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"Polish legion" Topic

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1,297 hits since 13 Jun 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Barcephus Inactive Member13 Jun 2017 12:41 p.m. PST

Division: Dombrowski
17th Line Demi Brigade
55th Line Demi Brigade
Polish Legion
1st (Italian) Cisalpine
Polish Cavalry

I am interested in getting this division painted up in 15mm.
Am I correct that the polish legion had 5 battalions?
Duffy shows another Polish battalion with Colli's brigade.

Did the poles have Light companies at this time?
Also what flavor of "Polish Cavalry" should these be?

Cathusac1 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

Experts may answer soon. Polish cavalry. I suspect they won't be czapka lancers yet. Possibly French Chasseurs a cheval nearest proxy figures as most Polish cavalry were light horse types that I have encountered in later unit lists. Question though – the jacket – French foot uniform blue or light cavalry, dark green. Some expert will know, I just thought the Poles didn't do lance cavalry until they had their own army in 1808-ish. Slight chance this Polish unit might wear konfederatka hat )(short czapka, fur trim around the hat just above the peak but below the square top. I only know Russian Cossacks in 15mm by Chariot Miniatures [sold by Magister Militum, in the UK] have the konfederatka hat but they are meant to be regular kalmuk Cossacks of 1812 -era so two figs sword, 2 lance. Fancy bodging them – French Chasseur a Cheval figs in shsko. Red or dark pink (crimson) facings on cuffs, collar, turnbacks, lapel piping (jacket's edges to the two panels on the chaps' chests), red or dark pink "wolf's teeth" to sheepskin shrabraque and a dark blue jacket instead of Chasseur á cheval green of the main French army. I don't know how one could swap bits between figures for the early Polish hat. Austrians had an Uhlan regiment at the same time and the Prussians the Towarycsz regiment with the same hat but I've not seen the models made. Light infantry for Polish demi brigades? I've little idea. In theory, yes. Polish fusilier uniform with yellow, and red or yellow and green facings? Polish demi brigade grenadiers – French Imperisl Guard Chasseur á Pied bearskin, no plume or cords but maybe dangly thing from front top. I can't remember the uniform plate I saw ages ago. Might be confused with 1808-1811 Polish uniform for grens, & voltigeurs.

Le Breton14 Jun 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

Mr. Barcephus,
I am not sure I can help. But to give it a try : for *when* are you asking? There were quite a few "Polish Legions". Are you thinking about early-mid 1799 ?

Barcephus Inactive Member15 Jun 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

Derp…sorry, specifically for Novi, but would probably cover the whole campaign?

Le Breton15 Jun 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

Maybe this is helpful, maybe not ….

commandant la divisionaire général Jan Henryk Dąbrowsky
--- commandant en 2e général Władysław Jabłonowski
--- adjudants-généraux Jan Dembowski & Paweł Tremo

1ere légion polonaise : chef-de-légion Mathieu Forestier prisonnier à la Trebbia, chef-de-légion en 2e Jan Strzałkowski
--- 1er bataillon : chef de bataillon Szymon Białowiejski *
--- 2e bataillon : chef de bataillon Józef Chłopicki *
--- 3e bataillon : chef de bataillon Piotr Świderski *

1ere légion cisalpine : chef-de-légion Filippo Severoli, conti di Modena
--- 1er bataillon **
--- 2e bataillon
--- 3e bataillon **

17e demi-brigade d'infanterie de bataille française : chef-de-brigade Jérôme-Joseph Goris
--- 1er bataillon
--- 2e bataillon
--- 3e bataillon

55e demi-brigade d'infanterie de bataille française : chef-de-brigade François-Roch Ledru des Essarts
--- 1er bataillon
--- 2e bataillon
--- 3e bataillon ***

uhlans de la légion polonaise : chef-de-brigade Andrzej Karwowski ****
--- 1er escadron
--- 2e escadron

For Novi specifically:
--- * only 8 companies each, the grenadiers having been detached to a combined batalion under Colli-Ricci
--- ** the 1st and 3rd battalions of the cisalpine legion had been combined due to losses
--- *** the 3rd battalion of the 55e demi-brigade was detached to Ancona
--- **** only 1/2 squadron of Polish cavalry (about 60 men) remained to fight at Novi
--- battalion strengths were quite low by Novi : rank and file for the 10 batallions formed for the battle is given as 2070 by Jomini and Chodozko – and 2340 (assumedly all ranks) by St. Cyr


The Poles had officially French style organization : 9 companies, of which 1 grenadiers. But they followed the French practise in some demi-brigades of tasking a company with light infantry duties as "chasseurs".

The uhlans were armed in typical Polish style : lancers in the first rank and with carbines in the second rank. However, as is typical for highly depleted cavalry units, a disproportion of officers (armed only with sabres) would have been seen at Novi.


I "think" this correct for 1799 – although I am doubful of the yellow plastron for the uhlan (uhlan, fusilier, grenadier, officier)


Maybe it should be more as Knötel drew :


Here is the look in 1800 :
Infantry : link
Cavalry :


But when exactly the looked changed, I am not sure …..

Here is the look from 1797 :

Here is a schematic of the uniform distinctions as they were supposed to be :


Upon formation in 1797, they did have confederatka hats :


The general himself entering Rome, in a Condfedetka :


And the uhlans did dress more as chasseurs :


Barcephus Inactive Member16 Jun 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

Yes I think that helped a WEE bit…Thanks a ton!

So "Legion" just equated to a Demi brigade?

Barcephus Inactive Member16 Jun 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

Hmmm, I wonder who does these figs in 15mm with the Condfedetka. or at 15mm would the Czapka's fit in? or are they the same?

Le Breton16 Jun 2017 3:19 p.m. PST

Confederatka = no visor, usually a furry "ruff" around the band, slighly lower than czapska …. easy conversion in small scale …. for the furry ruff, you could just use a couple of coats of paint with some texture as a primer (the Mr. Surfacer 500 for example)
While confederatki (here I assume Polish makes plurals as in Russian) existed with rounded "melon" tops, all the images I have seen of the early Polish legions had the tops four-square, just like a czapska

Legions were what you wanted them to be, and often included cavalry and artillery. It is mostly a coincidence that the ones you asked about were effectively the same as demi-brigades as fielded at Novi.

I struggle with an Optivisor for 40 mm models …. I have no idea how anyone paints 15 mm and smaller. I don't know the smaller figure ranges. But maybe someone can look at the images I posted and linked and give you some help. FWIW, the Legion's Polish kurtka jackets look much like "Potemkin" Russian ones used ~1787 to 1797.

Barcephus Inactive Member19 Jun 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

AB has a line they call Grand Duchy of Warsaw


Le Breton19 Jun 2017 7:11 a.m. PST

Well, yes …. but these models are the guys as fielded 1808 and later as Polish national troops. In italy a decade earlier, they were emigrés more or less financed by the French and nominally under the national control of the Cisalpine Republic.

So, there would be a few uniform differences.

Barcephus Inactive Member19 Jun 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

Would the differences be that noticeable at 15mm?

Le Breton19 Jun 2017 6:14 p.m. PST

Worth a try …. but, no bearskins, colpacks or eagles I would think for 1799

von Winterfeldt20 Jun 2017 4:10 a.m. PST

you also find an interesting article here


lot's of illustrations

Le Breton20 Jun 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

*Very* helpful, as always.
Thank you, dear Colleague.

Barcephus Inactive Member20 Jun 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

Worth a try …. but, no bearskins, colpacks or eagles I would think for 1799


Czapkas for everybody

and yes, article is very helpful

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