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Back of Beyond: Piotr's Polish Army (1)

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Here are some pictures of my Polish army for Back of Beyond which I've been working on recently. Shown are: two units of Polish regular infantry, and three units of Polish 'Legionary' infantry in shirtsleeve order (54 figures in all). The former were 'White' infantry from Copplestone, the latter were 70p a piece 'British in caps in Mesopotamia in WW1' - cheapos from Warrior Miniatures. I intend to add officers and standard bearers, as well as sabot bases, to all my infantry units in due course.

Apart from the Polish connection, this army appeals to me because of the eclectic variety of uniforms and kit on show. The Poles had fought in the Austrian, Russian, German, and French armies during World War One, and the fledgling post-1918 Polish army inherited clothing, equipment, and doctrine from these four national armies, which were fused with the Polish military tradition and patriotic ethos during the post-war period.

This means that I can use figures and colour schemes suitable for other nations or armies with no historical scruples. The cross-fertilization of doctrine and alliances in c. 1919-1926 means this is fertile ground for some pretty interesting wargames, given that Reds, Whites, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Lithuanians, even Estonians and Latvians were factions with shifting allegiances during this era. Moreover, my figures can be used to represent other contingents...

My complete Polish army will consist of:


* 2 units of Polish regulars (Russian uniforms) * 3 units of Polish Legionary infantry (the Polish Legion fought with the Austrians in WW1 under Pilsudski) * 1 unit of Polish infantry in French uniforms (I will decide between sky blue and khaki) * 1 unit of Polish infantry in British uniforms with early war caps (a lot of these were swilling around in the Russian Civil War). Will paint brownish-khaki. * 2 units of Polish infantry in German uniforms with Stahlhelms (these could be Poles from western Poland formerly in the German army, or ex-Austrian army)


* 1 unit of Don Cossacks (these came over to the Polish side in the Russo-Polish War of 1919-1921) * 2 units of Light Horse * 1 unit of Lancers

Support Weapons

* 3 MGs * 3 Mortars


* 3 field guns (mix of French and Russian equipment and uniforms)


* 3 FT-17 tanks * 1 Garford-Putilov armoured car (it had 3 MGs and a field gun!)


* 1 Albatross DIII (from the Kosciuszko Squadron - flown by American volunteers in the Russo-Polish War)

Next time: the Cavalry!



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