Friday, 19 February 2016

Flames of War: Polish Infantry Gun Platoons

 If there was one area, as I believe I have said before, that the disparity in numbers between Poland and her aggressive neighbours wasn't so acute it was in the area of artillery.

Embedded within the regimental organisations of the Polish piechoty were artillery pieces that were tasked with staying with the infantry and providing close support.

Whilst the majority of Polish artillery batteries at the lighter end of the scale were equipped with the world famous French Soixante-quinze (the 75mm armata wz.1897) the infantry (and some of the cavalry batteries) were equipped with a different piece which did the same job.

Following the conclusion of the Polish War of Independence against the USSR in 1921 there were plenty of Russian manufactured 76.2mm armata wz.1902/26 Putilov field guns. There were in fact so many of them, around 460 in fact, that they were nicknamed 'Orthodox'.

In the fullness of time these pieces would all be re-chambered to take standard Polish 75mm munitions and handed out to the infantry where they were drawn by standard horse drawn limbers.

A full Infantry Gun platoon with Horse Limbers, Command Team and Spotter

A closer look at one of the Putilovs with its gun crew and horse limber.
As with any army that had a habit of cobbling things together in times of need there are of course some interesting organisational options with Polish Infantry Gun platoons.

If you cast your mind back to the Polish Naval Infantry that I put together, it is possible to come across evidence of the Polish Naval Rifle brigades at Gdansk being provided with Putilovs as their indigenous artillery support... and not only that but they were also provided with a mixture of agricultural tractors and some Citroen-Kegresse Artillery Tractors that had been taken to Poland for testing purposes.

This was great for me as it meant I had yet another 'funny little option' with which to kit out my Poles!

A full Gdansk Naval Rifles Infantry Gun Platoon with Putilovs, CK P19 Tractors, Command Team and Spotter.

A closer look at one of the guns and its tractor

A slightly different view of the Infantry Gun Platoon
The figures used for these platoons is a wide range of manufacturers offerings.

The Infantry Gun gun crews were Battlefront (hence them looking like Marshmallow men), the Naval Infantry Gun crews were Peter Pigs WW1 Russian Naval Artillery crews. All four of the Putliovs were also Peter Pig. The Horse Drawn Limbers were Quality Castings. These are far and away the best of the limbers out there for the quality of the casting that I have so far found... oh yeah, and a far more convincing design of limber itself. The Citroen-Kegresse P19 Artillery Tractors are QRF miniatures offerings and require a fair amount of work to bring up to spec.... they aren't so bad once the paint is on though. Finally the Naval Gun Platoon Command Team and Spotter are all Battlefront Soviet Black Death miniatures with one Peter Pig officer included.

So... there you have it! MORE GUNS!!!!

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