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Forum » Russian Civil war / Гражданская война в России » Thread: Weapons and equipment used by the Poles in Russia -- Page 1  Jump To: 

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From: Copenhagen
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 Weapons and equipment used by the Poles in Russia
Sent: 24-02-2012 03:58
Weapons and equipment
The main weapon of the Pulawi Legion, the Polish Rifle Brigade, the Polish Rifle Divisions and the different corps was the Mosin M.1891, caliber 7.62 mm, which was accurate and efficient up to a distance of 2000 m. To increase the firepower contributed the Maxim heavy machine gun, caliber 7.62 mm, on the circular Sokolov base, effective at 1.400 to 2.400 meters and capable of 250 rounds per minute. In the early days of the war two machine guns were assigned to each battalion, then their numbers increased - even tripled. The officers were armed with the 7.62 mm caliber Nagant M.1895 revolver with cylinder. Cavalrymen were also armed with lances and swords.
In the summer of 1917 the Russian authorities still had not full confidence in the Polish formations and did not supply them with artillery, as it considered such an extremely powerful weapon. Departure from this rule was only made to the I Polish Corps, which received artillery pieces. These were organized in three divisional artillery units equipped with the light, quick-firing 76mm gun M.1902 and light howitzers caliber 122 mm. The heavy artillery unit had 150 mm howitzers. The battalion mortars were of medium caliber, presumably 120 mm.
In a similar way should be structured further artillery units, whose formations had not yet been completed.
Personal equipment, individual items and materials for the uniforms, differed only little from the Russian patterns up to the autumn of 1917, as the Polish formations were equipped from Russian army stocks.
After the October Revolution, with the largely spontaneous demobilization of the Russian army, an enormous amount of equipment came up for grasp, and the Polish troops used this big opportunity to get well-equipped and armed. The I Polish Corps got their big wind-fall and used it, when it took control of the Bobrujsk Fortress. The same kind of opportunities were used by II Polish Corps and to a lesser degree by the III Corps. So the supply situation after formation was not bad and the troops of General Zeligowski benefited from surplus material from the Volunteer Army of Denikin and the French.
The equipment of the 5th Rifle Division was not homogeneous.
The primary weapons were the Mosin M. 1891 and the Maxim MG calibre 7,62 mm. Two divisional artillery batteries were equipped with light 3 inch Russian guns, and four batteries had the French M. 1897 gun, caliber 75 mm. Uniforms of 5th Rifle Division were in Russian
style and colour, the badges and rank distinctions used were in the start special, but from February 1919, they became like those used by the Polish Army in France. In the warehouses of Vladivostok the Commissariat kept several thousand sets of brand new uniforms, horizon-blue and in French cut. These were used for the return to Poland.

Training and Tactics, p. 204 - p. 205 and Combat Operations, p. 205 - p. 209 are not translated, but will be later - perhaps.

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