Hussite Wall

  • Tactic
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The Hussite were followers of Bohemian Religious Reformer Jan Hus. As pro-Protestant, they raised an Army which declared War on Catholicism in Central Europe (The Hussite Wars, 1419-1434 AD). The Hussite were remarkable Soldiers who refined several standing tactics from Antiquity. One such was the famed ''Hussite Wall'' (also known as The Wagenberg Tactic). By the 15th Century, primitive firearms and artillery were becoming the dominant form of Warfare. So too, were the more ancient form of field fortification known as The Mobile Shield Wall. These and related devices can be traced to 5thj Century AD Ancient China. Most Medieval European Armies deployed a form of mobile (non-fixed) protective wall. These were rolled or driven into position (horse or oxen) and used to protect soldiers from missiles (stone projectiles, arrows and lead bullet). Another dominant form of military tactics of The Era was The Pike Square (and later combined Pike and Shot Formation), In the case of The Pike Square, this formation was a square shaped ''box'' of ranked soldiers equipped with Halberd or related weapons. It created a form of ''fort'' from which an Enemy would encounter weapons on all ''sides'' of the formation Pattern. Similarly, with firearms added, ranks of musket could likewise support the ranks of Halberd and Spear. The Hussite tactic not only combined all of the above, but refined it by adding large mobile walls which were either carried by several soldiers or attached to carts or wagons. These ''walls'' were made of wood reinforced with steel plating. Small windows were cut from which firearms and small hand-held cannon (Handgonners), could be deployed. Several layers of protective walls were created so that an actual mini-fort could actually be created. Hussite Cavalry and Command would be placed in the center of the ''fort'' (for protection or for preparation of a charge). Hussite ''War Wagons'' of this type were referred to as Wagenbergs. Although they were used for transporting soldiers and material, their main purpose was in their deployment as mobile forts. It was this same idea which would be revisited by The Boers with their Laager Forts during The Anglo-Boer War of the 1890s-1900s.