Last edited by dastier; 01-30-2012 at 08:03 AM.
I agree that this appears to be an Enfield Mk 2 in a short 'tanker' holster. The Enfield was the primary issue sidearm for the Brits and the Poles.
Last edited by dastier; 01-30-2012 at 06:28 AM.
Here's a few more pics from the NAC site showing a Polish MP directing traffic armed with presumably an Enfield Mk 2 in the issue holster.
And here are Polish soldiers reloading ammo into a Sherman. Looks to be another Enfield Mk 2 in a 'tanker' holster.
Also the second diagram set shows the "Pistol Case R.A.C." for the Enfield Mk 2 but the 'tanker' version is the initial long one which was later replaced. (reference: www.canadiansoldiers.com - towards the bottom of the page)
Another interesting tidbit from this site is confirmation that Canadian officers were allowed to make private purchases of sidearms. Most likely this applied to British and Polish officers as well. We know that in the prewar Polish Army, officers were allowed to purchase private pistols.
Here is a picture of a Colt 1911A1 used in British service by an officer of the R.A.M.C. Note the holster is for the Enfield Mk 2.
Tony, is there any more elaboration on the use of the M1911 by Polish soldiers in "Wojsko Polskie 1939-45 - Barwa i Bron"? My father said he carried a .45 pistol as well as his Tommy gun. I haven't been able to find confirmation of this being done but I don't doubt it happened. Any photo evidence? Thanks.
Last edited by dastier; 01-30-2012 at 08:01 AM.
And although this is a bit off topic but does anyone know how the Poles (or Brits, Canadians, etc) carried their spare Thompson SMG magazines? Did they use the magazine pouch for the Sten (is there one?) or did they acquire the U.S. Army Thompson mag pouch as shown:
Or did they just stuff them into Bren mag pouches?
Dastier, have a look on that gun again, lad. It has clearly visible P.38 features.Hmmm... at first blush I thought the soldier might be holding a captured 9mm P.38 but after Tony's last post I'm wondering if this is a 7.65mm STAR?
I'm a bit amazed on the way you assume the habit of private sidearm purchase applied to the PSZ officers. Their wartime situation was much different from their pre-war years as well as from their Canadian friends' situation, so I think this one-size-fits-all assumption doesen't work like that... If you know any case of such a private purchase I'd be happy to hear about it from you.Another interesting tidbit from this site is confirmation that Canadian officers were allowed to make private purchases of sidearms. Most likely this applied to British and Polish officers as well. We know that in the prewar Polish Army, officers were allowed to purchase private pistols.
Secondly I disagree with you on the subject of the 1937 pattern holster "generic" idea, as I've seen a few holsters of this pattern made to fit nothing but a revolver due to its narrow barrel securing part which is too tight to put a pistol slide into it. This holster part's shaped just like the one in the P'37 Web Holster for Small-Frame Revolver rather than the barrel holster part in the P'37 Web "Tanker" Holster. Though similar revolver holsters were AFAIK issued mainly to the RAF, after a glimpse, I'd say the MP from the pic has got one himself, so dastier's assumption on him having a No2 revolver in this case might be quite accurate.
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
Thanks Tony. I'll look through the NAC site when I have the time. I also want to look through the photos at the Imperial War Museum site.
Tom your right, I don't really know if the Polish officers purchased private sidearms as did the Canadians or Brits. In fact I don't have any documentation to say that the British officers were allowed to purchase private sidearms. I do know from the photo I posted that one British officer had a Colt M1911A1. How did he obtain it? Could have one it in a crap game for all I know. Can't even be sure he was armed with it in combat. As for the Canadians, this optional practice was confirmed at the web site I gave.
Perhaps someone with absolute certainty on Polish officers in the PSZ purchasing private sidearms will post. Until them shall we assume that any sidearm other than a Webley or Enfield is unofficial?
But that is the point of the thread - to find out what sidearms both officially and unofficially were used by the Poles while training in the U.K. and later in combat. My prior knowledge indicated that the Poles were armed in training and during combat with the issue Webley in .455 and the Enfield Mk 2 in .38/200. From my conversation with my father, he said he had a .45 - Colt, Remington Rand, Savage - who knows? I'm sure it only mattered to him that it killed Nazis. Effectively! Perhaps he wanted the same caliber in his sidearm as for his main weapon - a Thompson SMG. But I have never seen any documentation about the 1911 in Polish use until Tony posted from "Wojsko Polskie 1939-45 - Barwa i Bron". Unfortunately the caption for the drawing is the only mention of the M1911 in the book.
But from the photos posted we at least have two more sidearms in use by Poles - the Vis 35 and a P.38 (I said I was wondering if it could be a STAR, I thought P.38 from my first impression and if I had to go with one over the other - P.38 would be my choice). Tony indicated that he didn't know if the Vis 35 was prewar, captured or wartime production, and I think its safe to assume that P.38s are captured. And I learned that the Poles used the MAS and the STAR in France.
So if anyone has more info or photos to post, please do. Anymore knowledge about the Polish Army in the West is welcome.
And if anyone is interested in a discussion about private purchase sidearms in the Polish Army of the 2nd Republic: Can you identify these holsters used by prewar Polish Officers