Poles during the Napoleonic era

I have a longstanding interest in Poland and the fate of Poles during the revolutionary and Napoleonic era. In addition to translating In the Legions of Napoleon, the memoirs of an articulate Pole in French service, some of my other research touches upon Polish themes. There’s the article on the gallant Captain Mrozinski, for example, and three books containing Polish accounts of events in the Napoleonic Wars (the invasion of Haiti, the sieges of Saragossa during the Peninsular War) and the remarkable charge of Napoleon’s Polish Guard cavalry at Somosierra in 1808. These three are available on kindle in the UK and at Amazon.com. A similar project, on the sieges of Saragossa, followed. A more substantial text, on Polish accounts of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, has also just been published.

The French were not always grateful to their allies. So here’s an unflattering view by a French colonel, Antoine Girardon.

However, we should also let the Poles speak up in their own defence. I shall be adding some Polish memoirs to this page. Here is an initial one by a captain in the 4th Regiment of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, Józef Rudnicki, describing his life in Spain and the battles of  Talavera, Ocaña, Ronda and Jerez. And here is an article on the astonishing Polish victory at Fuengirola in Spain in 1810.

The Vistula Legion’s lancers also won fame in the Peninsular War, and here are two accounts by lancer officers of their regiments participation in the destruction of some British infantry at Albuera in 1811.

An account of the destruction of the 3rd Guard Lancers in 1812 has also just been published.