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Author Topic: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued  (Read 1073 times)

Offline Mark Plant

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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« on: April 08, 2022, 04:55:24 AM »
https://pygmywars.com/rcw/history/articles.html

All from people who actually fought, which are my preferred sources.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 09:15:21 PM by Mark Plant »

Offline Mike Blake

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  • Size Does Matter! - 54mm - The One True Scale
Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2022, 09:36:42 AM »
excellent  - many thanks for all the hard work
Size Does Matter! - 54mm - The One True Scale

Offline Sparrow

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2022, 08:58:30 PM »
Brilliant stuff!
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry!

Offline OB

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2022, 02:29:41 PM »
That's a great resource you have given us Mark, thank you.

Offline trev

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    • The Bits Box
Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2022, 12:05:22 PM »
Another great addition to your site Mark.  Thanks.

Offline julian bonny

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2022, 04:10:43 PM »
an amazing set of material there, gold primary evidence, thank you wholeheartedly
Julian

Offline Mark Plant

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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2022, 09:22:42 PM »
Thanks for the kind words folks.

I've added some more of the Polish cavalry stories. That's about two-thirds of the book now, the rest being boring or overly nationalistic for my tastes.

This all started because I was trying to find out how often tachankas dismounted to fire. The result is that I have found that:

1) The Poles weren't that fussed about tachankas. They had some from early-1920, but they also kept using pack MGs right to the end of the war. That does suggest that tachankas weren't quite the wonderful weapon you sometimes see them described as. In none of the descriptions are the Poles bothered by Red tachankas, even when fighting the 1st Horse Army.

2) While I still have no idea about how often tachankas dismounted, I have found out that Polish cavalry often dismounted. That came as quite a surprise, because I had assumed that they were like the White cavalry in the south, who fought dismounted rarely, if at all. The Poles seem to have been the RCW army that most kept WWI techniques, so maybe it was because of that.

Offline Pan Marek

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2022, 04:06:18 PM »
Mark-
I haven't yet read your new Polish entries, but since you have, do you think the Polish tactics reflect that the Poles were on the defensive in the battle of Warsaw?  Or do you see them dismounting from the beginning?

I would think that dismounting alot would explain the used of packed MGs instead of Tachankas.  Maybe.

The Poles use of WWI cavalry doctrine might result from much of their army having roots in the German, Austrian, and French armies, plus the use of western advisors during the war.  It also highlights the eventual
abandonment of the lance as a combat weapon in the 30s, and that the Polish cavalry usually fought dismounted in '39.

Offline Mark Plant

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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2022, 10:31:12 PM »
The Polish cavalry definitely dismounted from the beginning and kept it through to the end. Oddly, around the period of the Battle of Warsaw they usually fought mounted, which is why I hadn't realised they dismounted so much.

The Poles tended to keep WWI methods long past they were valid, for the reasons you suggest (I'd forgotten about all the foreign advisors). Their artillery was often ineffective because they tried to set up WWI era communications nets, and by the time they had -- the battle had long since moved on.

One of the reasons for the collapse of the fronts in early 1920 both against Tukhachevski and Budenny was that they kept long thin lines, as if fighting WWI. The units were mostly unaffected though, which is why they were still able to resist after such a long retreat.

But the Poles in front of Warsaw succeeded because they finally realised that their defensive strategies weren't effective (and Pilsudski replaced those who wouldn't learn). Sikorski to the North adopted an attacking strategy from the start. Around Radzymin they were defeated every time they tried to defend a line, and only protected Warsaw by adopting a very aggressive strategy against each incursion into their lines.

I don't know what it was they did to hold Budenny up -- I think that might be my next big project.

Offline Sparrow

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2022, 05:46:52 AM »
Really interesting stuff and thank you so much for sharing. I’m new to this era so very much in the “read all you can to get a basic knowledge” mode so this is all incredibly interesting and useful.

Out of interest, you mention Polish cavalry retaining WW1 tactics, how did Russian cavalry operate 1914-17? Is there anything I can learn from that?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 05:48:32 AM by Sparrow »

Offline Pan Marek

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2022, 06:06:06 PM »
Mark-
As always, outstanding info.

Your nitty gritty research reveals tactical information that simply isn't
present in the "big picture" campaign books by Davies, and even
the newesh Osprey.

Thanks

Offline Mark Plant

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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2022, 03:58:32 AM »
Sorry, Sparrow, I really can't comment on WWI -- there will be people here who know much more than me.

My only thoughts are that the changes in Russian Cavalry in the RCW compared to 1914 were presumably because of their experience in that war.

-- The regular cavalry started adopting Cossack formations (in particular the lava).

-- Penetrations behind the lines replaced frontal attacks (Generally with irregulars, like the "Savage Division", during the Great War.)

-- A willingness to increase the firepower of cavalrymen by adding tachankas.

Offline Sparrow

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2022, 06:32:36 PM »
Cheers - much appreciated

Offline Ignatieff

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Re: A few more articles at Pygmy Wars -- continued
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2022, 06:40:34 AM »
Brilliant work as always Mark.  You have done so much to increase and make accessible the knowledge of this period.  Thank you
"...and as always, we are dealing with strange forces far beyond our comprehension...."

All limitations are self imposed.  Work hard and dream big.

 

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