Origin and History
The regiment was created on June 25, 1700 by the Boyar Prince I. V. Trubetskoy in Novgorod from a militia unit. It consisted of 1 grenadier and 9 fusilier companies and was designated as the "Roman Bruce Infantry Regiment". Just seven weeks after its formation, the regiment took part in the Battle of Narva (November 30, 1700).
Throughout the Great Northern War (1700-21) until the Treaty of Nystad (1721), the regiment took an active part in many great battles and sieges (the battle of Lesnaya and Poltava, near Riga, at Abo, in the battle of Gangut, in the capture of Vasa, the occupation of the Aland Islands and in the siege of Stockholm). It also took part in the Prut campaign.
In 1708-1709, when Peter the Great reorganised the Russian infantry regiments and renamed each of them as per a city or province of his empire, the regiment was renamed "Vologodskiy Infantry".
The regiment participated in the Russo-Persian War (1722–1723), in the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739), and in the Russo-Swedish War (1741–1743).
In 1747, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), the regiment, as part of the 37th Corps, was sent to the assistance of Austria, but there was no battle.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- from 1753: Colonel von Derten
- from June 1, 1758: Colonel Count Fyodor Andreevich Osterman
- from August 2, 1759: Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Mukhin
- from 1762 to 1767: Colonel Otto Bayer von Weisfeld
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was stationed in Novgorod and Pskov.
In 1757, the regiment took part in the campaign in East Prussia under General-in-Chief Count Apraxin. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was part of Leontiev;s Brigade attached to Browne's 3rd Division. When the Russian army deployed, it was placed in the second line of the right wing.
In January 1758, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Russian invasion of East Prussia. Around mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in the area of Bischoffswerder (present-day Biskupiec), Deutsch Eylau (present-day Ilawa), Liebenmuhl, Osterode (present-day Ostroda) as part of Rumyantsev's 3rd 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 Dolgoruki's Brigade on the left of the first 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 first line of the centre 3rd Division as part of Dolgoruki's Brigade.
In August 1760, the regiment took part in the capture of Berlin.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762)
Most Russian regular line infantry regiments wore the same uniforms.
N.B.: the entire section on uniform is based on information provided by Arthur Yushkevich and Daniel Milekhin
|Coat||dark green with 9 copper buttons on the right side on the chest, 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.
|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|
|Gaiters||black leather with 10 large copper buttons (white for parade)|
During winter, line infantry wore knee-length cornflower blue cape.
Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates, but were distinguished by gold laces on their tricorne, collar, and cuffs, more precisely
- Sergeant: gold laces on cuffs (in 3 rows) and collar
- Fourrier, Master-at-arms and Sub-Ensign: gold laces on cuffs (in 2 rows) and collar.
- Corporal: gold lace on collar
Musketeer officers wore a gold laced tricorne (gold/black pompoms) or a simpler tricorne without lace. Grenadier officers wore a grenadier mitre, similar to that of grenadiers (or an earlier Modified M1731 model), but with a coloured regimental coat of arms.
Officer’s coat was similar to that of rank and file , but with a gold laced collar and lateral pockets closed by flaps en patte d’oie with 3 golden buttons each. Generally officers wore their coat with opened turnbacks. They also wore white cravates, green breeches and beige gloves.
Officers wore a gorget with the regimental coat of arms. For officers from ensign to captain, it was covered with silver; for majors, lieutenant-colonel and colonel with gold.
Officers carried a musket in action, the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned. They 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.
Officers wore a black and yellow (higher ranks - black and gold) silk sash.
Company musicians (drummers and fifers) wore the same uniform as privates with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar.
Regimental musicians (oboists) wore the same uniform as privates with braids on cuffs, pockets and collar. Buttonholes and buttons were laced. Each sleeve was decorated with 4 chevrons with 2 wide drummer laces on each side.
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.
The flags were 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 yellow flame pointing at the centre.
Regimental Colours: blue field, in its centre: a gold crown surmounting a gold shield bearing the regimental arms. In each corner: a yellow flame pointing at the centre.
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
Novitskiy, V. F.: Astrakhan 12th Grenadier Regiment of Emperor Alexander III in Military Encyclopedia
Pengel and Hurt: Russian Infantry of the Seven Years War, Birmingham, 1976
Saranchov, E. E.: His Majesty's 12th Astrakhan Grenadier Regiment in the marching and combat service to the Tsar and the Fatherland. Readings for soldiers
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.
Carlo Bessolo for the initial description of the uniforms
Daniel Milekhin for the revised description of the uniforms and for the section on "Origin and History"