An army of 600’000 men, half of whom came from the vassal countries, also called the twenty nations army by the Russians, was assembled by Napoleon in the spring of 1812. The rest is still well known today: Napoleon tried to surround the two Russian armies, but they escaped by making way for the Grande Armée using the scorched earth tactic. Bolesławiec was crossed by the forces of the Grande Armée on their way to Russia.
The Napoleonic episode concerning the town of Bolesławiec witnesses the Poles attachment to the Emperor and shows the great hope that he had been able to arouse in them. The Polish legions were the most important foreign force of the Grande Armée with 100’000 soldiers, many of whom died in the retreat from Moscow.
After the Napoleonic Wars, the city incorporated again to the Prussian province of Silesia and was finally ceded to Poland at the end of World War II. The rich heritage and culture of this Polish city is also reflected in the quality of its ceramics with very original designs, from which it still enjoys its great reputation today.
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