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"Vistula Standard Bearer" Topic

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LeavingTMP06 Sep 2018 1:33 p.m. PST

I am painting a Murawski Miniatures Vistula Legion Standard Bearer and am confused by the uniform he is wearing. My books don't seem to have anything on their uniforms.

Particularly I am trying to understand colour of Shako plume and epaulettes.

My sources says that 2 epaulettes as modelled would be major or higher rank which seems to me very senior to be carrying the colours so either I'm wrong or standard bearers have different epaulettes.
Also the shako. Would the plate be gilt or silver. Again my sources say officers had silver shako plates so if he would be an officer that solves that.
Finally the shako plume is very tall which suggest field officer which would tie I with the epaulettes.

I assume since uniforms where pretty much french with a slight polish twist that whatever the French wore would also be correct but I have no sources for this as was focusing on the legion.

Thanks in advance


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2018 2:12 p.m. PST

You are correct about the basic French aspects. The colour bearer should be a junior officer with one fringed silver epaulette on the left shoulder. The plate would be a gilt 'sunburst' with a silver centre. Unless he is a grenadier, the tall plume is wrong.

Here is some info.



Try and get this book if you can.


Prince of Essling06 Sep 2018 2:33 p.m. PST

The likelihood is that the legion followed French practice. Therefore the standard would have been carried by a sous-lieutenant or lieutenant. In both cases a full epaulette on the wearer's left shoulder and an unfringed epaulette on the wearer's right shoulder.

For example as per the Vistula Legion officer with his arms folded: link

The paper soldiers collection has a standard bearer with a large plume (mainly white over a short section of red) going onto a white ball. Will try to track down the picture and post later.

LeavingTMP07 Sep 2018 12:24 a.m. PST

Thanks all, Just what I feared so need to trim epaulettes off the figure and change the plume for a pompom

Prince of Essling07 Sep 2018 9:14 a.m. PST

As promised see UNIFORMES NAPOLEONICOS ( XIV ) ,por Henri ACHARD LA LEGIÓN DEL VISTULA on alfons canovas website at


Other Vistula legion entries at

However personally I would go with the series of Polish books…..

jeffreyw307 Sep 2018 1:05 p.m. PST

I had the worst time with completely conflicting information when researching Duchy of Warsaw uniforms for my Shevardino project. I've seen individual pics from the book Artilleryman posted, and I'd love to get my hands on it, but Berliner Zinnfiguren wants a cool 135 euros…ah well…

Prince of Essling08 Sep 2018 1:08 a.m. PST

Just one thought apart from the eagle bearer in the 1st battalion, the 18th February 1808 decree applying to French unit reorganisation says:

18. Each war battalion will have a standard carried by a an NCO chosen by the chef de bataillon from one of the companies of the battalion. The depot battalions will not have a standard.

CaptainSi08 Sep 2018 2:30 a.m. PST

Are the illustrated standards correct for the Vistula Legion? I always thought they carried republican era standards and did not have eagles.

seneffe08 Sep 2018 3:53 a.m. PST

Yes- my understanding that the Vistula had no eagles, and used the old Revolutionary era colours of an earlier Polish Legion from which the Vistula was formed.
The Vistula Legion IIRC did request eagles but they seem never to have been supplied.
The Portes-Etendards were part of the regimental staff so following French practice a plume is approprite at least in full dress. On a day of battle, if they had time, many units would of course smarten themselves up with items of full dress such as plumes. So you may not need to get x-acto out.

Prince of Essling08 Sep 2018 2:15 p.m. PST

Agree there was no eagle for the Legion – my comment on the eagle bearer was a bit loose as obviously should have qualified as what I meant to hint was that as no eagle then the Legion may have followed Article 18…!

Guy C. Dempsey Jr's "Napoleon's Mercenaries" says:

The Legion initially carried the same republican standards to the Demi-Brigades Polonaise (see separate entry). A decision of 26 January 1809 approved the distribution to the Legion of 'the same ensigns used by French troops that do not have eagles'. (Nap. O&A, No 3485, Vol. 3, p.209) When, however, the Minister of War went back to the Emperor to obtain approval of a definitive design for the flags, communication lapsed and the Vistula Legion Regiments never received any new standards (Regnault, pp. 123-24).

Illustration of the standard is at link also see the discussion.

Prince of Essling09 Sep 2018 1:14 a.m. PST

The eagle illustrated in Artilleryman's post above appears to be the 1815 model. Page 175 in "Nos drapeaux et etendards de 1812 a 1815" by O. Hollander lists the distribution of eagles by class of unit (e.g. line infantry etc) including the 8 regiments etranger were issued with eagles, though only the 2nd Swiss served in Belgium the remainder were employed in the interior of France.

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