Help support TMP

"Polish as Guides/ Interpreters- 1805" Topic

7 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please do not use bad language on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Painting Guides Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

One-Hour Skirmish Wargames

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

Featured Profile Article

Report from Bayou Wars 2006

The Editor heads for Vicksburg...

773 hits since 29 Mar 2020
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
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?

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.

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.

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.


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.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.