Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Up the Poles!

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    Up the Poles!

    Any others, like me, enamoured of the various Polish corps that existed over the span of the wars, say about 18-20 years?

    Now I have had, in my first ‘French’ incarnation army, a bit of everything, so there were the usual suspects- Garde Lancers (coz manufacturers skip the Light Horse version mostly); and the ‘line/ Vistula’ lancers incumbent under French service. I’ve only ever seen one 25mm Polish National Army, and another in 15s.

    For me the old figures were expunged, put into storage as was La Garde in general. However seeing more modern research on the Poles come about after their adhesion to (hopeful) France in various guises of the Republican Era (1797+) to 1800, and that instance of being attached for a change to the Army of the Rhine (or Germany which is easier and descriptive) under Moreau, they fought at Hohenlinden 1800 in the famous flanking force (under Decaen) who assaulted the Austrian/ Bavarian LOC and Reserve.

    Therefore, despite needing ‘new’ figures, I feel a modest demi-brigade outside the usual OB, coming on!

    I have a lot of separate pics from the likes of Morawski? and P Courcelle, though I’m a little wary of the latter, but very little actual confirmation of strengths. However  ‘Empire’ figures can be dumbed-down by painting to avoid that overly flash look. Bonaparte/ Nap. wasn’t so honourable with the Poles he ‘used’, yet they fought well throughout the time.

    cheers davew

    Avatar photoOotKust
    Avatar photoOotKust

    Well a bit more scurrying around the depths of interwebs and one finds some more clarification:

    @ https://sites.google.com/site/culturamag0/histoire/les-legions-polonaises-1796-1807
    – –
    B) The creation of the Danube Legion

    September 8, 1799, it is decided to create a new legion Polish, who this time must serve in Germany. The general Kniazniewicz is appointed head of this legion. In order not to live again the same event in Mantua, the convention of 7 Fructidor Year VII considers Polish soldiers serving in this legion to be French soldiers.

    The Danube Legion is divided into two forces, one in Strasbourg under the orders of General Moreau, the other in Mayence under the command of General Klein.

    They return to campaign on April 30, 1800. This legion served in Germany until the signing of the Treaty of Lunville, February 9, 1801 (20 Pluvise Year IX). Once again, the Poles are sidelined. Once again, to raises the question for France of the usefulness of the Polish legions.

    So we have a title, origins and some clarity on where this legion sits when almost all English language info resides around the various uses and creations that occured solely in the Italian domains.

    I also had in my possession, yet without specific linking of facts, an illustration of their alleged uniforms. Were such as newly raised ‘foreign’ troops really this well dressed in a time of war?:

    Polish 1800

    The abuse of their subsequent roles as detritus cannon fodder hauled off to the West Indies comes under the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ banner of colonialism and corruption.

    cheers ~d


    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    I think Polish troops are the most sizeable missing contingent in my 6mm Napoleonic armies – definitely ‘on the list’ to do at some point.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Yes they seem a common thought but then so few make it, apart from the ‘known’ elite.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Just a brief modelling update.
    Despite the slightly excessive Empire style uniforms, I’ve decided to try some sample paints using the FN and DWN series of Miniature Figurines™ 25mm to obtain a cadre of men and horse.

    Down playing some of the uniform elements; schapska cords and flounders minimised; large front plate ditto etc. removing aiguillettes and perhaps removing some epaulettes from the foot (manufactured as ‘voltigeurs’ yet having no complementing ‘fusilier’ in adequate uniforms).

    The Legion is referred to in documentation above and others as composed of “chasseurs”- a good indication to me that they were a light corps- auxiliaries in parlance as we used to say, not line troops anyway, so the downplayed epaulettes isn’t such a big deal after all.

    A small regiment of lancers will also add a little spice to the legion, so some time next year perhaps…

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