well it is long long story
hard to make it short but:
-Polish-Lithuanian military went in to decline in late XVII century reaching bottom in mid - XVIII century
-crisis of the army was caused by general crisis of the state which was unnable to reform its political structure and step by step become paralized. There were several attempts to reform the country - thorugh out that period - yet they all mostly failed. they were finnaly succefull in late XVIII century yet they came to late . Generaly in late XVII century and early XVIII army was hevily underpaid - soldiers had to focus on executing debts from the state
-During GNW Polish - Lithuanian army was paralized by adtional factors - first by the fact that innitialy most of the army/politiucal leaders were opposing war against Sweden ( which they saw as private initive of the king and favoured peace, or ewen war with |Russia), second by the ciwil war
As for army tactis/uniforms/structure. Taking in to consideration all the things i stated abowe i will give you few facts.
Around 1700 polish army had around 40 000 soldiers
half of them were infrantry. Infrantry units were organizes in to small regiments, ( around 400/700 ) soldiers. these units were funtining as battalions on the battlefield. Such an organistion was intrudced by king Sobieski around 1670.
Polish infrantry was always using relaitvly small number of pikes as it never really needed protction against cavalery. Pikeman were 10/20 percent of every unit.
Musketers were using long double axes instead of a forket. Uniforms were blue.
Around 1690 intruction of flintlock was initited. But becuase of the lack of funds it was finishisd around 1706/1708
Regiments were mostly named after their commander ( just like in wester europe). Best units had their orginal name.
-Gwardia Piesza Koronna ( Polish Foot Guard - as Korona means Kingdom and word Kingdom was used to describe polish part of commonwelth)
-Gwardia Piesza Litweska ( Lithuanian Foot Guard)
Regiment of the Queen
Regiment of the Prince
and so on.
there was as well number of light infrantry units named hajduks, or hungarian infrantry. those units were not hiving pikes, and no axes and were used as fast sumplement for cavalary
what is interesting there were as well a small number of turkish style infrantry - dressed in a simmiliar way to jannisaries and not using pikes and axes
light infrantry were organised in smaller units - around 200 people
As for calavalery - around 1700 it numbered around 20 000
Since Sobieski there was increasing number of dragon units, they consisted around half of cavalalery. It was using similiar structure as Infrantry - organised in small regiments. It was weraing blue uniforms. And was very similiar to the french dragons
Rest of cavalary was recruited using so called "commarads recriutmed" - meaning that a member of gentry was issued a letter to recruit number of people and was organised in small units of 200 people being combined in to regimnts "pulk" named after their commanders.
main cavalery force was "pancerni" - meaning iron/metal ones. It was medium heavy cavalery, using small protection plates and short pike. sometimes rifle/muscet. and sabre ofcourse.
They were supported by light cavalery ( the joke was that name light reffers to the fact that it lighlty escape)
There was a very small number of heavy shock cavalery - Husarze - thopse guys were using long spear and had wing attacged to their backc ( they were suposed to protect them against tatar ropes)
and more over there were cossack units - combinin both of light infrantry and light cavalery.
And there were tattar units - as there was huge number of tatars who were settled in Poland-Lithuania.
King Sobieski who spoke turkish and tattar and had a very hight respect for muslim culture was inviting them to settle and serve in the army. (btw last tattar unit was still in service in 1939)
anyway as i wrote it is jus small part of fascinating history.
Polish-Lithuanian army was higly effective strong miliatry force for most part of its history. It fought nyumber of different enemies - very ofthe in the same time - Swedes, Austrians, Russians, Turks. It achivied fantastic victories in its historyy - capturing Moscow 2 times, giving a tought time to Gustaw Adolf in 1626-1628 or destroing turkish army under Vienna.
Yet in GNW it was just a shadow of its former glory - mostly because of the crisis of the country.
In opertion sense - it was organises as two main armies - Armia Koronna, and Armia Litewska.
They funtio as sepparete entities - as the country was federatiopn.
Ussualy Armia Koronna was twice as big as Armia Litewska.
For operation purposses armies were divided in to smaller entities. They were names Dywizja ( like division) with the name of the comander. For example - Lubomirski Dywizja, Czarniecki Dywizja and so on
as for pictures - i have some books in my country house, will look for them.
During GNW polish infrantry changed it traditional blue uniforms in to red ones with tricorns - coping saxon style
Liberty Bell wrote:
Thanks for the link Marek.
I am very interested to know more about Polish -Lithuanian army in GNW. It is hard to find OOBs or even find pictures that shows how they looked like in that period.
Was it any major differences between nationality? Was Polish and Lithuanian troops simular like for example the Swedish and Finnish.
There seems to be a good variety of cavalry. I am thinking of, Husaria, Pancerni, Petyhorcy, Jazda, Rajtaria, Dragonia, etc ...
There was also cavalry of other origin like, Tatarzy, Kozacy and so on. Maybe it could be a good for the game to "polish polish" cavalry?