A tour of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The Husaria statue at Our Lady of Czestochowa and memorial to the Katyn Forest

There is a fantastic statue of a Winged Hussar (Husaria) in the cemetery at Our Lady of Czestochowa.

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

 

The Statue is in the cemetery section of Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine. The Husaria  were the elite Polish Cavalry. During the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Turkish army was poised to capture the walled city of Vienna. If Vienna fell, the Muslim Turks would most likely have conquered all  of Europe. There were an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 Turks besieging Vienna and it’s 15,000 defenders. The aging Polish King, Jan III Sobieski had signed a treaty with Austria. With the permission of the Polish Parliament he headed to Vienna with 30,000 Polish troops, 3000 of which were Husaria.  Sobieski stopped to pray briefly at every shrine on the way. When he arrived near Vienna, he met with another 30,000 troops of the Holy League. The allies made Sobieski the overall commander.

He took his men and cannons on what was thought to be an impossible trek to the Kahlenberg hills which overlooked Vienna. He held an open air mass on the morning of September 12th, 1683. He began a cannon bombardment of the Turkish troops and camp below. The Turkish Grand Vizer, Kara Mustapha, moved about 90,000 of his men to face the Poles, Austrians and Germans on the Kahlenberg. Sobieski sent out one Banner (100 men) of Husaria to probe the Turks.  These men basically sacrificed themselves as they were no match for the 30,000 men they attacked.

Sobieski now had critical information on the Turkish formation. At 5:30 PM he led 3000 Husaria  and an additional 15,000 cavalry into the 30,000 strong left wing of the Turks that had been positioned against the Holy League. His 14 year old son rode at his side. That part of the battle lasted only a few minutes. Sobieski and the Husaria succeeded in cutting a quarter mile wide hole through the Turkish left. The Husaria pressed on to the Turkish camp and headquarters. The Austrians under the Duke of Lorraine and other allies pressed their attacks on the disintegrating Turkish Lines. The remaining defenders of Vienna under Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg sallied out from Vienna to hit the now retreating Turks from the rear.
When Sobieski attacked the Turks were in the process of mining a Bastion. Had they been successful, the battle would have gone the other way.
Sobieski’s victory speech was “Venimus, Vidimus, Deus Vicit”.. His paraphrase of Ceaser was “We came, we saw, God Conquered.”
The Husaria went into battle with 4′ wings on their backs, an 18′ lance that outreached any pikes of the time, a carbine or bow on their back, 2 to 4 large pistols, a 4′ mail piercing sword, a saber and a battle axe. They wore full musket resistant armor. Their technique was to charge in Banners of 100 men. They used warm blooded horses that were fast and agile. During an attack they could change directions. After they went through an enemy formation, they would wheel around, regroup and attack the disorganized enemy from the rear. Once the Husaria cracked the formation, more lightly clad cavalry and then infantry would follow up.
The Poles and Sobieski were deeply religious following the Roman Catholic religion. It is not surprising that a Polish shrine such as Czestochowa would have a statue honoring the Husaria.
The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Husaria statue at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Memorial dedicated to the Polish leaders massacred by the communists

Memorial dedicated to the Polish leaders massacred by the communists

There is a plaque memorializing the massacre of over 10,000 Polish leaders and intellectuals by the Communist government in the Katyn Forest.

The statue of the Winged Hussar with the plaque  is located at the spot marked Pomnik Msciciela

The postal city for the shrine is Doylestown but the shrine is in New Britain township.

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