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Men at arms

5th Honved Hussar Division

Cavalry units were rather prestigious and they usually had very fine and expensive badges. The fifth division consisted of Honved hussar regiments: the red devils. The origin of the name is supposed to stem from a Russian officer who witnessed the disastrous Gorodok cavalry attack of the division against the Russian machine guns. He was very deeply impressed by the bravery of the hussars who attacked through the open field on horseback until over 450 of them were massacred by gunfire. This happened in August 1914 when the new tactics of trench warfare were unknown, and the personal bravery of the soldiers even if it resulted in suicide attacks was highly appreciated on both sides. With the rapid drop in the personnel and even more importantly in the number of battle fit horses tactics soon changed and preference was given to sparing the strength of cavalry units. Nevertheless, the name remained with the division. Several badges of the division as well as some of the Hussar regiments depict the red devil motive. This picture exhibits a young soldier with several Kappenabzeichen on his field cap, among them we can see the 5th Division’s red devil badge. The badge itself was lacquered red, but the color had gone in most cases over the 100 years of existence.

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Nick
Nick
1 year ago

Several other badges are decorated with the devil.

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