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Polish Armoured Trains


Polish armoured train No.11 'Danuta'
Armoured train "Danuta" (later Nr 11) - view from mid-1930s. [Drawing: J. Magnuski]
"In our army there was no other unit, tactically and logistically self-reliant and self-sufficient, with such great amount of very different equipment and specialisations (several dozen). Artillery, infantry, machine guns, sappers, tanks and draisines. Liaison (radio, telephone, signalling), railways - repair workshops, stock (administration, logistics)"
Cpt. Stanisław Młodzianowski, commander of Nr.13 armoured train in 1939

This page is devoted to little-known subject of Polish Army armoured trains.

As we were starting in 1999, there were very few publications on Polish armoured trains, mostly quite old, all of them fragmentary or too general, so we had to reconstruct the trains' composition and service from partial information, often contradictory. Our work was often pioneering, with a help from friends throughout the Internet, and later also from Polish researchers. Our page helped to communicate the enthusiasts as well. The situation improved somehow only in the second decade of the 21st century – armoured trains became more popular subject and new facts and photographs have been revealed. Especially valuable are new works by Polish acknowledged author and illustrator Adam Jońca about the trains, that survived until 1939, but still there are no publications covering all the history of earlier Polish armoured trains. Therefore, the information on these pages sometimes may not be most correct – this is only a hobby project, maintained in a free time, without own research of source documents, although with a help of Polish researchers, first of all Adam Jońca and Krzysztof Margasiński.

We are still looking for new photos and information so that we can improve the pages. Due to lack of time, updates are not frequent, but the pages will be updated according to newest state of knowledge in the future, so be sure to check the newest versions (see what's new).

If you have any corrections or additional sources, especially photograps - new or better quality - share with us



Armoured trains of 1939

"Poland had only few armoured trains, but their officers and soldiers were fighting well. Again and again they were emerging from a cover in thick forests, disturbing German lines"
from the history of Wehrmacht: "Wie das Gesetz es befahl"
Polish armoured train Nr.11 (Danuta), 1939. [drawing Adam Jońca]
Armoured train Nr. 11 ("Danuta") in 1939 [Drawing: A. Jońca]

Polish Army operated 10 regular armoured trains in 1939, and all took part in World War II. At that time, they carried numbers only, despite they are commonly known under their older names. The pages describe also their earlier and further service.

Regular armoured trains:
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  • - New 16. 09. 2020
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  • - updated 17. 11. 2021
  • - updated 11. 02. 2020
  • - updated 19. 02. 2021
  • - updated 21. 10. 2021
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Other Polish armoured trains in 1939:
Polish armoured draisines.
Polish draisines and motor wagon [based on drawings by A. Jońca / A. Sheps]
Miscellaneous:


Armoured trains of 1918-1930


"...in spite of falling darkness, the armoured trains were still running on the line, causing losses to Red artillery regiments without any break"

Soviet report from Lesniakowizna, Warsaw Battle, August 1920
Pociąg pancerny 'Związek Broni'.
Approximate view of "Związek Broni" armoured train [based on drawings by Jońca and others]
Armoured trains of Polish units in Russia 1918-1919:
Armoured train from 1920, patterned upon 'Hallerczyk'
Example of 1920 Polish armoured train (patterned upon PP.4 "Hallerczyk" of the 2nd forming) [based on drawings A. Jońca and others]
Armoured trains of Polish-Ukrainian War 1918-1919, Polish-Soviet War 1919-1921 and Greater Poland uprising 1918-1919:

Exact number of Polish armoured trains in 1918-1921 is not known; there were at least 80 armoured trains constructed in Poland and about 30 captured ones. Apart from numbered trains, there were also non-numbered improvised or freshly captured trains. In some cases, along with Polish offensive to the East, crews of standard-gauge armoured trains would operate captured broad-gauge armoured trains, known under their "parent" name, with "-szeroki" (wide) adjective. Therefore, the list is not a complete one. In bold are links to trains not described in a section above.

  • P.P. 1 "Piłsudczyk" (1918-21)
  • P.P. 2 "Śmiały" (1918-21) (photo 1, 2)
  • P.P. 3 "Lis-Kula" (ex. "Lwowianin"/"Pepetrójka") (1918-21)
  • P.P. 4 "Hallerczyk" (1918-21) (photo 1, 2)
  • P.P. 5 "Odsiecz I" (1918-19)
  • P.P. 5 "Piłsudczyk-szeroki" (1919-20)
  • P.P. 5 "Król Stefan Batory" (1920-21)
  • P.P. 6 "Gromobój" (1918-19) (photo)
  • P.P. 6 "Generał Iwaszkiewicz" (1920) (photo)
  • P.P. 7 "Kozak" (1918-19)
  • P.P. 7 "Smok" (1919)
  • P.P. 7 → P.P.24 "Generał Śmigły-Rydz" (1919-20)
  • P.P. 7 "Bolesław Chrobry" (1920-21)
  • P.P. 8 "Rozwadowczyk" (later "Wilk") (1919-21) (photo)
  • P.P. 8 → P.P.24 "Generał Konarzewski" (1919-20)
  • P.P. 9 "Danuta" (ex "Wawel") (1919-21)
  • P.P.10 "Pionier" (1919-21) (photo)
  • P.P.10 "Pionier-szeroki" (1919-20)
  • P.P.11 "Poznańczyk" (1918-21)
  • P.P.12 "Kaniów" (1919-20)
  • P.P.13 "Boruta" (1919-21)
  • P.P.13 "Zawisza Czarny" (1920-21)
  • P.P.14 "Zagończyk" (1918-21) (photo)
  • P.P.15 "Groźny" (1918-19)
  • P.P.15 "Paderewski" (1919-21) - updated 19. 02. 2021
  • P.P.16 "Mściciel" (ex "Mściwy") (1919-21)
  • P.P 17 "Saper" (1919) (photo)
  • P.P.17 "Rzepicha" (1919-20)
  • P.P.17 "Reduta Ordona" (1920)
  • P.P.18 "Odsiecz II" (1919-20)
  • P.P.18 "Huragan" (1919-21) (photo)
  • P.P.19 "Śmiały-szeroki" (1919-20) (photo)
  • P.P.19 "Podhalanin" (1920)
  • P.P.20 "Generał Dowbor" (1919-20) - updated 18. 08. 2021
  • P.P.20 "Bartosz Głowacki" (1920-21)
  • P.P.21 "Generał Listowski" (ex. "Postrach-szeroki") (1919-20)
  • P.P.21 "Pierwszy Marszałek" (ex. "Strzelec Kresowy") (1919-21)
  • P.P.22 "Groźny-szeroki" (later "Groźny") (1919-21)
  • P.P.23 "Generał Sikorski" (1920)
  • P.P.23 "Śmierć" (1920-21) - new 17. 10. 2021
  • P.P.24 "Generał Konarzewski" (ex P.P.8) (1919-20) - new 8. 2. 2020
  • P.P.24 "Śmigły" (ex P.P.7 "Generał Śmigły-Rydz") (1919-20)
  • P.P.25 "Rewera" (1920)
  • P.P.25 "Stefan Czarniecki" (1920-21)
  • P.P.26 "Generał Sosnkowski" (1920-21) - updated 17. 11. 2021
  • P.P.27 "Ochotnik" (ex "Porucznik Kozak") (1920)
  • P.P.27 "Jan Kiliński" (1920-21)
  • P.P.28 "Generał Krajowski" (1920-21)
  • "Boruciątko"
  • "Ciechanowiak"
  • "Generał Dąbrowski" (ex "Grot") (1920)
  • "Goplana" (1919-20)
  • "Góral"
  • "Hallerczyk-szeroki" (1920)
  • "Kanonier"
  • "Kaniowczyk" (1919)
  • "Kaniów II"
  • "Magik" (1920-21)
  • "Orzeł Biały"
  • "Pancernik Jarosław" (1918-20)
  • "Polesiak"
  • "Postrach II" (1920)
  • "Strzelec Lwowski" (1919)
  • "Suwalczyk"
  • "Wileńczyk"
  • "Wściekły"
Polish armoured train 'Zygmunt Powstaniec' of the Third Silesian Uprising, 1921.
PP.14 "Zygmunt Powstaniec" [drawing: J. Magnuski]
Polish armoured trains of the third Silesian uprising 1921:
  • PP.1 "Korfanty"
  • PP.2 "Nowina-Doliwa"
  • PP.3 "Pieron"
  • PP.4 "Naprzód"
  • PP.5 "Szwoleżer" (ex. "Powstaniec")
  • PP.6 "Ułan"
  • PP.7 "Bajończyk"
  • PP.8 "Górnik"
  • PP.9 "Lubieniec"
  • PP.10 "Ludyga"
  • PP.11 "Lew"
  • PP.12 "Pantera"
  • PP.13 "Nowak"
  • PP.14 "Zygmunt Powstaniec"
  • PP.15 "Tadek Ślązak"
  • PP.16 "Piast" (ex. "Testart")
  • "Kabicz" (wąskotorowy)
  • "Ślązak"
Training armoured train of the 1st Unit, mid-1920s. [drawing: Adam Jońca]
Example composition of the 1st Armoured Train Unit's training train, mid-1920s.[drawings: A. Jońca]
Polish armoured trains in 1923–1930:


Armoured trains of 1940-1948


'Train E will attack and kill enemy troops wherever they can be found'
- instruction on action to be taken in the event of German landing

Polish armoured train in Great Britain
Polish armoured train in Great Britain [drawing: ?]


If you have any comments, questions, corrections or suggestions, or if you just liked these pages - mail me



These pages are dedicated to the memory of Janusz Magnuski (1933-1999), one of Polish pioneer researchers of armoured weapons, especially armoured trains; author of numerous books and articles published also as "James Grandsen".

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Michał Derela, 2001