The name Hussar is translated to mean "Light Cavalry". Known for mobility on the battlefield (in an Age when Heavy Cavalry ruled), the need for lighter and more mobile forces were needed. In Polish history, The Winged Hussars were one of the primary types of cavalry deployed by The Kings of Poland and Hungary (between the 16th to 18th Centuries). Although Serbia may have first fielded a prototype of Winged Hussar class of warriors - the use of these type of soldiers quickly spread through the Region. As time progressed, Hussars became the "elite force" of Poland's Medieval Armies. Primarily armed with The Lance, "Balkan Shield" and one of the many variations of sword or sabers produced regionally, they were well equipped to handle the rigors of the battlefield. Known as "Banners" (the regional military formation term for Squadron or Troop), Hussars fought in nearly every Middle Ages conflict in the Kingdoms history.
Many were recruited from Serbia and other Balkan Nations. Known for their decorative and highly stylized "wings", that were attached to the back of their armor, many theories have been put forward to explain their actual practical use. Made form Eagle, Goose, Swan or Ostrich feathers, these were arranged on a 3 to 4 foot wooden or metal frame (inverted). Resembling large "wings", as the Hussar would ride (or charge) forward through the wind - a peculiar noise would be generated. Several hundred men therefore would create a frightening sound (advancing towards an enemy). It was also said to make it seem that many "thousands" were coming. It was an excellent example of Medieval psychological warfare (on par with The Horned Helmets of The Teutonic Knights). As time progressed (as well as practical military technology), the use of "The Wings" declined for more battlefield practical uniforms (around the 18th Century).