Jean Henri Dombrowski
Polish and French General
patriot and military leader in exile, Jean Henri (or Jan Henryk)
Dombrowski (or Dabrowski) was one of the leading soldiers of Poland
during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
other Poles he realised that by helping the revolution in France
it was the best way to gain freedom for his native land, which had
been subsumed by its neighbours Prussia, Russia and Austria.
had earlier military experience in the Saxon army, having served
between 1770 and 1784, and then joined the Polish forces in 1791.
1795, Dombrowski moved to France where he organised a Polish legion
that served in northern Italy.
Novi Dombrowski won recognition for his courage and ability and
a year later he was made a general.
1806 he raised a Polish division that fought at Danzig
and Friedland and joined General
Josef Poniatowksi's army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1809.
Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia
in 1812, Dombrowski was severely tested at Borisov, a bridge
over the Beresina. Arriving to take over a poorly organised defence
his men were overwhelmed by far superior Russian numbers.
at the battle for the Berezina
he continued to serve and fought at both Mockern and Leipzig,
where he took over the command of Poniatowski's VIII Corps after
the marshal drowned trying to escape across the Elster River.
Napoleon abdicated in 1814, Dombrowski
left rance for Poland and a year later was given a generalship by
Tsar Alexander and re-formed the
Polish army. He retired in 1816.