Cavalry vs. tanks, and how The Guardian failed to debunk the myth.

    • Thread Starter

    I'm not blaming the Guardian, I'm actually impressed by general quality of British press, but this is a fine example of how jurnalists fail to spend 10 minutes of doing research upon article they are preparing.

    An author of this article:

    intended to debunk the myth of Polish cavalry charging on tanks, but with this sentence he created his own myth:

    "Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorised, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire."

    This suggests that instead of idiot-cavalry charging on tanks, our cavalry at Krojanty were idiot-lancers who charged at machine guns. And this is not true neither.

    The charge at Krojanty was a studied attack, of the 18th cavalry regiment, that had support of TK-3 tanquettes from 81st armoured division. The design was to use part of the regiment's forces to draw attention of ge units so rest of the regiment could fall back to new defensive positions. Colonel Mastalerz considered frontal assault as impossible, so he decided that two cavalry squadrons shall go around the german forces and attack them by surprise from behind, while tanquettes will stay behind as back up. The plan turned out generally succesful. Two squadrons of 250 horses, turned up behind german lines and after recon, charged on resting german infantry. They have killed 11 troops, and dispersed the whole unit, after that they were surprised by camouflaged armoured cars, so they withdrawed, loosing 25 KIA and 50 wounded. There was no frantic charge on machine guns. The action was quite well planned achieved main goals. After surprising enemy infantry, the cavalry was surprised by enemy armoured cars, so withdrawed as quick as possible- rather different to what the Guardian described. I know, it;s longer, but why couldn;t they write: Polish cavalry did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry batallion, by surprise and succesfully but was then pushed back by camouflaged armoured cars" ?

    We might add, that Polish cavalry back then, was trained to fight dragoon style, and was armed with heavy machine guns, 75mm field artillery cannons, 40mm AA guns, 37 mm Bofors AT guns, and UR anti-tank carbines. Amount of these weapons was often insuffcient, still, they had some effective anti-tank weapons, they were not crazy enought to charge a tank or even a machine gun.
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