среда, 21 апреля 2010 г.

Cossacks of the Napoleonic Wars-сossacks' weapons.

"He knows how to use this weapon [lance]
with great skill and security,
nevertheless the fact that it is 1.5 foot
longer as the Polish lance." - Prokesch


The rank-and-file carried 8-foot long lance with a steel spearhead surmounting a steel ball to secure easy withdrawal of the point. Some Cossacks were also armed with curved sabers and 1-8 (!) pistols. Some carried carbines or muskets or other firearms. Furthermor, each sotnia (squadron) had muskets for 11 Cossacks trained as marksmen.

The officers were armed with sabers, but they have never mastered this weapon.
"... in 1812 ... a Prussian uhlan major fought a man-to-man duel with a Cossack officer (armed with saber) between their two regiments and captured him ..." ( - John Elting)
In 1814 near St.Dizier, the Guard Mamelukes "took a crack at some Cossacks whom 'they sabered in their accustomed style." - General Lefebvre-Desnouettes
Hungarian hussar "Samuel Hemmer... had engaged a large Cossack patrol by himself in 1812." Hollins - "Hungarian Hussar 1756-1815"

Prokesch writes, "... the lance is their main weapon. The Cossack knows how to use this weapon with great skill and security, nevertheless the fact that it is one and a half foot longer as the Polish lance. He knows how to use his sabre just as well; officers and NCO’s practice them for use against the Turks. The pistol is of less value to him. He considers it not really as a weapon, but only as a tool to scare the enemy. He fires only to fire, not to hit anything, and in common there are few Cossacks which use their pistols... Tettenborn armed his Cossacks completely with French muskets... The Cossack loves the use of a firearm, because of the reason that he fears the one of the enemy. He wants to take artillery with him, and the name Poushki (cannon) is for him a word of joy, as well as of fear...A tenth of every squadron consists of marksmen; Strelki. Rifle and pistols are mostly Turkish or Persian booty." (Prokesch - "Ueber den Kosaken, und dessen Brauchbarkeit im Felde")



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