Thursday, October 31, 2019

Wywiad z Radoslawem Sikora

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
 krótki wywiad z Radosławem Sikorą na temat husarii et nie tylko.
Przy okazji  parę szkiców dla zwrócenia uwagi.. moje wizualne 'przemyślenia' nad husarską kopią , długością tylca kopii, nad przechodzeniem od kopii przy kolanie  do złożenia się przez kopijnika etc.



Valete

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

French Africa & Horses in photographs

Salvete Omnes,

I have not read many books on the sub-Saharan horsemen and their horses.
I have seen picture of modern parades in Chad, Nigeria, Mali and other countries.
So in many ways this collection of pictures taken during the French colonial empire in Africa is quite interesting.
The pictures were taken by a French photographer François-Edmond Fortier who lived and worked in French colonies, eventually passing away in Dakar, then French colony of Senegal.
Below I selected some images of horses, horsemen etc(these are titled already):



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

























perhaps I will dig out more sources from the travel books and reports written by the European travelers of the XIX century regarding the sub-Saharan horses. The vast archives of google books and archive world library are quite promising.
valete

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Leiden Maccabees & Vegetius

Salvete Omnes,

Some years ago I cited Vegetius' writing on the Hun horses (you can get there by clicking on labels).
Today, with the series of medieval illuminations from the Leiden Maccabees X century manuscript that includes book IV of Vetegius military work, followed by the several fragments dedicated especially to the horse soldiers taken from his De re miltiari treatise - version by Lieutenant John Clarke  his translation published in 1767AD.








 

 
 
 From De re miltiari of Vegetius about the late Roman cavalry - Clarke's version can be read here.

 Vaulting the wooden horse:
The ancients strictly obliged both the veteran soldiers and recruits to a constant 
practice of vaulting. It has indeed reached our times, although little regard is 
paid to it at present. They had wooden horses for that purpose placed in winter 
under cover and in summer in the field. The young soldiers were taught to vault 
on them at first without arms, afterwards completely armed. And such was their 
attention to this exercise that they were accustomed to mount and dismount 
on either side indifferently, with their drawn swords or lances in their hands. 
By assiduous practice in the leisure of peace, their cavalry was brought to such 
perfection of discipline that they mounted their horses in an instant even 
amidst the confusion of sudden and unexpected alarms.

Legionary Cavalry:
As the divisions of the infantry are called centuries, so those of the cavalry are called 
troops. A troop consists of thirty-two men and is commanded by a Decurion. 
Every century has its ensign and every troop its Standard. 
The centurion in the infantry is chosen for his size, strength and dexterity 
in throwing his missile weapons and for his skill in the use of his sword and shield;
 in short for his expertness in all the exercises. He is to be vigilant, temperate, active 
and readier to execute the orders he receives than to talk; Strict in exercising and 
keeping up proper discipline among his soldiers, in obliging them to appear clean 
and well-dressed and to have their arms constantly rubbed and bright.

In like manner the Decurion is to be preferred to the command of a troop for 
his activity and address in mounting his horse completely armed; for his skill in 
riding and in the use of the lance and bow; for his attention in forming his men to
all the evolutions of the cavalry; and for his care in obliging them to keep their
cuirasses, lances and helmets always bright and in good order. The splendor of the 
arms has no inconsiderable effect in striking terror into an enemy. 
Can that man be reckoned a good soldier who through negligence suffers his arms to 
be spoiled by dirt and rust? 
In short, it is the duty of the Decurion to be attentive to whatever concerns the 
health or discipline of the men or horses in his troop.

Disposition of cavalry in the battle array :

The line of infantry being formed, the cavalry are drawn up in the wings. 
The heavy horse, that is, the cuirassiers and troopers armed with lances, 
should join the infantry. The light cavalry, consisting of the archers and those 
who have no cuirasses, should be placed at a greater distance. 
The best and heaviest horse are to cover the flanks of the foot, and 
the light horse are posted as abovementioned to surround and disorder 
the enemy's wings. A general should know what part of his own cavalry 
is most proper to oppose any particular squadrons or troops of the enemy. 
For from some causes not to be accounted for some particular corps fight 
better against others, and those who have defeated superior enemies are 
often overcome by an inferior force.
If your cavalry is not equal to the enemy's it is proper, after the ancient 
custom, to intermingle it with light infantry armed with small shields and 
trained to this kind of service. By observing this method, even though the
 flower of the enemy's cavalry should attack you, they will never be able 
to cope with this mixed disposition. This was the only resource of the old 
generals to supply the defects of their cavalry, and they intermingled the 
men, used to running and armed for this purpose with light shields, 
swords and darts, among the horse, placing one of them between 
two troopers.

 ...
M. P. Milner's translation - taken from here - on the cavalry armor:
Armoured cavalry[cataphracti equites] are safe from being wounded on account 
of the armour they wear, but because they are hampered by the weight of their 
arms are easily taken prisoner and often vulnerable to lassos. 
They are better in battle against loose-order infantry 
than against cavalry, but posted in front of legionaries or mixed with legionaries 
they often break the enemy line when it comes to comminus
that is, hand-to-hand, fighting.

Valete
ps
and I am enjoying miltiry history books and articles written by prof. Ilkaa Syvanne.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Headless Horseman ... of Texas

Salvete Omnes,
perhaps some pop culture today: 
this year's Halloween is very close and I just remembered the old Soviet 'western' film - The Headless Horseman - I had watched as a kid (in Polish).














at that time  and for a long time afterwards I had not known that the movie was based on the adventure novel by a well-known hero  of the Mexican War Thomas Mayne Reid -  published in England in 1865 (the 1869 edition here).














LibriVox has the book in audiobook form.
Frank Dobie'a Legends of Texas (1924) has another tale of a headless horseman titled The Headless Squatter told by John R. Craddock.

some of the Headless Horseman 1869 edition illustrations:









 
 
 
 

 
Valete

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Zachowaliśmy honor żołnierski do końca.- Kock 6.X.1939-2019

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
 
80 lat temu kończyła się wojna obronna 1939, pogrom armii polskiej był kompletny i tragiczny. Agresorzy Niemcy hitlerowskie, ich satelita Słowacja i sprzymierzeniec et agresor Związek Sowiecki(od 17.X.1939) zajęli zajęli terytorium II Rzeczpospolitej.


a dzisiaj mamy okrągłą lecz smutną rocznicę kapitulacji ostatniego wyższego związku taktycznego Wojska Polskiego II Rzeczpospolitej  SGO Polesie dowodzonego przez generała brygady Franciszka Kleeberga w ostatniej bitwie wrześniowej pod Kockiem (wiki) -Kock widział wiele bitew w historii Polski, min oddziały 27 Wołyńskiej Dywizji AK zajeły miasto przed Armia Czerwona.
Oddziały polskie SGO Polesie walczyły z Armia Czerwona następująca ze wschodu i okrążającym Polaków Wermachtem, kiedy naczelny wódz i rząd już od 2 tygodni byli w Rumunii.
W tej bitwie walczyła ostatnia wielka jednostka Polskiej kawalerii Dywizja Kawalerii „Zaza". Dowódca dywizji generał brygady Zygmunt Podhorski, ułan Imperium Rosyjskiego, weteran I wojny - szarża pod Krzywoluką 1915, pod Krechowcami etc-   i wojny o niepodległość(min odsiecz Lwowa 1918-19),  podporządkował się generałowi Kleebergowi, i kawaleria do końca walczyła z sukcesem przeciwko Wermachtowi, zwłaszcza w działaniach pod Wola Gulowska.

Pułkownik Bolesław Kowalski (1917-2018) zwiadowca SGO Polesie w Bitwie Pod Kockiem - spotkanie z śp panem pułkownikiem.
Raport z Tv Lubartów na temat bitwy pod Kockiem.
 
Program w Polskim Radio.

Podejmując decyzje o kapitulacji generał miał powiedzieć:
'Nic sobie nie mamy do zarzucenia. Zachowaliśmy honor żołnierski do końca. Kiedyś, gdy Ojczyzna zażąda od nas rachunku, będziemy mogli odpowiedzieć na każde pytanie..'


ale nasi kawalerzyści nie złożyli broni -   powstały oddziały wydzielone z  110 Rezerwowy Pułk Ułanów dowodzonego prze zagończyka z epoki wojny o niepodległości(1918-21) podpułkownika Jerzego Dąmbrowskiego  Łupaszka, prowadzące działania wojenne przeciwko wrogom Ojczyzny.
Z tej formacji ułańskiej wyszedł Oddział Wydzielony Wojska Polskiego pod wodza inny słynny kawalerzysta i zastępca dowódcy 110 RP Ułanów major Henryk  Dobrzański 'Hubal' miała kontynuować walkę z okupantami jako pododdziały Wojska Polskiego. (oczywiście polecam powieść Jacka Komudy)

Profesor Lech Wyszczelski w tym programie robi podsumowanie Września 1939, smutne, ale konieczne, jeśli chce się poznać historie a nie mity - jest to seria programów profesora Wyszczelskiego o wrześniu 1939, np Chlubne karty Września 1939.

Cóż można rzec, Wrzesień 1939 i II Wojna Światowa to tragedia największa naszej historii, naszej armii, naszych przodków i nas samych (Polonii na emigracji i w kraju).
Ale żołnierz polski bił się tak jak umiał i był przygotowany do wojny (min moi przodkowie walczyli w bitwie nad Bzurą, w obronie Warszawy etc), zawiodło na całej linii dowództwo naczelne - nota bene niestety nikt nigdy nie zrobił sadu wojennego na marszałkiem Śmigłym-Rydzem i generałami, którzy doprowadzili do klęski i tragedii wrześniowej.

Gloria Victis - hańba sanacji.
Valete

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Etruscan Winged horses, Tarquinia

Salvete Omnes,
again using the vast collections at Wiki Commons I would like to share with you some photos of the Etruscan Winged horses from Tarquinia, Italy.

First, the link to a fine article written by Giovanna Bagnasco Giani from the University of Milano. Also another article, in Italian, on the  analysis of discovered horse remains in the Etruscan 'Demoni Azzurri'( 'Blue Demons')tomb in Tarquinia.
nota bene the horses of the Demoni Azzurri tomb -


Terracotta horses from Tarquinia


 


heads



 
..
nota bene Apulian master painter known as the Painter of Lycrygus and his horses



Valete