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[[Image:Matthias Corvinus' Black Legion.jpg|thumb|right|Standard of the Black legion
This characteristic flag with a forked
tail was reconstructed after a miniature in Philostratus Chronicle, one of the Corvinas, representing the 1485 entry of János Corvinus, son of king Matthew, into Viennamarker. The black colour of the flag used to be white (argent) in fact, but the argent paint had become oxidised. The reconstruction preserves the original colour.]]


The Black Army ( , pronounced 'Black Legion or Host'—named after their black armor panoply) is in historigraphy the common name given to the excellent quality of diverse and polyglot military forces serving under the reign of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungarymarker.

It is recognized as one of the first standing continental European fighting force not under conscription and with regular pay since the Roman Empire. Hungary's Black Army traditionally encompasses the years from 1458 to 1490.

The core of the army consisted of 8-10 thousands of mercenaries (which later increased to 30,000), but its size doubled during the invasions. The soldiers were mainly Bohemians, Serbs Germans, Poles, and, from 1480, Hungarians. The main troops of the army were the infantry, artillery and light and heavy cavalry. The function of the heavy cavalry was to protect the light armored infantry and artillery, meanwhile the other corps inflicted random attacks on the enemy. One important victory of the Black Army of Hungary was at the Battle of Breadfieldmarker where the Hungarians defeated the Ottomans.The death of Matthias Corvinus meant the end of the "Black Army", because Ladislaus II was not able to cover the costs of the army.

Notes

  1. http://books.google.com/books?id=PmZmOkfkr9oC&pg=PA12&dq=serbs+black+army+hungary&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=serbs%20black%20army%20hungary&f=false "Hungary and the fall of Eastern Europe 1000-1568" David Nicolle,Angus McBride


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