Sunday 8 November 2020

The Late Medieval Polish

The appearance of the Polish army at the later half of the 15th century was quite similar to other Western European armies. This was due in part to the lucrative tax incentives offered to European armourers to settle in Poland. Building the Later Polish was less a problem as the Polish would serve for the later conflict known as the Thirteen Years War. Naturally, the Battle of Tannenberg (Grunwald) has a certain alure, but Poland’s conflict with the Teutonic Order did not end in 1410. The link below you will find a long list of Polish conflicts, not only with the Teutonic Order.

A Later Polish army was predominately a mounted force of knights, mounted crossbowmen, horse archers with a small number of infantry as a support. There remained sufficient elements to build the Later Polish, but new figures were purchased to add some variety, namely knights and mounted crossbowmen.


The DBA3 Later Polish may field either town militia or war waggons. The militia are double based element of spear and crossbow and these are a mix of infantry and peasant types to represent an assembly of guilds. From my research, only the cities of Krakow, Lviv and Gdansk did send their militia on campaign which makes painting flags for them less of a problem.

Of the cavalry, the czeladz or ‘followers’ are a mix of lance and mounted crossbow figures. Information as to their armament after 1450 conflicts as some sources state the lance replaced the crossbow as primary weapon and other sources state just the opposite. Placing a mix of lance and crossbow on the same base sidestep that issue.

The older knights required little work as armour and leather items were given a colour to brighten their appearance. The newly purchased knights, fully armoured rider and horse, were painted with more detail. Unfortunately, the photos do not do them justice.


The plan was to have each element display a gonfalon or banner, but stopped after 18. Given that an element represents historically 250 – 300 horse this equates near enough to the strength of a Polish “banner”. The flags are modelled after those present at Tannenberg (1410) as these most likely would survive to the mid-15th century, but without the schwenkel. 


Medieval Polish Armies, Matt Haywood, Slingshot 237, p. 8-14.

List of wars involvingPoland (Wiki) 

Balthasar Bohem Codex (link)

No comments:

Post a Comment