New: Polish Vistula Legion

The latest addition to our growing Napoleonic range is this fine boxed set of Vistula Legion.

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The Vistula Legion was perhaps the most famous of the many foreign units in French service under Napoleon. Formed in Silesia in February 1807 from an infantry regiment and cavalry regiment in the service of the Kingdom of Naples, it was initially named the Legion Polacco-Italienne (Polish-Italian Legion) as it had been organized around the Poles in Italian service. Renamed the Légion de la Vistula (Vistula Legion) in March 1908, it became three infantry regiments, each of two battalions, each battalion having six companies of 140 men (one grenadier company, one voltigeur, and four fusilier) plus a Lancer regiment of 1,000 men in four squadrons.

The Vistula Legion was sent to Spain in June1808 where it fought in numerous actions, their most celebrated of which was at Albuera in 1810 when the lancer regiment rode down a British infantry brigade, destroying three out of the four British battalions in only four minutes of slaughter. By 1812, the Vistula Legion had been accepted into the Imperial Guard (a great honour and reward), forming a brigade within the Young Guard Division for the invasion of Russia. In September 1813 they fought the Russians in a bloody engagement at Neustadt (near Dresden). Participating in several small engagements and skirmishes, they were virtually destroyed at Leipzig that October. The Legion was reformed in early 1814 and at Soissons, on 2 March, it fought valiantly against the blockading Russian forces earning 23 Legions d ‘honneur.

Unusually, none of the Legion’s infantry regiments carried banners until late in 1813, when the remnants of the withdrawal from Moscow were re-organised into the Vistula Regiment. Box contains 36 plastic and metal Polish line infantry figures. Note: Models supplied unassembled and unpainted.