Ancient history

The hussars

Originally a light cavalry corps created in 1458 by Mathias Corvin to fight the Turks, the hussars are of Hungarian origin. They appeared in 1637 in the French army but did not form a distinct weapon in the cavalry until 1776. The 6 regiments of hussars of 1789 (Bercheny, Esterhazy, Lauzun, Saxe, Colonel-General, Chamborand) would become 14 during the Revolution , reduced to IO in 1803. Two additional regiments will be created in 1810 with the Dutch hussars and the duplication of the 9 in Spain. Serving as scouts, responsible for harassing the adversary, the hussars always showed exceptional courage and wrote the most astonishing pages of military history, capturing in 1795 the Dutch fleet caught in the ice at Texel, causing the fortress of Settin, participating in all major charges. Uniform is composed of the black shako with white cord and distinctive colored plume, pelisse and dolman in shimmering colors inherited from the Hungarians, finally the sabretache.

Thirteen in number in 1793, the hussar regiments had successively been reduced to twelve regiments in 1799 and then to ten in 1803.

The hussars, with their pelisse, their dolman and their sabre-tache, were the most shimmering horsemen of the Empire. Their regiments rivaled each other in elegance and, more than all the others, offered the most brilliant spectacle to the eye. Whether they were blue, red or brown, they were nevertheless identical:all brash, provocative and theatrical; always smart and resourceful. The very brilliance of their uniforms forced them to surpass themselves, forbade them to be ordinary. So we see them galloping from exploit to exploit, without rivals in enemy country, operating distant raids without worrying about their rear.

As headdress, the hussars wore, in 1804, a black shako with white cord and plume of the distinctive color. Their hair braided in thick pigtails at the temples played a protective role against bladed weapon blows. As weapons, the hussar had the saber of the Year IV and the carabiner of the 1786 model. In 181 0, the 1 the hussar regiment was created from the Dutch hussar regiment; he was the only one whose dolman was lined with white sheepskin.

His elite company was also the only one to wear the white bearskin colback. The same year, a twelfth regiment was organized in Spain with the squadrons of the ge hussars, of which it kept the uniform, under the denomination of 9th bis regiment of hussars.

The temerity and audacity of the hussars rapidly thinned their ranks. Thus the 1st regiment, which had been awarded twenty-five crosses of the Legion of Honor by the Emperor on the eve of the battle of Lützen (1813), no longer counted in its ranks, at the call of the next evening, only five of his newly decorated!

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