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THE DIFFICULT START

Fabryka Broni / History / THE DIFFICULT START

When Poland regained independence after 123 years of partition and foreign occupation, the question of acquiring national defense industrial capability became a dire necessity. There were no such industry present o­n the Polish soil. The occupying powers (Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary) did not risk to invest in building munitions industry – lest they were arming Poles for another national uprising, that the 19th Century abounded with. The resurrected state did taken over but a few repair workshops and military armories, enabling nothing more serious than repairs and spare parts manufacturing. These were placed in Brześć o­n Bug, Cracow, Przemyśl, Rzeszów, Warsaw and Poznań. Polish Army, fighting to establish borders of the Second Republic, have used whatever arms were taken over from the occupying powers, as well as stores purchased in France. During the Bolshevik War of 1919-1920 supplies from UK and France were far from ample and regular, being often interrupted by the frequent strikes o­n French railway and – especially – by the British dock workers. These difficulties have o­nce again stressed the necessity of having Poland’s own defense industry built from the scratch.

On April 29, 1922, the Economical Committee of the Council of Ministers voted a resolution to create state-owned munitions industry. In April 1925 a War Industry Board was created, as a governing body to organize the expansion of the arms-making capability and potential. The members of the Board were delegated by the Ministry of Military Affairs (MMA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministries of Treasury, Agriculture, Railroads, Public Works, as well as scientists, chosen by the MMA.