Saturday, March 22, 2014
this year we will be celebrating yet another historical battle - 500 years anniversary of the battle of Orsza (Orsha, in Belarus) - actually the 2nd battle of Orsza, as there were all together 3 battles fought there during the XVI century (all victories tof the Polish-Lithuanian side), where Polish and Grand Duchy of Lithuania forces defeated Drand Duchy of Muscovy forces. Polish-Lithuanian forces were commanded by a veteran of border wars Ruthenian prince and ducal hetman Konstanty Ostrogski. It is also famous as the first big battle where early husaria lancers fighting in Polish service participated. There were also Lithuanian Tatars, Ruthenian banners, Silesian infantry units and Bohemian volunteers (Kingdom of Bohemia or today's Czech and Polish voivodeships of Lower and Upper Silesia were within the Jagiellonian dynasty realms). I will write more about this battle in the future.
Sadly in Poland the XVI century Jagiellonian era wars are not celebrated in film nor novels nor comix, perhaps all fault goes to Henryk Sienkiewicz and his 'Trylogy.' There was another prolific and quite interesting historical writer who wrote about the Jagiellonian period, but he was a spy and traitor for the foreign and occupying powers during the XIX century Partition of Poland period, and his works were forgotten. But there are several chronicles written by the participants of the historical events and these books can be read in Latin and Polish via digital libraries.
There is a Facebook page devoted to the battle anniversary and reenactment
here you have the link to it
We are blessed with a historicla painting painted some time after the battle, and this painting, a bit trimmed, survived the wars and destruction, and it is to be found at the National Museum in Warsaw.
some detailed images from the painting, the armoured knights are Polish cavalry under - courtesy of my friend Bartek Siedlar
So if you in Poland in the end of June do not miss this event