Polish Panthers

Hello everyone,

today, we’re going to have a look at one of the lesser known episodes from the tragic Warsaw Uprising.


The Uprising started on 1.8.1944 at 17:00 and caught some of the Panther-equipped German units, stationed in the western part of the city off their guard. Amongst them were the brand new Panther G’s of the 27th Panzer Regiment of the 19th Panzer-Division. This unit was moved to Warsaw from the western front for some reast and to rearm with the new Panther Ausf.G tanks, getting rid of the older Ausf.A’s, that were transferred in turn to the 11th Panzer-Division.

Apparently, on 2.8.1944 in early morning hours, a few Panthers from the abovementioned unit were making their way thru Warsaw (the route took them thru following streets: Górczewska-Mlynarska-Smetna-Powazkowska-Okopowa). At Okopowa street (near the old Jewish cemetery), the Panthers were ambushed by Polish rebel soldiers with firebombs (molotovs) and one tank burned out. The crew got out in time, mounted the second Panther and they made a run for it. It didn’t get too far however. It turned to the Mireckiego street, where it was first hit by handgrenades and then with a Gammon bomb (British made grenade, usable against armor), that damaged the turret, making the tank swerve violently off the street, crashing into a nearby wooden house and getting stuck. The crew was then taken prisoner. Third Panther (back at Okopowa street) was also damaged by handgrenades and immobilized, its crew bailed out and it was captured practically intact.

Since two out of three vehicles were captured almost undamaged, the Polish soldiers decided to repair them and use them in combat. They didn’t get to do it on the second day (2.8.) and the tanks just stood there, but on the third day, the Polish actually started working on putting both vehicles in action. Two 6-man crews were formed to operate captured Panthers as a an “armored platoon”, formally under the “Zoska” batallion. These crews (like other soldiers during the Uprising) actually didn’t use names, they used nicknames (in brackets)

1st Crew

Commander: Ppor. Waclaw Micuta (Wacek)
Driver: Pchor. Zdislaw Moszczenski (Ryk)
Radioman/machinegunner: Kpr. Jan Zenka (Walek)
Loader: Pchor. Witold Bartnicky (Kadlubek)
Gunner: Pchor. Jan Myszowski-Boginsky (Bajan)
Ammunition supply master: Pchor. Mieczyslaw Kijewski (Jordan)

2nd Crew

Commander: Dca por. Eugeniusz Romanski (Rawicz)
Driver: Pchor. Jerzy Miskiewicz (Tomek)
Radioman/machinegunner: real name unknown (Pobóg)
Loader: Pchor. Witold Ocepski (Downar)
Gunner: Pchor. Jerzy Michalski (Dabrowa)
Ammunition supply master: Pchor. Zbigniew Ocepski (Kostrzewa)

The ranks are in Polish, Ppor equals to 2ndLt, Pchor is some form of NCO if I read it correctly, Kpr. roughly equals corporal and I have no idea what “Dca por.” is. Either way, at the same time these crews were formed (6 crewmembers were selected because the tank commanders had other tasks too – they were local rebel commanders and ranking officers after all and when needed elsewhere, the tank had to have full compliment.

At the same time the crews were selected, one captured German tried to actually make the Panthers work. It was discovered that first Panther’s fuel pump is damaged. The Polish struggled with the tank whole day, until skilled repairman Jan Luniewski (who worked earlier in German tank repair plant apparently) arrived and managed to get the first Panther going by fixing the air filter and tweaking the ignition. The tank was either in the evening on 3.8. or early on 4.8. moved to a nearby street the test its gun: the target was a German machinegun nest, which was knocked out by two shots.

Meanwhile, the second tank was still stuck in the wooden house it crashed into and the Polish were trying to break it out. They tried to tow it out using the first Panther, but this failed – the Polish soldiers then had to manually dismantle the house the Panther crashed into, only then could they get the second Panther out.

After that, an inspection was carried out. It was found out that the first Panther had only minor damages and it was decided to use it in combat. The tank was named “Pudel” in honor of one fallen Polish officer, but the crew called it informally “Magda”. The second tank had to be repaired further, but recieved the nickname “Felek”. Little is known of the extent of its exact damage, the confirmed is the destroyed rear turret plate (by the Gammon bomb), that was repaired at some point during next two days.

The first tank went the action for the first time during the St.Sofia hospital liberation, the destruction of local concentration camp and the assault on Police school on 5.8.1944. It proved especially useful during the concentration camp assault (contributing to the fact only one Polish soldier died during the operation), but the two other actions were paid by many more casualties. “Felek” was ordered to support the assault on the Police School, but because of an operational screw-up, the crew didn’t recieve the permission to open fire before the entire attack was underway. The building was heavily fortified and machinegun fire killed many Polish soldiers, before the Panther arrived and turned the tide. In the end, the Polish did succeed in taking both objectives (school and hospital), but the price was high.



The tanks went to action again on 8.8 to support the Polish troops fighting the Germans on Karolkowa street. However, as the “Magda”/”Pudel” arrived and turned from Mireckiego to Karolkowa, it was hit by three German 75mm tank shells, either from a Panzer IV Ausf.H, or from a Jagdpanzer 38t (unclear). A part of the crew was wounded, but the vehicle recieved only minor damage and was repaired on 9.8. – on 10.8. the “Magda” crew managed to knock out a German SPG and a heavy armored car (SdkFz 263 8-Rad) and in the afternoon a machinegun nest in Sv. Karol Boromeusz church.

However, by that time the Polish situation on the Old Town was critical. Furthermore, “Felek” suffered from battery malfunctions (deemed irrepairable). It was decided to destroy the “Felek” – its ammo was transferred to “Magda”. “Magda” fought the next day too (11.8.) in support of the rebel counterattack, but it was damaged and abandoned by the Polish.

The Warsaw Uprising is one of the saddest episodes of World War II history and ended with tens of thousands of dead civillians and thousands of troops on both sides. After the war, Poland did apparently recieve, salvage or capture several Panthers (just like Czechoslovakia). Apparently, those few pieces that survived the war were used for training:


J.Ledwoch – PzKpfw V Sd Kfz 171 “Panther” Czesc I

105 thoughts on “Polish Panthers

  1. and I have no idea what “Dca por.”

    It probably stays for Dowódca porucznik – Commander 1stLt

    • “Dca” (Commander) is there because Eugeniusz Romanski (Rawicz) was tank platoon commander.

            • Because the commander of the other tank wasn’t the whole platoon commander – that’s why he didn’t have that “dca” thing. :) The “Dca” means “dowódca” – abbreviated form of word “commander” in Polish. The junior officers in Poland are “podporucznik” (ppor) – 2nd lieutenant or german Leutnant or “porucznik” (por) – 1st lieutenant / Oberleutnant.

  2. “Dca por.” isn’t rank: “dca” is short form of “dowódca” which means “commander”, “por.” is “porucznik” – First Lieutenant in English.

  3. very interesting. i knew only about the french resistance capturing panthers. Being capable of capturing tanks, then repairing them and then using them a few days in combat is a sign of how big the resistance was.

    • To be honest, Polish Resistance was one of the biggest (if not biggest) resistance armies of WWII.

      On the other hand, Warsaw Uprising was a terrible mistake, ignited by man who is said to be a Russian agent. All in all, it was a present to Stalin… the rest of Polish pre-war elite died there ;/

      • No, it wasn’t. As a Pole I can tell you that this is a common myth here. Yes, the AK was large in numbers, and did execute some military actions, but their MAIN goal was to provide a functioning underground state, with schools etc. The largest partizan force was located in Yugoslavia, and as for the partisan intensity of actions – that would be the occupied Soviet Union – not the largest by numbers involved, but more “active”. The goal of the Polish resistance was to survive the war firstly, and secondly – sabotage German war effort by any means necessary. That was the difference, it was not purely a combat organization.

      • /Agree with guy above, polish underground during the war wasnt the most active “partisan-wise”, specially till 1942, when Armia Krajowa (Home Army, as wikipedia translates it) became better organized and german army started to slow down.

        The amazing thing about polish underground was its strucrute itself. It was full blown underground state, with full civil government in london with deputy in Poland, military both in Poland and on the west, schools and universities, theatres, courts which verdicts and sentences were executed and published and HUGE underground press.

        Ballz on those people.

          • Prolly, but its an international-english-based site, so lets not make asses of ourselves and speak the common language

        • Fuck Armia Krajowa. They came to Vilnius and started shouting that Vilnius and it’s region is Poland’s and always was.

          • Some butthurted Lietuva kid.
            AK in Wilno was make from Poles living in Wilno, deal with that.

            • Sorry, but I’m not butthurt at all as I was just telling the facts. Polacks who live in my country are butthurt. Even today they say that Vilnius is Poland’s and they cry everywhere.

  4. so poles basicly stole gernans tanks… like they are stealing VWs, Audis, BMWs and Mercedeses now… nothing to be proud of

    • Seeing as Nazi-Germany invaded Poland to get more “lebensraum”, it’s actually more like the polish people took it upon themselves to acquire war reparations.

    • @lol – look at all those Hotchkisses, B1, B2…
      … stolen in France by those Germans with sticky hands.

      And look at your Marder with 7,6cm russian captured gun.

      And – oh! Pz38(t) and 35(t)… those were stolen from Czech soldiers!

      Your argument is invalid.

    • I wonder where are you from you ignorant kid. As far as I remember, Germans and Russians “stole” tanks as well and used them under their command. There’s a word for it – they are CAPTURED tanks. I assume that you are german, so let me ask: where are our work of arts, paintings, books, jewellery and many other things that you STOLE from us during WW2? Ah, I forgot you moved them all in thousands of tonnes by trains through the Oder river…

  5. this poor tanks :(
    carrying arround polak asses sitting on it is a very humiliatin job

    • Its easy to hide behind your PC saying such things, I suggest you got learn some history instead of berating a nation that were let down by the Allies as they attempted to overthrow German control.

    • Why don’t YOU tell us your nationality? Maybe we find some ‘fun’ facts from your history or mentality?Is this really the way you want to measure others?

      • I’m from the UK, and here we appreciate what others did for us during WW2. For example, during Battle of Britain a squadron of POLISH pilots racked up the most kills.

    • those poor germans, used such a cowardly way to fight from inside a metal boxes called “tanks”

      just die because no amount of knowledge would straighten your bent mind

      • Our enemies hide in METAL BAWKSES, DA KOWARDZ! TEH FEWLZ!! We…*Asthma attack* We should take away their METAL BAWKSES!

    • I’m ashamed that my fellow countrymen are so easy to troll…

      Dajecie się trollować jak frajerzy. Ignorować kretynów.

  6. so the pl were actually capable of something? =P

    how did they manage to co ordinate an attack on ze mighty gerrrys.
    the PL army had many tank brigades made up of horses and donkeys.

    very good read though , just shows not all PL are red tomato noobs

    siema pl and all friends of PL :)

    • Go back to school and learn history you dumb kid. Poles fighting on horses was only a german propaganda to show them in a bad light.

      • I don’t think it is. What most people forget however, is the fact that Nazi-Germany was the nation that used the most horses of all WW2-factions.

      • the siema PLs of pl are no laughing matter, some say they used 16 mules and donkeys in the famous battle of tomato where they managed to knock ram a tiger 2 with 4 donkeys , many historians say that they got loads of critical hits on the tiger taking out the commander and gun.

        some may laugh at the pl but they are not noobs , they know how to milk the system , in our country they come in for the doll and then fly back every 2 weeks, so they are not as stupid as everyone says .

        just a quick question , did the pl people that captured the panthers start team killing each other?

    • Why should the Red Army help them? The Uprising was an initiative of the LOCAL commanders, they even hadn’t had permission of their government… Stalin did what was expected of him – waited until his enemies ended killing each other. You blame is misdirected.

      • Stalin ordered the Russian forces to allow Warsaw to be flattened, so it would be easier to bring them into the Soviet sphere of influence.

        • Given his illustrious (*cough*) track record of completely ruthless opportunism, this was to be expected. Seems to have worked pretty well too.

          • I can tell you’re a troll. Real Kellomies believed that Stalin liberated Poland from nazi oppression.

  7. Lol, When Russians fight Germans = Glorious soliders and terminators
    Poles do that = stealers
    FU Rusiians

  8. Glad I don’t have to deal with the above detestable racist insects.

    Anyway SS, good article, with some good research behind it. Thanks.

  9. Also it’s worth of a note thet they captured a HETZER! :D It wasn’t capable of movement so it was a part of barricade though, but still a Hetzer!

    • Not everythin was so dandy and cool in this stupid, and unnecessary uprising, started without the knowledge of a legal government in London, without even an attempt to contact the Soviets, without preparation. Hah, they have even moved some of the weapons FROM the capital few days before the start. And later they were so suprised, that Stalin was not rushing to help Warsaw, when Germans were doing dirty job for him – killing the most patriotic “troublemakers”. And the official reason to start it was because one of the generals took a ride in a tram and heard some stories about the Soviet tanks on this side of the river, and imminient attack… I’m a Pole, and I’m really getting tired with gloryfying irresponsible people.

      Anyway, as for the capturing tanks, there was an incident where they have captured a trank converted into a trap. That show you what happens when civilians have too much to say…

      • Did you even read the link you provided?
        It was not a “a trank converted into a trap”, but a very specialized vehicle used for fortifications destruction.

        “That show you what happens when civilians have too much to say…”
        Yeah, sure, especially since it were military commanders who decided to launch whole uprising, despite objections from civilians (London Government representatives).

    • Hetzer was operational but to use it properly many barricades should be removed to keep road clear so commanders decided to use it as a part of one of barricades.

  10. Out of curiosity, SS, once you get around to sorting out this pile of trolling, could you give us a glimpse where the worst trolls are posting from? For, uh, scientific research.

  11. Good information Silentstalker – thanks.

    To all the crypto nazis out there this is how a bunch of Polish mathematicians stuck it to the nazi war effort.


    They gave the allies a head start in breaking all the Enigma based codes that the German forces used in WWII. It would have taken years for the allies to get to the level of understand of Enigma without this help if at all. The routine decyphering of Enigma is estimated to have taken two years off the war and saved countless lives.

  12. you left out the part about how the rebels that captured them were a troop of boy scouts. that’s how Pudel ended up with a fleur-de-lis painted on the turret.

  13. This proves again EE arguments right and the wehrabboos wrong. Panther and all thoe other german tanks are weak and useless, if they could be killed by poles with handgrantes. This would never happen to glorius soviet tanks…

      • I always post this when theres flood of bad/racist/retarded/sad trolls.
        Now trolling is pretty much being an asshole.

  14. “The Warsaw Uprising is one of the saddest episodes of World War II history”

    Ignoring the fact that there was far worse battles and uprisings in WW2 with far more death’s and destruction.
    Warsaw Uprising is so tiny it’s not even worth being mentioned in the saddest episodes of WW2 history, the list is already full of more brutal and destructive battles and uprisings.

    • Uh, how exactly tens of thousands soldiers dead/wounded and around 150-200 thousands civilians dead (plus 700k expelled from the city) count as “tiny”?

    • ” the list is already full of more brutal and destructive (…) uprisings.”
      Like such?

  15. Good read SS. While on the topic of Panthers being used by countries; do you think a article about French and Russian Panthers will make an appearance perhaps?

  16. Please spell ‘through’ through in future. ‘Thru’ is a terrible abuse of the language. Other than than, very nice article thank you.

  17. What was the task of those “ammunition supply masters”? Gather more ammunition from outside the tank?

  18. How to polish your Panther in 3 easy steps:
    1. Call Polish My Panther at 75 75 75 75
    2. ???
    3, Profit!