Stanisław Koniecpolski or Stanislas Koniecpolski (ca. 1590/1594 – 11 March 1646) was a Polish nobleman (szlachcic), magnate, official (starost and castellan), voivode of Sandomierz from 1625, and Field and later Grand Crown hetman (second highest military commander, after the king) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Stanisław Koniecpolski lived a life that involved almost constant warfare, and during his military career he won many victories. Before he reached the age of 20, he had fought in the Dymitriads and the Moldavian Magnate Wars, where he was taken captive by the forces of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Cecora in 1620. After his release in 1623 he defeated Ottoman vassals the Tatars several times in the years 1624 - 1626. With inferior forces fought the Swedish forces of Gustavus Adolphus to a stalemate in Prussia. Koniecpolski tried several more times, July 15 and Aug 9, but was repelled by the Swedes, during the second phase of the Polish-Swedish War (1626–1629), which ended with the Truce of Altmark. Koniecpolski defeated a major Turkish invasion at Kamieniec Podolski (Kamianets-Podilskyi) in Ukraine in 1634, and during his life led many other successful campaigns against the rebellious Cossacks and invading Tatars. He is considered to be one of the most skilled and famous military commanders in the history of Poland and Lithuania.
Stanisław Koniecpolski in 1632
In 1635, Stanisław Koniecpolski was still considered a powerful Grand Hetman of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Władysław IV Vasa allowed Koniecpolski what amounted to the powers of a viceroy in the southwestern area of the Commonwealth. Also Koniecpolski possessed the most extensive spy network in the Commonwealth, which penetrated Russia as well as the Ottoman and Tatar realms.
Koniecpolski was a skilled archer, both foot and mounted, and was known for having a supple and flexible mind where military matters were concerned. He was also known for not applying that flexibility to social and political matters.
During the invasion by Swedish and USE forces, Koniecpolski used delaying tactics while waiting for bad weather, knowing that would neutralize the USE's airplanes and APCs. This kept Gustavus's forces from being able to unite against him, and allowed the Poles to capture an APC that had become hopelessly bogged down.
By February of 1636, it was apparent that Koniecpolski would have preferred a peace settlement with the USE, even though he accepted that the King and Sejm were adamantly opposed to one. He was aware of the civil unrest within the USE, knew that the USE troops around Poznań were getting restive, and wanted to march on Berlin, and knew that Michael Stearns, who was widely known to have opposed the invasion, would prevail if he had those divisions in addition to his own.