Army Day

Yesterday was a public holiday here in Poland and for the second year running, back by popular demand, they gave the troops a day of parading around in Warsaw. And what a beautiful irony (or perhaps just good planning?) there is in Poland trooping its colours past the front gate of the Russian Embassy on the very same day that Russia threatens Poland with nuclear attack. There must be plenty of people having deja-vu at this point – Russia, attack, tanks in the streets – why it’s just like the good old days!

Weatherwise, they could not have picked a worse day for a parade if they tried. Yesterday simply defined the phrase “piss on my parade”. The heavens opened shortly before it all kicked off at Plac Pilsudski and boy did the rain come down. It managed to brighten up a little from about 2pm onwards but only managed to behave for 4-5 hrs before coming back with a vengeance for the rest of the day and night. It was the kind of weather I expect one gets in tropical regions and other places I have absolutely zero desire to visit – hot, wet, humid, sticky. If there’s one kind of weather I truly detest, yesterday was it.

So, there we were, detesting the weather in Pilsudski square, already soaking wet and wondering why we didn’t just stay at home. There were thin crowds at the square (wonder why?!?!) and those who were there were either crammed against the railings for the best view (we got there too late for that) or hiding from the weather under the eaves of Metropolitan. We did neither and just sort of wandered around the square a while before heading off to another part of the parade route.

We did hear some horribly loud bangs at the square as the artillery let loose and we heard Lech mumbling somewhere in the background. Most worrying was the fact that they had their missiles aimed at my office building! Or are these perhaps the American missiles that have caused all the fuss with Russia today? Who knows.

Off we trolled to Al. Ujazdowskie and, as foretold by guest comments on this very blog, there was much more going on down there. The street was bumper to bumper troops and military hardware lining up ready to trundle down the street, past the rapidly relocated Lech & Co and then on past the Rusky’s Warsaw homestead before ending up somewhere around Łazienki park.

Here are a few snaps to give you the general atmosphere of the event:

There were soldiers with blue hats:

soldiers with red hats

and soldiers with funny hats with feathers in them. Edit – thanks to “Logrusmaster” I now know this is the mountain infantry brigade (Brygada Strzelców Podhalańskich) who fought at Narvik during II WW). That would also account for the nice warm cloaks!

There was the historical

and the hysterical

Ulica Chopina was closed

They had Skorpion 3 trucks, used for flying model aircraft as far as I can tell. EDIT – according to “ajbarrios” these are not model airplanes but are ‘drones’ used for reconnaissance. I think the fact that they are unmanned goes without saying!

They had more of those American missiles

The biggest vehicles were the “mobile radar stations”

but the sexiest were the Leopard 2A4 tanks



If anyone can put meat on the bones of these descriptions, I’d be happy to edit.

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10 thoughts on “Army Day

  1. Soldiers with funny hats were our mountain
    infantry (Brygada Strzelców Podhalańskich).
    This unit fought in Narvik during II WW

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Poland: Army Day

  3. The “fuzz” that the Russians are making is due to the fact that the US is surrounding them with missiles in Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Georgia. This would give the US a “first strike” nuclear advantage that the Russians simply don’t want.
    They are no model airplanes!
    they are drones(unmanned airplanes)for reconnaissance

  4. Pleased you found the parade! And your waterproofs.

    A nice selection of hats by the way. Nice to see Zosia saw the funny side!

  5. ajbarrios – so perhaps the Russians will learn that being friends with other people who are close to your enemies can oftentimes be advantageous!

    Then again….. :)

  6. LOL Those aren’t hats only berets, and the soldiers are casually named for them. There are bordeaux berets, blue berets, red berets or green berets – hence: mohair berets. Rydzyk’s Own Dragoons.

    The historical ones – if I’m not wrong (which is likely) are:
    1st line – Voltiguers of the Duchy of Warsaw
    The middle – Foot Artillery of the Duchy of Warsaw

    both fought in the Napoleonic Army.

    Farther in the background: the 18th century Infantry.

  7. Those missiles are not nuclear missiles,but anti-missiles,so its only defensive weapon.And 10
    launchers is simply not enough to stop
    massive russian atack (6000 warheads in rusian arsenal).

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