From the Vault: Zaloga on the Polish Cavalry VS German Panzers myth

polish cavalryDigging through old issues of ARMOR magazine, we have found an article from 1984 written by well known historian and tank expert Steven Zaloga titled “Polish Cavalry Against the Panzers.”  In this piece, Zaloga seeks to put to bed the long standing myth regarding Polish Cavalry troops conducting brave yet futile charges against German Panzers.  As Zaloga puts it:

“Tales of Polish cavalry charges against German tanks during the September 1939 campaign still remain widely believed even amongst serious historians who are otherwise skeptical of similar German propaganda excesses of the period.  The subject has been dealt with in extensive detail by Polish military historians, but most of this material is inaccessible to western historians due to the language barrier.”

The article is can be read in the image gallery below (ARMOR is a government publication and not under copyright.)  These pages are from the Jan-Feb 1984 issue of ARMOR.

In the next issue of ARMOR (Mar-Apr 1984), two letters appeared. One from Zaloga pointing out a couple of editor errors in the original article, the second from frequent ARMOR contributor and tank expert Richard Ogorkiewicz. The letter from Ogorkiewicz is critical of the article, complaining that he had addressed this topic 25 years earlier and that Zaloga had made some errors in his piece.

In the next issue of Armor (May-Jun 1984) a reader named Waldemar Czyz provides some additional information on the topic, specifically about Polish armor officer General Stanislaw Maczek.

And finally, in the Jul-Aug 1984 issue is a response from Zaloga addressing the points made by Ogorkiewicz in his letter from Mar-Apr 1984 issue.

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