The Bridge | Page 12

Polish Weekly A.D.1650 Hussars The first hussars appeared in Poland around 1500. Their best years they had under the leadership of Stefan Batory. It’s the most beautiful and the most dangerous cavalry of our time. The incident of the battle of Vienna in 1683 proves that. In this battle German and Austrian soldiers held their involuntary attack to be able to watch the amazing sight of hussars. It’s the formation with unusual fighting properties. The hussars are successful because of weapon. The hussars saber is the biggest achievement on a global scale. At the beginning the existence of hussars was light cavalry. The soldiers were dressed in caftans. Their basic defensive weapon was a wooden "Turkish shield" with characteristically extended one corner. Recently they began to use light armor and helmet. Offensive weapon is a long spear (4, 5 to 6,2 m). It is hollow inside and strengthen with braid strap and because of that it’s light. The characteristic element of it is a long 2, 5-3 m. pennant in the colors of the army unit. During the attack spears don’t bend down under their own weight. Spears, as the only kind of weapons, are supplied by the military authorities. This weapon should be as uniform as possible. Hussars horses are bred in the country. They are high, quick and very durable. After a long march, carrying on his back weighing about 100 kg (with armament) rider horses can march into a battle and break the enemy forces. Hussars in the battle of Klushino, after an all-night marching, attacked ten times and then chased the enemy. The horses had to be agile because otherwise the hussars would not be able to fight the Tartars. The horses are expensive, and every hussar must have a few of them. In 1685 the cost of hussar fellowship is comparable to the purchase of the village. Selling a horse abroad is punishable by death! The characteristic elements of the equipment for this formation are feathers. These aren’t the eagle feathers, more often falcon, hawk, raven sometimes and even the goose, because of price and availability. It is worn Polish winged Hussar by Józef Brandt on hats, helmets, spars copy discs, next to horses legs, and also on famous wings. The most popular, is the image of the hussar with two wings fixed to backplate armor. More often the wings or a wing (usually used one) are fastened to the saddle. Maria Załucka , II Ta