Polish artillery

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
Pibwl1
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: 06 Jun 2013 16:55

Re: Polish artillery

Post by Pibwl1 » 18 Jun 2013 00:33

As for 42 dal, I'd have to ask K. Stepan, whose book is given as a source :wink:
Zarzycki in an article from 2000 writes an interesting thing, that because of lack of howitzers, the 2nd battery (only!) was given 75mm guns.

As for 75 dal, it wasn't C-inc reserve unit, because it became II/65 Light Arty Rgt of a reserve infantry division.

As for 62dal, in reference 4 there's a mention, that Zarzycki writes about 100 mm howitzers in 62.dal. (and he claims so also in other article). I don't know, who is right.

As for 71 dal, there's no reference given. Zarzycki in an article from 2000 writes about 100 mm howitzers.

"Naval Light Artillery Detachment" is "morski dal" (MDAL) indeed.

Armoured trains were meant for wider tasks, than only providing artillery barrage (it's like a tank vs heavy SP artillery). And they appeared quite useful in 1939 as well (note, that also Germans and Soviets built dozens of new trains during the war). Besides, it wasn't a choice, like: "sell our old armoured trains and buy a modern railway artillery for that money" (who would buy it?). Note, that all artillery wagons existed since 1921, and they needed relatively low expenses to keep and modernize them.
Yes... I think... Mobilization planing (and military bilding at 30th yars) not only much better...it was must be better..
Oh, yes, with a hindsight we can easily say what should have been built in the 1930s. Bigger problem is: what to do with the stuff that we have ;-)

gebhk
Member
Posts: 442
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Polish artillery

Post by gebhk » 18 Jun 2013 08:46

Not quite hindsight PIBWL1 I would argue

The trouble was that many of the the experts (ie the senior artillerists) had a pretty good idea of what the problems were and how to fix them. Unfortunately no one at the top was listening (and in stark contrast to the German army in particular, there were few or no competent artillerists in the Polish 'top'). Having recently experienced this situation personally in my own work I can appreciate how frustrating and despiriting this is :roll: ! Overall I get the impression that we Poles simply didn't have a sympathy for artillery as a nation. Of the three main combat arms, artillery was almost without exception put last and the infantry first when it came to allocation of resources and modernisation. Given our overall strategic plans, this seems perversely opposite to what was required. And given that by a long margin artillery was the principal weapon of WW2, this proved a fatal flaw. The tactical part at any rate of the answer to the frequently asked question (on this Forum too it would seem) why the Polish army collapsed so quickly is the weakness of the Polish artillery in virtually every aspect not just in terms of absolute numbers but also per capita.

Regarding equipment kept in storage I think the answer is fairly straightforward - as PIBWL quite correctly points out we should not fall into the trap of assuming that prior to September 17th 1939 the time-span of the campaign could have been predicted. Given that realistically full wartime production could not have been achieved for a few months after the commencement of hostilities, a significant reserve of equipment had to be kept in storage to replace predicted attrition rates over those first difficult months. Furthermore the amount of tubes that it was worth keeping at great expense in the field was limited by the capability to supply them with adequate amounts of ammunition (particularly with regard to heavy guns)- a problem the Polish army had not solved when war broke out. Other limiting factors were the availability of appropriately trained personnel (specifically a shortage of officers and NCOs), support units (such as survey and transport units) and equipment.

Keeping artillery in the field consumes vast resources. And history teaches us that you get better results from smaller numbers of guns but guns which are well manned, well equipped, well supported and supplied with adequate amounts of ammunition. Limiting the number of new units of artillery raised in 1939, given the problems with the supporting the units already in existence was, I believe, the right decision.
Last edited by gebhk on 18 Jun 2013 09:35, edited 3 times in total.

AlekBolduin
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 01 Mar 2012 10:52

Re: Polish artillery

Post by AlekBolduin » 18 Jun 2013 09:23

Thanks for the clarification.
Indeed 75dal-it's a double counting, and 75dal for 55DP.

Regarding the armored trains ...
It seems to me that their armor (20-300mm) is not a big obstacle for direct shots in 1939, as the tanks, they are bad, as are "tied" to the railway, and 75-mm gun shoots very close ..
The Germans used the armored train as FLAK and counterinsurgency rarely against the front line ..
Soviet troops used an armored train .. I can not say it's good, too.
Very few "survived" to the end of the war.
Maybe 12-15 pieces (8-10 «bronedivision» 1-2 armored each) by 1945.
Perhaps Poland had broneproezda or throw, do not spend money on maintenance and training, or convert themselves to FLAK (defend Warsaw for example) or for 220-mm or 155-mm guns.
With regard to mobilization. Allow me to say.
1.
1 \ 3 artillery weapon was not used (1 \ 2-mortars can tell).
We can compare the Finnish efforts - even the guns of the 19th century have been used to the last guns, soldiers in the rear (baggage, artillery) had no rifles, but it was a lot, a lot of infantry.
2.
Each division had Replacement Unit - OsZap - Osrodek Zapasovy (2-3 battalion or even more), in addition, each infantry regiment had a replacement btn. A lot of people (5-6 replacement btn vs 9 Infantary btn in each DP) was "spent" for these Replacement Unit \ Btn, have poor management, poor organization, poor equipment (but 1 \ 3 artillery and 1 \ 2 mortars have been forgotten somewhere in the warehouses , for example in Grodno, Lomza, Brest,Pshemisl fortress and others).
We can compare the Finnish efforts. There was only one replacement btn in each IndfDiv, this is quite enough. But there were 12 infantry divisions (1,4-10,11-13,21-23) and 2 Bde (replacement and cavalry) + ~30 Inf Btn, well done for a country with a population of 3.5 million. Poland had 35 million, 10 times more, motivation is extremely high. And 39 infantry divisions (not 12*10), 16 brigades (not 2*10), and about 70 mobilized and improvised Inf Btn (not 30*10).
3. The Polish Army had 10 Corps (and the headquarters of 10 groups of artillery) in peacetime.
But there was not a single case in wartime (even "Intervention Corps' twice changed its composition in 1939, and even changed his commander in August 1939, left without a commander at the time of mobilization).
There were only 7 of armies and about 14 operational groups (of disparate forces, improvised composition in HQ). In this case, a staff of four DOK(1,2,9,10) wasn’t converted to form armies or groups. Why is that?
10 GA (in each DOK) and 30 Infantry Inspectors staff (en each regular Inf Div) - may be 40 reserve Divisional HQ for example?
6 replacment inf. btn in each regular Inf Div – it was ~180 Inf Btn. It was 20 second-wave Inf Div may be formed of this, for example. But only Nine DPrez (Including KOP and ON personnel and HQs) was in real life.
We can compare the Finnish efforts. There were 3 divisions in peacetime and it was 3 corps in wartime. Was the HQ of the Border Guard, it became the HQ of "Northern Finland" operational group, was the HQ of SuolesKunta (National Guard)-became the HQ of the «behind home force».

I think mobilization planing was all done very confusing (and therefore 1 \ 3-1 \ 2 artillery and mortars had been lost in a warehouse) and incorrect.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 442
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Polish artillery

Post by gebhk » 18 Jun 2013 13:52

Regarding armoured trains, they were clearly not tanks nor did anyone expect to use them as such. What they they were was, when conditions allowed, a resource to deliver rapid response artillery fire where it was most needed, a somewhat scarce resource in the hands of Polish commanders. The classic example is, of course, the battle of Mokra where the timely intervention of armoured trains threw back the attack of a complete Panzer regiment with supporting infantry. And since we are talking about Armoured Train nr 53 (Smialy) this train was captured by the Soviets and imemdiately6 put into service by them. Captured by the Germans in 1941 it was put into service by them. Clearly therefore it was seen as a valuable asset not just by the Poles.

Pax, Alek but the conversions you suggest seem to make little sense in this context. AA trains only make sense if used as a platform for super-heavy guns (which Poland did not have). Using them to defend a static location such as a town which could be defended by static weapons seems even less helpful. Given the limited use of 220mm mortars in a defensive campaign the benefits of, at great expense, converting a usable asset into one that proved to be not, seems somewhat pointless.

AlekBolduin
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 01 Mar 2012 10:52

Re: Polish artillery

Post by AlekBolduin » 18 Jun 2013 17:57

Why not?
It was bought 27- 220-mm mortars (fire range -13.5 km ) of real life. But this is a not good variant, I think.
The French had during ww-some types - 194 mm heavy field and railway gun (18.3 km fire range), as well as a 240-mm (22.7 km), field gun and the railway, and even a 155-mm at railway variant.
If Poland bought from Czechoslovakia, 220-mm mortars, the French 155-mm field howitzers, why it was impossible to take (or license produce) a few heavy guns (or barrels for railway) and some thousands shell?

I mean, 15-20 heavy 194 or 240-mm railway guns (1-2 in each of 10 armored train, for example) not be prevented in defense of Warsaw, Modlin or Mlawa etc :)

gebhk
Member
Posts: 442
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Polish artillery

Post by gebhk » 04 Jul 2013 10:42

Alec - I think that slightly misses the point. The reason Poland spent hideous amounts of money desperately needed elsewhere was political rather than tactical. It demonstrated Poland's commitment to attacking Germany, should Germany attack France. It is no coincidence that the 1PAN was probably the most paraded, most photographed regiment in the entire Polish armed forces! Aside from that there was no sensible employment for siege artillery in the polish Army and unless the Germans conveniently laid on railway sidings running up to their defences from the Polish side and failed to range their artillery on them, train-mounted siege artillery would not be able to do the job. The success of armoured trains in mobile warfare depended on their ability to 'shoot and scoot'. This would have been quite impossible if they had been equipped with super-heavy guns.

AlekBolduin
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 01 Mar 2012 10:52

Re: Polish artillery

Post by AlekBolduin » 04 Jul 2013 19:14

I think - there is no great political reason
1)
220-mm mortars were purchased in 1933-35. What we have says about German invasion go in 1933? 1935? Entrance of the German Army in the Rhineland were only a year later, in 1936
2)
In terms of modernization plan WP (plan unowocześnienia Wojska Polskiego) of KSUS (Komitet do Spraw Uzbrojenia i Sprzętu) at 1936 - there is plan to have 24 220-mm and 12 305-mm guns (4 and 2 battalions of6 guns each) -36 super heavy guns total.
I want to ask: are the Poland army HQs want to put 12 305-mm guns at 1942 for political reasons?

gebhk
Member
Posts: 442
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Polish artillery

Post by gebhk » 12 Jul 2013 20:48

Alek -
Re 1: Polish - French military co-operation treaties go further back than 1933-5 (1926 if memory serves, I could be wrong)
Re 2: Poland maintained 30 active infantry divisions in peacetime to fulfill it's part of the Franco-Polish treaties - a quite unsustainable number of bodies to feed which by bloating the vegetative budget precluded adequate funding for modernisation and stockpiling of war materiel. This was done purely for political reasons to keep France 'on side'. In this context one extra-heavy artillery regiment was a drop in the ocean.

AlekBolduin
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 01 Mar 2012 10:52

Re: Polish artillery

Post by AlekBolduin » 15 Jul 2013 08:52

I agree for the Franco-Polish treaties, but there are two words:
1) There are no words for KOP in the Franco-Polish treaties for example.
It was 11-12 brigades and regiments at KOP - 36 battalions total.
We could have a 30 infantry divisions "to carry letters" Franco-Polish treaties, and it was possible to have a 26 infantry divisions and four infantry divisions KOP, it also formally 30 infantry divisions - if it is important for the letter of the Franco-Polish treaties.
But there were still SG (western borderline) -6 «okregov». That is two more divisions in equal. And we could have a 30 infantry divisions «to to fulfill treaties » + SG + KOP for example
But at other cases we can have 30 infantry divisions, including 24 "simple divisions" + 2 "Western" division SG + 4 "Eastern" division KOP?
Why not?
And also 1 division - this is a very different definition.
Maybe 5000 in peacetime. Maybe 7000. Maybe 10000.
And in the Red Army, have some divisions were 3000 in peacetime strenghe.

2) There were many aspects of the cooperation. For example a 120mm gun -1934, 105 mm - 1929 and so on.

I agree that "some heavy guns - it's a drop." But the drop + drop + drop ... does sea.
I can recall many a "waste" of finance - both for the huge number of concrete bunkers (wherever possible), 27 heave mortars for 300 thousand zl each - like 100-120 mortars at each price, etc.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 442
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Polish artillery

Post by gebhk » 16 Jul 2013 08:27

I think Alek you have just supported my point - that Poland was not just determined to apply the letter of the agreements but willing to bend over backwards to demonstrate her willingness to do her part in a Franco-German war.

Concrete bunkers were not a waste which even a cursory analysis of the course of the campaign will show (Westerplatte, Wizna, Mlawa etc)- on the contrary, given Polish weakness in artillery, there were not nearly enough of them. However we seem to be straying very far from the subject of this thread :).

AlekBolduin
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: 01 Mar 2012 10:52

Re: Polish artillery

Post by AlekBolduin » 18 Jul 2013 13:36

I think that «willing to bend» could be done very differently.
For bunkers - has been planned very large number of -3000 or even 4000 bunkers. There was spending big finance, materials, etc. The some of bunkers were not finished, some - not camouflage, no field fortifications (trenches, etc.) between bunkers. Very large front of buildlines from Augustow to the Carpathian Mountains.
As the result is a thin chain rambling single-bunkers are not everywhere, but almost everywhere. Another shortcoming of the Polish "strategists".

User avatar
ain92
Member
Posts: 346
Joined: 04 Jul 2012 18:06
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Polish artillery captured by the Red Army

Post by ain92 » 07 Jan 2014 11:25

Could anyone guess the place where this 100 mm Skoda howitzer was captured?
Image
Another interesting picture of a captured Skoda wz. 14/19 used by the NKVD Internal Troops, probably during the Continuation War.
Image
With best regards, Ilya.

forttravel
Member
Posts: 703
Joined: 19 Dec 2010 22:07

Re: Polish artillery

Post by forttravel » 28 May 2015 01:15

Pibwl1 wrote:
AlekBolduin wrote: and 2 x 100 mm Canet on fixed mounts
Two new pictures of these both guns from Ebay.
Is enybody have an oryginal drawings for that gun?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8230
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Polish artillery

Post by tigre » 15 Apr 2019 13:44

Hello to all :D; a query.....................................

Polish howitzer around Lodz 1939.

Source: https://picclick.de/Kriegsbeute-Polnisc ... id=1&pid=1

Anyone could id this gun? TIA. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Sturm78
Member
Posts: 14532
Joined: 02 Oct 2008 17:18
Location: Spain

Re: Polish artillery

Post by Sturm78 » 15 Apr 2019 21:36

Probably, an 105mm Wz.1929 gun

Sturm78

Return to “Poland 1919-1945”