Novgorodskiy Infantry

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Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised on June 25 1700 as "Nikolai Balk". On March 10 1708, when Peter the Great reorganized the Russian infantry regiments and renamed each of them as per a city or province of his empire, the regiment became known as Novgorodskiy.

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

  • no information found yet

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was stationed in Livonia and Courland.

In 1757, the regiment took part in the campaign in East Prussia under Field-Marshal count Apraxin. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was part of Fermor's 1st Division and belonged to Rumyantsev's Brigade. When the Russian army deployed, it was kept in reserve behind the centre.

In January 1758, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Russian invasion of East Prussia. On January 24, they were part of the rearguard under Major-General Leontiev who took its quarters in Labiau. At the beginning of August, the regiment followed the Russian army in its [[invasion of Brandenburg. On August 25, the regiment fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it was initially deployed in Leontiev's Brigade in the second line of the infantry right wing. About 11:35 a.m., it was brought forward to re-establish the Russian line. About mid November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters from Königsberg (present-day Kaliningrad) to Wehlau (present-day Znamensk) 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 Leontiev'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 Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the centre 3rd division as part of Leontiev's Brigade.

In 1761, the regiment took part in the siege of Colberg.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Most Russian regular line infantry regiments wore the same uniforms.

Privates

Grenadier mitre in 1757 - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template
Uniform in 1757 - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template
Summer uniform in 1757 - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black felt tricorne laced white with a white cockade on the left fastened with a copper button
Grenadier until 1759: mitre with a brass frontplate 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 pompon

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

Neckstock black
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.

Collar red
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs red with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks red, each fastened with a copper button
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
Breeches red
Gaiters black leather with 10 large copper buttons (white for parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt red leather
Waistbelt red leather
Cartridge Box black covered with a copper plate
Bayonet Scabbard ???
Scabbard black leather with copper fittings
Footgear black shoes


During winter, line infantry wore knee-length cornflower blue cape.

Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers but were distinguished by their gold laces on their tricorne, collar, and cuffs.

Officers

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.

Musicians

Line Infantry Fifer Uniform in 1757 - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template
Line Infantry Drummer Uniform in 1757 - Source: rf-figuren from a Not By Appointment template

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.

Colours

The flags measured 1,62 m. x 2,66 m., were fringed in gold and mounted on a 3,35 m. red wooden pole.

Colonel Colour: white field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing the regimental arms on a breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. In each corner: a green flame pointing at the centre.

Regimental Colours: orange field, in its centre: a gold crown surmounting a gold shield bearing the regimental arms. In each corner: a green flame pointing at the centre.

Colonel Colour - Source: rf-figuren
Regimental Colour - Source: rf-figuren

References

Anonymous; The Russian Army at the end of the XVIII Century, Zwenigorod, 1990

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, Appendix 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.

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.

Acknowledgements

Carlo Bessolo for the initial description of the uniforms