The Hussite Wars 1419–36 by Stephen Turnbull

By Stephen Turnbull

In 1415, the judicial homicide of the non secular reformer Jan Hus sparked an important rebellion in Bohemia. His demise led inside many years to the Hussite revolution opposed to the monarchy, the German aristocracy and the Church institution.

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Extra info for The Hussite Wars 1419–36

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In 1420 he led the attack on the fortress of Vysehrad at Prague. He is shown here mounted for battle, wearing plate armour essentially similar to that of figure B1, with his sword slung at his left hip and carrying a war lance. His heraldic arms are displayed on his coat armour, shield, and horse caparison. C 1 : Cenek of Wartenburg This plate depicts three leaders of the crusader armies which opposed the Hussites; little is known of their actual appearance, so we take this opportunity to show variations on the typical armour and display of the early 15th century.

Arbitrarily, we illustrate armour typical of the European aristocracy in the early years of the century. His 'houndskull' bascinet is worn attached by staples to a deep, padded mail aventail sweeping down over the shoulders. Plate armour of the finest quality, probably made in Milan and decorated with gilded details, covers his OPPOSITE Jan Zizka leading the Hussites, from a medieval manuscript. Note that Zizka (centre, on white horse) is shown as a blind man with both eyes bandaged; his hat, tunic and boots are shown as black, his caped hood as steel-blue, his horse harness as red leather.

Here Zizka arranged his position between two lakes, using the dam as a defence for one flank, and arranging his 12 wagons to cover the other flank and his rear. In the ensuing battle the losses were heavy on both sides, but the war wagons proved their worth. From these modest beginnings at Nekmer and Sudomer the use of war wagons developed into a distinct system of tactics. Construction The famous war wagons of the Hussites were essentially heavy, four-wheeled farm carts to which extra planking had been fitted for protection.

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