The Vistula Ulans at Albuera, May 1811
"Oh Albuera, glorious field of grief !"
- Lord George Byron

1. The Battle of Albuera, 1811.
2. Vistula Uhlans vs British Heavy Dragoons.
3. Uhlans and the Destruction of British Infantry.
4. The Last Charges.
5. Aftermath.
Lancer of the Vistula Ulan Regiment
 with captured British Color
Vistula uhlan with captured British Color.
History will never know what they
would have done to the British at Waterloo !

Albuera had little effect on the course of the war in Spain
but the performance of Polish Lancers at it did cause the
British Army to convert some cavalry regiments to lancers.
The tremendous impetus of Poles broke through and scattered
the British redcoats like chaff before the wind.

Battle of Albuera, May 16, 1811
Beresford's 35.000 vs Soult's 25.000

French flag A force under Beresford had moved south away from Badajoz to fend off French attempt to relieve the first siege of that frontier fortress. On May 15th Beresford with 35,000 British, German, Portuguese and Spanish troops reached the town of Albuera. The battlefield was a rolling line of low hills along a narrow stream, facing a gentle slope studded with olive groves. To the west of the hills was an extensive plain. Bersford deployed his troops on the low hills, parallel with the river Albuera. The infantry and artillery took up position overlooking the village of Albuera. The village was held by two battalions of King's German Legion. "The Allied army was deployed in a strong defensive position across the undulating, treeless fields south of Albuera. ... The left wing - Hamilton's Portuguese division and most of the Portuguese cavalry - lay to the north of the Badajoz road. The centre - founded on Albuera itself - comprised the divisions of Cole and Stewart, supported by Alten's light brigade and over 1,000 horse. The southern section was made up of the four Spanish infantry divisions - some 12,000 men - backed by another mass of Allied cavalry and several batteries of artillery." (Gates - "The Spanish Ulcer" pp 256-258)
The river was fordable in several places. The French, only some 25.000 under Marshal Soult, came from the south-east and on the morning of May 16th drew up facing west.
Napier writes: "Two-thirds of the French were in a compact order of battle on a line perpendicular to his [Beresford] right, and his army, disordered and composed of different nations, was still in the difficult act of changing its front. It was in vain to give room on the summit of the hill for the second division to support it; the French guns opened fire, their infantry threw out a heavy musketry fire, and their cavalry, outflanking the front, and menacing to charge here and there, put the Spaniards in disorder in all points, they fell fast, and they gave back." (Napier - "History of the War in the Peninsula 1807-1814" Vol III, p 97)

French Infantry Attack
Soult determined to make a feint attack on the village of Albuera, whilst his main attack was to be directed under cover of the woods against Beresford’s right. Soult's vanguard arrived and drove Colborne's screen back across the Albuera Brook. The marshal knew that Blake had landed from Cadiz and was anxious to strike Beresford before the two hostile forces could unite. This had already taken place, but Soult - denied a view of most of Beresford's army and thus unable to calculate its size - felt certain that he had arrived in time to prevent the junction of his adversaries and formulated a strategy to keep things that way. Believing Blake to be marching up from the south, he resolved to turn Beresford's right flank, thus interposing himself between the two Allied forces. With any luck, Beresford would be defeated, and the relief of Badajoz secured. Then, over a field strewn with Allied death, the French army would sweep southwards to deal with Blake [Spanish troops]." (Gates - "The Spanish Ulcer" p 258)
In a superb flanking manouevre, the French attacked the Allies wing. The French infantry divisions commanded by Girard and Gazan, in an intent of overturn the Allied right, collided with the Spanish forces theres. Gates has the best description in that he mentions the advance of the French infantry of V Corps, "one division behind the other - in a gigantic mixed-order formation". Gazan's division was so close to the lead division, that "the entire force soon coalesced into one vast body of 8,000 marching soldiers."
Gates mentions the advance of Werle's division, "like Girard, had deployed his troops in extremely uneconomical formations. Advancing in three deep but narrow columns, [Werle's] nine battalions could only bring some 360 muskets to bear, whereas every man in Myers brigade - some 2.000 - could use his flintlock." Many Spaniards fought bravely against great odds and a British counterattack failed with massive casualties - the result of a blinding downpour that hid the proximity of Polish lancers until it was too late. The French infantry advanced with vigor, Girard division led the attack. It was formed as follow: in the centre were 4 battalions in close columns, one behind the other. On each side of this massive column were 2 battalions, one in line and another in column of pelotons at full interval.

Spanish Thin Line Halted French Columns
A tremendous firefight developed between the French and Spaniards under José Pascual de Zayas y Chacón , (ext.link). The Spaniards fought tenaciously until British infantry arrived. The smoke and the anxiety resulted in a friendly fire; in the beginning some of the Brits fired in the backs of the Spanish infantry before they realized their mistake. (By opening fire on the uhlans they also shot many of Zayas' men in the back.) Napier writes: "I supposed the mutual firing between a British and Spanish regiment happened when the fusiliers were mounting the hill. I had understood Colonel Robert Arbuthnot so, and that he rode between both parties; the writer of the Strictures says he has Sir Robert's letter contradicting the fact. Nevertheless, that such an event did take place at one period of this battle, is proved by the contradictory evidence as to which party fired upon the other." (Napier - "History of the War in the Peninsula 1807-1814" Vol V, p 319)
Gates writes: "... the 29th Foot who, rather unwisely, began firing on the dispersed lancers: most of the shots passing the horsemen harmlessly by and striking the rear ranks of Zayas' formation instead. Nevertheless, the pertinacious Spaniards stood their ground and almost certainly saved Beresford from disaster." (Gates - "The Spanish Ulcer" p 259)
The artillery caused even heavier casuatlies than the musket volleys. The deep French columns were an easy target for the guns.

Map of Albuera
Spanish thin line halting massive columns of French infantry.
(Zayas' division was arguably one of the best Spain had.
It consisted of the Spanish and Wallon Guards, Irish Regiment,
and Spanish regiments of Ciudad Real, Toledo, Extranjera and Patria.)


The combat was very short,
the British dragoons broke and fled.

Vistula Uhlans vs British Heavy Dragoons
100 vs 370

The Vistula Uhlan Regiment had 4 squadrons, each of four platoons. (One of the platoons in every squadron was made of flankers, skirmishers) The uhlans, mostly seasoned veterans, were commanded by Colonel Jan Konopka (1775-1814). Konopka was an experienced commander, he participated in several campaigns before being sent to Spain.
He was a brave man with cold mind in combat. Konopka's weakness however was small warfare (he was surprised by Cossacks and Spaniards) The uhlans rode on chestnuts and bays, mostly Polish horses. The regiment was part of General Latour-Maubourg's Cavalry Division.
Cavalry Division - GdD Latour-Maubourg
. . . [Polish] Vistula Ulans (591 men, casualties 26 %)
. . . 27th Chasseurs (431 men, casualties 6 %)
. . . [Spanish] Chasseurs (196 men, 0.3 %)
Light Cavalry Brigade - GdB Briche
. . . 2nd Hussars (strength 305 men, casualties 24 %)
. . . 10th Hussars (strength 262 men, casualties 12 %)
. . . 21st Chasseurs (256 men, 10 %)
Dragoon Brigade - GdB Bron
. . . 4th Dragoons
. . . 20th Dragoons
. . . 26th Dragoons
Dragoon Brigade - GdB des Eclat
. . . 14th Dragoons
. . . 17th Dragoons
. . . 27th Dragoons
[NOTE: sources disagree on the exact organization of Latour-Maubourg's division. They give the following regiments: 2nd and 10th Hussars, 21st and 27th Chasseurs-a-Cheval, 4th, 14th, 17th, 20th, 26th and 27th Dragoons, Spanish 4th Chasseurs-a-Cheval and Polish Vistula uhlans.]

General Marie-Victor-Nicolas de Fay Latour-Maubourg came from a very old and noble family having it's origins dating back at least to the mid-16th Century. He is alleged to have shouted, "What have you got to cry about man, you have one less boot to polish in future." Latour-Maubourg was a natural leader but not an altogether popular one. (Terry J.Senior napoleon-series.org)

Colonel Konopka detached 4 platoons of flankers from his regiment and sent them against enemy line. In the first line was Sous-lieutenant Rogajski's platoon (25 men) and Sous-lieutenant Wojciechowski's platoon (25 men). Behind them were two other platoons. The leading two platoons were formed in a skirmish chain. They crossed Albuhera Brook on the southern side of Albuhera. Near the town stood infantry of the King's German Legion [KGL]. According to the uhlans the Germans watched them but not a single shot was fired. The Poles passed them and moved against center of British infantry deployed on low hills.

The two leading platoons advanced uphill, while the two other under Captain Leszczynski halted by the bank of Albuhera Brook. The leading platoons were attacked by 370 heavy cavalrymen (or 374) of British 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards led by General Long. It was good unit. The dragoon guards regiments took precedence over all other cavalry regiments of the line. The right to use the 'Ich Dien' badge was granted to the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1765, and subsequently became their cap badge. The British leading squadron consisted of 120 men; and were the first to clash with the Poles. The combat was very short (ext.link) and the heavies broke and fled. [Ian Fletcher wrote that General Long brought 3rd Dragoon Guards and 13th Light Dragoons. It gives two regiments with total of 770 men against 100 uhlans. The Poles however mention only one British regiment.]

The remaining three squadrons of 3rd Dragoon Guards attacked the uhlans. The Poles were heavily outnumbered and fled downhill. Once the pursuers became disordered the uhlans slowed down their "flight", halted, turned around and attacked the disordered Brits. The dragoons were driven uphill and pursued until British infantry opened fire. The uhlans (2 platoons) abandonded their pursuit and withdrew. They had 16 killed and wounded (12 from infantry fire and only 2 from dragoons), while the British dragoons suffered at least 20 casualties (10 killed, 9 wounded, 1 missing). For this battle, Rogoyski and Wojciechowski were awarded with Legion d'Honneur. (Kirkor - "Legia Nadwislanska 1808-1814" p 298)

Meanwhile Colonel Konopka's regiment was alreday moved on French flank. It forced him to recall the 4 platoons of flankers.


"I was knocked down by a horseman with his lance,
which luckily did me no serious injury. In getting up
I received a lance in my hip, and shortly after another
in my knee, which slightly grazed me. I then rose,
when a lancer hurried me to the rear, striking me
on the side of the head with his lance... He left me,
and soon another came up, who would have killed me
had not a French officer came up..." - Captain Gordon

Vistula Uhlans and the Destruction of British Brigade.
The Uhlans Went With Such a Right Good Cheer,
Bang Through the Infantry and Cut Like Sheep.

The uhlans cutting down the last of the Buffs by Wollen Konopka's regiment (590 men), followed by the French 2nd Hussars (305 men), made straight for the British brigade commanded by Colborne. This brilliant movement was as unexpected by, as it was unwelcome to the enemy. The cavalry charged in full view of the 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot "The Buffs" who were on a heightened ground. This British deployed to the right, in a line 4 ranks deep, and facing the Poles. (Some sources mention 8 ranks, but not a square). The Poles were armed with lances, a fearsome weapon hardly ever seen by the British troops and a superb killing instrument. They sped up uphill with their lance-pennons swinging in the air. From the higher ground the advance of the body of cavalry had been observed by some.

The charging uhlans lowered their lances before a thunderous volley greeted them. It didn't stop them, they hit three battalions at once, the 3rd 'Buffs', II/48th 'Northamptonshire' and II/66th 'Berkshire'. The shock was irresistible, and the British fled before the charging ranks in a tumultuous throngs. The lances pierced their clothes, the men clapped their hands to their saber-cut faces, blood oozing. The Poles went with such a right good cheer, bang through the infantrymen, and cut right and left like sheep. In the heat of the fight some of the Brits who signaled to surrender were killed and no mercy was shown in the beginning. The II/31st 'Huntingdonshire' Regiment of Foot (418 men) also found themselves under assault. One of the uhlans spurred his horse, caught up with the flag-bearer, exchanged a few strokes with him, and having split his opponent's head open, triumphantly took possesion of this war trophy.

This attack delivered and completed within the brief space of several minutes, entirely demoralised the British force. Scattered groups of panicked redcoats either surrendered (several hundred), ran for safety, or fought to their death. The confusion was riotous - whinnying horses, screaming soldiers, raised lances, cracking muskets, the battlefield was a cacophony of violent sounds. There is no doubt that the death-roll of the furious charge was increased by the spearing of armed and unarmed (surrendering or attempting to flee) of Colborne's Brigade. The redcoats seemed to become totally disintegrated. The British surrendered en masse; they threw down their arms, stripped themselves of their belts and ran to the rear.
The 3rd (the East Kent) Regiment of Foot (ext.link) "The Buffs" was nicknamed "The Nutcrackers". This nickname comes from Albuera, where - according to some Brits - they cracked the heads of the enemy. I think they rather cracked their own nuts in despair. :-)

Captain Gordon of Colborne's Brigade was attacked by the Vistula Ulans: "I was knocked down by a horseman with his lance, which luckily did me no serious injury. In getting up I received a lance in my hip, and shortly after another in my knee, which slightly grazed me. I then rose, when a lancer hurried me to the rear, striking me on the side of the head with his lance... He left me, and soon another came up, who would have killed me had not a French officer came up..." It was a carnage. Five or six British Colors were taken. Over the ground strewn with dead and wounded men and horses who were previously in full vigour, rode the "Devils Poles" deeper into enemy's lines.

The Uhlans Captured Guns of KGL
Some of the Brits scurried for safety toward a battery of King German Legion commanded by Cleve. But the Poles put the gunners out of commission: out of 6 guns, 5 were captured. A vast majority of the lancers was preoccupied with gathering the prisoners while small group of Poles attacked and was repulsed by a volley delivered by 31st Foot.
Napier writes: "Here be it noticed that Beresford's despatch suppresses the fact of more than one gun being taken, although 6 pieces of artillery and other trophies fell into the lancers' hands." (Napier - "History of the War in the Peninsula 1807-1814" Vol V, p 319)

Uhlans Attacking Allies Staff
Several lancers chased Spanish staff officers off the field into one of the infantry squares and a Spanish general was wounded. A single lancer attacked General Beresford. Another lancer chased Portugesee staff officers. Before they killed him, he wounded several of them. A group of Poles moved to the rear of the Spanish infantry, "creating havoc everywhere". (Since the beginning of the war, the Spaniards called the uhlans "Los Diablos Polacos" - The Devils Poles.)
So impetuously did the Poles and French hussar charge that some lancers rode right down the rear of Zayas’ line. Hoghton’s brigade, with the 57th of Foot in the centre, was just coming up, and by opening fire on the lancers shot many of Zayas’ brave Spaniards in the back. The Brits were checked in time, and the Spaniards, undisturbed by such a disaster, maintained their fight till ordered to retire.

The British Dragoons fled "faster than they arrived."
The British 4th Dragoon Regiment (387 men in 4 squadrons) and some Spanish cavalry (721 men) were ordered to attack the uhlans and hussars. The Poles and Frenchmen abandoned part of the captured prisoners, and spurred forward against the Spaniards. They dashed like whirlwinds on their chargers. The Spaniards fled but not the British dragoons. The Brits lost 27 men and two squadron commanders. They were no match for the uhlans and fled "faster than they arrived," as it is stated in official British report. Fear has big eyes, the uhlans were light cavalry, mounted on rather small but agile mounts. The British dragoons however described them as "very large men" and saw not one regiment of lancers but "a brigade of Polish cavalry". - Lieutenant Madden of 4th Dragoons.

Napier writes: "... there were more charges of cavalry made than the writer of the Strictures knows of: and here I may mention a curious example of the impudent falsehood of the Spanish accounts of this war. That Penne Villemu's cavalry fled in a shameful manner, the following statement by Colonel Light proves: 'Afetr our brigades of infantry first engaged were repulsed, I was desired by General d'Urban to tell the Count de Penne Villemur to charge the lancers, and we all started, as I thought, to do the thing well; but when within a few paces of the enemy, the whole pulled up, there was no getting them farther, and in a few moments after I was left alone to run the gauntlet as well as I could.'
The comment of the Spanish goverment in their official gazette at Cadiz upon this part of the action was, that Penne Villemur, seeing three English regiments broken by the French cavalry, withstood the latter, protected the former, and was fired upon by the very regiments he had saved; finally, that the Spaniards alone defeated the whole French army !! " (Napier - "History of the War in the Peninsula 1807-1814" Vol V, p 319)
"... the French horse eventually made off towards their own lines. Two British dragoon sqadrons who tried to pursue them were overthrown, losing their commanding officers and several men." (Gates - "The Spanish Ulcer" p 259)


Single uhlans rode to the British and Portuguese squares
and brandished their lances as if in defiance.

The Last Charges.
The uhlans while passing the disheartened Frenchmen
shouted, "Comrades, don't give up ! Vive l'Empereur !"

Latour-Maubourg ordered the Poles to charge one more time, now against Cole's Division. They smashed the flank companies of the Fusiliers and sent the others into disorder. Then they attacked 4 battalions of Portuguese infantry. Stedy musket fire greeted the Poles. They were repulsed although here and there single uhlans rode to the British and Portuguese squares and brandished their lances as if in defiance before falling back.

Finally Latour Maubourg's cavalry began the great movement which should have taken place earlier. Now it was too late and the momentum was lost. French dragoons charged the British Division (I,II/7th "Royal Fusiliers", I/23rd "Welsh Fusiliers" and the I and II battalion of light inf. of KGL) commanded by Major-General Galbraith Lowry Cole. The redcoats delivered several volleys and repulsed the mass of dragoons. The French horse fell back.

The uhlans collected the prisoners and took them to the rear. One of British officers, Major Brooke, recalled; "I was being led as a prisoner between two French infantrymen when one of the lancers rode up, and deliberately cut me down. Then, taking my coat, he endeavoured to pull it over my head."

The Poles while passing the disheartened French infantry shouted, "Comrades, don't give up ! Vive l'Empereur! Vive l'Empereur!" They triumphantly shook the captured standards and the French loudly applauded them. Unfortunately the uhlans had to abandon majority of the captured guns because the French stragglers had stolen their draft horses. [British Major Mervin Nooth of the I/7th Foot wrote that his battalion recaptured some abandoned guns and they discovered the regimental color of I/3rd Regiment of Foot with these trophies.]


After Napoleonic wars Beresford was occupied
in a heated controversy with William Napier,
who had severely criticised his tactics at Albuera.

Six British Colors were captured:
5 by Polish uhlans and 1 by French hussars.

Vistula Uhlan Beresford was severely criticised for his leadership during the battle. This battle ended as something of a draw with awesome casaulties on both sides. At Salamanca (1812) 30,500 British and German troops in Wellington's army lost 3,100 casualties (just over 1 in 10), at Albuera 4 in 10 of the British and German infantrymen under Beresford's command were killed, wounded and missing.
In 1830 Beresford retired from public life, and for some time subsequently he was occupied in a heated controversy with William Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War, who had severely criticised his tactics at Albuera. Wellington's reaction to Beresford's account of the battle was: "This won't do. Write me down a victory". Wellington also requested to stop any reports of Albuera being sent.

Napier writes what happened after battle: "Morning came, and both sides remained in their respective situations, the wounded still covering the field of battle, the hostile lines still menacing and dangerous. The greater multitude had fallen on the French part, but the best soldiers on that of the allies, and the dark masses of Soult's powerful cavalry and artillery, as they covered all his front, seemed alone able to contend again for the victory; the right of the French also appeared to threaten the Badajos road, and Beresford, in gloom and doubt, awaited another attack. ... On the 18th Soult retreated." (Napier - Vol III, p 102)
"There is even a more certain proof that Marshal Beresford did contemplate a retreat, namely, that he gave the order; it was in part obeyed ! The bridge and village of Albuera were actually abandoned in obedience to his orders, by Alten's Germans and by the artillery ! and Beresford in person rebuked Colonel Halket of the Germans for being slow to obey." (Napier - Vol V)

After battle took place an unprecedented conduct in the course of the war - the English refused to provide the few badly wounded uhlans with medical treatment in a petty act of revenge. The English described the lancers as barbarians/wild beasts/savages.
(At Waterloo the British dragoons sabered men of French 105th Line even though many of them had thrown down their weapons and surrendered. They also cut down the pipers and drummers of 45th Line. (Captain Martin of 45th Line Regiment).

Soult only admits to some 3,000 casualties, but a return of casualties dated 11 July 1811 lists 5,936 casualties. The British-Portuguese-Spanish casualties were 6.000 killed, wounded and prisoners. After some tweaking by British authors (Oman and others) and webmasters the French casualties were "upgraded" to 7.000, 9,000 and even 10.000.
The most stirring piece of cavalry work was performed at Albuera by 590 uhlans and 305 hussars. The severity of the British situation is clearly shown in the amount of prisoners taken and men killed and wounded. The cavalrymen inflicted a gross majority of the casualties given below:

  • 4th Dragoon "The Queen's Own" lost 29 men (7,5 % of its strength)
  • 3rd Dragoon "The Prince of Wales" lost 20 killed, wounded and missing
  • 3rd Foot "The Buffs" lost 643 (85 % of its strength !)
  • 48th Foot "The Northamptonshire" lost 343 (75 % of its strength !)
  • 66th Foot "The Berkshire" lost 272 (62 % of its strength !)
    Casualties suffered by the Spaniards and Portugesee troops are unkown to me.
    According to Beresford's report the three infantry regiments (Colborne's) lost 319 killed, 460 wounded and 479 were captured as prisoners. (Kirkor in "Legia Nadwislanska 1808-1814" p 299 and Oman Vol IV p 384). Out of the 800 captured Brits, escaped 321. The Vistula Ulans Regiment lost approximately 150 men (26 % of its strength) in all the fights against cavalry, infantry and artillery during the entire day. According to Soult's report 130 uhlans were lost. The 2nd Hussar Regiment lost 24 % of its strength.

    Captured British Colors.
    Gates writes: "Five colors were taken, as was their supporting artillery battery and, of the 1,648 men in the three leading battalions, 1,248 were killed, wounded, or taken." (Gates - "The Spanish Ulcer" p 259)
    Actually six British Colors were captured: 5 by Polish uhlans and 1 by French hussars.
    Four Colors were complete and two reduced to the flagstaff. British battalions each carried 2 colours, the Kings colour and the regimental colour. These standards measured approx 198 x 183 cm. These captured Colors and parts of them remained hidden until 1827. In that year five of them were displayed in the Museum of Artillery. The sixth Color was of the 3rd Foot. During the fighting at Albuehera it had been reduced to shreds and presented no value for public presentation. In 1830 a mob stormed the Museum of Artillery and took weapons and stole standards from it, including the Colour of the 66th Foot. In 1851 a fire seriously damaged these trophies from Albuhera.]
    Luis Sorandos Muzas wrote that in 1831, the four remaining Colors were placed in the Hotel des Invalides. In August 1851 a fire broke out and the Colour of the 66th was destroyed, while the Colour of the 48th was seriously damaged "with only its central shield surviving." The Colors of the 3rd and the 48th "had only small fragments of its cloth" survived. One Color disappeared and of the others only 3 small fragments remained. On 26 February 1861, General Duffourc d'Antist donated to the Invalides his collection
    of flags.
    Some Spanish sources claim that Spanish Infantry Regiment Murcia captured colors of the Vistula Ulans Reg. These claims vary from 3 to 1 Color taken. But the uhlans lost all their Colors to the Spaniards two years earlier at Yevennes [Jebenes ?] and carried no Colors at Albuhera. Could it be one of the company markers ? The Spaniards don't substantiate their claim by evidence so this is difficult for me to speculate on this subject.

    Shower of Awards.
    Napoleon awarded the uhlans with numerous crosses of Legion d'Honour. Colonel Jan Konopka was promoted to general de brigade. Later on he became chief instructor for the newly formed French six lancer regiments. (Kirkor - "Legia Nadwislanska 1808-1814" p 278)
    Numerous uhlans were selected to the prestigous 1st Lancers Regiment of Old Guard.

    The French and British Became Fascinated
    With Lance-Armed Cavalry.

    The cavalry charge at Albuhera is one of the most notable incidents in the history of the cavalry arm. Seventeen days after Emperor Napoleon received news of the performance of Vistula Ulans at Albuera, that left an entire British infantry brigade laying dead on the battlefield, he ordered the establishment of lancer regiments in his
    British lancers After the Napoleonic Wars the British 16th Light Dragoon Regiment was equipped as lancers. According to British website "During the Peninsula wars the British army suffered terrible casualties from the Polish Vistula lancers, so the 16th Light Dragoons, now as lancers tried to emulate them not only in skill at arms, but also in appearance." The Polish connection is not hard to miss, the uniforms, lances and pennants can all be traced in style to the Polish regiments that inspired them...the 17th Lancers were involved and which is still celebrated every year "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (ext.link)
    On picture: British 17th Lancers at Balaklava.

  • Ps.
    Strangely enough until today (2001) there was not a single book about Albuera published in Poland. There are several reasons for this situations. First of all the Brits were not the primary enemy of Poland, the Russians and the Prussians were. Fighting against the Brits was not as emotionally charged as against the Russians. Another reason is that Napoleon was not present at Albuera. A charge in front of Napoleon (like at Somosierra) was ten times more glorious for the Poles than fighting for any other French commander.

    Sources and Links.

    Bielecki and Tyszka - "Dal nam przyklad Bonaparte"
    Kirkor - "Pod sztandarami Napoleona"
    Kirkor - "Legia Nadwislanska 1808-1814"
    Nafziger - "Poles and Saxons"
    Lemonofides - "British Infantry Colours"
    Milne - "The Standards and Colours of the British Army from 1661-1881"
    Fletcher - "Bloody Albuera"
    [In Ian Fletcher's "Bloody Albuera" not a single Spanish, Polish or French source was used. Ian Fletcher used 45 books all written by British authors. With such limited selection of sources this is not surprising that this pro-British, one-sided book. The illustrations are pretty.]

    Vistula Uhlans (plastic figures)
    Vistula Uhlan on Rearing Horse (plastic figure)

    Napoleon, His Army and Enemies