Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 32

What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

Article about: by A.J. Zawadzki Tom - here's the picture you linked to - captioned "1st Armoured Division in combat - Belgium". I enourage all members to post the image (in addition to posting th

  1. #11

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Name:  Polish soldier in Belgium with P38 or what.jpg
Views: 1152
Size:  20.5 KB
    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Tom - here's the picture you linked to - captioned "1st Armoured Division in combat - Belgium".

    I enourage all members to post the image (in addition to posting the link) to create a permanent record here. Links typically do not remain active indefinitely.

    Thanks for your post - great pic!

    Regards,
    Tony
    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?
    Last edited by dastier; 01-30-2012 at 09:03 AM.

  2. #12

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Surprisingly (or maybe not), Vis pistols were supposedly a favoured sidearm of the exile Poles. One could imagine that they would be sought after by the Poles for obvious reasons.

    Here is a photo of a group of officer's of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in newly liberated Holland. Visible in the photograph is a Vis pistol in a custom modified holster with magazine pockets added. What's unknown is if this is a captured Vis, pre-war or occupation production.

    Name:  Vis 1PAD.jpg
Views: 1286
Size:  33.9 KB

    (Photo from "Strzal" magazine Nr 8 Aug 2004)

    Regards,
    Tony
    Possibly the shorter 2nd version of the 'tanker' holster for the Enfield Mk 2, modified with pouches for two magazines?
    Last edited by dastier; 01-30-2012 at 08:42 AM.

  3. #13

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Name:  Poles with Enfield Mk 2.jpg
Views: 1336
Size:  37.9 KB

    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 07:28 AM.

  4. #14

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    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.

    Name:  Police Military Police Breda with holster.jpg
Views: 1645
Size:  24.1 KB

    And here are Polish soldiers reloading ammo into a Sherman. Looks to be another Enfield Mk 2 in a 'tanker' holster.

    Name:  Polish soldier loading ammo into Sherman tank holster for Enfield.jpg
Views: 1673
Size:  25.0 KB

  5. #15

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Mike - excerpts from "Wojsko Polskie 1939-45 - Barwa i Bron" (ISBN 83-223-2550-9)

    - French campaign pistols
    - 1st Corps pistols - officer issue
    - 1st Arm. Div. 2nd Arm. Reg't officer
    - 1st Arm. Div. 8th Rifles Bat.
    - holster / ammo pouch - officer

    Regards,
    Tony
    This is most interesting as this is the first mention I have read of the sidearms used by the Poles in France. The MAS makes sense but the STAR - isn't that Spanish?

    Name:  PSZ sidearm.jpg
Views: 1059
Size:  32.0 KB

    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)

    Name:  PSZ side arm a.jpg
Views: 1126
Size:  24.6 KB

    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.

    Name:  Colt 1911 and P37 holster RAMC officer.jpg
Views: 2779
Size:  16.1 KB

    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 09:01 AM.

  6. #16

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    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:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5 pocket Thompson mag pouch.jpg 
Views:	1208 
Size:	190.2 KB 
ID:	299766

    Or did they just stuff them into Bren mag pouches?

  7. #17

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Quote by dastier View Post
    This is most interesting as this is the first mention I have read of the sidearms used by the Poles in France. The MAS makes sense but the STAR - isn't that Spanish?
    Yes it is Spanish

    Quote by dastier View Post
    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.
    The diagram shows the Case, Pistol, RAC, Mk I, which was actually modified (rather than replaced), to the shorter version. This is actually the second version, the original one didn't have the ammo loops or cleaning rod holder on the front. The short version was also manufactured from 1943 and was known as the Case, Pistol, RAC, Mk II. Neither were technically '1937 Pattern' items.

    Quote by dastier View Post
    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.
    All officers (British, Canadian or Polish) paid for everything themselves. They were given an initial clothing allowance, but were financially responsible for all their clothing and equipment. This could be bought through the army on repayment, or purchased privately, and this included sidearms. In peacetime, regiments would make sure officers were equipped uniformly, but in wartime standards were a lot more flexible.

    Quote by dastier View Post
    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.
    The 1937 Patt Pistol Case was definitely designed with the Enfield No 2 in mind, as that was the standard pistol intended to be used by the army, but it's pretty generic. You would even get a Webley VI in there reasonably easily. What I mean is, the case isn't specific to one pistol, it's specific to the 1937 Web Equipment. The only gun that had a specific pistol case (I hate the term 'holster') was the Canadian Inglis Hi-Power, which came with its own specially designed case, which was, in fact, officially known as a 'holster'.

    Rob

  8. #18

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Hi guys,

    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?
    Dastier, have a look on that gun again, lad. It has clearly visible P.38 features.

    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.
    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.

    Quote by Battery Command Post View Post
    All officers (British, Canadian or Polish) paid for everything themselves. They were given an initial clothing allowance, but were financially responsible for all their clothing and equipment. This could be bought through the army on repayment, or purchased privately, and this included sidearms. In peacetime, regiments would make sure officers were equipped uniformly, but in wartime standards were a lot more flexible.



    The 1937 Patt Pistol Case was definitely designed with the Enfield No 2 in mind, as that was the standard pistol intended to be used by the army, but it's pretty generic. You would even get a Webley VI in there reasonably easily. What I mean is, the case isn't specific to one pistol, it's specific to the 1937 Web Equipment. The only gun that had a specific pistol case (I hate the term 'holster') was the Canadian Inglis Hi-Power, which came with its own specially designed case, which was, in fact, officially known as a 'holster'.
    Firstly, Rob, I've got the same question to you, namely, do you know any case of private sidearm purchase made by a Polish Forces officer or is this just your theory?
    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.

    Regards,
    Tom

  9. #19

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    Quote by dastier View Post
    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.
    Mike, Sorry, no other reference to the M1911 that I've found in the book. That NAC photo site linked earlier is worth digging through.

    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

  10. #20

    Default Re: What sidearms used officially and unofficially by the Polish 1st Armoured Division?

    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

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Polish First Armoured Div Battledress blouse

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    12-13-2016, 07:35 AM
  2. Polish 1st Armoured Division Patch Cotton - Genuine..??

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    06-03-2016, 01:06 PM
  3. Polish 1st Armoured Division Battledress Jacket

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    01-05-2012, 09:03 PM
  4. 1st Polish Armoured Division Vehicle Flag - ?

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    06-18-2011, 10:56 PM
  5. Cromwell tank in 2nd Polish Armoured Brigade?

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    10-06-2010, 03:21 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •