Tag Archives: hussar

Hussars of the Andes

Tracing its organization back to 1810, Regimiento de Caballería N°3 “Húsares” of the Chilean army is one of the few horse-mounted cavalry units in the world.

And yes, they used to be comparable to Central/Eastern European hussars of the same era and one unit even sported an all-black uniform and wore the common Prussian skulls, calling themselves the Húsares de la Muerte. Check out this drawing of a Chilean Húsares de la gran Guardia, circa 1812.

Looks right out of The Duelists.

Based in Angol along the Nahuelbuta Mountain range, the Chilean hussars’ special capability is still needed in the same way that the German and Austrian army to this day maintains pack horses for use with mountain troops in the Alps and the U.S. Marines and SOCOM still have horse riding/packing schools and courses– it still works.

Of course, even with 212 years of history under their saddles, their kit has been upgraded to reflect the times, even if they still have some Prussian/Hungarian throwbacks.

Check out the below to see the in action. 

With uniforms this snazzy, how could they lose?

The below image shows a  great selection of Soldiers of various units of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian army in 1914 (click to big up).

From left to right:
Austrian Landwehr ulan cavalrymen,
Austrian Landwehr (infantryman),
Bosnian Jäger,
Austrian Jäger,
Austrian infantryman,
Hungarian infantryman,
Tyrolean and Imperial Jäger,
Bosnian infantryman,
Hungarian honvéd infantryman,
Common, or joint (közös) Hussar in a new camp uniform,
Common, or joint (közös) hussar,
Common, or joint (közös) Jäger,
Common, or joint (közös) dragoon.

Note the Austro-Hungarian bluejacket at the far right, dressed for shore duty.

And it doesn’t even include such exotic units as the Albanians:

or ski troops…

Or crazy weapon systems like the water-cooled Standschütze Hellriegel Submachine Gun

While they looked good in photos and on paper, the Austrian forces were so poorly led, confusingly staffed and shallow in depth that German warlord Gen. Erich von Ludendorff said that to fight alongside old Franz Josef’s army was like being “shackled to a corpse.”

Of course, the uniforms would become much more practical as the Great War’s modern combat left the quaint 19th Century stylings behind in the mud of trench warfare– especially on the horrors of the Italian front, where the Austrians gave a better account of themselves than against the Serbs and Russians in the opening stages of the conflict.

Austro-Hungarian assault troops k.u.k. Sturmbatallione. They’ re-equipped with Austrian zeitzunderhandgranates, wire cutters and a variety of small arms.