Polish MSH 6th Airborne list -
Richard (see his blog: Red Storm, also linked to on the right) has been badgering me for a while (in the nicest way, I should add!) to get some Polish army lists done similarly for what I've done for the Czechoslovakians.
Since I had a reasonably slack week this week (i.e. I wasn't snowed under at work...), I thought I should humour him, and get something concrete done. Of course this has meant my terrain borads are coming along a bit more slowly, but they haven't stopped completely, as I can work on lists while I am allowing glue to set, etc.
Anyway, I made a start with what I would call a sub-list: that for the Polish 6th Airborne "Division". You can get a pdf of the list here (standard MSH format; two pages including the notes), covering the period 1967 to 1989. The 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division was a division in name only (mostly to to help secure better funding!); it was in reality just a Brigade in size, and was so-named officially from 1986.
|Image nicked from http://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.jp/2010/12/polish-paratroopers.html|
The unit had a number of privileges denied lesser mortals, such as being able to walk around with their sleeves rolled up (!), the most familiar of which to the public at large was their maroon beret. Its military efficiency seems to have declined somewhat around the time of the Solidarity upheavals, when it was forced to spend too much time parading and not enough time parachuting.
There is a major reorganization in 1976, which saw a shift in emphasis from operating as a complete brigade to providing battalion-level forces that might be used in conjunction with other units. Accordingly, the ASU-85 battalion was abolished, while the parachute battalions were beefed up with more support platoons. Unlike the Soviet Airborne troops, the Polish ones were never provided with BMDs, and remained light infantry. However, unlike the (much less numerous) Czechoslovakian Airborne troops, they had a decent amount of anti-tank weapons, so would not have been completely helpless in the face of light enemy armour.
|Image from Kerim44 under CCA 3.0 licence.|
|ASU-85 of the 6th Airborne. Public domain image from here.|
The Brigade also gets a decent amount of mortars (just as well given the absence of any conventional tube artillery!). From 1984 these can include some GAZ-66 towed 2B9 Vasileks (Wosilek to the Poles) which have the advantage of also being able to be used as direct-fire weapons. Alas, a single platoon of 6 of these weapons means just 1 or 2 stands.
In gaming terms, this list is most likely to see use as the a source of an "extra battalion" in an otherwise normal Polish force, reinforcing a more standard regiment. Without heavy transports, it won't be too expensive in terms of points, and although such a battalion will not be able to benefit from being allocated brigade/regimental artillery or other such assets from its host, its own assets should be up to the job anyway.