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8079 Black Hussars of Frederick II

8079 Black Hussars of Frederick II

During the first Silesian War Frederick II defeated the Austrian army. However, he was surprised by effectiveness of the light Austrian cavalry which consisted of Hungarians called «Huzars». At that time Prussians also had Hussars, but only few squadrons formed in 1721.

In 1741, following the pattern of «Huzar» cavalry in Austria, five Hussar  regiments were formed, and the Hussars became a rather important part of the Prussian cavalry. Despite presence of fire arms (muskets, carbines and pistols), sabers were considered as the main weapon of Hussars, and swift attack and dashing fight witch cold steel were considered as the main weapon of Hussars, and swift attack and dashing fight witch cold steel were considered as main way of combat. Each of the Hussar regiments had its own uniform. The 5th Hussar regiment known for its extreme bravery and cruelty to opponents had black uniforms, and it gained the nickname «Black Hussars». Besides the black uniform this regiment had one more special attribute-the insignia in the form of skull and crossbones.

The 5th Hussar regiment participated also in battles against the Russian army, e.g. in the battles of Gross-JKgersdorf and Zorndorf. These fights with the Russian cavalry were not successful for Prussia.

In 1748 the 9th Hussar regiment was formed –the «New Black Hussars». After Frederick II the  «Black Hussars» were considered as examples of military virtue for the Prussian soldiers. During the World War II, the German Totenkopf Division, known for its cruelty, was intended as their as their successors.

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