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[Sticky] Uniforms of the LWP (Polish People's Army)

 
(@wladek)
Famed Member

Though not simply undertaken to annoy us in the future, the tenuous political situation regarding the formation of a Polish army under Soviet command makes the transition from 'Soviet' to 'Polish' slightly more involved then, say, 'British' to 'Polish'. the Polish soldiers fought willingly alongside the French and British, and there was no issue with issuing them said nations uniform with little more then a national badge and something saying Poland.
though many who fought in the LWP would likewise have had little problem wearing a standard Soviet uniform - it being preferable to the gulag - the Soviets also had an agenda, and a reputation they needed to in some way claw back.
Back in 1939 Poland was occupied by 2 countries - the Germans and the soviets, in many if not most Polish eyes the soviets were still 'the enemy'. the Soviets had now to paint themselves as liberators, and their Poles as allies, not subjects. One of the ways this was accomplished was by retaining elements of the Polish Uniforms from before the war in the uniforms they were wearing under soviet command. They possessed a certain amount of these uniforms, and began to make a tunic that was very similar to the one from 1939. Although the uniforms worn by the Poles were mixed - they were never a priority of supply - the wearing of national 'symbols' was very popular.

So, what were the distinctions found on the Polish soldiers?

1. The Rogatywka
The square topped hat unique tot he Polish Army was adopted en-mass by the LWP. It was also worn in combat more regularly then a soft hat usually is. It was identical to the one from 1939, excepting the badge - more on the badge will be mentioned later.

Some soldiers, however, wore the pilotka - substituting the star, for an eagle. this was either affixed to the front - where the star would have been - or else on the side, over the left eye.

2. The Tunic
By far the most popular tunic was either the original 1939 tunics, or the Soviet produced one modeled after it - closed collared 4 pocket tunic in either wool or cotton. The main distinction between this and the 1939 tunic was the buttons - more on the buttons later. Aside from this tunic Polish soldiers also wore the padded cold weather suit, and the standard soviet uniform.

3. Eagles and Badges
The soviets main alteration to the uniforms of the Polish army was the eagle - the national symbol of Poland - present as a primary badge on a hat, and on a uniforms buttons. the Soviets chose to use the 'Piast Eagle' (the Eagel on the crest of the Piast dynasty, old kings of Poland, the founder of whom according to legend was a simple farmer) as it symbolised the working man. The main effect was that they removed the crown that is otherwise present on the eagle.
The soviet Eagle symbolised both the working man origins of Poland, and the removal of its sovereignty. this eagle was used on all Polish badges and buttons.
Piast Eagle

Regular 'exile' Eagle

many more photos can be found here:
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... -War-II%29

Next we will look at how these distinctions can be implemented, where such items can be gotten from, and what is the 'minimum' this event will expect of players in making their Ruskies into Polskies.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/02/2013 12:24 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

Here are two pictures showing possibilities of creating the LWP look.

The first shows a regular Russian uniform, with a standard 1939 Rogatywka as head-wear
-- attachment is not available --
The second picture shows the addition of a 1939 Tunic, and the attaching of a Standard Polish eagle (From SoF) to a pilotka.
-- attachment is not available --

So what do we require?
All that we require of you is that you do 'something' to make your uniform Polish, rather than Russian. The simplest thing that can be done, if you already have Russian kit, is to replace a red star on a pilotka with a readily available polish eagle.

What are the specific things we can do then?
Wear a wz.36 Tunic
Wear a Wz.37 Rogatywka
Replace any star badge on hats with a Polish Eagle
Wear a helmet, with a white painted eagle on the front
Wear a Wz.36/43 Tunic (the soviet made copy of the Wz.36)

Do you require the 'Piast' eagle mentioned above?
No we do not. Although we are happy for people to have this eagle, the limited use of it means we are not requiring it. They do come up on ebay over here, but they are also sold by 'Armiam' here: http://armiam.com/lwp.html

What is 'most correct'?
The most correct uniform would be the specific LWP Wz.36/43 tunic (again available form Armiam: http://armiam.com/lwp.html ), with wz.37 Rogatywka, a Piast (Kurica ) eagle and standard Russian Breeches and Boots/leggings.

Would you prefer us all to be correct?
actually, no. The 'most correct' is 'most correct' in what one could call a 're-enactor logic process'. If you wanted the LWP to be distinct: different to the Poles in the West; Poles in 1939; the Soviets, then this is what you would want to wear. However even a cursory glance at photos from the time show that not even the majority were dressed like this.
Given that this is likely our only 'excursion' to the LWP, and that in future Polish games will be almost uniquely set in 1939, the uniforms which we prefer for this event is the Wz.37 Rogatywka, and the Wz.36 Tunic - because this is all you 'need' to play as a Pole in 1939 as well.
Do remember the word prefer means what it means, you are not a 'second class player' if you choose to go for the easier options - they are absolutely totally expectable. This 'preferred option' is there for those who choose to go for it.

Hang on. Is this just a trick to get us to be 1939 Poles?
No. Honest. The reason we left the Eastern Front until last (after Cassino, Mace and Eagles) was because it always was the best transition to 1939. We were always going to tell the story of 1939, and this way allows those interested to get ready for 1939 in 'instalments' - whilst still providing an option for those who just wish to 'use their Soviet kit', with minimal additions/alterations.

Go on then, where do I get this Polish stuff?
Hold your horses, we will provide you with all the info you need in short order. I assure you.

Oh yeah, I don't have/want Russian kit. Can I l play too?
Yes, you do not need Russian kit to play, but you would need the polish items. The only 'needed' Russian items are the breeches and jackboots/long puttees (either are perfectly fine). yYu can substitute any khaki trousers (such as battledress trousers, or US Mustards) for the breeches and that will be absolutely fine.-- attachment is not available --

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Topic starter Posted : 16/02/2013 3:09 pm
 Yith
(@yith)
Illustrious Member

I have my rogatw... hat...

So, the 1939 tunic you're wearing there? From Armiam I assume. But which code? You only linked to the 43 one...

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Posted : 16/02/2013 3:15 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

nope, the tunic is not from Armiam, it is from Poland. Details will follow.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/02/2013 6:30 pm
(@lardassmonkey)
Famed Member

Any evidence of the LWP using the Wz 19 tunic?

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Posted : 16/02/2013 8:48 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

I have not seen any, but nor have I exhausted all looking at things.

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Topic starter Posted : 16/02/2013 10:50 pm
(@lardassmonkey)
Famed Member

Well I expect a definitive answer damn it, you're meant to be the expert here. More seriously I was just wondering if I would be better off in an Obr 43 or a looky liky Wz19 based of a Obr 69 like I mentioned before for a 39 scenario. Sounds like the obr43 would be better but I'm still tempted to try the Wz19.

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Posted : 18/02/2013 3:06 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

I know, I guessed the reason for the question , but I have been unable to find any reference to them using the Wz.17 in 1943.
is this the Obr.69 uniform?

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Topic starter Posted : 18/02/2013 3:38 pm
(@lardassmonkey)
Famed Member

It is. There are two (main) versions, a khaki cotton and brown wool one. I was planning to use a brown woolen one as it looks fairly close to the Wz.19 & is also cheaper/more readily available. I bit of modification like changing the bottons (& adding a couple extra) and adding button on shoulderboards and it shouldn't be too far off. The trousers worn with puttees would pass at a glance as well I would think.

The old Swedish M39 4 pocket tunic wouldn't be too far of a Wz19 either although they are more grey.

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Posted : 18/02/2013 5:04 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

That'll be fine, I look forward to seeing it.

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Topic starter Posted : 18/02/2013 5:31 pm
MartinR
(@martinr)
Famed Member

The old Swedish M39 4 pocket tunic wouldn't be too far of a Wz19 either although they are more grey.

Hmm, that is an interesting idea. Until I looked at the Armian website I didn't realise the Polish had a green jacket as well as the brown ones in 1939. No good for 1943 but a possibility for 1939, especially as I have such a jacket with nice shiny silver buttons (and German insignia on the collar, ahem).

Cheers
Martin

"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" Helmuth von Moltke
Toys: AGM MP40, Cyma M1A1, TM M14/G43/SVT40, TM VSR/K98, SnS No. 4, ASG Sten, Ppsh.

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Posted : 19/02/2013 5:02 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

The Green and Tan uniforms that Armia do are the Drellich (denim) uniforms that were used for work wear/worn in the Summer. '39 was a hot September, and they were in an 'any uniform will do' moment really.

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Topic starter Posted : 19/02/2013 5:19 pm
(@lardassmonkey)
Famed Member

I don't think they had a green (summer) version of the Wz19 from what I've read, only the Wz36. Is that correct?

I think certain versions of the Swedish woolen '4' pocket tunic (2 on the front & two on the rear) would pass for a Wz.19 but the green cotton 4 pocket and the 6 pocket (4 on the front) are probably too different to pass for either a Wz19 or a Wz36 IMO.

Anyway that probably enough talk of 1939 confusing people.

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Posted : 19/02/2013 6:16 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

I don't think they had a green (summer) version of the Wz19 from what I've read, only the Wz36. Is that correct?

Correct

Anyway that probably enough talk of 1939 confusing people.

Also correct , If only we had some kind of section fro these things ;)

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Topic starter Posted : 19/02/2013 6:53 pm
(@bigkie)
Prominent Member

For the helmets is the eagle painted on similar to the emblem used on the polish para helmet? Cheers for any info.

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Posted : 23/02/2013 2:46 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

it would have been thus:
But in the same manner as the soft hat eagles, I don't mind another eagle if one can find a template ot such - though that is quite a simple one.

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Topic starter Posted : 23/02/2013 11:20 pm
Nurglitch
(@nurglitch)
Reputable Member

For the helmets is the eagle painted on similar to the emblem used on the polish para helmet? Cheers for any info.

No. The Soviets forced Poles to wear a defaced eagle, with the crown removed. Here are some reference pics for the uniform:

1st Polish Army 1945

2nd Lieutenant, Polish Peoples Army 1943

A private, 1941/1942

1943, Lenino:

Internet source:
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/1 ... chive.html

The eagle (kurica, which in Russian means "a hen") of 1st Infantry Division:

Polish soldiers in the Lenino battle and before:



A helmet replica sold on eBay:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-1th-POLIS ... 7675.l2557

The cases of Polish soldiers wearing the rogatywka in combat are very rare (if you look at the pictures taken in combat situations it won't even be 1 in 10) and it's probably better (and cheaper) to use a helmet with the kurica blob on it.

Kitwhore files: S&S Lee Enfield No. 4, AGM Sten Mk. II, Tanaka Kar 98k, WE Luger P08
Wishlist: AGM Stg44, possible LE No. 4 gas project

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Posted : 20/03/2013 5:00 pm
(@wladek)
Famed Member

as a shiny new news update Schuster now also make a repro of the Soviet tunic issued tot he Poles: http://www.schuster.ru/rsfsr-sssr-1918- ... skoy-divi/ , should anyone be so inclined.

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Topic starter Posted : 11/04/2013 3:10 pm
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