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"Uniform Question: Polish in Russo-Polish War of 1919-1921" Topic

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2,053 hits since 10 May 2005
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WaltOHara10 May 2005 12:09 p.m. PST

Hi, all.. odd topic here. I'm working on a Polish and Russian Army for the Russo-Polish War. Finding Revolutionary era Russians isn't all that hard; IT Figures and B&B both make them in my preferred scale of 20mm. The Polish Army is a harder nut to crack.

I found this information on a website:

1. Poland substitute French WW1 from 1919 good until early 1930's

Russo-Polish war, Battles with Lithuania, Czechoslovakia and Germany 1919-1920. Maybe reservists in 1939

Green Khaki
Plain Leather
Brown German Pattern.

2. Poland substitute French WW1 1918 until 1920
Hallers Blue army. Émigré's raised in France in 1916 onwards and moved to Poland in time to fight at the 'Miracle of the Vistula'.

Horizon Blue
Plain Leather Brown

MY QUESTION is this.. should I assume the Adrian helmet or not? I ordered kepis with the idea of filing them into a czapka, but this might be anachronistic.

DOH, should have asked someone first...


lclapp10 May 2005 12:22 p.m. PST

I did a bunch of Poles up for Cold Wars. Used Old Glory WW1 French. With a little more research I could have scattered some English in with caps. There are photographs around that show Poles with czapkas, so I tried my hand at the "green stuff". It worked pretty well over kepis, but I was under a time crunch.

As far as uniform colors go, they seemed to look pretty irregular, so I used a German field grey as the majority uniform color and sprinkled khakis, browns, & greys liberally.

Good Luck!


Steve Flanagan Inactive Member10 May 2005 2:12 p.m. PST

For this period, as I understand it, the Poles has inherited a mix of German, Austrian and Russian uniforms and equipment, and had received further supplies from the British and the French, so you can probably justify anything! Heck, I even read somewhere that they had some A7Vs, but didn't put them into the field (similarly, the Bolsheviks had some St Chamonds - but both armies preferred good old British engineering).

From what I recall, Haller's outfit were in regular French uniforms, which must have included the Adrian helmet. Elsewhere, you could probably legitimately swap weapons and equipment round from all sorts of WW1 figures. Norman Davies has some discussion of where the Polish army got its guns from, IIRC.

tinned fruit Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2005 3:22 p.m. PST


Raventhorpe in the UK do separate heads with the czapka in 20mm. Actually they are the kings of the separate head in 20mm doing everything from bareheaded to Abyssinian Afro.

They also do a range of WW1/2 French in greatcoat with separate head so you could mix Adrian and Czapkas in the same unit.

Hope this helps.

bogdanwaz Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2005 6:02 p.m. PST

I've seen a picture of Haller's Blue Army troops wearing the standard French uniform but also wearing the diamon-topped hat in French horizon blue. There also was a Polish unit in Austrian service during WWI which wore a uniform similar to the Napoleanic-style uniform in pike grey; it was apparently still around for the Soviet War. There was also a Polish Legion formed in Russia during WWI that wore Russian uniforms but a crimson round cap.

In addition to German, Austrian, French, Russian and even some British uniforms, several units were hastily raised militia that wore civilian clothes. There was even a Priest's Battalion formed for the defense of Warsaw; I remember seeing the picture of a Catholic priest manning a barricade wearing a long black cassock, Adrian helmet and ammo bandoliers

The one thing common to all Polish units was the wearing, usually as a cap badge, the Polish white eagle.

Just a pedantic point: the lower-crowned diamond-shaped hat worn by the Poles in the 20th century is more properly called a rogatiwka. Czapska should be used for 18th-19th century Napoleanic headgear. It's based on peasant caps worn in the Krakow region and didn't become commonly used as a national headgear until the Koscuiszko Rebellion of 1795.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2005 8:34 a.m. PST

I've been tempted by this war and planned to use French in Adrian helmets, plus a smattering of British uniforms, and maybe a few others as well.

WaltOHara11 May 2005 10:48 a.m. PST

I think I'm going to go with French with Czapka head conversions. Sounds about as accurate as I can get for run of the mill Pole regulars.

I think I can get some French lancers in Adrian helmets for Cav, somewhere...


hurrahbro12 May 2005 6:42 a.m. PST

A most useful source of figures.


Also do not discount the fact that there could be Polish units in WW1 Austro-Hungarian Uniforms, Hallers Blues (In French WW1 Horizon Blue) as well as German and Even Russian Uniformed Poles, all decended from 'Polish' units raised during WW1.

CooperSteve Inactive Member14 May 2005 1:48 a.m. PST

There was a useful MILITARY ILLUSTRATED article a few months back. It had Poles and Russian cav on the cover, so should be easy to track down.

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