Friday, March 30, 2007

Flag of the Coronet Korps

This flag is the first version of the Coronet Korps, a largely mercenary unit from the Duchy of Mieczyslaw, that first saw service in the Thirty Years War.

Kalmar War

This struggle had begun the year before Duke Stefanik of Mieczyslaw had been elected in the 1612 szlachta Diet.

Stefanik was hard pressed to remain neutral between the great powers of Sigismund III Vasa (now also King of Sweden), MOSCOW, the remnants of the Zolotaya Orda were still active in the south, and the Habsburg Family conflict (30 Years War) placing the Duke in the impossible position of having to present some sort of support to many sides of different wars.

Mercenaries were able to satisfy the League's demands, MOSCOW was again pressured by northern enemies, and once again Mieczyslaw, stood aside as those forces mustered across their lands. The pressures to remain neutral could not be overcome as Sigismund III Vasa was able to call-up the entire Ducal armies during the expansion of the Kalmar War.

The Danes were overcome and their tenuous policy of union failed, after 1617 the wars resumed and the conquest of Livonia saw the Russians loose all access to the Baltic in 1629.

In 1630, upon return from a trip to meet with other Germanic Electors, Duke Stefanik died suddenly. The continuing foreign conflicts (30 Years War) saw that many of the szlachta nobility were away from Mieczyslaw. No Diet could be called immediately to satisfy the replacement of the Duke.

In his place Bishop Dobry of Coronet had been named Cardinal and before travelling to ROME he chose to remain in a role of 'regent' until the szlachta Diet could be formed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Thirty Years' War

Duke Stefanik of Mieczyslaw did not directly involve the Duchy of Mieczyslaw in any of the struggles of the Habsburg Family Conflict. The same cannot be said of many of the families within the Duchy of Mieczyslaw, nor of those adventurers whom chose to raise mercenary companies and 'join the fray'!

One such mercenary commander was Count Gerkik of Coronet, whom marched with the Army of the League under Tilly and was victorious at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. By the conclusion of Tilly's campaigns in Heidelburg, Westphalia and Lower Saxony Count Gerkik and the Coronet Korps had become battle-hardened veterans, with many newer drafts coming in from Bohemia, and Saxony. In recognition for these efforts Gerkik was awarded many lands confiscated from Bohemian nobility.

In 1627 another Mieczyslaw mercenary force was assembled by Baron Konrad Owijać-Drewna (of the Windy Woods). These troops were attached to Wallenstein by financial and territorial agreements by the Generalissimo of the Baltic and the Ocean Seas.

Baron Konrad's fortunes did not fare so well, for after the Peace of Lubeck and the Edict of Restitution, Wallenstein was forcibly removed by the Habsburg Princes and all the agreements that the Baron was counting on to enrich his line and secure a place in Mieczyslaw ducal fortunes were erased. The Baron returned a broken man and Owijać-Drewna land were poorer for the loss of so many brave men in the Netherlands.

Count Gerkik of Coronet meanwhile had lost the connection with Tilly, due mostly to the lack of pay for his mercenaries (though the confiscated lands did maintain the Count quite well), Gerkik transferred his flag to the League of Heilbronn, becoming active in field operations again in 1633.

Along with the League under the command of Bernhard of Weimar, Count Gerkik and the Coronet Korps faught for German liberty and the satisfaction of Sweden conquering the Upper Palatinate and Bavaria to the Danube. The Coronet Korps was now taking on a very German character with less than 10% of the troops having remained from the original soldiery that left from the Duchy of Mieczyslaw in 1619. Count Gerkik laid down the command of the Korps and retired to his lands in Bohemia. A new commander, Pułkownik Ludwik, risen from the ranks of those Mieczyslaw veterans took the mantle of command for the Coronet Korps and continued their mercenary connection to the League of Heilbronn until the Peace of Prague in 1635.

Bavarian Prince Elector Maximilian I

Pułkownik Ludwik and the Coronet Korps changed alleigance for the final time in 1636 by tranfer of thier flag to the Bavarian Prince Elector Maximilian I.

Pułkownik Ludwik and the Coronet Korps faught bravely throughout the resumption of the war during the Freanco-Swedish phase, leading to their participation in the battle of Tuttlingen under General Mercy in 1643.

The final action of the Coronet Korps came at Alerheim in 1645 during the pincer attack that ended the war. The Korps was disbanded in 1646, though many of the men and officers continued to support Bavarian Prince Elector Maximilian I. These supports were rewarded in 1648 following the Peace of Westphalia, which saw Bavaria retain the important Upper Palatinate and status as an elector.

The Duchy was rewarded with closer ties to the Holy-Roman Empire again and influence of that court through Bavaria and its elector.

For his part Pułkownik Ludwik was promoted Ogólny and named as Captain-Gracz, Commander of all Duchy of Mieczyslaw forces upon his return to Mieczyslaw!

Saturday, March 3, 2007


In 1582 Ivan IV died, leaving a distraught Empire.

During the power struggles over the succession, the boyar Boris Godunov became regent.

Duke Jedrek of Mieczyslaw rejected his selection and advised the other members of the Assembly of the Empire to reconsider the choice.

Duke Jedrek was sadly confirmed in his opinon of regent Boris as in 1591 the Tsar's son Demetrius was murdered.

Between 1598 and 1605 Boris Godunov became elected Tsar, Duke Jedrek of Mieczyslaw, withdrew from the Assembly of the Empire over this selection and was bullied by those in Moscow, saying that he and his lands would pay for their traitorous attitude.

Boris Godunov was de-throned by another invasion and investiture of Moscow by Polish troops; this time Duke Jedrek of Mieczyslaw was not connected to the invasion directly, but rather supported the move to oust the evil regent/Tsar by means of supplies and turning a blind eye to those young men whom did join the columns moving east across the boundaries of Ducal lands.

1609 Treaty of Vyborg. This sparked further conflicts over the Russian Throne, now also claimed by Polish interests. Duke Jedrek of Mieczyslaw attempted to keep the Duchy out of the negotiations, however his illness and death in 1611, predisposed The Duchy of Mieczyslaw to fall under the Polish influences as they held on to many lands out to Smolensk.

In 1612, the same year as an Assembly of the Empire selected Michael as the new Tsar, Baron Stefanik was named as the new Duke of Mieczyslaw by the szlachta Diet of Mieczyslaw. This was confirmed in Warsaw by Sigismund III Vasa and accepted by The League of Augsburg and MOSCOW.


Ivan IV ascended to the throne in 1547, the realm including parts of The Duchy of Mieczyslaw descended into anarchy in in 1565 with a partition of the Empire into territories controlled by the Tsar and of the Boyars.

The Boyars power was broken by dispossesion, deportations and the redistribution of land to the Dvoryane (a new class of warriors), the entire Empire was thus exposed to awesome terror : liquidations, elimination of whole cities (1570 Novgorod), decline of agriculture, mass flight of peasants despite a decree tying them to the soil.

The Count of Mieczyslaw, appealed to ROME, without response. His reaction was to organize with many lands west of Mieczyslaw and join in a force that was to reach the Kremlin (castle) of Ivan IV in Moscow.

In 1571 Moscow was seized and burned, though no Mieczyslaw men were involved, having been dispatched to supply duties weeks before the final investiture of the city.

A Diet of the szlachta was called again in 1580, no new Count was named, but the position was elevated to Ducal status with letters from the Holy Roman Emperor.

The first Duke of Mieczyslaw, was the former Count: Jedrek.