Astrakhanskiy Horse Grenadiers

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Origin and History

During the reorganisation of the Russian army in 1756, this former dragoon regiment was converted into a horse grenadier regiment.

At full strength, the regiment counted 5 squadrons of 2 companies each.

When Peter III acceded the throne in January 1762, all horse grenadier regiments were converted into cuirassier regiments.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • no information available yet

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was stationed at Orenburg and Kiev. In the autumn, it was assigned to the force guarding the western frontier.

The regiment did not take part to any campaign during the war.

Uniform

During summer, Russian horse grenadiers did not wear coats. These were left in the baggage. For this reason, we present two different plates.

Troopers

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert

Summer uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear until 1759: mitre with a brass front plate embossed with trophies of weapons and standards and carrying in its centre the regimental coat of arms surmounted by the Imperial Eagle, a black leather skull-cap and neck guard with brass reinforcements and decorations, a white wool pompom

from December 29 1759: black felt tricorne laced white with a white cockade on the left fastened with a bronze button

Neckstock black
Coat cornflower blue lined red; with copper buttons and red trimmed buttonholes

N.B.: the coat was not worn during summer

Collar red
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs red with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks red
Gloves buff
Waistcoat chamois leather fastened with hooks and eyes; with cornflower blue collar and cuffs (3 copper buttons on each cuff); horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons
Breeches chamois leather with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box and grenade pouch black with a copper plate carrying the regimental arms
the grenade pouch was removed after December 29 1759
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth fawn-coloured without lace
Housings fawn-coloured without lace
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a short carbine, a bayonet, two pistols and a sabre (more precisely a straight blade Pallasch until December 29 1759 and then a curved blade sabre).

NCOs

Corporals wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers.

Other NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • gold laced collar
  • gold laced cuffs:
    • 1 stripe for Unterfähnrich
    • 2 stripes for armourers and quartermasters
    • 3 stripes for sergeant

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • genadier mitre with gold decorations
  • gilt buttons
  • no turnbacks
  • black and gold silken sash
  • yellow saddlecloth and housings laced gold carrying the imperial cipher

Musicians

Musicians wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • swallow nests at the shoulders
  • tricorne (only for the kettle-drummer)

The kettle-drum and trumpets were made of copper. The banners were of the colour of the squadron standards. The banner of the kettle-drum was embroidered and fringed in gold.

Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and blue, blue and white cords.

Colours

Horse grenadiers still carried standards of the 1731 pattern, measuring 150 cm by 150 cm. The flagpole had a gilt finial.

Leib Standard: white field fringed in gold and silver; centre device: an Imperial Eagle bearing the regimental arms on a breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St. George’s Order and the cross of St. Andrew; and surmounted by a red and gold crown. In each corner: the crowned imperial cipher within a wreath all in gold.

Regimental Standard: red field fringed in gold; centre device: a red and gold crown surmounting a gold shield bearing the regimental arms.

Leib Standard - Source: rf-figuren
Regimental Standard - Source: rf-figuren

The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 4 other squadrons each carried one regimental standard.

References

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen, Part 3: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin 1902

  • chapter A: Das Kaiserlich Russiche Heer, page 1-46
  • appendix: supplement 1, Das Kaiserlich Russiche Heer, page 3-18

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by the KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Viskovatov, A. V., Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900

Ziegler, Volker: Die Russische Kavallerie zur Zeit des 7-jährigen Krieges (1756-1763), in: Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für hessische Militär- und Zivilgeschichte, vol. 4, 2007, pp. 62-80

Zveguintzov, L'Armee Russe, 1973