Polish Brigade in the Levant

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daveshoup2MarDiv
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by daveshoup2MarDiv » 27 Feb 2024 03:23

Leros87 wrote:
26 Feb 2024 17:11
The bulk of I Corps went on to form 1st Polish Armoured Division in March 1944 and the Polish Independent Parachute Brigade in October 1941. Unlike II Polish Corps, this Corps did not fight as one entity.
Leros87 wrote:
26 Feb 2024 17:04
The French began the process of reforming a Polish Corps shortly after the fall of Poland. Some 35,000 men gathered in Brittany and began forming four infantry and one light armoured divisions. These fought east of Paris until it was clear that France was doomed. One division sought sanctuary in Switzerland but 19,000 escaped to the UK via the south west ports.

These began reforming in southern Scotland. In August two infantry brigades formed and were equipped for combat. Each brigade had 8,500 men. Three further infantry brigades were formed for training. An armoured group and an armoured cavalry brigade were mobilised in September 1940. On 1 October 1940 1st Polish Corps was formed.

The Polish forces had the highest call on equipment amongst the allied contingents in the UK and was assigned a role in the British Army’s order of battle in countering the German invasion.
Thanks for the above.

So - is it fair to say that "if" (and one realizes the size of the 'if") troopships and the necessary escorts could have been provided to move the Carpathian Brigade from Egypt to the UK in early 1941 to join the I Corps as it was at the same time, would the result be a fairly standard infantry division on the British pattern (headquarters, division troops, three brigade groups, etc.), plus an armoured/motorized battalion or two?

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 27 Feb 2024 10:40

Hi Loic
You seem to be missing the point and arguing with a straw man you have created yourself. Who owned what and had borders with whom is entirely irrelevant
The comparison is obviously not valid, Free France was not in "de facto state of war
Free France (and every faction of France during WW2) was clearly in a de facto state of war with Germany because no formal declaration of war was made by either side. This makes it entirely comparable with the situation that existed between Italy and Poland. In fact, ironically, in the first years of the war, the emigre government of Poland was in a stronger position legally because it was legally established and recognised intrernationally. The Free French shadow government was not at this time - technically it was a rebellion and as such not in a position to declare war formally on anyone.

While all this legalese is fascinating, it does have one practical significance. Technically, troops of a faction that that has not made a valid DOW and is fighting under the operational control of another nation can be classed as mercenaries and, as such, not have the protection afforded by the various conventions. This, of course, is what exercised some Polish commanders in the West albeit, AFAIK, no Polish POWs were executed on this basis in the ETO. However, there are certainly examples of this happening on the Eastern Front to 'LWP' troops taken prisoner.

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 27 Feb 2024 11:02

So - is it fair to say that "if" (and one realizes the size of the 'if") troopships and the necessary escorts could have been provided to move the Carpathian Brigade from Egypt to the UK in early 1941 to join the I Corps as it was at the same time, would the result be a fairly standard infantry division on the British pattern (headquarters, division troops, three brigade groups, etc.), plus an armoured/motorized battalion or two?
Not an unrerasonable assumption. However, there was a much simpler shortcut available: raising an infantry division in the UK from the outset rather than an armoured one. This would have achieved combat readiness much more quickly, even without the involvement of the Carpathian Brigade.

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by ljadw » 27 Feb 2024 16:46

gebhk wrote:
27 Feb 2024 10:40
Hi Loic
You seem to be missing the point and arguing with a straw man you have created yourself. Who owned what and had borders with whom is entirely irrelevant
The comparison is obviously not valid, Free France was not in "de facto state of war
Free France (and every faction of France during WW2) was clearly in a de facto state of war with Germany because no formal declaration of war was made by either side. This makes it entirely comparable with the situation that existed between Italy and Poland. In fact, ironically, in the first years of the war, the emigre government of Poland was in a stronger position legally because it was legally established and recognised intrernationally. The Free French shadow government was not at this time - technically it was a rebellion and as such not in a position to declare war formally on anyone.

While all this legalese is fascinating, it does have one practical significance. Technically, troops of a faction that that has not made a valid DOW and is fighting under the operational control of another nation can be classed as mercenaries and, as such, not have the protection afforded by the various conventions. This, of course, is what exercised some Polish commanders in the West albeit, AFAIK, no Polish POWs were executed on this basis in the ETO. However, there are certainly examples of this happening on the Eastern Front to 'LWP' troops taken prisoner.
That is only a discussion about the sex of angels ;reality is that de facto always will evolve to de jure .
You don't need a declaration of war to have a war :China declared war on Japan after PH, but was at war with Japan long before PH .The Free French had not declared war on Germany, but were killing Germans ,thus they were at war with Germany and although they did not declare war on Germany,they were considered as legitimate opponents by the Germans and were not executed by the Germans if they became POWs .
The Free French did not need,even did not want to declare war on Germany , because they considered themselves as the legitimate heirs of the French government that started a war with Germany .
That in 1940 most foreign countries considered the Vichy government as the provisional government of France ,is totally irrelevant for this discussion . That Vichy considered De Gaulle as a rebel,was the business of Vichy.It could not and did not determine/change the policies of Japan, Britain, US, SU, UK ,...
There is no proof at all that any of these governments considered the Free French as mercenaries .

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by ljadw » 27 Feb 2024 16:56

That France and Britain considered the sitting Polish government of 1939 as the legitimate government of Poland ,does not make this government the legitimate Government of Poland :in 1945 they considered the Warsaw Soviet puppet government of Poland as the legitimate one .This government did not became legitimate by what France and Britain were saying, but because it controlled the Polish state .
The difference between de facto and de jure is only a Spielerei of high paid lawyers who have nothing else to do .

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 27 Feb 2024 18:40

And what does all this blah have to do with the subject in hand? None of these strawmen prove that Germany declared war on France or that France declared war on Germany. No more than that Poland declared war on Italy or vice versa.

ljadw
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by ljadw » 27 Feb 2024 19:28

Why would a DOW be important ?
There were DOW s in 1914, but they were mostly no longer used in WW2 .
DOW s were only blah blah .

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by daveshoup2MarDiv » 27 Feb 2024 19:47

gebhk wrote:
27 Feb 2024 11:02
So - is it fair to say that "if" (and one realizes the size of the 'if") troopships and the necessary escorts could have been provided to move the Carpathian Brigade from Egypt to the UK in early 1941 to join the I Corps as it was at the same time, would the result be a fairly standard infantry division on the British pattern (headquarters, division troops, three brigade groups, etc.), plus an armoured/motorized battalion or two?
Not an unrerasonable assumption. However, there was a much simpler shortcut available: raising an infantry division in the UK from the outset rather than an armoured one. This would have achieved combat readiness much more quickly, even without the involvement of the Carpathian Brigade.
Fair. So, rather than the 1st Armoured Division (with two brigade group equivalents) and the 1st Parachute Brigade, use the same personnel, units, etc. to form an infantry division in 1940-41, with - if necessary - fillers from the infantry brigade in the Middle East?

If so, figure it could be ready for commitment outside the UK by 1942, roughly?

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 27 Feb 2024 21:36

If so, figure it could be ready for commitment outside the UK by 1942, roughly?
I would have thought more like 1941. There were more than enough warm bodies to form an infantry division from Polish personnel by September 1940. After that it's just a question of commitment, equipment and training and there is such a thing as overtraining :thumbsup: The 10 motorised cavalry brigade in France was equipped, 'trained' and sent into battle in a few weeks.About 3 weeks after the ink had dried on the orders to form the Warsaw Armoured/Motorised Brigade it was in action. Hence my previous comment that 'readiness' is an elastic term that requires definition.

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 27 Feb 2024 21:56

Hi Ijadw
Why would a DOW be important ?
A perfectly good question, but for another thread. The question here is why was DOW important to the British when considering deployment of Polish troops against the Italians.

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by daveshoup2MarDiv » 28 Feb 2024 01:55

gebhk wrote:
27 Feb 2024 21:36
If so, figure it could be ready for commitment outside the UK by 1942, roughly?
I would have thought more like 1941. There were more than enough warm bodies to form an infantry division from Polish personnel by September 1940. After that it's just a question of commitment, equipment and training and there is such a thing as overtraining :thumbsup: The 10 motorised cavalry brigade in France was equipped, 'trained' and sent into battle in a few weeks.About 3 weeks after the ink had dried on the orders to form the Warsaw Armoured/Motorised Brigade it was in action. Hence my previous comment that 'readiness' is an elastic term that requires definition.
Fair. Just trying to be realistic all around; presume an "defensive" infantry division equivalent to the British county divisions in 1940-41, with conversion to a full "standard" division, equipped for mobile warfare, in 1941-42, and with an armoured element - possibly even a tank brigade equivalent - attached and ready for deployment in 1942-43?

If so, is Maczek still the likely CG? Or he gets the tank brigade and someone else the division+?

Think these were the (historical) possibilities:

Polish I Corps headquarters - CGs: Marian Kukiel (1940-1942), Józef Zając (1943), Mieczysław Boruta-Spiechowicz (1943-45); rear-area/training in the UK (served as an element of the UK Home Forces command in Scotland)
Polish II Corps headquarters - CG: Władysław Albert Anders, 1942-45; active in the MTO (15th Army Group)
Polish 1st Armoured Division - CG: Stanisław Maczek (1942-45); active in the ETO (21st Army Group)
Polish 3rd Infantry Division - Stanisław Kopański (1943), Bronisław Duch (1944–1945); II Corps
Polish 5th Infantry Division - Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko (1943), Nikodem Sulik (1943-45); II Corps

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 28 Feb 2024 08:57

I think that is an entirely feasible timeline, albeit a leisurely one that could be (in my opinion of course) very significantly shortened.

As to CO I wouldn't want to speculate - my knowledge of the relative strengths/weaknesses of the likely candidates and the byzantine emigre politics is not up to it 8O I would suggest however that it needs to be someone who was available in 1940/early '41 and with an impeccable anti-Sanacja pedigree......

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by ljadw » 28 Feb 2024 10:47

gebhk wrote:
27 Feb 2024 21:56
Hi Ijadw
Why would a DOW be important ?
A perfectly good question, but for another thread. The question here is why was DOW important to the British when considering deployment of Polish troops against the Italians.
1 Britain said that it was at war with Italy and fought against Italy .
2 Did Italy say that it was at war with Poland and did it fight against Poland ?
3 Did Poland say that it was at war with Italy and did it fight against Italy ?
4 The same questions can be asked about Finland and Poland, Japan and Poland, China and Italy, etc ...
The general question is :
1 was it possible to fight against a country if there was no DOW to /from this country, no declaration from /to this country that there was a war going on with this country ?
2 would a DOW/a declaration that there was a war situation result in active fighting ?
the answer on 2 is NO :Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy in August 1942 but never fought against Italy .
Were a lot ,maybe most DOW's not meaningless blah blah,issued for political reasons ?
If OTOH there was no DOW of Brazil on Italy and Brazilian forces were ready to fight against Italy, would Britain not say : no ?
The fact remains that
A there was no DOW between Italy and the Polish government in exile
B that it was the position of Britain that it was better that the forces of the Polish government in exile would not start the hostilities against Italy .
C that before June 1941 Poland did not start the fighting against Italy, neither did Italy against Poland .
It is possible that forces of the ''government '' of Lublin fought in the East against the Italian expeditionary forces, but this remains unsolved .
The same points A,B, C can be repeated about the forces of the Czech government in exile : if these did not fight against Italy, why should the Poles do it ?

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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by daveshoup2MarDiv » 29 Feb 2024 06:06

gebhk wrote:
28 Feb 2024 08:57
I think that is an entirely feasible timeline, albeit a leisurely one that could be (in my opinion of course) very significantly shortened.

As to CO I wouldn't want to speculate - my knowledge of the relative strengths/weaknesses of the likely candidates and the byzantine emigre politics is not up to it 8O I would suggest however that it needs to be someone who was available in 1940/early '41 and with an impeccable anti-Sanacja pedigree......
Fair. Kukiel went into the reserves after 1926, so presumably he qualifies?

Looking at the various commanders of the I Corps in the UK in 1940 and afterwards, and the Carpathian Brigade, how about this:

Polish 1st Division - MG Marian Kukiel
1st Brigade - BG Gustaw August Paszkiewicz
2nd Brigade - BG Rudolf Eugeniusz Dreszer
3rd Brigade (Carpathian) - BG Stanisław Kopański (figure it is moved by sea to the UK in 1941?)
1st Tank Brigade - BG Stanisław Maczek

gebhk
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Re: Polish Brigade in the Levant

Post by gebhk » 29 Feb 2024 14:10

I expect these are feasible. No doubt finding commanders for the artillery and other supporting arms might be more of a challenge.

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