Polish ''Danube'' Legion

  • The Napoleonic War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Formed for Service with Napoleon's ''Grand Armee'' of France, The Polish ''Danube Legion'' was mustered into Formation in 1799. Over 6,000 Soldiers of all Ranks served. Many were from Poland (a French Annexation Territory), but many still came from French Prisoners of War (released from Austria). The Danube Legion (taking it's name from The River), was based in the Batavian Republic.


The Legion distinguished itself at The Battle of Marengo (Italy, 1800). They also saw Colonial Service in Haiti (Caribbean). The Legion suffered horrendous losses to disease, losing an estimated 4,000 of their number to Yellow Fever and Malaria. They returned to Europe, greatly undermanned – in 1802. This number (close to only 1,500) were divided into (3) Battalions and sent to vatious Campaign Theaters with The Grand Armee. By The end of The Napoleonic Wars, 1st Battalion mustered out only (6) Officers and (14) Men. The 2nd Battalion fared much better, mustering out 775. Finally, 3rd Battalion reported only (30) by 1816.


The Legion during it's glory days was best described as a Light Cavalry Formation. They wore a Blue Uniform, trimmed in Yellow with The Ulhan Helmet. The Legion were trained Lancers and as such used The Cavalry Lance was primary weapon, supported by a variety of Cavalry Sabers and Swords. Typically. Officers and NCOs carried Pistol and Short Musket, bust by the end of The War, most Soldiers carried whatever they needed to simply survive.