Russian Cuirassiers Organisation

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Introduction

The Russian cuirassiers consisted of 6 regiments. Three of these cuirassiers regiments were dragoons regiments until 1756 when they were transformed into cuirassier units. Of these 6 cuirassier regiments, 5 took an active part to the Seven Years' War. The real strength of all cuirassier regiments remained well under the theoretical strength during the entire Seven Years' War. In July 1757, they could field only 2 or 3 squadrons. From 1758, they fielded 3 to 4 sqns, rarely 5 sqns.

Composition and Organisation

A cuirassier regiment consisted of:

  • Senior Staff:
    • 1 colonel
    • 1 lieutenant-colonel (also led a squadron)
  • 1 first-major (also led a squadron)
  • 1 second-major (also led a squadron)
  • Junior Staff
    • 1 quartermaster
    • 1 warrant officer
    • 2 commissaries
    • 1 chief of train
    • 1 Bereiter
    • 1 chaplain
    • 1 doctor
    • 1 assistant doctor
    • 2 clerks
    • 2 provision clerks
    • 1 kettle-drummer
    • 2 provosts
    • 6 captains
  • 5 squadrons, each of:
    • 2 companies, each of :
      • 2 trumpeters
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 cornet
      • 1 sergeant
      • 1 quartermaster
      • 1 armourer
      • 1 Unterfähnriche
      • 3 corporals
      • 1 clerk
      • 1 surgeon
      • 69 cuirassiers
  • other troops
    • 30 workers
    • 96 various troops (coachmen, horse keepers...)

The companies were grouped into squadrons as follows:

  • 1st squadron: 1st company and 6th company
  • 2nd squadron: 2nd company and 7th company
  • 3rd squadron: 3rd company and 8th company
  • 4th squadron: 4th company and 9th company
  • 5th squadron: 5th company and 10th company

Regimental guns

Contrarily to the horse grenadier and dragoon regiments, the three old cuirassier regiments had no artillery directly assigned to them. However, because they were dragoon regiments until 1756, each of the 3 new cuirassier regiments had a regimental artillery consisting of:

  • 2 x two-horse drawn 3-pdr cannon (each with 2 small 6-pdrs mortars affixed to its carriage)
  • 4 two-horse ammunition carts
  • 6 two-horse cartridge-carts
  • 1 two-horse grenade-cart

Train

The train of each mounted regiment consisted of some 70 vehicles, including ammunition and cartridge carts, and some bridging material.

Tactic

Cavalry usually deployed in three ranks deep line, occasionally in two ranks deep. Squadrons were separated by a gap of 6 paces with cavalrymen knee-to-knee.

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, pp. 6, 30
  • 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 Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996

rf-figuren, Die Russische Armee im 7-jährigen Krieg 1756 - 1763, 2008

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

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

Zweguintzov, L'Armee Russe, 1973