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Zouaves of  Death is a legendary and feared formation from the Polish January Uprising against Russians in 1863. In the next few days it will be offered from Adalbertus a figure depicting Polish Zouave in 54mm scale. See the historical background and learn more about the  figure.

Legend of Zouaves

Zouaves are formation of French Army recruited from Algerian fighters. Zouaves became famous for their operations against the Russians during the Crimean War ten years before Uprising, before the rise. Similar formations also arose during the American Civil War held at the same time as Polish one.

Żuławi 1863

Polish Zouaves 1863

Polish Death Zouaves distinguished itself from other units of uprising with uniforms reminiscent of the French predecessor, but entirely in black with a distinctive white cross on chest. The group was trained by French fetching instructor Francis Rochebrune’a and took part in the fighting from February to May 1863. In the first battle of Miechów 150 Zouaves, with more than 80% of casualties crushed the Russian infantry defense. At the end of March 1863 the main force formation have been forced to move to the Austrian border, but the last Zouaves fought even in Battle of Krzykawka in May 1863. Althought shor-lived unit, it gained  legendary reputation of strike force Uprising.

Polish Zouaves 1863

Inspiration of Zouave of Death Figure

Stanislaw Lesniewski - officer Żuławów DeathI was always inspired by Zouaves uniform of the Polish Army Museum. There were known images Zouaves, especially Rochebrune and companions, reproduced later as painted postcards. It was a period of increasingly widespread use of photography. When I came across the book “Photographs January Uprising” quickly chose photo of Stanislaus Lesinski as base for design figure. According to the biographical note in the book,

“(1831 -) Captain of the Russian army. The major uprising in the units of A. Jeziorański, and M. Langiewicz commander I platoon  J. Miniewski Zouaves, fought among others the Małogoszcz, Chrobrze Grochowiska, Podlesie and Krzykawka “

Picture is characteristically posed, you can see the mark of the era, like images of the Civil War until the IWS are known modellers

Figure 54mm -Zouave of Death

Our figure was sculpted by Przemyslaw Szymczyk, well known modeller from the city of Lodz. It consists of only a few parts and is relatively easy to paint. More about the study and painting, see the article on Polish figure website www.figus.pl .

resin figure of Zouave

Zouave of Death figure is available at www.armahobby.com since August 2014. Click


Leszek Machnik, “Photographs January Uprising” – Polish: „Fotografie Powstańców Styczniowych w zbiorach Gabinetu Grafiki Zakładu Narodowego Imienia Ossolińskich Katalog”, Wrocław 2002, Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Ossolineum

2 thoughts on “Polish Zouave of Death 1863

  1. Gavin says:

    Pleas can you tell me what rifle, pistol and sword were standard issue to the Zouaves of Death.

    1. I am not sure. In one source in pictures desription: “Austrian Rifle 1854”, Austrian Cavalry Sabre, Pistol Adams. It may vary as Insurgents used any weapon they could obtain.

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