Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

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Mischa
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Post by Mischa » 18 Jan 2011 11:25

Musashi wrote:
sylvieK4 wrote: Image
This image has been painted by an idiot who had not absolutely the foggest idea about the uniforms of the Polish cavalry in 1939. Don't you see these uniforms are from WW I era? What an amateurishness!!! 8O :? :lol: :roll: :x
Hi,
in the document Polish movie "Spojrzenie na Wrzesień" (A view on September) I saw that picture and it was told it was paintend by an Italian war-correspondet, but the "fasmous" Polish moviemaker, Andrzej Wajda showed it in his movie "Lotna" (a name of a cavallery-horse) and there is nothing to be surprised that this legend is lingering to this day, because Rydz - Śmigły persuaded Polish soldiers that the Germans have tanks made of cardboard but they certainly not persuaded to such an attack.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by alkankizil@tr.net » 18 Jan 2011 13:35

This still is from an Italian propaganda film made in 1939+

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Prince of Judah
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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Prince of Judah » 21 Jan 2011 04:04

I remember seeing a documentary stating something about cavalry charging tanks, and winning, because the tanks were "surprised" and distracted enough for polish tanks to dispatch enough panzers to make them withdraw. THe battle of Mokra I believe. I am not really sure it is true.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Peter K » 21 Jan 2011 13:27

There was no any cavalry charge in the battle of Mokra.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Błyskawica » 26 Jan 2011 21:39

Unfortunately teachers still teach this lie in the west.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Peter K » 29 Jan 2011 01:25

Imperiumiv wrote: I remember seeing a documentary stating something about cavalry charging tanks, and winning, because the tanks were "surprised" and distracted enough for polish tanks to dispatch enough panzers to make them withdraw. THe battle of Mokra I believe. I am not really sure it is true.
The documentary was pretty much correct, but it should underline that there was no mounted charge.

As I wrote cavalry didn't charge at Mokra on horseback, but few counterattacks of Polish armoured vehicles, providing support for cavalry (which counterattacked dismounted, like infantry do), really took place:

"(...) Around 9:00, as the response to the first German assault, a counterattack of the brigade started. Crews of tankettes of the second platoon demonstrated unusual bravery, counterattacking (towards the Mokra II village) enemy tanks without Anti-Tank ammunition! One delayed TKS withdrew in parallel with attacking (in the second assault at 10:00) armoured vehicles of the enemy and - as Rajmund Szubanski writes - was destroyed by friendly fire of the HMG squadron of the 12th uhlan regiment. Plut. Marcin Wieliczko, deputy of the platoon's commander, was killed then, while his driver managed to jump out of the burning tankette.
After the next German assault (at 13:00), when tanks of the Pz.Rgt.35 from 4. Pz.Div. reached the large forest clearing near the village Mokra II, mjr. S. Glinski proposed to organize a counterattack of armoured vehicles of the 21st armoured unit. However, commander of the 21st uhlan regiment, ppłk. dypl. Kazimierz Suski de Rostowo, recognized this undertaking as unrealizable. Enemy armoured vehicles were superior to Polish in respect of armour and armament, which was proved by the slightly earlier attempt of reconnoitring the region of village Mokra I by armoured cars from the squadron of kpt. J. Zymierski. Platoon of armoured cars wz. 34-II was then forced to retreat and one car was destroyed. Commander of the vehicle, plut. Edward Dziuba, was seriously wounded.
After two hours of combats, when an assault of over 50 German tanks broke through the first defensive line and threatened the artillery positions (2nd battalion of horse artillery), the squadron of armoured cars and second platoon of TKS tankettes supported the counterattack of 2nd horse rifle regiment. Intervention of Polish armoured fighting vehicles caused considerable confusion disorientating the crews of German AFVs, who in the chaos of combats started to fire at each other - and the assault was repulsed. During the battle of Mokra on that day 3 armoured cars wz. 34 were lost and one damaged could be evacuated (and - most probably - repaired). This combat was resolved - not for the first time on that day - by cooperation with armoured train No 53 "Smialy", also attached to Wolynska BK. By evening the enemy pressure ceased completely. Germans bypassed positions of the brigade from the south."

This enemy which bypassed positions of the brigade from the south was 1. Panzer-Division.

On the next day - 2 September - AFVs of the 21st armoured unit (21 dpanc.) counterattacked twice:

For the first time in the morning, supporting the counterattack of 11th rifle battalion between the forest Lobodno and village Ostrowy - the counterattack succeeded and the situation was again brought under control (the German advance was halted). For the second time after 16:00, supporting the counterattack of 21st uhlan regiment which aimed at liberating the cut-off by German forces (Schtz.Rgt.12 and two medium tank companies from Pz.Rgt.35) in the forest Lobodno 2nd horse rifle regiment. This counterattack was caried out by the squadron of tankettes under command of por. L. Kozioradzki. It (together with uhlans of the 21st regiment) engaged German infantry and Panzers in combats and enabled the 2nd horse rifle regiment to escape the trap. Enemy of the brigade was 4. Panzer-Division.

On 2 September 21 dpanc. lost 4 tankettes and 1 motorcycle due to fire of German motorized artillery (that was supporting operations of Panzers and infantry) as well as 1 KIA (st. strz. Jan Krasinski) and several wounded.

Source: "12 Batalion Pancerny" by Jan Tarczyński (chapter about the 21 dywizjon pancerny, pp. 25 - 26).

Organization of Polish armored units (dywizjony pancerne) - Niehorster calls them "battalions":

http://niehorster.orbat.com/029_poland/ ... k_cav.html

Each of them had 13 tankettes (TKS or TK-3) and 8 armoured cars (wz. 34-II, wz. 34 or wz. 29).

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Peter K » 29 Jan 2011 18:17

but the "fasmous" Polish moviemaker, Andrzej Wajda showed it in his movie "Lotna" (a name of a cavallery-horse)
"Lotna" (1959) - cavalry charge scene (note the Nazi Germany's T-34/85 "Panzers" in 1939):



There is wrong translation at 3:30, when the cavalry starts charging "bastards" (T-34/85 tanks):

Instead of: "Retreat, after me!" ("Odwrót, za mną!") it should be: "Szwadron, za mną!" ("Squadron, follow me!").

PS: Someone wise named that You Tube video "Polish Hussars..." (Hussars were a 17th century formation).

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Franzl Rider » 22 Mar 2011 18:37

Some years ago a series of photos was offered on ebay which showed a German filmcrew shooting a film where an Polish cavalry attack on German tanks was staged. I believe it was done in 1940.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Peter K » 23 Mar 2011 15:32

Franzl Rider wrote:Some years ago a series of photos was offered on ebay which showed a German filmcrew shooting a film where an Polish cavalry attack on German tanks was staged. I believe it was done in 1940.
The film's name is "Kampfgeschwader Lutzow" (from 1940):


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Re: Panzers and Polish Lancers

Post by Peter K » 09 May 2011 12:21

Ratio of forces in the battle of Mokra-Ostrowy (1 - 2 September 1939):

Poles/Germans:

1) tanks: 19*/341 --------------------- (ratio: 1:18)
2) armored cars: 8/90 ----------------- (ratio: 1:11)
3) AT guns: 20/60 --------------------- (ratio: 1:3)
4) artillery guns: 20*/48 --------------- (see below)
5) infantry guns: 0/16 ----------------- (ratio 4.&5. - 1:3)
6) heavy mortars: 4/36 ---------------- (ratio - 1:9)
7) light mortars: 18/ca. 60 ------------- (ratio - 1:3)
8) infantry & sapper battalions: 6**/6 -- (ratio - 1:1)
9) AA battalions: 0/1 ------------------- (ratio - 0:1)
10) thousand soldiers: ca. 8/ca. 16 ----- (ratio - 1:2)

+ German air support.

*Including armament of armored train "Smialy".
**Each cavalry regiment counted as one infantry battalion.

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Peter K » 01 Aug 2011 01:28

Domen121 wrote:
Imperiumiv wrote: I remember seeing a documentary stating something about cavalry charging tanks, and winning, because the tanks were "surprised" and distracted enough for polish tanks to dispatch enough panzers to make them withdraw. THe battle of Mokra I believe. I am not really sure it is true.
The documentary was pretty much correct, but it should underline that there was no mounted charge.

As I wrote cavalry didn't charge at Mokra on horseback, but few counterattacks of Polish armoured vehicles, providing support for cavalry (which counterattacked dismounted, like infantry do), really took place:

"(...) Around 9:00, as the response to the first German assault, a counterattack of the brigade started. Crews of tankettes of the second platoon demonstrated unusual bravery, counterattacking (towards the Mokra II village) enemy tanks without Anti-Tank ammunition! One delayed TKS withdrew in parallel with attacking (in the second assault at 10:00) armoured vehicles of the enemy and - as Rajmund Szubanski writes - was destroyed by friendly fire of the HMG squadron of the 12th uhlan regiment. Plut. Marcin Wieliczko, deputy of the platoon's commander, was killed then, while his driver managed to jump out of the burning tankette.
After the next German assault (at 13:00), when tanks of the Pz.Rgt.35 from 4. Pz.Div. reached the large forest clearing near the village Mokra II, mjr. S. Glinski proposed to organize a counterattack of armoured vehicles of the 21st armoured unit. However, commander of the 21st uhlan regiment, ppłk. dypl. Kazimierz Suski de Rostowo, recognized this undertaking as unrealizable. Enemy armoured vehicles were superior to Polish in respect of armour and armament, which was proved by the slightly earlier attempt of reconnoitring the region of village Mokra I by armoured cars from the squadron of kpt. J. Zymierski. Platoon of armoured cars wz. 34-II was then forced to retreat and one car was destroyed. Commander of the vehicle, plut. Edward Dziuba, was seriously wounded.
After two hours of combats, when an assault of over 50 German tanks broke through the first defensive line and threatened the artillery positions (2nd battalion of horse artillery), the squadron of armoured cars and second platoon of TKS tankettes supported the counterattack of 2nd horse rifle regiment. Intervention of Polish armoured fighting vehicles caused considerable confusion disorientating the crews of German AFVs, who in the chaos of combats started to fire at each other - and the assault was repulsed. During the battle of Mokra on that day 3 armoured cars wz. 34 were lost and one damaged could be evacuated (and - most probably - repaired). This combat was resolved - not for the first time on that day - by cooperation with armoured train No 53 "Smialy", also attached to Wolynska BK. By evening the enemy pressure ceased completely. Germans bypassed positions of the brigade from the south."

This enemy which bypassed positions of the brigade from the south was 1. Panzer-Division.

On the next day - 2 September - AFVs of the 21st armoured unit (21 dpanc.) counterattacked twice:

For the first time in the morning, supporting the counterattack of 11th rifle battalion between the forest Lobodno and village Ostrowy - the counterattack succeeded and the situation was again brought under control (the German advance was halted). For the second time after 16:00, supporting the counterattack of 21st uhlan regiment which aimed at liberating the cut-off by German forces (Schtz.Rgt.12 and two medium tank companies from Pz.Rgt.35) in the forest Lobodno 2nd horse rifle regiment. This counterattack was caried out by the squadron of tankettes under command of por. L. Kozioradzki. It (together with uhlans of the 21st regiment) engaged German infantry and Panzers in combats and enabled the 2nd horse rifle regiment to escape the trap. Enemy of the brigade was 4. Panzer-Division.

On 2 September 21 dpanc. lost 4 tankettes and 1 motorcycle due to fire of German motorized artillery (that was supporting operations of Panzers and infantry) as well as 1 KIA (st. strz. Jan Krasinski) and several wounded.

Source: "12 Batalion Pancerny" by Jan Tarczyński (chapter about the 21 dywizjon pancerny, pp. 25 - 26).

Organization of Polish armored units (dywizjony pancerne) - Niehorster calls them "battalions":

http://niehorster.orbat.com/029_poland/ ... k_cav.html

Each of them had 13 tankettes (TKS or TK-3) and 8 armoured cars (wz. 34-II, wz. 34 or wz. 29).
Maybe in that documentary they referred to this (but I'm not sure if this can be called as charge):

The "charge" which took place during the battle of Mokra was carried out by two cavalry squadrons of 19th uhlan regiment which were cut-off behind enemy lines. Since squadrons were around 2,000 meters from the nearest Polish defensive line, and surrounded by enemy forces everywhere, the Polish commander decided that there is no chance to cover this distance dismounted. That's why he ordered a charge on horseback. Germans were so surprised that they didn't even open fire and Polish uhlans safely joined their own defensive lines. Surprise effect allowed the Poles to easily break through - the Polish officer who ordered that charge wrote:

"Two squadrons were charging towards the forest behind German lines. (...) Germans, not expecting an attack from this side, were not prepared to defend. They abandoned their cars and motorcycles near the road and started to diverge in the forest (...) German guards raised an alarm and then their soldiers started to individually run away from the forest to their motor vehicles, trying to get to the forester's lodge before being cut-off. (...) Enemy forces were large and could have easily repulsed my attack - if only Germans opened fire."

After the Poles reached the forest, they were safe. Polish losses during that "charge" were just several wounded. Noone was killed. German unit which was attacked there was most probably one of divisional supply columns. German sources confirm that in the evening on 01.09.1939 panic started in rear units of 4. Panzer-Division.

==================================================

Polish cavalry charges in 1939:

Krojanty 01.09.1939
Lasy Krolewskie 01.09.1939
Mokra 01.09.1939 (if we can call it a "charge" - see above)
Borowa 02.09.1939
Osuchow 11.09.1939
Kaluszyn 12.09.1939
Minsk Mazowiecki 13.09.1939
Maliszewo 13.09.1939
Brochow 15.09.1939
Demboskie 16.09.1939
Wolka Weglowa 19.09.1939
Lomianki 19.09.1939
Kamionka Strumilowa 21.09.1939
Krasnobrod 23.09.1939
Husynne 24.09.1939 (against the Red Army)
Broszki 26.09.1939
Morance 26.09.1939

Lasy Krolewskie (01.09.), Borowa (02.09.) and Krasnobrod (23.09.) were clashes between Polish and German cavalry or mounted German scouts from recon battalions of IDs. The charge near Brochow (15.09.) was a "faked" charge carried out to cause psychological impact, which was halted before reaching the gunshot range. The charge near Kaluszyn (12.09.) was a result of misunderstanding. Infantry commander wanted 1 squadron to carry out mounted recon and said: "Cavalry forward!". Squadron's commander misunderstood the order and conducted a mounted charge. Cavalry suffered heavy losses under fire but accelerated the success of the ongoing attack of Polish infantry.

The charge near Maliszewo on 13.09. (in fact two charges - one successful, one failed) was about chasing the withdrawing and enemy infantry. Many charges (Krojanty, Mokra - see above, Osuchow, Wolka Weglowa, Lomianki, Broszki and Morance) were breakthrough attempts or attacks during breakthrough operations.

At Broszki (26.09.) one German infantry company surrendered to the charging cavalry.

The largest charge was that near Wolka Weglowa - over 1000 men (two regiments) charged. 105 were killed and 100 wounded. But over 800 from these two cavalry regiments broke through to Warsaw at Wolka Weglowa and also opened the way to the capital city for other Polish units advancing behind them.

The charge at Wolka Weglowa was described by Italian war correspondent Mario Appelius.

=====================================================

A participant of World War 1 wrote this about resistance of horses to fire:

"The fear of infantry was intensified by great resistance of horses to wounds. During a charge only killed horses or those which had crushed leg bones were falling immediately. Other horses, often wounded several times, even mortally, in a zeal of attack continued to run and with their entire mass - under riders or without them - were blindly bumping into the enemy, parting and trampling his lines. From distance this apparent lack of casualties of the charging unit was creating an impression of inefficiency of infantry fire. Infantry was confused enough, that most of bullets were starting to fly too high, and often in a decisive moment infantry was throwing their weapons and commencing a flight, which meant a certain annihilation for them."

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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by PF » 24 Jun 2014 03:09


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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by wm » 24 Jun 2014 19:45

Lotna is a Communist-era failed artsy movie, made by a man seriously confused by the communist propaganda which was working hard to denigrate the pre-war Poland, and legitimize in the process its own illegitimate rule.

Before the war many people were still fascinated by cavalry, even at the highest echelons of power. Below a result of that - the Sowjetische Kavallerie repulsing a German looking aggressor in the invasion movie "If War Comes Tomorrow". It was a big budget movie showing the greatness and power of the Red Army.
All the "Polish" cliches are alive and well there: the Soviet cavalry is attacking frontally tanks and infantry with sabers, they are fighting in a pure saber mode all the time, at the end the German looking aggressor counter-attacks with lances. The year is 1938.


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Re: Polisch kavallerie attacking tanks?

Post by Halibutt » 24 Jun 2014 23:31

Just to make it clear, Wajda was an artist. He was trying to picture an end of a certain epoch - and this he did in his "Lotna". It was not a documentary, it was a movie. Yet, to this very day there are people still banging him on the head for "horses vs. tanks" in Lotna, eventhough it was an allegory. Though, truth be told, the commie propaganda was saying just that as well after WWII.

BTW, thanks for the link :)

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Re: Did Polish cavalry attack German tanks?

Post by Marcus » 10 Jan 2015 12:18

(Merged two threads on the same topic)

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