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7th Coastal Defense Brigade Slupsk

Poland has landing ships and it has a naval infantry brigade [the 7th Coastal Defense Brigade Slupsk]. What Poland does not have is a Marine Corps, in the sense of troops who are organized, trained and equiped to conduct amphibious assault operations. At first glance it seems to have a Marine Corps, but it does not.

The Seventh Naval Assault Brigade or "Blue Berets" are the Polish "marines" and, next to the former Soviets, were the largest naval infantry unit in the Warsaw Pact. The brigade numbers 4,500 men. It is organized into three naval assault regiments, one tank battalion, one artillery battalion, one signals battalion, one engineer battalion, one multiple rocket launcher company, and one chemical defense company. The brigade is equipped with amphibious armored personnel carriers, T-55 and PT-76 tanks, and scout vehicles. It also maintains Frog missile launchers and antiair weapons.

After World War II, on July 7, 1945, the new Soviet-imposed Communist government revived the Polish Navy with headquarters in Gdynia. During Communist times, Poland's Navy experienced a great buildup, including the development of a separate amphibious force of Polish Marines. At the time that the Soviet Union was expanding its Naval Infantry in the early 1960s, Poland * and the German Democratic Republic were also organizing units for specific training in amphibious operations.

In 1963 the landing regiments of the 7th Division were organised as follows:

- HQ
- 3 landing companies
-- 3 platoons
-- mortar platoon (3 82-mm mortars)
- special tank company (7 PT-76s)
-- coy HQ (1 PT-76)
-- 2 platoons (3 PT-76s each)
- signals company
- reconnaissance platoon
- engineers platoon
- anti-tank battery (4 57-mm guns)
- anti-aircraft battery (3 PKM-2 AAMGs)
- mortar battery (6 120-mm mortars)
- chemical recce platoon
Total equipment included 7 PT-76s, 5 BRDMs, 4 K-61 amphibious tracked vehicles, 4 ZIS-2 57-mm anti-tank guns, 6 120-mm mortars, 9 82-mm mortars, 3 PKM-2 anti-aicraft twin 14.5-mm machine guns, 40 RPG-2s. There were no TOPAS at that time.

In 1965 the landing regiments of the 7th Division were organised as follows:

HQ
- 3 (three) landing companies (9 TOPAS each)
-- coy HQ (1 TOPAS)
-- 3 platoons (2 TOPAS each)
-- mortar platoon (3 82-mm mortars, 2 TOPAS)
- special tank company (7 PT-76s)
-- coy HQ (1 PT-76)
-- 2 platoons (3 PT-76s each)
- signals company
- reconnaissance platoon
- engineers platoon
- anti-tank battery (1 BRDM, 4 2P26 vehicles, i.e. Gaz-69 trucks with 
  quadruple 3M6 Shmel aka AT-1 Snapper ATGM launcher)
- anti-aircraft battery (4 PKM-2 AAMGs)
- mortar battery (6 120-mm mortars, 8 TOPAS; actually the batteries had 
  trucks instead of the APCs as there were too few TOPAS)
- chemical recce platoon
- repair company (2 TOPAS)
In 1969 this organization was retained, except that there were 5 (five) instead of 3 (three) landing companies, and the anti-tank battery had 6 2P27 vehicles (i.e. BRDM with triple 3M6 Shmel launcher) plus BRDM of the battery's CO. In 1970 the special tank company had now three platoons instead of two and 10 PT-76 tanks.

In 1970s western sources estimated that Poland had Naval Infantry and coastal artillery which totalled 6500 men. In 1971 the TOPAS-2AP was introduced, a variant of the TOPAS that had a turret with 14.5-mm and 7.62-mm machine-guns but carried fewer men than the turretless version. It is unclear whether the number of APCs in the platoon was accordingly increased to three, but it seems probable so as more vehicles must have been needed to carry the troops. In the mid-1970s the 9P133 vehicles (BRDM-2 with sextuple Malutka ATGM launcher) replaced the Shmel-armed vehicles in the anti-tank batteries.

By 1975 Western sources noted a 4,000 man Polish Sea Assault Regiment within the Polish Navy. But in 1976 another Western source note one Polish amphibious assault division in the army, and a Polish naval infantry unit with 1000 men.T The Military Balance for 1970-76 reported a Polish amphibious assault division in the aray at 70% strength, and 1,000 marines in the Polish Navy. And in 1977 a western source reported on a Polish amphibious assault division with 7500 men.

Some sources give unconfirmed information that in the early-1980s that the special tank company received additional two platoons of PT-76s making a total of 16 tanks in the company. The ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns replaced the PKM-2. In 1986 the 7th Landing Division was transformed into a costal defence brigade, and in 1989 the landing regiments were transformed into coastal defence battalions.

The battalion had:
- HQ
- 2 landing companies ("kompanie desantowe") w/ 10 TOPAS each
- 1 motorised infantry company with Star-266 trucks
- amphibious tank company (10 PT-76s)
- mortar battery (6 120-mm mortars)
- anti-tank battery (6 9P133s)
- engineers platoon
- medical platoon
- repair and supply platoon

The 7th Coastal Defence Brigade was disbanded in the end of 1995. One of its former battalions (34th Coastal Defence Bn) became a basis of a new 7th Mechanised Brigade that was part of the 8th Mechanised Division. The brigade retained a blue beret of the former 7th Landing Division and on January 1, 2002 was renamed as the 7th Coastal Defence Brigade.

In early 1981 the Solidarity movement provoked discussions of possible Soviet military intervention and the declaration of Martial Law. A group of 18 generals, all deputies and assistants to Marshal Kulikov, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Armed Forces, made an unscheduled trip to Poland. This group of 18 generals was under the leadership of General of the Army Gribkov, Chief of Staffof the Combined Armed Forces. During the visit at the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, General Gribkov proposed that in order to show strength, a large squadron of Soviet naval ships be dispatched for a visit to Polish ports beginning on 16 February. General Gribkov proposed that an exercise ('DRUZHBA' = "friendship") be held involving Polish and Soviet troops as well as an exercise of the Warsaw Pact fleets, including the participation of elements of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, the Polish Navy, and the navy of the GDR. Within the framework of the exercises of the fleets, an amphibious landing of Combined Amphibious Forces of the Polish Armed Forces, Soviet forces and National Peoples Army of the GDR would be executed (one battalion from each armed forces) in the vicinity of Swinoujscie, followed by an embarking and sea lift to Kolobrzeg where partial dis-embarking and further troop movements would take place.

Decades later, Polish and German marines co-operate during international sea exercises, work together in NATO international staffs and working groups on an everyday basis. The seminar is an opportunity to get to know history and tradition of both countries. The main objective of Polish-German seminar is to integrate the navy of both countries as well as to enhance mutual understanding. Marines visit naval bases and get to know the character of the service of their colleagues. In 2010 Polish marines visited among others the German Navy Centre of Citizens’ Education, Operational Command of Bundeswehr, navy base in Kiel and citadel Spandau. LtComd Jaroslaw Bedra is the chief of Polish delegation.

The Polish 7th Pomeranian Coastal Defence Brigade is a mechanized infantry brigade of the Polish Army (based at Slupsk). It was formed in 2001 from the 7th Pomeranian Mechanized Brigade (of the 8th Coastal Defence Division), as a brigade of the 12th Mechanized Division based at Szczecin. It bears the traditions of the disbanded 7th Coastal Defence Division (known as the Blue Berets), therefore it is sometimes referred to the Marines of Poland. However, as of 2007 there were no plans by the Polish Army to create an active Marine unit. Therefore the 7th Brigade carried out only limited-scale exercises of amphibious assaults. The 1st Mechanized Battalion and 36th Mechanized Battalion are equipped with BWP-1s with limited Amphibious Assault capability.

Feb 20, 2007 According to the newspaper all decisions, at least for the desk, in this case has already been taken. Until the end of 2007, stationed in Stolp popular "blue berets", i.e. 7. Coastal Defence Brigade connects to 36. Brigade Zmechanizowana with Trzebiatowa. -Confirm that the plans are a combination of both units-says-Wojciech Ozga, spokesman of the head of the General staff, but do not want to give details. -A branch of the Polish marines is only the beginning of great changes in the Polish Army, confirms Piotr Paszkowski, spokesman MON.-for one such anti-special for sure not ended. Poland army with the beginning of the new year has started to change in the army special. The need for changes to reaffirm the military experts. The tallest resulting in Slupsk, this unit of the United States Marines Corps (ang. United States Marine Corps). -American soldiers basic 1,750. Speciality Marine Corps is desantów. The task of the soldiers is landing on the coast of another country and getting przyczólku allowing attack other formacjom.

Blue Berets are proud of their unique quality. And although this has not yet been infantry marine believe that already in the near future will be the elite unit of the Polish Army. Every day the soldiers from our unit distinguish not only blue beretu and fancy on the left shoulder white anchor on a blue background, but performed tasks and the characteristics of the marine training. Twice a year they are where thye like to be the most-among the sandy beach and sea waves nearby poligonu. It is here with its distinctness that only they know they can do and how to meet the challenges posed by the sea. From 11 June the do vocation training poligonowe in Wicku sea. In addition to the common tasks associated with the defence of the coast already learned, they partice in skills of loading on ships which are essential for transportation and logistics.

Close cooperation with the 8. FOW soldiers from slupskiej brigades commenced during the exercises PIRANIA'05. Since then jointly participated in numerous training activities of staff and the grounds and their interaction with each month becomes more clear and effective. The effect of their existing cooperation shall, inter alia, the ability to be armored combat crews desantowania infantry on unprepared episode maritime coast, which successfully have prooved during exercises ANACONDA'06. Although no decisions have been taken, whether and when the armed forces will revive the country a marine infantry, soldiers of the unit express hope that the tasks associated with this venture will be entrusted to them, and with full determination and commitment to them in the standard.



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Page last modified: 14-08-2012 14:40:08 ZULU