Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Flames of War: Polish Armoured Cars wz.28 and wz.34

 Following the Polish War of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1921 Marshall Pilsudski turned Poland into an armed camp in an effort to proof the born again country from the aggressive policies of the Soviet Union who were initially seen as the prime aggressor and of Nazi Germany.

The military expenditure of Poland through the 20's and early 30's allowed Poland's military to keep pace with its enemies but following Hitlers rise to supreme power and the diametrically opposing positioning of the ideologies of Socialism and National Socialism Poland struggled to maintain pace.

Within 5 years, and subjected to a lot of internal resistance to development and progression Poland was left far behind both of its hostile neighbours.

One area that Poland did attempt to develop was in the area of armoured cars. Following World War 1 a lot of Peugeot armoured cars were retained although it was recognised that these were really only suitable for the State Police forces (ostensibly a paramilitary police force).

The military sought to develop other designs and one of the first internally developed designs was the wz.28 which was developed from a Citroen-Kegresse P14 half track armoured car. The performance of these vehicles was woefully inadequate and by 1939 only 3 had been retained in service with their part being superseded by the wz.29 and the proliferate wz.34

wz.28 Platoon Commanders Armoured Car

wz.28 Armoured Car Platoon

There are no 15mm models of the wz.28 available anywhere and as such these had to be scratch built. The majority of the wz.34 armoured cars however were the original chassis of wz.28's and as such I only really needed to modify these. The spare wheels and ammo crates were filed off and the body streamlined and made ready for the wheel and track assemblies.

The tracks were made of a composite of pieces. A pair of QRF Citroen-Kegresse tracks were taken with all of the suspension arrangements cut off of them. The forward idler bogey was filled with Green Stuff, the tracks were trimmed and rolled together to make the track arrangement shorter and new suspension arrangements built out of plastic card and inserted into the tracks. The final units are a little larger than they should be but I deemed them good enough to use so happy days!

The forward wheels were taken from spare wz.36 anti tank guns with a single brass rod between the two and then mounted on the front of the car body.

Was it worth it?

Totally! I believe these may be the only 1/100 versions of these anywhere in the world...

The armoured car that was most prolific in the Polish army of 1939 was the wz.34. Many of them had been upgraded from the old wz.28 Half Track armoured cars and despite the fact that they were supposed to be a leap forwards from the wz.29's they did not in fact perform as well.

Weakly armoured with totally inoffensive armament they were, nonetheless,when used intelligently, capable of halting the advance of hostile forces for long enough to bring up some big hitters!

wz.34 Armoured Car Platoon

wz.34 Armoured Car armed with a Hotchkiss HMG

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