Share
Go down
Patton
Posts : 2
Join date : 2018-03-07

Polish Infantry 1939

on Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:13 pm
In the Blitzkrieg list it says a Polish infantry platoon contains 3 LMG Groups, unit composition: 9 men with wz.28 LMG. Does this mean 1 LMG or 9? Just seems to be too many men for 1 LMG and too high fire power for 9.

thanks
avatar
Piers
Admin
Posts : 264
Join date : 2018-02-12
http://battlegroupwargame.forumotion.com

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:46 pm
8 men with rifles and 1 man with LMG
Patton
Posts : 2
Join date : 2018-03-07

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:07 pm
Thank you Piers. Whats confused me is the heading 3 LMG Groups when there is already 3 Rifle Groups listed separately. Just getting used to the terminology having moved over from another ruleset!
NTM
Posts : 122
Join date : 2018-02-12

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:47 pm
It's an old style of platoon organisation utilised by many nations at the start of the war and by Italy until around 1943.
avatar
RayH
Posts : 38
Join date : 2018-02-12
Location : Enniskillen

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:52 pm
Yes it is 1 LMG plus 8 riflemen,Polish platoons are BIG,but look great. those BAR's well that is what the LMG really is a Belgian FN 1925 Browning copy of the American BAR modified for Polish use, are handy.
gebhk
Posts : 51
Join date : 2018-07-10

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:19 am
NTM wrote:It's an old style of platoon organisation utilised by many nations at the start of the war and by Italy until around 1943.

Sorry to disagree, but not really. The Polish infantry rifle platoon had 3 squads, each of squad leader, squad second in command, a  squad automatic weapon team of 4 and 11 riflemen (for a total of 2 NCOs, 3 lance corporals and 14 EM). Unlike the German equivalent it was not formally divided into sections, but could be and was divided as necessary by the squad leader depending on circumstances. The division of these huge sections into rifle and BAR sections in the rules is for gaming reasons (and entirely sensible ones) but not a reflection of historical organisation.

The only unusual feature of Polish rifle squad organisation was the large number of riflemen, which was in fact a new feature rather than an old one. The reasons for the adoption of this unusual configuration remain a subject of speculation because the reasoning of the decision makers in this instance has not survived and the result was contrary to mainstream Polish professional military thinking of the day. The nearest equivalent is, if anywhere, in the Japanese army.  

Bestest
K


Last edited by gebhk on Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Warwick
Posts : 91
Join date : 2018-02-12
Location : Derby, UK

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:55 am
In combat, all platoons, squads/sections are far more flexible than most games rules allow, as the game needs to have some number of models... in reality its more complex than that... platoons will re-organise as they have to with the manpower they have available, and the TO and E is of little relevance, especially as they are rarely at full strength. All larger squads divide, to fulfill slightly different roles and as matter of c and c, a junior NCO can't be expected to run 10+ men, more like 3,4,5 etc... but the game goes with full platoons as we have to have something, you can;t say a platoon has 'some riflemen, a few NCOs and a few LMGs, maybe some captured weapons and anything else they could blag, etc...', which is more like what actually happens.
gebhk
Posts : 51
Join date : 2018-07-10

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:12 pm
Amen to that, albeit at the start of a war (before folk learn better by bitter experience and, more grimly, before the peace-time trained generation is wiped out) there is more emphasis on regulation manoeuvres ('proper soldierin'). Also, some time is required for the platoon to acquire the eclectic mix of weaponry and equipment you describe and which characterises veteran units - and the Polish campaign was, sadly, short.

Nevertheless your point is well taken and given the exigencies of constant retreat, vast quantities of equipment were dumped by the roadside by exhausted foot-sloggers who simply could not carry it any further. Units with better transport (cavalry, motorised) simply helped themselves to this bounty and many soon had imposing arsenals as a result. For example, the anti-tank units of the motorised brigades had no automatic weapons at the outset. By the conclusion, virtually every gun had its own BAR 'just in case'. One of the motorbike platoons of the Warsaw Mechanised Brigade acquired (allegedly) enough anti-tank rifles to equip virtually every section and a MMG carried on the platoon baggage truck for good measure. Needless to say this gear rarely made it onto the official daily equipment/ammunition returns.


Last edited by gebhk on Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Piers
Admin
Posts : 264
Join date : 2018-02-12
http://battlegroupwargame.forumotion.com

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:48 pm
While all you say is correct K with regards the Polish Teams, there is period reference to the need to consider splitting off the BAR team.

While it is done in the rules purposely to perform several game requirements, the Polish infantry manual does make the following reference that I took to act as my historical context to make the spilt for game play reasons...

"The team may also be called upon to detach men when called upon to complete specific tasks.
In these instances it may have the light machinegun (BAR) and its crew, a small group of
riflemen or even a specific rifleman may be detached from the team but always operate on
the same basis as the team whether it has a light machinegun or not."


So while not a direct split of the team, which the manual does state should generally always operate as a single entity, it does show that the need to do so was recognised. Hence my rational to split the team for both game play requirements and, a slightly dubious, historical basis... Wink
gebhk
Posts : 51
Join date : 2018-07-10

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:05 am
Hi Piers

I totally understand and agree with the gaming rationale behind what you have done with the rules for the Polish infantry section. I don't think we disagree there. Rather, I disagree with the view expressed by NKM, I think, that the historical Polish infantry platoon was made up of two types of squad - with and without automatic weapons. Clearly it was not.  

However. the citation you use to support your rule decision (from the Infantry Regulations. Part II. 1934) is, as you say, rather dubious justification. Clearly both from the wording of this para (incidentally the translation could do with a bit of tweeking - this would make the meaning a tad clearer) and from paras elsewhere in the document, the division of the squad you mandate is not what the authors had in mind. Numerous examples throughout the document show what they did have in mind.

The BAR team - this means literally that - the 4 men crewing the weapon. They might be detailed off to provide covering fire while the rest of the squad get stuck into an assault, flanking fire in defence or AA oversight for the platoon as a whole.
Sharpshooters: the squad may contain a small number of strzelcy wyborowi (literally chosen riflemen). These were men who had achieved a certain proficiency in marksmanship and were provided, where possible, with selected rifles with narrower spread (not scoped sniper rifles - the start of the war put paid to the provision of those). They might be left outside the squad fireplan in defence or tasked with providing covering fire in the assault.
Single or small groups of riflemen: men might be detailed off to provide a flanking movement, serve as runners or liaison men, form communication chains for passing messages, carry ammunition, assist platoon ammunition supply (by loading BAR mags for example), assist wounded comrades, carry out patrols, serve as observers and so on.

As one can see, aside from flanking and fire support (which in any case would be directed against the same target as the rest of the squad), these detachments were not tactical. Rather the detached individual or small group would leave the squad to carry out some other duty. The unity of combat purpose is underlined by the management structure. Unlike the German infantry, where the chief role of the truppfuhrer was to command the rifle section of the infantry squad, the Polish assistant leader was just that - he assisted the squad leader in commanding the squad as a whole. Only in very special circumstances was he to be given temporary command of a part of the squad. This would occur when that part was outside the command radius of the squad leader and required more command input than a lance corporal could provide. An example might be leading a patrol, or commanding the rest of the squad, when the squad leader was himself patrolling with a detachment.  

The best that can be said, is that while the Regulations do not propose the organisation you mandate in the rules, they do not expressly forbid it either.

Ultimately, in special circumstances, the regulations permitted any configuration the squad leader and/or his superiors deemed fit. Playing a wargame is a special circumstance Laughing . I don't think any other justification is necessary Cool .
Sponsored content

Re: Polish Infantry 1939

Back to top
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum