Even though my story is still totally fake, I feel the need for at least some semblance of accuracy. Also, I love to geek out about weapons and armour, so this is the perfect excuse. I once spent eight hours in the Arms and Armour wing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in the Vienna Hofburg. I also bought the catalog- in two volumes- and read it! It’s unfortunately in storage now, but at least I have the internet.
These guys were armed to the teeth! Here’s what a typical Polish hussar carried:
A lance, hollowed-out and 15-20 feet in length:
They also often carried an arquebus, but how they would use it while riding, I do not know:
Underneath his left thigh, he carried a koncerz estoc with which to stab you:
and under his right thigh, a palasz, with which to stab you some more:
On his left side, he carried a szabla husarska, or cavalry saber to slash at whatever hasn’t been stabbed:
And, on the off chance he didn’t get to skewer you with his lance, or stab you or slice you, he might crack you over the head with a nadziak:
If you survived all of that, you might still get it from one of his two wheelock pistols, conveniently holstered in the saddle:
Or, the old-fashioned way, with bow and arrow:
Now, these guys were totally used to riding straight into gunfire, so they had to wear a lot of armour. Plus it helped them look very scary and cool.
I love the helmets:
Heavy plate to repel musket-fire:
Backplate and pauldrons:
Vambraces for the arms, and of course the wings!
All of this: guy, armour and weapons could easily weigh over 220 pounds. They apparently had amazing horses that could carry all that weight for a day and still charge into battle without breaking a sweat.
No wonder they were the most feared and effective cavalry in Europe for hundreds of years!