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Polish Hat Eagles

Article about: In my opinion this particular cap eagle was made by G.J. Garratt Toronto. Very unique, hard to find.

  1. #1911

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    Artur, in your post #1909 can you try re-attaching the second page of that French language document?

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  2. #1912

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    Done
    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Artur, in your post #1909 can you try re-attaching the second page of that French language document?

    Regards,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Polish Hat Eagles   Polish Hat Eagles  


  3. #1913

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    Thanks Artur. I have asked our good friend Ze-Pole to give us a hand with the content of this document.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  4. #1914

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    Hello,
    My English is not really good, and I hope my translation will be OK for you for this document about the Free Polish Air Forces in France in 1940.

    2) Clothing
    The polish pilots authorized to serve will have to be dressed like following :
    a) Officers
    The officers will be dressed with the Polish uniforms, awaiting the making of French “sheet” (I don’t know the precise English word) used in French army. These Polish officers will get a French uniform according to the conditions enacted by the Military Personnel Direction. These officers will wear the Polish cap. The polish badge will be worn on right side of the uniform.
    Plater, as soon as the sheet will be made, the officers will get a Polish uniform according to the conditions enacted by the Military Personnel Direction.
    b) under-officers and troopers
    The non-officers will wear tentatively a French air army uniform on which, on right, and on the cap or beret, there will be the polish iron badge used in Polish air army.
    In the same time, the Military Personnel Direction will have French uniforms made, which will take the place of the Polish uniforms as and when deliveries.
    c) The badges
    The Polish badges will be ordered by the Military Personnel Direction.
    Breast badge : 6 cm high x 4 cm 8 wide.
    Beret badge : reduced to third.

    Hope that will be interesting for you.
    ZP

  5. #1915

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    Fellows

    Some useful materials re PAF Eagles - a) French period and b) drawing placing uk version in time context.
    Archives of Sikorski's
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Polish Hat Eagles  
    Attached Images Attached Images Polish Hat Eagles 

  6. #1916

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    And!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Polish Hat Eagles  

  7. #1917

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    And!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Polish Hat Eagles  

  8. #1918
    ?

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    Quote by ze-pole View Post
    Hello,
    My English is not really good, and I hope my translation will be OK for you for this document about the Free Polish Air Forces in France in 1940.

    2) Clothing
    The polish pilots authorized to serve will have to be dressed like following :
    a) Officers
    The officers will be dressed with the Polish uniforms, awaiting the making of French “sheet” (I don’t know the precise English word) used in French army. These Polish officers will get a French uniform according to the conditions enacted by the Military Personnel Direction. These officers will wear the Polish cap. The polish badge will be worn on right side of the uniform.
    Plater, as soon as the sheet will be made, the officers will get a Polish uniform according to the conditions enacted by the Military Personnel Direction.
    b) under-officers and troopers
    The non-officers will wear tentatively a French air army uniform on which, on right, and on the cap or beret, there will be the polish iron badge used in Polish air army.
    In the same time, the Military Personnel Direction will have French uniforms made, which will take the place of the Polish uniforms as and when deliveries.
    c) The badges
    The Polish badges will be ordered by the Military Personnel Direction.
    Breast badge : 6 cm high x 4 cm 8 wide.
    Beret badge : reduced to third.

    Hope that will be interesting for you.
    ZP
    Basically it says Polish airmen will be wearing Polish uniforms. As vast majority of Polish pilots had to disguise themselves as civilians during the evacuation from Hungary and Romanian camps, they were issued French Armee de l'Air uniforms at first (until new Polish Air Force uniforms were made). The new uniforms were produced from the same navy blue material which French Armee de l'Air used and were delivered before Jan 5, 1940. OR personnel used French Air Force OR uniforms untill the end of campaign (as far as I know). Pilot wings were worn on the left side of the uniform, not on the right side, exactly same as pre-war. It could be some early plan to wear it on the right side to follow French Air Force rules, but later changed or ignored. Officer's cap were also made basically by modyfing French pattern cap. There were two types of eagles for officers cap - bullion made by few producers in Paris and Alavoine Air Force eagle badge. There was separate type for OR beret badge - same pattern as Alavoine but reduced to 2/3 in size.

    Below you can see a PAF French-made officer's cap with a PAF Alavoine eagle (plus a nice Mle 36 pilot jacket which belonged to the one of the initial members of the 303 Sqd). Unfortunately I do not have the French-made PAF uniform (and never seen one) as well as OR Alavoine (small) cap badge.



    Polish Hat EaglesPolish Hat Eagles

  9. #1919
    ?

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    Speaking of Polish Armed Forces in France... here's another of my long and boring posts - the M26 helmet eagles.

    Every now and then I come across a French M26 helmet with some kind of more or less original eagle attached, that multiplies the helmet's price by 10. Now the question is are any of those originals? Here are my thoughts and I would be thrilled to know your's, my dear fellow collectors.

    So first question - how many of those helmets really survived?

    First lets clarify who actually worn eagle badges on M26 helmets. All tphoto evidence I've seen so far points towards the officers and representative companies only. NCO's and Other Ranks just painted their eagles straight on the helmet with whatever paint was available. That is probably because eagle badges were scarce and expensive. Also, Polish Armed Forces in France in 60% consisted of Polish immigrant volunteers who basically did not develop a custom of wearing eagles at all. There was a plan to mass-produce the round tin eagle helmet badges, analogical to the French M26 helmet badges. The production started in Paris but very small amounts were produced before the fall of France and were never distributed to the Polish soldiers.

    That filters out 83% of all helmets used by Polish troops in France.

    So how many of those eagle-badged helmets survived? Let's quickly review what happened to the Polish divisions in the course of the French campaign:

    1st Grenadiers Division - destroyed, losses at 32%. Officer's count 580, minus 185 fallen, leaves 395 eagle-badged helmets survived. Escaped to Southern France (in civilian disguise - helmets discarded), Switzerland (internment law - helmets discarded), Great Britain (naval evacuation - with helmets!). That leaves approx 130 helmets that survived and been later used in Great Britain.
    2nd Rifle Division - internment in Switzerland, officer's count 449. All helmets discarded with other combat equipment, later handed over to the Germans by Swiss government. Eagle-badged helmets that survived - close to 0.
    Polish Independent Highland Brigade - destroyed. Officer's count 182. Survivors escaped to Great Britain via Spain (in civilian disguise - helmets discarded) or remained in France as resistance. That leaves approx 90 helmets that survived and been later used by partisants in France.

    Total eagle-badged helmets survived = 220 pieces.

    So how to spot the original? Considering above estimations original eagle-badged French helmets are beyond rare. The real survivor will basically always feature a genuine wz.39 Alavoine or a so-called Paris type eagle (contrary to all sort of the original and fake wz.19, round tin badges, 2DSP eagles and other). Below cases of such a fantasy creations:

    Polish Hat Eagles

    For comparison a real example from my collection. It belonged to the mjr. Jan Nowaczynski of the 2nd Rifle Division. It was made a gift to the Swiss commander of the internment camp, before the division disarmament. It was kept by the Swiss officer's family and that's how it survived to the present day. After a very close examination you can see inscriptions on the amazon shield saying in French "En souvenir du Major de Brigade Novatschynsky". Note the interesting original mounting method with use of a safety-pin and some twine attached to piece of tin.

    Polish Hat EaglesPolish Hat EaglesPolish Hat EaglesPolish Hat Eagles

  10. #1920

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    Great Post. Thanks. Especially putting the numbers of surviving Helmets in context. In past 15 years there have been scores of helmets on eBay and all were of the FAKE kind. Yet these FAKES sold very well.
    NIE ZAPOMNIJMY O KRESACH.

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