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Catholic Culture – the winged hussars of Poland January 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Society, Virtue.

Hussars were a form of moderately heavy cavalry that survived the middle ages into the early modern period.  They were basically extinct by the early 18th century.  But for a while in the cavalier period, in the 1500-1600s, they could be utterly dominant on the battlefield, which is why nations had them, in spite of their high expense.

No hussars were as feared – nor as effective, it seems – as the winged Hussars of Poland.  They played a pivotal role in saving Christendom from the Turk at the 2nd Siege of Vienna in 1683, when 2-300,000 Turks, including many Janissaries, tried to take Vienna defended by only about 10,000 men at arms. The Catholic relief force (the protestants in Germany, France, and elsewhere wanted the Turks to win, to go on and conquer Rome, and end the Church forever) numbered about 50,000, of which around 3,000 were winged hussars. But it is hussars that routed the Turk, put him to flight, leaving a baggage train so enormous, so opulent, that it actually sent the central European economy skyrocketing for many years after the victory, and also paved the way for the slow collapse of Ottoman power in SE Europe.  It’s amazing how much can hinge on one battle, one charge…..


The hussars were called “winged” because they had extensions on their rear armor to which were mounted eagle feathers.  There are various explanations for why they did this – some say the wings made a terrible sound when the hussars were at a gallop, some say the approach of some terrible demon bird sent enemy horses to fright, and some say they wore them just because they looked really cool.  I’ll vouch for the latter – the winged Polish hussars were probably the most amazing looking cavalry in world history:


There is a nice article here about the 2nd Siege of Vienna, and the role the hussars played in it.

Vienna was the battle that turned the tide irrevocably in favor of Christendom – at least up until the present day.  Who knows what the future may hold, with Egypt now fallen to radical islam and Syria likely soon to fall…….we may face the demon turk again.  I pray we get our Catholic act together before that happens, or we won’t stand a chance.  History has a tendency to flow in cycles of ebb and flow.



I should note that the first thing the great Polish king Jan Sobieski did after routing the Turk and lifting the seige, was to have a High Mass offered in thanksgiving.  He was a great, Catholic king.


1. ak47 - January 22, 2013

I like when you post stuff like this. It’s great!

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