10th dragoons

Lieutenant Andrew Finucane of the 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)

By James Northcote, 1811.

From the collection of the National Army Museum.

Free Polish Forces, Western Front, World War II

Private, Polish Independent Parachute Bde.; Holland

Paratroopers wore much the same uniforms and kit as their British comrades - rimless steel helmets, battledress, Denison jump-smocks, and 1937 webbing sometimes augmented by a ‘toggle-rope’ for crossing obstacles. The weapon is the Sten sub-machinc gun. The only Polish distinctions are the yellow eagle painted on the helmet; the dove-grey collar patches trimmed in yellow and bearing silver parachute insignia; and- not illus- trated - light bluish-grey bert'ts bearing con- n ·ntional Polish national and rank insignia.

Second Lieutenant, 24th Lancers, 1st Polish Armored Div.; NW Europe

The earth-brown denim overall worn by Polish tank crews seems normally to have had two thigh pockets instead of the mort usual single left pocket. Only the rank star on the shoulder strap distinguishes this officer’s overall; the collar of his BD blouse, folded outside it, bears the regimental pennons - for 24th Lancers, white with a yellow stripe. The national eagle and a rank star are embroidered on the black Royal Armored Corps beret. The scrubbed webbing set includes an open-topped pistol holster on the long RAC leg strap; note lanyard, characteristically worn from the right shoulder whenever the holster was fixed. Officers wore brown boots.

Private, 10th Dragoons, 1st Polish Armored Div.; NW Europe

The 10th Mot. Cav. Bde. included this regiment of motorized infantry, and the regimental pennons (amaranth and orange divided by a green stripe) are sewn to the BD blouse. The black left shoulder strap and lanyard commemorate the old 10th Bde. of 1939. The national shoulder title is worn above, on the left sleeve, the 1st Armored Div. patch. In this regiment the right sleeve bore instead a blue shield-shaped patch bearing the Cross of St Andrew and the arms of the town of Lanark in Scotland, where the 10th Dragoons trained. The helmet eagle, 1937 pattern webbing, '1940 pattern’ BD, and Thompson sub-machine gun are all conventional.

(Richard Hook and Steven Zaloga)