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Polish Winged Hussars' Last Battle?

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  • Polish Winged Hussars' Last Battle?

    Does anyone know the last battle in which the Polish Winged Hussars fought WITH lances and wings?

    They seem to have gone into rapid decline at the end of the 17th Century. Polish Hussars are mentioned in battles in the early 18th C., but I suspect with swords and muskets, and not lances or wings.
    Regards, Pluto
    "We have met the enemy and they is us." Pogo

    "So much history, so little time." Me

  • #2
    but I suspect with swords and muskets, and not lances or wings.
    Why not with lances? Lances remained in combat use well into 19th century.

    Pikes and lances were definitely not "obsolete" in 18th century.

    Captain of Swedish infantry during the Great Northern War - John Michael Kampenhausen - in 1737 published a book praising the advantages of pikes and lances and disproving criticism of these weapons. Swedish infantry was superior to infantry of Swedish enemies during the Great Northern War exactly due to the fact that Swedish infantry formations still included numerous units of pikemen. And due to the fact that it put emphasis on hand-to-hand bayonet & pike close combat - instead of exchanges of musket fire. Regarding lances Kampenhausen wrote that criticism of lances comes mainly from people who don't have any idea how to properly use a lance in mounted combat - and he wrote that lance was a queen of battlefield, but the art of using lance in combat was largely forgotten in many parts of Europe, and that's why it became less popular. But he confirmed its efficiency when used by skilled horsemen even on the 18th century battlefield.

    They seem to have gone into rapid decline at the end of the 17th Century.
    Rather since the beginning of the 18th century. But lances had nothing to do with that.

    Does anyone know the last battle in which the Polish Winged Hussars fought WITH lances and wings
    Hard to say. But the last battles in which they fought was probably the assault on Lwow on 25 May 1769 during the Bar Confederation. Two banners of Hussars fought there (could be up to 300 men, maybe 200). They fought dismounted in that battle, though. In 1767 - two years earlier - there were in total 347 Hussars in military service in Poland-Lithuania. As an interesting note forces attacking Lwow on 25 May 1769 (which included those Hussars) were commanded by Casimir Pulaski - the same who later fought in the American War of Independence.

    Formation was dissolved in 1775.

    One of the last known large-scale charges performed by Hussars was in the battle of Kowalewo on 5 October 1716.
    Last edited by Domen558; 14 Aug 12, 19:27.
    "To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child." - Cicero

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    • #3
      I don't think the Confederates of Bar fielded any heavy hussars which is what the OP seemed to be asking about, from paintings I have seen they wore Polish/cossack style clothing or standard 18th cent hussar dress including mirleton headgear, I think this painting, not one of the ones below, was by one of the Kossak family and is in the coffee table book A History of Cavalry by Vukovic (an excellent book for Pike and Shot aficianadoes! It's possible this picture was of a 1790s Second Partition battle.)







      Many excellent pictures at
      http://www.thelordz.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=3425


      It is possible they still fought in full gear at Kowalewo, can't find any images.
      Last edited by Zaraath; 17 Aug 12, 18:52.

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      • #4
        I found the book, it is a painting of the battle of Raclawice (1794) by Wojciech Kossak depicting Polish light cavalry with somewhat soft-sided czapkas and lances or sabers and mirletons, counter-charging Cossacks wearing red jackets; it isn't relevant to the OPs question. So lances were retained throughout the 18th century but wings probably went out of fashion sometime in the early part of the century.

        This is the painting




        The book is A History of Cavalry by Grbasic and Vuksic, the majority of which covers the latter 17th century through Waterloo, an excellent book.
        Last edited by Zaraath; 18 Aug 12, 22:01.

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        • #5
          I don't think the Confederates of Bar fielded any heavy hussars which is what the OP seemed to be asking abou
          But they did field them. Precisely - two banners - or 347 Hussars, as of year 1767.

          Heavy Hussars existed until 1775 when formation was dissolved and its soldiers incorporated into new-formed light cavalry called Kawaleria Narodowa (which was also using some types of lances, by the way, but had no body armour). Apart from former Hussars, also former Pancerni were incorporated into this new formation:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towarzysz_pancerny

          from paintings I have seen they wore Polish/cossack style clothing or standard 18th cent hussar dress including mirleton headgear
          The Confederates of Bar were not a homogenous force regarding clothing and armament. And they had both irregular & regular formations fighting for their cause.

          I found the book, it is a painting of the battle of Raclawice (1794) by Wojciech Kossak depicting Polish light cavalry with somewhat soft-sided czapkas and lances or sabers and mirletons, counter-charging Cossacks wearing red jackets;
          That was - already mentioned above - Kawaleria Narodowa (National Cavalry):

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cavalry

          Apart from that there were also regiments of Advance-Guard cavalry (pułki Straży Przedniej):

          http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Pu%C5...wa_Litewskiego

          As well as regiments of dragoons, called Horse Guard (Gwardia Konna).
          Last edited by Domen558; 26 Aug 12, 06:08.
          "To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child." - Cicero

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