Poland Establishes Marshall Pilsudski Infantry Division
The head of the Polish Ministry of Defence has approved a concept assuming that a new Army unit would be established. This happened in Białystok on Sunday.
Even though the 16th Mechanized Division is stationed in the Warminsko-Mazurskie voivodeship, while the 18th Mechanized Division is based in Mazowieckie and Lubelskie Voivodeships, the new unit would be stationed mainly in the Podlaskie Voivodeship.
The Marshall Józef Piłsudski 1st Division of Legions Infantry (1. Dywizja Legionów Piechoty) would have its command located in Ciechanów. The Division would consist of 4 brigades, 4 battalions forming each. Apart from these, the unit would also include an artillery brigade of its own. This is one of the conclusions drawn from the war in Ukraine. The neighbouring 16th Mechanized Division has already started restructuring the 11th Artillery Regiment, into the 1st Artillery Brigade. Apart from the aforesaid five brigades, the division would also include other military units, as happens in the case of the remainder of the Polish Army Divisions.
The Division would be deployed in many locations, where the Army is already stationed, but also those from where the military units have been withdrawn, and also entirely new locations that did not see any military presence for decades. The map that was shown during the signing ceremony, included the following locations:
- Czerwony Bór;
- Iława Kamionka.
The new armoured brigade of the 1st Division would be stationed in Czerwony Bór, and Semiatycze. The 1st Infantry Division would operate both the K2, as well as the M1 main battle tanks. This would separate the new Division from the 16th Mechanized Division using solely the K2 MBTs, and the 18th Mechanized Division equipped exclusively with the Abrams tanks. The new artillery brigade would have the K9, Gladius, and Krab systems placed in its inventory.
Not many details have been disclosed, when it comes to the structure and equipment to be used by the 1st Infantry Division. The information on the unit's inventory including both the K2, as well as the M1 main battle tanks is a new piece. So far the Polish Ministry of Defence has ordered 4 battalions of brand-new, and 2 battalions of overhauled Abrams tanks. The information released up until that point suggested that all six Abrams battalions were to be a part of the 18th Mechanized Division. The new information either refers to a new procurement, or to a smaller number of Abrams battalions that would be included in the 18th Mechanized Division. The recent announcements pointed to Ciechanów as a location where the third MBT battalion of the 1st Armoured Brigade based in Wesoła would be stationed. Now, Ciechanów would be a garrison for the 1st Infantry Division.
We would be following the new information on the Marshall Józef Piłsudski 1st Division of Legions Infantry closely. While rapid establishment of tactical elements as such entails numerous risks, relating to provision of manpower and equipment, which are already somehow scarce in the Army, it may also finally result in a tangible and needed increase of the combat capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces. We will continue to report on the Polish Army structure evolution at Defence24.com.