The Poles have been excellent horsemen for generations and in their innumerable clashes with Russia had learned to fight the lance-armed Cossacks, equipping themselves with a 9-foot wooden lance with a wicked spear point and colored guidon beneath the blade. Lancers were technically light cavalry but considered themselves the equal of better mounted troops by dint of the dispiriting lance which would outreach enemy sabres and enable them to dispatch infantry who ran or feigned death.
The Vistula lancers were formed in 1808 as the 1st Lancers in French service. This inspired more units to be raised and the Vistula became the 7th lancers, two more 'Polish' units were then added as the 8th and 9th, though the 9th was composed of French and German troops.
They were initially clad in bottle green uniforms, but all three "Polish" regiments converted to a smart dark blue with the trademark Czapska cap distinguishing them from the six other line lancers in their green uniforms and Grecian helmets.
All three units saw considerable service - a few of the Vistula Lancers even moving from Spain to Russia for the ill-fated 1812 campaign. Their main glory was in Spain, where the hum-drum task of patrolling was spiced up with two devastating charges at Talavera and Albuera where they smashed a British brigade with a well-timed charge.
These fine models in their fabulous uniforms could be fielded in a single three strong brigade or of course placed in regular light horse brigades for added color.
This box contains:
12 plastic easy-build Polish Line Light Horse Lancers
Additional Polish metal heads
1 additional metal officer and metal horse
1 optional metal arm for a bugler
Models come unpainted. Some assembly may be required. Glue, paints, and supplies sold separately.