When formed initially in 1943 the LWP at Sielce wore entirely Soviet uniforms. For political reasons new uniforms more closely resembling the 1936 Polish pattern were later issued. A tunic with a fall collar, breeches, and high boots or ankle boots with puttees were worn with the ‘rogatywka' or 'konfederatka' field cap. Helmets and webbing and leather equipment were of Soviet pattern. Uniform color varied; a grey-green shade was common, but some were a more conventional khaki, and note that the new costume never completely replaced the original Soviet clothing issue. A khaki greatcoat similar to the pre-war Polish type was issued, though not universally. This No. 1 of a DP machine gun (‘record player') wears the Soviet helmet with the Piast-style eagle painted on the front; this lacked the traditional crown and Amazon shield, for ideological reasons, and was scornfully christened 'the plucked chicken' when the LWP reached Poland (Many soldiers substituted pre-war badges with the crown broken off for wear on their caps; finally a modified, crown-less version of the pre-war style was issued). Collar pennons of a new triangular shape followed pre-war branch colors, governed by two sets of regulations in 1943 and 1945. The infantry pennons were originally halved blue over yellow, yellow over blue being worn by anti-tank rifle units; this was reversed in the 1945 regulations.
Tank crewman, 1st Polish Armored Brigade ‘Heroes of Westerplatte’, LWP
This tanker wears a khaki LWP tunic over khaki overalls tucked into low boots, and the standard Soviet Army black cloth summer-type tank helmet. Dark blue overalls and dark blue cloth helmets were also issued to some degree. The weapon is the TT Model 1935 automatic. Specialist troops - tankers, sappers, etc. - tended to use more standard Soviet issue items of clothing and equipment, for reasons of availability.
The color variation between uniform parts - cap, tunic, breeches, greatcoat - is typical. The high Soviet-style boots are worn here, as is Soviet equipment including two canvas triple magazine pouches for the PPSh-41 sub-machine gun fitted with box magazines. The cap was more common in LWP units than the Soviet 1940 helmet; it was usually worn winter and summer, although some Russian ‘ushanka' fleece-lined caps were issued. Rank insignia followed pre-war Polish practice, with occasional minor variations; e.g. the rank stars were sometimes of yellow rather than white metal, and simple white embroidery replaced silver thread.