Monday, January 23, 2006

A new jersey in town

A new Polish jersey! I don't mean Jerzy, as in Jerzy Dudek, I mean jersey as in soccer (or football for the British blokes) jersey. The Polish NT unveiled new jerseys just in time for World Cup 2006 today, and unlike the plain traditional jersey's featuring the red and white colors of the Polish flag, Puma decided to emblazon a background image on these puppies. Although some people inaccurately assume the image to be of the Polish Eagle, it is actually the famed Polish Hussar. Poland's winged horsemen are etched into every Poles psyche, and indeed every Pole knows that King Sobieski, with the Hussar's playing the prominent role, was able to defeat the mighty Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna on September 12, 1683. So now every Polish player will be able to play with spirit of 1683.

Still, is it a good move to use military symbols on a team jersey? I mean, what if the US decided to put an image of the M4 Sherman on its jersey? Okay, so no one remembers being overrun by a Polish Hussar, and the same cannot be said of the Sherman. Still, I think I should ask the Turkish NT whether they still feel any stigma over 1683, I'll let you know if they respond.


At 1/24/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger beatroot said...

But who are the ladies holding the ball? Will they be in germany? Perhaps they are one of the 'hooligans' that have annonced that they will also be in Germany for the finals to give, the Hussars, a helping hand to the Polish eagle? Or, something...

At 1/25/2006 10:08:00 PM, Blogger beatroot said...

This is the second p3 post to be taken up by Global Voices Online. See

More football posts coming :-)))

At 1/25/2006 10:27:00 PM, Blogger Bialynia said...

You own that section Beatroot! I've heard some dissapointment with the winged ball that also now appears on the new Polish jerseys, it looks suspiciously similair to the Detroit Redwings logo. Hmmmm...

At 1/25/2006 11:04:00 PM, Blogger Gustav said...

Is that true?

Got a link??

At 1/26/2006 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

Did you all notice the difference in the account of the battle on Bialynia's Battle of Vienna link, and the account of the battle in Sobieski's entry, also in Wikipedia?

Pretty big difference.

I've excerpted them here for you. Emphasis and comments mine, all mine.

From the "Battle of Vienna" entry:

At 4 in the morning, on September 12, the Austrian army on the left, and the German forces in the center moved forward, in an attack (which was aimed at preventing another long siege) against the Turks. Mustafa Pasha launched a counter-attack, with most of his force. Then the Polish infantry launched a massive assault upon the right flank. After 12 hours of fighting, Sobieski's Polish force held the high ground on the right.

At about five o'clock in the afternoon, four cavalry groups, one of them Austrian-German, and the other three composed of Polish hussars,

[Why do the Austrian-Germans come first, when the majority of groups were Polish?]

totaling 20,000 men in all and led by the Polish king, charged down the hills. In the confusion, they made straight for the Ottoman camps, while [not then] the Vienna garrison sallied out of its defenses, and joined in the assault. In less than three hours, the Habsburg and Polish forces won the battle, as the Turkish army beat a hasty retreat to the south and east.

The Turks lost about 15,000 men in the fighting, compared to approximately 4,000 for the Habsburg-Polish forces.

Ok, so in this version, Sobieski just led a Polish division that waited until after the main thrust of the enemy's attack had already begun before sweeping to an easy victory. Then he led another cavalry division down a hill, causing "confusion" and allowing the Austrian army to "sally out of its defenses" (whatever that means), and wipe out the Turks.

Earlier in the article, we learn that Sobieski was just "honoring an obligation".


Here's the account in the Sobieski entry:

Upon reaching Vienna, he joined up with the Austrians and Germans. Sobieski planned to attack on the 13th of September, but he had noticed that the Turkish resistance was weak and ordered a full attack on September 12, 1683. At 4:00 a.m. Sobieski’s army of about 81,000 men attacked a Turkish army that numbered about 130,000. Sobieski charged with husaria forward and soon after the Turkish battle line was broken as the Turks scattered in confusion. At 5:30 p.m., Sobieski entered the deserted tent of Kara Mustafa and the battle of Vienna was over.


The Pope and other foreign dignitaries hailed Sobieski as the "Savior of Vienna and Western European civilization." In a letter to his wife he wrote, "All the common people kissed my hands, my feet, my clothes; others only touched me, saying: 'Ah, let us kiss so valiant a hand!'"

If you google "Battle of Vienna", The Wikipedia article is hit number one.

At 1/26/2006 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Bialynia said...

No one has written about the ball with the Hussar wings looking like a Redwings logo on any blogs, but on this was a topic of discussion.

As for the Wikipedia article, the differences are pretty dramatic. At the end of the day though you know Sobieski accomplished quite a feat, they built a chapel in his name at the top of the hill from which he charged.

At 1/26/2006 12:49:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

Yeah, right. The church isn't even there anymore. There is a nice new restaurant there though. And a tower to view Vienna from - the panoramas are great, I can tell you from first-hand experience.

But there's no mention of Sobieski anywhere.

Well at least he's still got the popular Vienna-Warsaw line...

At 1/26/2006 01:02:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

Further investigation reveals that there is apparently a small church, called Kahlenbergkirche - possibly St. Josef's? - wherein there is a chapel in the sacristy (German link) named in memory of Sobieski.

Oh honor of honors!

At 1/26/2006 01:21:00 AM, Blogger Bialynia said...

And he has cigarettes named in his honor, and a B-list actress!

At 2/08/2006 02:21:00 AM, Blogger kielbasa dawg said...

and a bad ass hotel in warsaw, by the way i love this polak hating blog thing. awsome.......

At 2/08/2006 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

There's plenty named after Sobieski in Poland, dawg - the point is whether Austrians even realized it was his genius in battle that was the major factor in defending their capital city - not to mention Europe.

Anyway, we ain't polak-hating dawg. Some of us are polaks (me not being one of them)- though we do tend to complain sometimes about expat life here.

At 2/22/2006 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous NelsonK said...

Ok but when Polish Hussars were fighting with turks in 1683 and set the europe free from those Jerks the countries like US didn't even exist!!!

And if u like u may search something about Hussars fighting with Sweden army in XIV century, when 3000 Ploish Hussars wiped 14000 swedish men, and didn't even take much casulties.

At 2/22/2006 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Gustav said...

The hussars definitely rocked.

Fitting then, that they'll be on the Polish team's jersey. I can't wait to see the modern day hussars in action. (Though my guess is they won't be nearly as successful ;-))

At 2/25/2006 04:28:00 PM, Blogger wongfilmfan said...

Anyone know why the eagle crest appears on these jerseys but not on the ones sold at Eurosport (

At 5/07/2006 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Roman Werpachowski said...

I don't think the Turks have a reason to complain. They were invading another country and got their noses bruised. It's their fault ;-)
BTW, Poland had quite an interesting relationship with Turkey. We had many wars, but when Poland got carved up in the end of the XVIIIth century, Turkey was one of the few countries which refused to recognize the new state of things.

At 6/20/2006 02:23:00 AM, Anonymous Polska Husaria said...

Who the heck cares. As a Patriotic Americna of Polish descent I applaud the use of the Winged Hussar! No one remembers the Turks invaded Europe. How many Europeans were slaughtered by fanatical muslim invaders? A Free Europeowes everything to King Jan Sobieski and his winged hussars and pancerni!

At 6/20/2006 02:27:00 AM, Anonymous Polska Husaria said...

I am a Winged Hussar reenactor. After THOUSANDS of dollars getting my armor, clothes, weapons and wings, I love what Poland did! Just hope that the my fellow Poles get their act together on the soccer field. Great to see Poland has not forgotten their roots. Winged Hussars live on today!

At 6/20/2006 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

Thanks Polska Hussaria,

Unfortuntately, we've moved.

Please come visit us at our new site:


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