Origin and History
The regiment was established by an Empress's order of March 30, 1756 and raised the same year with the third grenadier companies (200 men each) of the following line infantry regiments which were thus reduced to two grenadier companies per regiment:
N.B.: there should be three additional regiments in this list, but no information has been found yet. Tow of them are probably the Narvskiy and Nevskiy regiments which are erroneously listed (along with Voronezhskiy, Novgorodskiy, Sibyrskiy and Belozerskiy) in many Russian sources among the units used for the raising of the 1st Grenadier Regiment.
The new grenadier regiment consisted of 2 battalions of 5 companies each.
During the raising, the regiment was encamped near Revel (present-day Tallinn, Estonia). At the end of the year it took up its winter quarters near Riga.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- no information found yet
Service during the War
After its creation in 1756, the regiment was stationed in Estonia.
In January 1758, the regiment took part in the invasion of East Prussia. At the beginning of August, the regiment accompanied the Russian Army in its invasion of Brandenburg. On August 25, the regiment took part in the Battle of Zorndorf where it was deployed in Manteuffel's Brigade in the second line of the infantry left wing. Around 3:00 p.m., it was sent in support of Browne’s Observation Corps as it resumed its advance towards Dohna's troops. About mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Graudentz (present-day Grudziadz) and the surrounding villages as part of Resanov's 2nd Division.
On July 23, 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to the 2nd division commanded by Villebois. It was deployed in Manteuffel's Brigade on the left of the second line of the infantry centre. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the centre 3rd division, again as part of Manteuffel's Brigade.
To do: more details for the campaigns from 1760 to 1762
Russian regiments of grenadiers all wore the same uniforms.
|Coat||dark green with 9 copper buttons on the right side on the chest and 9 red trimmed buttonholes, and 2 copper buttons (one on each side) in the small of the back|
N.B.: During summer campaigns, the coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Soldiers carried a cornflower blue cape rolled over the shoulder. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry appeared to be entirely clad in red.
|Waistcoat||long sleeved red waistcoat lined green with 9 copper buttons and 9 red trimmed buttonholes, and with 2 en patte d'oie pockets each with 3 copper buttons and 3 red trimmed buttonholes|
|Gaiters||black leather with 10 large copper buttons (white for parade)|
During winter, line infantry wore knee-length cornflower blue cape.
Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers but were distinguished by their gold laces on their tricorne, collar, and cuffs.
Most officers wore gold laced tricorne (gold/black pompons) but some officers wore a mitre.
Officer’s coat was similar to other rank’s but with a gold laced collar and lateral pockets closed by lapels en patte d’oie with 3 golden buttons each. Generally officers wore the coat with opened turnbacks. They also wore white cravates, green breeches and yellow gloves.
Officers carried a musket in action, the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.
Officers also carried a sword suspended to a red leather belt.
Officer’s cartridge box was edged in gold.
Officer’s saddlecloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one or two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.
Staff officers wore a black and gold sash.
Drummers wore the same uniform as the troopers with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar.
Fifers wore the same uniform as the troopers with braids on cuffs, pockets and collar (no swallow nests on the shoulders).
The Drum Major had a gold edge on his tricorne, and gold braids on cuffs and collar.
Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.
Important notice: Even though our illustrations depict yellow laces, the colour of the braids on the uniforms of the musicians were chosen by the colonel. For instance, it could have been the distinctive colour of the regiment (shown on the ordonnance flag). They were often decorated with red “XXXX” in the middle.
N.B.: During summer campaigns, the green coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry musicians appeared to be entirely clad in red.
The flags measured 1,43 m. x 2,13 m. and were mounted on a 3,02 m. the flagpole had a gilded finial. The flag was nailed to the pole with gilded nails.
Colonel Colour: white field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing on a central breastplate the illustration of St. George killing the dragon. The breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. The Imperial Eagle stands on a trophy of red flags and grenadier equipment (mitres, grenades...). The Imperial Eagle was surmounted by a cloud bearing Elizabeth's cipher in gold. In each corner: a black grenade on a red flame pointing at the centre.
Regimental Colours: red field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing on a central breastplate the illustration of St. George killing the dragon. The breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. The Imperial Eagle stands on a trophy of yellow flags and grenadier equipment (mitres, grenades...). The Imperial Eagle was surmounted by a cloud bearing Elizabeth's cipher in gold. In each corner: a black grenade on a white flame pointing at the centre.
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin, 1902, p. 3, Anlage 1
Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband: Russian Army of the Seven Years War, Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996
Lubimow, A.J.: Die Feldzeichen der russischen Armee 1741-1761, in. Die Zinnfigur, Uniformheft 18
Pengel and Hurt: Russian Infantry of the Seven Years War, Birmingham, 1976
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989.
Urban, I. E.: Shortened History of the 6th Grenadier Tavricheskiy His Imperial Highness Grand Prince Mikhail Nikolaevich regiment / Урбан И.Э. - Краткая история 6-го Гренадерского Таврического Его Императорского Высочества Великого Князя Михаила Николаевича полка
Viskovatov, A. V.: Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900
Ziegler, Volker: Die Russische Linien-Infanterie zur Zeit des 7-jährigen Krieges, Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für hessische Militär- und Zivilgeschichte 3, 2005
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Roman Shlygin for the section on origin and history
Carlo Bessolo for the initial description of the uniforms