Lisowczycy known too as elears (from hungarian "elu jaro" -> skirmisher) and "Straceńcy" -> lost man, were created in XVII century as irregular unit of light cavalry. Because Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth had then problems with finances, so they created unit which payments was booty. Its succes they owe their first commander: colonel Aleksander Lisowski.
Aleksander originated from noble family with military traditions. His father was Józef Lisowski, who went on a journey with voivod Jan Kiszka, across Europe. During that journey he studied combat techniques of many countries (Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy). Obtained knowledge he used to educate his sons – Alaksender was the best of them.
Aleksander increased his knowledge, gain experience in many battles under command of bests commanders and used it to created one of the most effectiveness unit of those days…
Lisowczycy was known then as a "special forces" to fight on backs of the enemy, destroy his supplies and teritorries.
In the beginning of their career, they fought in Polish–Muscovite War in 1605–1618. Lisowski with few hundreds of people went fought to Ryazan and they reached Astrakhan. There they wanted to sail to Persia and there fought with Persians against Turks, but they don't had boats so Lisowczycy had to go back.
One of theirs main rules was to kill everybody who they met.
On next expedition, they had to go to White Sea. With some about 1000 people, Lisowski got Briańsk, Karczew, Orzeł, Peremyszl, Rżew and Jarosław.
Germans mothers scared their children by "Polish Cossacks" to Napoleonic period.
Józef Brandt – Lisowczycy shooting with bows
I have hope that some of our Ukrainian Friends will elaborate Cossacks
Maybe it's good thread for this question, so I need help! I'm looking for any information about uniforms of Russian Hussars and cherkeska in beginning of the xx centurie, but I don't speak Russian, so I can't searching on russian websites :-[