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Forum Russian Civil war / Thread: THE STRUCTURE AND RE-STRUCTURING OF THE POLISH FORCES IN 1919 -- Page 1  Jump To: 


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T.S.
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From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 THE STRUCTURE AND RE-STRUCTURING OF THE POLISH FORCES IN 1919
Sent: 23-05-2012 04:56
 
The main text here is translated from

ZARYS DZIEJW WOJSKOWOCI POLSKIEJ (1864-1939), Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, Redaktor Piotr Stawecki, Warsawa 1990, chapter III:
WOJSKO POLSKIE W DOBIE NARODZIN DRUGIEJ RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ (1918-1921)
p.287-302

This first part only covers the infantry (p.281-293), but will be continued with the cavalry, artillery, air force, river flotillas and so on. The Polish terms on many of the formations and such are given in brackets, as much useful information and pictures can be found on the internet when searching on these words. The single regiments and units, which formed the divisions, can easily be found on the internet.

The texts will be updated with contemporary pictures.

THE STRUCTURE AND RE-STRUCTURING OF THE POLISH FORCES IN 1919

Since January 1919 the expansion of the Polish Army accelerated. The Recruiting Act was implemented as necessary and as appropriate for the possibilities of armament and equipment. Attempts were made on voluntary enlistment.
This work was also supplemented with a look on the officer cadres, which was enlarged by establishing special branch schools for officers.
After calling up the ranks of six vintages, this system had proved to be insufficient, so was ordered appointment of all officers in the reserve of 1896-1901 vintages, and all doctors of medicine and veterinary medicine being 35 years of age.

Infantry
To provide additional manpower and make possible further expansion of the army, it was necessary to look over the organization and internal structure of existing military units. Thus began the creation of the so-called large, tactical units (zwizkw taktycznych), or infantry divisions and brigades of infantry and cavalry. In addition to the Lithuanian-Belarus Division, having three infantry brigades, was begun. by order of 26 November 1918 from the Commander in Chief, according to the newly adopted plan the forming of ten infantry divisions and one mountain brigade. Each infantry division had four infantry regiments and received supplements from its own district, covering four command districts which were to provide recruits for the the various regiments and other divisional units. When creating these divisions emerged considerable difficulties, as some of the formations had been raised at the front or within its hinterland.
Internal organizational structure of a division was established by order of July 16 1919, and later was partly modified on the basis of the order of 28 March 1920. Head of the division was a commander with the rank of general or colonel, who was responsible for the entire condition of the combat formation. The Chief of Staff was his closest aide, responsible to him for the running of combat operations and being superior to all officers serving in command of the division. The responsibilities of the post as executive Chief of Staff, was in addition to organizing material for the units, gathering information, taking care of operations and the adjutanture to be: head of communications, technical support, the intendanture clerks, head of health service with the doctor divisional, divisional veterinary surgeon, chaplain, head of the court martial and head of the field post.
The division command also had a Political Affairs Officer, who acted as an advisor to the commander, and a divisional financial officer responsible to the chief of staff personally, in professional terms to the intendanture clerk, also the stores depot officer was responsible on matters of accounting to the financial officer. All correspondence went through the adjutant. With the headquarters divisions were: a headquarters company, a platoon of staff cavalry, a staff train and the field post office.
The division had two brigades, each having two infantry regiments. Their commanders also were called brigadiers. Each infantry regiment had 3 line battalions and 4 companies of machine guns (1 at the disposal of the regimental commander and one for each of the line battalion) and a reserve battalion.
Each infantry division should have an artillery brigade, with a field artillery regiment (pap - puk artylerii polowej) and a heavy artillery regiment (pac - puk artylerii cikiej). The field artillery regiment should have four battalions, with 3 batteries of 6 pieces each and the heavy artillery regiment should have 2 battalions, with three batteries of 4 pieces each.
In practice, the artillery division only had three,field battalions and one battalion of heavy artillery, as the 4th field artillery battalion and half of the heavy artillery was treated as reserve artillery by the Supreme Command.
The infantry divisions had the following subunits and military establishments: a squadron of dragoons (line cavalry line without lances), a telegraph company (served the division staff, the two infantry brigades staffs and the artillery brigade headquarters) a battalion of engineers together with headquarters train detachment. The division commander further had: 3 field hospitals, 1 chief ammunition supply train, 9 ammunition columns with 55 wagons each, 6 food-columns with 55 wagons each, a horse depot, an entrenchment/fortification column, a divisional artillery repairshop and 5 columns with reserve ammunition for the artillery.
The formation of new infantry divisions started with the Lithuanian-Belorus Rifle Division (Dywizji Strzelcw Litewsko-Biaoruskiej), by order of the chief of staff, WP Ordinance of 9 December 1918 (in accordance with an earlier order from the commander-in-chief). It was commanded by General Waclaw Iwaszkiewicz, from 1 April 1919 by General Stanislaw Szeptycki and from 17 June 1919 by General Stefan Mokrzecki.
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Dywizja_Litewsko-Bia%C5%82oruska
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Dywizja_Litewsko-Bia%C5%82oruska
February 21, 1919 was established the 1st Legion Infantry Division (1 Dywizja Piechoty Legionw), commanded by General Roj, and the 2nd Legion Infantry Division commanded by General Rydz-Smigly. May 23 1919, the 2 DP, commanded from 11 July 1920 by Colonel. Stefan Dab-Biernacki, began to appear as the 1st Legion Infantry Division, whereas 1 DP, commanded fromn 15 August 1919 by Colonel. Henryk Minkiewicz, and from 1 August 1920 by Michael Zymierski, then appeared as the 2nd Legion Infantry Division (2 Dywizja Piechoty Legionw). (sounds rather complicated, I hope I have got it right! ts.)
The Rydz-Smigly Division was raised in Ostrow Mazowiecka, and the division Roji in Jabonna and Zegrze.
3rd Legion Infantry Division was set up by order of 9 April 1919 and formed in the hostile zone on the East-Galician Front, at first commanded by General Zygmunt Zielinski, and later, from 15 September 1919, by Colonel. Leon Berbecki.
On the East-Galician front were formed April 1919, formed the 4th and 5th Infantry Divisions.
From 9 May 1919 in Cieszyn Silesia was formed the 6th Infantry Division.
7th Infantry Division (7 dywizja piechoty) was formed in the General District Kielce, mainly in the region of Czestochowa.
8th Infantry Division, from May 9, was formed in Warsaw, Modlin, and Lomza.
9th Infantry Division was established on June 13, 1919, organized in the Polesie war area.
The 10th Infantry Division was formed initially in the interior of Poland and then reinforced with personnel from the 4th Rifle Division of General Lucjan Zeligowski on its return from Odessa, in fact the Mountain Brigade (Brygad grsk), dated from 22 June 1922, was acting officially as I Podhale Rifle Brigade (I Brygada Strzelcw Podhalaskich) from 27 June 1919.
Forming of the next big units is inseparably connected with the fate of the Polish Blue Army,
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armia_Polska_we_Francji
which arrived from France. Amalgamating this with the national army, part of the Polish Army needed to overcome considerable difficulties, which in general resulted from differences in organization and doctrinal principles.
The different training meant that the immediate adding its personnel into the national formations could not be done. A significant number of military personnel in the army of General Haller served on high, fixed salaries, which was very resented by their national colleagues.
Also one has to to reckon with the fact that Army of General Haller had a tripartite structure, which did not flush with the bipartite structure of the national army and so a number of its formations, it was necessary to disband.
The authority, which took care of the amalgamation of Haller's Army into the national Polish Army was the Committee for Unification with General Haller's Army (Komisja Zjednoczenia Armii Generaa Hallera). As result of its findings, it was time to enlarge the number of large infantry units in the Polish Army.
The next set up of large military units started with the 11th Infantry Division.
This formations was set up on 16 September 1919 and created from the old 2nd Rifle Division of General Haller's army.
12th Infantry Division grew out of the 6th Rifle Division from same army.
13th Infantry Division has its pedigree mainly from the 1st Division of the Haller Army.
Other large infantry units were formed in the Wielkopolska Army. An important prerequisite for their development were the mobilization regulations decreed by the Supreme People's Council on 17 January and 4 March 1919 on the summon of the vintages 1895 to 1900, and April 24 1919 the vintages 1891 and 1901 -1894. After mobilization of these vintages, the Wielkopolska Army mustered 12 Rifle Regiments. Immediately after the announcement of the armistice terms in Trier, 16 February 1919, which ordered ceasefire on the fronts of the Greater Poland Uprising and determined the demarcation line, the High Command of the Wielkopolska Forces made new divisions in the areas liberated by the local forces, three military districts were set up corresponding to the three insurgent fronts.
I Military District took over the area and facilities of the Northern front and began forming the 2nd Rifle Division Wielkopolska (2 Dywizji Strzelcw Wielkopolskich).
II Military District engulfed the area and facilities of the Western Front, the South-Western section and Poznan, in this area was organized the 1st Rifle Division Wielkopolska.
III Military District had the zone corresponding to the Southern Front and the Hinterland, here was formed the 3rd Rifle Division Wielkopolska.
The amalgamation of the Wielkopolska Forces with the Polish Army took place in stages. In May 1919 the Wielkopolska troops were already at the disposal of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army, but the relationship had to be kept secret, as no final decisions had been taken on the
Wielkopolska area by the Paris Peace Conference. After the resolution in the Polish Parliament on the reunification of the former Prussian district with the Polish state was issued, a decree from the Supreme Commander WP of 20 August 1919, announced the formal incorporation into the Polish Army of the Wielkopolska military formations. Moreover, they partly already were participating in the fightings taking place in the East. However, the fusion of the Wielkopolska Army with the Polish Army was completed in December 1919. As result, the Polish Army was strengthened with some really excellent, well trained and well equipped military formations.
14th Infantry Division was created December 10, 1919 by renaming the 1st Rifle Division Wielkopolska.
15th Infantry Division is the former 2nd Infantry Division Wielkopolska.
16th Infantry Division, set up January 23, 1920, actually had existed since 23 July 1919, also organized in the Wielkopolska region, but as a division of Pomerania.
17th Infantry Division, the former 3rd Rifle Division Wielkopolska, was established December 10, 1919.
18th Infantry Division came from the tactical group of General Francis Krajowski, this General continued as its chef throughout the war. It was established on January 23, 1920.
Also to be re-organized into the large, tactical infantry units system were the two units, which originated from the former Lithuanian-Belarus Rifle Division formed October 21, 1919. One became 1st Lithuanian-Belarus Division on 10 August 1920, then renamed as 19th Infantry Division, but already in mid-August same year it regained its original name. The second was set up as 2nd Lithuanian-Belarus Division. In mid-August 1920, it appeared for several days as the 20th Infantry Division, but soon regained its former name.
Another large infantry unit formed was the Mountain Division, created February 5, 1920, its origin linked to the Podhale Rifle Brigade. Commander of the brigade, later division, from 10 August 1920 named as 21th Infantry Division, was General Andrzej Galica.
Another large infantry formation, which deserves mentioning, is the division of Colonel Wladyslaw Sikorski, established March 19, 1919 and functioning as a tactical unit and combined division from early April, when it was dissolved in August 1919.
Among the large infantry formations also counts the Siberian Rifle Brigade (Syberyjska Brygada Strzelcw) formed on order from the Ministry of Military Affairs on 16 July 1920. It was commanded by Colonel Kazimierz Rumsza.
On Polish divisions see: pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dywizje_polskie]pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dywizje_polskie
The process of creating larger units was accompanied by intense efforts to eliminate unnecessary or obsolete military and paramilitary units, and the reworking of internal organizational structures in existing formations. May 1919 came the disbanding of all independent rifle battalions. Units, which earlier had been ordered formed, were incorporated into the enlarged regular infantry units.
Also reformed were all the garrison and territorial battalions and their personnel fed into etape and guard batallions or the regular line infantry. These reforms at the turn of 1919-1920 were to harmonize the internal structures of all the infantry regiments, although some of them, such as the Lithuanian-Belarus not yet have full etats.

A regiment should have a commander with 4 staff officers, assisted by 13 NCOs and 37 privates.
Attached to the head-quarters company should be 1 signals platoon, 1 technical company and 1 machine-gun company.
The regiment should have 3 infantry battalions, each with 4 infantry companies and 1 machine-gun company.
If complete, a regiment should have a strength of 3.260 men, with 91 officers, 378 NCOs and 2.791 privates.
According to the regulations a machine-gun company should have 3 plattoons, each equipped with 2 machine-guns. In practice, they were equipped with many more machine guns, often 8 to 12 machine guns. In many units, each infantry company also had their own platoons of machine-guns. (The regiments quite simply did not send all captured machine-guns back to the army depots, as ordered, but kept as many as possible of those captured to increase their own fire-power. ts.)
The regulations did not provide for regimental artillery, but in practice many regiments, formed in the regions had artillery units, and all the regiments of the former General Haller's army were equipped with infantry guns and also had mine- and grenade throwers.

Each infantry regiment got a reserve battalion. It was organized with staff, 3 reserve companies, 1 reserve machine-gun company, 1 company with re-convalescents and 1 NCO-school, which normally was part of one of the reserve-companies. Fresh recruits arrived at the batallion and in reality a march-company was formed from them. After four or six weeks training, they left for the front. Older soldiers came to the battalion's reserve hospital and after their time there, they were transferred to a convalescent march-company and then sent along with the company to the front .
After overcoming the difficulties associated with reforming the front-line infantry was started on reforming and creating new reserve formations.
In the original organization concept each reserve battalion should not only complement the personnel of the regiment, but they should all also form further one reserve regiment, having the number of parent battalion, but with the prefix of one hundred. For example, the reserve battalion of 5th Infantry Regiment was to become the 105th Reserve Regiment. But soon it was realized that the organizational capacity did not allow such an effort. The ambitious plan was abandoned and instead was decided to settle with the existing replacement battalion, as a reserve battalion, this would give one reserve regiment pr. division. These regiments were intended to be united into about ten reserve brigades, each having two reserve regiments.
In fact, it was only managed to form two of such reserve brigades. The first was the VII Reserve Brigade, organized in the General District Poznan. It participated in the fightings on the Lithuanian-Belarus front in the reserve army of General Sosnkowski.
June 1920 began forming of the new kind of reserves, which started operating as the 1st Reserve Brigade. This formation was prematurely drawn into the vortex of events and put up against the dangerous swarms of Semyon Budyonny's cavalry army. It did not pass the exam and after a few weeks was dissolved. Also in the fightings took part several other reserve regiments and reserve battalions.
In 1920, in the General Districts Poznan and Pomerania, started organizing of volunteer reserve regiments. Raised were five such units. However the work in progress was interrupted quite quickly and the beginnings were earmarked to supplement the line troops.
In July and August 1920 was undertaken extensive military and organizational steps to create further volunteer units. The campaign, developed under the direction of the General Inspectorate of the Volunteer Army, headed by General Jzef Haller, was launched on July 7, 1920.
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armia_Ochotnicza_%28II_RP%29
The organizers had the assumption that for volunteers, it was possible to call on people, who for various reasons were beyond the reach of the compulsory military service. Originally was envisioned only creating smaller units up to regimental level, but mainly battalions. The officers to lead these volunteer units were transferred from the standing army or found among the volunteers.
The structure of the volunteer units was based on the organization of the standing army, but the volunteers did not get machine gun companies nor technical companies.
In contrast to the line formations the reserve volunteer regiments were given numbers beginning with "200", which was to be added to the number of a line regiment, so the volunteer regiment was linked indirectly to same pedigree. Soon the initial organizational concepts were partially modified and 22 July 1920 appeared an order to set up a volunteer division, which was lead by Colonel Adam Koc. The larger volunteer units totalled 24 infantry regiments, including 9 full regiments and 15 regiments only partially formed, and used as a supplement to the regular units. Also some special forces were raised, among those the Women's Volunteer Legion (Ochotnicza Legia Kobiet).
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s2DwShdoa8
Through the voluntary enlistment, July - August 1920, known colloquially as the formation of the Volunteer Army, was contributed an increase of the ranks in the Polish Army by nearly 80.000 new soldiers.
The mobilization and organizational efforts, undertaken in 1918-1920, led to the forming of 84 infantry regiments, 6 Podhale rifle regiments, 5 reserve infantry regiments and 9 volunteer infantry regiments. A total of 104 infantry regiments were able to act on the front.

Types of small arms used in the various infantry divisions at the turn of 1920 -1921.


Source: hosting5803197.az.pl/wojna-polsko-bolszewicka/wojsko-polskie/piechota/

On Polish infantry regiments 1917-1921, with links, see:
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu%C5%82ki_piechoty_Wojska_Polskiego_II_RP

Further sources:
Ksiga Chway Piechoty, wydana przez Departament Piechoty M. S. Wojsk. Warsawa 1937-1939. Reprint by Bellona 1992.
Regimental histories are to be found either on the internet or found in the regimental zarys (small books on regimental history) on www.wbc.poznan.pl/publication/31545 , where they either can be read or downloaded in the format DejaVu. The Deja Vu reader can be downloaded for free.

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 THE STRUCTURE AND RE-STRUCTURING OF THE POLISH FORCES IN 1919
Sent: 05-06-2012 10:02
 
Cavalry
November 1918 Polish cavalry units began to appear spontaneously in the areas liberated from the Germans and Austrians and they enjoyed great popularity among the public, as cavalry is widely regarded as the national weapon of the Poles. Together with the war-experienced soldiers enlisting were many school children and students, of whom many did not have any military training. A number of units were raised by the call to arms from Polish nationalists in the area. In this way was formed fourteen provincial units of varying sizes. Enthusiasm allowed the volunteers to endure terrible living conditions, lack of supplies and equipment.
The organization of the regular cavalry regiments proceeded along two lines. Cavalry officers from the former Legions and the Polish Corps in Russia began to join. At the same time in the garrisons and centers of the former Austrian cavalry regiments started the of forming new regiments, relying on the resources in situ and the already excisting Polish squadrons.
Since the end of 1918 cavalry units were formed also in the Prussian held area, where the Wielkopolska Uprising took place. March 1919 in the former Russian and Austrian partitions were in various stages of forming 12 lancer regiments, 1 light horse regiment and the Tartar regiment (in total about 11.000 men). There were huge gaps in equipment. Saddles had only half of the men, one third did not have riding boots nor warm clothes, most wore various, often badly worn out uniforms of Austrian or Russian origin. Despite this, the cavalry, which mainly consisted of volunteers, was characterized by a high morale. As the fighting demanded cavalry, it was sent to the front line as individual squadrons and troops, which had reached combat readiness, but this system cribbled the regiments, as it always was the the best people and mounts, which were sent off.
In this period, the cavalry at the front primarily served as reconnaissance units and as liaison between neighboring infantry units. But as the fighting changed its nature from local small scale actions, it demanded larger units, able to perform more advanced cavalry actions, instead of just piecemeal feeding haphazard squadrons into battle.
Starting with cavalry brigades, it was soon necessary to form divisions and in the end even operational battle groups to counter the large Red cavalry formations of Budionny and Gaj Khan.

One of the first cavalry units of brigade size (brygada jazdy, later the term brygady kawalerii is used) was organized for the Vilnius Operation 16-21 April 1919 and commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Wladyslaw Belini-Pramowski. It had an interim organizational structure, new and adapted to the situation, it was disbanded 25 June.

Brygada Jazdy commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Wladyslaw Belini-Pramowski

1 puk. szwoleerw 3 squadrons (Major Orlicz-Dreszer.)
4 puk uanw - 2 squadrons - (2nd and 4th squadrons.)
7 puk uanw - 1 technical squadron.
11 puk uanwt - 2 squadrons (Major Zaruski with 1st and 3rd.)
two squadrons else being detached to the infantry (Kujawski Mounted Rifles (szw.? Szwoleerw) and the 5th squadron of the 7 puk uanw.)
Detachment (pluton) of Horse Artillery with two guns.
Proviant column.
In total: 53 officers, 789 sabres, 9 machine-guns and two pieces/guns.
phw.org.pl/historia-wojskowosci/artykuly-naukowe-i-publicystyka/historia-wojskowosci/projekty-autorskie/atlas-wojny-polsko-bolszewickiej/201-operacja-wileska-16-21-kwiecie-1919-r.html

1 Brygada Jazdy (1 BJ)
In the early days of fighting it was formed with
1 puk uanw (later 1 puk szwoleerw),
3 puk szwoleerw (later 7 puk uanw),
4 puk uanw (later 11 puk uanw ).

The regiments had their origins in 1 puk uanw legionw.
For a period also 17 uanw and 6 uanw were parts of 1 BJ.
Initially the brigade worked as a mixed operation group. Then it became part of the 2 DJ and from 14 August 1920 was part of 1 DJ.
From September 1920 it worked independently with VI Army.

Organization October 1920
command
5 puk uanw
6 puk uanw
11 puk uanw

2 Brigada Jazdy, (2BJ) a more prominent unit, was formed from March 18, 1919, as part of the Lithuanian-Belarus Rifle Division, part of Operational Group. Col. Wladyslaw Sikorski. It was raised in the Grodno area, home area of the Division.
3 puk uanw
4 puk uanw
10 puk uanw
2 dak (dywizjon artylerii konnej = horse artillery unit)

Organization October 1920
command
4 puk uanw
10 puk uanw
Since April 1920 part of the I Army and from August 1920s part the Operation Group Lower Vistula.

3 Brigada Jazdy (3BJ)
was set up on June 5, 1919, on the Galician Front, in the Ternopil region.
2 puk uanw
12 puk uanw (some sources quotes 5 puk uanw, instead of 12 puk uanw? pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/III_Brygada_Jazdy)
14 puk uanw
Squadron from 6 puk uanw
3 dak (1st and 2nd battery).

In 1920 for the Kiev expedition the brigade consisted of
2 puk uanw
5 puk uanw
12 puk uanw
3 dak.

Since mid-July 1920 it became part of 1 Cavalry Division.
August 13, 1920 it was disbanded, but restored October 1920 in Przemysl.

Organization October 1920
command
214 puk uanw (later becoming the 24 puk uanw.)
11 puk konnych strzelcw granicznych (mounted border rifles)

4 Brigada Jazdy (4BJ)
June 5, 1919, it was also decided to form the 4BJ, but its formation was delayed and first took place late June, when the Volyn Front and the Front in Galicia had been combined. Its combat strength in summer 1920 far exceeded that of a normal brigade and it was classified as an Operational Cavalry Group. It was composed of the brigades of Major Zygmunt Piasecki and Major Cyprian Bystrama.
It was composed of:
8 puk uanw
9 puk uanw
4 dak (one battery under Captain Michael Belina-Pramowski).

From 22 September to 8 October 1919 1 puk uanw was a part of the Brigade.
In October 1919 9 puk uanw left 4 BJ and joined 7 BJ.

July 29 - August 3, 1920
In the end of July 1920 and beginning of August 4BJ consisted of 1 and 2 puk uanw.
Between 9 and 15 August the brigade was composed of 3, 7 and 16 puk uanw and 2 dak.

Brigades A and B
August 26 an Operation Group was organized under Lieutenant-Colonel Nieniewski and 4 BJ split into:
Brigade "A" major Bystrama with 3 puk uanw, the combined puk uanw (formed from the march squadrons of 5, 8 and 10 puk uanw ) and 2 puk szwoleerw.
Brigade "B" Major Kazimierz Piasecki (7 and 16 puk uanw and a squadron under rotmistr Zapolski from the Cavalry Group of Major Jaworski.
October 8, 1920 the Group Nieniewski was dissolved and 4 BJ reformed with 3, 7 and 16 puk uanw.
In early December 1920 16 puk uanw was sent to Bydgosz and 4 BJ disbanded.

5 Brigada Jazdy (5 BJ)
was formed 3 July 1919 in the operational area of the Galician-Volyn Front and commanded by the French Colonel Colbert.

Organization
command
2 puk szwoleerw
3 puk uanw
8 puk uanw
5 dak

6 Brygada Jazdy (6 BJ)
The history of the brigade is not exactly clear. Yet, it is known it was set up July 27, 1920 after the reorganization of the cavalty at Zamosc:
1 puk uanw
9 puk uanw
14 puk uanw
2 dak (1st and 2nd battery) and 2nd battery from 6 dak.
Subordinated 1st cavalry division.

Organization October 1920
command
1 puk uanw
12 puk uanw
14 puk uanw

7 Brygada Jazdy (7 BJ)
was established in the first days of April 1920, under command of Colonel Jzef Rybak.
Originally it was I Brygada Jazdy Wielkopolski, part of the Si Zbrojnych Polskich (Polish Armed Forces, the former Polnisches Wehrmacht) in the earlier Prussian territory.
As a result of merging with the Wielkopolska Army, the brigade was renamed as the 8 brigade jazdy
Organization
Command
15 puk uanw (former 1 Puk Uanw Wielkopolskich)
16 puk uanw (former 2 Puk Uanw Wielkopolskich)
17 puk uanw (former 3 Puk Uanw Wielkopolskich)
18 puk uanw (former 4 Puk Uanw Wielkopolskich) ?
7 dak

8 Brygada Jazdy (8 BJ)
organized in the area of 5th army, General Wladyslaw Sikorski, in the Modlin region, from 22 July 1920.
Organization
2 puk uanw
108 puk uanw
115 puk uanw
8 dak
and a Tartar squadron.
8 BJ was subordinated 2 DJ, which was to oppose Gaj's 3rd Cavalry Corps.

9 Brygada Jazdy (9 BJ)
Formed in the first half of August 1920.
Organization
1 puk szwoleerw
210 puk szwoleerw
203 puk uanw
7 dak (1 battery)
The brigade became a part of 2 DJ and from September 1920 it worked with the 5th Army and then became part of different cavalry divisions and corps in Volhynia.

Brygada Jazdy Ochotniczej
In the end of July 1920, in same area as 9 BJ, was formed a large volunteer cavalry brigade with 3 regeiments and commanded by Major Felix Jaworski.
Organization:
Woyskiego Puku Jazdy Ochotniczej, (Wolyn Volunteer Cavalry Regiment)
Lubelskiego Puku Jazdy Ochotniczej, (Lublin Volunteer Cavalry Regiment)
Siedleckiego Puku Jazdy Ochotniczej. (Siedlce Volunteer Cavalry Regiment)

1 Dywizja Jazdy (1 DJ)
In 1920 the Polish Army had to form yet larger cavalry formations than of brigade size to counter the attacking Red cavalry armies. April 13, 1920 was formed the 1st Cavalry Division (1 DJ) by General Jan Romer. Its composition varied.
Originally it consisted of 4 BJ (8, 9 and 14 puk uanw with 1 and 2/4 dak) and 5 BJ (1 and 16 puk uanw and 2 puk szwoleerw).
The entire division took part in the Raid on Koziatyn of 2527 April 1920
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Koziatyn
From 4 May 1920 the 3 BJ became part of 1 DJ.

In mid-July 1920 the 1 DJ was reformed into a Cavalry Group commanded by General Sawicki. Organization:
command
division commander Colonel Julius Rommel
Chief of Staff Captain Alexander Pragowski
1 BJ - Colonel Guchowski
5 puk uanw
11 puk uanw
17 puk uanw
6 BJ Colonel Plisowski
1 puk uanw
12 puk uanw
14 puk uanw
7 BJ Colonel Brzezowski
2 puk szwoleerw
8 puk uanw

2 Dywizja Jazdy (2 DJ)
12 August 1920 a new cavalry division size was set up in the area of the 5th army.
Commanded by General Alexander Karnicki it operated as the Northern Cavalry Division, and from 8 September as the 2nd Cavalry Ddivision, commanded by Colonel Gustav Orlicz-Dreszera, and part of the Cavalry Corps of General Juliusz Rommel.
Dissolved 2 April 1921.
Organization
command Colonel Gustav Orlicz-Dreszer
8 BJ Lieutenant Colonel Stanisaw Grzmot-Skotnicki
2 puk uanw
108 puk uanw
115 puk uanw
1 dak
9 BJ Major Jan Glogowski
1 puk uanw
201 puk szwoleerw
203 ochotniczy puk uanw
8 dak

3 Dywizja Jazdy (3 DJ)
For a very short period existed a 3rd cavalry division with the Central Lithuanian Army commanded by General Lucjan Zeligowski. Established January 25, 1920 and dissolved 1st of March 1920.

Dywizja Jazdy Litwy rodkowej
13 Puk Uanw
211 Puk Uanw
23 Puk Uanw
10 Puk Uanw
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojsko_Litwy_%C5%9Arodkowej


General regimental organization

According to regulations 1919 a cavalry regiment should have:
command
4 squadrons formed two units,
HMG squadron,
technical squadron and other subunits.
Each regiment had a reserve squadron, where recruits and horses were trained and a school for non-commissioned officers.

In Marts 1920 a cavalry brigade according to regulations should have in war:
command,
staff platoon,
mounted military police platoon,
3 cavalry regiments,
horse artillery with two or three batteries,
mounted telegraph company,
platoon radiotelegraph,
six columns of rolling stock and many other sub-units.

In general the regimental strength strongly deviated from the intended numbers. Often the squadrons only had 50-60 sabres instead of its full strength of 150 sabers.
Two or three regiments formed a brigade.

At the height of war the Polish cavalry had 56 units:
3 light horse regiments (puki szwoleerw),
19 lancer regiments,
2 reserve lancer regiments,
6 volunteer lancer regiments,
1 combined lancer regiment,
the Tatar Regiment,
5 strzelcw konnych (regiments of mounted rifles),
9 regiments of border guard rifles,
7 samodzielnych dywizjonw - independent cavalry units,
2 samodzielne szwadrony independant squadrons,
a detachment commanded by Lieutenant Albrecht, operating with a slightly large squadron.

A very useful site to figure out the Polish cavalry regiments in the period is:
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu%C5%82ki_kawalerii_Wojska_Polskiego

T.S.
Active User


From: Copenhagen
Messages: 180

 THE STRUCTURE AND RE-STRUCTURING OF THE POLISH FORCES IN 1919
Sent: 24-06-2012 22:04
 
Artillery

The infantry and cavalry were the main weapons, but a great role was also played by the artillery.
Initially the artillery was of very improvised character. Accounts on how Napoleonic smooth-bores were used in a critical situation and how a horse artillery unit had to wrap the shells in paper to fit them to the guns at hand are just examples, but late 1918 - spring 1919 existed more than a dozen units on regimental level. All artillery units were formed on the ressources of weapons and equipment inherited from the German and Austro-Hungarian artillery in the Polish Kingdom or acquired from the Austro-Hungarian garrison artillery troops in Galicia, In all were inherited over 352 guns of 22 different models, of which only 25% were modern, and 88.999 shells. Poland itself had no industrial capacity to produce artillery nor ammunition for it. During the Wielkopolska uprising were in the former Prussian areas further taken 320 guns, of which only about 100 were modern.
The main further supplier of artillery equipment was France. Up to September 1919 were purchased 1.130 guns with 982.500 shells and in 1920 a further 1.490 guns with 10 million shells. In addition General Haller's army brought 268 guns into Poland. French artillery equipment and ammunition were of high quality. A quantity of ammunition and guns was purchased in Italy. Artillery shells were also imported from Hungary. Summer 1920, Poland received free from Great Britain 80 guns (84 mm M. 1903, 114 mm howitzers M.1910 and 152.4 mm howitzers) with 179.000 shells (if the English goods arrived, before the war had ended or were held up in the English ports by the dockers, seems rather unclear). Even anti-aircraft guns did the Poles acqurie, 8 French 75 mm guns, of which two were mounted on Dion-Bouton trucks for the defence of Warsaw 1920.
An important source of supply was the spoils of war.
1919-1920 were captured from the Red Army about 1.000 pieces of artillery and a considerable amount of ammunition. At Chernobyl were gained Russian 76.2 mm guns M.02, which were popular with the horse artillery. Several hundred thousand artillery shells were found in abandoned warehouses in the German eastern territories. Primarily were used the French Cannon 75 mm M.97 and the 105 mm M.13, the German 77 mm gun M. 16, the Russian three-inch guns and six-inch howitzers, the German 105 mm howitzer M.16 and the French 155 mm howitzer M.17. In use of was also Austrian and Italian equipment.
In 1919 the main problem was the huge variety of equipment, which hindered a rational ammunition supply and the making of training manuals. Only in 1920, after receiving the French deliveries, the batteries quickly were organized with same equipment, but still it was impossible to finish the organization before the signing of the armistice. The artillery also lacked adequate draft horses and communications equipment. In spring 1919 began forming of artillery brigades for each of the infantry divisions.
The largest artillery formation in the Polish Army was the brigade. Initially they were created on the order from the General Staff of January 22, 1919. It was envisaged that the composition of each brigade should be with 2 regiments of field artillery, 1 heavy artillery regiment and - according to the conditions 1 mountain artillery regiment. Creating such artillery formations went beyond the contemporary possibilities of the state and consequently the brigades had a varied and different organizational structure. In spring 1919, the Department for Organizing Mobilization in the Ministry of Military Affairs (Departament Mobilizacyjno-Organizacyjny MSWojsk). recognized the need to standardize the artillery and the issue was regulated on 29 April 1919.
The etat for a headquarter of an artillery brigade was set to be: Commander (General or Colonel), Adjutant (Captain or Lieutenant), Intelligence and Liaison Officer (Lieutenant or Second-Lieutenant), an Orderly Officer (Lieutenant or Second-Lieutenant), an assistant on weaponry, and a communications unit, a group of NCOs as messengers, a group of clerks and a transport service unit.
The reorganization of the artillery, launched in late April 1919, aimed to provide all artillery with French weapons and equipment, but this goal was only partially reached. At the end of the war many formations still had very varied weapons and equipment. From 9 May 1919 a brigade should have: 1 field artillery regiment with 3 batallions, each with 3 batteries of 4 guns (earlier was intended 6 guns pr. battery), 1 heavy artillery regiment (one battery with heavy guns and two batteries with heavy howitzers) together with sub-units like a telephone unit and a one for wire- and phonetapping, a balloon unit, 9 ammunition columns and artillery repair shops. To defend the batteries, each was given 2 heavy machine-guns. The second batallion of the heavy artillery regiments was not at the front, but was kept in the hinterland as reserve for the High Command.
On average a brigade had approximately 40 officers and 950 privates to handle the guns, communications and about 30 machine guns and 1,000 rifles. Each artillery brigade had a train column of about 230 wagons and 20 field kitchens.
Well-equipped regiments often sent individual batteries and artillery detachments to other formations, which were not able to organize and train within the stipulated period. This resulted in frequent changes of assignments and numbering.
According to regulations an artillery brigade should have 36 light and 12 heavy guns, but these plans for re-organization were never reached, before the war had ended. The number of guns were not achieved and most divisions had to be satisfied with the support from about 30 light and 10 heavy guns.
For the cavalry brigades horse artillery (dak - dywizjon artylerii konnej) was formed.
Spring 1920 there was nine dywizjons (the term dywizjon, also used in the Russian Army is difficult to translate into Western terms, as it really can mean a unit of almost any strength) of horse artillery with a total of 24 batteries. Each dak had 2-3 batteries equipped with captured Russian 76.2 mm caliber gun M. 02 manufactured by the Putilov works in St. Petersburg, hence the popular name "putiwki". These guns were, caused by their solid build, better suited for harsh service than the more popular, but slighter French guns.
Especially the artillery was hit by the demobilization in spring of 1920, which deprived it of a large number of its trained personnel.
Like in the infantry, the reform process took place simultaneously in the front areas and in the hinterland. At the front was begun creating five large artillery units (the I, II and III legion artillery brigades and IV and V artillery brigades), and in the hinterland areas further five brigades were set up. The process, against the overly optimistic predictions of the original plan, took time and only in the winter months of late 1919 and beginning of 1920 all infantry divisions were given their own artillery brigade.
During the retreat in the summer of 1920 were completely destroyed 7 batteries and about 30 more had to be withdrawn to the rear for reorganization and reequipping. With the Russian attack in 1920 a need emerged for further development of the artillery, and new volunteer formations, the 201, 202, 214 and 216 volunteer reserve batteries, having from 3 to 9 batteries, were then created together with the 14 dak (horse artillery), which was mainly served by students from the Jagiellonian University. All were hastily equipped mainly with guns previously having been withdrawn from the service. In Warsaw summer 1920 started the forming of the heaviest artillery regiment with five batteries of Italian 149 mm guns and 210mm howitzers.
In October 1920, the brigades had 254 batteries, with 921 field guns, 37 light infantry guns and 170 heavy guns. During the expansion of the army, in the second half of 1920, the artillery was increased to 22 artillery brigades with a total of 20 heavy artillery regiments and two artillery battalions (one field and one heavy), some horse artillery batallions/detachments and a dozen of different smaller units, mostly excisting only for a short period.




Pieces in the Polish Artillery 1-10-1920. Source: hosting5803197.az.pl/wojna-polsko-bolszewicka/wojsko-polskie/artyleria/

Sources:
Wojsko Polskie w latach 1918 1921, Lech Wyszczelski.
Leksykon wojny Polsko bolszewickiej 1919 1920, Janusz Odziemkowski
Zarys dziejw wojskowoci polskiej (1864-1939), Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, Redaktor Piotr Stawecki, Warsawa 1990.
Ksiga Jazdy Polskiej, Warszawa 1936.

On the internet can be found a lot of details, for instance:
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artyleria_II_RP
hosting5803197.az.pl/wojna-polsko-bolszewicka/wojsko-polskie/artyleria/
wn.com/canon_de_75_mod%C3%A8le_1897
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksander_Roman_Boro%C5%84ski

On
pygmy-wars.50megs.com/history/eyewitnesses/eyewitnesses.html
can be found a contemporary account a US officer of his time during the Polish-Soviet war. Includes both technical artillery details and general observations about the war. Look for: Artillery on the Polish-Bolshevik Front, 1919-1920

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