Towarzysz (Comrade) of the Winged Husaria

Towarzysz (Comrade) of the Winged Husaria.  Poland XVII century.

Towarzysz (Comrade) of the Winged Husaria , XVII c., EK Castings, tin, size: 54mm.


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The main tactical unit of the Polish hussars was the "banner" (company), numbering 100-200 cavalry soldiers. The staffing of the "banners" was carried out according to the system of "comradely honor", when the commander of the banner (captain) hired "comrades" from among the nobles - the gentry. Each gentry was obliged to bring with him an "honor" (list) of one or two armed volunteers. These "postal" warriors (pacholiks, ranks) formed the second and third ranks in the hussar ranks.

Hussar "comrades" usually came from a wealthy wealthy gentry. They were able to equip both themselves and people from their “honor” for equestrian service. Among themselves, all hussar comrades were equal, but there was a list hierarchy. The higher the name of the “comrade” was on the company list, the more chances he had to take the position of lieutenant or his deputy. Further, broad prospects opened up to reach the highest military or civilian positions.

The characteristic "Hungarian" style of Polish hussar clothing and equipment of this period was introduced by King Stefan Batory (1533-1586). A short summer zhupan was worn with tight leggings and short boots with hollow metal heels. Wealthy comrades preferred to combine an expensive red coat with blue leggings and yellow boots. The steel cuirass consisted of a segmented breastplate and backplate, and also had a high collar. A quilted vest with chain mail sleeves was worn under the cuirass. A steel helmet - a cone with a movable bow arrow, a visor, cheek pads and a backplate was decorated with various exotic feathers. The most spectacular detail of the hussar equipment was the animal skin. If a comrade, as a rule, was content with modest fur for his “postal” warriors, then he adorned himself with the expensive skin of a leopard, jaguar, etc. If the fur was spotless, then they could be painted.

The subject of special pride of the hussar was the saber "Hungarian" or "batoruvka" with a characteristic elongated crosshair of the guard. Often there was also a war hammer-caller - "nadzyak", capable of piercing enemy helmets and shells. In the equestrian formation, the hussars had a long spear with a hollow shaft, a roof and an ensign. At the saddle he carried a long straight sword - a konchar and, sometimes, a pair of wheeled pistols. To give a special effect, one or two "wings" could be attached to the rear pommel of the saddle.