Russian Line Infantry Drill
This regulation entitled “Exercitia, Marsch und Pflichten wie auch Devoir der Regiments-Chargen auf Ihro Kayserl(ische) Majestät Allergnadigsten Befehl gedruckt” has been published in St. Petersburg in 1756. It is entirely bilingual, with even pages written in Russian; and odd pages, in German.
The regulation consists of three part:
- handling of the musket, doubling the ranks and firing;
- field service;
- responsibilities of each rank within a regiment.
Note: this is only a preliminary version of the article; each section will be progressively expanded.
Handling of the musket, doubling the ranks and firing
Contrarily to the Prussian, Saxon and Austrian regulations on the manual exercises with the musket, the Russian regulations do not explain how to handle the musket but demonstrate how to follow orders during parade exercises. Each version, the Russian and the German one, states orders in the corresponding language. This section contains instructions on presenting the musket, fixing the bayonet and loading. It also indicates the approach to double the ranks and to fire. In the latter part on firing, only platoon fire is described. However, it also explains the handling of hand-grenades by grenadiers.
This section also cover various topics such as the method to protect the flintlock against rain, the placement of the musket for light maintenance and the procedure to form a battalion square.
The section on filed services contains many articles:
- Articles 1 to 6 on preparations for march;
- Articles 7 to 9 on marching method;
- Articles 10 to 14 on making camp or taking up quarters;
- Articles 15 to 16 on the formation of a battalion or a regiment;
- Articles 17 to 20 on practice (incl. Firing);
- Articles 21 to 23 on giving honours;
- Article 24 on the arrest of the officer during march;
- Articles 25 to 28 on guard and posts giving honours;
- Articles 29 to 32 on giving parole;
- Article 33 on routs
- Articles 34 to 35 on the roles of officers
- Articles 36 to 39 on the changing of the guard
- Articles 40 to 41 on musicians
Responsibilities of each rank within a regiment
The third and last part presents the responsibilities of each rank within a regiment. The first articles cover generalities of soldiers life. The next articles show the composition of a company and of a regiment. Then, responsibilities of each rank are described: first for a company (captain, lieutenant-captain, lieutenant, praporucznik (under-lieutenant), Fahnrich (ensign), sergeant, captain pf arms, Fahnen-Juncker, corporal, company-surgeon, Gefreiten, leibschutzen Leibschutzenleibschutzen , drummer), then senior officers (staff) ranks: colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major, regimental quartermaster, auditor, adjutant, Wagenmeister, Proviantmeister (purser), surgeon, and provost.
“Exercitia, Marsch und Pflichten wie auch Devoir der Regiments-Chargen auf Ihro Kayserl(ische) Majestät Allergnadigsten Befehl gedruckt” St. Peterburg, 1756.
Tomasz Karpiński for the initial version of this article