The outline of the history
Czwartek, 22 lutego 2018 r.
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The history of the Military Gendarmerie


The outline of the history of the Military Gendarmerie

The end of the king Jan III Sobieski`s reign brought the lack of discipline within the army which consequently resulted in its slow decline. It was not earlier than the Stanisław August Poniatowski`s rule that was to promise better time for the army. The supplies and financial procedures (concerning soldiers` pays) were more precisely specified. The new military directives were issued which concerned the entire service and military life in detail. They were based on the German regulations. The staff officers (supervisors) monitored obeying these regulations. However, these intentions did not prove to be successful. The passivity and apathy of the Nobility not taking special care of the military issues and the common lack of the sense of social responsibility were the main problems. The army itself lacked a strong, charismatic individual who would guarantee the obedience of the regulations.


Tadeusz Kościuszko was the one who made an attempt to change and improve the army. Yet, idolizing the American example and patriotism of the American citizens he believed that the social and military discipline can be raised through cultivating the patriotic attitude and not through punishments or repression. That is why the next years did not bring any meaningful changes and the military-police service along the entire army was plunging into the decline. Only the times of Napoleon, especially the participation of the Polish Legions of Gen Henryk Dąbrowski and the armies of the Duchy of Warsaw brought considerable improvements in this matter. 


The first ideas of creating “the field gendarme” - the guardian of military order go back to the military directives of the Field Hetman of Lithuania Janusz Radziwiłł, accepted and approved by the Sejm in 1609. As a result, the new officials were established: camp leader, field clerk, warrant officer, custody sergeant, doctor and preacher. Given the help of several assigned people, their duties covered conducting their own intelligence actions and counteracting as to the intelligence of the enemy. Both the camp leader and the custody sergeant were to see to obeying the order in the camp, inspect the roads for their security, perform road check procedures, fight with marauders, absences without leave, destroying and getting rid of treasury property and protect the treasury property against robberies. It was also their job to catching criminals and later delivering them to the Hetman Court and then to the verdicts. The mentioned above clerks belonged the Hetman`s staff. They were directly subordinated to his authority and in accordance with the appropriate regulations performed his orders. 

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