The hussar cavalryman had two feathered attachments to the back of his armor. This decorative effect came to Poland from the East. Turkish crack light cavalry painted their shields with wings, as did those from Hungary. Taken one step further, the Polish hussars' real feathers served a practical purpose; when thousands of cavalry galloped into battle, the rushing wind caused the feathers to create a great whistling moan which would frighten and confuse the enemy's troops and horses.
Under the brilliant leadership of Polish King Jan Sobieski III, the armed forces of the Christian coalition, which included these hussars, won a celebrated victory over the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.