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Armed forces in World War Two - Poland and France

Written by Sakhal

Poland 1939 - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: Vis 36 Model 35 caliber 9 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Polish Mauser K 98 caliber 7.92 mm
Individual weapons - Hand bombs: Defensive, offensive and smoke

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: Mors 1939 caliber 9 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic rifles: Browning 29 caliber 7.92 mm
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: Browning 30 caliber 7.92 mm, Model 38 caliber 20 mm

Mortars and grenade launchers: Mortar 1918 caliber 81 mm, Skoda 220/19 mm mortar (a), Model 36 grenade launcher caliber 46 mm

Antitank weapons - Light: Ur 1935 antitank carbine caliber 7.92 mm, Model 38 machine gun caliber 20 mm
Antitank weapons - Heavy: Bofors cannon caliber 37 mm (b)
Antitank weapons - Self-propelled: At the outbreak of the war no series self-propelled pieces were in service

Artillery - Cannons: Of 75/30 mm (d), 75/36 mm, 105/28 mm, 105/31 mm and 120/27 mm (c); antiaircraft cannons Bofors 40/56 mm (b) and 75/50 mm
Artillery - Howitzers: Skoda of 100/47 mm (a) and Schneider of 155/15 mm (c)

Armored vehicles: 574 light tanks TK of 2.43 t, TKS of 2.7 t and Vickers of 7.3 t (e), 102 light tanks R 17 (f), 211 light tanks 7TP of 9 t (national production), all for a total of 887 armored vehicles, plus 10 armored trains

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: No evidence of models in service

(a) Czechoslovak production.
(b) German production.
(c) French production.
(d) Russian production.
(e) British production.
(f) Without actual military value.

NOTE: The situation of the weapons of the Polish Army is given with date of 1 September 1939. The list does not consider the blade weapons reglamentary in the cavalry, as for example the Model 1934 ordnance sabre or the spears.

Poland 1939 - Navy

Destroyers: Blyzkawica, Grom of 2144 t, Burza, Wicher of 1540 t

Torpedo boats: Mazur of 420 t, Podhalanin, Slazak of 365 t, Kujawiak of 335 t

Minelayer ships: Gryf of 2227 t

Minesweeper ships: 6 units of 183 t

Submarines: Orzel, Sep of 1110/1473 t, Rys, Zbik, Wilk of 980/1250 t

Gunboats: Komendant Pilsudski, General Haller of 342 t

River gunboats: 5 units of 100 to 200 t, 3 units of 32 t

River monitors: 4 units of 110 t, 2 units of 69 t

River motorboats: 1 unit of 24 t, 32 units of 16 to 24 t

Poland 1939 - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: PZL P-7a, PZL P-11c, PZL P-24F

Bomber aircraft: Potez XXV (French license), PZL-23B, PZL-43B and PZL-46, all for ground attack or light bombing; PZL-37B for heavy bombing

Reconnaissance aircraft: R-XIIID, RWD-14, LWS-3; for training and liaison: RWD-8, RWD-13, PWS-26; R-XIII seaplane of the Navy

Transport aircraft: Fokker F-VII (Dutch license), Lockheed L-14H (American license)

NOTE: At the outbreak of the hostilities the Polish aviation had about 800 aircraft, but those considered to be suitable for war were only 463, among them 159 fighters. At the end of the fight about 356 aircraft had been destroyed (either in combat or in the ground), and about 98 managed to flee to neighboring non-belligerent countries. The losses of the Luftwaffe rose to 285 aircraft destroyed and 279 damaged.


Armed forces (equipment) of Poland in 1939.

France 1939 - Army

Individual weapons - Pistols: Pistols Ruby and Star caliber 7.65 mm, revolver Lebel caliber 8 mm
Individual weapons - Rifles: Lebel 86/16 caliber 8 mm, Berthier and MAS caliber 7.5 mm
Individual weapons - Hand bombs: F1, CF defensive, OF offensive (a), plus others incendiary and smoke

Automatic weapons - Submachine guns: MAS 1938 caliber 7.65 mm
Automatic weapons - Automatic rifles: Model 24/29 caliber 7.5 mm
Automatic weapons - Machine guns: Light of caliber 7.5 mm, heavy St. Etienne and Hotchkiss caliber 8 mm

Mortars: One model of caliber 60 mm and another one of 81 mm

Antitank weapons - Light: Hotchkiss machine gun of 25/72 mm, Model 37 cannon of 47 mm
Antitank weapons - Heavy: At the beginning of the war there were no cannons of caliber larger than 47 mm in service adapted to antitank role
Antitank weapons - Self-propelled: At the outbreak of the war no self-propelled pieces were in service for antitank role

Artillery - Cannons: Model 1897 of 75 mm, modernized of 75 mm (b), of 90 mm (b) and 105 mm
Artillery - Howitzers: Of 75 mm and 105 mm; mortars GPF of 155 mm and Schneider of 220 mm (c)

Armored vehicles: 264 Re B1, 1035 Re 35/40, 774 H 35/39, 450 S35, 96 FCM 36 and FCM 2C, some more than 700 including all AMR, AMC and AMD, 504 Re FT 17 (d) and 45 Re D2, all for a total of almost 3900 tanks

Chemical weapons - Flamethrowers: Some heavy types used in fortresses

(a) They are called defensive grenades the heavy ones, whose casing can fragment into thick and deadly shrapnel, of high destructive power; offensive grenades are lighter, with strong detonation, of primarily psychological value.
(b) Antiaircraft.
(c) There were still numerous pieces from the Great War or the late previous century, used above all in fortresses and in the Maginot Line.
(d) From the Great War.

France 1939 - Navy

Battleships: 2 Dunkerque class of 26500 t, 3 Provence class of 22189 t, 2 Courbet class of 22189 t, 1 Richelieu class of 35000 t (a)

Aircraft carriers: 1 Bearn class of 22146 t

Cruisers: 1 Algerie class of 10000 t, 2 Tourville class of 10000 t, 4 Suffren class of 9938 t, 6 La Galissonniere class of 7600 t, 3 Duguay Tronin class of 9350 t, 1 Jeanne d'Arc class of 6496 t (b), 1 Emile Bertin class of 5886 t, 1 Pluton class of 4473 t (c)

Destroyers: 2 Mogador class of 3500 t, 6 Cassard class of 3090 t, 6 Aigle class of 3090 t, 6 Guepard class of 3080 t, 6 Jaguar class of 2700 t, 7 La Fantasque class of 2569 t (d), 14 L'Adroit class of 1750 t, 12 Simoun class of 1727 t, 6 L'Agile class of 1000 t

Torpedo boats: 1 Aventurier class of 1180 t, 12 La Pomone class of 700 t

Submarines: 1 Surcouf class of 2880/4300 t, oceanic-cruiser (e), 30 Redoutable class and 9 Requin class, oceanic, 6 Saphir class, minelayer, 31 Diane and Sirene classes, coastal

Minelayer ships: 2 Castor class of 3150 t

Seaplane support ships: 1 Commandant Teste class of 10000 t

(a) Put into operation, but still ineffective.
(b) Used as school ship.
(c) Minelayer cruiser. Note: All the cruisers mentioned so far are considered heavy cruisers.
(d) The destroyers mentioned so far were considered, by many seamen of that time, to be light cruisers.
(e) So called because, unique on her genre, she had a twin mounting of large-caliber cannons.

France 1939 - Aviation

Fighter aircraft: Breguet 27, Bloch 151 and 152, Dewoitine 510 and 520, Morane-Saulnier 406

Bomber aircraft: LeO 451, Bloch 210, Martin 167, Amiot 354, Potez 633; dive bombers LN 401 and 411, Chance Vought 156; Latecoere 298 torpedo bomber

Reconnaissance aircraft: Potez 631, Potez 637 and Potez 63/11; exploration seaplanes Breguet 521, Loire 70, LeO H470; surveillance seaplanes LeO H43, GL 812, Short S8/2, CAMS 55.10

Transport aircraft: Several types of aircraft adapted to the requirements of the moment

NOTE: Some aircraft, such as the Martin 167 bomber or the Chance Vought 156 dive bomber, were not of national production, but they were part of the large amount of modern flight material with which France tried to cover its own technical deficiencies by making orders to United States.


Armed forces (equipment) of France in 1939.

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Armed Forces in World War Two - Britain

Armed Forces in World War Two - Germany

Armed Forces in World War Two - Italy

Armed Forces in World War Two - Japan

Armed Forces in World War Two - Russia

Armed Forces in World War Two - United States

Categories: Statistics - World War Two - 20th Century - [General] - [General]


Website: Military History

Article submitted: 2015-07-20

Article updated: 2020-11-08

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