Azovskiy Cossacks

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Azovskiy Cossacks

Origin and History

In 1711, after the unsuccessful Prut Campaign, Russia had to abandon the Fortress of Azov previously captured during the Azov Campaigns (1694-1696).

In 1731, to control the territory near Azov, the Imperial government built the St. Anna Fortress located on the Don but at a relatively distance from its mouth of the Don and from the Sea of Azov. The garrison included some Don Cossacks. On January 9, 1737 these cossacks were detached from the Don Cossack Host with the establishment of the Azov Cossacks foot regiment.

According to Maslovskiy, in 1740 a census counted 365 men fit for military service among the Azov Cossacks.

By 1755, the Azov Cossacks counted 513 men, including:

  • 1 colonel
  • 6 rittmeisters
  • 6 khorunzhyis (color bearers)
  • 500 Cossacks

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • no information found

Service during the War

In 1756, these Cossacks were stationed at the St. Anna Fortress. They did not participate in any campaign of the Seven Years' War.

Uniform

Illustrations of Cossacks
The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University make available a large number of illustrations depicting Cossacks. Even though they are mostly of the 1812-1815 period, they give a fairly good idea of the way Cossacks dressed during this era.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, these Cossacks did not wear uniforms. The following description is very conjectural and based on the clothing of other Cossack units.

Caftans and waistcoats were often made of blue cloth. Their hair was cut in roundel. They wore a high bonnet of sheepskin. Coats of rank and file were girdled with an ordinary sabre strap or a belt of coarse fabric material. Leaders wore silken belt from Persia or Poland over the sabre belt. Sabre was worn over the waistcoat. Some cossacks, especially the rank and file had only a mustache, beard was less common. They wore woollen trousers, half boots of black Morocco leather or simple leather. The Cossacks trousers were similar to the Turkish ones, but much tighter.

Troopers were usually armed with a lance, a sabre and a pistol. They could also carry a knife and a musket.

Musicians

no information found

Colours

These regiments had probably no official standard even though they may had some unofficial ones.

References

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. 21 and appendix 1

Maslovskiy, Dmitrij Fedorovich: Russkaia armija w siemieletnjuju wojnu, Vol. 1

Russian Wikipedia – Азовское казачье войско

Acknowledgements

Roman Shlygin for the section "Origin and History" of this article