Hussite soldiers portrayed on stove tiles, 15th century Bohemia

Hussite foot soldiersJan Zižka on a horse and two foot soldiers
Hussite foot soldiersHussite wagon
Image source: myarmoury




Extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath:
124, based on a Hussite stele, is a wagon-driver, complete with his long whip. He wears typical 15th century Bohemian dress, in this instance comprising a characteristic sleeveless, cross-over style topcoat, plus a hood and fur-brimmed cap. The large wallet-cum-satchel at his belt was apparently also typical if 19th-20th century Czechoslovakian paintings can be trusted. Wagon-drivers customarily rode the near-side rear horse of a four-horse team.

Note that neither of these figures wears any form of metal armour, which fits with a contemporary German chronicler's description of Zizka's troops as 'peasantry without proper armour, using only flails, clubs, crossbows and spears.' However, the Austrian ordinance of 1431, doubtless copying Hussite practice, specifies that as well as a sword, knife and 'iron hat' each wagon soldier must equip himself with a pair of iron gauntlets and a breastplate or at least a Schiessjoppen or padded jupon. In addition each handgunner had to bring one pound of bullets and each crossbowman a minimum of 10 bolts.




See also a Caricature of a Taborite brethren, Hussite, 15th century Bohemia
Hussite Wagon Soldiers in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath, based on a stove tile
Other 15th Century Illustrations Costume & Soldiers