02 October 2010

Polish Legions at battle of Leipzig 1813 [Diorama]

Basically the last great Napoleonic battle the Poles under Napoleons banner took part in was the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. Already they had suffered huge losses in the disastrous Russian campaign. Originally 98.000 Poles and Lithuanians followed Napoleon into Russia in 1812, only 26.000 returned. The Vistula Legion went down from some 7000 to 1.500 men. Not wanting to give up the dream of a free Polish republic the remnants stuck with Napoleon to the bitter end – which would come during the battle of Leipzig where the battered veterans would pretty much be annihilated by overwhelming enemy forces.

The battle of Leipzig, 16–19 October 1813, was a battle with some 600.000 men taking part on the battlefield making it the largest battle to date in history. The French and their allies were outnumbered roughly 2:1 in both men and artillery by the Russian, Prussian and Austrian coalition forces. On top of that the French army was cornered and surrounded.

The battle went bad for the French and their allies, the Polish positions were literally out of ammunition towards the end of the battle trying to hold their ground. A plan was drafted to escape over the river and blow up the bridges as the last French unit crossed. Unfortunately for the French and their allies the bridge was blown up prematurely leaving a large chunk of the force, the Poles included behind. In a last attempt to cross the river the Polish commander Prince Jozef Poniatowski, at this time wounded several times, jumped into the river with his horse but was finally killed in the water.

This diorama is supposed to depict a meeting between the two Polish commanders, Prince Jozef Poniatowski and Jan Henryk Dabrowski, as they stand behind a polish line of defense where mixed units of the Polish Vistula Legion and regular Polish Legions hold the line.

Models are all Front Rank Figurines.


  1. very nice Anatoli, very nice indeed.

  2. Great work... Few days ago I finished a book about battle of Lepizg, a week earlier another, about Polish army in 1813, so now I'm very interesting in this campaign;)

  3. If ever I was dragged into playing Napoleonic era I would do the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, too bad there are no plastic miniatures for this nation though. I think their uniforms are among the best looking during that period :-)

  4. A really nice dio, on a interesting subject ! Thank you !


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