The Motor Pool TMP2032 Polish Forces East T-34/76D Medium Tank in Summer Camouflage (1:35 Scale)
"To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
- "First Marshal of Poland" Jozef Pilsudski
The first generation T-34 medium tank made its debut in combat during the summer of 1941, when the Wehrmacht launched its invasion of the Soviet Union. The T-34 easily outclassed the German PzKpfw III and IV models, thanks to its hard-hitting 76.2mm main gun, thick frontal armor, wide tracks, and overall superior mobility. The first T-34s were assembled at Kharkov, Leningrad, and Stalingrad, then moved behind the Ural mountains when the German advance encircled Leningrad, overran Kharkov, and invested the "City of Stalin". Legend has it that some T-34s rolled off the Stalingrad assembly line unpainted and even unfinished to prevent the Nazi invaders from capturing the city.
Now The Motor Pool is proud to roll out its own 1:35 scale rendition of the Soviet T-34/76D medium tank, which is painted in a Polish livery.
Length: 7.50 inches
Width: 3.50 inches
Height: 3 inches
Historical Account: "Polish Forces East" - Broadly speaking, there were two formations among the Polish Armed Forces in the East. First was the Polish government-in-exile-loyal Anders Army, created in the second half of 1941 after the German invasion of the USSR. In 1943, this formation was transferred to the Western Allies and became known as the Polish II Corps. Additionally, remaining Polish forces in USSR were reorganized into the Soviet-controlled Polish I Corps in the Soviet Union, which in turn was reorganized in 1944 into the Polish First Army (Berling Army) and Polish Second Army, both part of Polish People's Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie, LWP). In 1944, following the takeover of Poland by Soviets from Nazi Germany, the Polish People's Army was reorganized into a Poland-based military formation.
In the aftermath of the Operation Barbarossa, Stalin agreed (Sikorski-Mayski Agreement) to release tens of thousands of Polish prisoners-of-war held in Soviet camps from whom a military force was formed. The Anders Army, as the formation became known, was loyal to the Polish government in exile, and as such its formation was obstructed by the Soviets. Eventually, with about 40 000 combatants and 70 000 civilians, it was transferred to the British command in the Middle East in Egypt, becoming the Polish II Corps and part of the Polish Armed Forces in the West.
To utilize the potential of the remaining Polish soldiers in USSR, without actually allowing them to become independent from Soviet control, a fact which allowed Anders Army to leave USSR, the Soviet Union created a Union of Polish Patriots (ZPP) in 1943 as communist puppet counter-government to the Polish government in exile. At the same time a parallel army (Polish People's Army or LWP) was created which, by the end of the war, numbered about 200,000 soldiers. The Soviet-created guerilla force called Armia Ludowa was integrated with the Polish People's Army at the end of the war. These Soviet controlled units on the Eastern Front included the First, the Second and the Third Polish Armies (the latter was later merged with the second), and Air Force of the Polish Army with 10 infantry divisions, 5 armored brigades and 4 divisions of air force.
The Polish First Army was integrated in the 1st Belorussian Front with which it entered Poland from Soviet territory in 1944. Ordered to hold its position by the Soviet leadership, it did not advance towards Warsaw as Germans suppressed the Warsaw Uprising. It took part in battles for Bydgoszcz, Kolobrzeg (Kolberg), Gdansk (Danzig) and Gdynia losing 20,000 fighters in the winter of 1944-45, in the process, liberating Polish lands alongside the Soviets. In April-May 1945 the 1st Army fought in the final capture of Berlin. The Polish Second Army fought as part of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front and took part in the Prague Offensive. In the final operations of the war the losses of the two armies of the LWP amounted to 32,000.