A kozhukh is a traditional Ukrainian fur coat. Worn in the winter, the kozhukh was made of sheepskin, sometimes decorated with embroidery and with leather, cords and other accessories, they were tight at the waist, sometimes long. There were those with straight backs and those with detached backs. Variations of the kozhukh were worn throughout Ukraine, but it was used in the middle Dnieper River region, including the Left Bank and steppe areas, in Polissya, they were popular during the Cossack Hetmanate period, though they were worn during the Kievan Rus' period. In the last decade, coats based on the traditional Kozhukh have become fashionable again in Ukraine. Kobeniak Kozhushanka Kontusz
A voivodeship is the area administered by a voivode in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine and Serbia; the area of extent of voivodeship resembles that of a duchy in western medieval states, much as the title of voivode was equivalent to that of a duke. Other equivalent titles and areas in medieval Eastern Europe included ban and banate. In a modern context, the word refers to one of the provinces of Poland. Poland as of 2017 has 16 voivodeships. A voivod was a military commander who stood, in a state's structure, next to the ruler; the word came to denote an administrative official. Words for "voivodeship" in various languages include the Polish: województwo; some of these words, or variants of them, may be used in English. Named for the word for "voivodeship" is the autonomous Serbian province of Vojvodina. Though the word "voivodeship" appears in English dictionaries such as the OED and Webster's, it is not in common general usage, voivodeships in Poland and elsewhere are referred to as "provinces".
Depending on context, historic voivodeships may be referred to as "duchies", "palatinates", "administrative districts" or "regions". Since 1999, Poland has been divided into the following 16 voivodeships or provinces: Greater Poland Voivodeship Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship Lesser Poland Voivodeship Łódź Voivodeship Lower Silesian Voivodeship Lublin Voivodeship Lubusz Voivodeship Masovian Voivodeship Opole Voivodeship Podlaskie Voivodeship Pomeranian Voivodeship Silesian Voivodeship Subcarpathian Voivodeship Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship West Pomeranian Voivodeship In the territory of modern Romania and Moldova, the regions of Wallachia and Transylvania were voivodeships. Historical voivodeships in the territory of modern Serbia include the Voivodeship of Salan, Voivodeship of Sermon and Voivodeship of Syrmia of Radoslav Čelnik. A voivodeship called Serbian Vojvodina was established in 1848–1849; this is the origin of the name of the present-day Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina.
Historical voivodeships in the territory of modern Romania and Serbia include the Voivodeship of Glad and the Voivodeship of Ahtum. For more information about the divisions of Polish lands in particular periods, see Administrative divisions of Poland. Voivodeships in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: In the Polish Crown Lands: Poznań Voivodeship Kalisz Voivodeship Gniezno Voivodeship Sieradz Voivodeship Łęczyca Voivodeship Brześć Kujawski Voivodeship Inowrocław Voivodeship Chełmno Voivodeship Malbork Voivodeship Pomeranian Voivodeship Płock Voivodeship Rawa Voivodeship Masovian Voivodeship Kraków Voivodeship Sandomierz Voivodeship Lublin Voivodeship Podlasie Voivodeship Ruthenian Voivodeship Bełz Voivodeship Wolhynia Voivodeship Podole Voivodeship Bracław Voivodeship Kijów Voivodeship Czernihów Voivodeship In the historical Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Vilnius Voivodeship Trakai Voivodeship Nowogródek Voivodeship Brest-Litovsk Voivodeship Minsk Voivodeship Mścisław Voivodeship Smolensk Voivodeship Vitebsk Voivodeship Połock Voivodeship In the historical Duchy of Livonia: Wenden Voivodeship Dorpat Voivodeship Parnawa Voivodeship Inflanty Voivodeship Voivodeships of Poland, 1921–1939: Silesian Voivodeship Białystok Voivodeship Kielce Voivodeship Kraków Voivodeship Łódź Voivodeship Lublin Voivodeship Lwów Voivodeship Nowogródek Voivodeship Polesie Voivodeship Pomeranian Voivodeship Poznań Voivodeship Stanisławów Voivodeship Tarnopol Voivodeship Warsaw Voivodeship Wilno Voivodeship Volhynian Voivodeship Voivodeships of Poland, 1945–1975: Białystok Voivodeship Bydgoszcz Voivodeship Gdańsk Voivodeship Katowice Voivodeship Kielce Voivodeship Koszalin Voivodeship Kraków Voivodeship Łódź Voivodeship Lublin Voivodeship Olsztyn Voivodeship Opole Voivodeship Poznań Voivodeship Rzeszów Voivodeship Szczecin Voivodeship Warsaw Voivodeship Wrocław Voivodeship Zielona Góra VoivodeshipVoivodeships of Poland, 1975–1998: Biała Podlaska Voivodeship Białystok Voivodeship Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship Bydgoszcz Voivode
The szlachta was a privileged noble class in the Kingdom of Poland, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Grand Duchy and its neighbouring Kingdom became a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; the origins of the szlachta are shrouded in obscurity and mystery and have been the subject of several theories. Traditionally, its members were landowners in the form of "manorial estates" or so-called folwarks; the nobility won substantial and increasing political and legal privileges for itself throughout its entire history until the decline and end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the late 18th century. Apart from providing officers for the army, among its chief civic obligations were electing the monarch, plus filling advisory and honorary roles at court, e.g. Stolnik - "Master of the King's Pantry," or their assistant, in the state government, e.g. Podskarbi, "Minister to the Treasury", they served as elected representatives in the Sejm and in local Sejmiki assemblies, appointing officials and overseeing judicial and financial governance, including tax-raising, at the provincial level.
Their roles included Voivodeship, Marshal of Voivodeship and Starosta. The szlachta gained considerable institutional privileges between 1333 and 1370 in the Kingdom of Poland during the reign of King Casimir III the Great. In 1413, following a series of tentative personal unions between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, the existing Lithuanian-Ruthenian nobility formally joined this class; as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth evolved and expanded in territory, its membership grew to include the leaders of Ducal Prussia and Livonia. During the Partitions of Poland from 1772 to 1795, minor szlachta began to lose these legal privileges and social status, while elites became part of nobility of partitioning countries. Although in reality, szlachta members could have unequal status due to wealth and political influence, there were few official distinctions between the elites and common nobility. Unlike in most other countries, those few hereditary titles that there were in the Kingdom of Poland, were bestowed by foreign monarchs, including personal hereditary titles granted by the Pope, see Feliks Sobański as an example.
While in Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Samogitia princely titles were inherited either by descendants of Old Lithuanian-Ruthenian Rurikid and Gediminids princely families, or by princely dynasties of Tatar origin that settled there. The Polish term szlachta is derived from the Old High German word slahta. In modern German Geschlecht - which came from the Proto-Germanic *slagiz, "blow", "strike", shares the Anglo-Saxon root for "slaughter" or the verb "to slug" – means "breeding" or gender. Like many other Polish words pertaining to nobility, it derives from Germanic words: So for example, the Polish for a "knight" is "rycerz", a cognate of the German "Ritter"; the Polish word for "coat of arms" is "herb" from the German "Erbe" or "heritage". 17th century Poles assumed that "szlachta" came from the German "schlachten" "to slaughter" or "to butcher", was therefore related to the German word for battle, "Schlacht". Some early Polish historians thought the term might have derived instead from the name of the legendary proto-Polish chief, mentioned in Polish and Czech writings.
A few exceptionally wealthy and powerful szlachta members during the 17th and 18th centuries came to be known as "magnates" - "możni": see Magnates of Poland and Lithuania. The Polish term "szlachta" designated the formalized, hereditary noble class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which constituted the nation itself, ruled without competition. In official Latin documents of the old Commonwealth, the hereditary szlachta were referred to as "nobilitas" from the Latin term, could be compared in legal status to English or British peers of the realm, or to the ancient Roman idea of cives, "citizen". Today the word szlachta translates as "nobility". In its broadest sense, it can denote some non-hereditary honorary knighthoods and baronial titles granted by other European monarchs, including the Holy See. 19th-century landowners of non-noble descent were referred to as szlachta by courtesy or error, when they owned manorial estates but were not in fact noble by birth. Szlachta denotes the Ruthenian and Lithuanian nobility from before the old-Commonwealth.
In the past, a misconception sometimes led to the mistranslation of "szlachta" as "gentry" rather than "nobility". This mistaken practice began due to the inferior economic status of many szlachta members compared to that of the nobility in other European countries; the szlachta included those rich and powerful enough to be magnates down to the indigent with a noble lineage, but with no land, no castle, no money, no village, no subject peasants. At least 60,000 families belonged to the nobility, only about 100 were wealthy, all the rest were poor. Over time, numerically most lesser szlachta became or were poorer than their few rich peers in their social class, many were worse off than the non-noble gentry, they were called szlachta zagrodowa, that is, "nobility from within the second estate compound", sometimes referred to as drobna szlachta, "petty nobles" or yet, szlachta okoliczna, meaning "local". Impoverished szlachta families were forced to become tenants of their wealthier peers, they were described as "tenant nobles" who paid rent.
In doing so, they retained all their constitutional prerogati
Szczerbiec is the coronation sword, used in crowning ceremonies of most Polish monarchs from 1320 to 1764. It is on display in the treasure vault of the Royal Wawel Castle in Kraków as the only preserved piece of the medieval Polish Crown Jewels; the sword is characterized by a hilt decorated with magical formulas, Christian symbols and floral patterns, as well as a narrow slit in the blade which holds a small shield with the coat of arms of Poland. Its name, derived from the Polish word szczerba meaning a gap, notch or chip, is sometimes rendered into English as "the Notched Sword" or "the Jagged Sword", although its blade has straight and smooth edges. A legend links Szczerbiec with King Bolesław I the Brave, said to have chipped the sword by hitting it against the Golden Gate, Kiev during his intervention in the Kievan succession crisis in 1018. However, the Golden Gate was only constructed in 1037 and the sword is dated to the late 12th or 13th century, it was first used as a coronation sword by Władysław I the Elbow-high in 1320.
Looted by Prussian troops in 1795, it changed hands several times during the 19th century until it was purchased in 1884 for the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Soviet Union returned it to Poland in 1928. During World War II, Szczerbiec was evacuated to Canada and did not return to Kraków until 1959. In the 20th century, an image of the sword was adopted as a symbol by Polish nationalist and far-right movements. Szczerbiec is a 98 cm-long ceremonial sword bearing rich Gothic ornamentation, dated to the mid-13th century, it is classified as a type XII sword with a type I pommel and a type 6 crossguard according to the Oakeshott typology, although the blade may have changed its shape due to centuries of corrosion and intensive cleaning before every coronation. The hilt consists of a flat grip and an arched crossguard; the grip is 10.1 cm long, 1.2 cm thick, from 2 to 3 cm wide. It is rectangular in cross-section and its hard edges make it difficult to handle and impractical for fighting, indicative of the sword's purely ceremonial usage.
The pommel is 4.5 cm in diameter and 2.6 cm thick, with a chamfered outer ring, 1.3 cm wide. The crossguard forms an arch, 1.8 cm wide in the middle and widens up to 3.4 cm at both ends. It measures 20 cm in length along its upper edge; the pommel and the crossguard are made of silver. The core of the grip is a brass chest encasing the tang of the blade, it was made in the 19th century to replace an original organic core, which had decomposed. At the same time the tang was riveted to the top of the pommel; the head of the rivet, 0.5 cm in diameter, rests atop a rectangular washer measuring 1.1 cm × 1.4 cm. All parts of the hilt are covered with golden plates, which are engraved with sharp or rounded styli and decorated with niello, or black metallic inlay that contrasts against the golden background; each plate is 1 mm thick and made of about 18-carat gold. The niello designs include inscriptions written in late Romanesque majuscule, Christian symbols, floral patterns; the floral ornaments are in negative, that is, golden against a nielloed background.
On the obverse side of the hilt, the pommel bears a large stylized letter T on top of a letter C or G between the Greek letters Α and ω surmounted with little crosses. Below the letter T, there is another cross placed within a flower with twelve petals. On the chamfered edge around this design runs a circular Latin inscription in two rings which reads: Rec figura talet ad amorem regum / et principum iras iudicum; the grip bears the symbols of two of the Four Evangelists: the lion of Saint Mark and the ox of Saint Luke, as well as an Agnus Dei. The crossguard bears the following Latin inscription: Quicumque hec / nomina Deii secum tu/lerit nullum periculum / ei omnino nocebit; the reverse side of the pommel is decorated with a vine bush surrounded by a wreath of vine leaves. On the reverse of the grip, there are the eagle of Saint John and the angel of Saint Matthew, another Agnus Dei; the crossguard bears, above another pattern of vine leaves, an inscription in corrupted Hebrew in Latin script: Con citomon Eeve Sedalai Ebrebel.
On the opposite ends of the crossguard, there are again the symbols of Saints Matthew. The circumference of the pommel is decorated with a rhombic pattern, while the upper side of the crossguard – with a similar triangular pattern; the narrow sides of the grip used to be embellished with inscribed silver plates, however, were lost in the 19th century. These lost inscriptions are known from graphical documentation made by King Stanislaus Augustus's court painter, Johann Christoph Werner, in 1764 and by Jacek Przybylski in 1792. One of the plates had been broken by that time with only part of the inscription preserved: Liste est glaud... H Bolezlai Duc.... The missing part of the first inscription is only known from an old replica of Szczerbiec which once belonged to the
Kosynierzy is the term for soldiers armed with war scythes. First appearing in the Kościuszko Insurrection of 1794, kosynierzy became one of the symbols of the struggle for Polish independence; the term comes from the Polish language. In Poland the kosynierzy formations are best remembered for their decisive role in the Battle of Racławice, 1794, during the Kościuszko Insurrection. Through this battle, well known in Poland, because of Kościuszko's influence and pro-peasant stance, the kosynierzy became one of the symbols of the fight for Polish independence, as well as a symbol of self-identification of the peasantry with the Polish nation. One of the kosynierzy, Wojciech Bartosz Głowacki, recognized for his bravery in the battle of Racławice, became one of the most famous Polish peasants, a symbol in his own right, attracting what some described as a cult following; the tradition of the kosynierzy would be commemorated through peasant-staged battle reenactments, statues and plays. During the Kościuszko Uprising, most of the peasants who joined the kosynierzy units came from the Kraków region, inspired by the Proclamation of Połaniec that Kościuszko issued there.
Local quartermasters issued a simple uniform based on the Kraków regional peasant garb. This garb soon became traditionally associated with the kosynierzy. Despite the popular myth, the kosynierzy were only a support formation in Kościuszko's forces during the uprising. Kosynierzy units fought in the November Uprising of 1830–31, the Kraków Uprising of 1846, the January Uprising of 1863–64, as late as during the German invasion of Poland of 1939. Though less remembered, the kosynierzy's participation in the November and January Uprisings were more significant than during the Kościuszko Insurrection
Military eagles are military insignia used in the Polish Armed Forces, based on the White Eagle of the Polish coat of arms. They are used on elements of military uniforms such as hats and buttons, as well as on military banners, medals, publications etc. One variant exists for each of the four branches of the Armed Forces. Additionally, the Minister of National Defence, the Marshal of Poland, generals and admirals use their own variants. Order of the White Eagle "Znaki Sił Zbrojnych RP. Odznaki tytułów honorowych oddziałów i pododdziałów wojskowych". Wortal Wojsko Polskie. Miniterstwo Obrony Narodowej. Retrieved 2007-10-20. Pietras, Tomasz. "Od słowiańskich stanic do orzełka wojskowego. Z dziejów polskiej symboliki wojskowej". Retrieved 2007-10-20
History of the Polish Army
The Polish Army is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. The name has been in use since the early 19th century, although it can be used to refer to earlier formations as well. Polish Armed Forces consist of the Army and Air Force branches and are under the command of the Ministry of National Defense; the first Polish Army was created under the Piast dynasty. The prince's forces were composed of a group of armed men mounted, named drużyna, their key role was the protection of the monarch and supporting the taxation effort. Their organisation was similar to other such armed units of other Slavic rulers, were of foreign origin. With time, the early tribal warriors gave rise to knights and by the 15th century, the whole social class of the szlachta or Polish gentry; the Polish gentry formed a distinct element within the ancient tribal groupings. This is uncertain, however, as there is little documentation on the early history of Poland, or of the movements of the Slavonic people into what became the territory so designated.
Around the 14th century, there was little difference between those called knights and those referred to as szlachta in Poland. Members of the szlachta had the personal obligation to defend the country, thereby became the kingdom's privileged social class, it was them who were obliged to build and support castles as well as to keep peace and order on territory they were assigned. Commonwealth armies were commanded by four hetmans; the armies comprised: Wojsko kwarciane: Regular units with wages paid from taxes Wojsko komputowe: Semi-regular units created for times of war Pospolite ruszenie: Szlachta levée en masse Piechota łanowa, piechota wybraniecka and piechota dymowa: Units based on peasant recruits Registered Cossacks: Troops made up of Cossacks, who were recruited until 1699. These units included: Husaria: heavy cavalry armed with lances. Cossacks: general name for all Commonwealth units of light cavalry if they did not contain a single ethnic Cossack. Tabor: military horse-drawn wagons carrying army supplies.
Their use for defensive formations was perfected by the Cossacks, to a smaller extent by other Commonwealth units. After partitions of Poland, during the period from 1795 until 1918, Polish military was recreated several times in Poland during uprisings like the November Uprising of 1830 and the January Uprising in 1863, outside Poland like during Napoleon Bonaparte wars; the Kingdom of Poland, ruled by the Russian Tsar with a certain degree of autonomy, had a separate Polish army in the years 1815-1830, disbanded after the unsuccessful insurrection. Large numbers of Poles served in the armies of the partitioning powers, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However, these powers took care to spread Polish soldiers all over their armies and as a rule did not form predominantly Polish units. During World War I, the Polish Legions were set up in Galicia, the southern part of Poland under Austrian occupation, they were both disbanded after the Central Powers failed to provide guarantees of Polish independence after the war.
General Józef Haller, the commander of the Second Brigade of the Polish Legion, switched sides in late 1917, via Murmansk took part of his troops to France, where he created the Blue Army. It was joined by several thousand Polish volunteers from the United States, it fought valiantly on the French front in 1917 and 1918. When Poland regained independence in 1918, it recreated its military which participated in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1922 and in the Second World War 1939-1945. During the German occupation of Poland, a number of resistance movements were created, of which the Armia Krajowa was most significant; the Polish armed forces known as Polish People's Army, were part of the Soviet-controlled Warsaw Pact. Polish units took part in occupying Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring in 1968; the command post for the invasion was located on Polish soil, at Marshal Ivan Yakubovsky's Legnica headquarters. After January 1990 the name of the armed forces was changed to'Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland,' to accord with the Polish State's new official name.
In March 2003 the Polish Armed Forces took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, deploying 1500 personnel, special forces and a support ship. Following the destruction of Saddam's regime the Polish Land Forces supplied a brigade and a division headquarters for the 17-nation Multinational Division Central-South, part of the U. S.-led Multi-National Force Iraq. At its peak Poland had 2,500 soldiers in the south of the country. Poland deployed about ten attack and transport helicopters as part of its force in Iraq between 2004 and 2008; the troop number was reduced to 900 in 2006. Of the 900 soldiers, only 80 left their Forwar