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"Polish as Guides/ Interpreters- 1805" Topic


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SHaT198429 Mar 2020 1:42 p.m. PST

Once determined to beat Austria to the punch of bringing war to Central Europe, Napoleon issued a directive along the lines that "every Division" should contain a Polish national, native speaker and geographically knowledgeable interpreter attached to their Etat-Major.

My belief is that he wanted some enthusiastic , reliable and 'patriot' pro-French Polish rather than 'Germans' as intelligence and support guides.

The corps known as 'Guide Interprétes' that formed part of the staff of l'Armée des côtes de l'Océan were English speakers (for the proposed/ decoy invasion). However, according to Bucquoy/ La Sabretache, they remained @ Boulogne en-masse and didn't venture to 'Germany' at all.

Interesting that none of the 'Situations' I have or read in research cite any such Polish guides or known officers. Though some czapska appear among popular paintings, I'm not taking those as a source.

IS there a definitive documentation relating to this (my quote comes from Colin & Alombert 1805 source)?

N. was well aware of and known to many of the Poles who formed and commanded the Legions and Demi-Brigades fighting for the French. Polish emigrés had been in Paris society longer than Napoleon himself.

I'm proposing to use a few (random) Polish officer figures for such roles and ADCs at Corps and major command levels (Etat-Major-Generalé), being additions to the staff figures themselves.

What information have you to suggest?
Regards
davew

SHaT198403 Apr 2020 2:45 a.m. PST

Cross post – TMP link

Well without details being found, this group may provide a source of lower key dress for Pole/ Czech interpreters.
d

SHaT198427 Jun 2020 4:33 p.m. PST

To complete:- I've modified a sample Polish lancer (removed his weapon) and am painting in subdued colours of dark steel blue with crimson facings, medium grey overalls. He will ride on a horse with modest furniture, not full blown shabraque,

Not exactly a pre-Empire regimental uniform but adequate for a non-descript 'local guide and interpreter' of Polish/ Slavic influence.
A couple of others will join him soon. Probably one officer in a bicorne will appear in the rear ranks of Marshal Berthiers command.
regards
davew

SHaT198428 Dec 2021 11:02 a.m. PST

I bring this little topic up to date in a way.

While I have a couple of pics including these men, I have to expand the subject to include Bavarian Army liaison officers as well.

There must have been some with the senior organisations of la Grande Armée, so what figures have you used?

I know there were plenty of 'French' command with German as their first language (ie Rapp) however many such 'interpreters' must have been need with detachments as well.

thanks
davew

von Winterfeldt29 Dec 2021 6:37 a.m. PST

I'm proposing to use a few (random) Polish officer figures for such roles and ADCs at Corps and major command levels (Etat-Major-Generalé), being additions to the staff figures themselves.

Give them French uniforms, as they did wear – you are right such officers did exist even when Bonaparte was a general, he used them as staff officers – like Sulkowski.

SHaT198429 Dec 2021 8:57 p.m. PST

Many thanks vW, glad you haven't succumbed to glühwein overdose!
I'm trying to…
regards d

von Winterfeldt31 Dec 2021 12:15 a.m. PST

The Glühwein is no big threat – but Stollen, Lebkuchen, Plätzchen, a row of Christmas dinners, my BMI is rocketing.

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