Zizka, Count Jan

Zizka, Count Jan
SUBJECT AREA: Weapons and armour
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b. c. 1376
d. 11 October 1424 Pibyslav, Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
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Bohemian soldier and armoured fighting vehicle pioneer.
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Brought up in the court of King Wencelas IV of Bohemia, Zizka became a mercenary, fighting for the Poles and losing an eye in the process. In 1410 he returned to Bohemia and became a follower of the religious reformer Jan Hus, who was martyred five years later, although his Hussite movement continued after his death. In 1419 Wencelas died, and his half-brother, Sigismund, an anti-Hussite, attempted to secure the throne. The result was war. Zizka organized a peasant force, the Taborites, who quickly made their mark with their discipline and tactical originality. Not only was Zizka the first to handle his infantry, cavalry and artillery as one, but through the mounting of guns on armoured carts he also pioneered the concept of the armoured fighting vehicle as it is known today. In 1420 he overthrew Sigismund, but lost his remaining eye, and continued to fight against the forces of the Pope and other Hussite bands until his death from plague.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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