Difference between revisions of "Russian Line Infantry Uniform"

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(Added info from Roman Shlygin)
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==Hat and Fatigue Cap==
 
==Hat and Fatigue Cap==
The headgear was a tricorne (Model 1742) in black woollen felt lined in white, a white cockade on the left, fixed by a bronze button.  
+
===Guards===
 +
Guards wore tricorne with linear or scalloped golden edge, button and link of the cockade. Preobrazenskiy had broad and scalloped edge, Semenovskiy narrow and scalloped, Izmailovskiy linear.
  
Up to 1759 grenadiers wore a mitre, afterward a tricorne like the musketeers. The mitre had a boiled black leather skull-cap reinforced and decorated in brass, with an 26,7 cm. high brass front plate, embossed with trophies of weapons and standards, 2 grenades at each lower corner, armours and cannon balls. In the very centre the regimental coat of arms under the imperial eagle. At the top of the front, a pompon in white wool. On the back of the mitre, a difference with all other mitres of the time, there was a neck protection in boiled black leather. Men belonging to Grenadier regiments wore a mitre with an imperial eagle instead of the regimental coat of arms. Grenadiers of the Observation Corps had an imperial eagle with rays, trophies and EPI ciphers on the brass frontplate.
+
===Musketeers===
  
Guards wore tricorne with linear or scalloped golden edge, button and link of the cockade. Preobrazenskiy had broad and scalloped edge, Semenovskiy tight and scalloped, Izmailovskiy linear.
+
The headgear was a tricorne (Model 1742) in black woolen felt lined in white, a white cockade on the left, fixed by a bronze button.
 +
 
 +
===Grenadiers===
 +
 
 +
====M1731====
 +
 
 +
[[File:Russian Line Infantry M1731 Grenadier Mitre.jpg|right|frame|Grenadier mitre introduced in 1731 - Source: Roman Shlygin]]
 +
The first experience of standardization of the grenadier headdress was the M1731 mitre cap. It was mostly similar to the types used previously to the exception of the front plate which was specifically designed for this model of mitre by General-Fieldmarshal Burkhard Christoph von Münnich.
 +
 
 +
The mitre was a green carpus-style cap with red turnbacks on the front and rear sides. Its seams and the edges of its turnbacks were decorated with woolen white lace (golden for officers), topped with a pompom. The front turnback was decorated with a brass front plate embossed with trophies of weapons and standards and carrying in its center the regimental coat of arms. The rear turnback was decorated with a flaming grenade.
 +
 
 +
Regimental coats of arms were introduced at the same time as this new mitre cap, in 1731. Regiments who had no coat of arms used the imperial monogram instead.
 +
 
 +
Note: The specimen from State Historical Museum is 34 cm tall.
 +
 
 +
====M1743====
 +
 
 +
[[File:Russian Line Infantry M1743 Grenadier Mitre.jpg|right|frame|Grenadier mitre introduced in 1743 - Source: Roman Shlygin]]
 +
At the beginning of the reign of [[Elizabeth Petrovna|Empress Elizabeth Petrovna]], the old M1731 grenadier mitres were to be gradually replaced with mitres of a new style. However, no standards were introduced so the new caps cannot be officially designated as M1743. Nevertheless, according to the specimen of mitres from the period 1742-1756 preserved in museums, the tendencies were as follows:
 +
#The new front plates were much higher, as tall as the cap, with the addition of a black Imperial Eagle in their top part.
 +
#The baleen frame inside the cap was designed to keep it tightly fastened to the front plate.
 +
 
 +
Therefore, the new mitres were just a modification of the M1731 but looked very close to the Prussian style mitres.
 +
 
 +
It seems that this new style of mitres was made strictly for regular line infantry regiments (even only for officers in some cases). Meanwhile, garrison regiments, who could not afford to acquire these new mitres due to lack of money, still used the old M1731 mitres.
 +
 
 +
On daily duties, grenadiers wore a fatigue cap made of cloth leftovers after the sewing of uniforms. There was no special design for such caps but they seem to have been made in the same way as the standard M1731 mitre but without decorations and baleen frame (this allowed to store them folded).
 +
 
 +
Note: the specimen from the Memorial Museum of A. V. Suvorov, dated 1743-1757, has a 30 cm tall front plate and is 18 cm in diameter.
 +
 
 +
====M1756====
 +
 
 +
[[File:Russian Line Infantry M1756 Grenadier Mitre.jpg|right|frame|Grenadier mitre in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert]]
 +
The M1756 mitre cap, introduced on March 30, 1756, was intended to replace the various styles of mitres worn in the army and was designed on the base of the mitre caps of the Guards.
 +
 
 +
This new mitre had a 28 cm tall 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 boiled leather skull-cap and neck guard with brass reinforcements and decorations; a white woolen pompom. Men belonging to Grenadier regiments wore a mitre with a black Imperial Eagle instead of the regimental coat of arms. Grenadiers of the Observation Corps had an imperial eagle with rays, trophies and EPI ciphers on the brass front plate.
 +
 
 +
Since the M1756 mitre was introduced shortly before the beginning of the war, the re-equipment of grenadiers with these new mitres was not yet completed at the beginning of the war. For example, the [[Observation Corps Grenadiers|Grenadier Regiment of the Observation Corps]] received M1756 mitres only in January 1758.
 +
 
 +
After the campaign of 1758, [[Fermor, Count Villim Vilimovich|General Fermor]] reported that the M1756 grenadier mitres were very uncomfortable and it was allowed to use the fatigue cap in all cases (anyway soldiers did it even without order). It was also permitted to decorate this fatigue cap with the front plate of the regular M1756 mitre.
 +
 
 +
It seems that, when possible, grenadiers were allowed to use the mitres they had prior to the re-equipment with the M1756 mitre.
 +
 
 +
Since from 1759, the most typical grenadier cap was the modified M1731 mitre with the brass front plate of the M1756 mitre, it looked quite similar to Prussian mitres.
  
 
==Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches==
 
==Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches==
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Musketeers of the Observation Corps wore heavy cavalry boots.  
 
Musketeers of the Observation Corps wore heavy cavalry boots.  
 
==Armament and Leather Equipment==
 
==Armament and Leather Equipment==
The most important weapon was the calibre 18 smoothbore flintlock musket (1,63 m. long without bayonet, 2,05 m. with bayonet), with an iron ramrod. It derived from the bigger and heavier calibre 16 Petrine model (1,65 m. long without bayonet). The pattern in use during the Seven Years' War imitated the Austrian Model of 1754 with 38 g. ball. Metal fittings were in iron or in copper. Russian army suffered of a chronicle sortage of muskets along the whole XVIIIth century, so old Petrine models were carried alongside the new Model of 1756.  
+
The most important weapon was the calibre 18 smooth bore flintlock musket (1,63 m. long without bayonet, 2,05 m. with bayonet), with an iron ramrod. It derived from the bigger and heavier calibre 16 Petrine model (1,65 m. long without bayonet). The pattern in use during the Seven Years' War imitated the Austrian Model of 1754 with 38 g. ball. Metal fittings were in iron or in copper. Russian army suffered of a chronicle shortage of muskets along the whole XVIIIth century, so old Petrine models were carried alongside the new Model of 1756.  
  
 
As sidearm, musketeers carried a 77 cm. sabre in a black leather scabbard decorated with copper fittings and hanged to a red leather belt. Musketeers of the Observation Corps carried a sabre without guard.  
 
As sidearm, musketeers carried a 77 cm. sabre in a black leather scabbard decorated with copper fittings and hanged to a red leather belt. Musketeers of the Observation Corps carried a sabre without guard.  
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Cartridge boxes were richly and variously decorated. In the cartridge pouch or ''patronna sumka'', were carried cartouches of ammunition or hand grenades. Boxes can be classified in two main categories: shoulder-belt or waist-belt. The shoulder-belt cartridge boxes (or ''patronna sumka'') were bigger (30 x 20 x 12 cm.) than the waist-belt cartridge pouch (or ''lyadunka'') that measured 27 x 9 x 3 cm. The former brought 18 cartridges in a wooden block (40 from 1761, with leather separations), the latter only 10. Cartridge boxes were suspended across the left shoulder by a red leather bandoleer or shoulder-belt 10 cm. wide closed with a copper buckle.
 
Cartridge boxes were richly and variously decorated. In the cartridge pouch or ''patronna sumka'', were carried cartouches of ammunition or hand grenades. Boxes can be classified in two main categories: shoulder-belt or waist-belt. The shoulder-belt cartridge boxes (or ''patronna sumka'') were bigger (30 x 20 x 12 cm.) than the waist-belt cartridge pouch (or ''lyadunka'') that measured 27 x 9 x 3 cm. The former brought 18 cartridges in a wooden block (40 from 1761, with leather separations), the latter only 10. Cartridge boxes were suspended across the left shoulder by a red leather bandoleer or shoulder-belt 10 cm. wide closed with a copper buckle.
  
The waistbelt was fastened on the shoulder with a metal button. The leather lapel cover vas decorated with the regimental coat of arms engraved on a copper plate. The edgings of the box were reinforced by little copper edging-plates. Line infantrymen carried ''patronna sumka'' while the ''lyadunka'' was reserved to officers and grenadiers. Grenadier wore black leather ''lyadunka''.
+
The waist belt was fastened on the shoulder with a metal button. The leather lapel cover was decorated with the regimental coat of arms engraved on a copper plate. The edgings of the box were reinforced by little copper edging-plates. Line infantrymen carried ''patronna sumka'' while the ''lyadunka'' was reserved to officers and grenadiers. Grenadier wore black leather ''lyadunka''.
  
Troopers of the Observation Corps did’t carry shoulder-belt cartridge pouches, but only black leather ''lyadunka'', on the lapel the regimental coat of arms, eagle with trophies of weapons, EP and rays.  
+
Troopers of the Observation Corps didn't carry shoulder-belt cartridge pouches, but only black leather ''lyadunka'', on the lapel the regimental coat of arms, eagle with trophies of weapons, EP and rays.  
  
 
Line and Observation Corps were furnished even with cartridge boxes for grenades: in the black leather pouch, a wooden box, that was parted to carry two hand grenades; the grenade box was suspended to a natural leather (chamois) bandoleer which bore on the front a match-case. The lapel was decorated with the regimental coat of arms, grenades and trophies of weapons at each corner (Observation Corps bore the same decoration on the ''lyadunka'').  
 
Line and Observation Corps were furnished even with cartridge boxes for grenades: in the black leather pouch, a wooden box, that was parted to carry two hand grenades; the grenade box was suspended to a natural leather (chamois) bandoleer which bore on the front a match-case. The lapel was decorated with the regimental coat of arms, grenades and trophies of weapons at each corner (Observation Corps bore the same decoration on the ''lyadunka'').  
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Troopers of the Leibkompanie of each Guard regiment carried cartridge boxes covered with red cloth while troopers of other companies of the Guards regiment carried black leather ''patronna sumka'' and ''lyadunka''.
 
Troopers of the Leibkompanie of each Guard regiment carried cartridge boxes covered with red cloth while troopers of other companies of the Guards regiment carried black leather ''patronna sumka'' and ''lyadunka''.
 
   
 
   
==Peculiarites of Drummers and Fifers==
+
==Peculiarities of Drummers and Fifers==
 
Musketeers and grenadiers drummers wore the same uniform as the troopers, with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar. Braids were often yellow stripes (edged in red in the Observation Corps) and red XXXX decoration in the middle. However, the colonel of the regiment might have chosen a different colour for the braids. The Drum Major had a gold edge on tricorne, gold braids on cuffs and collar. No swallow nests for fifers.  
 
Musketeers and grenadiers drummers wore the same uniform as the troopers, with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar. Braids were often yellow stripes (edged in red in the Observation Corps) and red XXXX decoration in the middle. However, the colonel of the regiment might have chosen a different colour for the braids. The Drum Major had a gold edge on tricorne, gold braids on cuffs and collar. No swallow nests for fifers.  
  
 
Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.  
 
Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.  
==Peculiarites of Non Commissioned Officers==
+
==Peculiarities of Non Commissioned Officers==
 
NCOs preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.   
 
NCOs preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.   
  
 
''Kaptenarmous'' and other NCOs carried bigger cartridge-boxes with ammunition reserves for the company.  
 
''Kaptenarmous'' and other NCOs carried bigger cartridge-boxes with ammunition reserves for the company.  
==Peculiarites of Officers==
+
==Peculiarities of Officers==
Most officers wore tricorne. Some officers wore a mitre with a central shield with the EPI cipher (Elizaveta Petrovna Imperatriza), over St.George killing the dragon, between trophies of weapons and standards.  
+
Most officers wore tricorne. Some officers wore a mitre with a central shield with the EPI cipher (Elizaveta Petrovna Imperatriza), over St. George killing the dragon, between trophies of weapons and standards.  
  
 
Officer’s coat was similar to other rank’s, with lateral pockets closed by lapels ''en patte d’oie'' with 3 buttons each. Buttons in gold. Green breeches. Generally officers wore the coat with opened turnbacks.  
 
Officer’s coat was similar to other rank’s, with lateral pockets closed by lapels ''en patte d’oie'' with 3 buttons each. Buttons in gold. Green breeches. Generally officers wore the coat with opened turnbacks.  
  
Officers carried a 1,80 m. long musket with bayonet (1,43 m long without the bayonet). Officiers preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.  
+
Officers carried a 1,80 m. long musket with bayonet (1,43 m long without the bayonet). Officers preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.  
  
 
Officers also carried a 86 cm. long sword suspended to a red leather belt. Models differed widely because many officers purchased privately their own sword. On the blades were engraved words like “vivat la grande Elisabeth” and “à Dieu et la Patrie”.
 
Officers also carried a 86 cm. long sword suspended to a red leather belt. Models differed widely because many officers purchased privately their own sword. On the blades were engraved words like “vivat la grande Elisabeth” and “à Dieu et la Patrie”.
  
Officers’s ''patronna sumka'' (cartridge box) was suspended to a red leather waistbelt edged in gold. For ceremonies and bad weather there was a cover in tiny red leather. The lapel was heavily decorated with plaque sewed in pair, the upper (removable) representing an eagle, the lower the Order of St.George and the coat of arms. The ''lyadunka'' was made of red leather, with the regimental coat of arms in the centre of the lapel. Grenadier officers had even grenades at each corner of the lapel.  
+
Officers' ''patronna sumka'' (cartridge box) was suspended to a red leather waist belt edged in gold. For ceremonies and bad weather there was a cover in tiny red leather. The lapel was heavily decorated with plaque sewed in pair, the upper (removable) representing an eagle, the lower the Order of St. George and the coat of arms. The ''lyadunka'' was made of red leather, with the regimental coat of arms in the centre of the lapel. Grenadier officers had even grenades at each corner of the lapel.  
  
 
Guards had more elaborated decorations, the Leibkompanie’s officers carried shoulder-belt cartridge-boxes covered in red velvet, with EP and weapons and grenades trophies embroidered on the lapel, bandoleer were made in gilt mail. The similarly ''lyadunka'' was in red velvet, lined by a golden edge, trophies and grenades. Officers of other companies had a red leather cover to protect and decorate the ''patronna sumka''.  
 
Guards had more elaborated decorations, the Leibkompanie’s officers carried shoulder-belt cartridge-boxes covered in red velvet, with EP and weapons and grenades trophies embroidered on the lapel, bandoleer were made in gilt mail. The similarly ''lyadunka'' was in red velvet, lined by a golden edge, trophies and grenades. Officers of other companies had a red leather cover to protect and decorate the ''patronna sumka''.  
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For all Guard officers, a two pieces metallic decoration was fixed on the lapel: the upper half (removable) represented EP and two grenades, the lower an eagle with two grenades. The waist belt was heavily embroidered in gold.  
 
For all Guard officers, a two pieces metallic decoration was fixed on the lapel: the upper half (removable) represented EP and two grenades, the lower an eagle with two grenades. The waist belt was heavily embroidered in gold.  
  
Officers’ saddlecloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one of two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.  
+
Officers’ saddle cloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one of two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
Brock, Dr., ''Russische Truppen in siebenjährigen Kriege'' in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht No. 4 - August 1894
+
Brock, Dr.: ''Russische Truppen in siebenjährigen Kriege'' in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht No. 4 - August 1894
  
Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband, ''Russian Army of the Seven Years War'', Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996
+
Egorov, V. I.: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Egorov_05.pdf Гренадерские шапки драгунских и пехотных полков образца 1731 года] (Grenadiers' caps of dragoon and infantry regiments of 1731 model), Saint-Petersburg 2010
  
Knötel, Richard, ''Russiche Truppen in der Neumark 1758'', in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, Beilagen zum X. Bande der Uniformkunde, No. 6, 1899, pp. 21-23
+
Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband: ''Russian Army of the Seven Years War'', Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996
 +
 
 +
Knötel, Richard: ''Russiche Truppen in der Neumark 1758'', in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, Beilagen zum X. Bande der Uniformkunde, No. 6, 1899, pp. 21-23
 +
 
 +
Leonov, O. G. and I. E. Ulianov: [http://militera.lib.ru/h/leonov_ulyanov1/index.html Регулярная пехота 1698—1801: Боевая летопись, организация, обмундирование, вооружение, снаряжение] (Regular Infantry 1698-1801)
 +
 
 +
Letin, Sergey: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Letin_02.pdf Русский военный мундир XVIII века] (Russian military uniform of XVIII century), Moscow 1996.
 +
 
 +
Malyshev, V. N.: [http://www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Malychev.pdf Суконные гренадерские шапки первой половины XVIII века] (Cloth grenadiers' caps of the 1st half of XVIII century), Saint-Petersburg 2010
  
 
Pengel and Hurt, ''Russian Infantry Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War''
 
Pengel and Hurt, ''Russian Infantry Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War''
  
 
Schirmer, Friedrich, ''Zweifarben Tücher Borgdorf o. J. - Russische Infanterie 1740-1762
 
Schirmer, Friedrich, ''Zweifarben Tücher Borgdorf o. J. - Russische Infanterie 1740-1762
 +
 +
Shamenkov, S. I.: [www.milhist.info/2012/10/09/shamenkov_2/ Неизвестная шапка армейских гренадер царствования Елизаветы Петровны] (Unknown cap of army grenadiers of the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna)
 +
 +
Tatarnikov, Kirill: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Tatarnikov_06.pdf Обсервационный корпус. 1756-1760 гг. Обмундирование и снаряжение] (Observation Corps. 1756-1760. Uniform and equipment)
  
 
Viskovatov, A. V., ''Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army'', vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900
 
Viskovatov, A. V., ''Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army'', vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900
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'''Acknowledgements'''
 
'''Acknowledgements'''
  
[[User:Carlo bessolo]] for the initial version of this article
+
Carlo Bessolo for the initial version of this article and Roman Shlygin for additional information on grenadier mitre-caps.
  
 
[[Category:Russian Land Unit]]
 
[[Category:Russian Land Unit]]

Revision as of 12:28, 7 May 2018

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Russian Line Infantry Uniform

Introduction

Hat and Fatigue Cap

Guards

Guards wore tricorne with linear or scalloped golden edge, button and link of the cockade. Preobrazenskiy had broad and scalloped edge, Semenovskiy narrow and scalloped, Izmailovskiy linear.

Musketeers

The headgear was a tricorne (Model 1742) in black woolen felt lined in white, a white cockade on the left, fixed by a bronze button.

Grenadiers

M1731

Grenadier mitre introduced in 1731 - Source: Roman Shlygin

The first experience of standardization of the grenadier headdress was the M1731 mitre cap. It was mostly similar to the types used previously to the exception of the front plate which was specifically designed for this model of mitre by General-Fieldmarshal Burkhard Christoph von Münnich.

The mitre was a green carpus-style cap with red turnbacks on the front and rear sides. Its seams and the edges of its turnbacks were decorated with woolen white lace (golden for officers), topped with a pompom. The front turnback was decorated with a brass front plate embossed with trophies of weapons and standards and carrying in its center the regimental coat of arms. The rear turnback was decorated with a flaming grenade.

Regimental coats of arms were introduced at the same time as this new mitre cap, in 1731. Regiments who had no coat of arms used the imperial monogram instead.

Note: The specimen from State Historical Museum is 34 cm tall.

M1743

File:Russian Line Infantry M1743 Grenadier Mitre.jpg
Grenadier mitre introduced in 1743 - Source: Roman Shlygin

At the beginning of the reign of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, the old M1731 grenadier mitres were to be gradually replaced with mitres of a new style. However, no standards were introduced so the new caps cannot be officially designated as M1743. Nevertheless, according to the specimen of mitres from the period 1742-1756 preserved in museums, the tendencies were as follows:

  1. The new front plates were much higher, as tall as the cap, with the addition of a black Imperial Eagle in their top part.
  2. The baleen frame inside the cap was designed to keep it tightly fastened to the front plate.

Therefore, the new mitres were just a modification of the M1731 but looked very close to the Prussian style mitres.

It seems that this new style of mitres was made strictly for regular line infantry regiments (even only for officers in some cases). Meanwhile, garrison regiments, who could not afford to acquire these new mitres due to lack of money, still used the old M1731 mitres.

On daily duties, grenadiers wore a fatigue cap made of cloth leftovers after the sewing of uniforms. There was no special design for such caps but they seem to have been made in the same way as the standard M1731 mitre but without decorations and baleen frame (this allowed to store them folded).

Note: the specimen from the Memorial Museum of A. V. Suvorov, dated 1743-1757, has a 30 cm tall front plate and is 18 cm in diameter.

M1756

Grenadier mitre in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert

The M1756 mitre cap, introduced on March 30, 1756, was intended to replace the various styles of mitres worn in the army and was designed on the base of the mitre caps of the Guards.

This new mitre had a 28 cm tall 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 boiled leather skull-cap and neck guard with brass reinforcements and decorations; a white woolen pompom. Men belonging to Grenadier regiments wore a mitre with a black Imperial Eagle instead of the regimental coat of arms. Grenadiers of the Observation Corps had an imperial eagle with rays, trophies and EPI ciphers on the brass front plate.

Since the M1756 mitre was introduced shortly before the beginning of the war, the re-equipment of grenadiers with these new mitres was not yet completed at the beginning of the war. For example, the Grenadier Regiment of the Observation Corps received M1756 mitres only in January 1758.

After the campaign of 1758, General Fermor reported that the M1756 grenadier mitres were very uncomfortable and it was allowed to use the fatigue cap in all cases (anyway soldiers did it even without order). It was also permitted to decorate this fatigue cap with the front plate of the regular M1756 mitre.

It seems that, when possible, grenadiers were allowed to use the mitres they had prior to the re-equipment with the M1756 mitre.

Since from 1759, the most typical grenadier cap was the modified M1731 mitre with the brass front plate of the M1756 mitre, it looked quite similar to Prussian mitres.

Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches

The Russian soldier wore a green cloth coat without pockets but with red collar, cuffs and turnbacks. Buttons were made of brass and buttonholes were trimmed in red: 9 along the chest, 2 in the small of the back, 2 on the turnbacks and 3 on each cuffs.

They also wore a red waistcoat lined green, with two lateral pockets closed by lapels en patte d’oie. As for the coat, buttons were made of brass and buttonholes were trimmed in red: 9 along the chest, 3 on each pocket-lapel.

Soldiers wore red breeches, tight and long to the knee.

Guards wore green waistcoat and breeches, with 10 golden buttons along the chest.

Gaiters and Shoes

Legs were covered by white or black gaiters (black in winter) closed laterally by 10 buttons. Exceptionally, Apcheronskiy regiment wore red gaiters, in recognition of his conduct at Kunersdorf in 1759, where they fought “immersed in blood to their knees”.

Musketeers of the Observation Corps wore heavy cavalry boots.

Armament and Leather Equipment

The most important weapon was the calibre 18 smooth bore flintlock musket (1,63 m. long without bayonet, 2,05 m. with bayonet), with an iron ramrod. It derived from the bigger and heavier calibre 16 Petrine model (1,65 m. long without bayonet). The pattern in use during the Seven Years' War imitated the Austrian Model of 1754 with 38 g. ball. Metal fittings were in iron or in copper. Russian army suffered of a chronicle shortage of muskets along the whole XVIIIth century, so old Petrine models were carried alongside the new Model of 1756.

As sidearm, musketeers carried a 77 cm. sabre in a black leather scabbard decorated with copper fittings and hanged to a red leather belt. Musketeers of the Observation Corps carried a sabre without guard.

Cartridge boxes were richly and variously decorated. In the cartridge pouch or patronna sumka, were carried cartouches of ammunition or hand grenades. Boxes can be classified in two main categories: shoulder-belt or waist-belt. The shoulder-belt cartridge boxes (or patronna sumka) were bigger (30 x 20 x 12 cm.) than the waist-belt cartridge pouch (or lyadunka) that measured 27 x 9 x 3 cm. The former brought 18 cartridges in a wooden block (40 from 1761, with leather separations), the latter only 10. Cartridge boxes were suspended across the left shoulder by a red leather bandoleer or shoulder-belt 10 cm. wide closed with a copper buckle.

The waist belt was fastened on the shoulder with a metal button. The leather lapel cover was decorated with the regimental coat of arms engraved on a copper plate. The edgings of the box were reinforced by little copper edging-plates. Line infantrymen carried patronna sumka while the lyadunka was reserved to officers and grenadiers. Grenadier wore black leather lyadunka.

Troopers of the Observation Corps didn't carry shoulder-belt cartridge pouches, but only black leather lyadunka, on the lapel the regimental coat of arms, eagle with trophies of weapons, EP and rays.

Line and Observation Corps were furnished even with cartridge boxes for grenades: in the black leather pouch, a wooden box, that was parted to carry two hand grenades; the grenade box was suspended to a natural leather (chamois) bandoleer which bore on the front a match-case. The lapel was decorated with the regimental coat of arms, grenades and trophies of weapons at each corner (Observation Corps bore the same decoration on the lyadunka).

Troopers of the Leibkompanie of each Guard regiment carried cartridge boxes covered with red cloth while troopers of other companies of the Guards regiment carried black leather patronna sumka and lyadunka.

Peculiarities of Drummers and Fifers

Musketeers and grenadiers drummers wore the same uniform as the troopers, with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar. Braids were often yellow stripes (edged in red in the Observation Corps) and red XXXX decoration in the middle. However, the colonel of the regiment might have chosen a different colour for the braids. The Drum Major had a gold edge on tricorne, gold braids on cuffs and collar. No swallow nests for fifers.

Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.

Peculiarities of Non Commissioned Officers

NCOs preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.

Kaptenarmous and other NCOs carried bigger cartridge-boxes with ammunition reserves for the company.

Peculiarities of Officers

Most officers wore tricorne. Some officers wore a mitre with a central shield with the EPI cipher (Elizaveta Petrovna Imperatriza), over St. George killing the dragon, between trophies of weapons and standards.

Officer’s coat was similar to other rank’s, with lateral pockets closed by lapels en patte d’oie with 3 buttons each. Buttons in gold. Green breeches. Generally officers wore the coat with opened turnbacks.

Officers carried a 1,80 m. long musket with bayonet (1,43 m long without the bayonet). Officers preferred to carry a musket in action, so the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.

Officers also carried a 86 cm. long sword suspended to a red leather belt. Models differed widely because many officers purchased privately their own sword. On the blades were engraved words like “vivat la grande Elisabeth” and “à Dieu et la Patrie”.

Officers' patronna sumka (cartridge box) was suspended to a red leather waist belt edged in gold. For ceremonies and bad weather there was a cover in tiny red leather. The lapel was heavily decorated with plaque sewed in pair, the upper (removable) representing an eagle, the lower the Order of St. George and the coat of arms. The lyadunka was made of red leather, with the regimental coat of arms in the centre of the lapel. Grenadier officers had even grenades at each corner of the lapel.

Guards had more elaborated decorations, the Leibkompanie’s officers carried shoulder-belt cartridge-boxes covered in red velvet, with EP and weapons and grenades trophies embroidered on the lapel, bandoleer were made in gilt mail. The similarly lyadunka was in red velvet, lined by a golden edge, trophies and grenades. Officers of other companies had a red leather cover to protect and decorate the patronna sumka.

For all Guard officers, a two pieces metallic decoration was fixed on the lapel: the upper half (removable) represented EP and two grenades, the lower an eagle with two grenades. The waist belt was heavily embroidered in gold.

Officers’ saddle cloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one of two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.

References

Brock, Dr.: Russische Truppen in siebenjährigen Kriege in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht No. 4 - August 1894

Egorov, V. I.: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Egorov_05.pdf Гренадерские шапки драгунских и пехотных полков образца 1731 года] (Grenadiers' caps of dragoon and infantry regiments of 1731 model), Saint-Petersburg 2010

Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband: Russian Army of the Seven Years War, Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996

Knötel, Richard: Russiche Truppen in der Neumark 1758, in Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, Beilagen zum X. Bande der Uniformkunde, No. 6, 1899, pp. 21-23

Leonov, O. G. and I. E. Ulianov: Регулярная пехота 1698—1801: Боевая летопись, организация, обмундирование, вооружение, снаряжение (Regular Infantry 1698-1801)

Letin, Sergey: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Letin_02.pdf Русский военный мундир XVIII века] (Russian military uniform of XVIII century), Moscow 1996.

Malyshev, V. N.: Суконные гренадерские шапки первой половины XVIII века (Cloth grenadiers' caps of the 1st half of XVIII century), Saint-Petersburg 2010

Pengel and Hurt, Russian Infantry Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War

Schirmer, Friedrich, Zweifarben Tücher Borgdorf o. J. - Russische Infanterie 1740-1762

Shamenkov, S. I.: [www.milhist.info/2012/10/09/shamenkov_2/ Неизвестная шапка армейских гренадер царствования Елизаветы Петровны] (Unknown cap of army grenadiers of the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna)

Tatarnikov, Kirill: [www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Tatarnikov_06.pdf Обсервационный корпус. 1756-1760 гг. Обмундирование и снаряжение] (Observation Corps. 1756-1760. Uniform and equipment)

Viskovatov, A. V., Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900

Acknowledgements

Carlo Bessolo for the initial version of this article and Roman Shlygin for additional information on grenadier mitre-caps.