Saturday, May 14, 2022

Polish Army 1939 Part 1

Polish Army project part 1



This year I also want to revisit my 1939 Polish Army and complete all of the unpainted vehicles (30 odd), and paint two more battalions figures I already have sitting in storage, some dating back in 2012. I want to purchase some to fill out the ranks by adding another battalion with the new 20mm XAN infantry figures (match his original range sculpted by him for Fantassin Miniatures which make up my current battalions). I also want to get the resin Scibor vehicle crews and command figures as they look fabulous.

For the AA, artillery and AT guns I will add a mix of pieces. First to Fight plastic gun crews mostly to crew some plastic, resin and metal gun pieces and Early War Models metal crews for the specialists. Lots of horse drawn equipment is required so more HAT and EWM horse drawn wagons. For trucks FTF Fiat and Praga trucks and IBG kits for fiat staff and radio cars.

For the next article I will cover my organisation of my cavalry. I need to purchase FTF mounted Uhlan cavalry for command figs and horseholder. I already have the HAT plastic French for the mounted component. I would also like to add First to Fight dismounted cavalry portion and some SHQ also. I need to purchase the specific FAA miniatures for the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade motorcyclists. Finally scratch build and purchase some more vehicles mostly soft skins mostly motorcycles but I may print some also. I have set a target of completion for next year for the cavalry.

My fighter and fighter bomber air component is complete except for a bomber, which I will wait for one to come up on ebay or such.

Rapid Fire does not have a official list for Poles yet, but there are some unofficial lists around on which I have loosely based mine on. Rapid Fire does have the charts for guns, vehicles and aircraft though which is helpful when playing.

The first task is to build a Infantry division of a single regiment, than add the support elements for extra goodies for game play, as I like to see supply and medical especially on the tabletop. The Polish Infantry Regiments were very large and basically followed the same structure, 3 battalions plus support elements. I am not planning on painting any reserve regiments or the static units, although I am tempted in the future to build Polish field defence bunkers.



9th Polish Legion Infantry Division
9th Dywizja Piechoty Legionów


Polish Army 1939 Rapid Fire Organisation

Division HQ
CO x 5, Fiat 518 staff car, Fiat radio truck, MP motorcycle

Supply company
10 figs Praga RV supply truck, 4 supply wagons

Medical Coy
10 figs Fiat 621 Ambulance, 2 x horse drawn ambulance



Fiat 621 Ambulance


Recon battalion
BHQ Co + 2 mounted on horses
1st coy 6 figs and horses
2nd coy 12 figs cyclists
MG coy
4 figs 1 x MMG wz30 with wz 36 Tatchanka horse drawn cart


MMG wz30 with wz 36 Tatchanka cart


9th Sapper Battalion
OC + 5 car, Praga RV truck with foot bridge trailer, mine detector, 1 motorcycle
1st Coy 12 figs Horse drawn wagon
2nd Coy 12 figs Horse drawn wagon

AA Battery

Battery HQ 
OC + 5, staff car , 508 radio car, supply truck

AA light coy
4 figs 1 x 40mm bofors AA gun and motor tow
3 figs 1 x MMG truck mounted

AA heavy coy
4 figs 1 x SP wz.97/25 75mm AA gun



Artillery

9th Light artillery Regiment
RHQ
CO + 11 figs staff car, horse towed radio/telephone trailer, 508 radio truck, horse drawn supply wagon, AA platoon MG Fiat 621 truck

1st sqn
8 figs 2 x 75mm wz 1897 Schneider horse drawn

2nd sqn
8 figs 2 x 100mm wz 1914/1919 Skoda horse drawn


9th Heavy Artillery Regiment
RHQ
CO + 11 figs staff car, horse towed radio/telephone trailer, 508 radio truck, horse drawn supply wagon, AA platoon MG Fiat 621 truck

1st sqn
8 figs 2 x 105mm wz.1913 C7P

2nd sqn
8 figs 1 x 155mm wz.1917 C7P


22nd Infantry Regiment

RHQ 
Co + 7 figs staff Car, Fiat 308 radio car, cyclist, motorcycle.

Supply Coy
4 figs horse drawn cooks wagon, horse drawn supply wagon.

Medical platoon

2 figs horse drawn medical wagon

AA platoon
3 figs MMG wz30 AA with wz 36 Tatchanka horse drawn cart,

Scout Company
4 figs horses, 4 cyclists 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

Artillery coy
3 men 1 x 75mm wz.02 / 26 cannon horse drawn

Anti Tank platoon
3 men 1 x Wz 37mm Bofors AT gun, horse drawn

1st Battalion
OC + 12, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car, 47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning horse drawn cart

2nd Battalion
OC + 11, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car, 1 47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning, horse drawn cart

3rd Battalion
OC + 11, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car,
47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
2 x MMG WZ 30 browning 6 OR horse drawn cart

Regiment Support
OC + 1, observers x 2 ORs

MMG coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning 6 OR horse cart

Mortar coy
12 men 3 x 81mm mortar horse cart

Next Article will cover my cavalry and armour, followed by painting guides and then aircraft.

cheers
Matt


References

Polish army structure 1939, by far the best reference I have found is here
Andrew Mollo, The Armed Forces of ww2
Steve Zaloga The Polish Army 1939-45
David Higgins German Soldier vs Polish Soldier 1939.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Belgian Army 1940 part 1

 

Belgian Army 1940



This year I want to complete some more of my 1940 armies. I have decided to add some more units to my Belgian army, cyclist infantry, artillery elements, armour, aircraft and complete my Ardennes Chasseurs regiment. My main focus will be infantry and cyclists. I also need to paint my armour T13 and T 15, plus some artillery pieces, tractors and trucks. All units will be built for Rapid Fire.

Division de Chasseurs Ardennais

1st Regiment Chasseur Ardennes

I have completed my first battalion, I do however require to paint my 2 x T15, 1 x Vickers Carden Llyod 47mm complete my tow for the towed 47mm, and some support elements, heavy mortar and crew, heavy MG and crew, cars (including a scratch built Alvis), AT gun,  some trucks, tractors, medical and sapper coy.

Regiment Karabiniers-Wielrijders

I have purchased the HAT cyclists to paint as my cyclist karabiniers on bikes, I will need to change the heads to french adrians though. The cars are from a diecast company, trucks are plastic and resin kits (minarion and Retrokit) and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Guns from SHQ and EWM.

  I need to find some of the old Battlefield Blitz range (if you have some please contact me) or pick up the new EWM figures to complete the three battalions. 

BHQ

Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, Ford supply truck, large car and telephone trailer, Ford medical truck

RHQ

Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer



1st battalion 

HQ. 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar cart

1st company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

2nd company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


2nd battalion

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


3rd Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

4th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


3rd battalion 

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


5th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

6th company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

MG coy 

3 figs MMG FN tricar

AT coy 1 x47mm towed + tractor



Armoured coy

2 x T15

1 x Vickers Carden-Llyod Mark VI 47mm



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer motorised tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun motorised tow



2nd Motorised Cavalry Division
The cars are from a diecast company, truck are plastic and resin kits and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Figures from EWM and motorbikes printed models. Guns SHQ and EWM.


Division HQ
Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, supply truck, heavy car and telephone trailer, medical truck


RHQ
Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer, motorcycle AA



1 battalion motorised Infantry

HQ Co + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys 8 figures truck

2nd battalion motorcyclist Infantry



BHQ CO + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys motorbike (plus dismounted figures)

Support coy

MG coy 3 figs MMG FN tricar

Mortar Coy 3 figs plus car



1 armoured car company

3 x T13 tanks



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer and tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun and tow



Belgian Armour


ACG1
I want to build the ACG1 although in RF this is only two models. Most of my force is built around the southern component of the front. A short history for you to whet the appetite...

The 10 Belgian ACG1 (AMC 35, 9 with the altered belgian turret) were formed into two platoons for the invasion and was attached to the Corps de Cavalerie T13 2nd Division. The unit initially were based in Brussels but in the first week were moved to defend the bridges between Willebroek and Vilvoorde. The Squadron was commanded by Kapitein R.Hullebroeck , and divided into two platoons of 4 tanks with two in reserve.

HQ and Company

2 x ACG1 tanks




The Belgian Air Component

The Belgian Air Component was small but had a good training system so a number of pilots were well qualified but most the the air component was mostly destroyed on the ground in the opening day of the war.

On the early morning of May 10, the alarm was sounded, and the pilots at Schaffen Air Base went to their planes, thinking it was an exercise. A few minutes later, 50 unidentified aircraft flew over the airfield. Despite his orders, Captaine Max Guisgand, the commander of 1/1/2 Gladiators flew his planes into the air at 0420 hrs while the Hurricanes started their engines. 12 minutes later, three Heinkel 111s were spotted, not troubled by AA fire. The planes in the air were not there when the 111s came, and the 111s strafed the airfield several times. The planes tried to take off through the explosions and fires. A bullet punctured the main wheel of Lt. Wilmonts Gladiator and he rammed a Hurricane. Minutes later 110s and Dornier Do 17 strafed and bombed the airfield. Four Hurricanes were set on fire, and 6 others were damaged. The roof of the hangar fell in and the planes in it were destroyed. Sgt. Libert was burned badly when the fuel tank of his Hurricane exploded. Captaine Van den Hove d'Ertsenrijick and Caparol Jacobs managed to escape from Schaffen. They encountered some bombers but didn't manage to shoot down any, even though helped by Gladiator pilot Sgt. Van den Broecke. The third section of Gladiators from 1/1/2 almost collided with the three 111s and had to break away.

The second section (Cpt. Gerard (G-27), Sgt. Henri Winand (G-32) and Sgt. Henri Clinquart (G-34) spotted a formation of enemy bombers and broke it up. During the bombing, other gladiators left Schaffen for Beauvechain. Hurricane pilots Siroux, Lelarge and a lt.) flew three of them. Other reported engagements were when at 0900 10 109s ran in to two Gladiators over Tirlemont. Both were shot down and one pilot bailed out. At 1000 hrs, three Gladiators were shot down by 1/JG27 while trying to intercept escorted Ju87s.

A few missions were completed by the Belgians bombing three bridges on the Albert Canal on the of 11th May. The bombing was done by Fairey Battles of the 5/III/3Aé, the fighter escort was provided by 1/I/2Aé Gloster Gladiators. On the 11th May out of fifteen Battles that attacked pontoons bridge across the Maastricht, Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Briegden, only five aircraft survived.

The 9th and 11th squadron flying R31s still had aircraft in the sky when the surrender was announced on the 28th.

Aircraft in Service 1940

As I love building aircraft I have gone overboard for my Belgians.....

Renard R-31 21 in service reconnaissance (purchased)

Fiat CR.42 Falco 23 in service 3éme (destroyed on the ground) and 4th éme squadrons (one completed)

Gloster Gladiator 15 in service 1/1/2Aé (Model built, needs paint)

Fairy fox VI biplane 98 in service (Part built, need to complete)

Hawker Hurricane mk1 11 in service (only two survived the bombing of the airfield on the 10th of May, they were lost on the 11th) (completed)

Fairy Battle light Bomber 14 in Service 5éme squadron (purchased not built)



next up another 1940 project

Cheers

Matt