Friday, 19 February 2016

Flames of War: Polish State Police (Policja Panstwowa) Pt2

So... how were they organised and what heat did the Polish State Police pack?

Well, surprise surprise there are no manufacturers out there who make PSP miniatures let alone in 15mm so it was back to the drawing board to see what I could pull together.

Essentially they had very little armaments other than pistols and rifles. The occasional heavy machine gun dotted about here and there but in such small numbers that they could be discounted.

Having taken a close look at their uniforms, paying particular attention to the headwear, cut of the jack, belts and boots they had a fairly close approximation to Polish cavalry uniforms so long as you were prepared to do a head swap... which of course I was!

I opted to use Forged in Battles dismounted Polish cavalry on Czapkas (a type of cap) and purchased a load of Spanish Civil War Assault Guard heads from Peter Pig to do some head swaps.

I managed to track down some pretty accurate uniform guides and away we went!

 So the caps had to be round with pretty standard pomp and trim for the lower ranks. The Spanish Civil War Assault Guard caps was the closest approximation I could find which is why I opted for them.

At the scale of 15mm the fine details of the collar tabs becomes impractical but this guide gave me the general colouration that I needed to be trying to achieve.

 This panel was probably the best find of any of my research as, when combined with photographic documentation (as seen on the last post) we can see that the uniform is a simple one and one which is close to the cut of a cavalry uniform.

The only thing I had to do to the miniatures other than the actual head swaps was clip off the cavalry gas mask containers and file down the cut area to blend in the contours of the figures.

Because of the widely varying numbers of officers in different stations across Poland I opted to go for an average section size of 10 men and to have a full platoon of 3 sections and a headquarters element. Simple but effective!

The last thing that needed to be considered was the heavy support options that were known to be knocking around with the State Police. This was one of those happy wargaming finds that just adds to a hobby in my opinion.

When Poland regained its independence in 1919 there were a LOT of armoured cars in military service... and they were crap! In 1920 new shipments of Peugeot armoured cars was arriving, too late for battlefield use against the USSR but still modern enough to be actively used at the time of Pilsudski's Coup. By 1939 they were just beyond crap... but not so far beyond the pale that the State Police couldn't use them to beat up on German 5th Columnists, Ukrainian nationalists or Communists agitators.... the army passed all of its Peugeot armoured cars over to the State Police by 1935.

By happy coincidence I had seen that QRF miniatures had one of these bad boys  in its WW1 French range and decided that it was too good an opportunity to pass up on. Another funky little troop option I could shoehorn into my Polish army.

The main problem with the QRF miniature however is the weapon. The shield needs some serious realigning done to it and you pretty much have to make your own weapons. I had quite a few spare Soviet heavy machine guns from my Syrian AA unit thatI had cannibalised for my Polish AA platoon and so I used two of these HMGs for two of the cars and essentially built my own Puteaux 37mm for the last car. Simple but passable!

On this PIBWL site Michel Derela says how three of these cars was used in the State Polices actions against German 5th Columnists who had occupied one of the Silesian Mines on 1st September and assisted in successfully regaining control of it, although losing one car in the process.

...and there ladies and gents is a complete Polish State Police force of two platoons for a Flames of War Polish army!

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