THE FIRST HORSE ARTILLERY BATTERIES
In the first years after independence one of the most important tasks for the politicians was the enlargement of the Polish national forces formed during World War I. The first attempts in this field took the Regency Council, when on Oct. 12, 1918 it passed a decree calling "the officers and soldiers of all former Polish Army formations, who had served the country in the legions and other Polish formations with a warm invitation immediately to join the colours of the Polish Army being formed in the capital."
Next call from the Regency Council to join the reborn, national Polish Army appeared on 25 October 1918 with the decree establishing a post as Chief of General Staff for the Polish Army and that of 26 October, in which the incumbent Military Commission was transformed into the Ministry of Military Affairs. Both institutions were to create a "regular national army" based on the principles of universal and compulsory military service. The law on universal and compulsory military service was passed for immediate execution by the government under the leadership of Joseph Świeżyński. The law was prepared by Lieutenant-General Tadeusz Jordan Rozwadowski and on October 28, 1918, he was assigned as head of the General Staff.
It was possible to form all weapon services with officers and soldiers of Polish nationality, either from Poland or serving in foreign armies. Also it was ordered to take over former military formations of the now disintegrated Austro-Hungarian Army.
After becoming head of the General Staff, General Tadeusz Rozwadowski immediately began to organize the army. He was supporter of a numerous cavalry, capable of independent action. So first of all was ordered formation of a cavalry division. It was to have four cavalry regiments, each with four squadrons and one technical dywizjon including horse artillery, a heavy machine-gun squadron and a technical squadron with telegraph troops and the like.
(note: the Polish term "dywizjon" has several meanings, both as a division in Western sense - 4 or more regiments with support services, but in the Russian and ״Eastern" meaning it is often some kind of smaller unit, ״normally" of battalion size, but can be smaller.)
Already on November 4, 1918, a group of officers, earlier having served under General Joseph Dowbór-Muśnicki, on the initiative of Captain Leon Dunin-Wolski, had decided to restore the horse artillery.
The first units were primarily based on the organizational principles from the Imperial Russian Artillery, as from this service came most of the artillery officers in the Polish Army, so the newly formed Polish organization and the instructions were based on Russian regulations. The biggest unit here was the dywizjon, consisting of two batteries. Such a dywizjon was as an organic part of an cavalry division. Each horse battery had three platoons, each with two guns - all six guns with a calibre of 3 inches. The guns were drawn by six horses. In the Russian Army the artillery officers were an entirely separate group of officers, which later also was reflected in the Polish Army. Before November 11, 1918, the first unit of Polish horse artillery had been formed in the Radom Region. It was formed on two French field guns. The organizer of this platoon was Lieutenant Stanislaw Kopański. The platoon was formed by officers and non-commissioned officers from the Russian Artillery and I Polish Corps. Men and volunteers were supplemented from the Radom Squadron (http://www.szwadron.radom.pl/index.php?
option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=558). On November 23, 1918, it was disbanded as an independent unit, the men incorporated in the 1 Lancer Regiment and marched away from Radom to Tarnow, where it was disbanded. The men were then allocated to the 1 Squadron of the 1st Lancer Regiment.
1 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
On December 14, 1918, General Tadeusz Rozwadowski ordered the restoration of the horse artillery platoon in Przemysl. Previously, the main artillery personnel mostly had been officers. Help to form the platoon was given by the command of General District Krakow.
December 18, 1918, the platoon was enabled to form in Warsaw as the 1 Horse Battery and received
its second platoon. Organizational work was hampered by the small number of available horses, even finding even enough to pull the guns was impossible. Despite these problems the 2 Platoon of
1 Horse Battery reached combat readiness in the end of December and on 8 January, 1919, this Jagiellonian University unit (the Jagiellonian University in Warsaw was a natural recruiting ground for many young officers and several units.) marched off to Grodek. Here began the combat trail of the 2 platoon as 1 Battery of 1 Horse Artillery Dywizjon.
From 4 April, 1919, it collaborated with the 1 Lancer Regiment and the 1 Field Artillery Legion Regiment, fighting in the Operation Group of Colonel Władysław Sikorski. In combat operations it mainly supported the infantry fightings.
April 7, 1919, in order to complete the organization and make additions in equipment and men, a platoon, commanded by Lieutenant Stanislaw Kopanski, returned to Warsaw. However, the more and more complicated battle situation forced him on 11 April to return to the front. While Lieutenant Stanislaw Kopański refurbished his platoon, the Technical Squadron of the 3 Lancer Regiment began forming another artillery unit in Warsaw. Initially it was given the name of 5 Horse Artillery Squadron in the 3 Lancer Regiment. Its commander was Captain Leon Dunin- Wolski. A proper organization of this sub-unit began on 12 November, 1918, right after the disarming of the German troops in Warsaw. The cadres of officers and NCOs came from the former artillery of I Polish Corps. The influx of volunteers to serve in this unit was very large and already 21 December, 1918, it reached its complete etat.
The forming process was hampered by the usual lack of horses, at the beginning only just 13 were available and of these only one was a riding horse. Similar problems were with uniforms and personal equipment. However, guns were in abundance, which allowed the issue of guns for four batteries.
During the organizational work, the squadron was made into an independent unit. December 18, 1918, the squadron made the base to form 1 Horse Battery. The formed squadron was renamed as 1 platoon.
For the second platoon lieutenant Stanislaus Kopanski had already been pre-selected as platoon commander. As an independent sub-unit it lasted until February 25, 1919, when by order from the head of the General Staff began the forming of two-battery horse artillery dywizjons. So, at that time, the first 1 Artillery Dywizjon was formed. As 1 Battery in this dywizjon was declared the existing 1 Horse Battery. Dywizjon, its commander became Lieutenant-Colonel Leon Dunin-Wolski.
2 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
The next day started the forming of a HQ-squadron and the 2 Horse Battery, using the surplus personal left after the 1 Horse Battery had been completed.
Forming its 2 Battery, the 1 Horse Artillery Dywizjon was hampered by deficiencies in equipment and uniforms. This resulted in the organizational work dragging on until 5 May, 1919, when the problems were overcome after capturing appropriate equipment from the Ukrainians. From that source probably also came the supplementing 90 riding horses and about 69 draft horses. On February 26, 1919, 1 Platoon of 1 Horse Battery rode off to the front, its commander was Captain Leon Fłózman-mirza-Sulkiewicz. Then, on May 8, 1 Platoon 2nd Horse Battery marched off and the 2 Platoon followed on May 15. The entire battery (2 Horse Battery 1 DAK) operated on the Volyn Front.
3 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
The next horse artillery unit, in terms of seniority, which was raised in the reborn Poland, was the battery formed around 10 November, 1918, in Lublin, on the order of the Polish Army Command in this city. It was intended to be formed from the former cavalry regiments of the Legion Cavalry Brigade. This unit also got the name 1 Horse Artillery Battery. Primary its officers and noncommissioned officers came from the former Polish Legions. This legionary character remained, but only in the 1 platoon of the battery. The battery commander was Captain Witold Właszczuk, who came from the Russian Army.
On 19-27 December, 1918, when organizing the units in the newborn Polish Army and determing their seniority, it received the name 3 Horse Battery.
Many issues connected with the formation of this battery is unclear. It is difficult to determine, who and when was decided on its formation. The battery since participated in the atmosphere of the power struggle in the left-independence camp, which was represented by the Government of Lublin and the Regency Council.
In the middle of December 1918 fightings with the Ukrainians in Galicia led to the Operation Group of Colonel Władysław Belina-Prazmowski being sent to the front with 1 Platoon of the battery, being composed of 5 officers, 81 non-commissioned officers and men, 93 horses and 2 guns. Platoon leader was Lieutenant Joseph Beck. From January 6, 1919, until the Platoon joined the 2 Platoon, it was commanded by Captain Gustave Kiwerski.
During the subsequent organization changes this unit was made into 1 Battery 3 Horse Artillery Dywizjon.
5 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
On December 17, 1918, a further horse battery was formed.
In Rembertów was formed the 8 Field Artillery Regiment. Part of that was the 5 Battery, known as the "Odrębną Baterią 8 Pułku Artylerii Polowej", the Independent Battery of 8 Field Artillery Regiment. Its commander was Captain Albert Szalewicz, the battery lieutenants were: Nicholas Rodziewicz, Constantine Koziełło. Second-lieutenants were: Zygmunt Bohdanowski, Jan Ślósarski and Witold Plotnick. Privates in the batteries were mostly university students from Warsaw and volunteers from around Grójec. January 5, 1919, the battery was separated from its parent regiment and send to Rawa Ruska, to the "Bug" Group commanded by Lieutenant General Jan Romer, whose task it was to support the defence of Lviv. It consisted of 6 officers, 127 non-commissioned officers and gunners with 94 horses and 4 guns.
The battery stayed near Lviv until May 15, 1919. Later, after having received supplements, and having become part of the Group of General Wenceslas Jedrzejewski, it took part in the Galicia offensive. June 5, the battery was directed to Czestochowa, where it was renamed and so the 1 Battery emerged as the 5 Horse Artillery Dywizjon. The first task of the battery was to guard the Polish position at Nieradami against the Germans. It remained here until July 9. The battery could perform all its tasks, but still needed to obtain additional equipment that was missing. Large gaps had occurred primarily in personal weapons, horses and equipment for them. Only guns there were no shortage of.
Horse Battery Captain Jerzy Golikow
In January 1919, the history of another horse artillery unit began - the Horse Battery of Captain Jerzy Golikow. It was established with Major Jaworski's squadron subsequently renamed as "Dywizjon Jazdy Kresowej" (The Borderland Cavalry Dywizjon). The unit was part of a group of 60 soldiers with its artillerymen led by the former Russian Army Captain Jerzy Golikow and his brother Andrzeja. They were born in the Russian occupied Polish Kingdom and brought remnants of the former Warta troops of Hetman Skoropadsky to the dywizjon.
January 15, 1919, during the fightings around Wojnicy against the Ukrainians, the squadron took 2 Russian field guns with accessories.
Thus the Squadron of Major Jaworski got a horse artillery platoon commanded by Captain Jerzy Golikow. After having taken further guns at the end of February 1919, could be formed a four-gun battery. However, due to the lack of artillerymen, only two gun platoons could be do service. Problems with shortage of men were not resolved until the end of the existence of the Borderland Cavalry Dywizjon of Major Jaworski. When Golikow was promoted and got a higher position, the platoon still used the name Horse Battery Captain Golikow.
In late April 1919, the battery got its share of the honours earned by the exploits of the famous, mounted band of Major Jaworski, even if ending with only 18 soldiers and 2 horses. However, anticipating an offensive against the Ukrainian forces, the battery was supplemented. So when the combat activities started again, it was with two guns. In July 1919, the the battery was subordinated the Group of Major Wladyslaw Bończy-Uzdowski. The end of the battery in the Borderland Cavalry Dywizjon came with an order from the Ministry of Defence of July 26, 1919. By order, the battery was allocated to the 10 Field Artillery Regiment, as its 7 Battery. However, this subordination was very short.
Already August 2, 1919, the Horse Artillery Command proposed to NDWP (Naczelne Dowództwo Wojska - Army High Command ) the amalgamating of the battery with 3 Horse Artillery Dywizjon. Finally, on August 7, 1919, it was renamed as 2 Battery 5 Horse Artillery Dywizjon. So on August 25, it left the 10 Artillery Brigade, which at this time was in Staszow.
Volyn Horse Battery
In March 1919, with the consent of the then commander of the Polish forces fighting in Volhynia, Lieutenant-General Edward Rydz-Śmigły, Lieutenant Tadeusz Lechnicki in Luban started forming the Volyn Horse Battery. It was created without any consent from or knowledge of the Artillery Inspectorate and so did not have any material support from that side.
All equipment, supplies, weapons and horses were taken from stocks left behind by the retreating occupation army and spoils of war. Great help organizing the battery gave the local Polish population, primarily the landowners, who sent a large number of horses.
This battery was based on the principle of voluntary recruits, so gaps among the officers and NCO cadres arose. Further, a number of those, who had joined the battery, had very little artillery experience. The commander of the battery was initially the only officer in the unit, but at the end of April 1919 the artillery platoon was successfully established with more than 60 non-commissioned officers and gunners.
The platoon had six horses and two guns with caissons, shortages of supplies and only crews with little training, but on April 15, 1919, it left for the front. It took part in the Polish offensives in Galicia and Volyn. In Luck, occupied by Polish troops on May 21, were formed the 2 Platoon, using equipment taken from the enemy. From that moment on the unit operated as a full four-gun battery. On June 2, 1919, it was assigned to the Group of Lieutenant-Colonel Gondacki, who was part of the Group of General Zygadłowicz on the Styr River. It remained there until July 4, 1919, taking part in the offensive at Slucz, during which it supported the actions of 5 Lancer Regiment. On August 7, 1919, at the request of Horse Artillery HQ, the Supreme Commander of the Polish Army amalgamated the Volhynian Horse Battery into the 3 Horse Artillery Dywizjon, as its 2 Battery. Operationally it was to remain on the front and support the activities of 10 DP (10 Infantry Division). However, in mid-August 1919, it left the front at Hrubieszow to recuperate. At this point it had 2 officers, 108 non-commissioned officers and gunners, 115 horses and 4 guns.
4 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
The last in seniority, and one of the first troops of horse artillery, was the 5 Horse Battery, also known as "The Relief of Lviv" ("Bateria Odsieczy Lwowa" - 19 Infantry Regiment) had the same surname.). It was the sixth unit of horse batteries. As higher in seniority have already been mentioned: 1, 2, and 3 Horse Batteries, the Horse Battery Captain Jerzy Golikov and the Volyn Horse Battery, this most likely, although no confirmation can be found of this fact, was considered as 4 Horse Battery, because no other unit did use that number. It can not be the battery of Captain Jerzy Golikov, as it was regarded as an integral part of the Mounted Borderland Dywizjon (Dywizjonu Jazdy Kresowej). It can neither be the independent battery of same number with the 8 Field Artillery Regiment, as it was formally classified as part of the horse artillery before June 16, 1919. At this point it should be noted that in this period the horse artillery batteries, as in the former Russian army, were having consecutive numbers, depending on their seniority. The origin of the organization of the battery is connected to the period of the fightings for Lviv.
During these battles the cavalry acutely felt the lack of artillery support. Therefore on April 7, 1919, by order of the War Ministry, the 3 Squadron (formed by volunteers from 7 Lancers, the later 12 Lancers - http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Pu%C5%82k_U%C5%82an%C3%B3w_Podolskich) of the volunteer cavalry unit named "The Relief of Lviv", was re-organized as an artillery battery. Commander became Captain Michael Belina-Prazmowski, who he had until April to form this sub- unit of artillery located in the vicinity of Warsaw and Radom.
The organization proceeded with great difficulties, lacking everything - most of all guns. Of horses there were practically none. On 26 May 1919, this delay in organization resulted in renaming it as 1 Battery in the emerging 4 Horse Artillery Dywizjon. On the same day it left for Krakow. Here Major Witold Poray-Kuczewski took command. September 7, 1919, the battery was supplied with its first batch of horses. Another supplement came on September 17, when also it was supplied with guns.
On September 27, 1919, when 1 Battery 4 Horse Artillery Dywizjon marched away to the Volyn Front, it had 4 officers, 193 non-commissioned officers and artillerymen, 176 horses and 4 guns. It also included a platoon of machine guns and a a platoon of trumpeters. It was assigned to the Cavalry Brigade.
Horse Artillery Platoon of 13 Lancer Regiment, later part of 2 Horse Artillery Dywizjon
In the beginning of 1919 was worked on yet another sub-unit of horse artillery. It was formed in March with the Vilnius Cavalry Dywizjon. It was a half battery, led by Lieutenant L. Sulkiewicz. Later, it was known as the Horse Artillery Platoon of 13 Lancer Regiment. It was organized on two Russian mountain guns received from the "Arsenal of Warsaw". Handling the guns were artillerymen from the former Russian Army. Horses, harnesses and saddles were obtained from the Cavalry Dywizjon.
The horses with the battery consisted almost entirely of riding horses, as the artillery hardly possessed any draft horses. At the end of July 1919, the Horse Artillery Platoon of the 13 Lancer Regiment had 65 horses, 50 saddles, 18 pairs of harnesses, 4 ammunition caissons and 2 train wagons. Numerous and long marches and a large amount of fighting resulted in the platoon guns soon were unsuitable for use. There was an immediate need for replacements and the Horse Artillery Command was asked for such. A report of similar content was also sent to the Artillery General Inspectorate. The decision, however, was negative. This was due to the fact that in the opinion of NDWP, the platoon was not a full-time sub-division of its home regiment. However, a few days later, i.e. August 7, 1919, the NDWP issued an order to incorporate the Horse Artillery Platoon of the 13 th Lancer Regiment into the 2 Horse Artillery Dywizjon, as part of its 2 battery. Further it was to remain on the Lithuanian-Belorussian Front. Changes and additions were only to be made after withdrawal of the platoon from the front.
7 Horse Artillery Diwizjon - The Wielkopolska Horse Artillery
The formation of another early raised horse artillery unit is connected with the history of the Wielkopolska Uprising and its Poznan army, which organization proceeded independently of the military authorities located in Warsaw. When the organization of the mounted forces of Wielkopolska started, began also the forming of horse artillery units. March 16, 1919 Order No. 75 from the Artillery Inspectorate informed that Lieutenant Colonel Witold Majewski was given the task to organize a horse artillery dywizjon, composed of three batteries. Due to lack of proper artillery equipment and the small number of horses fit for such service, it was a difficult task to perform. However, there was no shortage of men. They were mostly former soldiers from I Polish Corps, who brought with them the Russian organization pattern.
Creating the Wielkopolska Horse Artillery Dywizjon began with the organization of the HQ and 1 and 2 Horse Battery. Their formation was completed on April 13, 1919. Two days later began the organization of the last, the 3 Battery.
In May, two batteries - 1 and 2 - reached combat readiness, despite major problems with equipment and weapons. In 3 Battery was missing horse equipment and carriages. Also next month, the situation had not improved, but even worsened caused by massive horse diseases. Due to the need to reduce the manpower of the Second Platoon in 2 battery one gun was taken away. This state of affairs lasted until mid-September 1919, but from mid-November 1919 supplement horses came for 2 and the entire 3 Battery.
May 17, 1919, the 1 Battery left for the front, and 20 May 1919 2 Battery followed. At the same time, the HQ of the Dywizjon marched off to the front. Both batteries were assigned to the Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade, where they stayed over the summer. July 14, the 2 Battery returned to Poznan, while the rest of the the Dywizjon followed on August 3. Simultaneously with the formation of cavalry and horse artillery began the process of unification of the Wielkopolska Army with the Polish Army commanded by the Supreme Chief. On 25th May, 1919, the Supreme Council of the People subordinated its armed and operating forces to the Supreme Command of the Polish Army, but initially this fact was kept secret for political reasons. From next month, the troops would have to follow the current plan of the Polish Army. This may have been done caused by the binding provisions in the peace treaty of 18 June 1919 with Germany.
On August 15, 1919, the People's Commissariat of the Supreme Council sent to Warsaw the decree of subordination "in every respect" of the Wielkopolska Army to the The Supreme Command of the Polish Army. The Supreme Commander accepted this on August 20, 1919, and then took over the command of the Army. On August 21, 1919, the Wielkopolska Army formally ceased to exist as an independent force and hence also the Wielkopolska Horse Artillery Dywizjon. However, the total merger was first announced in the Order of 19 December 1919.
From the end of June 1919 the Polish Army had two dywizjons and five artillery batteries and one independent artillery platoon:
- 1 Dywizjon Artylerii Konnej;
- Dywizjon Artylerii Konnej Wielkopolska;
- 1 Bateria Artylerii Konnej - former 5 HorseBattery, "The Relief of Lviv", which became the nucleus of 4 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
- Bateria konna Captain. Jerzy Golikow with the cavalry force of Captain Jaworski, which became the nucleus of 2 Battery 5 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
- 1 Odrębna Bateria Artylerii Konnej (1 Independent Horse Battery) with 8 pal (8 Pułk Artylerii Lekkiej) - forming the basis for 1 Battery 5 Dywizjonu Artylerii Konnej;
- artillery platoon with 13 Lancer Regiment;
- 3 Konna Bateria - later the 1 Battery 3 Dywizjonu Artylerii Konnej;
- Wołyńska Bateria Artylerii Konnej - reorganized as 2 Battery 3 Horse Artillery Diwizjon.
At the end of June 1919 there were 10 horse artillery batteries and 1 horse artillery platoon. These units were in various stages of organization, the forming process mainly being hampered by the lack of horses and weapons. In the initial period the shortage of men were negligible (horse artillery battery status during this period is shown in Table 11).
The influx of volunteers to the horse artillery was high, especially among young people. However, the officer and NCO cadres came mostly from the former Polish corps in Russia and the former Russian Army, so the organization of the first units of horse artillery in the Polish army were also based on these patterns.
In May 1919, the Ministry of Defence had developed an allocation plan - an individual Ordre de Bataille for each of the cavalry brigades with their subordinate units of horse artillery:
1st Cavalry Brigade - 1 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
2nd Cavalry Brigade - 2 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
3rd Cavalry Brigade - 3 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
4th Cavalry Brigade - 4 Horse Artillery Dywizjon;
5th Cavalry Brigade - 5 Horse Artillery Dywizjon.
This was due to the need to have artillery with the cavalry units, which in the ongoing war of movement played an increasingly important role. These new cavalry units gave raise for making new etats. A horse artillery dywizjon was to consist of three batteries with ammunition columns. Having been formed the dywizjons were to be deployed in the field by the Headquarters of the District General in accordance with the dislocation of the cavalry brigades.
The Horse Artillery Command
The formation of the horse artillery units was closely associated with the creation of the Horse Artillery Command. It was established by Order of 30 July, 1919, issued by the Department I in the Ministry of Military Affairs and the General Inspectorate of Artillery. Commander became Lieutenant-Colonel Leon Dunin-Wolski. It should compile the regulations for the regiment. It was subjected to the Inspector General of the Artillery.
The main task of Horse Artillery Command was the organization of new units and bringing them up to full combat readiness, both in terms of training and equipment.
This activity was confined mainly to the efforts completing already formed units with the right number of men, give the appropriate professional training and to supply primarily with horses, sort out the deficiencies in the fast training process and promptly send the units to the front. Completing units with horses and weapons was under the management of the Artillery General Inspectorate. Detailed guidance on the implementation of restorations in the various units was carried out on orders from the Horse Artillery Command, to which also was sent demands for equipment and supplements of personnel and horses.
The Commander of the Horse Artillery selected and chose the individual officers to serve in the horse artillery dywizjons. He also was responsible for the implementation of uniform training methods, the tactics to be used in combat, the introduction of a uniform weapons system, choose equipment for soldiers and horses and deciding on supplies. At that time the horse artillery was supplied with several types of guns of and the horse gunners were trained according to the regulations of those armies, from which the unit's officers came. In the second half of 1919, to facilitate the task, the Horse Artillery Command developed and released its first regulations for horse artillery. There was prepared and overseen the implementation of the new war etats for the horse artillery and also weapon etats.
Creation of the Horse Artillery Command influenced also other aspects in connection with the horse artillery. Among these was the setting up societies like the Związek Jeździecki ״Sport Konny" (Equestrian Federation "Horse Sport") for the Horse Artillery Officers and the ״Samopomoc" ("Self-Help") for Horse Artillery Officers.
Throughout the lifetime of the Horse Artillery Command, i.e. until 15 March 1920, its work was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Leon Dunin-Wolski. As aides acted Lieutenant B. Zaleski (1.08. - 18.08.1919 respectively), Lieutenant K. Brzezicki (18.08. - 09.02.1919 onwards), Second Lieutenant A. Leśniewski (2.09. - 09/10/1919), Second Lieutenant Jerzy Boguski - to the demise of the command.
With the creation of Horse Artillery Command, as ordered by the Department I and the Ministry of Military Affairs and by orders of the Artillery Inspector General, began the formation of the first five horse artillery dywizjons - see Table 12
From the platoon cadre of 1 DAK and assigned artillery officers from other units, was created the Back-Up or Replacement Horse Artillery Battery (BZAK - Baterię Zapasową Artylerii Konnej). Its commander was Captain Czeslaw Makowski. Battery garrison was in Góra Kalwaria (a town on the Vistula River in the Mazovian Voivodship, about 25km south-east of Warsaw.) within the DOG I Warsaw. The main task of BZAK was keeping records on already operating horse artillery units, both those on the front, as well as those in reserve or under reorganization and gathering documents and personal records on officers and men of the horse artillery.
The Replacement Battery trained the men and non-commissioned officers for the new-formed units. Here was organized the supplementing of the dywizjons serving on the front, as well as were created new batteries. It also took care of the lists sent in by the individual dywizjons, lists of losses, wounded and sick. The battery was also a centre for the sick and wounded returning after treatment to their parent units. It was also used for storing and recording equipment, weapons and personal equipment for the men in the horse artillery, which was delivered on the basis of previously placed orders and organizing the supply of the men's personal equipment. The Replacement Horse Artillery Battery was equipped with three Italian M. 1906 guns, eight ammunition caissons, 11 train wagons and had 1 saddle horse and 137 artillery horses.
A few days after starting the formation of the first five dywizjons of horse artillery, the Horse Artillery Command, by order of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army, reorganized the existing horse batteries and artillery platoons (Table 13).
According to the May 1919 projected organizational structure, each cavalry brigade should have had horse artillery, the batteries corresponding to the number of regiments in the cavalry brigade. This way of creating support services for the Polish cavalry and the interrelationship between it and the horse artillery, remained virtually unchanged until 1939.
When the new structure for the organization was worked out with three-battery dywizjons for the horse artillery, it was only theoretical. In the beginning each cavalry brigade was only to receive one battery. As new batteries were formed, they were systematically assigned to their parent units. All the activities related to the implementation of the plans were led by the Department I and IV of the Ministry of Military Affairs and the Artillery Inspector General through the Horse Artillery Commander.
Probably the first organization for the horse artillery dywizjons was based on the already developed plans for DAK in January and February 1919, but any unambiguous statement on this is impossible caused by the shortcomings of full archival materials.
One can also assume the organization of the dywizjon etat, which was developed at a later date, just was a sanction of status quo.
The first known horse artillery etat is from mid-September 1919. The etat of the HQ was set by DAK to - 82 soldiers, including 8 officers, 16 NCOs and 58 men with 64 horses - 42 saddle and 22 draft hoses, 11 two-horse small carts and 1 motorcycle (in fact, none of the situation reports or the DAK-reports in their lists mention of any motorcycle in the command squadron) (Appendix 1, 2). A horse artillery battery, i.e. a line combat dywizjon - with guns, machine gun section, men and horse-drawn telephone wagon - consisted of 154 men: 5 officers, 23 NCOs and 126 men. In addition to those serving the guns were 41 of non-combatants - cooks, blacksmiths, farriers, saddlers - 11 non-commissioned officers and 30 men. The total battery had 195 soldiers, in a three battery dywizjon should be 585 soldiers.
A battery had 215 horses - 115 riding horses and 100 artillery and train horses. Each battery had one car with "instruments", 14 two-horse wagons and 1 bike. Each battery had 4 guns and 4 ammunition caissons.
The equipment used by the individual dywizjons, and even in the batteries, was different, see Table 15.
As far as achieving combat readiness, the individual supplementing batteries were sent to the front according to a pre-developed plan. The first going to the front (as it has already been mentioned) was 2 Battery 1 DAK, which went to 1 Cavalry Brigade (Brygady Jazdy - BJ) on 4 September 1919. A few days later 1 Battery joined. On September 27, 1 Battery 4 DAK marched off to the front, but first after having passed review to its commander Lieutenant Colonel L.Dunin-Wolski. A month later, i.e. on 27 October, 1919, 1 Battery 5 DAK left to join the 5 Cavalry Brigade. On September 27, 1919, by order of the Artillery Inspector General, the three battery Dywizjon of the Wielkopolska Army was subordinated the Horse Artillery Commander. 1 Battery of this Dywizjon had since 19 May, 1919, been part of 3 Wielkopolska Lancer Regiment (later becoming the 17 Lancer Regiment) in the 1 Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade located in the area of Gniezno. The next day, 20 May, the 2 Battery of this Dywizjon was assigned to the Brigade. The 3 Battery joined the Dywizjon on 21 November, 1919, as first then it was possible to equip and complete the battery.
The difficulties that arose during this period to secure the horse artillery the necessary number of horses and additional personnel, in accordance with the ruling etat, led to the development of a reduced etat and allocation of horses.
This reduced etat envisaged the dywizjon with a staff of 64 soldiers, including four officers, 60 NCOs and men, 60 horses - 38 riding and 22 draft horses, 11 two-horse carts and a motorcycle. A horse artillery battery, according to this new etat should have 126 men, including four officers, 23 NCOs and 103 privates in the battle line. This time was also included the non-combatant 11 noncommissioned officers and 33 privates.
Total of a battery at full strength numbered 170 men. Comparison between the two etats is shown in Table 16
In total, the new etat decreased the etat of the dywizjon by 87 men, including five officers, 82 non commissioned officers and privates. The number of horses was decreased by 55 riding and 54 draft horses, in total 109 horses. This new etat was probably only caused by the missing Polish resources, as it do not correspond with contemporary regulations for horse artillery developed and in use during the First World War in other states.
1 December, 1919, the Commander of the Horse Artillery, as recommended by the Artillery Inspector General, was ordered to form the next batteries for the existing dywizjons. They were as follows:
2 Battery - for 4 DAK
2 Battery - for 3 DAK
2 Battery - for 5 DAK
2 Battery - for 2 DAK
1 Battery - for 6 DAK
2 Battery - for 6 DAK
The order to form the battery for 6 DAK was a little anticipated, as formally the 6 Horse Artillery Dywizjon was started on 6 December 1919 The first battery was originally intended to be 3 Battery 1 DAK, founded in Warsaw in September 1919. Dywizjon commander was Captain Michael
Belina-Prazmowski. By the same command was temporarily halted the formation of the third batteries for all the horse artillery dywizjons. The decision was motivated by the lack of men and horses. This is why, the already existing 3 Battery 1 DAK was transferred to 6 DAK.
At the end of 1919 had as a result of the work carried out by the Horse Artillery Command been organized six two-battery horse artillery dywizjons (numbers 1 to 6) and one dywizjon with three batteries - the 7 Wielkopolska Horse Artillery Diwizjon. All in all 15 batteries.
Eight of them were at the front, the next five were formed and ready to go and two - 2 Battery 2 DAK and 2 Battery DAK 6 were still being organized. A serious problem, which not only plagued the horse artillery, was the lack of horses, uniforms and personal weapons . The supply of guns was improved, as they were delivered from the stores of BZAK or from central depots, subject to the decisions of the main military centres. All this made it especially difficult to train the troops. Due to the lack of horses, often batteries were withheld from going to the front.
In many cases horses supplied to the troops were not adequately trained to work in teams, so extra time had to be devoted to their dressage. Often, the training of horses and drivers took place near or on the front line. One battery even had to train the gun-handling on the flat-cars bringing them to the front, as they got a new type gun just before departure.
The problem with a proper preparation of the horses was particularly important for horse artillery, as the service meant actively moving around on horseback with constantly limbering and un- limbering. This was necessary interacting with the cavalry, needing to keep up with it on the march and when in the battle as support troops "... the marching speed of a cavalry brigade was normally about 40 kilometres a day, with frequent accidents and driving distances of 70-80 km per day, while strenuous marches were of 100-110 and even 120 kilometres ... ". Exhausting marches of 70-100 km during per day - they were probably rare, but still a 40-50 km distance during the day, pulling heavy guns was hard work, so the batteries were mounted to give the utmost service. The supply problem with an adequate quantity and quality of horses became one of the most important logistical problems at the time, especially when the fightings in 1920 started against the Horse Army of Semyon Budyonny. The appearance of such a large group of cavalry at the front changed the nature of the manoeuvres, forcing rapid marches and caused sudden and unexpected changes in the battlefield situation. In such circumstances the quality of the horses got prime importance.
The shortage of horses was resolved only after the war, when the Polish Army changed into peace formation. Then was disbanded some units and the etats reduced. In this way resulted a surplus of horses, which were used to cover the existing deficiencies.
With effect from 25 February 1920 a system for replenishment and training of the reserves was set up. This was due to the increasing number of horse artillery units and their organizing needing faster training and equipping. It was also a result of the appearance of aforementioned Red Horse Army.
In place of the existing Replacement Horse Artillery Battery at Górze Kalwaria (Baterii Zapasowej Artylerii Konnej w Górze Kalwarii), were formed three new batteries:
Replacement Horse Artillery Battery No. 1 in Górze Kalwaria. It was created by renaming the existing BZAK. As commander remained Captain Czeslaw Makowski. The purpose of this battery was to organize and train reserves for 1, 2 and 5 DAK. Since June 1920 it also took care of servicing the batteries for 8 and 9 DAK. It organized the HQs for 1 and 2 Battery 8 DAK, the so- called Alarm Batteries for the Defence of Warsaw (Baterii Alarmowej Obrony Warszawy), which later were renamed as 3 Battery 5 DAK and 3 Battery 1 DAK;
Replacement Horse Artillery Battery No. 2 in Lviv. Commander was Major Karol Czichowski. Its task was to organize the battery supplements and train the supplements for 3 and 6 DAK. In August 1920, it was moved to Poznan. Here it formed 3 Battery 3 DAK and 3 Battery 6 DAK;
Replacement Battery Horse Artillery No. 3 in Poznan was organized partly from BZAK No. 1. The task was to organize further batteries for 4 and 7 DAK and from October 1920, also for 8 DAK. Battery commander was Major Stanislaw Turski. In addition it also organized batteries for 3 Battery 8 DAK and 3 Battery 4 DAK.
In January 1920, on order from the Ministry of Military Affairs, was formed 7 Cavalry Brigade. The organization was to take place by mutual transfers among the front units.
On March 15, 1920, by order from Department I and the Staff of the Ministry of Military Affairs, the Horse Artillery Command was abolished. All powers and the agenda went to the Department I of the Ministry of Defence. The decision was justified by the subordination of the replacement batteries and dywizjons to the Commanders of the General Districts, in accordance with the dislocation of the individual units. This led to fragmentation of the organization work and lack of overall management. Therefore, according to the Artillery Command, a separate Horse Artillery Command had lost its raison d'etre. Another view had the horse gunners, who believed it instead should have been turned into a separate Horse Artillery Inspectorate. In the second half of 1920 with the intense fightings on the Polish-Soviet front subsequent organization changes in the horse artillery took place. For the newly formed 8 and 9 Cavalry Brigades were formed new horse artillery units, i.e. the already mentioned 8 and 9 Dysfunctions. At the same time the existing two-battery dywizjons were strengthened with a third battery, this organization work ended in the second half of 1919.
In June 1920, based on a replacement battery of 6 pap (pułk artylerii pieszej - regiment foot artillery), started the forming of the so-called Ochotniczej Baterii Krakusów (Volunteer Battery Kraków). Its commander was Lieutenant Tadeusz Dzieduszycki. Already on 4 August 1920, the battery was renamed as1 Battery 9 DAK. Further organization was carried out by the replacement battery in Góra Kalwaria. This dywizjon had two batteries and so each operating cavalry brigade in the Polish Army had its own artillery support.
In July 1920 the organization of a third battery for the existing dywizjons, began:
3 Battery 1 DAK (BZAK No. 1 - Góra Kalwaria);
3 Battery 2 DAK (Warsaw);
3 Battery 3 DAK (BZAK No. 2 - Lviv);
3 Battery 4 DAK (bZAK No. 3 - Poznan).
July 20, 1920, in Góra Kalwaria from BZAK No. 1 was formed the HQ, 1 and 2 Battery 8 DAK. while 3 Battery was formed August 1920 in Poznan.
By the same order were given regulations for supplying the horse artillery with ammunition, horses and men, and closing the existing gaps in personal weapons, which were very substantial during this period. In 1 Battery 1 DAK and 2 Battery 1 DAK only two guns were functional, while six were damaged. In 3 battery 2 DAK rammers were missing for all the guns.
In July 1920, 1 Battery 3 DAK should have had 8 Russian guns and caissons M.02, but had only half the numbers. Their other guns were one Russian and three German from 1900, but none of those were serviceable. The Italian guns, which also had been in service with the horse batteries, were sent to depots in Lublin, due to the switch to using only Russian equipment. As part of correcting the shortcomings of hardware both 2 Battery 3 DAK received two Russian guns from 2 Battery 5 DAK, but after the gunsmith checking their technical condition, it turned out that one of them was faulty. This battery also had three Italian guns, but those had to be returned to the depot in Lublin. Almost all batteries were lacking from 2 to 4 caissons. To remedy the deficiencies, it was necessary to immediately provide the dywizjons with 15 guns and 14 caissons. It was considered necessary to have experienced gunsmiths in the etat of the dywizjon to constantly inspect the technical state of all guns and do eventual repairs.
July 2, 1920, by order of the Supreme Command, was formed the Cavalry Operation Group of General Jan Sawicki. As part of it was on July 17 established a Horse Artillery Command, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leon Dunin-Wolski. This artillery group consisted of:
HQ and 2 and 3 Battery 2 DAK;
1 Battery 3 DAK;
HQ and 1 and 2 Battery 4 DAK;
1 Battery 5 DAK;
2 Battery 6 DAK.
At the request of the Commander of the Horse Artillery, the batteries underwent reorganization and were supplemented with horses from the cavalry regiments in the Operation Group. Also reorganized were all the ammunition columns.
In the battle of Stoyanov 12.08.1920, the Artillery Commander directed the fire of all horse artillery batteries.
Thanks to the efforts of the Horse Artillery Command to make the artillery an integrated part of the Operation Group, was established the Horse Artillery Front Staff (Frontowa Kadra Artylerii Konnej).
Next stopping place was the Wielocza village near the train station of Zawada. Here it was the task to receive the arriving reinforcements of men, horses, equipment for the batteries and other needed supplies. Sharing between the different batteries was made through the orders from the Horse Artillery Command of the Cavalry Operation Group. One of the most important tasks of the new command was organizing and forming ammunition columns for each horse artillery battery. On August 14 the Cavalry Operation Group was disbanded and the next day was also disbanded the Horse Artillery Command.
(In July 1920, it was decided upgrading to large scale operations in response to the rear and flanking attacks by the Horse Army of Budionny. Cavalry divisions were formed, which each were to interact with at least two infantry divisions. The first of these was established by the command of NDWP on April 13, 1920, commander became Geneneral-Lieutenant Jan Romer. Its strength varied between 2 to 3 cavalry brigades. After creating the Operation Group, the cavalry division was named 1 DJ. The Operation Group consisted of two cavalry divisions and one cavalry brigade.) Several times during the Polish-Bolshevik War were created ad-hoc horse artillery commands in the cavalry brigades and divisions, which temporarily commanded 2-3 horse artillery batteries from different dywizjons. These commanders were the most senior-ranking artillery officers. During this period individual dywizjons were not always with the cavalry brigades to which they had been allocated through on their dywizjon numbers. Very often this rule was forgotten. This was due to the particular situations at the front and the acute needs on the battlefield. Therefore, the various batteries, not to mention the dywizjons, were assigned to brigades and cavalry regiments, as best suited the situations. New formed batteries, when arriving at the front, were sent, where the demand was. The batteries from same dywizjons were often scattered among different cavalry units.
After the ending of hostilities in autumn 1920, the Polish Army had eight independent horse artillery units, each with three batteries. 9 DAK, formed July 1920, only had one battery until after the end of combat operations in November, when it became a full three-battery dywizjon. This happened in Przeworsk, where its 2 and 3 Battery joined.
At the beginning of peace talks the front situation was still unstable. Therefore, by orders of 31 January 1921, the Ministry of Military Affairs started organizing a new cavalry formation, the 9 Cavalry Brigade.
At the same time they introduced a new organization of the units at the disposal of the Supreme Command and subordinated the Ministry of Defence (Table 18). To the High Command remained available the 1, 2 and 5 Cavalry Brigades and the 1 Cavalry Division (6 and 7 Cavalry Brigades). These units still remained at the front and were reorganized according the guidelines of November 1920, "On the Divisional Artillery and Horse Artillery Brigades."
GUNS USED BY THE HORSE ARTILLERY 1918-1920
The Polish horse artillery in 1918-1919 used artillery equipment from various armies. First of all it was German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Italian hardware. This was due to the fact that the individual platoons and batteries set up had to use what military equipment could be found in the areas, in which they were formed.
One of the first troops of horse artillery - a platoon being part of the Technical Squadron of the 3 Lancer Regiment in 1918 - had four Austrian 90 mm guns M.75/96 procured in Krakow After being renamed as 1 Horse Battery (1 Konną Baterię), it was organized with two of the Austrian guns already in possession.
The horse artillery platoon formed by Lieutenant Stanislaw Kopanski, in Radom in November- December 1918, was later renamed as 2 Platoon 1 Horse Battery, initially probably used 2 37 mm Hotchkiss M.13. A serious drawback in this case was the lack of ammunition. The shells used were of a smaller calibre and so had to be wrapped in paper before being used. At the end of the year the platoon got these guns exchanged with Austrian 90 mm guns of same model as those in 1 Platoon. These guns were without the recoil brakes of the former. Every shot caused a big kick, which burrowed the wheels into the ground. To avoid this a special built, wooden platform was placed under the wheels. The guns neither had protractors (optical device to calculate the horizontal and vertical plane) ensuring precise settings. All activities related to the targeting process were very time consuming and inaccurate: "We had to find the direction using two staffs for each targeting and when shooting at night, it was necessary to hang lanterns on the the respective staffs. As the number of targets grew, so also the "forest" of staffs around the guns continuously thickened." In the spring 1919 1 Battery 1 DAK, which included the above-mentioned platoons, was issued German 77 mm. field guns M. 1896.
In November in Lublin was formed a horse artillery platoon, which was renamed 1 Battery 3 DAK. Initially it had two Austrian 90 mm guns M. 5/8. On the guns in the 2 Platoon there are no data. Mid March 1919 the Wielkopolska Army in Poznan formed the Wielkopolska Horse Artillery Dywizjon (DAKW), which used German 90 mm guns M. 74.
The horse artillery platoon, commanded by Captain Jerzy Golikov, part of the Mounted Borderland Squadron (Szwadronie Jazdy Kresowej), led by the famous Captain Felix Jaworski, used Russian 76.2 mm guns M. 1902.
In spring 1919 it had not yet been possible - after more than six months of organization - to form a Polish horse artillery with standardized weapons.
At that time were in the existing dywizjons as many as seven different types of guns, but the authorities made efforts to standardize all weapons in the services, this issue had become a necessity in view of the steady expansion of the armed forces. Initially, it was intended to do this for each single unit, but then action was taken to standardize the weapons for the horse artillery in general. In April 1919 the Ministry of Military Affairs developed a plan to rebuild the army, based mainly on French equipment. Anticipated was also rearming the horse artillery with French equipment. The new organization was planned with five mounted brigades, including a horse artillery dywizjon in each, each with three batteries, each with four guns.
After making the appropriate calculations it was requested to allocate (buy in France) 60 guns for the horse artillery plus 20 guns extra for replacements. In that plan no type, calibre or any other technical was mentioned.
In mid-1919 the horse artillery dywizjons were properly organized with their first batteries and had the following guns:
1 Battery 1 DAK - German 77 mm M.1896;
1 Battery 2 DAK - Formed from 2 Battery 1 DAK - 4 Russian 76.2 mm;
2 Battery 2 DAK - 1 Platoon 2 Russian 76.2 mm mountain guns M.1909;
1 Battery 3 DAK - Formed from the former battery Lublin - 2 Austrian 76.2 mm M.1902;
2 Battery 3 DAK - 4 Russian 76.2 mm M.1902;
1 Battery 4 DAK - Formed from 5th Horse Battery, earlier "Defenders of Lviv" - without any guns or horses;
1 Battery 5 DAK - Formed from a separate battery from 8 pap - 4 Russian 76.2 mm M.1902;
2 Battery 5 DAK - Former battery Captain Golikov - 4 Russian 76.2 mm M.1902;
1 Battery DAKW - 2 Russian 76.2 mm M.1902;
2 Battery DAKW - 2 German 77 mm M.1896;
3 Battery DAKW - 2 Austrian 100 mm howitzers M.1914;
By order of 18/07/1919 - all the Wielkopolska batteries should be re-equipped with German 77 mm M.1896.
Summer 1919, in connection with the acquisition of Italian guns for the artillery, it was intended to use some of these in the horse artillery, so the changeover plans for French equipment were abolished. According to the new plans all the dywizjons were to be given Italian guns. Initially the new equipment was supplied only to the units, which had been completely formed, had a full etat of officers (meaning all the first batteries of the existing dywizjons) or those "whose organization is progressing properly." For the second batteries and the newly organized 6 DAK, the Artillery Department of the Ministry of Military Affairs allocated further 24 guns. The first Italian guns delivered to batteries in the middle of July 1919 were 75 mm guns M. 1906. The first to receive them was the 1 Battery 2 DAK. With such guns was also equipped the Kadry
Zapasowej Artylerii Konnej in Górze Kalwarii (Replacement Horse Artillery in Góra Kalwaria - Góra Kalwaria is a town on the Vistula River in the Mazovian Voivodship, about 25 km southeast of Warsaw).
Rearming the units with Italian equipment gave a a lot of confusion in the training process. There was no printed instructions translated into Polish, neither any detailed descriptions on the technical details nor on maintenance. It was not helped out until the arrival of Italian instructors, who explained all the technical problems and helped to start a more normal training. 15 September 1919, the horse artillery received 24 new Italian guns. Thus came uniform armament. A list of existing equipment with horse artillery is presented in Table 27.
Total change in the horse artillery to Italian guns never happened. Some of the reasons for this were low opinions of officers and men on these guns, their design did not suit the horse artillery, very often the gun carriages broke down, the recoil mechanism burst, original Italian ammunitions for the guns were not available and the use of French ammunition instead was not recommended.
Given the very negative assessments of the recently received Italian guns were increasingly used the Russian 76.2 mm M.02. It fully complied with the requirements of the horse artillery. Its design was based on the French 75 mm M. 1897. Having lower axles and thus a lower centre of gravity, it was very stable during fast marching, had fewer over-turnings and was characterized by its solid ruggedness and ease of use. So from the second half of 1919 the number of Russian guns was systematically increased (see Table 28).
The Russian M. 1902, although it already was an obsolete system, was very popular among the horse gunners. It was often used in combat operations during World War I and in the following fightings in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. According to the instruction manual the durability of the gun amounted to 10.000 shots. However during the war by lack of experienced crews, the durability was reduced to 5.000 shots. Still it was very often used by the horse artillery and systematically displaced the Italian guns.
Due to the large use of these guns, repairs and particularly supply of spare parts gave big troubles. In July 1920 the Commander of the Horse Artillery, Colonel Leon Dunin-Wolski, reported on the poor condition in his subordinated units to the Supreme Commander. As examples on this were two batteries of 1 DAK, where only two guns were capable to fight of the eight held. The other six were damaged and the lack of spare parts made it impossible to make repairs. Also materials for cleaning and maintenance equipment lacked. Equipment sent to remedy the deficiencies or to exchange ruined parts, were not always suitable to use. This was the case with 8 guns delivered to the Cavalry Operation Group, none of the delivered guns sent were in usable condition. In October 1920, at the end of the war, started the harmonization of weapons in the Polish Army, and so also in the horse artillery. At the turn of 1920-1921 all the Italian guns M. 1906 were withdrawn, as they were characterized by having a very high failure rate and being complicated to operate. In their place came the 76.2 mm Russian M. 1902. The introduction of these guns was also associated with lower cost of operation and acquisition. A large number of the guns were already in stores, which eliminated the need for new purchases. These guns were supplied to the horse artillery until September 1939. In 1922, the total number was 540 pieces. Not all were supplied to the horse artillery.
The biggest drawback of these guns was their weight, both when marching and fighting. This resulted in reduced opportunities for marching and manoeuvring with such batteries. It greatly hampered cooperation with the cavalry. Guns more suitable for such activities would have been the 65 mm Russian mountain gun M. 1909 or the 75 mm French Schneider M. 1917, but no attempts were made to put these into service.
The often repeated criticism of the gun being too heavy did not affect the overall assessment. It was popular with the gunners, "quick-firing, do not have a wide range, but is easy to use and greatly suitable for fast moving in the field."
The 76,2 mm M 02
text on the gun and specified etats will come.
Limbers and caissons
Limbers and caissons were designed to carry the gun ammunition. In 1918-1920, the caissons supplied to the horse artillery were of different types. In reports made by the individual batteries and sub-units, there are no specific data on the type and origin of this equipment. However, one can assume, they were of same type guns as the guns used by the the individual batteries. This was due to the fact that for each type of gun was produced the appropriate ammunition and equipment for transport. Limbers and caissons to 77 mm guns could not be used with guns of calibre 75 or 76.2 mm, but during the war it occurred in some horse artillery batteries. According to the etats of 1919, the number of caissons in the battery was 4, one for each gun. During the war, however, there were cases when their number was doubled.
May 1919, in connection with the reorganization and expansion of artillery, the commander in chief of the Artillery organizing the army train intended to proceed with formation of ammunition columns. One column was intended for each artillery battery. From the documents can not be answered unequivocally, whether the project was completed. But the fact is that the existence of this type of troops was necessary, because those used were informal and equipped with peasant carts. When the horse artillery was equipped with the Russian gun M.02, it also got the limbers and caissons belonging to the guns and so also the 76.2 mm ammunition used by the Polish field artillery. A main drawback was the high gravity centre of the vehicles, resulting in frequent over- turnings by bad driving. Nevertheless the equipment enjoyed a good reputation among the soldiers. Caissons and limbers were also too heavy for the horse artillery. Therefore the commanders of the dywizjons sent in a proposal to modify them after the model used in the Russian horse artillery, i.e. by reduction of the number of compartments to shell ammunition in the caissons. The proposed changes were made by Armoury No. 2 in Warsaw (226 caissons and limbers) and Armoury No. 1 in Brest (53 caissons).
In the Regulation of November 1920 the etat gave each horse artillery dywizjon two ammunition caissons, i.e. 8 caissons per battery. In addition, was projected the formation of ammunition columns with each dywizjon.
The limber transported 32 shells, while the caisson with drawers had nine compartments, each with 4 shells, carried 36 shells. In the ammunition columns of the horse artillery were ammunition boxes on the caisson with drawers having 12 compartments, which means that they could carry 48 shells.
Heavy machine guns
To defend the guns in fire positions and to repel direct attacks on the marching artillery columns were used heavy machine guns. The horse artillery had been equipped with this weapon even before the outbreak of World War I, but during the war it became an even more essential element of the equipment.
According to the first official etat of 1919, the individual batteries should have two "kulomioty" (machine guns) carried on a small two-horse cart. Just as in the case of guns, neither the model hand guns nor the heavy machine guns were uniform in all the batteries nor dywizjons. Also their number in the units was different. This was due to the fact that in the initial period the horse artillery dywizjons and batteries did not have have the same organization.
In the etat of 1920, the so-called war-etat, it was expected every battery to have two heavy machine
guns, each on a separate, small two-wheeled cart. This was the result of the war experiences, above all the battles with the horse army of Budyonny and the need for the horse artillery to have great manoeuvrability, mobility and freedom of action and at the same time an adequate direct security. The majority of horse artillery (1-6 Dak, 8 and 9 Dak), was equipped with Austrian 8 mm heavy machine guns, Schwarzlose M. 07/12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzlose_MG_M.07/12). It was a well-tested weapon. The barrel was water cooled and the the ammunition belt had a capacity of 100 or 250 rounds. The machine gun could be transported on carts or on horse back with the pack system M. 07. When in use it was placed placed on its stable tripod. The 7 DAK (originating from the Wielkopolska Army) used the German 7.9 mm Maxim heavy machine gun M 08. They were water cooled like the Austrian machine guns and used belts with 250 rounds. When used, it was placed on a heavy four-legged sledge stand, which provided excellent stability during the firing. This weapon was transported on train wagons