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Dariusz Dario T. W




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukasz Papaj wrote:

Now, enter Gustavus Adolphus [...] and in the Battle of Gniew (1626) Hussary paid with about 25 casualities per banner per charge, which chronicles note "stupefied the Hussars", they charged "heartless" in the next day of battle, unable to break Swedish ranks.

Dear sir,
what is the source ( primary sources) of this assertion about 'heartless' and 'stupefied' hussaras at the battle of Gniew?


Can you quote here some sources for that slanderous assertion - and please do not quote Herr Richard Brzezinski work (whom I salute for his fine work of bringing Polish military of the early modern era closer to the eyes of world's audiences in most popular form and manner, by using pictures and reconstructions) nor any other secondary sources to this libel but only the primary sources - with google books that can be very easily done these days!

You should know, dear members, that under the Communist regime in Poland (1945-89) there had been serious attempts by the Communist historians to make the Polish military traditions odious to Poles themselves and at least to present them to the population as some sort of backwards and wasteful. Winged hussars were prime targets of this Communist campaign, for they were noble and splendind, and usually very richly adorned, and that was equalled with wasteful behavior of the Polish nobility etc. So, as part of this campaing theere has been this belief since late 1960s, fiirst expressed by the Polish Communist historian, Mr. Teodorczyk, who worked hard to debunk the 'myth' of invincible winged hussaras and was first to introduce this idea that battle of Gniew was the first battle which winged hussaras lost (as if they were alone on that battlefield, without many thousands of infantry, light cavalry, artillery, etc), not to mention that battle of Gniew was at best a draw, and mst likely a strategical loss for Gustavus, who was seeking to capture Gdansk (Danzig - the key to southern baltic and Polish grain trade) in that war, and in fact he never succeeded.
Also, the Ottoman Turks and Tatars defeated one Polish army including some rotas of Polish hussaras at the battle of Cecora in AD 1620, but nobody says that that was the first defeat of the winged hussars. Nobody is invincible all the time, not even Superman Wink


Also, please do the same about the rate of casualites per company (rota, banner) in that engagement.

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That Gustavus Adolphus was trying to capture Gdansk in 1626 is a myth invented by later day Polish historians in order to claim victory in battles were Polish armeis were less than successfull in the battlefield. In reality Swedish primary sources show beyond a doubt that no such Swedish plans ever existed. Even the most basic research of Swedish sources would have shown this.

Gniew was a Swedish victory as the Swedes alone achived their objectives (the relief of the beseiged garrison) while surviving lenghty fighting with the Polish army with extremly low losses.
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Dariusz Dario T. W




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
That Gustavus Adolphus was trying to capture Gdansk in 1626 is a myth invented by later day Polish historians in order to claim victory in battles were Polish armeis were less than successfull in the battlefield. In reality Swedish primary sources show beyond a doubt that no such Swedish plans ever existed. Even the most basic research of Swedish sources would have shown this.

'

I think there is this surviving letter written by GA to his brother in law araound the time of the battle of Gniew where the king revels his desire and will to take the Royal City of Gdansk. I do not think anybody has invented that , hasn't they?

Daniel Staberg wrote:

Gniew was a Swedish victory as the Swedes alone achived their objectives (the relief of the beseiged garrison) while surviving lenghty fighting with the Polish army with extremly low losses.


well , a victory to one party is also victory to the other side, depends when and who is talking and analyzing, isn't this true?

What is interesting here is that your victorious Swedish army (at Gniew) was afraid to leave their defensive and well fortified camp and face the 'vanquished' Poles. Because after all these days of fighting, the 'defeated' Polish army was still ready for more fighting, they left their camp and spread out in a fine order , full of spirit and high morale, and in a battle ready formation in front of the Swedish camp, but the enemy would not oblige them since the victorious Swedish army preferred to stay put in the camp. I guess tired of waiting for their enemy to oblige them and with forage supplies dwindling, then the entire Polish army marched towards Gdansk, in order to provide the city more protection and also probably to draw more supplies and forage for their horses. It seems that in fact they, Poles, failed to destroy the Swedish army and capture Gniew (hetman Koniecpolski did it later on) but in turn themselves prevented the Swedish objective of capturing the most important city of the entire northern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Also, the losses suffered by the Polish army are well known and they were minimal as well.
I think the rest is propaganda practiced on both sides. Only more intimate sources like private correspondence seem to reveal what was this particular - relief and battle of Gniew - campaign all about.
I think this one appears to have been one of those 'odd' victories, at best. But I think two things are certain - our Lion of the North has failed to defeat Polish army and himself avoided being defeated.

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dariusz Dario T. W wrote:

I think there is this surviving letter written by GA to his brother in law araound the time of the battle of Gniew where the king revels his desire and will to take the Royal City of Gdansk. I do not think anybody has invented that , hasn't they?

What also survives is the Royal council meeting which laid down the Swedish strategy and objectives for the entire campaign of 1626, the capture of Danzig/Gdansk is not among them. Add to that the correspondence between Gustav Adolf, Oxenstierna and others regarding the progress of the war and operations to be conducted.

The letter in question is piece of misdirection to calm the Elector of Brandenburg due Swedish occupation of his territory.
(The Elector may have been Gustav Adolf's brother in law but despite this he hated Gustav Adolf and had taken his hatred so far as to shame his sister by not giving her a dowry when she married Gustav Adolf. The relationship between the two men was very poor, later on in 1631 Gustav Adolf went so far as to aim artillery at the Palace of the Elector in order to put preassure on him during negotations)

Furthermore Swedish resources were insufficent for capturing Gdansk,. After the Swedish army secured a crossing across the Vistula (at Dirscahu/Tczew) the fighting strenght of the field army was barely 6000 men due to garriosn left behind to secure the army's line of communications. Not to mention that the Swedish siege artillery was still in Livonia (In Prussia there were only about 30 Swedish artillerymen, standard crew for a cannon was 3 men).
After building a bridge at Tczew the Swedish army remained in postion over a month, further proof that the an attack on Gdansk was not in the plans.

If the Swedish objective had been Gdansk the enitre operation would have been conducted diffrently, rather than landing far away from the objective at Pillau and leaving half the army as garrions the Swedes would have landed close to the city and used Puzig/Puck as supply port. This was the plan drawn up possible attacks on Gdansk and would have allowed Gustav Adolf to use 95% of his army against the city rather than barely 50%.

The focus on a single letter while all the evidence which disproves that such an attack was planned is ignored is either evidence of very poor research or a deliberatly manufactured myth in order present a distorited version historical events.


Dariusz Dario T. W wrote:

well , a victory to one party is also victory to the other side, depends when and who is talking and analyzing, isn't this true?

What is interesting here is that your victorious Swedish army (at Gniew) was afraid to leave their defensive and well fortified camp and face the 'vanquished' Poles. Because after all these days of fighting, the 'defeated' Polish army was still ready for more fighting, they left their camp and spread out in a fine order , full of spirit and high morale, and in a battle ready formation in front of the Swedish camp, but the enemy would not oblige them since the victorious Swedish army preferred to stay put in the camp.

First of all lets see some proof (primary sources only of course since that is the standard you demand of others) supporting the claim that the Swedes were "afraid" to leave their camp. Interestingg that you use such words about others when mere suggestion that Poles showed themselves anything but invincible supermen was considered "libel" by you.

You don't win battles by fight on the ground your enemy preferes and which favours his strenghts, in this case the Polish army had a huge superiority in cavalry (around 7-1!) , moving into the open to fight the Poles would have been profoundly stupid, even more so when there was nothing to gain from fighting. Keep in mind that Swedes were using the Dutch doctrine of war which focused on fortress warfare and the controll of economic areas rather than fighting battles.
Not engaging the Poles in the open terrain is no more sign of fear than the Poles not launching their entire army at the Swedish encampmentis proof of fear. Let's not confuse stupidity with bravery.

Dariusz Dario T. W wrote:

I guess tired of waiting for their enemy to oblige them and with forage supplies dwindling, then the entire Polish army marched towards Gdansk, in order to provide the city more protection and also probably to draw more supplies and forage for their horses. It seems that in fact they, Poles, failed to destroy the Swedish army and capture Gniew (hetman Koniecpolski did it later on) but in turn themselves prevented the Swedish objective of capturing the most important city of the entire northern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Also, the losses suffered by the Polish army are well known and they were minimal as well.
I think the rest is propaganda practiced on both sides. Only more intimate sources like private correspondence seem to reveal what was this particular - relief and battle of Gniew - campaign all about.
I think this one appears to have been one of those 'odd' victories, at best. But I think two things are certain - our Lion of the North has failed to defeat Polish army and himself avoided being defeated.

As I've already shown Gdansk was not an objective though of course there was no way for the Poles to know this.
Actually by moving to Gdansk the Polish army missed a golden opportunity to destroy the Swedish army, if it instead had crossed the river and positioned itself between Gustav Adolf and his bases at Elbing and Pillau the Swedish army would have been in deep trouble. Instead Poles moved on to Gdansk leaving the Swedes free complete a series of fortified postions which both controlled trade on the Vistula and protected the Swedish base area during the next 3 years.
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Dariusz Dario T. W




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hello,
nice to talk to you again, mociumpanie.
since this discussion is about the actions of lancers in the 1500-1860s time frame, so perhaps before going deeper into this battle of Gniew's tactics and strategy you, Daniel, could give us your description of what happened at the battle of Gniew ( I just did one for the battle of Klushino/Kluszyn), or the two battles of Gniew during the September and October 1626, describing the actions of Polish lancers - i think it could be prudent and time saving step and thus we could limit our discussion to Polish lancers versus Gustavus Adolphus army that probably interests our members the most in this topic?
I think the Swedish historiography recognizes two battles of Gniew 'Striderna vid Warmhof' or action of Warmhof -22nd September 1626, and 'Slaget vid Mewe' or battle of Gniew 29 September-1October 1629.

also, what is important here , to this discussion on Gniew/Mewe, is the topography of this battlefield, I have to give all the creidit to GA who masterfully usied the terrain features to his advantage and to negate Polish cavalry, including lancers, access to his forces, isn't this true?

Also, I am curious how you may be going to respond to the Swedish cavalry performance contra lancers in these three battles described before.
Old Polish sources (eg 'Memoirs to the Reign of Sigismond III' ) did not consider these battles of Gniew as defeat, and historians of the XIX century briefly glanced over them. Albrycht Radziwill writes about the battle more than others - his memoirs were translated (from Latin to polish ) in the 19th century)
Actually, there is no good study, save for Teodorczyk and his followers, of these battles done on the Polish historians side (with full use of the Swedish and German sources), even the two battles are called one, while your Swedish historians consider them as two separate battles or military actions.
I do not know whether the modern Swedish historians done any meticulous study into these battles, by meticulous I mean with the use of all presently available sources, including the Polish ones.

So I hope to see your side of the lancer- Swedish cavalry and infantry clash at two Gniews AD 1626.

thanks
ps
entire action at Gniew and ensuing battles had many issues, the most damaging to the Polish side of the conflict is the issue of dismal performance as commander-in-chief by His Royal Majesty, King of Poland and Sweden (sic) Sigismond III Vasa. For as you may know His Royal Highness Gustavus Adolphus was usurping the Swedish throne - according to his cousin, Sigismond III Happy
ps'
the idea that Gdansk was the objective during 1626 campaign was not a strange one to the 19th century Western historians either, including some Scots and Swedes. There is nothing modern about it.

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Dariusz Dario T. W




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:

relief and battle of Gniew -


Hello Daniel,
reading the XVII century 'biography' of Tomasz Zamoyski written by his retainer and published in 1640s, where our pan Tomasz, being a fine knight and a sucesfull comander of cavalry andwas in in so many batles of early XVII century wars - takes part in the Gniew campaign. I found a part where there is a sizable portion of the text devoted to the cavalry action during the battles of Gniew/Mewe.

It appears that pan Tomasz leading his Polish lancers (and one kornet of Polish reiters) beat again (Poswol, Trzcianna, etc) the cream-of-the-crop of Gustavus Adolphus cavalry - his cuirrasiers , and several other reiter kornets and they did it with somewhat easy charge. Is this what your Swedish sources tell?

Or perhaps was this a feigned retreat (Tatar style Happy ) on the part of the Swedish elite unit and other reiter kornets, so they could bring the pursuing and overjoyous Polish lancers and reiters to the well-protected (with cheval de frise and a large ditch and otehr terain obstacles) infantry regiments so they in turn could baptize the Polish knights with their 'withering' (after all the were in the throes of the GA infantry reforms) musket fire ?

imagine that this forum would be very happy to hear from you some 'meat and potatoe details' oon these particular cavalry encounters between the Swedes and Poles 1600-1629?

Dziekuje, gracias, Danke, thanks, Спасибо

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dariusz Dario T. W wrote:
also, what is important here , to this discussion on Gniew/Mewe, is the topography of this battlefield, I have to give all the creidit to GA who masterfully usied the terrain features to his advantage and to negate Polish cavalry, including lancers, access to his forces, isn't this true?


I don't see any such assertion in Daniel's post; in fact, I think he was stating that both the Poles and the Swedes were behaving intelligently at this battle, the Poles by not throwing themselves headlong to be massacred among the tangle of Swedish fortifications and the Swedes by not marching down to the plain where the Polish cavalry would have been able to maneuver against the weak points in their line.

That being said, if I were the Swedish commander then I would have taken my strategy even more seriously and been more assiduous about avoiding battle with the Poles. Regardless of whether the Swedish army had tactically improved or not vis-a-vis the Poles, their territorial strategy was working quite well, and would probably have worked even better if they had been more consistent about denying the Poles the chance to use their hussars in battle....
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: Re: Lancers in the 1700s-1865?         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:
Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Ben P. wrote:


I remember one of napoleons officers being very dismissive of muskets he basically said sure they'll kill some of us but it won't stop us and when we get there their done for


What kind of officer? I strongly suspect it's an infantry officer--or, if a cavalry officer, he was referring to a particularly low-quality body of infantry. Or just plain cavalry bravado. I think Lukasz is right in that you couldn't realistically be a good cavalryman if you couldn't think like that; in other words, if you were a cavalryman you had better have suicidal bravery if you wanted to be alive at the end of the day.


It was a polish lancer talking about british infantry


Ah. A Pole. That speaks volumes about his attitude.


Quote:
Quote:
And how much difference would that make against muskets that would have outranged the lance by several dozen paces and been able to penetrate almost any kind of armor that the cavalrymen could have worn?


Cuirassier armor? and the muskets are still very slow


Muskets were perfectly capable of penetrating cuirassiers' armor, and their slowness wasn't an issue if the infantry formation had enough discipline to hold their fire until the charging enemy reached deadly point-blank range.


Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Cuirassiers are mentioned saying that their armour saved them from many a shot and sword and that's at as little as thirty paces. . . Not bad considering


What shot? Cuirasses were often supposed to be pistol-proof, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were literally able to stop close-range shots from cavalry pistols, especially 18th- and 19th-century pistols that used slow, large-caliber bullets with less armor-penetration capability than earlier small-caliber high-velocity pistols. Indeed, this is a recurring theme in accounts of cavalry combat: cavalry units trying to stop an incoming charge with a volley of pistols or carbines only to fail and be swept away by the hard-charging attackers.


Actually they were talking about muskets


Then name the incident and the date. We'll soon see how unusual it was.


Quote:
Well then thicken it 16th century thickness


Try persuading the soldiers into wearing that much armor. The most noticeable thing about the heavier shot-proof armors of the 16th and 17th centuries was the eagerness with which soldiers "lost" pieces from them or even discarded them completely.


Quote:
But 16th century thickness isn't to bad (especially if cuirassier plate can deflect it at thirty paces) and all you would really have to do is armour the horses chest, head and neck and 16th century barding weighs 95 pounds so just relocate all that to the horses front


And make the horse nose-dive into the ground the moment it gets into a gallop? There was a good reason why horse armer never got this heavy.


Quote:
Well lancers several times beat squares and lines but they were uarmoured so thicken the armour to 16th century thickness and armour the horse


This idea was, in fact, proposed several times in 18th- and 19th-century treatises but never taken seriously--and even if we put military conservatism into the equation, there was probably a good reason why the idea wasn't put into practice. One was the ease with which the enemy could have deployed countermeasures; heavier, more powerful muskets were cheaper, easier to build, and less cumbersome than shot-proof armor, and it would have been cheaper and more practical to rearm the infantry with such muskets than to arm the cavalry with armor that would have been able to resist even the less-powerful ordinary 18th-century muskets. This issue would have been particularly important in view of the increasing size of armies throughout the 18th and late 17th centuries.

If the armored cavalry were to be particularly useful for any purpose, then I suspect it wouldn't be as an anti-infantry shock formation but rather as an anti-cavalry unit. In this case only the first rank of men would have to be equipped with lances and light sword-proof chamfrons and poitrels for the horses, while the rest of the formation would have been made up of ordinary cuirassiers deployed to exploit the disruption caused by the front rank's charge upon the enemy. Even then this plan could quickly go into disaster if the enemy had been smart enough to take the cheaper expedient of arming his cavalrymen with longer, more powerful pistols and training them in the correct way to use them.
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: Lancers in the 1700s-1865?         Reply with quote

[quote="Lafayette C Curtis"]
Ben P. wrote:
Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Ben P. wrote:


I remember one of napoleons officers being very dismissive of muskets he basically said sure they'll kill some of us but it won't stop us and when we get there their done for


What kind of officer? I strongly suspect it's an infantry officer--or, if a cavalry officer, he was referring to a particularly low-quality body of infantry. Or just plain cavalry bravado. I think Lukasz is right in that you couldn't realistically be a good cavalryman if you couldn't think like that; in other words, if you were a cavalryman you had better have suicidal bravery if you wanted to be alive at the end of the day.


It was a polish lancer talking about british infantry


Ah. A Pole. That speaks volumes about his attitude.


Quote:
Quote:
And how much difference would that make against muskets that would have outranged the lance by several dozen paces and been able to penetrate almost any kind of armor that the cavalrymen could have worn?


Cuirassier armor? and the muskets are still very slow


Muskets were perfectly capable of penetrating cuirassiers' armor, and their slowness wasn't an issue if the infantry formation had enough discipline to hold their fire until the charging enemy reached deadly point-blank range.

I never said point blank I said thirty paces


Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Cuirassiers are mentioned saying that their armour saved them from many a shot and sword and that's at as little as thirty paces. . . Not bad considering


What shot? Cuirasses were often supposed to be pistol-proof, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were literally able to stop close-range shots from cavalry pistols, especially 18th- and 19th-century pistols that used slow, large-caliber bullets with less armor-penetration capability than earlier small-caliber high-velocity pistols. Indeed, this is a recurring theme in accounts of cavalry combat: cavalry units trying to stop an incoming charge with a volley of pistols or carbines only to fail and be swept away by the hard-charging attackers.


Actually they were talking about muskets


Quote:
Then name the incident and the date. We'll soon see how unusual it was
.

It wasn't an incident and I will dig for it

Quote:
Well then thicken it 16th century thickness


Quote:
Try persuading the soldiers into wearing that much armor. The most noticeable thing about the heavier shot-proof armors of the 16th and 17th centuries was the eagerness with which soldiers "lost" pieces from them or even discarded them completely.


16th century plate isn't that thick unless your talking pistol proof

Quote:
But 16th century thickness isn't to bad (especially if cuirassier plate can deflect it at thirty paces) and all you would really have to do is armour the horses chest, head and neck and 16th century barding weighs 95 pounds so just relocate all that to the horses front


Quote:
And make the horse nose-dive into the ground the moment it gets into a gallop? There was a good reason why horse armer never got this heavy.


Gothic barding was that heavy


Quote:
Well lancers several times beat squares and lines but they were uarmoured so thicken the armour to 16th century thickness and armour the horse


Quote:
This idea was, in fact, proposed several times in 18th- and 19th-century treatises but never taken seriously--and even if we put military conservatism into the equation, there was probably a good reason why the idea wasn't put into practice. One was the ease with which the enemy could have deployed countermeasures; heavier, more powerful muskets were cheaper, easier to build, and less cumbersome than shot-proof armor, and it would have been cheaper and more practical to rearm the infantry with such muskets than to arm the cavalry with armor that would have been able to resist even the less-powerful ordinary 18th-century muskets. This issue would have been particularly important in view of the increasing size of armies throughout the 18th and late 17th centuries.


Actually they were used a lot against infantry

Quote:
If the armored cavalry were to be particularly useful for any purpose, then I suspect it wouldn't be as an anti-infantry shock formation but rather as an anti-cavalry unit. In this case only the first rank of men would have to be equipped with lances and light sword-proof chamfrons and poitrels for the horses, while the rest of the formation would have been made up of ordinary cuirassiers deployed to exploit the disruption caused by the front rank's charge upon the enemy. Even then this plan could quickly go into disaster if the enemy had been smart enough to take the cheaper expedient of arming his cavalrymen with longer, more powerful pistols and training them in the correct way to use them.


I say they would have ideal against cavalry and infantry
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dariusz,
I've been away on an emergency call up of my unit, I'll get back to you with replies to your latest posts during the next few days as I find the time.

Daniel
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dariusz Dario T. W wrote:

hello, nice to talk to you again, mociumpanie.
since this discussion is about the actions of lancers in the 1500-1860s time frame, so perhaps before going deeper into this battle of Gniew's tactics and strategy you, Daniel, could give us your description of what happened at the battle of Gniew ( I just did one for the battle of Klushino/Kluszyn), or the two battles of Gniew during the September and October 1626, describing the actions of Polish lancers - i think it could be prudent and time saving step and thus we could limit our discussion to Polish lancers versus Gustavus Adolphus army that probably interests our members the most in this topic?
I think the Swedish historiography recognizes two battles of Gniew 'Striderna vid Warmhof' or action of Warmhof -22nd September 1626, and 'Slaget vid Mewe' or battle of Gniew 29 September-1October 1629.


Gniew is only of limited interest to the study of cavalry vs cavalry fighting as the terrain hindered the effective use of cavalry for both sides. As we can se the Swedes with their shortage of cavalry as well as considerable inferiority in over all quality of units. (The veteran units were all still in Livonia, cavalry in Prussia in 1626 were mostly newly raised units with inexperienced troops and Swedes horse were small and had lower edurance than Polish ones. ) chose to fight mainly with their infantry and deployed the cavalry mainly as a reseve for use in counter attacks.

Swedish historians recognise 3 days of fighting but use the same name in Swedish for all of them. "Striderna vid Warmhof" i.e "The Actions at Warmhof" is the name for all the fighting in the are to the north of Gniew. The diffrent days of fighting is separated by thge use of the date next to the name of events. "Slaget vid Mewe" is inaccurate name used in popular histories. None of the fighting was large enough to be described as battle so the proper term for the events is 'action', at least if one wants to use precise terminology.


Quote:
Also, I am curious how you may be going to respond to the Swedish cavalry performance contra lancers in these three battles described before.
Old Polish sources (eg 'Memoirs to the Reign of Sigismond III' ) did not consider these battles of Gniew as defeat, and historians of the XIX century briefly glanced over them. Albrycht Radziwill writes about the battle more than others - his memoirs were translated (from Latin to polish ) in the 19th century)
Actually, there is no good study, save for Teodorczyk and his followers, of these battles done on the Polish historians side (with full use of the Swedish and German sources), even the two battles are called one, while your Swedish historians consider them as two separate battles or military actions.
I do not know whether the modern Swedish historians done any meticulous study into these battles, by meticulous I mean with the use of all presently available sources, including the Polish ones.


From a 17th Century viewpoint the fighting was inconclusive as neither side comitted itself to an all out battle. Of course Polish sources try to put the best possible spin on the outcome. If the Poles had not been defeated why did they act in manner which allowed Swedes to claim victory? They raised the siege of Gniew, abandonded their positions and moved away for the Swedish army. Even if the actual outcome was indecisive the acts of Polish army gave the apperance of defeat.
And the failure to defeat the Swedish army or even to inflict signifcant losses on the Swedish army must have stung as the Polish-Lithuanian troops had been able to destroy Swedish forces almost at will in 1600-1610. In those years the losses in battle were equal to or some years even higher than losses of disease. In 1621-1629 disease was the main killer of Swedish troops.

I've seen Teodorczyck's work, in no way can it be considered to have made full use of Swedish sources as it is filled with very basic errors that even the most limited use of the most important Swedish sources would have avoided. Either he deliberatly distorted content of the sources or he did not fully understand what he was reading.
For example he lists the Swedish troops as equipped with regimental cannon despite the fact that the first such cannon was not made until 1629! The impressive list of other Swedish artillery is actually every cannon sent to Prussian in 1626, not actual cannon present at Gniew. Furthermore he goes on to list no less than 9 units as present at Gniew when they in reality were elsewhere, indeed he mentions cavalry units that were actually in Livonia!

There has been no truly modern study of the wars with Poland-Lithuania written by Swedish historians, most recent works of any value is works of the General Staff Historians in 1920's-1930's and by Barkman in 1930's. These made use of the Polish sources but the lack of published material and the language barrier probably meant that they could not take full advantage of Polish material. After 1945 Iron Curtain made access difficult and also from 1960's onward stuyd of military history on a professional level was diminishing in Sweden. And no Swedish author has worked on the 'Polish wars' of Gustav Adolf since then, focus has been on later wars of Karl Gustav and Karl XII.

More work is needed on Gniew particularly as regarding the chronology of events during the various days, it is that it is hardest to reconcile descriptions on the last day of fighting. The other problem is of course that both sides made considerable use of propagand surrounding this battle which means that some sources must be used with care.

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entire action at Gniew and ensuing battles had many issues, the most damaging to the Polish side of the conflict is the issue of dismal performance as commander-in-chief by His Royal Majesty, King of Poland and Sweden (sic) Sigismond III Vasa. For as you may know His Royal Highness Gustavus Adolphus was usurping the Swedish throne - according to his cousin, Sigismond III Happy

Blaming the foreign King is of course a convenient excuse to explain away lack of success Wink

Actually neither Sigismund nor Gustav Adolf had a truly legal claim to Swedish throne, they were both sons of men who had usurped the throne one way or the other. (Sigismunds father Johan III had deposed and then later murdered legal Swedish king Erik XIV)

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ps'
the idea that Gdansk was the objective during 1626 campaign was not a strange one to the 19th century Western historians either, including some Scots and Swedes. There is nothing modern about it.

Perhaps, but just because an idea is old it does not make it any more accurate. That 19th Century historians made poor research is no reason for 21st century historians to make the same mistakes. And I would like to know the names of these Scots and Swedes, particularly the later as the material concering Gustav Adolfs plans have been published for a logn time here in Sweden.
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Joel Minturn





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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:


Muskets were perfectly capable of penetrating cuirassiers' armor, and their slowness wasn't an issue if the infantry formation had enough discipline to hold their fire until the charging enemy reached deadly point-blank range.

I never said point blank I said thirty paces


Minor detail but technically In external ballistics, point-blank range is the distance between a firearm and a target of a given size such that the bullet in flight is expected to strike the target without adjusting the elevation of the firearm.
So thirty paces is point blank for a musket. The difference in energy between 0 paces and 30 paces would be fairly negligible.

Ben P. wrote:

Quote:
But 16th century thickness isn't to bad (especially if cuirassier plate can deflect it at thirty paces) and all you would really have to do is armour the horses chest, head and neck and 16th century barding weighs 95 pounds so just relocate all that to the horses front


Quote:
And make the horse nose-dive into the ground the moment it gets into a gallop? There was a good reason why horse armer never got this heavy.


Gothic barding was that heavy

I think he wasn't necessarily disagreeing that the horse barding was that heavy (I don't know barding weights so I can't say anything about that) but that moving it all to the front of the horse would be a bad thing. A gothic barding is well spread out on the horses body. Placement of a load can be just as important as the total weight.
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry I meant to say wasn't that heavy

And if cuirassier armour could stop a round at thirty paces then point black would be much closer
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:
And if cuirassier armour could stop a round at thirty paces then point black would be much closer


And where's the proof that 18th-century cuirassiers' armor could stop musket rounds from only thirty paces away? Still haven't heard of anything later than Haselrig's lobsters.
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