HISTORY OF THE COSSACK
Cossacks were a sub-ethnic group from Eastern Europe who thrived
from the 15th to early 20th centuries, and consisted of different
nationalities, although most were of Slavic origin. They were
early colonizers of Siberia and were the founders of almost
all Siberian towns. Cossacks were superior horsemen and exceptional
warriors who were always on horseback and always ready for
battle, 24 hours-a-day. Men were required to carry weapons
at all times. Bladed weapons were even provided to women and
children. Babies were carried in a special hood behind the
back so hands were free to fight in case of sudden attack.
Anybody could join the Cossacks, if the Cossacks considered
them to be a worthy warrior. There was only one condition
- belief in Christ. The Cossacks had a very strong tradition
of independence and were known for their courage and free
spirit. The name "Cossack" derives from the Turkish
word "kazak" which means "adventurer"
or "free man."
Cossacks were not only superior land warriors, but their fleets
of small boats presided over other sea vessels and port cities.
Reportedly, they played a crucial role in defeating Napoleon
Bonaparte in 1812, when he and his army attempted to conquer
Russia. The Russian Empire relied on free Cossack warriors
to defend and expand its southern and eastern frontiers for
four centuries until 1917. Tens-of-thousands of Cossacks and
their families left Russia during the Russian Civil War (1918
- 1920). Descendants of Cossacks now live in the US, Western
Europe, Canada, and Australia.
(more about Cossacks)