Narvskiy Horse Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Narvskiy Horse Grenadiers

Origin and History

During the reorganisation of the Russian Army in 1756, this former dragoon regiment was converted into a horse grenadier regiment. By the end of the year, like the rest of the Russian cavalry, this regiment was totally unprepared for service in the incoming war. It was not properly trained for its new role of heavy cavalry and lacked good quality mounts. Poor quality horses were partially replaced by purchases and requisitions in occupied districts and by levies on the non-mobile border guard regiments.

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 in Moscow and Smolensk.

In 1757, when the Russian Army received orders to assemble for the campaign in East Prussia under General Apraxin, the regiment regrouped its best horses and troopers into a few squadrons. Additional horses were levied when the army entered into East Prussia. By July, the regiment could field only 2 or 3 squadrons. Furthermore, its unpreparedness confined it to patrol and advanced post service. In combat, its troopers fought dismounted in the second line of infantry. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was part of the vanguard. When the Russian Army deployed, it was placed in the second line of the left wing.

In January 1758, the regiment took part in the Russian invasion of East Prussia. About mid November, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Neidenburg (present-day Nidzica) 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 Demiku's heavy cavalry brigade deployed in the second line of the right wing.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762

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 consisting of 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; corner devices consisting of the crowned imperial cipher within a wreath all in gold.

Regimental Standard: light blue field fringed in gold; centre device consisting of 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

Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband: Russian Army of the Seven Years War, vol. 2, Osprey Military, London, Reed International, 1996

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

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.