The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man… Thomas Robert MALTHUS

All about Invasion of Poland – (03)…

Opposing forces…

Poland was attacked by German, Slovak and Russian forces.

Germany…

Germany had a substantial numerical advantage over Poland and had developed a significant military prior to the conflict. The Heer (army) had some 2,400 tanks organized into sixpanzer divisions, utilizing a new operational doctrine. It held that these divisions should act in coordination with other elements of the military, punching holes in the enemy line and isolating selected units, which would be encircled and destroyed. This would be followed up by less-mobile mechanized infantry and foot soldiers. The Luftwaffe (air force) provided both tactical and strategic air power, particularly dive bombers that disrupted lines of supply and communications. Together, the so-called „new” methods, were nicknamedBlitzkrieg(lightning war). Historian Basil Liddell Hart claimed „Poland was a full demonstration of the Blitzkrieg theory.” Other historians, however, disagree.

Aircraft played a major role in the campaign. Bombers also attacked cities, causing huge losses amongst the civilian population through terror bombing. The Luftwaffe forces consisted of 1,180 fighter aircraft, 290 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, 1,100 conventional bombers (mainly He 111s and Dornier Do 17s), and an assortment of 550 transport and 350 reconnaissance aircraft. In total, Germany had close to 4,000 aircraft, most of them modern. A force of 2,315 aircraft was assigned to Weiss. Due to its prior participation in the Spanish Civil War, the Luftwaffe was probably the most experienced, best trained and best equipped air force in the world in 1939.

Poland…

File:Polish infantry marching -2 1939.jpg
Polish Infantry

Between 1936 and 1939, Poland invested heavily in the Central Industrial Region. Preparations for a defensive war with Germany were ongoing for many years, but most plans assumed fighting would not begin before 1942. To raise funds for industrial development, Poland sold much of the modern equipment it produced. In 1936, a National Defence Fund was set up to collect funds necessary for strengthening the Polish Armed forces. ThePolish Army had approximately a million soldiers, but less than half of them were mobilized by 1 September. Latecomers sustained significant casualties when public transport became targets of the Luftwaffe. The Polish military had fewer armored forces than the Germans, and these units, dispersed within the infantry, were unable to effectively engage the enemy.

Experiences in the Polish-Soviet War shaped Polish Army organizational and operational doctrine. Unlike the trench warfare of the First World War, the Polish-Soviet War was a conflict in which the cavalry’s mobility played a decisive role. Poland acknowledged the benefits of mobility but was unable to invest heavily in many of the expensive, unproven inventions since then. In spite of this, Polish cavalry brigades were used as a mobile mounted infantry and had some successes against both German infantry and cavalry.

File:PZL-37 Los.jpg
Polish PZL.37 Łoś medium bomber

The Polish Air Force (Lotnictwo Wojskowe) was at a severe disadvantage against the German Luftwaffe, although it was not destroyed on the ground early on, as is commonly believed. The Polish Air Force lacked modern fighter aircraft, but its pilots were among the world’s best trained, as proven a year later in the Battle of Britain, in which the Poles played a major part.

Overall, the Germans enjoyed numerical and qualitative aircraft superiority. Poland had only about 600 aircraft of which only 37 36 P-37 Łoś bombers were modern and comparable to its German counterparts. The Polish Air Force had roughly 185 PZL P.11 and some 95 PZL P.7fighters, 175 PZL.23 Karaś B, 35 Karaś A, and by September, over 100 PZL.37 Łoś were produced.[Note 5]. However, for the September Campaign, only some 70% of those aircraft were mobilized. Only 36 PZL.37 Łoś bombers were deployed. All those aircraft were of indigenous Polish design, with the bombers being more modern than fighters, according to the Ludomił Rayski air force expansion plan, which relied on a strong bomber force. The Polish fighters were a generation older than their German counterparts. The Polish PZL P.11 fighter, produced in the early 1930s, was capable of only 365 km/h (approximately 220 mi/h), far less than German bombers; to compensate, the pilots relied on its maneuverability and high diving speed.

File:7 TP tank.PNG
Polish 7TP light tank

The tank force consisted of two armored brigades, four independent tank battalions and some 30 companies of TKS tankettes attached to infantry divisions and cavalry brigades.  A standard tank of the Polish Army during the Polish Defensive War of 1939 was 7TP light tank. It was the first tank in the world with diesel engine and 360-degree Gundlach periscope. 7TP was significantly better armed than its most common opponents, the German Panzer I and Panzer II but only 140 tanks were produced between 1935 and the outbreak of the war. Poland had also a few relatively modern imported designs, such as 50 Renault R35 tanks and 38 Vickers E tanks.

The Polish Navy was a small fleet of destroyers, submarines and smaller support vessels. Most Polish surface units followed Operation Peking, leaving Polish ports on 20 August and escaping by way of the North Sea to join with the British Royal Navy. Submarine forces participated in Operation Worek, with the goal of engaging and damaging German shipping in the Baltic Sea, but they had much less success. In addition, many merchant marine ships joined the British merchant fleet and took part in wartime convoys.

 

2 responses

  1. i like it

    6 Ianuarie 2011 la 5:36 PM

Lasă un răspuns

Completează mai jos detaliile despre tine sau dă clic pe un icon pentru autentificare:

Logo WordPress.com

Comentezi folosind contul tău WordPress.com. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Poză Twitter

Comentezi folosind contul tău Twitter. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Fotografie Facebook

Comentezi folosind contul tău Facebook. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Fotografie Google+

Comentezi folosind contul tău Google+. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Conectare la %s