Origin and History
The regiment entered into Russian service in 1738 as the Gruzinskiy Hussar Company, recruited from Georgians who had left Georgia under the command of Vakhtang VI of Kartli (who died during the journey). Initially, the company had 17 officers and 70 hussars. By 1739, the company had already distinguished itself when fighting against the Turks and Field Marshal Münnich ordered the creation of the Gruzinskiy Hussar regiment. The regiment was created on October 14, 1741 and theoretically counted 10 companies for a total of about 962 men (800 troopers). However, until July 1759, most Russian hussar regiments counted only 6 squadrons. Tielke specifically mentioned this regiment as counting 600 men during this period.
In 1742 the regiment fought in Finland against the Swedish at Frederikshamn on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. After the conclusion of the war, the regiment was stationed in Ukraine, then in Sviyazhsk, in the Province of Kazan, then in Kizlyar.
From 1742 to 1757, the soldiers of the regiment had a settled lifestyle in Ukraine, engaging in farming and living in the usual landowner manner of poor nobility.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1739 to 1741: Captain Mamuka Davydov
- from 1757: Colonel Prince Amilokhvaro/Amilahvari
Service during the War
In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was stationed in Kegsgolm and Pskov. During the winter of 1756-57, it joined the Russian field army.
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 the vanguard and belonged to Dolgoruki<s Brigade. When the Russian army deployed, it was placed in the second line of the left wing.
In January 1758, the regiment took part in the Russian invasion of East Prussia. At the beginning of August, it took part in the [[invasion of Brandenburg. On August 25, it fought in the Battle of Zorndorf where it was part of the second line of the cavalry left wing. Around mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Garnsee 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 Demiku's Light Cavalry Brigade deployed on the right wing of the first line. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard behind the Cossacks as part of Riazanov's Light Cavalry Brigade. In a report to Empress Elizabeth Petrovna after the battle, Saltykov pointed to "the courage and fearlessness of the Gruzinskiy Hussar Regiment under the command of Amilahvari."
At the beginning of October 1760, during the campaign in Brandenburg, the regiment formed part of Totleben's Corps who captured Berlin.
At the beginning of 1761, the regiment was transferred from Tottleben's Corps, wintering in Pomerania, to Rumyantsev's Corps. The regiment was initially stationed at Schlochau (present-day Człuchów). During the campaign in Pomerania and the siege of Colberg, it was part of Rumiantsev's Corps; more precisely, along with Slobodskiy Hussars, it belonged to Amialchnaroy's Brigade. In May, the regiment counted 836 men (including 35 sick). On September 23 near Kiełpin, 300 men of the regiment, under the command of Ratayev, were forced back by Platen's cavalry. On October 7, 2 sqns of the regiment were sent to Greifenberg (present-day Gryfice) as part of Colonel Apocnin's detachment (Rizhskiy Horse Grenadiers, 3rd and 4th converged grenadiers bns, Miller volunteer bn, Igerstrom volunteer bn and 400 Cossacks). At Koldemanz, they took part in the capture of Major Potscharly's Prussian detachment (300 men of Belling Hussars, 200 volunteers of Grenadier Battalion 17/22 Rothenburg and 1 gun). The regiment wintered in Pomerania.
To do: more details on the campaign of 1762
|Headgear||black kolback with a red bag and red cords, knots and tassels|
|Dolman||yellow with 8 red braids and brass buttons
|Breeches||red decorated with intricate yellow loops|
Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre and two pistols (no carbine). Zweguintzov mentions that Russian hussars also carried a carbine.
Officers wore uniforms identical to those of the troopers with the following differences:
- gold cords and lace
- yellow Hungarian boots
- pelisse trimmed with grey fur
NCOs wore uniforms identical to those of the troopers with the following differences:
- gold cords, knots and tassels on the kolback
- gold lace
- a golden braid on the border of the collar
- golden braids on the sleeve (2 for the vakhmistr, 1 for quartermaster)
There was 1 kettle-drummer for the regiment and 1 trumpeter for each of the 10 companies. They wore uniforms identical to those of the troopers with the following differences:
- small wings on the shoulders
- braids of an unknown colour
Trumpets and kettle drums were made of copper and decorated with red lace and cords.
Russian hussar regiments carried no standards during the Seven Years' War.
Andronikashvili, Boris: Hopes of Golden Pets (Georgians in Russia)èè (НАДЕЖД ПИТОМЦЫ ЗОЛОТЫХ (ГРУЗИНЫ В РОССИИ)), Moscow, 1992
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Gromoboy, Vlad: The Russian Pandours - Pandour Hussars (1741-61), Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XII No. 1
- Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin 1902
- chapter A: Das Kaiserlich Russiche Heer, page 1-46
- appendix: supplement 1, Das Kaiserlich Russiche Heer, page 3-18
Karpiński, Tomasz: Kampania 1761 r. na Pomorzu Zachodnim, manuscript
Konstam A. & Younghusband B.: Russian Army of the Seven Years War, Osprey, London, 1996
Maslowskij, D.: Russkaia armija, vol. 3, p. 43
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Tielke, J. G.: An Account of some of the most Remarkable Events of the War between the Prussians, Austrians and Russians from 1756 to 1763, Vol. 2, Walter, London, 1788
Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar
Zweguintzov: L'Armee Russe, 1973
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Jonas Milukas for the translation and integration of info from Andronikashvili's book