Monday, February 11, 2008

Hussars - Winged Cavalry: Husaria, Husarz

Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century Cavalry in Poland, and elsewhere, with horsemen bearing a winged structure at their backs with feathers that whirred and whistled as they rode, frightening opposing cavalry horses and horsemen, causing them to startle and wheel back, or freeze. Mounted knights speaking southern slavic languages. See ://

This, in Gniew, Poland. See photos at

See the armor on display in Wroclaw, with a more complete headdress, at Poland Road Ways, Wroclaw, Winged Cavalry Armor.

Some now say that the wings were used only for ceremonial purposes. How could they muster a sound that way. Just try to get us to believe that. We like the whoosh. And, there was a function in addition to the sound: The Tartars had an effective lasso, the "arkan," and the wings provided a barrier protection for the knight against being roped. The wooden frames with the feathers must have been loosely enough fastened?

Among the defeated: Muscovites, the Swedish Army, German and Scots mercenaries, Tartars and Turks, and saved Vienna from the Ottoman Expansion. Huzzah!

These are not to be mixed with later "Husars" - European light cavalry of the 18th-19th Centuries, usually formed by that time in Hungary. See also

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