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Greatest Polish Victories

Discussions on the pre First World War era.

Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Peter K on 11 Nov 2011 22:50

The very little-known battle of Hodow on 11.06.1694:

One chapter from the book "Amazing charges and battles of Winged Hussars" by Radoslaw Sikora is available here online:

http://www.wanax.pl/index.php?p1351,niezwykle-bitwy-i-szarze-husarii

http://wanax.pl/download/Hod%C3%B3w%2011%20VI%201694.pdf

The battle of Hodow in 1694 was fought near modern day Hodiv (Го́дів), Ukraine:

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hod%C3%B3w

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I translated the first short fragment (introduction) of the chapter about this battle:

The battle of Hodow is sometimes called, although not quite right, the Polish Thermopylae. At Thermopylae, after heroic defence, the Greeks in the end succumbed to the many times more numerous Persians, while at Hodow Winged Hussars and Pancerni put up successful resistance to the hundredfold (sic!) more numerous Tatars.

The battle took place in June 1694, during the predatory raid of Tatars on Poland. Number of enemies was variously estimated: from 25,000-30,000 up to 70,000. But most commonly mentioned number - also by Poles who fought in that battle - was 40,000. Such a number was also mentioned by king John III Sobieski, when on 4 August 1694 he was telling Mikolaj Zlotnicki about this battle. In that conversation such an information was given by king Sobieski: "(...) to our four hundred men who so courageously and bravely resisted 40 thousands of the Horde." Thus according to king John - who received the first information about this battle on 12 June and who before 4 July visited soldiers who fought at Hodow, bestowing them lavishly on that occasion - the disproportion of forces was 100 : 1 against the Poles. (...)


Of course at Hodow Polish cavalry - Winged Hussars and Pancerni - fought dismounted and made considerable use of their firearms. They defended themselves inside the village of Hodow - local peasants helped them to prepare improvised wooden fortifications and anti-cavalry obstacles.

Many of the Tatars also dismounted from their horses and attacked the village while dismounted.

The entire battle lasted for 6 hours - during that time all Tatar assaults on the village were repulsed and they suffered heavy losses.

In the end the Tatar army retreated back to their Khanate.

Out of 400 defenders as many as 100 were heavily wounded and some 40 - 50 were killed (including 13 Companions and the rest Pocztowi - Retainers).

According to Franciszek Pułaski (Companion of Winged Hussars, participant of the battle) there was not a single man among those 400 defenders, who was not wounded during that battle - but most of the wounds were just light wounds or injuries. Casualties among horses were equally heavy (even though they weren't directly used in battle) - most of them, exposed to enemy fire, were wounded or killed (mostly by Tatar arrows).

Few defenders were also captured. When including also local inhabitants / peasants, in total some 30 men were captured.

Many of casualties of the defenders were caused by enemy arrows. After the battle Poles managed to collect enough Tatar arrows to fill several horse wagons with them - and they were collecting only those arrows which were not broken (and thus could be used again).

Unfortunately no any Tatar accounts saying about their casualties in that battle exist.

But accounts of Polish participants of the battle estimate enemy losses at between 1,000 and nearly 4,000 killed.
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Peter K on 11 Nov 2011 22:56

And here I made an image showing the course of the battle called by sources (particularly by German chronicler Thietmar) "battle in Gau Diadesi" ("battle in the Land of Dadosesani"), fought during the Polish-HRE wars:

Battle Gau Diadesi.png


In that battle Polish forces - consisting mainly of light infantry - attacked and destroyed the rearguard of the HRE's army, which was left behind to secure the crossing of the swamps by the main body of the Emperor's army.

Among the German killed in that battle were "200 finest knights" - according to Thietmar.

Commander of the German rear guard - Markgraf of the Saxon Ostmark Gero - was also among the fallen.

Palatine Burchard and Archbishop Gero "managed to find rescue in escape".
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby RG on 13 Nov 2011 11:10

What about Batle of Dąbki in 1431 agianst Teutonic Urder?
Nearly unknown in Poland, however notable for a fact that army, mostly composed of peasants defeated well trained army of teutonic knights, which lost many commanders (killed ad taken into captivity). 4 captured banners were added to these captured in the Battle of Grunwald, displayed in Wawel Cathedral.
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Peter K on 02 Jul 2012 17:42

Battle of Rondsen 1243.

In that battle Polish duke of the Duchy of Gdansk - Zwantepolc II de Danceke (Swietopelk II of Gdansk) together with his Prussian-Lithuanian allies defeated the army of Teutonic Order's Marschall Berlewin von Freiberg.

In the battle of Rondsen Swietopelk destroyed the charging heavy cavalry - over 50 years before similar thing was achieved at Bannockburn or Crecy. He used poorly equipped light infantry of his Prussian-Lithuanian allies to lure Teutonic cavalry into his hidden main body of infantry. Teutonic cavalry charged & smashed his Prussian-Lithuanian allied infantry but then fell right into his hidden troops and got destroyed. Order's Marschall Berlewin von Freiberg, former Order's Marschall Dietrich von Bernheim and 400 Teutonic knights died in this battle.
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Rian on 04 Aug 2012 15:16

I see the Polish chauvinist juveniles are still playing soldiers.

A military victory by a gang of Polish aristocratic oppressors over a gang of Muscovite aristocratic oppressors was hardly a victory for the Polish people, the great majority of which consisted of downtrodden peasants exploited by their feudal lords.

To the Polish peasantry it hardly mattered whether a battle was won by the Polish aristocratic gang or the Muscovite aristocratic gang; either way they remained oppressed and exploited.


Hallo!! Michael - don't be hypocrite!! Situation of peasants was similar in all Eastern Europe (incl. Germany). And don't You remember Enclosure in 16-17th century England?? Great lords grabbed peasant's lands and drove out tenants...
But in Poland was no slavery like in 17-18th century Great Britain. 17-18th century Great british victories on Caribean Islands or in Northern America don't changed situation of slaves - they were oppressed similar, by spanish, french or british lords.

So, please don't speak about situation of peasants - soldiers of 17th century polish, russian or swedish army. People from the bottom of the social ladder were oppressed in EVERY country.

And what do You thing about "great victory" of australian whites over natives of Tasmania in 1828-32??
Or what do You think about australian "Waterloo" - Waterloo Creek in 1838??
History of Australia - is history of racism, and the extermination of other race.

Polish victories in war of 1610-12 was over equal (or strongest) enemy regular army (e.g. battle of Kałuszyn 1610).
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby phylo_roadking on 05 Aug 2012 21:36

Come on! Surely EVERYONE knows the greatest Polish victory was beating France 3-2 in the 1982 World Cup??? :lol:
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Juha Tompuri on 10 Aug 2012 20:21

Peter K wrote:Kircholm (Salaspils) 1605, over Swedish army
This one has also affected to local history here:
Kircholm = Kirkholma
Manors are a part of Elimäki’s history as well. One of the most important incidents was when King Charles IX of Sweden lost his horse during the Battle of Kirkholma, between Polish and Swedish armies, near Riga in 1605. Cavalry Captain Henrik Wrede gave the King his horse and thus saved his life. Wrede himself was killed in the battle. The thankful King donated a vast fief around the modern Elimäki to Wrede’s widow, Gertrud von Ungern. This donation made the Wrede family one of the most important families in the region.
http://www5.kouvola.fi/en/index/kouvola ... toria.html

BTW, I remember once seeing a (modest) Henrik Wrede memorial at (modern day) Salaspils at some web page, but can't find it anymore.
Anyone seen it?

Regards, Juha
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Peter K on 20 Feb 2013 20:49

Henry Brereton was a British soldier who - with 2,000 other Scottish and English soldiers - volunteered as a mercenary to the Swedish army of King Charles IX and in May 1609 came to Sweden. Brereton then fought against Poles in Russia, including at Klushino. Brereton's account - "Newes of the present miseries of Rushia" - can be found in the book linked below ("False Dmitri, a Russian romance and tragedy described by British eye-witnesses"):

Brereton's account starts on page 69 of the mentioned book (see the links below):

http://archive.org/details/cu31924028446072

http://ia700309.us.archive.org/10/items ... 446072.pdf

Image

Brereton about the battle of Klushino of 1610 ("Launciers" = Polish husaria):

Image

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And an opinion of Brereton about combat efficiency of Polish (enemy) and Russian (his allies) troops of that time:

Image
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby henryk on 21 Feb 2013 20:30

From above:
Together with the Memorable occurences of our owne nationall forces, English, and Scottes, vnder the Pay of the now King of Swethland.

With the English And Scottish Armies supporting Sweden, it is no wonder Sweden was successsful!
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Re: Greatest Polish Victories

Postby Peter K on 23 Feb 2013 11:52

henryk wrote:From above:
Together with the Memorable occurences of our owne nationall forces, English, and Scottes, vnder the Pay of the now King of Swethland.

With the English And Scottish Armies supporting Sweden, it is no wonder Sweden was successsful!


Indeed! But... wait - the Swedish army was not successful in that particular battle and war. ;)

Anyway - as a matter of fact, Sweden relied heavily on foreign mercenaries during entire 17th century.

I know an example of a German mercenary who served in the Swedish army against Poland, and then in the Polish army against Sweden. So apparently he was serving under those who paid more at a particular time.

=========================================================

I'm not sure if the battle of Albuera in 1811 was already mentioned.

Or rather one particular episode of that battle. Namely - 600 Polish lancers charging and defeating the Colborne's brigade of British infantry, inflicting 1300 casualties upon them, while suffering only 130 casualties:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_ ... 7s_brigade

The Vistula Lancers who did it were also known as the "Lancers of Hell" among the British.

Another battle in which mostly Polish and mostly British troops clashed, was Fuengirola in 1810:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fuengirola
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.
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