actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

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Kelvin
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actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by Kelvin » 08 Sep 2020 11:32

Hi, everyone, I see two version of deployment of artillery pieces in Polish infantry divisions :

One version is for regular division : 24 x 75mm field guns and 12 x Skoda 100mm howitzers and 3 x 105mm guns and 3 x 155 mm howitzer in its artillery regiment plus 6 x 75mm field guns in infantry regiment

Reserve division still kept 75mm and 100mm gun but neither had 105mm gun nor 155mm howitzers.

Another version is Regular division had only 12 x 75mm but had 24 x 100mm howitzers and also 3 x 105mm guns and 3 x 155mm howitzers

Reserve division had 24 x 75mm and 12 x 100mm but no both 105/155mm guns.

which one is correct ?

And how many wz.34 antitank rifles owned by individual division : 66, 81 or 92, anyone can help ? Thank

Eugen Pinak
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by Eugen Pinak » 08 Sep 2020 20:00

All are correct.
Of course, there were three versions of the infantry artillery as well. Most regular regiments had platoon of 2 75-mm guns, two(?) regiments had battery of 4 75-mm guns, while reserve divisions had no infantry artillery at all.

As for ATRs, the correct name was: Karabin przeciwpancerny wz.35, not 34. The planned number was, IIRC, 92 per division, but how many were actually issued?

gebhk
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by gebhk » 08 Sep 2020 21:20

Hi Kelwin

To expand on Eugen's answer, as a starting point, the PAL (pulk arylerii lekkiej - light artillery regiment) was equipped with one dywizjon (battalion) of 12x 100mm howitzers and two of 12x 75mm cannon (10x 100mm and 24x 75mm tubes in all). The DAC (dywizjon artylerii ciezkiej - heavy artillery battalion) had one battery of 3x 105mm 'long range' cannon and 3x 155mm howitzers. In addition, each infantry regiment had a platoon of two 75mm cannon as the regimental COs general fire reserve. Reserve divisions had a PAL but no DAC and no regimental artillery platoons. Each infantry battalion had a platoon of 2x 81mm mortar in its machine gun company.

The 1936 development plan envisaged
(1) Replacing one 75mm cannon battalion with a 100mm howitzer battalion in each PAL. Aside from new artillery equipment this had little impact on organisation, TOEs etc as the guns had the same size crews, same size teams etc, albeit it did involve some upgrading of the supply chain due to the greater weight and variety of 100mm ammo. By the outbreak of the war, approximately 1/3 (ie 10) regiments had been thus converted to the 12x 75mm + 24x 100mm format. Indeed one of these, 19 PAL, ended up with 4 battalions - 2 each of cannon and howitzers. The reserve divisions would have been at the back of the queue for this gear, so none had been upgraded by 1939.

(2) The DAC was to be expanded significantly to one battery of 4x 105mm cannon and 2 batteries of 4x 155mm howitzer each for a total of 12 tubes in the DAC in total. AFAIR none had been by 9/39. Reserve divisions were to receive a DAC, and in the shiny new 12-tube format too, but this did not happen either.

(3) The regimental platoon was to be expanded to a battery of 4 tubes (and the reserve regiments were to receive one too), which ultimately were to be 120mm mortar/howitzers (mozdzierz wz 40 ST). Until these mortars became available, they were to be substituted with 75mm cannon (presumably making use of the weapons released from the PALs as part of the 'howitzerisation' process). I believe Eugen is correct that only two regiments received the 4-gun battery by 9/39.

(4) The allocation of 81mm mortars to the mortar platoon of the battalion machine gun company was to be doubled to 4 tubes (in both active and reserve division). AFAIK this did not happen.
Last edited by gebhk on 08 Sep 2020 23:07, edited 1 time in total.

gebhk
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by gebhk » 08 Sep 2020 23:00

The kb ppanc wz 1935 allocation issue is a tad murky - for the simple reason that for reasons of security, they were not identified explicitly in the TOEs. The allocation of 92 comes from the 'bible' of the 1939 campaign - specifically Section 1 of the first volume of Polskie Sily Zbrojne w Drugiej Wojnie Swiatowej (Polish Armed Forces in WW2), edited by the Historical Commission of the Polish General Staff and published in 1951. This number poses a certain problem. To whit:

We can be certain that all rifle platoons of infantry regiments were to receive one. This makes 27 weapons per regiment. In addition it is more than likely that the bicycle and cavalry platoons of the regimental scout company also had an A/T rifle each, making it 29 weapons per regiment. This then makes 87 weapons per division. So who had the remaining 5 rifles?

Andrzej Konstankiewicz, the guru of Polish interbellum 'weaponology' concluded that the total for the division was 90. Alas I have never clapped eyes on his earlier paper which discusses how he arrived at this total. My best guess is that he gave them to the divisional bicycle scout company (3 rifle platoons) but not the divisional cavalry squadron which had 4 rifle platoons. If that is the case, it makes little sense - for one thing carting a 6-foot-long stick is a damn sight more difficult on a pushbike than it is on a horse. For another, without going into tedious detail, it is almost certain that the divisional cavalry did have them.

My conclusion is therefore that either all the bicycle and cavalry platoons had them, in which case there were 94 in the division or, alternatively, only cavalry but not bicycle platoons had them, in which case there were 88.

Serial numbers on a number of surviving wz 35 A/T rifles suggest there were more than enough made to equip at least the active infantry divisions and the cavalry brigades to TOE levels. There is enough evidence to conclude that, for all intents and purposes, all active infantry regiments received their full quota of A/T rifles.

Kelvin
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by Kelvin » 09 Sep 2020 10:34

gebhk wrote:
08 Sep 2020 21:20
Hi Kelwin

To expand on Eugen's answer, as a starting point, the PAL (pulk arylerii lekkiej - light artillery regiment) was equipped with one dywizjon (battalion) of 12x 100mm howitzers and two of 12x 75mm cannon (10x 100mm and 24x 75mm tubes in all). The DAC (dywizjon artylerii ciezkiej - heavy artillery battalion) had one battery of 3x 105mm 'long range' cannon and 3x 155mm howitzers. In addition, each infantry regiment had a platoon of two 75mm cannon as the regimental COs general fire reserve. Reserve divisions had a PAL but no DAC and no regimental artillery platoons. Each infantry battalion had a platoon of 2x 81mm mortar in its machine gun company.

The 1936 development plan envisaged
(1) Replacing one 75mm cannon battalion with a 100mm howitzer battalion in each PAL. Aside from new artillery equipment this had little impact on organisation, TOEs etc as the guns had the same size crews, same size teams etc, albeit it did involve some upgrading of the supply chain due to the greater weight and variety of 100mm ammo. By the outbreak of the war, approximately 1/3 (ie 10) regiments had been thus converted to the 12x 75mm + 24x 100mm format. Indeed one of these, 19 PAL, ended up with 4 battalions - 2 each of cannon and howitzers. The reserve divisions would have been at the back of the queue for this gear, so none had been upgraded by 1939.

(2) The DAC was to be expanded significantly to one battery of 4x 105mm cannon and 2 batteries of 4x 155mm howitzer each for a total of 12 tubes in the DAC in total. AFAIR none had been by 9/39. Reserve divisions were to receive a DAC, and in the shiny new 12-tube format too, but this did not happen either.

(3) The regimental platoon was to be expanded to a battery of 4 tubes (and the reserve regiments were to receive one too), which ultimately were to be 120mm mortar/howitzers (mozdzierz wz 40 ST). Until these mortars became available, they were to be substituted with 75mm cannon (presumably making use of the weapons released from the PALs as part of the 'howitzerisation' process). I believe Eugen is correct that only two regiments received the 4-gun battery by 9/39.

(4) The allocation of 81mm mortars to the mortar platoon of the battalion machine gun company was to be doubled to 4 tubes (in both active and reserve division). AFAIK this did not happen.
Hi, gebhk, thank for your reply. May I ask you if which 1/3 divisions had 24 x 100mm and 12 x 75mm gun regiment ? Thank

gebhk
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by gebhk » 10 Sep 2020 14:56

Hi Kelvin

According to Konstankiewicz the following PALe had the 12 cannon/24 howitzer organisation: 8, 27, 19 (4 batteries), 7, 21, 5, 17, 4, 20 and 2. The numbers should correspond with the numbers of the divisions they were a part of.

Kelvin
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by Kelvin » 11 Sep 2020 13:10

gebhk wrote:
10 Sep 2020 14:56
Hi Kelvin

According to Konstankiewicz the following PALe had the 12 cannon/24 howitzer organisation: 8, 27, 19 (4 batteries), 7, 21, 5, 17, 4, 20 and 2. The numbers should correspond with the numbers of the divisions they were a part of.
Hi, gebhk, thank for your information, very helpful.

namor5
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by namor5 » 23 Jan 2021 01:03

Hello I’m new here and hope it’s ok to jump in. Tracing my dads assignment and he manned a 75 mm wz 97/25. What does the wz 97/25 refer?
Thanks

gebhk
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Re: actual number of artillery pieces in Polish infantry division 1939

Post by gebhk » 23 Jan 2021 20:46

Hi Namor

The 75mm anti-aircraft gun, an adaptation of the French 75, most likely.

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