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Armed forces in WW2 - Poland and France


By Sakhal

Poland - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: Vis 36 model 35 caliber 9 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Polish Mauser K 98 caliber 7.92 mm
Individual weapons - Hand grenades: Defensive, offensive and smoke

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: Mors 1939 caliber 9 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic rifles: Browning 29 caliber 7.92 mm
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: Browning 30 caliber 7.92 mm and Model 38 caliber 20 mm

Mortars and grenade launchers: Mortar 1918 caliber 81 mm, mortar Skoda 220/19 (a) and grenade launcher Model 36 caliber 46 mm

Antitank weapons - Light: Antitank carbine Ur 1935 caliber 7.92 mm and machine gun Model 38 caliber 20 mm
Antitank weapons - Heavy: Bofors cannon caliber 37 mm (b)
Antitank weapons - Motorized: At the outbreak of the war no series motorized pieces were in service

Cannons: Howitzers Skoda of 100/47 mm (a) and Schneider of 155/15 mm (c); cannons of 75/30 mm (d), 75/36 mm, 105/28 mm, 105/31 mm and 120/27 mm (c); antiaircraft cannons Bofors 40/56 mm (b) and 75/50 mm

Armored vehicles: 574 light tanks TK of 2.43 t, TKS of 2.7 t, Vickers of 7.3 t (e), 102 light tanks R 17 (f) and 211 7TP of 9 t (national production), with a total of 887 armored vehicles; 10 armored trains

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: No evidence of models in service

(a) Czechoslovak production.
(b) German production.
(c) French production.
(d) Russian production.
(e) British production.
(f) Without actual military value.

NOTE: The situation of the weapons of the Polish Army is given with date of 1 September 1939. The list does not consider the blade weapons reglamentary in the cavalry, as for example the ordnance sabre Model 1934 or the spears.

Poland - Navy

Destroyers: Blyzkawica, Grom (2144 t), Burza and Wicher (1540 t)

Torpedo boats: Mazur (420 t), Podhalanin, Slazak (365 t) and Kujawiak (335 t)

Minelayer ships: Gryf (2227 t)

Minesweeper ships: 6 units of 183 t

Submarines: Orzel, Sep (1110/1473 t), Rys, Zbik and Wilk (980/1250 t)

Gunboats: Komendant Pilsudski and General Haller (342 t)

River gunboats: 5 units between 100 and 200 t and 3 units of 32 t

River monitors: 4 units of 110 t and 2 units of 69 t

River motorboats: 1 unit of 24 t and 32 units between 16 and 24 t

Poland - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: PZL P-7a, PZL P-11c and PZL P-24F

Bomber aircraft: Potez XXV (French license), PZL-23B, PZL-43B and PZL-46, all of them of assault or light bombing; PZL-37B of heavy bombing

Reconnaissance aircraft: R-XIIID, RWD-14 and LWS-3 of training and liaison; RWD-8, RWD-13 and PWS-26; R-XIII seaplane of the Navy

Transport aircraft: Fokker F-VII (Dutch license) and Lockheed L-14H (American license)

NOTE: At the outbreak of the hostilities the Polish aviation had about 800 aircraft, but the ones considered as capable for war were only 463, of them 159 fighters. At the end of the fight resulted destroyed (in combat or in land) about 356 aircraft, and about 98 managed to flee to neighbor non-belligerent countries. The losses of the Luftwaffe reached 255 aircraft destroyed and 279 damaged.

Armed forces in WW2 - Poland and France

Armed forces of Poland in 1939.

France - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: Pistols Ruby and Star caliber 7.65 mm and revolver Lebel caliber 8 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Lebel 86/16 caliber 8 mm, Berthier and MAS caliber 7.5 mm
Individual weapons - Hand grenades: F1, CF defensive, OF offensive (a) and others incendiary and smoke

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: MAS 1938 caliber 7.65 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic rifles: Model 24/29 caliber 7.5 mm
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: Light caliber 7.5 mm, heavy St. Etienne and Hotchkiss caliber 8 mm

Mortars: One model of caliber 60 mm and another one of 81 mm

Antitank weapons - Light: Hotchkiss machine gun of 25/72 mm and Model 37 cannon of 47 mm
Antitank weapons - Heavy: At the beginning of the war there were no cannons of larger caliber than 47 mm in service adapted to antitank role
Antitank weapons - Motorized: At the outbreak of the war no motorized pieces were in service for antitank role

Cannons: Howitzers of 75 and 105 mm; cannons Model 1897 of 75 mm, of 75 mm modernized (b), of 90 mm (b), of 105 mm, GPF of 155 mm and Schneider of 220 mm (c)

Armored vehicles: 264 Re B1, 1035 Re 35/40, 774 H 35/39, 450 S35, 96 FCM 36 and FCM 2C, some more than 700 among all AMR, AMC and AMD, 504 Re FT 17 (d) and 45 Re D2, with a total of almost 3900 tanks

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: Some heavy types used in fortresses

(a) Are called defensive grenades the heavier ones, whose wrapper is able to fragment into thick and deadly shrapnel, of high destructive power; offensive grenades are lighter, with strong detonation, of primarily psychological value.
(b) Antiaircraft.
(c) There were still numerous pieces from the Great War or the late previous century, used above all in fortresses and in the Maginot Line.
(d) From the Great War.

France - Navy

Battleships: 1 class Richelieu of 35000 t(a), 2 class Dunkerque of 26500 t, 3 class Provence of 22189 t and 2 class Courbet of 22189 t

Aircraft carriers: 1 class Bearn of 22146 t

Cruisers: 1 class Algerie of 10000 t, 2 class Tourville of 10000 t, 4 class Suffren of 9938 t, 3 class Duguay Tronin of 9350 t, 6 class La Galissonniere of 7600 t, 1 class Jeanne d'Arc of 6496 t (b), 1 class Emile Bertin of 5886 t and 1 class Pluton of 4473 t (c)

Destroyers: 2 class Mogador of 3500 t, 6 class Cassard of 3090 t, 6 class Aigle of 3090 t, 6 class Guepard of 3080 t, 6 class Jaguar of 2700 t, 7 class La Fantasque of 2569 t (d), 14 class L'Adroit of 1750 t, 12 class Simoun of 1727 t and 6 class L'Agile of 1000 t

Torpedo boats: 1 class Aventurier of 1180 t and 12 class La Pomone of 700 t

Submarines: 1 oceanic-cruiser class Surcouf of 2880/4300 t (e), 30 oceanic class Redoutable, 9 oceanic class Requin, 6 minelayer class Saphir and 31 coastal class Diane and Serene

Minelayer ships: 2 class Castor of 3150 t

Seaplane support ships: 1 class Commandant Teste of 10000 t

(a) Put into operation, but still ineffective.
(b) Used as school ship.
(c) Minelayer cruiser. Note: All the cruisers mentioned so far are considered heavy cruisers.
(d) The destroyers mentioned so far were considered, by many seamen of then, as light cruisers.
(e) So called because, unique on her genre, she had a twin mounting of large-caliber cannons.

France - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: Breguet 27, Bloch 151 and 152, Dewoitine 510 and 520 and Morane-Saulnier 406

Bomber aircraft: LeO 451, Bloch 210, Martin 167, Amiot 354, Potez 633, LN 401 and 411, Chance Vought 156 of dive bombing and Latecoere 298 torpedo bomber

Reconnaissance aircraft: Potez 631, 637 and 63/11; exploration seaplanes Breguet 521, Loire 70 and LeO H470; surveillance seaplanes LeO H43, GL 812, Short S8/2 and CAMS 55.10

Transport aircraft: Several types of aircraft adapted to the requirements of the moment

NOTE: Some aircraft, as the bomber Martin 167 or the dive bomber Chance Vought 156, were not of national production, but they formed part of the large amount of modern material with which France tried to cover its own technical deficiencies by effectuating orders to United States.

Armed forces in WW2 - Poland and France

Armed forces of France in 1939.



Article updated: 2015-07-20

Categories: Statistics, World War Two, 20th Century

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Website: Military History

Article submitted: 2015-07-20




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