Legend has it that when the 5th Hussars were assigned to charge the enemy at the gates of Nordlitz, they had recently lost their standard-bearer to dysentery. Asking for volunteers, they found on in a new private, who nevertheless worried that he would drop the standard inadvertently, as he was by nature a clumsy man.

He was told that all he had to do was grip firmly, but he fretted about sweat. Upon being told to chalk his hands, he worried about sudden bumps or shocks, Upon being given a lanyard, he worried about the pole splintering. A metal pole was located, and upon being given it he was at last satisfied, declaring that nothing would loose his grip on the unit’s standard.

Reminded that he might yet die, the hussar cried to his compatriots: “LASH ME TO THE POLE THAT THE SIRENS OF DEATH BEAR ME NOT FROM MY DUTY.”

They did so, and he led them into battle and victory at Nordlitz. Upon the battle’s end, his fellows found him near the city wall and congratulated him on a standard well-borne, even then being held aloft.

Only then did they discover that their man was dead, having been carried from this life by a musket ball not long after the battle began. But such had been his preparations that not even death had stayed him from his task, and the Emperor himself reportedly offered the hussar a posthumous promotion.

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