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View Full Version : Polish paratroopers pre WWII - few rare photos.



Smok
09-10-2005, 07:34 AM
Before WWII Poland started to make own paratroopers units. Project started in the end of 20's. In summer 1939 first full squad was sent to training. These units were something like early commando units. Well trained, armed with best polish weapons and equipment including light (20 kg) long range (100 km) radio.
I found few photos of these soldiers.

Photo made in winter 1927 during first trainings for parachute instructors.
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/2535/1927kurs6ks.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1927kurs6ks.jpg)

Ready to jump.
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/4205/naskrzydle9az.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=naskrzydle9az.jpg)

Laterr jumps were made in normal way :)

Polish parachute nurses (YES!!).
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/9326/pck4rk.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pck4rk.jpg)

First squad on parade in 1939.
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/2721/parada3tl.th.jpg (http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=parada3tl.jpg)

Zielony
09-10-2005, 08:01 AM
good find....
I think that there was a topic about it allready... but still good pics

pozdr

Chrobry
09-10-2005, 10:41 AM
thank you very much!

the pics are realy someting special!

Seoulstriker
09-10-2005, 03:35 PM
Once again, great pics!

OldRecon
09-10-2005, 05:00 PM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

3rdMillhouse
09-10-2005, 05:14 PM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

wtf......I don´t get it, if Polland had an army, why did the fall so fast? (believe it, I´m not familiar with that part of history)

Smok
09-10-2005, 05:31 PM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

wtf......I don´t get it, if Polland had an army, why did the fall so fast? (believe it, I´m not familiar with that part of history)

Because:
1. We couldn't make full mobilisation - France and GB didn't want to make Hitler angry.
2. We were attacked by Germany (1.IX.39) and Russia (17.IX.39).
3. Our allies (France and GB) didn't help us and our defence plans were based on suppose that they will help us and attack Germany.
4. We were 2 times smaller than Germany and many times smaller then Russia.
BTW we didn't fall so fast. More then one month against 2 biggest armies in the world attacking from different directions is good result. Very good.

perdurabo
09-10-2005, 05:54 PM
there was a post in history section about german looses in September'39. And Yes Poland had quite good army and quite big aginst only Germans we would push them back but aginst Garmans + Russia +no help from "Allies" France and UK we where screwed.

mack pl
09-10-2005, 06:52 PM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

quite many...we lost not more than 170 000 soldiers during the WW II...I dont count partisans though...

Kitsune
09-10-2005, 07:21 PM
Poland had a quite strong army in 1939. And yes, the Polish of that time were absolutely convinced that they would put up quite a fight if the Germans attacked. It was thought very possible that Poland would defeat the Wehrmacht alone and with a French offensive from the west a victory was seen as a certainty. The war would therefore end with Polish troops marching into Berlin.

This very self-conscious attitude of the Polish (probably strengthened by the fact that Poland had thoroughly thrashed the young Red Army in the early 20ties) and the continous promises of support against Germany by the British and French was the cause for the absolute Polish intransigence concerning the Danzig problem, quite to Hitler's surprise. (He had made proposals which were downright generous at least as the German side saw it, he even offered the guarantee of the Polish western border which no democratic government of Weimar Republican Germany had ever considered to give. And, after all, there was a non-aggression treaty in place bewteen Poland and Germany since 1934 and both states had cooperated quite nicely during the Czechosslovakian crisis.)
Point is, the Polish government believed it would win this war and profit from it. Please remember that Germany featured in everyones minds as a weak nation, beaten in WWI. A nation with a next to non-existent army for 15 years. The Nazi's had changed that...but still most believed that the German army was a papertiger, young, untried, without experience and with low reserves. On the other side, the Polish army was generally considered as very capable.

So, the Polish soldiers were quite optimistic when the Germans came on September the 1st 1939. And not only they, but the French and British experts also believed that the Germans might find out that they had bitten off more than they could chew with Poland. But they were in for a some surprises. One, the Germans did much better then expected. The Polish High command assessed the situation as critical even as early as September 5th. Two weeks into the war and Poland was beaten, even if pockets of resistance remained. The Soviet invasion that started on September the 17th was not decisive anymore. (Some Poles living back then may remember that differently, because of propaganda, for example: the Polish newspaper "Express Poranny" reported on September the 6th that the French army had invaded the Rhineland and that the Polish Airforce would bomb Berlin. On September the 13th the headline of that newspaper was "German offensive in Poland has collapsed". And many Polish readers believed it...this was what they had expected. The reports were complete rubbish...but they may have contributed to the impression that only the Soviet invasion had turned the tide).
The other big surprise was the lack of help. The French allegedly had explicitly promised an massive attack on Germany...but the Poles did not have it in writing. None came (oh, there was a smallish one, without conseqences) and none would have come even if the Poles had lasted 8 to 12 weeks. (One was planned for "probably the next spring"...) And the British happily dragged their dominions into the war and started to attack German ships all over the world...only nowhere near Poland. But then they had never promised anything specific.

The big question afterwards was: Why was the war so short? Because the Germans are so good fighters or the Polish are so bad ones? The French and British of the time preferred the second explanation. And continued to look forward optimistically to a German attack westward. (Hitler would not have a choice about that matter with the Soviets at his back...and Western Allied/Soviet negotiations began as early as late October 1939.)
And if the Germans would attack they would get their hides nailed. Because French/British soldiers are made from other stuff than Polish ones...

As far as Polands role as "the poor, helpless victim" is cncerned, the nation whose army was so backwards that they still fought with lance bearing knights :roll:...that was established by afterwards by a few decades of simplifying history lessons. At the time thngs were seen differently.

ulfgar
09-10-2005, 07:26 PM
wtf......I don´t get it, if Polland had an army, why did the fall so fast? (believe it, I´m not familiar with that part of history)

Get familiarized ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_September_Campaign

mack pl
09-10-2005, 07:34 PM
the nation whose army was so backwards that they still fought with lance bearing knights

are you reffering to our cavalry or I missed your point, mate?

Kitsune
09-10-2005, 07:44 PM
@Mack PL:
I was referring to this legend of Polish "lance bearing knights" fighting against Panzers. There was Polish cavralry back then, but somehow this is twisted into "the Poles were that backward that they still fought with lances, don't you believe it? They had probably never seen a tank..." Totally crap of course, but you would be surprised how many people outside of Poland believe something like that.

mack pl
09-11-2005, 03:59 AM
@Mack PL:
I was referring to this legend of Polish "lance bearing knights" fighting against Panzers. There was Polish cavralry back then, but somehow this is twisted into "the Poles were that backward that they still fought with lances, don't you believe it? They had probably never seen a tank..." Totally crap of course, but you would be surprised how many people outside of Poland believe something like that.

ahahaa, yeah...I even remember some German propaganda BS about Polish cavalryman using sabres during the fight with tanks :lol: well, our cavalry fought with armoured units, but they did use 40mm Bofors cannons, or 100 mm cannons, so called "Prawoslawne"(Orthodox Church), or even polish anti tank rifles, UR wz. 35....but not lances or sabres....different aspect is that, our cavalry fought mostly like infantry(without horses), they use them only to move from point to point....there was only 10 charges during whole september campaign, all charges against light german units....

pozdro

tony6
09-11-2005, 04:02 AM
Yeah-it's hard to believe that that myth is still alive.
As for September campaign-the major reason was that Wehrmacht was very modern army and most of all - their tactic was very modern and effective while Poland's army was still based on WWI conception.
Still - French army was also defeated in one month;)

Sayeret
09-11-2005, 04:29 AM
Great find, thanks for posting.

Brzeczyszczykiewicz
09-11-2005, 04:49 AM
And Yes Poland had quite good army and quite big aginst only Germans we would push them back but aginst Garmans + Russia +no help from "Allies" France and UK we where screwed.

Huh?
Push them back?
With what?

Musashi
09-11-2005, 05:00 AM
[...] or 100 mm cannons, so called "Prawoslawne"(Orthodox Church)[...]
Negative. There were ex-Russian 75 mm guns wz. 02/26 and they had been rechambered from 76,2 mm calibre. Don't you think 100 mm guns would be too heavy for horse artillery?
Read about this gun in Polish:
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armata_wz._02/26

perdurabo
09-11-2005, 05:07 AM
And Yes Poland had quite good army and quite big aginst only Germans we would push them back but aginst Garmans + Russia +no help from "Allies" France and UK we where screwed.

Huh?
Push them back?
With what?
with units that started to be mobilized near "Rumuńskie przedmoście"(duno english name)? remember that Germans had ammo and fuel for only week or 2 fighting. Also first transport of Hurricanes, equipment and ammo was shipped to Poland(it would go through Romania).
I'm not showing fingers but one country could stop this war at the begining (it begins on letter F and lays on west of Germany...) ;)

mack pl
09-11-2005, 05:10 AM
[...] or 100 mm cannons, so called "Prawoslawne"(Orthodox Church)[...]
Negative. There were ex-Russian 75 mm guns wz. 02/26 and they had been rechambered from 76,2 mm calibre. Don't you think 100 mm guns would be too heavy for horse artillery?
Read about this gun in Polish:
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armata_wz._02/26

yeah, of course...my mistake ;)

mack pl
09-11-2005, 05:12 AM
remember that Germans had ammo and fuel for only week or 2 fighting.

so, why they were fighting more then month? without ammo, and fuel?

Musashi
09-11-2005, 05:39 AM
remember that Germans had ammo and fuel for only week or 2 fighting.

so, why they were fighting more then month? without ammo, and fuel?
Although I don't agree with Perdurabo, everybody should know that Soviets supplied Germans with fuel at that time. Also during the invasion of France in 1940.

ulfgar
09-11-2005, 05:50 AM
Don`t forget about kb ppanc wz.35 (anti tank rifle)
We were able to destroy all German tanks from that period of war. Unfortunetly we had very little amount of them in use (i dont know why Wikipedia says it was used by most Polish units), because they were new and top secret. I remember that Maczek`s unit had them in their equipment and Germans didn`t know what was hitting them.

in Polish (http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karabin_ppanc._wz_35)
in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_rifle_wz.35)

But wa can not change history. We were attecked by th Soviets and did not have a chance.

But still fighting Soviets and Germans a little longer than a month is better result than French.

mack pl
09-11-2005, 07:26 AM
Don`t forget about kb ppanc wz.35 (anti tank rifle)
We were able to destroy all German tanks from that period of war. Unfortunetly we had very little amount of them in use (i dont know why Wikipedia says it was used by most Polish units), because they were new and top secret. I remember that Maczek`s unit had them in their equipment and Germans didn`t know what was hitting them.

in Polish (http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karabin_ppanc._wz_35)
in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_rifle_wz.35)

But wa can not change history. We were attecked by th Soviets and did not have a chance.

But still fighting Soviets and Germans a little longer than a month is better result than French.

we didnt forget about this rifle, Ive mentioned it in page 1 ;)

OldRecon
09-11-2005, 07:47 AM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

quite many...we lost not more than 170 000 soldiers during the WW II...I dont count partisans though...
Excluding the partisans and civilians from the total toll of deaths among Poles during WW-2 in my opinion is meaningless, as around 7.500.000-8.000.000 Poles in total died as a result of the war (or thereabouts?).
As an example: In several books about WW-2, or encyclopedical articles, published in Norway in the immediate aftermath of the war, Hans Franck was portrayed as an example of a mean nazi baddie (and he probably was). Yet when compared with Arthur Greiser he was (relatively speaking) rather lame.

Zielony
09-11-2005, 07:47 AM
yup.. you did :)

it was so TOP SECRET that they probably didn't even know how to use it ;)

ulfgar
09-11-2005, 07:51 AM
we didnt forget about this rifle, Ive mentioned it in page 1 ;)

Ops :) Sry. I missed that.

Smok
09-11-2005, 09:03 AM
Also there is one more thing to point. We could fight longer. But as I said our defence plans were based on calculation that our allies will help us. We could place our units in different positions and use different strategy. But we thought that France and GB would be good allies. They weren't.

perdurabo
09-11-2005, 09:12 AM
remember that Germans had ammo and fuel for only week or 2 fighting.

so, why they were fighting more then month? without ammo, and fuel?
you misunderstood me (damn my poor english)
I ment that germans when FallWeis ended where almoust without means to continue war. If battle over Poland would last month longer they would be totally disarmed :lol: 0 fuel 0 ammo 0 resources even moust of trucks where destroyed or demaged in Poland. They pleyed bluff and allies cached on it :lol: in less than a year they rebuild, repaired or replaced looses. In september '39 all fighting units where in Poland western borders of 3Reich where defended by poorly equipped reserves almoust without ammo (almoust all was sent on east), one strike from west and war would be over in a month...

mack pl
09-11-2005, 09:16 AM
oki, I get it now ;)

perdurabo
09-11-2005, 09:22 AM
http://www.polandsholocaust.org/map39.JPG
black german forces
brown russian forces
red polish forces

BTW sorry for Polish: Mack był pare miechów temu link do innego forum na którym ktoś dokonywał analizy i rozwiewał mity kampanii wrześniowej pamiętasz?

mack pl
09-11-2005, 09:32 AM
http://www.polandsholocaust.org/map39.JPG
black german forces
brown russian forces
red polish forces

BTW sorry for Polish: Mack był pare miechów temu link do innego forum na którym ktoś dokonywał analizy i rozwiewał mity kampanii wrześniowej pamiętasz?

polskojęzycznego?

3rdMillhouse
09-11-2005, 09:45 AM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

wtf......I don´t get it, if Polland had an army, why did the fall so fast? (believe it, I´m not familiar with that part of history)

Because:
1. We couldn't make full mobilisation - France and GB didn't want to make Hitler angry.
2. We were attacked by Germany (1.IX.39) and Russia (17.IX.39).
3. Our allies (France and GB) didn't help us and our defence plans were based on suppose that they will help us and attack Germany.
4. We were 2 times smaller than Germany and many times smaller then Russia.
BTW we didn't fall so fast. More then one month against 2 biggest armies in the world attacking from different directions is good result. Very good.

so.......here´s another thing I never knew about, had no idea Russia got militarily involved in the invasion of Polland, as far as I knew they were only suplying the germans

mack pl
09-11-2005, 09:48 AM
Considering the considerable terrors the Poles lived with during WW-2, while under German (and Soviet) regime, when I see pics of Polish military personel immediately pre-WW2 like these I often wonder how many of those men and/or women managed to survive the war :(.

wtf......I don´t get it, if Polland had an army, why did the fall so fast? (believe it, I´m not familiar with that part of history)

Because:
1. We couldn't make full mobilisation - France and GB didn't want to make Hitler angry.
2. We were attacked by Germany (1.IX.39) and Russia (17.IX.39).
3. Our allies (France and GB) didn't help us and our defence plans were based on suppose that they will help us and attack Germany.
4. We were 2 times smaller than Germany and many times smaller then Russia.
BTW we didn't fall so fast. More then one month against 2 biggest armies in the world attacking from different directions is good result. Very good.

so.......here´s another thing I never knew about, had no idea Russia got militarily involved in the invasion of Polland, as far as I knew they were only suplying the germans

you learn smth new every day ;)

3rdMillhouse
09-11-2005, 09:55 AM
@Mack PL:
I was referring to this legend of Polish "lance bearing knights" fighting against Panzers. There was Polish cavralry back then, but somehow this is twisted into "the Poles were that backward that they still fought with lances, don't you believe it? They had probably never seen a tank..." Totally crap of course, but you would be surprised how many people outside of Poland believe something like that.

yeah......that´s the legend we´re supposed to believe, and....a lot of people think that cavalry legend is true, anyways......thanks to every polish (did I write it correct?) who helped to clear my doubts

mack pl
09-11-2005, 10:10 AM
@Mack PL:
I was referring to this legend of Polish "lance bearing knights" fighting against Panzers. There was Polish cavralry back then, but somehow this is twisted into "the Poles were that backward that they still fought with lances, don't you believe it? They had probably never seen a tank..." Totally crap of course, but you would be surprised how many people outside of Poland believe something like that.

yeah......that´s the legend we´re supposed to believe, and....a lot of people think that cavalry legend is true, anyways......thanks to all Poles who helped to clear my doubts

np ;)

Musashi
09-11-2005, 10:46 AM
http://www.polandsholocaust.org/map39.JPG
black german forces
brown russian forces
red polish forces

BTW sorry for Polish: Mack był pare miechów temu link do innego forum na którym ktoś dokonywał analizy i rozwiewał mity kampanii wrześniowej pamiętasz?

polskojęzycznego?
Not "ktoś" ("somebody") but Musashi-san! p-)
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=46901&highlight=myths+polish
Look at the map above. You missed probably the most important factor - Poland was encircled BEFORE war. It is uncomparable to any German campaign, except in Yugoslavia (but its situation was still better). You cannot win a war if you are encircled BEFORE it and have 2 strong opponents. That's the main point.

perdurabo
09-11-2005, 12:49 PM
oopps sory musashi thank you for clearing this and yes you can see on map that Poland wasn't attacked only on small parts of border with Hungary(Wegry green on this map), Romania (Rumunia dark green) and Lithuania (Litwa yellow)

Musashi
09-11-2005, 01:04 PM
oopps sory musashi thank you for clearing this and yes you can see on map that Poland wasn't attacked only on small parts of border with Hungary(Wegry green on this map), Romania (Rumunia dark green) and Lithuania (Litwa yellow)
And Latvia (Łotwa - invisible on this map) p-) ;)

Uwe
09-11-2005, 03:10 PM
http://www.polandsholocaust.org/map39.JPG
black german forces
brown russian forces
red polish forces

BTW sorry for Polish: Mack był pare miechów temu link do innego forum na którym ktoś dokonywał analizy i rozwiewał mity kampanii wrześniowej pamiętasz?

And what about Slovak forces from south? I think you never had a chance, same as we had. At least, you fought.

perdurabo
09-11-2005, 03:20 PM
And what about Slovak forces from south? I think you never had a chance, same as we had. At least, you fought.
there where german airbases in slovakia from witch Polish cities where bombed ...
your countrymen also fought meny pilots escaped to Poland and flying unit was created for them and fought alongside with our guys :hug: some of your countrymen fought with us in Batle of GB (also Czech fighter sqn was created) :hug:

Uwe
09-11-2005, 03:43 PM
And what about Slovak forces from south? I think you never had a chance, same as we had. At least, you fought.
there where german airbases in slovakia from witch Polish cities where bombed ...
your countrymen also fought meny pilots escaped to Poland and flying unit was created for them and fought alongside with our guys :hug: some of your countrymen fought with us in Batle of GB (also Czech fighter sqn was created) :hug:

What i know about 2 divisions of Slovak army attack from south alongside with german forces. I know, many of them fought very brave, but the begining of the war was very bad choice of sides in WW2...

Musashi
09-11-2005, 04:09 PM
And what about Slovak forces from south? I think you never had a chance, same as we had. At least, you fought.
there where german airbases in slovakia from witch Polish cities where bombed ...
your countrymen also fought meny pilots escaped to Poland and flying unit was created for them and fought alongside with our guys :hug: some of your countrymen fought with us in Batle of GB (also Czech fighter sqn was created) :hug:

What i know about 2 divisions of Slovak army attack from south alongside with german forces. I know, many of them fought very brave, but the begining of the war was very bad choice of sides in WW2...
3 divisions (Janosik, Razus, Skultety), not 2 and a regiment of planes.

Amerikosskiy_xyu
09-11-2005, 05:06 PM
..

Brzeczyszczykiewicz
09-11-2005, 05:11 PM
Oh, look who's back :D

Musashi
09-11-2005, 05:31 PM
Why dont you explain how poland was attacked by Russians on 17th?
if you can explain this situation in a beleiveble way that poland was hurt by russia on 17th then i will appologize for everything i said above.
I see you have a complex Poles were just the only people who imprisoned a Russian tsar. That hurts :petting: The only people apart from Mongols, who manned the Kremlin. Better than Napoleon in 1812, because he just entered Moscow and than Germans in 1941, because they just heard the bells of the Kremlin. I think there is your problem :petting:
Wait, it was in XVII century, a very long time ago. We should not bring it up :petting:
I suppose you hate my avatar, because 6800 such guys as the one to the left had crushed 35000-strong Russian army before they entered Moscow cheered by its inhabitants, who opened them the gates of city. I am sorry, honestly :petting:

Musashi
09-11-2005, 06:48 PM
Russians moved to polish borders to protect their own borders, they never attacked poland.
It was the most funny comment I have read recently. So there had not been Ribbentrop-Molotov pact before and the Polish officers were not murdered in Katyń or murdered in the friendly way and the Soviet soldiers did not cheer the Germans? Do you need some photos? I am too tired now, but I can provide them tomorrow if you wish.
Ah, could you tell me in your infinite wisdom against whom the Soviets "protected" your "brothers"?
Against Poles? No, your "brothers" were fleeing to Poland not to die of famine in the 30's. Your "brothers" also cheered the German troops when they invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Were they simply ungrateful or just they experienced what Soviet "protection" is? What uncivilized people! p-)

Herrmannek
09-11-2005, 07:20 PM
Don't bother musashi, this guy earned a ban already...

corporal punishment
09-12-2005, 05:02 AM
very cool..... nice find....

Musashi
09-12-2005, 05:05 AM
Don't bother musashi, this guy earned a ban already...
Really? So I suggest virtuelle Endlösung II p-)