Incorporation of Polish children into the Imperial Russian Army (1831-1832)

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Russian soldiers capturing Polish children at Castle Square in Warsaw

Incorporation of Polish children into the Imperial Russian Army occurred during and after the defeat of the November Uprising (1830–1831), when penalised Polish adolescents were incorporated into the Imperial Army of the Russian Empire.[1]

In March 1831, in accordance with Tsar Nicholas I, the children of those who took part in the November Uprising were treated as cantonists and incorporated into special battalions of the Imperial Russian Army. The directive ordered the assimilation adolescent boys, 7 to 16 years of age, children of political exiles, orphans, those of the poor and homeless. Russian police commissars called the occupied population forth to report those children requiring support, abducting all those declared.

The agony of those children incorporated into the Imperial Russian Army was presented in Juliusz Słowacki's narrative poem Anhelli. Several thousand children were taken towards Mińsk, Bobrujsk, into the depths of Russia, i.e. Siberia. Two-thirds of abducted children died on the journey between Warsaw and Bobrujsk.[clarification needed] The rest were brought up as Russian soldiers.[2][3][clarification needed]


  1. ^ "KANTONISCI Z KRÓLESTWA POLSKIEGO W ARMII CARSKIEJ W LATACH 1832–1856" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  2. ^ Galas, Daniela (2005). Solidarność 1830 - Niemcy i Polacy po powstaniu listopadowym : Zamek Krolewski w Warszawie, 29 XI 2005-31 I 2006, Museum Europäischer Kulturen - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 2. III - 30. IV 2006 = Polenbegeisterung - Deutsche und Polen nach dem Novemberaufstand 1830. Warszawa: Arx Regia. ISBN 83-7022-153-X.
  3. ^ Armia Imperium Rosyjskiego: Aleksandr Suworow, Legion Pulawski, Strzelcy Moskiewscy, Rosyjski Plan I Wojny Swiatowej, Carskie Sily Powietrzne. General Books LLC. 2011. ISBN 9781231861820.