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domingo, 13 de março de 2016

The Poles of the Sierra


In July 1832, a place of prayer and seclusion turned into a bloody battlefield. 


 During the Civil War, the monks at the Serra do Pilar Monastery learned of the arrival at Porto of the liberal troops, commanded by D. Pedro, and  abandonned the immense convent, located on the southern bank of the River Douro, in Vila Nova de Gaia – a strategical positon, overlooking both Porto and Gaia. 

"PLANTA TOPOGRAPHICA DA CIDADE DO PORTO" - 1839

In following August, the convent was occupied by some liberal troops and on the 8th September, the then Colonel – future General - José Antonio da Silva Torres was appointed Commander of the stronghold. 


  On that very same day, the liberal troops repelled the first attack of the enemy forces – the Absolutist Army. The Commander of the liberal troops, then Colonel Bernardo de Sá Nogueira, was seriously wounded by a bullet in the right arm – which he lost - and had to hand over command to Major Bravo, which, though always repelling the enemy, had to take refuge in the Convent. 

- Serra do Pilar in 1833 - by Joaquim Villanova
As the troops of D. Miguel approached the convent, a large group of Gaienses (inhabitants of Gaia) led by Major Fontoura, went to the Convent to help the liberal defenders.


After a vicious and bloody struggle, which lasted for 7 hours, the “Miguelistas” had to withdraw. On the next day, September 9, a new attack was inflicted on the stronghold of the Pilar, which was immediately repealled, with bold enthusiasm and courage. 

 On the right side: a soldier of the 3rd Mobile Battallion - Serra do Pilar - nicknamed "The Poles" - as seen in the XIX Century book "History of the Siege of Porto" by Luz Soriano.


 

On the 29th of the same month, three “Miguelista”columns attacked at full strenght the Gaiense stronghold, but, again had to withdraw, after six hours of fierce combat.On October 13th, at six o'clock in the morning, the “Miguelistas” started a vicious artillery barrage, constantly  firing five batteries against the mountain convent building. It lasted for 33 hours.At end of the bombardment, in the afternoon of the 14th October 1832, the troops of D. Miguel, divided into three columns, assaulted the liberal trenches on 3 differnet locations - Eira,  Cerca and Calçada.


  
The defenders of the Convent, amongst them many Gaienses, vigorously repelled the attackers, who for six times, tried, again and again, to overcome them. After three hours of bloodshed and vicious hand to hand fighting, the Miguelistas began to leave the field, already covered with six hundred dead and wouded.
This liberal victory was the largest military contribution to the triumph of Don Pedro. Some say it was him who, being told of the heroism of the Serra do Pilar fighters, gave them the honorable epithet of Poles, equaling them to the heroic Sons of Poland, who had so bravely and recently fought against the Russian Army for the freedom of their country in the November Uprising.


A very interesting and informative text, included in a .pdf file published by the Polish Embassy in Portugal, describing the contacts and friendship between Portugal and Poland along the centuries. Link here


 Viva Portugal!

                                                               
  Viva El-Rei!

                                                                  
Viva a Constituição!

Dedykowane do mojego przyjaciela Michał  który jest prawdziwy Polak! :D

42 comentários:

  1. Awesome figures and painting! One of the figures needs to visit a dentist? :o)

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    1. LOL Thanks Phil, glad you liked it!! Yes, too much chocolate will do that... or stopping bullets with the teeth...;) Cheers my friend!!

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  2. Wonderful work RM. Enjoyed the history lesson to go along with the figures!

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    1. Thanks Rod, glad you liked it :D I love History and it is so nice to see you enjoy it too :D Cheers my friend!

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  3. Another lovely post, with more beautifully painted miniatures. They look like Empress Miniatures?

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    1. Thanks Michael, you are always very kind :D Yes, they are - very nice sculpts, and the most similar to my "non barretina" XIX Century Portuguese :) Cheers!

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  4. Now the figures are beautiful but the history behind them is also really interesting.

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    1. Thanks Piotr, I´m happy you like these fellows and that you too enjoy History! Greetings!

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  5. WooooW !!!! Fantastic,great tribute post! It's real honour for me! Thank You very much friend!

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    1. Thank YOU my friend for your constant support and friendship! Cheers!!

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  6. Encore une très belle réussite, j'aime beaucoup les couleurs, et la présentation est une fois de plus parfaite!

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    1. Merci cher Phil, je suis trés content que tu aimes ces minis :D A bientot mon ami!

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  7. Hola Amigo
    Que buenas estas minis
    Me gusta no solo las minis que nos traes,si no todo el trasfondo que nos pones,bravo
    un saludo

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    1. Gracias amigo, eres siempre muy amable y tu apoyo es muy importante para mi! Un saludo! :D

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  8. Splendido lavoro e ottimo racconto come sempre!

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    1. Grazie amico Luca, sempre cosi gentile! :D Saluti!! :D

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  9. Respostas
    1. Thanks for your visit and kind words Ian, and welcome to the blog! Cheers :)

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  10. Very interesting blog post. The miniatures look very nice, too.

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    1. Thanks Roy, I appreciate your kind words :D Cheers!

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  11. Respostas
    1. Thanks Francis, glad you like it :D I´m happy to share part of my hometown´s history! Cheers!

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  12. Very interesting bit of history. The honorific title 'Polacos da Serra' makes it doubly intriguing. Thanks !

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    1. Dziękuję ci bardzo :D The Polish were greatly admired for their courage, so, these men were brave as Poles :) Greetings from Porto :D

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  13. Belíssimo post! Uma vez mais, um primoroso trabalho e uma interessante lição de história.

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    1. Obrigado Ana :) Estes posts dão-me um prazer especial ;) Beijinho e boa semana!

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  14. Great looking figures again. Your painting brings out so much individual character in each figure.

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    1. Thank you so much Dean, your kind words mean a lot to me :D Cheers my friend :)

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  15. Excellent work on the figures and interesting history lesson too! Appreciate both!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan for your visit and kind words! I´m glad you enjoyed the minis and the Civil War episode! :D Cheers!

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  16. Hola amigo, has cambiado a los Napoleónicos, bueno estás minis están genial a parte de la documentación histórica que haces y que ayuda a entender las minis.

    Bravo!
    Un saludo

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    1. Muchas gracias Amigo Kike! Me alegro mucho que te gusten las minis y el mini... reportaje histórico! :D Un saludo, con amistad!

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  17. Superb figs as always...love the presentation and the background! Brilliant!

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    1. You´re very kind, Gordon, thanks!! I appreciate your feedback! Cheers my friend! :D

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  18. Estão excelentes os Polacos. Desconhecia em absoluto estes factos históricos e os bravos Gaienses. Mais uma vez parabéns. Beijinhos :D

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    1. Obrigado Cristina :D São páginas fundamentais da nossa História, às quais o poder instituído não dá a mínima importância... e sobre as quais, em boa verdade, bem poucos por cá querem saber!! Beijinhos, fico-te grato pelas visitas e simpáticos comentários!! :D

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  19. I like history especially stuff that i am quite ignorant of so i enjoyed reading your topic and above all looking at your painted figures.Nice Work!
    As for the teeth they are one of the last line of defenses in a rumble! (A Close Fight!)
    Although after saying that mine fell out during the Dark Ages. He He! BB

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    1. LOL Thanks Beano, it´s always so nice to have your well humoured and kind feedback!! I´m glad you liked it! Greetings my friend!

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  20. Another complete and educational post from the master of this kind!!!
    Great figures,pictures,historical details..All in one package!!
    Keep up the good work RM!!

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    1. My dear friend George, I am very flattered, you´re too kind!!! :D Thank you so much, I´m glad you enjoyed this! Warm regards!

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  21. Splendid Painted figures and informative Post! BB

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    1. Glad you liked it! :D Thanks Beano for your kind comments, your feedback is very much appreciated!! Cheers! :D

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