Some about Winged Hussars:
Firstly maybe talk about their look: why they had wings? We don't know it, wings could served to startle enemy's horses, but they are more often used to parades and shows.
Armor – in the beggining, Hussars were light cavalry which looks similar to hungarian. They had caftans and "turkish shield", later light armors and helmets
Furs and other preciousness – only nobleman could became hussar because every "towarzysz" have to bought their armament by himself, so to show their noble origin and status, he decorated his armor and weapon with exotic furs and other jewelry…
Lance – main weapon, inspired on hungarian model and modified, very long (to 6,2 meters), selected wood, drilled inside to reduce mass and wrapped by leather to make it more stiffness. Russians try to copy it, but their lance was such flexible that during charge lance hit the ground like pole for pole vault. Mass center in lance was near end, so it was very easy to maneuver.
Koncerz – eastern type of estoc, long sword for using only to fighting from horse against infantry with pole weapon.
Hussar sabre/black sabre – inspired on hungarian model and modified. With this sabre, we can perform strikes from ground and horse, and strikes appropriate for Western Europe, Eastern Europe and even Japanese Katana! So it's consider as the best cavalry saber in the world. In that time, sabre was symbol of nobility too.
Pistols – nothing special
Bow – before introduction pistols, hussars use composite bows, mostly turkish and crimean-tartar
Czekan – before introduction koncerz, weapon similar to battle axe
Another important element:
Horses – it was special race, created special for hussars by mixed polish tarpan with eastern horses – turkish, turkmen and persian, not arabian! They were very fast and nimble (for fighting with Tartars, and other light cavalry) strong and durable – they cauld move to charge, after long march with hussar who weighed with equipment about 100kg. Sale that horses was a crime punished by death.
As You can see, Winged Hussars was mix of light and heavy cavalry capable to fight with every types of infantry (even pikemans) and cavalry from heavy Swedish reiters to light Tartars and Cossacks.
Hussars were used in Russia and Transylvania, but in Poland they had uniqee tactic. It consisted from elements appropriate for eastern cavalry: impetus and agility with elements appropriate for western cavalry like density, but there was also elements appropriate only for polish hussars:
– the longest lances
– skills of charging (looseness in the beginning and closing ranks in terminal stage of charge) – firearms was than inefficient
Only rich countries with lot of military experiences, skills – so with long military tradition and which could imbibe from achievements of others (close relations with Hungary, cultural exchange with eastern and western nations) could create formation like Winged Hussars. It is only simplification to show how unique and difficult were Winged Hussars.
Soon… – first full independent special unit and my favourite(next to Cossacks) – Lisowczycy