Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For Solomon, over at SNAFU!

Regarding his bemusement at finding that Polish winged hussars were really a thing.
(And because for me, comments there are broken on Disqus.):
The guy in this recent pic not only has an award-winning period-correct costume, IIRC, he is in fact Polish.
This is not just a comic book thing, it's how they rolled.
If you search Google images in Photobucket, you'll find him atop the obligatory horse, as well.

Great (and probably inducing some soiled armor) against 16th century landesknects, Swedish pikemen, and such;
not so bitchin' against Pzkw Is circa 1939, despite a momentary success:

The Poles, whether Uhlans or ordinary citizens, were never lacking in bravery, just in weaponry and support. Far more currently germane is this illustration of what they were about after October of 1939:
Click on that last pic to embiggen.
And pay attention to the details, lads and ladies, you may see this material again, and in a far-too-close-to-home sort of way.


Anonymous said...

The Polish army used the mounted troops against the Nazi pzkw forces not foolishly, but as the best way to provide high mobility to their troops. Many of the pzkw' s were in fact fakes - canvas over a wooden frame with a car underneath. The best way to test for this while still having a chance to escape if the vehicles were real pzkw's was to have a pike (proof against a canvas frame anytime) and be on horseback for rapid "advance to the rear" movements. They weren't idiots, but they were very much outgunned by the Nazi war machine.

Anonymous said...

Witold Pilecki, a Polish cavalry officer serving in the Home Army (a resistance force) volunteered to go into Auschwitz as a prisoner to gather intelligence; he transmitted reports of the atrocities out by means of a clandestine radio. Escaping after over two years as a prisoner in Auschwitz, he fought in the Warsaw Uprising. After the Communists took over Poland, he volunteered to return to Poland to spy for the government in exile. He was caught by the secret police and executed.

Aesop said...

I don't think they were idiots, and as I said, their bravery was unquestioned.
They were just woefully backwards in terms of technology. They weren't the only country to be found with their pants around their ankles when tanks and blitzkrieg became a thing, but they were the first and worst-suffering victim of it.

But were I an opposing pikeman in the 1600s, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be facing some Polish hussar with feathers flapping as he bore down on me.

Andrew said...

The Winged Hussars of Poland beat the ever-living snot out of Islam's finest at Vienna in 1683.

There was a reason that the Soviet Union slaughtered the Officers and NCOs of the Polish Military in the Katyn Forest in 1940. Sad that few remember that the USSR was just as responsible for the fall of Poland as was NAZI Germany.