During the First World War, Military Police existed in the Polish troops of the Austrian Army. At that time they wore yellow regimental and arm-of-service colours on their colour patches. These personnel wore both the "Hechtgrau" and "Feldgrau" uniforms of the Austrian Army. Instead of the Austrian "Kappi" infantry of the I Brigade wore a peaked cap while the II Brigade wore the square "Czapka". gradually all personnel adopted the soft peaked cap ("Haciezowka"). On the front was worn the Polish eagle in white metal with either the letter "S" ("Strezaki" - rifles) or later "L" ("Legiony"). In 1916 the legions received field-gray uniforms.  
The first "dress" regulations for Polish uniforms appeared in 1919. Later, in the 1930's, new regulations were issued which gradually changed the uniforms until, in 1939, all officers wore:
  • The evening dress, that consisted of a khaki tunic (model 1935) and dark trousers with double lateral stripes with piping within. A special silk evening belt was also worn with this uniform. Military police wore dark blue evening trousers with a scarlet stripes and yellow piping.
  • The garrison or walking-out uniform, made of khaki material, and consisted of a tunic (model 1936) and breeches or long trousers.
  • The field uniform, exactly the same as the above, but without any patches and badges, except rank insignia that were still present on the shoulder straps . For summer the tunic was made of a light khaki dress linen.
Polish Eagle
Polish Zandarmeria The NCO's were entitled to the same uniforms. A difference was that they only had a single 40mm wide stripe on the evening dress trousers instead of the officers double stripes and piping.

The other ranks were issued with two basic uniforms: a "walking-out" dress and the field service uniform, both introduced in 1936. The 1919 tunic tunic, without breast pockets, was no longer manufactured after 1936, although it was still worn by some regiments during WW2. The outstanding features of Polish uniforms have always been the square-shaped "czapka" and the "zig-zag" ornament worn by all ranks on the collar of the tunic.

The greatcoat was identical for officers and men alike - the only difference being in the quality of the cloth used.

The forage cap was the standard field cap until 1937 when a square-topped cap with a soft peak and folding sides that could be lowered to cover the ears was introduced. About 1935 a new Polish steel helmet was introduced.

Duty Badge

Breast Badge
PRE-WAR 1939

The "Zandarmeria", the Polish Army Military Police, wore standard Polish Army uniforms, but with additional insignia to indicate their position. A breast pocket badge was worn on left breast pocket, and a duty badge was worn on a chain from the left of greatcoat behind collar and above any medal ribbons.

The "Zandarmeria" wore a scarlet cap band on the Polish peaked cap (four-sided "czapka").

Two types of collar patch existed - one for tunic collars and the other for greatcoat collars Collar patches were worn on the collar of the tunic, with the typical "zig-zag" ornament embriodered or stitched along the front and bottom sides. Patches were usually made in cloth, but the officers of certain corps and services had velvet collar patches.

The collar patch of the Military Police ("Zandarmeria") was scarlet with light yellow piping. The greatcoat collar patch was in the form of two 5mm stripes; the patch colour represented by the stripe at the bottom, and the top stripe representing the normal collar piping.

Tunic patch

Greatcoat patch
  By 1943, Polish army personnel that were fighting together with the Red Army wore typically Russian uniforms, but with the addition of Polish insignia and the distinctive "czapka", but by 1945 apart from minor details they were wearing the same uniforms as before the war.

By comparison, those members of the Polish Army who had escaped to freedom in the West, were wearing standard British battle-dress, but with Polish insignia and the "czapka". A distinctive red lettering on yellow brassard was worn by "Zandarmeria" in London during 1942.

The beginning of the Cold War



At the end of World War Two the Polish Army used khaki uniforms of a pattern similar to the pre-war pattern. Officers received open collar jackets with shirt and tie in 1952 and this issue seems to have been extended to senior NCO's during the 1950's, probably for walking-out dress only. The jacket had four patch pockets of Polish design. This jacket required smaller collar patches and coloured cap bands, collar patches and piping were re-introduced during 1949.

The Army was given dark carmine piping whilst the internal security forces retained their old colours. The Internal Security Corps (Korpus Bezpieczenstwa Wewnetrznego - KBW) wore dark blue and the Frontier Defence Units (Wojska Ochrony Pogranicza - WOP) wore light green. The wearing of these patches became compulsory from 1 January 1951. Metal badges that showed the different branch of service were introduced in 1952 and were worn on these patches.



There are no direct references to Polish military police until 1957, when WSW (Wojskowa Stubja Wewnetrzna, or Army Security Units) was formed. It is possible that police functions were undertaken by the "Zandarmeria", who had yellow over gold "pennant" patches from 1945 to 1949. There is however no mention of this organisation after 1949.
With the exception of the Warsaw Division, Internal Security Corps, Frontier Defence Units and the newly established Army Security Units (Wojskowa Stuzba Wewnetrzna - WSW) cap bands were withdrawn from all army units in 1957.

The WSW were given white cap bands and collar patches, the collar patch also bearing a silver. In addition part of their equipment (belts, pistol holsters etc) were also white. The WSW wore white belts and (for officers) silver aiguilettes on the left shoulder. Painted helmet similar to that illustrated at right were also to be worn with combat dress.

After 1960 all coloured patches were abolished and the new collar badges were worn alone. Troops from WSW continued to wear the initials "WSW" over two crossed swords, point downwards. They did however continue to wear their white cap bands and belts, and also had Russian style helmets that were painted white.
c1957 - Internal Security Troops (KBW) 2Lt.
He wears dark blue cap band and collar patches (these were kept after the army gave up collar patches and cap bands)
c1957 - WSW Lieutenant and NCO.
Both wear white cap bands, collar patches and belts. WSW collar badge is worn on collar patches. (Note difference between officer and NCO patches). The officer at left is also wearing silver aiguilette.
c1957 - WSW wear silver collar badges and white helmet and belt. c1957-60 - WSW Lieutenant with white cap band and belt.
The end of the Cold War
Exercise BRAVE EAGLE '97 Military Gendarmerie

Polish Armed Forces
Military Gendarmerie

Together with the Army, Air Force and Navy, the Military Gendarmeie are part of the Polish Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. The Military Gendarmerie comprise approximately 1.5% of the total strength of the Polish Armed Forces. The functions and tasks of the Military Police are defined by legislation issued by the Republic of Poland on 25 October 1991:
  • Enforcement of army discipline
  • Protection of life, health and personal possessions against unlawful assault
  • Protection of VIPs
  • Enforcement of public security and protection of state secrets
  • Conduct of forensic activities
  • Law enforcement
  • Enforcement of administrative rules and regulations
Radar Speed Trapping UN Service
Military Gendarmerie personnel have served in UNDOF (Syria), UNIFIL (Lebanon), SFOR (Bosnia) and KFOR (Kosovo).
Specific duties that the Military Gendarmerie perform include:
  • Patrols
  • Area reconnaissance
  • Straggler control
  • Traffic control operations
  • Convoy escort
  • Hazardous cargo escort
  • Close protection
  • Criminal investigation
  • Traffic accident investigation
  • Forensic examinations
  • Special investigation operations
Close Protection Colour Party
The training centre for the Military Gendarmerie is situated in Poznan.

Military Gendarmerie Organisation

Military Gendarmerie Headquarters

Bydgoszcz Area MP Command

Wrocław Area MP Command

Bydgoszcz MP Department
  • Gdańsk MP Section
  • Toruń MP Section
  • Słupsk MP Outpost
  • Grudziądz MP Outpost
  • Malbork MP Outpost
  • Inowrocław MP Outpost
Wrocław MP Department
  • Opole MP Section
  • Legnica MP Outpost
  • Brzeg MP Outpost
  • Jelenia Góra MP Outpost
  • Kłodzko MP Outpost
  • Bolesławiec MP Outpost
  • Głogów Militay Police Outpost
Olsztyn MP Department
  • Elbląg MP Section
  • Bartoszyce MP Outpost
  • Giżycko MP Outpost
  • Orzysz MP Outpost
  • Suwałki MP Outpost
  • Białystok MP Outpost
  • Morąg MP Outpost
  • Braniewo MP Outpost
Gdynia MP Department
  • Świnoujście MP Outpost
  • Ustka MP Outpost
  • Hel MP Outpost
Poznań MP Department
  • Piła MP Outpost
  • Ostrów Wlkp. MP Outpost
  • Leszno MP Outpost
  • Powidz MP Outpost
Krosno Odrzańskie MP Department
  • Sulechów MP Outpost
Kraków MP Department
  • Gliwice MP Section
  • Bielsko Biała MP Outpost
  • Lubliniec MP Outpost
  • Katowice MP Outpost
Łódź MP Department
  • Sieradz MP Outpost
  • Skierniewice MP Outpost
  • Tomaszów Mazowiecki MP Outpost
  • Kielce MP Outpost
Koszalin MP Department
  • Kołobrzeg MP Outpost
  • Trzebiatów MP Outpost
  • Świdwin MP Outpost
Zagan MP Department
  • Miedzyrzec MP Outpost
  • Wędrzyn MP Outpost
Lublin MP Department
  • Rzeszów MP Section
  • Przemyśl MP Section
  • Dęblin MP Outpost
  • Zamość MP Outpost
  • Biała Podlaska MP Outpost
  • Chełm MP Outpost
  • Nowa Dęba MP Outpost
  • Jarosław MP Outpost
Warsaw Garrison MP Department
  • Modlin MP Section
  • Radom MP Outpost
  • Mińsk Mazowiecki MP Outpost
  • Ciechanów MP Outpost
  • Legionowo MP Outpost
Szczecin MP Department
  • Oleszno MP Section
  • Stargard Szcz. MP Outpost Section
  • Wałcz MP Outpost
Thanks are conveyed to 1Lt Marcin Fitas of the Military Gendarmerie HQ for the assistance provided during the updating of this page. Credit is also given to the Military Gendarmerie for the photos on this page.