fighters had their great days over Warsaw and the operational area of Polish armies. But Poles had too few fighters to stop Luftwaffe anyway.

Max speed: 343 km/h on 5000m, Armament: P-11a 2 7.7mm machineguns, P-11c 2 or 4 machineguns. Some had bomb launchers and some Philips radio.

PZL-23 Karas (say "karash", fish name) light bomber

Polish bomber, entered service in 1936. It was used in 1939 as a bomber and reconnaisance plane. All Karas planes in bomber units were lost. The Los bomber was planned to take the place of the Karas, an obsolete type, but considering bad situation in Polish Army the Karas still was tolerable modern. The Karas bomber was the main type of aircraft in Polish bomber units. About 120 planes participated the campaign.

Max speed: 304 km/h on 2500m, Ceiling: 5800m - 7300m, Range: 1260 km Armament: 3 machineguns, bomb load: 700 kg (100kg, 50kg or 12.5kg bombs), Equipped with Polski Philips radio and a photo camera

PZL-37 Los (say "wash", elk) medium bomber

Entered service in 1938. Produced in A and B versions. This plane was the only really modern Polish type of aircraft. It was the equivalent of the He-111 with better speed and a better bomb load. About 100 Loses were produced but only 36 participated combat as a part of Polish bomber brigade. PZL-37 Los most spectacular success was causing big casaulties in motorised SS "Germania" regiment. Usually used against German armored columns. Los could have more successes if used correctly. Polish command made a mistake using bombers in small groups rather than massed. After the campaign they were evacuated to Rumania and were annexed by the Rumanian army. They were later used in Kosovo provocation against Hungary (three of the annexed Los bombers pretended Soviet planes and bombed the Kosovo town which belonged to Hungary to cause them to join the war) and on the Eastern Front against Russians. The last Los bombers serviced until '50s.

Max speed: 360 km/h on 4000m (A version), 445 km/h on 3400m (B version) Ceiling: 5000 (A ver), 7000 (B ver). Range: 1400 - 1500 km (2400 - 2600 with additional fuel tank). Armament: 3 machineguns, Bomb load: 3000kg (50, 100 and 300 kg bombs)

P-24 fighter

Export fighter (exported to Rumania, Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey) was a succesfull type. The only P-24 used in the campaign shot down 2 German planes.

Reconnaisance planes: Mewa and Czapla

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