Polish Air Force order of battle in 1939


Polish Air Force order of battle in 1939

The following is the order of battle of the Polish Air Force prior to the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War of 1939. During the mobilization waves of March and August of that year, all peace-time units were deployed to airfields throughout the country and attached to respective commands of Air Force, Naval Air Service and squadrons supporting each of the Polish armies. In the last stages of the air campaign, whole units coordinated all actions in the fight against the invaders.

The Polish fighters claimed 134 air victories, including 7 enemy aeroplanes shot down by Polish PZL P.7a fighters, 125 by PZL P.11 fighters of all types (mostly P.11c, several P.11a), and 2 downed by PZL P.11g. In addition, the Polish air forces had a number of PZL.37 Łoś and PZL.23 Karaś bombers, as well as a number of non-combat planes used for reconnaissance, observation, communications, army cooperation and transport. Among the latter were Lublin R.XIII, LWS-3 Mewa, RWD-8, RWD-14 Czapla, PWS-10 and PWS-26.

Command structure

The Polish war-time command structure was based on inter-war structure of the air forces. Apart from two air brigades held in reserve by the Commander in Chief (one of them being the Bomber Brigade, the other - Pursuit Brigade), Polish forces were divided onto the following units:
* Air regiment ( _pl. pułk lotniczy) (usually 4 squadrons or 8 escadrilles)
* Air squadron ( _pl. dywizjon lotniczy) (usually 2 escadrilles)
* Air escadrille ( _pl. eskadra lotnicza) (usually 8 to 12 planes)

Each escadrille was given a respective number and a proper name, depending on its main tasks. Hence the escadrilles were divided onto:
* Bombing escadrille ( _pl. eskadra bombowa)
* Fighter escadrille ( _pl. eskadra myśliwska)
* Observation escadrille ( _pl. eskadra obserwacyjna)
* Reconnaissance escadrille ( _pl. eskadra rozpoznawcza)
* Staff escadrille ( _pl. eskadra sztabowa)

The name of each of the squadrons was usually preceded by the number of the air regiment the unit was attached to in the peace time. Hence the "III/1 dywizjon myśliwski" (composed of "111 eskadra myśliwska" and "112 eskadra myśliwska") was in fact the "1st Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Regiment".

Reserve of the Commander in Chief

The strategic reserve of the commander in chief of the Polish Army consisted of two air brigades stationed around Warsaw and additional communications squadrons used for easier handling of orders from the headquarters to respective armies. Altogether, on September 1, 1939 Edward Rydz-Śmigły had 146 combat aeroplanes and 60 non-combat planes at his disposal.

HQ units

* Communications platoon No. 1 ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 1")
* Communications platoon No. 2 ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 2")
* Polish 16th Observation Escadrille
* Staff Escadrille

Pursuit Brigade

* Polish 1st Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Regiment ("III/1. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 111th Fighter Escadrille ("111 Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 112th Fighter Escadrille ("112 Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 1st Fighter Squadron of the 4th Air Regiment ("IV/1 Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 113th Fighter Escadrille ("113 Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 114th Fighter Escadrille ("114 Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 123rd Fighter Escadrille ("123 Eskadra Myśliwska")

Bomber Brigade

* Polish 10th Bomber Squadron ("X Dywizjon Bombowy")
** Polish 211th Bomber Escadrille ("211. Eskadra Bombowa")
** Polish 212th Bomber Escadrille ("212. Eskadra Bombowa'
* Polish 15th Bomber Squadron ("XV Dywizjon Bombowy"))
** Polish 216th Bomber Escadrille ("216. Eskadra Bombowa")
** Polish 217th Bomber Escadrille ("217. Eskadra Bombowa")
* Polish 2nd Bomber Squadron ("II Dywizjon Bombowy")
** Polish 21st Bomber Escadrille ("21. Eskadra Bombowa")
** Polish 22nd Bomber Escadrille ("22. Eskadra Bombowa")
* Polish 6th Bomber Squadron ("VI Dywizjon Bombowy")
** Polish 64th Bomber Escadrille ("64. Eskadra Bombowa")
** Polish 65th Bomber Escadrille ("65. Eskadra Bombowa")
* Polish 55th Independent Bomber Escadrille ("55. Samodzielna Eskadra Bombowa")
* Communications platoon No. 4 ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 4")
* Communications platoon No. 12 ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 12")

Army aviation

In addition to the above mentioned units, the gros of the Polish aviation was attached to land units of corps- and army-size. They were to provide necessary support in all roles. In all, various units of the Polish Army had 288 planes at their disposal, including 246 combat planes and 42 support planes.

Aviation of the Modlin Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 11")
* ("41. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* ("III/5. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 152nd Fighter Escadrille ("152. Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 53rd Observation Escadrille ("53. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Pomorze Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 7")
* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 8")
* ("42. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* ("III/4. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 141st Fighter Escadrille ("141. Eskadra Myśliwska")
** [http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/142_eskadra_my%C5%9Bliwska Polish 142nd Fighter Escadrille]
* Polish 43rd Observation Escadrille ("43. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")
* Polish 46th Observation Escadrille ("46. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Poznań Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 6")
* ("34. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* ("III/3. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 131st Fighter Escadrille ("131. Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 132nd Fighter Escadrille ("132. Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 33rd Observation Escadrille ("33. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")
* Polish 36th Observation Escadrille ("36. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Łódź Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 10")
* ("32. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* ("III/6. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 161st Fighter Escadrille ("161. Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 162nd Fighter Escadrille("162. Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 63rd Observation Escadrille ("63. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")
* Polish 66th Observation Escadrille ("66. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Kraków Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 3")
* ("24. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* ("III/2. Dywizjon Myśliwski")
** Polish 121st Fighter Escadrille ("121. Eskadra Myśliwska")
** Polish 122nd Fighter Escadrille ("122. Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 23rd Observation Escadrille ("23. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")
* Polish 26th Observation Escadrille ("26. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Karpaty Army

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 5")
* ("31. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* Polish 56th Observation Escadrille ("56. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Aviation of the Narew Independent Operational Group

* ("Pluton łącznikowy nr 9")
* ("51. Eskadra Rozpoznawcza")
* Polish 151st Fighter Escadrille ("151. Eskadra Myśliwska")
* Polish 13th Observation Escadrille ("13. Eskadra Obserwacyjna")

Naval aviation

* ("Morski Dywizjon Lotniczy")
** ("I Eskadra Dalekiego Rozpoznania")
** ("II Eskadra Bliskiego Rozpoznania")
* ("Pluton łącznikowy Dowództwa Lądowej Obrony Wybrzeża")

Aircraft in active service in September 1939

Combat aircraft

* PZL P.7
* PZL P.11
* PZL.23 Karaś A/B
* PZL.37 Łoś A/B.
* PZL.43
* PZL.46 Sum (PZL.46/I protype) (one example)
* Lublin R-XIIIG
* Lublin R-VIIIbis (for Navy use)
* LWS-3 Mewa (two examples)
* RWD-8
* RWD-14 Czapla

upport aircraft

* PWS-26
* PWS-24bis
* PWS-35 Ogar (one example)
* RWD-5 (one)
* RWD-8
* RWD-13
* RWD-17W
* Bartel BM-4
* Lublin R-XVI (air ambulances)

ee also

*Polish volunteer wings in Allied Air forces,1940-45

References

*"Combat Aircraft of World War Two", by John and Elke Weal, Richard F.Barker and J.M. Bruce, "Polish Aircraft" chapter, P.223-226, Polish aircraft coloured drawings, P.60-61 along drawings explains P.15-16, Ed.Arms & Armour Press, 2-6 Hampstead High Street, London NW3. England, 1977.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Polish army order of battle in 1939 — Polish OOB during the Invasion of Poland. In the late thirties Polish headquarters prepared Plan Zachód ( Plan West ), a plan of mobilization of Polish Army in case of war with Germany. Earlier, the Poles did not regard the Germans as their main… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Navy order of battle in 1939 — This article details the Order of Battle of the Polish Navy prior to the outbreak of World War II and the Polish Defensive War of 1939. Following World War I, Poland s shoreline was relatively short and included no major seaports. In the 1920s… …   Wikipedia

  • History of Polish Air Force — This article is about the history of the Polish Air Force.1918 ndash;1922The history of the Polish airforce began at the end of World War I. In 1918, some aircraft escadres were created within the Polish units in allied countries. In Russia, one… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Air Forces in France and Great Britain — The Polish Air Forces ( Polskie Siły Powietrzne ) was a name of Polish Air Forces formed in France and the United Kingdom during World War II. The core of the Polish air units fighting alongside the allies were experienced veterans of Invasion of …   Wikipedia

  • Indian Air Force — The Indian Air Force (Devanāgarī भारतीय वायु सेना IAST: Bhartiya Vāyu Senā) is the air arm of the Armed Forces of India and has the prime responsibility of conducting aerial warfare and securing the Indian airspace. It was established on October… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of France — Part of the Western Front of the Second World War Clockwise from top left: German …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Changde — Part of World War II the Second Sino Japanese War A captured Japanese soldier crouches …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Britain — This article is about the Second World War battle. For other uses, see Battle of Britain (disambiguation). Battle of Britain Part of the Second World War …   Wikipedia

  • Polish contribution to World War II — Campaign name=Main engagements of Polish forces during World War II battles=Westerplatte – Mokra – Bzura – Enigma – Narvik – France Battle of Britain – Tobruk Crusader – Gazala – Dieppe – Tunisia Lenino – Monte Cassino Caen Osuchy – Ostra Brama – …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Armed Forces — Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland Siły Zbrojne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej …   Wikipedia