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Lance pennons of the Polish Army (1920-39)

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Here are some examples of the lance pennons used by the cavalry arm and allied branches of the Polish Army, 1920-1939. I drew these from illustrations of the corresponding collar patches, which had dimensions of roughly 1:3. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the collar patches of branches other than the actual cavalry regiments may not have had corresponding pennons.

With this batch I will have posted a good representative selection of the various designs and colors of the interwar Polish Army's lance pennons. There are quite a few more but they all follow the patterns, albeit with different color combinations, illustrated by my pictures.
Tom Gregg, 3 and 4 September 1997


Pennon, Cavalry, Polish Army

[Cavalry]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

For cavalry brigade staffs, non-regimental cavalry, e.g. squardrons attached to infantry divisions (except those assigned to the Frontier Defense Corps), and other organizations such as the Remount Service.
Tom Gregg, 3 September 1997


Pennon, Horse Artillery, Polish Army

[Horse Artillery]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

For artillery of the cavalry brigades.
Tom Gregg, 3 September 1997


Pennon, Cavalry Squadrons, Frontier Defense Corps, Polish Army

[Cavalry Squadrons, Frontier Defense Corps]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

Pennon, 3rd Mounted Rifles, Polish Army

[3rd Mounted Rifles]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

Green and Polish crimson were typical pennon colors for mounted rifle regiments.
Tom Gregg, 3 September 1997


Pennon, 11th Lancers, Polish Army

[11th Lancers]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

The 27 lancer regiments had pennons in a great variety of colors and designs; this is one of the simpler ones.
Tom Gregg, 3 September 1997


Lance Pennon, 1st Lancers, Polish Army

[1st Lancers]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

Similar to the "classic" style of pennon, but with Polish crimson instead of red over white.
Tom Gregg, 4 September 1997


Lance Pennon, 19th Lancers, Polish Army

[19th Lancers]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

Several other regiments had this style of pennon, with different color combinations.
Tom Gregg, 4 September 1997


Lance Pennon, 1st Light Horse, Polish Army

[1st Light Horse]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

All three light horse regiments had silver gray pennons. That of the 2nd Light Horse was identical to that of the 1st Light Horse (Polish crimson stripe); the 3rd Light Horse had a golden orange stripe. The miniature collar-patch versions were worn together with shoulder-strap monograms (silver metal) as an additional regimental distinction.
Tom Gregg, 4 September 1997


Lance Pennon, Antitank Battalions of Motorized Brigades, Polish Army

[Antitank Battalions of Motorized Brigades]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original

In 1939, the Polish Army was in the process of converting a number of its cavalry brigades to motorized brigades. The cavalry regiments (mostly lancers) were to become motorized rifle regiments, the horse artillery was to be motorized, and the brigade was also to contain a tank battalion, a motorized reconnaissance battalion and a motorized antitank battalion. Only two or three of these brigades existed at the time of the German invasion, however, and they had little effect on the course of the campaign. As the motorized brigades derived from the cavalry arm, pennon-style collar patches were used by all these units except the tank battalion, which had a triangular black-over-orange patch. I don't know if these existed as actual pennons; however, the cavalry regiments of the 2nd Polish Armoured Division flew pennons from their tanks during the 1944-45 European campaign. Perhaps this was also the practice before the war.
Tom Gregg, 4 September 1997

The two pennons for units of mechanized brigades may not have existed except in miniature form as collar patches on the uniform. Those units which actually were horse cavalry did have pennons, but I don't know about motorized/mechanized units. The reason they had cavalry-type collar patches is because they derived from the cavalry; in fact, Poland was in the process of
converting a number of its cavalry brigades into mechanized brigades when war broke out in 1939. Only two or three mechanized brigades were operational at the time of the German invasion--too few to have a major impact on the course of the
campaign.

Given the Polish Army's strong cavalry tradition, it is plausible that the recon- and anti-tank battalions flew pennons on their vehicles, but I don't know that for a fact. I have, however, seen photos of the Polish Armored Division in France (1944) which show the tanks, armored cars, etc. flying lance pennons. The units raised for this division adopted the badges and titles of some traditional lancer, light horse, mounted rifle, etc. regiments.
Tom Gregg, 19 Mar 1999


Lance Pennon, Reconnaissance Battalions of Motorized Brigades, Polish Army

[Reconnaissance Battalions of Motorized Brigades]
by Jorge Candeias, after Tom Gregg's original