All right, let’s see how this new format will work. This time we’ll be talking about tank models, not styles and for the first post like that I took something a bit easier for me – because of that we’re starting with Polish tech tree tanks: 7TP, 25TP, 45TP and 53TP.
A statutory plate placed on the upper front plate of the tank. The one right here contains some data and the name “PZInż” – “Państwowe Zakłady Inżynierii” (“National Engineering Works”). I’m not entirely sure if it’s historical or not, as it’s rather hard to see on historical photos and it seems, that usually there wasn’t any plate there. Most sources claim that if there was any plate, it contained the name of the factory that produced 7TP (factory name: PZInż 220) tanks – “Ursus”, in fact belonging to the PZInż. It’s possbile that PZInż plates were also used, we know for sure that there were present on the C7P artillery tractors, based on the 7TP, because at least one example of it (pictured below) exists to this day.
An interesting and historical helmet – Hełm czołgowy wz. 19. There’s a bit of history behind it: after WW1 Poland received some FT-17 tanks together with French Adrian M1915 helmets. Due to the lack of the tanker helmets some of the M1915s were modified in a similar way to the French M1919, an original modification for tankers (also provided by France together with FT-17s, albeit in smaller numbers than the M1915s). Polish and French tanker helmets were a bit different, and thanks to that we can say that the one here certainly belonged to a Polish tanker.
There are two ammo crates on the 7TP, one on the hull and one on the top turret. They look similar to the standard Russian ones, but still there are some visible differences, so I’m glad that they are not just reskins. They may not be based on the actual examples, but the design is rather simple and was used to some degree for some Polish crates, like the one for grenades pictured below.
It’s just a part of the tank and it’s possible that it was just copied from photos and drawings without thinking, but it’s so important that I have to talk about it. Pictured here is a Gundlach periscope, designed by a Polish engineer Rudolf Gundlach for the 7TP. It was revolutionary at that time, as it was the first device to allow the commander to have a 360-degree view with only one periscope. The patent for it was sold for a symbolic price of one Polish Zloty to Vickers-Armstrong as a part of Polish-British cooperation. It was later produced as the Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV and used on almost every if not every tank designed after that point (Crusader, Cromwell, Valentine, Churchill, Sherman…). In 1939 multiple TKS tankettes and 7TP tanks with that periscope were captured by the German and Russian armies. In Russia it was copied and produced as the MK-4 (Russian sources claimed that it was copied from British tanks supplied thanks to Lend-Lease, albeit they had it before that) and used for example on T-34s. By 1941 every major nation used this device and it remained in service for decades, unill it was replaced by electronic systems.
25TP KSUST II
One small detail here – it’s also a part of the tank, but it’s easy to miss, so I’m glad that it’s here. After all it’s not something that had to be included, there were multiple designs for the 20/25TP and they could use one without it. Still we got this one with this little tube – actually a barrel of an 81 mm mortar wz. 1931, built on licence bought in France.
Some triangular 20l jerrycans, originally made in Germany. It was an older design, replaced with the more known one later in the war. Still who wouldn’t use a perfectly good jerrycan? It’s also possible for the Polish tankers to use some of them, as many of them were captured, even nowadays you can easily find jerrycans like that being sold on multiple Polish sites.
A bottle with some beverage, possibly champagne. This type of bottle is still used here, but it’s usually just for that retro vibe. I’ve heard my parents talking about how cool they were back in the day multiple times, so I think it’s a fun detail.
Now that’s something that needed a while of research. This machine gun was also present on the 40TP as a hull MG, but here it’s fully visible, so I ignored it there. it’s also featured on the next tank in the line.
What we’re looking at here is probably a Ckm typ C (Type C HMG), a prototype machine gun created in Poland in late 1930s. There were 5 different proposed designs, this one seems to be based on the C5 variant, because it was the only one of them that used a pan magazine instead of a regular belt.
A record player, or a gramophone (in Poland the name “gramofon” is usually used), a really vintage wind-up one. I believe I found a similar model on one of the Polish sites. The one on the photo below, called the “Sokophon” was made by the Sokołowski brothers and their company “Musica” in Bydgoszcz.
The last detail, a very cool one – a Polish rogatywka (four-cornered cap) wz. 35, belonging to a pre-war cavalry or military police (after WW1 the color red was used by the military police, but since 1927 different cavalry units used different colors, some of them red) lieutenant. I think that the cavalry fits here more than the military police. It’s a beautiful cap that was used before the WW2, then disappeared in the PRL (Polska Republika Ludowa – Polish People’s Republic), but thankfully was brought back in 1990.
I hope you’ll like this new format, as I enjoyed making this post just like I enjoyed it before. Also after the Polish tanks we’ll be back to the in-game order (Germany-Russia-USA etc.), the Polish tanks were just easier to get into for me, also it’s one of the first lines to include that level of detail, the previous ones even after the conversion into HD weren’t that detailed.