2nd Polish Amoured Division

Discussion in 'Allied Units - Others' started by 509thPIB, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know which Regiment of the 2nd Polish Armoured Division this Sherman belonged to?

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  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Madeja, Witold. The Polish 2nd Corps and the Italian Campaign. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Game Publishing Company, 1984.

    Development of Armour

    In order to increase the striking power of the 2 Polish Corps, plans were laid in September 1944 to expand 2 Armored Brigade into a full division and to organize a new tank brigade. The numerical order in which the individual units were being organized had to be altered according to the availability of equipment. The general plan was submitted to the British authorities on 22 October 1944. The Allied Command on the Italian front decided that priority was to be given to the organization of such units as would be ready for action in the spring campaign. Apart from the additional (third) brigades for both the existing divisions, the British Command suggested a prompt organization of an infantry brigade for the future armored division, assuring the delivery of equipment, and consented to the re-organization of the existing units within the limits of available equipment which could be supplied. It also commented that it was not advisable to equip the motorized battalion until a later period. The plan to train the infantry tank brigade in the Middle East was agreed to, and arrangements were made to have the brigade transferred there as soon as possible.

    Difficulties in obtaining equipment for the new armored units brought about a partial alteration of plans. On 12 December 1944, the Corps Commander issued instructions with the following provisions: - the motorized brigade (for 2 Armd Div), named 16 Pomorze Infantry Brigade, was to be formed in the base area, - together with the essential services. It was to receive: - 64, 65 and 66 Rifle Battalions, 8 Field Regiments (later renumbered 16), 16ATk Bty, 16 LAA Bty, a brigade support coy, a counter-mortar staff, an engineers coy and services. The whole of 16 Pomorze Infantry Brigade was formed of new units organized at the expense of existing ones. That factor proved to have a considerable bearing on d the speed of formation of the brigade.

    The organization of 2 Armored Division as a formation was deferred, and its future component units were to operate independently namely: 2 Armd Brigade (together with 7 Horse (Fd) Rest, a recce regiment the Commando Bn,) and the 16 Pomorze Infantry Brigade. In both brigades there were component elements of a signals battalion, engineers bn, provost coy etc.

    While the organization of personnel progressed rapidly and training started in all available units and establishments, the shortage of equipment nullified all hopes for of battle-readiness. The plan only achieved partial realization. By the cessation of hostilities only a battalion was completed, but merely as infantry on a somewhat reduced establishment (Motor Bn. WE). In that form the 2 Commando Battalion played a prominent part in the battle for Bologna. 9 Engineer Company was also organized by expanding the existing section. However, necessary equipment was only available after hostilities had ceased. Apart from the above-mentioned units, 9 Armd Bde Tpt Coy was organized.

    The independent tank brigade, named at first the 3 Wielkopolska Armored Brigade (later renumbered 14), had been fully organized as far as personnel was concerned; but owing to long and difficult training it was transferred to Egypt. It was composed of: 3 Silesian Lancers Regiment (almost complete in personnel), 15 Poznan Lancers Rest (half of the personnel strength of the old regiment, without equipment) and a new 10 Hussars Rest, for the organization of which instructions were issued. Apart from these units, the 3 Wielkopolska Armd Bde received rudiments of a field ambulance, a transport coy, a workshop coy and a provost section. They were prepared to fulfill their respective tasks on a reduced scale, essential to normal functioning of a detached brigade in peacetime conditions. The brigade was to be transferred in the first days of January 1945; but completion proved impossible before the end of the war.

    Pomorze Infantry Brigade, intended as a motorized brigade, was instead organized as a "Mediterranean" infantry brigade, the only difference being that it possessed its own field regiment, one ATk and one AA battery, one support coy (4.2inch mortars and MMGS), countermortar staff, signals and engineer companies, and brigade services (Field ambulance, transport coy, workshop etc.) The organization of that brigade took place under somewhat different circumstances from that of 3 and 4 Brigades; unlike the latter, the detachments meant a permanent loss to the parent unit instead of constituting the base for further development. Equipment difficulties delayed the organization of the brigade, as a Lorried Inf Bde and not as a Motorized Bde, had expected to be complete by the middle of February 1945, and the brigade would then have been moved to the operational area. In reality 16 Brigade was not put at the disposal of the Corps Commander till March, and even then it had neither been brought up to full establishment (only 70%) nor to its full standard of equipment.

    The organization was completed after the end of the war. 8 Field Regt was ready on 7 April 1945. 16 Brigade Headquarters, the infantry battalions and services only at the end of June, while 16 ATk and 16 AA Batteries, and the support company were not ready till October 1945. The long and arduous task of getting together the elements of 2 Armored Division, produced some results, though rather delayed. Finally, the formation as whole was organized. On 11 May 1945, order of forming the divisional artillery headquarters (having 7 Hy and 8 Fd Regts at its disposal) were issued. With regards to divisional headquarters, similar orders were issued on 24 May, with June 1945 as the date for completion.

    In personnel, the engineer company for 2 Brigade was organized before the end of March 1945, but difficulties in obtaining equipment delayed its completion till the middle of September, 1945. The Engr Coy intended for 3 Armored Brigade was partly organized as far as personnel was concerned, and was to be ready by the end of March 1945. Some of the elements of that coy left together with the Brigade for Egypt, whence it later returned, not having obtained the necessary equipment.

    In the development of engineer units, the organization of these intended to form part of 2 Armd Div was given priority. The plan for organizing this engineer battalion could not been entirely realized. Apart from the organization of completely new units, a re-organization of existing engineer units had been ordered. According to the plan of December 1944, the re-organization applied first of all to Engr Bn Headquarters, converting them into divisional engineers Headquarters. A Chief Engineer who had acted in the capacity of technical adviser to the divisional commander, was then put in charge of all engineer uncomprising part of the a Formation (Engr coys, Fd Park Coys and bridge platoon). The companies moreover, were converted from four platoons of three sections each, to three platoon coys with four sections in each.

    2nd Warszawa Armoured Division - July 1945 - Italy

    The Carpathian Lancers

    7th Horsed Artillery Regiment

    16th Field Artillery Regiment (first numbered 8th)

    2nd Anti-Tank Regiment

    2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

    9th, 15th, 16th Field Companies, Engineers

    Field Park Company, Engineers

    2nd Warszawa Armoured Brigade

    4th Armoured Regiment

    6th Armoured Regiment

    1st Lancers Regiment

    2nd Polish Command Motor Battalion

    16th Pomorze Infantry Brigade

    64th, 65th, 66th Rifle Battalions
    Aixman, Buteman and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

    Thank you dryan67.

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