Hi Grot, ufiak had data on several prototype polish tanks I was hoping to get. I've been searching the internet for information for a while and the deeper into polish internet i went the more lost i got on the subject so i thought i could get a short answer easier this way.
The 9TP was based on the 7TP. I created model of this tank perhaps 3-4 years ago for a MOD project. Ultimately the tank model was not used because what limited data we could actually find was limited. There is only one image of an actual prototype, and it never reached any kind of production that delivered a lot of tanks to front line units.
In total the number built is at best, perhaps 11 or 13 with two models being the prototypes that were tested on the proving grounds. Germany invaded before the 9TP could been built in any kind of numbers to be effective.
However, there is disagreement among historians that seem to be divided into two camps. One camp states that only two prototypes were ever built. The other tanks that some believe to be 9TPs were actually the 7TP with some new 9TP innovations... which seems logical to me. There is no shortage of documentation that tells us that the 9TP was nothing more than a new version of the 7TP, with a welded hull, not bolted or riveted, new armor plates around the engine exhaust and breathers, and a new Engine and Drivetrain. Any kind of a changeover would be performed in increments. 100 9TPs were ordered 3 days before the Germans attacked.
OK, let me clarify this point. Even if the Army ordered the tanks in June 1939, the Government records available tell us they were not approved by the Polish Government until the last couple of days of August 1939. The Germans invaded on 1 September 1939 so it was a matter of days before any tanks could have been built.
It safe to assume that the Polish ability to manufacture a 7TP did not improve from 3 days down to a matter of hours in a day or two before the Attack. So I have to confess that this is my camp and the actual 9TP was never fully realized. I would say these were at best 7TP Hybrids which have never been documented or proven.
The other camp seems to use different data and claims 9 or 11 9TPs were actually produced in a 3 day period. Hmmm... Okay... I cannot get there. But the only proof they offer is the statement: "You had to understand the times we lived in..." Does that mean the factory workers felt a strong desire to build the new tank within hours of the order being placed, because their crystal ball told them that Germany was going to attack them.
I do not think there was any secret in 1939 that Germany did in fact make the claim that the land was theirs by default because Germans lived there. It was already safe to assume that Germany was going to reclaim what they felt was theirs... so war was imminent. The delay of the Polish to accept new tanks was of their own making, and Germany just did not get the memo that it was going to take about 10 months to deliver 100 tanks. That brings us right back to 3 days per tank if everything was going well on the factory floor. But in 1939, nothing was going well on any Factory Floor in the world except in Germany.
Because we have very little documentation to actually go on for the final design.... your 9TP should look like a 7TP with the superstructure widened about 53mm. The track width difference was about 50mm wider with a new track design to be delivered by Romania. This is a known fact in the design. The profile and overall height are exactly the same. No rivets on the hull or turret... another known fact. All armor was in plate form and welded. They could not do any kind of plate rolling or casting at the time, which was almost a given in 1939 Germany. The Main Gun would still be the 37 mm Bofors wz. 37. There is absolutely no documentation that proves any other weapon was considered. The rear air slots on the grids are now all armored louvers. The tracks and chassis are still the same Vickers 6 ton design that the 7TP used.
The 7TP was already a 9.9 ton tank at the time of its production, and the overall weight of a 9TP was also to be 9 tons. Well there is documentation that shows this to be fact. By welding the armor rather than using bolts and rivets... the 9TP prototype weighed less than the 7TP. So in effect welding the plates saved all of the weight from the fasteners that were not required, and this includes the increased weight of the new engine/transmission.
The most intriguing part of the Polish 7TP Story was the fact that the Polish Tank crews destroyed most of their own tanks, it was not the Germans that took out the majority of Polish Armor, although the German Air Force did do some serious damage. The 7TP was vastly superior to the PzI s and PzIIs and the 37mm gun would peel the armor off of 90% of the German Armor at that time, including the new Pz IVs. There were just not a matched number of 7TPs compared to the German Armor Forces, which might have changed the outcome.
This was much the same story as in France... the French tanks were superior to the German Armor, but they were too few. The Polish tankers actually performed better than the French because they had a much better understanding when it came to tank tactics, which does show up in the after-action reports in 1939. But the number were too few to change the outcome.
The French on the other hand had a much larger Tank Force which I already stated were superior. But the French could not perceive anything other than the tactics of World War 1 and believed that a war would be another trench war with clear lines established. So in the minds of 1939 French Commanders, they wanted to have tanks that could cross open ground without any threat of incoming shelling. Well they got that part right, not much in the German arsenal could destroy a BIS 1, but the Germans only had to do an end run to catch everyone off guard, hence the term Blitzkrieg.
What actually beat the Polish in just 27 days was the lack of Logistical Support and any kind of reliable supply lines. It apparently never crossed anyone's minds to consider that Logistics would be one of the deciding factors in an invasion. Afterall, they were not the invading army, they were at home within the borders of their own land. So as the 7TPs ran out of oil, shells and gasoline, the tanks were left wherever they were and destroyed by any means possible to deny them to the enemy. So does this mean the Polish beat themselves? Some historians seem to think this to be true.
But the outcome was never in doubt. The massive onslaught of German forces would have eventually beaten them. With the added invasion by Russia in the final days of September, the writing was on the wall and capitulation was soon reached.
This is not exactly the type of data you are seeking, but what you are looking for does not exist. It is the best picture I can give you which is based on what I could find over a couple of years of research on various armor when WW2 started. Most of the Polish specification data and drawings were destroyed before the Battle of Warsaw. There was an active campaign to destroy anything that would benefit the enemy, while at the same time non-believers were hiding other documents not understanding that Poland was beaten in the early morning hours of September 1st 1939. It just took another 26 days to make them understand that Poland was in fact vanquished.
It was in fact Ufiak that I worked with on the Polish Armor. He also requested the Polish 10TP and 14TP. We actually were able to obtain more data on these two tanks than the 9TP. But again, we had to do a lot of subjective guessing on the final prototypes. Of course the 10 and 14 were only in the final phase of design or development when Poland was attacked.
My design of the 14TP was eventually scratched because we did not believe it was possible for Poland to build this tank. And that might be true since what you can do on paper does not mean you can build from from metal. If the 14TP had ever been built, it would have been so technologically advanced by almost two years over what Germany could build. This tank would be the match for the Russian T34 and very likely would be the first world class tank. I'm saying a lot in that statement.... but because not a single 14TP was ever found... likely means it was never built.... but it does not rule out the possibility totally.
What someone could have looked at might not be what they thought it was and it was scrapped, cut up and used for added plates on German frontal armor. We perhaps will never know the truth on this... But we do know that at least one prototype was nearly completed waiting for the engine from Maybach. Maybach? The German Maybach? Yes. Was it possible that the defective engines were provided by design because Germany had already written the attack plan. Very Likely. Once the 14TP plans and prototype fell into German hands, it is not too difficult to see elements of the PzV (Panther) within the design of the 14TP. Improved Armor and improved tracks and suspension, thus better overall performance. That is at least what some people are claiming. We do know the German spies were already at work in Poland for years and it is easy to conclude they knew everything that Poland was doing.