3rd Carpathian Rifle Division (Poland)

The 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division (Polish: 3 Dywizja Strzelców Karpackich, sometimes translated as 3rd Carpathian Infantry Division), also commonly known as Christmas Tree Division due to the characteristic emblem, was an infantry division of the Polish Armed Forces in the West that fought during World War II on the Italian Front. It was formed in 1942 of the Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade and the forces of Lieutenant-General Władysław Anders' Polish 2nd Corps evacuated from the Soviet Union.

3 Dywizja Strzelców Karpackich
Emblem of the division worn as a shoulder patch and painted on vehicles
BranchLand forces
RoleMountain warfare
EngagementsTobruk, Alem Hamza, Bardia, Monte Cassino, Gothic Line, Ancona, Bologna
Stanisław Kopański, Bronisław Duch
Plaque at Polish camp, Hodgemoore.

The division participated in the North African and the Italian Campaigns (1941–1945) as part of the British Eighth Army. Notable actions in Italy include the victories in the Battle of Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna. Disbanded after the war, most soldiers chose not to return to the new, Communist Poland. After the war, the division was housed at Hodgemoor Camp in Hodgemoor Woods, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England. They maintained a presence there until 1962. There were, and may still be, many Polish families in the area.


Order of battleEdit

The division's order of battle between 1943 and 1946 was as follows:

3rd Carpathian Rifle Division
Brigade Sub-units Notes
1st Carpathian Rifle Brigade
1 Brygada Strzelców Karpackich
1st Rifle Battalion
2nd Rifle Battalion
3rd Rifle Battalion
2nd Carpathian Rifle Brigade
2 Brygada Strzelców Karpackich
4th Rifle Battalion
5th Rifle Battalion
6th Rifle Battalion
3rd Carpathian Rifle Brigade
3 Brygada Strzelców Karpackich
(since 1945)
7th Rifle Battalion
8th Rifle Battalion
9th Rifle Battalion
Reconnaissance Units
(one of the following)
3rd Carpathian Cavalry Regiment
12th Podolian Cavalry Regiment
7th Lublin Cavalry Regiment
Artillery units
artyleria dywizyjna
1st Carpathian Field Artillery Regiment
2nd Carpathian Field Artillery Regiment
3rd Carpathian Field Artillery Regiment
3rd Carpathian Anti-tank Artillery Regiment
3rd Carpathian Light Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment
Support Units
3rd Carpathian Medium Machinegun Battalion
3rd Carpathian Engineers Battalion
3rd Carpathian Signals Battalion
Rear Units
jednostki tyłowe
military police, court martial, military hospital, front hospitals,
logistics units, transport battalions and such

See alsoEdit