No, this is a Trumpeter of the 2nd Chevau-leger (Dutch or "Red" Lancers).Originally Posted by Chasseur_Alpin
Look at the Uniform Plate that I posted
He did take part in the real war.Originally Posted by Chasseur_Alpin
No, this is a Trumpeter of the 2nd Chevau-leger (Dutch or "Red" Lancers).Originally Posted by Chasseur_Alpin
Look at the Uniform Plate that I posted
****, I schearch a lancer of the 3rd regiment (lituanian)!
oh yes thanx!
lithuaniens in 1814
in 1813 there are in green and yellow i think.
This print of a Lithuanian Tartar is based on Knotel. It is done in a romantic nineteenth century style but is nevertheless reasonably accurate. This print represents the glorious, action-filled life of the soldier that was used to recruit young men to a life or work, boredom and (usually) an early death. The horses have that wild galop that clears the ground ready for takeoff, something done by horses only in art.
On the left are the uniform and furnishings of an officer of the Lituanian Tartars, and on the right those of an enlisted man.This print shows the Tartars in action in the winter, the season they campaigned in most during their brief existence. The uniforms are a melange of styles but give a pretty good feel for the colorful effect Napoleonic uniforms gave in the field.
According to this side (http://www.kawaleria2rp.horsesport.pl/szarze.htm) there was charge against russians soldiers (near Husynne - mayby Your grandfather was there) - against russian infanty witch was forced to withdrawal but after russian tanks joined the battle our cavalry withdrawal - You should see the difference between charging unprepared infantry (or even dig in infantry but form unexpected direction) and between charging tanks - the second thing never took place!!Originally Posted by sergey31
So - once again - ther were very few polish charges during September Campaign (1939) - most of them against unprepared infantry, some to fight way through german units during besiege of Warsaw ( this charge is known thanks to Mario Appelius relation..polish losses during the charge about 20%), ther were also cases when polish cavalry started the charge against infantry but during the battle other forces joined in and our cavalry was forced to withdrawal but there were no charges on tanks.
ps. no need to sorry about Your grandfather - he was a soldier on the war and had to do what he was orderd to.
Originally Posted by Marmot1
To ride to battle and then dismount to fight best describes a dragoon.
Well yes but "Ulan" was historically rooted and thus old name was left.Originally Posted by Sixgun Symphony
Here are some photos of equipment
Bofors 37mm (at this time capable to penetrate all german tanks armour) we had 1200.
One more photo of bofors...
Sergiey... I have seen couple of history books from '50 '60 '70 '80 they are not reliable belive me... In one book there was even information that on 17 sept 1939 Poland attacked Soviet Union (sic!) and SU invaded poland in self defence, in another there was info that in '30 poland was a fasisc state..., other one stated that Katyń murder was of course performed by germans (this one is quite interesting since some mass graves of polish soldiers were found on terrain that was never ocupied by germans...) Back in 50's polish history book for schools were written by russian autors and then translated (!!!) so probably you had the same type of BS that was in our history books...
The assault by a Polish mounted brigade against a column of infantry and motors - only a fragment of the fight against the German invasion in 1939 - was executed in the glorious tradition of the horse cavalry's saber-wielding charge.
The account I am going to give you is of a cavalry charge in which I took part at the very beginning of World War II in September, 1939, in Poland. Although it all happened 59 years ago, it now seems like a century away! It may well be that this attack will rank in the history of warfare as the last great charge of cavalry. Is there another chance of the whole cavalry brigade, sword in hand, obeying the order "Gallop, march!"? The old Marshal Semion Budenny, former commander of the Soviet First Cavalry Army during the Civil War, would not agree with this. (In 1967, during an interview with The New York Times correspondent in Moscow, the old retired marshal, who is over 80 and still rides horses every day, was asked: " What role do you think cavalry will play during the next war? "Decisive!" answered Budenny without hesitation.)
My story is a fragment of the fight the Polish armed forces put up, defending their country against the German invasion in September of 1939. I was a platoon commander in the 3rd squadron, 3rd Light Horse regiment. My place was on the extreme left of the charge, so that I was able to see the whole mass of men and horses wheel around to the gallop. A grand spectacle, never to be forgotten.
The Suwalki Cavalry Brigade, stationed at the frontier of East Prussia, near the border of Lithuania, was composed of three cavalry regiments, one artillery regiment, and a group of light armored cars. Since September 1, it had been fighting night and day on the right flank of the Narew army group, whose task it was to stop the left flank of General von Kuechler's army, pressing on Warsaw from East Prussia.
The group was pushed back by the sheer weight of German firepower and armor. The brigade, being more mobile than our infantry, and assigned to the right wing of the Narew group, was less affected by the initial German push; consequently, we had relatively small losses during the first days of fighting.
Early on September 7, the brigade still stood almost 40 miles from the border of East Prussia. It was fighting a defensive battle against a light German army group, reinforced by the East Prussian cavalry division, which was the only great cavalry unit the Germans possessed at the time.
The advantage of numerical superiority was definitely with the invaders. All we could throw in against their hundreds of tanks were about 20 light armored scout cars and two dozen antitank guns. In firepower, the Germans had a superiority of about nine to one. It seemed, therefore, that the Germans, because of their superiority in firepower and armor, would cut through the live mass of Polish cavalry like a knife through a loaf of bread.
And yet, in spite of this unequal struggle, we refused to give up. We were fully aware of the fact that we had to adapt ourselves to new methods of warfare.
After all, we had to make the best conditions imposed on us by war, not of our seeking. Each day, our techniques of fighting the enemy hiding behind armor improved. It was a technique of pursuit, of ambush, and of ruses.
A machine that looked formidable at a distance began to show, especially at night, its impotence against daredevils who had the nerve to approach the tanks and throw gasoline-filled bottles. Others crept up to wreck the caterpillar treads of these tanks with bunches of hand grenades. During the first week, our antitank guns destroyed 31 enemy armored vehicles. We smashed at least a dozen of them with bottles and grenades. We took over 200 prisoners.
Thus, step by step, from a proud cavalry brigade we had turned into an outfit of tank hunters. By night we lost ourselves in woods and marched over trackless ground to harass the enemy's armored columns at rest stops or on the march.
We realized, however, that in the long run, it was all hopeless. The numbers and the firepower were against us. Moreover, the beautiful, sunny weather seemed to be conspiring with the invaders, helping the speedy progress of their armor facilitating the bombardment.
The news grew steadily worse. On the evening of September 8, we heard over the radio that the Germans were closing in on Warsaw. We resolved to do our duty, come what might. Most of the time we were hungry, and for a week we had about three hours' sleep at night. Our poor horses, those beautiful chestnut horses of which we were so proud, could not be unsaddled for days on end. With fodder growing scarce, they were becoming dispirited and vicious, sheer skeletons.
One desire was uppermost in our minds, and we discussed it in our short talks at officers' roll calls. Should modern warfare depose the cavalry, then we would make a dignified exit after just one more glorious tradition of our cavalry.
Suddenly, on September 9, we received the following order: "To relieve German pressure on Warsaw and to give the capital time to organize its defenses, the Suwalki Brigade will make a diversion on the enemy's rear, blow up the bridge over the Narew River, near Tykocin, and tear up the railway track between the stations of Rypno and Fastow." At the officers' roll call, the tall, gray-haired, taciturn brigade Commander, General Podhorski, told us:
"Gentlemen, we have received an important assignment. We are to sabotage the enemy communications. To execute our task, we must march all night over the field-paths and avoid main highways, and penetrate behind the enemy lines to reach the region of Tykocin. When on the spot, the engineering squadron will proceed with the wrecking jobs as ordered, while the rest of the brigade will act as a covering screen. Once the assignment is executed, we shall head eastward and plunge into the Bialowieza Forest. From then on we shall wage partisan warfare."
Dead tired though we were, the news electrified us. The order of the brigadier was received with joy by officers and men alike. We felt that finally we would have the chance for action as a body of cavalry in a task for which we had been trained.
On that very day, we made four ambushes against tanks and fought two skirmishes. We had little more than two hours of sleep.
We moved off around 7p.m., after the sun set. Regiment after regiment, squadron after squadron, marched at a trot before our brigadier, a smart, proud, gray-haired veteran of the last war, as he reviewed his decimated, but still brigade. It was a grueling all-night march over broken ground, through thickets and over rugged terrain. We were protected by a dense screen of patrols, but we avoided human settlements, cut across roads, and stuck to the forests and untraveled ground.
On September 9, an early dawn, misty and chilly, found the brigade at the northern edge of the large Zambrow forest, eight to nine miles from the bridge that we had to blow up.
It was almost 6a.m. when the patrols suddenly reported to the brigadier a startling piece of intelligence: a battalion of enemy infantry was marching along the highway between Rypno and Fastow.
Our sentries did not see any patrols, but reported that a column of transport trucks was moving parallel with the infantry. What an unexpected chance!
The brigade commander was hard put for a decision. We were hidden in the woods about a mile and a half from the enemy. The condition for a surprise attack seemed ideal. It was now or never. On the other hand the risk was great. An attack by the entire brigade was bound to betray our purpose.
Moreover, the firepower of a German infantry battalion was superior to that of our brigade. They seemed to have no armor but our patrols might have been mistaken.
After a few moments of hesitation our commander made up his mind. He stopped his brigade and reversed the direction of our march. We briskly crossed the strip of woods separating us from the enemy. Our three regiments assembled at the edge of the woods. Between the enemy column on the highway and us ran a strip of stubble field over a mile long. Close by the highway was a stretch of dry meadowland.
Since we stood on higher ground, we saw plainly what went on the highway. What a magnificent sight! A long sprent of troops wound its way lazily through a cloud of dust, while the motor transport swiftly flowed by the slowly marching infantry.
The brigadier's command came fast: "The 1st Lancer regiment and the 3rd Light Horse regiment prepare for a charge. The 2nd Lancer regiment will be in reserve. The brigade's heavy machine-gun squadrons will get together and support the charge with their massed fire.
The antitank squadron will screen the brigade from the west against a possible tank attack. The German's armor might be in the vicinity. Meanwhile, the engineering squadron is to take advantage of the charge to reach the bridge and the railway track as quickly as possible and blow them up."
The regimental commanders promptly carried out their respective orders. The squadron pushed ahead to the edge of the forest, while the engineering squadron left us to do their job. We could watch it marching off at a brisk trot.
Meanwhile, the squadrons stretched out in attack formation on the open field beyond the forest. The command "Trot, march" rang out. The enemy had not yet seen us, and the rising sun promised a clear day. The picture of the regiment emerging from the woods was so enchanting that it seemed unreal. What a perfect model for a battle painter! Where is our Vernet or Gericault! First we proceeded at a slow trot. The Germans still marched on, apparently unconcerned. Then suddenly our heavy machine-guns, hidden in the woods, gave tongue with a well-timed salvo. It went straight into the enemy column.
The great adventure was on!
The command "Draw sabres, gallop, march!" flew down the lines. Reins were gripped tighter. The riders bent forward in the saddles and they rushed forward like a mad whirlwind.
Meanwhile, the surprised serpent of enemy infantry on the highway stopped. Soon the road became a scene of wild confusion. There were shouts, confused orders, and chance shots. We, however, continued our gallop. Fortunately, the first German shots went over our heads. We were then about 1500 feet from the highway and saw that under fire of our heavy machine-guns the Germans were becoming a frantic mob. Some enemy armored cars stopped, while others tried to ram their way through the confusion. Some of the enemy soldiers made a desperate attempt to make a stand in the ditch by the roadside. Other sought cover behind the transport wagons.
Suddenly the fire from machine-guns began to score hits in our ranks. The van of the column, which had been nearing Rypno, seem to have mastered its panic; soon its fire began to tell. The first casualties fell from horses. We were then so close that we could see vague outlines of men in the cloud of dust. Suddenly our machine-guns ceased firing. They had to do it to avoid hitting us. Meanwhile, within a few seconds we reached the highway.
Sabres and lances went to work fiercely. Some confused German infantrymen pushed off our sabre blows with their rifle butts. Some simply tried to cover their heads with their arms, but our lances reached even those who tried to hide between the wagons.
The wave of our charge crossed the highway and pursued those who sought flight. Stray shots from the thickets kept falling into the mob on the highway, killing the enemy as well as us. The battle on the highway was practically over. The Germans began to surrender in large groups. A squadron of the 2nd Lancer regiment, which so far formed our reserve, was dispatched in pursuit of the fleeing enemy.
We were out of breath and dog-tired, but elated by the dreamed-up victory. Moreover, it was paid for with no great loss of life. The panic-stricken Germans were decidedly poor marksmen. The horses fared the worst; we lost between 30 and 40 of them. We had a score or so of wounded men, but only three were killed. The morning sun was high when our bugler blew assembly. We came up slowly, driving our prisoners ahead of us. We took about 200 men, most of them insane from fright. The villages of Rypno and Fastow were aflame. They belched dense clouds of black smoke, which lazily rose to the morning sky. In withdrawing, the remnants of the German battalion did not miss the chance to set the torch to two innocent villages. Then, suddenly, from the north a sound of an explosion could be heard. In a few minutes there came another, and after a while two more shook the air. This was the signal that our engineers had done their job. The bridge over the Narew and the railway track had been blown up.
M. Kamil DZIEWANOWSKI Is a professor emeritus of Contemporary Russian and East European History at Boston University and Associate of the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He has published several books:
The Communist Party of Poland - An Outline of History, Harvard University Press, 1959 and 1976
1. A European Federalist - Joseph Pilsudski and Eastern Europe, 1918-1922, Hoover Institution, 19693. 20th Centry Poland, Columbia University Press, 1977 and 1979
2. A History of Soviet Russia, Prentice Hall, 1979, 1984, 1988, 1992, and in 1996 under a new title
3. A History of Soviet Russia and its Aftermath.
4. War at Any Price: A History of WWII in Europe, Prentice Hall, 1987, 1990
5. Alexander I - Russia's Mysterious Tsar, Hippocrene Books, 1990
6. One Life is not Enough, Marszalek, Torun, 1994 (in Polish)
His article makes clear that he was a junior officer in the Polish cavalry at the beginning of the Second World War and participated in the cavalry charge he describes.
Husaria: the Commonwealth's "Tanks" [refering to the Polish Lituanitan Commonwealth which was one of the biggest nations in Europe at that time]
There was a huge sound of a collision then, like a toppling mountain, and then a vast ringing as if a thousand blacksmiths were beating on their anvils. We looked again and—dear God alive!—the Elector's men were all down and trampled like a wheat field scoured by a hurricane, and they… the husaria… were already far beyond them, with lance pennons flickering…
Next they struck the Swedes. One regiment of Reiters went down like grass before a scythe. Another went under. …They charged the Swedish infantry. They broke them. They shattered them. Everything fled before them, scattering like chaff! Everything was tumbling back, running and recoiling! The whole Swedish army split apart before them and they charged down that gaping avenue like an avalanche. Nothing could stop them! They cut through half of the enemy's battle line. And then they ran into the Swedish Horse Guards where Carolus [King Charles Gustav] and his staff were standing… And, I tell you, it was as if a windstorm had whirled in among those Guardsmen and carried them away…!
Henryk Sienkiewicz, The Deluge (Kuniczak translation), pp. 815-816
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was more than three centuries ahead of armored-warfare exponents like George S. Patton Jr., Erwin Rommel, and Heinz Guderian. It was two centuries ahead of the famous Russian marshal Aleksandr V. Suvorov in the development of mobile warfare and the advocacy of decisive shock battle.
The husaria (Hussars) were the Commonwealth's equivalent of tanks. This was not because of their armor (medieval knights were even more heavily-protected) but rather because of their tactics. Descriptions of Hussar engagements suggest that they sought to break through and overrun enemy units instead of engaging in melee (as is normally shown in cavalry engagements in movies). The "overrun attack" (a variant of Suvorov's "attack through") was later adopted by tank commanders. Another use of modern armor is to get into the enemy's rear areas and wreak havoc there. Per Adam Zamoyski's The Polish Way (p. 154), the Poles would often send cavalry in arcs of up to a thousand miles behind the enemy lines. (These were not necessarily Husaria; they could easily have been lighter-armed riders.)
Hussar weapons reinforce the conclusion that the attack through, as opposed to melee, was the principal tactic. The koncerz and pallasz (see below) lacked cutting edges and they were so long as to be unsuitable for epee-type fencing. They were instead used as secondary "lances" after the Hussar expended his long kopia. A Hussar would not have wanted to stop and use either of these weapons to fence with his opponent; he'd probably want to attempt to hit while passing at a full charge, which is how the attack through works. The Husaria did of course carry sabres (the szabla) that could be used in a melee.
Armor and Uniform
The Hussar's protection consisted of half-armor (helmet and cuirass) or three-quarter-armor (helmet, cuirass, upper leg armor, and some protection for the arms). Two unique elements of the Hussar uniform were a cape made from a leopard, wolf, or tiger fur, and a pair of wooden frames that held an impressive array of feathers. Their purpose was apparently to frighten enemy horses. One can speculate, for example, that horses would be instinctively terrified of the residual odor (if downwind) and the appearance of a wolf or leopard fur. The wings' appearance also was unusual and they were said to emit a terrifying hiss as the wind rushed through them. The Poles' own horses were, of course, accustomed to these things. The Poles also knew of lariat-wielding steppe horsemen and it was very difficult to get a lasso around the wings.
Armament consisted of the szabla, a curved Polish sabre that Zamoyski (p. 155) describes as "the finest cutting instrument ever in use in a European army." It originated in the East and was modified by the Hungarians, who also were known for their superb cavalry. The Poles then made further improvements during the sixteenth century. Each Hussar also carried a pair of wheellock pistols and possibly a bow. Far from being a primitive weapon in comparison to contemporary firearms, the bow was a high-skill weapon whose rate of fire was much higher than that of any musket. Armies used muskets instead of bows because it took years of training to create, for example, the kind of archers who won the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. You could, on the other hand, go into a low-class tavern, recruit what the Duke of Wellington called "the scum of the earth" for a shilling a day, and turn them into passable musketeers in a few weeks. The Husaria also used three weapons of uniquely Commonwealth origin:
The front rank of a hussar Banner (squadron) wielded the kopia, an 18-20 foot lance that could outreach infantry pikes. Its hollow cross section made it light enough to carry and use effectively. It often broke with a solid hit, but not usually before piercing its target's armor and body. It was fairly expensive and, although the szlachta who became Hussars were expected to provide their own equipment, the government paid for the lances.
The secondary koncerz and pallasz were straight armor-piercing swords with sabre grips. The koncerz was about 4 feet long and the pallasz was as tall as a man. This suggests that they were used like lances for an "attack through" as opposed to fencing with opponents in a melee.
The Husaria also used the czekan (or obuch), a long steel hammer with a back spike "which could go through heads and helmets like butter."
Medieval knights in full armor could not move very quickly, especially since the giant draft horses they rode (e.g. Percheron, Clydesdale breeds) also wore armor. The Husaria wore up to three-quarter armor but they could charge at a full gallop. The Polish horse was bred for speed and endurance, and Zamoyski (p. 155) writes that Polish cavalry could travel 120 kilometers per day without killing the horses. (He does not say, however, if these were light cavalry or Husaria.) The Poles also adopted the Eastern saddle, which was easier on the horse. Furthermore, I read somewhere (I am still looking for a reference) that the Poles invented the posting or rising trot, which is more comfortable for both horse and rider than the more dignified sitting trot.
**** I can't find the site that shows pics of thier lancers so I'll explain it to you guys in hopes of finding the pics at a later time.
The lacers were longer then any infantry men or any cavalry in any European army at the time. The secret behind thier long lancers was the fact that the wood of the land was drilled and in its stead was put pot ash to give it strenth again but at the same time make it much longer. Had the lacer been of solid wood it woud be too heavy to hold.
Give me some time in trying to locate the pics. ah I found it finally
The Hungarian lance is the prototype of the Polish hussar’s lance. The Hungarian lance was over 3 meters in length, light and slender. The lance was most often carved from fir-wood, as was the big wooden ball that served as the handle guard. The hussar's lance was from 4.5 to 5.5. M in length. It enabled the hussar to overreach western infantry pikes ( which were always under 5 meters). This extraordinary length was achieved by boring out the core of the lance from the point to the ball.
The boring was executed by cutting the lance in half, hollowing out each side, and gluing the halves together later. This joint was often reinforced with a string webbing, overwhich tar was poured. Aspen was used for the fore part of the lance, which is light, ‘crumbly’ (I have heard this term to describe good violin wood)
and easy to carve and bore; it was superbly suitable for this purpose.
The lace point is steel - most often with a silk banner just below. The point was supported with additional metal reinforcing straps running down the shaft, which also helped protect the wood below the point from a sabre cut.
Pennants for the lances were usually uniform for the whole troop - called 'banner', e.g. white -red, blue -green, black -white etc. They might have one point or two.
Length of the pennants totaled ( 2.5-3.5m), so that they reached the ears of the horses. Besides being beautiful decoration, these has several functions. They served as a distinctive sign (setting each banner apart ). They could also panic their opponents' horses, if they were not used to the dramatic sight and sounds. For long marches, the lances were transported in wagons, but during parades or in combat formation, the base of the lance was place in the ‘tuleja’ a metal cup attached by leather straps to the saddle. This way, the hussar was freed from the weight of the lance, which was born by the horse.
When holding the lance during an attack in a horizontal position under the armpit, the hussar most often first extracted the lance from the tuleja. But some sources indicate that even in this position it could be kept in the tuleja. This would give a range of benefits especially, transmitting the momentum of the horse via the saddle into the lance, so the force of the blow would not be limited by the hussar’s strength.
The Lance - as alluded to above - was a basic weapon of the hussar. However, it was a one-use weapon that broke in the attack. For this reason, and because it was a very expensive weapon, it was the only weapon furnished by the military authorities. (Each lancer was supplied with three lances. Normally, only the 'companion' (file leader in the first rank) used the lance, and if the retainer in the second rank carried a lance it was for the companion, to replace a lance broken in a previous charge.)
Lances were sometimes created for special purposes, in addition to the ordinary hussar’s lance. They might be called fancy dress lances. They served at special openings, parades, reviews etc. They were very richly furnished e.g. with an eagle feather motive.
In English:Krojanty - najs?awniejsza szar?a kawalerii
Szar?a dywizjonu 18. Pu?ku U?anów Pomorskich p?k Kazimierza Mastalerza (1. szw., 2. szw., po jednym plutonie z 3. i 4. szw.) mia?a na celu powstrzymanie natarcia nieprzyjaciela w kierunku na Brd? dla umo?liwienia wycofania si? z zagro?onych pozycji w?asnej piechocie z Grupy Operacyjnej "Czersk".
1-go wrze?nia o godzine 14:00 piechota rozpocze?a przepraw? przez Brd?. Dywizjon polskiej kawalerii w liczbie oko?o 300 ?o?nierzy wykonuj?c manewr okr??aj?cy wyszed? na ty?y skrzyd?a niemieckiej 2. Dywizji Piechoty Zmotoryzowanej i zaskoczy? podczas odpoczynku oko?o 800 osobowy oddzia? tej jednostki. Polacy ruszyli do ataku. Niemcy ponie?li ci??kie straty, ca?kowitego rozbicia unikn?li jednak dzi?ki ogniowi broni maszynowej transporterów ubezpieczaj?cych ich postój z pobliskiego lasu. Transportery by?y zamaskowane i dlatego nie dostrze?ono ich wcze?niej. St?d wzie?a si? propagowana przez Niemców opowie?? o szar?y polskiej kawalerii na czo?gi.
Podczas szar?y poleg? dowódca pu?ku u?anów p?k Kazimierz Mastalerz, dowódca 1. szwadronu rtm. Eugeniusz ?wie?ciak, ppor. Milicki, ppor. Unrung oraz 25 u?anów. Dzia?ania polskiej kawalerii na ty?ach niemieckich jednostek wywo?a?y silne zaniepokojenie w ich dowództwach. Niemcy nawet na pewien czas wstrzymali natarcie na ca?ej linii.
Krojanty- the most famous charge of Polish cavalry.
The puropse of the charge of a squadron from 18. Pomeranian Ulans Reg. was to stop enemy attack on the Brda River and cover the withdrawal of infantry form TF "Czersk"
On 1st September at 14:00 infantry started to ford the Brda River. Squadron of Polish cavalry (300 men) crossed the German lines and suprised German motorised unit on camp. Poles started the charge. Germans took heavy loses. Charge was stopped by heavy MG fire from German armored cars hidden in nearby forest, Poles withdrawn. German war correspondents present at the camp started to write ubout 'foolish polish cavalrymen' charging on German tanks. Polish losses: 4 offcers & 25 cavalrymen. Actions of Polish cavalry upset the German commanders, the attack on Brda River was stopped. So, the Krojanty charge was a success.
[yeah I know that my English is poor ]