A great source on the Polish Armies of the Napoleonic War
Orphan Eagles is the history of the soldiers who spoke Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belrusian, but acknowledged themselves as citizens of the Commonweath of Two Nations (Poland-Lithuania). They fought for the French Republic and Napoleon from the years 1795 – 1815. For simplicity, I have referred to these soldiers as “Polish” as that was the common name use of that time. The Poles and Imperial France both used “Eagles” as symbols for thier military, but the Poles never really re-estblished thier former frontiers. Despite veiled assurances from Republican and Imperial France, the Poles fought miles away from thier homes with a dream of independence that was never achieved. Even in 1814, when most of France’s allies had deserted them and it might have been easier to make a deal with the Allies, the Poles fought for Napoleon up to the gates of Paris. They fought under the eagles of Poland and for the eagles of France for over twenty years. Except for five of those years most were spent without a homeland.
Vincent W. Rospond received his MA in history from the University of Illinois. He has written and edited many books on military history; specializing in Eastern Europe. His works includes books and articles on the Polish armies of the 18th and 19th centuries. He is also the editor of “The Journal of America’s Military Past”. Mr. Rospond has also written speculative fiction and SF&F under the name Jan Kostka.