Polish Troops Massing Against Belarus: Truth or Crap?

Somebody posted this story at a stock market board I frequent. Folks are quite upset about it. My gut instinct is that it is a tasteless joke or an hysterical exaggeration but I'm not an expert on eastern Europe or military matters.

"Putin Orders Special Forces to Belarus as Polish Army Units Mass on Border, Preemptive Strikes on EU Possible Say Russian Generals" by Sorcha Faal. 3 August 2005

it may not happen but there is tension between Belarus and Poland due to Belarussian President suppression of the Polish communities in Belarus which was part of old Poland before WW2 ,the whole nation was moved westward, taking a slice of Eastern Germany and losing a part of their eastern territories.
Sounds like a load of old balls, with the usual poke at the yanks at the bottom.
Hmmm, the Sorcha Faal story is no doubt much exaggerated but it seems there genuinely is a Poland v Belarus dispute connected with the ethnic Polish minority in Belarus. Even the factual reports read like the early serials in a bad theatre wargame. Expect the White Republic to put in an early appearance.
they dont get on too well to say the least

prop on a large scale exercise or some thing just to wind the belaruss folks up...
Here you go from the 'Moscow Times'

Friday, July 29, 2005. Issue 3219. Page 4.

Aa Aa Aa

Belarus Raid Escalates Spat With Poland

By Andrei Makhovsky and Natalia Reiter

Sergei Grits / AP

Poles dancing in front of the Union of Poles' office in Grodno, which Belarussian special forces stormed Thursday.

MINSK -- Belarussian special forces stormed offices of the country's Polish minority early Thursday, prompting Warsaw to recall its ambassador and ask the European Union for help.

Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld said relations between the Slav neighbors, separated by the EU's eastern frontier, were in "severe crisis" after months of diplomatic expulsions and rows over the rights of ethnic Poles in Belarus.

"In the name of common values, we are calling on the European Commission to take decisive steps to help Poland ... protect its ethnic minority in Belarus," Rotfeld told a Warsaw news conference, announcing he had summoned his ambassador from Minsk.

"Human rights abuses and repressions in Belarus ... are a problem that should find wider international interest. Understanding within the EU of what is happening in Belarus is limited and it is high time to change this," he said.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, widely criticized for human rights abuses and called "Europe's last dictator" by Washington, accuses Warsaw of plotting an uprising against him.

In a predawn raid, Belarussian forces stormed the headquarters of an association of ethnic Poles in the western town of Grodno near the Polish border, detaining about 18 people, witnesses and media reports said.

"At first, the building was encircled by police cars. Then police demanded everybody leave the building. When nobody agreed, special forces stormed the building," said a member of the Union of Poles who witnessed the events. The Belarussian Interior Ministry declined to comment.

Poland says it wants to protect the rights of its 400,000-strong minority in Belarus but makes no secret of its wish to extend democracy eastward and help tilt Minsk toward the West, as it did by backing Ukraine's Orange Revolution last year.

The morning raid follows Wednesday's court sentencing of three Polish activists to up to 15 days in prison for staging a street concert of Polish songs earlier this month without a permit.

Poland, the largest post-communist state in the European Union, actively campaigned to overturn last fall's fraudulent presidential polls in Ukraine, which were later won by Viktor Yushchenko in a rerun ballot, to the annoyance of Moscow, which had backed his rival, Viktor Yanukovych. Warsaw says that fears of a Ukraine-style Orange Revolution that could turn Belarus away from Russia led to Minsk's clampdown on the 20,000-strong ethnic Polish association.

"The Orange Revolution angered the Belarus authorities and made them realize that the next elections might not turn out as planned. That caused a reaction by security forces," said Poland's deputy foreign minister, Andrzej Zalucki
Interesting. Can't see it coming to fistycuffs unless the Belarus government goes apesh*t. Some ironic parallels to 1938\39 too.


Book Reviewer
Vegetius said:
Let's hope the plucky Polish cavalry are sharpening their lances for the anti-tank gallop.

Is anyone else slightly spooked by the fact that the roundout brigade of 7 Pz Div is a brigade of Polish Armoured Cavalry? Who'd have thought it....


Book Reviewer
Bombard said:
Armoured Cavalry? You mean, they got kelvar vests for the horses this time?
Probably, but the Leopard 2's block the sight line, so I can't confirm it.
Glad_its_all_over said:
Vegetius said:
Let's hope the plucky Polish cavalry are sharpening their lances for the anti-tank gallop.

Is anyone else slightly spooked by the fact that the roundout brigade of 7 Pz Div is a brigade of Polish Armoured Cavalry? Who'd have thought it....
Oh the irony.

BTW, the whole Polish cavalry v. German panzers is a bit of a myth or at least blown out of proportion. Actually the German 1 Cavalry Division was active during the Polish campaign as well as recce units of the infantry divisions which included a mounted squadron. In fact, from mid-war onwards the Germans actually expanded their cavalry arm, they found that mounted infantry still had a role to play, especially in the rear areas and flanks on the Eastern front. I also know that the last or at least one of the last cavalry charges in history was carried out by Italian cavalry on the Eastern Front in iirc 1942.
The Russian were also heavy users of cavalry: no fuel train in summer, and much faster that german infantry plodding along on foot.
I read somewhere that the Polish Lancers vs. Panzers episode was a win for the Poles - rather than this image everyone has of them charging into the blazing guns, they bumped a laager in the dark hours and torched the vehicles.

Didn't some British Divisions in Burma swap their mechanised recce regiments for Indian Cav? Much better in a mountainous jungle than a Daimler Scout Car.
The U.S Green Berets have been using mules in Afghanistan. They still send their guys to Romania to learn from the acknowledged masters of mule/mountain warfare.
A long time ago , I sat in a bar drinking copius amounts of alcohol in the company of an Air Force General. the General Manager of an aircraft manufacturer, a decorated BoB ace and various other blue jobs Polska. Talk turned to Belarous and Ukraine.

All these educated and experienced men all said the same thing , PTP we know where the threat is coming from, and it's from that direction. General manager did a sketch on a napkin of what looked a capable multirole single seat fighter looking like a baby F-15/Eurofighter cross which he called 'Scorpion' from what I remember. Idea of the fighter , was the ability to use the A2 as the FOB , and carry a useful warload , as well as being cheap and easy to produce. Now all these people had no doubt where the next threat was coming from, and how they were going to deal with it.

Even talking to Poles in general, revealed the depth of feeling about Belarous (It's where all the bladdy criminals and mafia come from etc etc) . I would say that there is a distinct possibility of dramas there in future, at what level remains to be seen.

It's worth remembering though, and I don't know if it was ever released on the news here , but when the attempted coup happened in Russia in 1993 , Poland, according to local TV reports did send Armour and Air assets to FOB all points east (Purely as a precaution you understand)
I'm no expert on Belarus, but I've heard nothing good from its direction: A T80 and BTR80 being intercepted in a shipping container at a Turkish port, destination unknown is one story: And quite possible, A neighbour shipped two old combine harvesters to Pakistan in one container during last winter: Had to do a bit of cutting but got them in. The BTR should fit as stands, the tracks and sprokets of the T-80 would have to go and the canon would have to removed.

Other stories are that the regime are simply the old communist guard with all the trappings back in power, and talking of reunification with Russia.
A nasty little dictatorship, but hardly important. On the Russia/Belarus thing, I once heard the "Russia-Belarus Union" being described as "a way of giving away money".
A T80 and BTR80 being intercepted in a shipping container at a Turkish port
I understand they were trying to move a lot more.

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