Ogniem i Mieczem - By Fire and Sword

Historyczna Gra Strategiczna - Historical Wargame
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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: czw cze 18, 2015 10:29 am 
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For Wallhof 7.1. 1626
there seem to be quite nice Swedish accounts by king Gustaph himself, Axel Oxenstierna and also by Salvius.
From Polish side not so much. :P
Here account by Korhonen based on those sources.

Swedish army led by king Gustav II himself, infantry: 38 companies weakened by illnes, strength 2800-300 men, cavalry 24 companies, of these 12 Finnish, 8 Swedish, 4 värvade approximately 2000 men. 6 field guns. For the battle troops were chosen into two march groups led by all cavalry and parts of infantry - in total 4900 men.

Poles led by Sapieha. According to Swedsih intelligence: 4 companies of hussars (700), cossacks 8 companies ( 625?), german dragoons 5 (500), light cavalry 5 (700), haiduks 3 (300). (plus 3 companies of german infantry roughly 600 men)

The Polish patrols returned to camp about the same time Swedes left their own camp in Kokenhus so Sapieha got no real warning of Swedish advance. Even when noticing the Swedish adavance guard it was mistaken for a separate cavalry patrol and deploying went tardily starting really only after Swedes were already deployed. The poles took a hill in cnter of the field with infantry on the center flanked by hussars.

Finnish cavalry was deployed on the end of both wings - with separate detachments of musketeers advancing on the forest at the sides of the battle field. Swedish center consisted of infantry and later the six field guns.

After the Polish wings were getting fired by the musketeer detachments Sapieha decided to withdraw which turned into a rout. At this point Swedish cavalry was given order to charge - with the lay of the land channeling the outer wings - ie The Finns to front. According to the king Hussars gave resistance at first handsomely, but when forced to run they broke the remains of order in the Polish host.

SO again real blame can be put solely to losing commander, but the Finns get a spot in limelight leading the advance. And beating hussars gave bragging rights even when their commander had already messed the battle... :-)


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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: czw cze 18, 2015 10:42 am 
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Well, my numbers for Cobrons strenght come from Cobron reporting. Gonsiewski had bigger numbers for them.
Likewise Cobron reported that Gonsiewski deployed 4 companies of infantry and artillery which don't show in Gonsiewskis account. Reports of enemy numbers tend to be exaggarated on both sides - as well as evaluations of enemy losses.

And interestingly enough Cobron is not too eager to report details of this battle. Bt Gnsiewski seems to have written more.

And yes, Cobron and his troops got their asses kicked badly. (Sounds actually quite like the surprise attack on the camp scenario - sans the pickets outside camp.)


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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: czw cze 18, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Interesting to read these posts, thank you for sharing the information, much appreciated.


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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: czw cze 18, 2015 4:14 pm 
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Yes finally detail discussions outside of the polish part of the forum where i still have a hard time to understand anything :D

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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 1:34 pm 
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Julfdi pisze:
A long answer eaten by time out 8-|
Lappalainen did not mention the Poles in question. The incident refers to Prussia - and has been related by Wrangel himself to his superiors. Korhonen, Arvi: Hakkapeliittain historia II, 1943 refers to Wrangels letter published in Axel Oxenstiernas papers in Sweden 1988 - so still secondary source (even in original) but the primary source in question can be tracked down if needed. However Korhonen uses it to illustrate they heightened attacking spirit of whole Finnish and Swedish troops in Prussia after being able to meet and Beat Poles in small scale skirmishes through winter of 1626. Of this he also quotes reports of Oxenstierna and commander of Finnish cavalry in Prussia Åke Tott - these witness of improving performance of both Swedish and Finnish cavalry and in case of Oxenstierna of the high value Finns troopers gave themselves :-)



Apology for such delay in asnwers, working four nights per week affect the hobby :) I will answer one post at the time.

I think I know now which letter you had in mind, it's published in Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brefvexling [RAOSB], Afd. 1, Bd. 9, Stockholm 1898, p. 62-64. Wrangel mentioned there that Finns captured Polish noble Krzysztof Zawadzki (Christoff Zawatzky/Christoff Sawadsky), I took some effort to try identify Polish units that Zawadzki mentioned to Swedes, it's published in my book ;) http://napoleonv.pl/opis/4053735/studia ... -1635.html

Problem with Finnish cavalry in Prussia in 1626 was that there were hardly any units present :) 12 companies of Landsryttare were stationed in Livonia, where they fought through whole war. Oxenstierna in his Finnish contingent that he led in 1626 to Prussia had 5 companies of cavalry: Anrep's, Skytte's, Bagge's (all Landsryttare) and two under Tott (one Landsryttare and one enlisted cuirassiers), which were usually fighting as one squadron under Tott. In overall they make small % of Gustav II Adolf's cavalry in Prussia and - because of that - their impact on campaign had to be low. I'm not surprised though, that any success (especially in 'small war') against Polish cavalry was to be reported - after all it shows rising quality and confidence of Swedish army in whole, to the point when even small groups of Swedish troops were able to stop larger groups of Polish troops, i.e. at Langdelde in July 1627 (Tott with his Finns and Leslie's musketeers). It's interesting to notice, that when fieldmarshal Wrangel put together reliefe force to help Brodnica (Strasburg) in winter 1629, Ekholt's Finnish squadron was the only native cavalry unit he took with him. Funny enough though, it was the same unit that few months later fled from the battle at Trzciana (Honigfelde) and thanks to that had the lowest losses amongst all Swedish cavalry troops. They knew what they were doing :)

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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 1:52 pm 
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Too bad Your book is in Polish - list of content looks interesting enough. And the most detailed stuff I've found in Finnish is pretty dated.

AFAIK the number of Finnish cavalry was never large in Germany either, getting mentioned in few keyinstances has been enough to write a myth.


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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 2:04 pm 
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I can't imagine translating it into English, far to much work :)

Finns were always send to do the dirty work ;) by Gustav II Adolf, I think we put a lot of trust in Finnish officers (Gustav Horn in Livonia and then Germany, Tott and Stalhandske in Germany) so it affect their troops as well.

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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 3:13 pm 
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Kadrinazi pisze:
I can't imagine translating it into English, far to much work :)

Finns were always send to do the dirty work ;) by Gustav II Adolf, I think we put a lot of trust in Finnish officers (Gustav Horn in Livonia and then Germany, Tott and Stalhandske in Germany) so it affect their troops as well.


I say we do a Kickstarter project to have it professionally translated and published. 8-)


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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Core to translate it into German instead? :D

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 Tytuł: Re: Legends and myths about Finnish cavalry
Post: wt cze 23, 2015 4:40 pm 
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BlackLegion pisze:
Core to translate it into German instead? :D


With English we will serve many more people. :)


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