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Do Broni! (To Arms!)

Do Broni! (To Arms!)
with Mark Nisbet

Poland suffered one of the greatest betrayals at the beginning of the war. Attacked on two fronts by the forces of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (Due to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). Though the Polish army fought bravely, they found themselves thoroughly outmatched by the more modern and mobile German army (accounts of Cavalry charging tanks not withstanding). And so began almost five long years of occupation by German forces. The luckier ones managed to escape to Great Britain and sign up for the Polish Divisions being assembled, whilst others were sent to POW camps under German control, and some even to Soviet controlled POW camps. Some managed to remain hidden within Poland, and Warsaw itself, working with the Polish Underground resistance, waiting for their opportunity to strike back against their occupiers.

The Warsaw Uprising (Polish: Powstanie Warszawskie; German: Warschauer Aufstand) was a major World War II operation, in the summer of 1944, by the Polish underground resistance, led by the Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa), to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The uprising was timed to coincide with the retreat of the German forces from Poland ahead of the Soviet advance. While approaching the eastern suburbs of the city, the Red Army temporarily halted combat operations, enabling the Germans to regroup and defeat the Polish resistance and to destroy the city in retaliation. The Uprising was fought for 63 days with little outside support -. It was the single largest military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II. One could argue that the Soviets deliberately did not become involved to ensure that Warsaw, and the Home Army were suitably exhausted to a point where the Red Army could impose themselves as the much needed 'protectors' of Poland. That though, is a discussion for another time

The Soviet army reached the Vistula on 14 September. In its ranks was the Ludowe Wojsko Polskie (Polish People's Army) which was understandably anxious to liberate Warsaw. However, Stalin apparently ordered the Red Army to halt on the river. Communications from the AK were deliberately ignored - the Soviet war machine fell silent for two long days.

Finally, the Polish army was given the green light to cross the Vistula and three divisions were sent over into Warsaw. In the Czerniakow District, 300 troops from the 3rd Infantry Division crossed the river bringing with them machine-guns, anti-tank guns, and mortars.

The badly-needed reinforcements bolstered the AK Group Radoslaw (Radoswav*). However, again the Soviets did not commit its artillery or aircraft to assist the uprising.

Fielding Armia Krajowa in V4 Using Soviet Bagration
In the old V3 release 'Red Bear', there existed a list allowing players to field Armia Krajowa as a fully-fledged force; and whilst Soviet Bagration allows you to field the Polish 1st Army, that liberated Warsaw in 1944, there are no entries for the citizen army itself, that fought a bloody and bitter campaign within Warsaw until they were finally relieved.

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

As a companion to this article, I would recommend reading Mike Haught’s absolutely brilliantly researched and professionally presented guide to fielding the Armii Krajowej (Before the release of Red Bear).

Click here to check out that article...

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

I could only dream of being able to construct an article as in depth and informative as the one above. As well as the history and timeline of the uprising, Mike has also linked his guide to modelling the AK on the field, and the design notes to accompany the original release of the Armii Krajowej in Red Bear.

So, it’s not going to be a perfect conversion, and there are most likely going to be a lot of disagreements about the representation of the Armii Krajowej, but below is a table that I think will give reasonable suggestions on how to field the ‘AK’ using Bagration: Soviet. The codes following the suggested units are the Unit Card Codes.

Red Bear Unit Names Bagration: Soviet Suggestion  Notes
Formation Units    
Batalion Armii Krajowej HQ Rifle Battalion HQ (LS169)  Polish 1st Army Card
     
Armii Krajowej Piechoty Rifle Company (LS170) Polish 1st Army
Kedyw Platoon Hero Shock Rifle Company (LS167)  
AK Mortar Company 82mm Mortar Company (LS114) Representing 8cm Mortar
AK Machine-gun Company Maksim machine-gun Company (LS112) Representing sMG42
AK Anti-tank gun Company

45mm Anti-tank Company (LS116)
OR
Heavy Tank-killer Company (LS145)

Representing 5cm Gun

Represnting 7.5cm Gun

Support Units    
Kedyw Tank Platoon Panther (0-2)
Panzer IV (0-1)
Tiger (0-1)
StuG (0-1)

Decoy Tank Card


Representing Hetzer

Kedyw Assault Platoon Armoured Reconnaissance Platoon (LS134)

With Sd Kfz 251

Kedyw Armoured Car Platoon BA-64 Armoured Car Platoon (LS184)

Only 3, no upgrading to PTRD representing 221s

Polish Strelkovy Company Motor Rifle Company (LS182)  
AK Artillery Battery 122mm Artillery Batter (LS149) Representing 10.5cm Guns

 By all means, feel free to disagree with the choices I’ve suggested above, these are just guidelines.

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

A simple edit to bring the ratings of the ‘Decoy Tank Company’ command card to life with the full ratings of the Panther tank. 

Modelling
For the basic troops of Armii Krajowej, pictures show a mix of old Polish Army uniforms, captured German uniforms, smuggled in Soviet uniforms and of course civilian clothing.

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

As such, giving the troops a mix of German models (wielding captured German guns, of course), Polish riflemen, and the Partisan models available from Battlefront's Soviet Special Orders, it's able to create a good mix and quite the rabble of resistance fighters on the table. I don't have any myself at the moment, but I am aiming to get them in the near future and bring this project from dreams to reality.

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

 Pudel and Felek were captured Panther ausf. G tanks, and as such the new plastic Panthers with Zimmerit are perfect candidates to be 're-issued'.

The captured Hetzer; 'Chwat' appears to have been given a camouflage scheme of cream and green by either the Germans or the Polish resistance. It was then daubed with the Polish two-headed eagle on both sides, and the front plate. Battlefront currently do not have the Hetzer available, but it has been confirmed to be coming with Bagration: Germans.

Do Broni! (To Arms!)

Conclusion
I will revisit this in future, perhaps clean things up a little bit, and even slot all the above entries into a nice, neat V4 style Force Organisation Chart. For now though, I am eagerly awaiting Bagration to rumble forth from the shadows of the East, and liberate the Homeland. Do Broni!
~Fawlkes

Armia Krajowa Modeling Guide
Polish Unit Model to Use Nationality Product  
Infantry        
 Batalion Armii Krajowej HQ SS- Panzergrenadier Company HQ  German GBX138  
 Armii Krajowej & Kedyw Infantry & gun crews SS-Panzergrenadier Platoon (converted) German GBX141 Mix and match with other units
 AK, Kedyw, and Polish Strelkovy infantry teams Rifle Company, or Storm Group  Soviet SBX79, SBX81  
 AK, Kedyw, and Strelkovy Flame-thrower teams Flame thrower teams from above boxes Soviet SBX79, SBX81  
Guns        
 AK machine-gun teams sMG42 SS machine-gun platoon

German

GE797

 
 AK mortar platoon 8cm SS Mortar Platoon

German

GE798

 
 AK anti-tank gun teams 5cm Tank-hunter Platoon

German

GBX144

 
 AK artillery battery 10.5cm Artillery Battery German GBX145  
Vehicles        
Kedyw Assault Platoon SS-Panzergrenadier Company HQ German GBX138 For Halftracks
 Kedyw Tank Platoon (Panther) Panther A Tank Platoon German GBX161  

Kedyw Tank Platoon (Panzer IV)

Panzer IV Tank Platoon German GBX142  

Kedyw Tank Platoon (Hetzer)

Currently not available German N/A Coming Bagration: German

Kedyw Armoured Car Platoon

Sd Kfz 221 and 222 SS Scout Troop German GBX157  


Last Updated On Thursday, October 22, 2020 by Luke at Battlefront