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photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939
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Author:  leonie [ Wed Mar 09, 2016 23:39 pm ]
Post subject:  photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939

If anyone is knowledgable about the Polish Army in France 1939, please could you take a
look at these photos? The top of page is in French, please scroll down a little to read English.
Need to discover if the photos below the main pic, were taken in France, or in Scotland.
http://www.friendofthefeast.talktalk.ne ... dhale.html

Author:  machinko [ Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939

Hi Leonie

The photos were taken in Scotland, one soldier is wearing British Battledress already and the tents in the background are British Army tents.

Polish flags were flown at Polish Army camps in the UK.

Author:  leonie [ Sat Mar 19, 2016 13:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939

Many thanks machinko :) ...so I guess the Polish issue uniforms they're wearing in Scotland must have been their uniform at Narvik with the Samodzielna Brygada Strzelcow Podhalankich (Independent Podhale Rifle Brigade)...
I wish the badge he was wearing was clearer, looks like a spiky one. Maybe this one https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... lang=en-gb

And before that, when my father first enlisted at Coetquidan September 1939, he had a different uniform (photo with chateau behind, at top of web page) when with the Brygada Strzelcow Podhalanskich (Highland Rifle Brigade). Someone elsewhere commented that in the early chateau uniform, it looks tailor made, and that in 1939 the BSP wore French Fortress Infantry Berets (the 2nd Division wore side caps until they also received berets in 1940).

There is not much info about 1939, plenty about 1940. Very grateful for your help.

Author:  machinko [ Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939

Hi Leonie

No, the badge you posted is a pre-war badge, unless he served in that unit before 1939 he would not have got it, I also know the badge it is fairly large, not the badge in the photo. I don't know what it is.
The Brygada Strzelcow Podhalanskich had a badge awarded for veterans of Narvik in June 1941, this is a round badge, and also they were awarded in 1941 by the King of Norway the Norwegian lanyard with Lion Shield.
Later the Brigade was downsized to a Batalion and this was part of the 1st Armoured Division, the Batalion had a badge itself, a cross, which was awarded in 1945.

In the photos they are all wearing French uniforms, these were issued to the Brigade just before Narvik along with canvas jackets, wool capes and other mountain equipment. So whatever a soldier had before, either a tailor made uniform, WW1 Horizon blue uniform or just civilian stuff was discarded as the entire Brigade was re-equiped. New uniforms, new rifles, everything was new.
Please remember when the Polish Army was forming in France in 1939 the French were giving them old rifles, old WW1 Horizon Blue uniforms, it was only in early 1940 the Poles started getting better equipment.

After the fall of France when the soldiers were in the UK in mid 1940 they continued to wear their French uniforms until the British started issuing Battledress, those that had no uniforms were issued Battledress straight away, so you do see photos of Polish soldiers in mid/late 1940 with French and British uniforms.

Author:  leonie [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 22:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: photos - help please - Polish Rifle Brigade 1939

Thanks again machinko. This is great, will help date some of his earlier photos. Yes I have his Narvik commemorative badge. Also a fuzzy photo of him wearing the lanyard… (where on the lanyard should I look for the lion? ) Sept 1941 qualified in Signals, received the Lacznosi lightning bolt badge. Then with 1st Armoured Division, but Aug 1943 was sent to Polish GHQ radio centre Dower House, Stanmore, CO was Tadeusz Lisicki. Then to Italy – his MOD military record does not refer to what he did there but I have been discovering. If you are interested I’m separately researching a 1945 photo see http://www.friendofthefeast.talktalk.net
Best wishes...

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