Friday 1 January 2016

Battlegroup Blitzkrieg - Polish Mechanised Brigade 1939

In the light of my previous post, I was tempted to produce another one to cover what might be thought of as the natural wargaming opponent of the German Light Divisions, the Polish Mechanised Cavalry Brigades. Of course, there were only 2 of these, the 10th Mechanised Brigade and the Warsaw Mechanised Brigade, but both saw a good deal of action and despite all their problems (in particular, their reliance on a very small number of inadequate tanks and constant fuel shortages), they managed to punch above their weight on a number of occasions.

I had to buy a couple of extra Vickers tanks to make a full 5 tank platoon, of 3 gun tanks and 2 MG tanks. Unfortunately, unlike the excellent Zvezda kits of the Panzer 38(t), no decent 15mm models of the Vickers 6 ton in Polish service are available. I have decided to make do with the distinctly second rate (make that third rate) model from QRF - wrong turret shape, no sign of the distinctive air intakes, hull made ridiculously shallow to save metal, etc. Sigh. Like many wargamers who appreciate this period, the advent of the Flames of War range a few years back raised high hopes for a good selection of the main vehicles, but alas the range was left to wither after the initial releases. No Vickers tanks, no soft skins at all. So much for the advantages of commercial wargaming. However, I cannot leave this subject without saluting the efforts of one wargamer who applied his considerable modelling skills to this problem. Check the link.

So anyway, the tank platoon looks like this,

The gun tanks lead whilst the MG tanks wisely keep to the rear.

And of course I couldn't resist putting together a small battlegroup to set against the German one I outlined in the previous post.

The infantry organisation is adapted to the 4 figure bases left over from my days of using Blitzkrieg Commander.
No chance of re-basing in the forseeable future - I have better things to do with my wargaming time! 

In this case I had to do rather more work, as the organisation of the mechanised brigades is not covered in the BGB supplement (oh, for shame!). I would refer any interested parties to check out this thread on the BGB forum, particularly for the response from the chap calling himself 'gebhk' who clearly knows his stuff. As you can see, the infantry platoon is much smaller than the normal, very large one employed in Polish infantry formations, being based (of course) on the cavalry organisation. For those noticing the absence of the distinctive black leather coats of the 'Black Brigade', I will have to admit that I use ordinary infantry figures in the mechanised units. So assume this is the Warsaw Brigade. Or a unit of the 10th who are vegans and don't wear leather.

Anyway, the battlegroup I chose has a Vickers platoon; a TKS platoon including one tankette with a 20mm gun; an infantry platoon supported by an anti-tank rifle, towed anti-tank gun and MMG team in a Lazik; a motorcycle reconnaissance section; and off-table support from a battery of 2 81mm mortars. I left out the transport trucks for the infantry in this instance - the 2 Praga RV trucks for the mortars are superfluous and are included for effect only.

These are the first photos (and this is the first post) from our new home in the Cotswolds. I have discovered that the lighting in the dining room, from a rather old-fashioned light fitting with 5 separate lamps, actually produces rather a nice bright and even light for wargaming in general, and wargaming photography in particular. I will have to ruthlessly sabotage Mrs Flint's project to replace this fitting with something more contemporary.

Anyway, with Christmas and New Year out of the way, and all boxes unpacked, it is time to get some gaming going. My intention is that the first game to be played here will be a solo BGB engagement designed to refresh my knowledge of the rules. I have something in mind that will pit units of the German 3rd Light Division against some from a Polish Mechanised Brigade, using a couple of evenly matched battlegroups similar to those featured here and in my previous post. This will be an encounter engagement based on a scenario recently featured in Miniature Wargames.

Watch this space. Oh, and Happy New Year!


Steve J. said...

Glad to know that you have settled into your new home. One of my projects for the year is a Polish battlegroup for BKCII given that Pendraken are due to release a Polish range after much prodding from myself. Naturally I will watch your progress with interest.

Don't forget to check out the following link as there is plenty of information there on both mechanized brigades:

Keith Flint said...

Thanks for reminding me of that resource Steve. Will be in touch shortly regarding possible HoW gaming.

L. Sabia Byrne said...

Hey Keith

Some nice work here, I have some of the Praga RV's myself for my Polish Engineers and Sappers. Im currently working on a sculpt for Vickers E's as well, as there is just nothing out there that is any good.

Would you mind me asking where you got the canvas covers for the Praga's and the staff sitting in the Laziks? I need both y'see

Happy New Year and I hope the WPMD or the 10th BK kick some serious ass this year! :D


Keith Flint said...

Hi Lee, the canvas covers were carved and sanded from balsa wood - a bit rough but acceptable. The seated figures are from various sources which I'm afraid are lost in the mists of time. Not all of them are strictly Polish - some are German or British, with a bit of appropriate filing to helmets. I think at least some are Peter Pig.

L. Sabia Byrne said...

Gotcha! Ill see if I can find any of them on the PP website as well.

Feel free to head over to my blog if you want to check out a bag of Polish stuff that Ive completed so far. You'll find me at

Cheers for the info!


Mad Padre said...

A very happy new year to you and yours I moved myself last year, seriously no fun.

Jim Walkley said...

Happy New Year Keith. Very glad to read that your move is complete - done it a couple of times myself but I was younger then. It has also been nice to read all the good comments about Honours of War, the latest in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. I look forward to reading more blog posts as the year progresses. Best wishes. Jim

Keith Flint said...

Hi Jim - belated Happy NewYear to you and yours.