Re-Send Password?
Service Record
Oct 25, '20




First name






Social status


Text source

William Baillie was a Scottish officer who went to Sweden early in 1629 and joined Alexander Hamilton's [SSNE 380] regiment where he served as lieutenant colonel. However, in June 1630 that regiment was merged with John Meldrum's [SSNE 572] regiment, and apparently James Spens [SSNE 1642] and Alexander Hamilton chose a captain from Hamilton's regiment to become the new colonel (presumably Colonel John Hamilton[SSNE]?), whereby Baillie lost his position. Keen to continue in Swedish service he requested Axel Oxenstierna's help in obtaining Gustav II Adolf's permission to recruit a German regiment, giving the reasons that "he knew the language well and had lived in the Netherlands for a time". Oxenstierna himself supported this request wholeheartedly, noting that Baillie was "of the Scottish nation he hasn't found any officer with more discretion, purpose and seriousness and discipline". The Chancellor also notes that Baillie only recently came into Swedish service and had not had the chance to prove himself on the field to Gustav II Adolf. However, Baillie was an experienced officer which may imply that he had been in Dutch service before. He then became colonel of his own regiment for the next three years in Swedish service. Oxenstierna was engaged in setting up Baillie's regiment from January through to October 1631. Baillie also served as an envoy from Oxenstierna to Samuel Nadolsky, "starost" of Dirschau in October 1630. A muster roll exists for Baillie's regiment in Prussia from February 1632, amongst which Captain Andrew Spang's [SSNE 3546] company was noted. Chancellor Oxenstierna specifically ordered Baillie's regiment to march from Prussia to Schlesien/Silesia in March 1633. He returned to Scotland in 1638 to serve under Leslie with the Covenanters. Baillie was at Duns Law in 1639, and at Marston Moor in 1644. He commanded a force against Montrose and lost in 1645. In 1648 he was lieutenant general of infantry under James, Duke of Hamilton at Preston

R. Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keyes (2 vols., London, 1637), II, The List of the Scottish Officers in Chiefe, list 1; Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1629/11,14,16,18-20; 1630/22-30; 1630/31-33; 1631/12-21; 1632/10-21; 1633/11-18; Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Rikskansleren Axel Oxenstiernas Skrifter och Brefvexling, first series, V, 454, 468, 612-615;ibid, VI, 58, 192, 219, 492, 496; ibid, VIII, p.740; DNB.

William Baillie served as Lieutenant General of Foot in the Army of the Solemn League and Covenant in 1644. See A list of the Several Regiments and Chief Officers of the Scottish Army quartered neer Newcastle (London 1644); Ed. Furgol, A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies, 1639-1641 (Edinburgh, 1990), passim.

Addenda: Baillie's service in the Civil Wars

Colonel, Angus Foot: 1644-1647

Lieutenant-General, Home Army: 1644-1645

Lieutenant-General of Foot, New Model Army and Colonel, Scott's Foot: 1648

Bishops Wars; English Civil War

Updates to this record provided by Ed Furgol.

Service record


(The gentleman is in error, I attended at the Siege of 's-Hertogenbosch 1629 as Colonel together with my Regiment of Dutch Infantry which did not concluded until September 17th, 1629. I then went to my shooting club in Amsterdam the St. Joris Doelen. My wife gave birth to my son James Baillie (named after my old friend Sir James Lumsden and together we sought work in Sweden.)

William Baillie

Arrived 1629-01-01, as LT. COLONEL

Revise timeline:

(Arrived 1630-01-01, as LT. COLONEL)

Departed 1630-06-30, as LT. COLONEL

Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY


Arrived 1630-10-13, as LT. COLONEL

Departed 1630-10-29, as LT. COLONEL



Arrived 1630-10-31, as COLONEL

Departed 1633-12-31, as COLONEL

Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY


Arrived 1638-01-01, as COLONEL

Departed 1648-12-31, as LT. GENERAL

Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY

Original File with Links


This Bridge is Where World War Two Really Began

The link with Kurt Daluege!

The history books try their best not to lie to us. Officially World War Two began on September 1, 1939. That much is true. It was a pivotal day in European history and most sources claim that the Battle of Westerplatte (off the peninsula of Gdańsk) was where World War Two began. However there was an earlier incident on the same day which officially marked the beginnings of this bloody war.

Where did World War Two really begin?

There were three key moments on September 1, 1939 that led to the start of World War Two. One of these was the infamous German attack on the peninsula at Westerplatte. On the same morning, German Nazi troops also stormed the Polish Post Office in Gdańsk, killing innocent workers. But there was another event that happened earlier that day. It was an early morning attack on a bridge in the town of Tczew. This is where World War Two really began.


Westerplatte | © Bundesarchiv

What happened at the bridge in Tczew?

The little known town of Tczew was the real location for the start of World War Two. Reports cite that it was here at 4:34 a.m. on September 1, 1939 when German bombers arrived at Tczew Bridge (Most Tczewski). Polish soldiers spotted it and had thought it suspicious to see so many German troops coming towards the bridge at that time of the morning. The Polish soldiers had to do all they could to thwart any attack from the Germans. So actually it was the Polish sappers that decided to destroy and blow up the bridge. They did this to prevent the Germans from getting to the other side of the very wide river. The attacks at Westerplatte occurred at 4.45 a.m. on the same day, 11 minutes after the Tczew Bridge destruction. This fact was noted on the Tczew council records and is now on the city’s official website.

Why did the Germans value the bridge in Tczew?

Strategically, the bridge at Tczew was of high significance and the Germans knew it. This bridge spanned the wide banks of the longest river in Poland – the Wisła River. It was a whopping 837 metres long and at one point was the longest bridge in the world. The bridge was first built between 1851 to 1857 and it was used as a road bridge, a foot bridge and a railway bridge along the years. But the importance of the bridge was much more logistical than that. This bridge was a highly vital link across the Wisła River which was one of the main routes between Germany and Russia, or the Soviet Union as it then was. All the main freight trains came across here.

The infamous bridge in Tczew where World War II began

Is the bridge in Tczew still open today?

Yes it is. In fact, not only has the bridge been rebuilt and is fully functioning but it is still a hugely important logistical route within Poland. The bridge was actually rebuilt in 1940 but destroyed again in 1945 by the Germans. The final reconstruction of this famous bridge took place between 1958 and 1959 and it remains the same today. The railway line that passes through Tczew links Warsaw to cities such as Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz and Szczecin. You can cross it these days by train, vehicle or on foot and it has been restored to its former glory.

Getting to Tczew

Tczew may not be the most well known town in Poland, but getting here is no problem whatsoever. It is on a main train route to and from Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków and Bydgoszcz. Train tickets can be booked at any train station or online. Tczew is also located just one fast train stop from the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site at Malbork.

Of course. There are many reasons to visit Tczew, which is becoming more of a touristic city year on year. As well as this historic bridge, the town has an eclectic range of interesting things to see and do. These include a genuine Dutch style windmill, the room where Napoleon once stayed, wall murals and some pretty churches. There is also a cycle path by the river which leads through this gorgeous Kociewie region. By night, the restaurants and bars of Tczew offer good choices for relaxing. At one of them, Pub Przystan, you can sip your sunset cocktail overlooking the bridge where it all began…

For more intriguing facts you never knew about Polish history, check out these facts that even the Polish don’t know.


Oct 25, '20
No Comments Available
Raven Echo © 2010 - 2021
Founded by Ian Ballie PHD
Designed by Jay Graham