Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

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checkov
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by checkov » 01 Feb 2015 14:25

I really can't recal the book but I remember reading an incident of Calvary versus Panzer.

I just remember a Polish officer found himself surrounded by tanks, he shot several times at crewmen then in desperation sabered a near tank at which his sword shattered. Then rather than surrender he committed suicide. I don't know when or where this supposedly happened or how reliable the source was.

I completely agree a polish calvaryman (especially an officer) would have known about tanks.

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wm
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by wm » 02 Feb 2015 00:22

Like this, from the movie Lotna:
lotna.jpg
but really, a man on a horse doesn't have enough leverage to shatter a saber, especially the high quality pre-war saber - a supported at both ends pre-war saber could easily withstand a pulling force of 120kg in the middle of it.

Of course those people knew about tanks, Polish tanks were seen during every military parade in Poland. Even the early, freshly created out of nothing Polish Army fighting the Bolsheviks in 1920 had 120 of them.
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Halibutt
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Halibutt » 02 Feb 2015 02:48

I believe we're running in circles here. There's little to add to this topic I believe.
Cheers

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Marcus
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Marcus » 20 Feb 2015 21:23

Attached is the article "Polish cavalry against the Panzers" by Steven J Zaloga from Armor Magazine January-February 1984.

Part 1.

Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_28_av_56_.jpg
Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_29_av_56_.jpg
Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_30_av_56_.jpg
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Marcus
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Marcus » 20 Feb 2015 21:24

Part 2 of 2.
Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_31_av_56_.jpg
Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_32_av_56_.jpg
Armor_Magazine_1984_January-February_pdf__sida_33_av_56_.jpg
(Back issues of the Armor Magazine can be found at http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/eARMO ... ssues.html)

/Marcus
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by wm » 29 Dec 2016 23:44

No tanks there, but two regiments of the 44th Soviet Cavalry Division (it's sometimes called incorrectly Mongolian) charged the German 106th Inf. Div. at Volokolamsk on November 17, 1941 and were virtually destroyed by its artillery. That suicidal attack was ordered personally by Stalin, over Zhukov objections. It's said 2000 Soviet cavalrymen perished during the attack, the Germans suffered not a single casualty:
"We could not believe that the enemy intended to attack us across this broad field, which lay open like a parade ground before us. But then three ranks of cavalry started moving towards us. Across the sunlit field the horseman rode into the attack bent over their horses' necks, they sabres shining. The first shells exploded in their midst and soon a thick black cloud hung over them. Torn scraps of men and horses flew into the air. It was difficult to distinguish one from the other. In this hell the maddened horses were running about wildly. The handful of survivors was finished off by artillery and machine gun. And then out of the wood a second wave of horsemen rode to the attack. It was impossible to imagine that after the annihilation of the first squadrons the nightmare sight would be repeated. But our guns were now zeroed in on the target, and the destruction of the second wave of cavalry took place even more quickly than the first."
from: Moscow 1941 by by Rodric Braithwaite

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Paul_Atreides » 30 Dec 2016 04:37

wm wrote:That suicidal attack was ordered personally by Stalin, over Zhukov objections.
Is this wrote in Braithwaite's book?
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Stiltzkin » 30 Dec 2016 06:30

Wow, I am still surprised people still believe in such a myth/propaganda, that it is still discussed and that originally one of the forums moderators seemed to believe that they did very much so....
Here is an advice: Just look at Cavalry formations and utilization during WW1 and WW2, their armament and how they were implemented, then take a look at Soviet and Nazi propaganda and you have your answers.
Furthermore, after studying many combat reports, note that not all reports are actually telling the truth, most were ghost written, "overwatched" by the respective nations parties.
Next week: Did Samurai fight american GIs? In case anyone asks: There was a movie which featured such a story, forgot the title. :lol:
Here is a little inspiration (look closely on the back of the Polish horseman). Swords and spears were mostly used in parades. All the pictures featuring such charges are either recreated, ceremonial or simply propaganda.
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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Art » 30 Dec 2016 08:17

wm wrote:No tanks there, but two regiments of the 44th Soviet Cavalry Division (it's sometimes called incorrectly Mongolian) charged the German 106th Inf. Div. at Volokolamsk on November 17, 1941 and were virtually destroyed by its artillery. That suicidal attack was ordered personally by Stalin, over Zhukov objections. It's said 2000 Soviet cavalrymen perished during the attack, the Germans suffered not a single casualty:
The original source is an account on operations of Panzergruppe 4 in October-December 1941. The document is more like a propaganda booklet issued to boost troop morale than an after-action military report and is full of typical clishes like hordes of Jewish Mongols and stuff. None of the authors that quoted it seem to consult more mundane military reports, German or Soviet.

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by wm » 30 Dec 2016 11:49

Of course, but the fact it was used for propaganda purposes only proves it was used for propaganda purposes, not that it didn't happen. The 44th Soviet Cavalry Division was merged with the 17th Cavalry Division a few months later, this probably didn't happen without a reason.
The report doesn't denigrate the Soviets soldiers, there are no hordes there, actually I would say it treats them with respect.
This story is repeated by Russian writers too, for example: Борис Невзоров, Московская битва.

Paul_Atreides wrote:
wm wrote:That suicidal attack was ordered personally by Stalin, over Zhukov objections.
Is this wrote in Braithwaite's book?
This is what he says:
The Fourth Army under Rokossovsky lay once again on the likely line of the enemy's main blow. Rokossovsky built up his defences in depth, placing his anti-tank defences with particular care. These preparations were rudely interrupted when, on 14 November, Stalin ordered Zhukov to launch two spoiling attacks, one to the South of Moscow and one around Volokolamsk. Zhukov protested that these attacks were highly unlikely to succeed, and would simply use up scarce reserves. Stalin overruled him. Rokossovsky was forced to mount his attack just as the Germans were preparing their own. He was severely outnumbered in men, tanks and guns, and had no option but to throw into the battle untried units from the newly arrived reserve forces. For a gain of little more than a mile he suffered grievous losses, and was compelled to abandon much of his plan for defence in depth.
So the more or less suicidal spoiling attacks were ordered by Stalin, not the cavalry attack (which was a part of them). Sorry, I wasn't careful with my words...

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Art » 30 Dec 2016 15:42

The point is that the source is a rather special document which is far away from usual situation or after-action reports. I simply happened to read the entire text translated to Russian. Many authors that quote it don't give a proper attention to its propagandistic nature. As I said I would like to see a view based on more mundane military docs from both sides.

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by gebhk » 14 Jan 2017 12:10

Stiltzkin wrote:(look closely on the back of the Polish horseman)
Can you explain?

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by Stiltzkin » 16 Jan 2017 16:46

Can you explain?
It is a Wz35, towed AT guns were also under their disposition.

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Re: Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Post by gebhk » 17 Jan 2017 12:15

Ah, hence my confusion. This is not a wz 35 anti-tank rifle, but a 19th century Prussian hunting gun (an 'elephant gun', if you will). The photo is one of a series taken by a commission experimenting with various methods of transporting the wz 35 anti tank rifle. For reasons of security, the wz 35 was substituted with the hunting gun, which was of similar weight, dimensions and shape. The item on the rider's back is a carrying yoke, one of several different gizmo's tried. As the commission's report was not published until 31.8.1939, it's conclusions were never put into practice.

Your point, however, is well made. Why would anyone attack a tank with a lance when you have effective anti-tank weapons available?

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Re:

Post by Nickdfresh » 17 Jan 2017 18:18

Eugene (J. Baker) wrote:
Jeabgrow wrote: I know the Russians charged tanks with calvary but they were on a diffrent level.

Jeab
Yes. I dont remember detailed info but there was antitank cavalry unit which operated mostly in winter and used horses in impenetrable terrains carrying mines and antitank rifles to prepare sharp actions. Of course it was not attacing tanks with sabre.
I've read this as well, and that some Polish cav fought dismounted using said antitank rifles...

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