Did Polish Calvary charge German Panzers with lances?

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
User avatar
Liluh
Member
Posts: 403
Joined: 11 May 2004 15:49
Location: Poland

Post by Liluh » 24 Oct 2004 19:24

bolas,

I think that if you`ll give "polish cavarly" a search in forum threads, you`ll find few interesting stories. I remember we spoke about this topic few months ago and made it to mutualy give a full list of cavarly-tank/armour clashes, if I remember well it was something around 16 cases. Which none were based on the silly idea "let`s cut those tanks with our sabres".

User avatar
Kurt_Steiner
Member
Posts: 3977
Joined: 14 Feb 2004 13:52
Location: Barcelona, Catalunya

Post by Kurt_Steiner » 14 Nov 2004 13:35

An interesting article about this issue can be found at

http://www.panzerworld.net/polishcav.html

Best regards

User avatar
Musashi
Member
Posts: 4656
Joined: 13 Dec 2002 15:07
Location: Coventry, West Midlands, the UK [it's one big roundabout]

Post by Musashi » 14 Nov 2004 16:34

Thank you for the link.

Remember:
Joseph Goebbels wrote:A falsehood repeated 100 times becomes a truth.


Best regards,
Chris

Agadanik
Financial supporter
Posts: 157
Joined: 13 Nov 2004 03:38
Location: Canada

Patriotic Poles, not communists

Post by Agadanik » 17 Nov 2004 07:44

[quote="bolas"]you have to remeber that this was not only german propaganda. After end of the war Poland stayed under Soviet occupation - and soviet propaganda was forcing a new communist government and new order etc ... one of ways of doing it was to ridicule a pre-1939 Poland with its goverment and army (which most popular and elite part in people's mind's was cavarly). So they were making a jokes, propaganda movies etc - trying to stupify image of pre war Poland in afterwar heads of Poles. "Weak and stupid polish cavalry was charging german tanks with sabres"[/quote]

The stories about Polish cavalry charging German tanks in September '39 originated with patriotic Poles and have nothing to do with communist propaganda. In fact, they were told extensively during the war and became a part of Poland's romantic myth. An immensely popular wartime patriotic poem contains the words "Remember how our horsemen / bravely charged against tanks" ("Przypomnij, jak to na tanki / szli nasi smialo na koniach..."). The author was Wiktor Budzynski, a poet and radio personality, who after WW2 was with Radio Free Europe.

The well-documented Krojanty charge was first described in the Polish press in Rumania, where thousands of Polish soldiers were interned in 1939. The author was Wladyslaw Leny-Kisielewski, a well-known military correspondent, who wrote "The Last Charge of the Uhlans" (Ostatnia szarza ulanska. Autentyczny opis szarzy 18 plku ul., Biuletyn nr 17, oboz Calafat nad Dunajem). Military emigre periodical "Bellona", published in London, carried a comprehensive description of the Krojanty battle in its issue 3/1954, based on a report by major Stanislaw Malecki. There are several other descriptions of the battle dating back to immediate postwar years, when memories were fresh. None of them perceives the Krojanty battle - or, for that matter, any other uneven battle Poland fought in September '39 - as a symbol of stupidity, embarrassment or shame.

As Christoph pointed out, strange things happen during the war. Given the sizable cavalry component in the Polish Army and equally sizable armor component in the German one, it was pretty much inevitable that the two had to come in contact. Consistent with Poland's romantic tradition, the meeting of unequal warriors was seen by the Poles during WW2 as a symbol of ultimate bravery, something to celebrate and be proud, an expression of national honor and patriotism. Yet today, as documented by many Polish posts in this exchange, it only generates reactions of emphatic denial and dark comments about a communist plot, designed to ridicule the valiant nation.

Cavalry against tanks was not the only example of mismatched forces in te tragic fate of wartime Poland - the 1944 Warsaw Uprising was another. It too generated similar romantic lore. The Uprising's most popular song, "Palacyk Michla", includes lyrics about partisans attacking German tanks with handguns ("A na Tygrysy maja Visy"). There is a clear link between the two tales, and an obvious connection to the historic Polish romantic tradition, which includes the Somosierra charge by the Polish light horse squadron in 1808 and many other examples. Since none of of my predecessors in this exchange appears to be proud of what was undoubtedly an extraordinary display of courage, I can only assume that the romantic myth no longer reigns in Poland. Long live the European Union! :wink:

Regards to all,
agadanik

User avatar
Ponury
Member
Posts: 263
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 20:38
Location: Gdansk/Danzig in Poland!

Re: Panzers and Polish Lancers

Post by Ponury » 25 Feb 2006 11:36

STALAGl3 wrote:Did Polish Calvary actually charge German Panzers with lances in 1939?
I've heard many disputes on this topic. Does anyone have photos or proof that this event actually occured?


All polish calvary brigades had a some (7-9 in company) very good and bloody anti-tank 37 mm guns. In battle of Mokra (near Czestochowa at 1.09.39) polish "Wielkopolska Brygada" calvary brigade destroy over 70 german tanks by fire at hole from 37 mm :)
Calvary charge German Panzer with lances? It`s FABLE :P

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8744
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Cavalry vs tanks

Post by tigre » 25 Feb 2006 14:50

Hello to all, see this thread with regards to this particular topic.

viewtopic.php?t=92001

Cheers. Tigre.

User avatar
Musashi
Member
Posts: 4656
Joined: 13 Dec 2002 15:07
Location: Coventry, West Midlands, the UK [it's one big roundabout]

Re: Panzers and Polish Lancers

Post by Musashi » 25 Feb 2006 17:41

Ponury wrote:All polish calvary brigades had a some (7-9 in company) very good and bloody anti-tank 37 mm guns.

Wrong.
Polish cavalry brigades consisted of regiments (there were 4-regiment and 3-regiment cavalry brigades) divided into squadrons, not companies. I don't know how did you get 7-9 AT guns in company... There were up to 22 37mm AT guns wz. 36 in a 4-regiment cavalry brigade as well as 16 75mm ex-Russian guns wz 02/26 (modernized and rechambered from 76,2mm to 75mm in 1926) while there were up to 16 37mm AT guns as well as up to 12 75mm guns in a 3-regiment brigade. There were also 78 7,92 AT rifles "Ur" in a 4-regiment brigade and 25% less in a 3-regiment brigade.

Ponury wrote:In battle of Mokra (near Czestochowa at 1.09.39) polish "Wielkopolska Brygada" calvary brigade destroy over 70 german tanks by fire at hole from 37 mm :)

Wrong again. It was Wo³yñska Cavalry Brigade, not Wielkopolska.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mokra

Stephan
Member
Posts: 724
Joined: 09 Feb 2003 20:34
Location: Sweden

Re: Panzers and Polish Lancers

Post by Stephan » 26 Feb 2006 11:22

Musashi wrote:
Ponury wrote:All polish calvary brigades had a some (7-9 in company) very good and bloody anti-tank 37 mm guns.

Wrong.
Polish cavalry brigades consisted of regiments (there were 4-regiment and 3-regiment cavalry brigades) divided into squadrons, not companies. I don't know how did you get 7-9 AT guns in company



As I try to count, Ponurys number is OK if we translate the company into regiment...

In any case, Ponurys point is correct: Lances and sabres were mostly something for exercise and parades. In war against real opponents they had other weapons... As I know, lances were NOT used as field equipment.


So when the german war-daybooks tells: today we fighted against polish cavallery you should usually not understand this the cavallery was charging with sabers or lancers. They were probably dug in and fought with their cannons, machine guns, rifles and grenades... And if convenient, they could change position wery quickly as they had the horses too.

The charges with sabres that were were at infantery in biwack.

User avatar
Musashi
Member
Posts: 4656
Joined: 13 Dec 2002 15:07
Location: Coventry, West Midlands, the UK [it's one big roundabout]

Re: Panzers and Polish Lancers

Post by Musashi » 26 Feb 2006 11:50

Stephan wrote:
Musashi wrote:
Ponury wrote:All polish calvary brigades had a some (7-9 in company) very good and bloody anti-tank 37 mm guns.

Wrong.
Polish cavalry brigades consisted of regiments (there were 4-regiment and 3-regiment cavalry brigades) divided into squadrons, not companies. I don't know how did you get 7-9 AT guns in company

As I try to count, Ponurys number is OK if we translate the company into regiment...

Well, let's assume 2*2 = 16 ;)
If you replace both 2 with 4 it will be true, either :)
A goose is not a duck, a plane is not a tank and company is not a regiment. However your calculation was correct, but someone could come to the conclusion Polish cavalry brigades were überequipped as if there were 7-9 AT guns in each company.

Stephan
Member
Posts: 724
Joined: 09 Feb 2003 20:34
Location: Sweden

Post by Stephan » 26 Feb 2006 12:22

How many squadrons were there in a brigade? Ie dividing the 78 AT rifles??

Perhaps Ponury confuses not regiment and company, but simply the AT-cannon with the AT-rifle?

Jan-Hendrik
Member
Posts: 8212
Joined: 11 Nov 2004 12:53
Location: Hohnhorst / Deutschland

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 26 Feb 2006 12:32

Why not making it easy and using Dr.Niehorsters Website ??

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

Jan-Hendrik

User avatar
Musashi
Member
Posts: 4656
Joined: 13 Dec 2002 15:07
Location: Coventry, West Midlands, the UK [it's one big roundabout]

Post by Musashi » 26 Feb 2006 13:27

Jan-Hendrik wrote:Why not making it easy and using Dr.Niehorsters Website ??

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

Jan-Hendrik

So according to this site there were 4 37mm AT guns in a cavalry regiment plus 2 guns in a cavalry brigade's AT platoon.

3 regiments * 4 AT guns + 2 AT guns in an AT platoon = 14
or
4 regiments * 4 AT guns + 2 AT guns in an AT platoon = 18

Four-regiment brigade
There was also 1 AT rifle in a cavalry platoon. 3 cavalry platoons * 4 squadrons * 4 regiments + 3 infantry platoons * 3 companies * 1 battalion = 48 + 9 = 57 AT rifles in the first line units.

Three-regiment brigade
3 cavalry platoons * 4 squadrons * 3 regiments + 3 infantry platoons * 3 companies * 1 battalion = 36 + 9 = 45 AT rifles in the first line units.
I am not sure where the remaining AT rifles were, I suppose in other platoons.
Last edited by Musashi on 26 Feb 2006 15:00, edited 1 time in total.

weiss
Member
Posts: 142
Joined: 05 Nov 2004 07:09
Location: Savannah, GA

Post by weiss » 03 Mar 2006 20:44

"In battle of Mokra (near Czestochowa at 1.09.39) polish "Wielkopolska Brygada" calvary brigade destroy over 70 german tanks by fire at hole from 37 mm"


Is there any confirmation of this from an english or german source. This sounds fairly ludicrous, or at least highly exaggerated?!

JonS
Member
Posts: 3935
Joined: 23 Jul 2004 01:39
Location: New Zealand

Post by JonS » 03 Mar 2006 20:59

Delaforce relates an incident in Germany in 1945 where one of the armoured units (prolly a sqn) in 11th AD were charged by a German unit mounted on horses. However, from his description it's a little hard to tell whether it was a actually a swords-drawn-trumpets-blowing-knee-to-knee-CHAAAAAARRRRGE!!!, or simply a case of the British unit surprising a German mounted unit, slaughtering htem, and the tale growing in the re-telling.

User avatar
Ponury
Member
Posts: 263
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 20:38
Location: Gdansk/Danzig in Poland!

Post by Ponury » 03 Mar 2006 21:03


Return to “Poland 1919-1945”