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an arm of the cavalry. The name “hussar” first appeared in Hungary in 1458 as the name of special cavalry detachments of the court militia. In the 16th century it was borrowed by the Poles as the name for special units of heavy cavalry of the nobility. Regular hussar regiments were formed in France, Austria, and Prussia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries; they were used as light cavalry for activity in the rear and on the flanks of the enemy and for carrying on reconnaissance and pursuit. They maintained their importance until the middle of the 19th century, but by the end of the 19th century the difference between individual arms of the cavalry disappeared, and the name “hussar” was kept in certain armies only for the sake of tradition.
In Russia detached hussar units made up of foreigners were activated in the 17th century on the model of the Polish hussars. At the start of the 18th century small irregular hussar detachments (regiments in 1741–59) were formed of Serbs, Moldavians, Wallachians. and other immigrants from neighboring countries. In 1765, after the elimination of the Ukrainian Sloboda Cossack Host, hussar regiments in settlements were formed from former cossacks. In 1783–84 all hussar regiments were renamed light cavalry and changed into regular troops. The name “hussars” was restored in the 1790’s. In 1825 there were 14 hussar regiments (one-third of the entire cavalry). In 1882 all army hussar regiments were renamed dragoons. In 1907 the name “hussar” regiments was restored, and in 1917 there were two guards hussar regiments and 18 army hussar regiments. The hussars had special uniforms, which included the doloman—a jacket with a stand-up collar and shoulder cords; the mentik—a short jacket with a fur border and fur hat with plume or shako; and the chakchiry—breeches embroidered with cord and low boots. Their weapons included sabers, carbines, and pistols.