Winged hussars

Polish heavy cavalry

The Polish Hussars or Winged hussar's were the horse mounted soldiers in the Polish army used from the 16th to 18th centuries. The hussars started as Serbian mercenaries. Winged hussars were famous for their ability to win when outnumbered. In the 17th century they were useful against any enemy they were put against. Most of them came from noble families. Service in the winged hussars was voluntary. The early success they had made the morale (will to fight) of the winged hussars very high. They were seen in Poland as having protection from the heavens.

How a winged hussar would look like today based off of descriptions of them in history

Training at an early age. They, along with the horses they rode, went through large amounts of training. Winged hussars were well off nobles (rich mostly because of how valuable horses were). An example of this is that the punishment for selling a horse to another country in Poland was death. Hussars were put into formations (groups) of around 300.

How they fought change

When winged hussars were in battle they would initially charge at a distance from each other. This made them harder to hit with guns and other ranged weapons. Being spaced out also made it easily to cancel the charge. They had very long lances - around 6 metres, much longer than the pikes used by infantry. They also used sabres. When they were about to hit the enemy army the hussars would close in next to each other.They closed in very tightly with the gap between one shoulder to the next described as being no more than the horses width. This made sure there was no gaps in the charge that the enemy could use. While close together in tight formation however they were easier to hit with guns. For this reason they would save closing in together for last. After they broke through the enemy's lines they would turn around for another charge if needed. This way of attacking was useful against any enemy the winged hussars would face up to the 18th century.[1]

Why they stopped being used change

Winged hussars declined in the 18th century when guns became more accurate and powerful. Hussars also began to lose their will to fight when Poland fought on both sides of the Great Northern War.

References change

  1. Zamoyski, Adam (1987). The Polish Way. London: John Murray. p. 155. ISBN 0719546745.


  1. Kepa, Marek (Dec 27, 2017). "Poland's Winged Knights: From Invincible Glory To Obsolescence". Retrieved Feb 22, 2024.