Kargopolskiy Horse Grenadiers

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to navigationJump to search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Kargopolskiy Horse Grenadiers

Origin and History

During the reorganisation of the Russian Army in 1756, this former dragoon regiment was converted into a horse grenadier regiment. By the end of the year, like the rest of the Russian cavalry, this regiment was totally unprepared for service in the incoming war. It was not properly trained for its new role of heavy cavalry and lacked good quality mounts. Poor quality horses were partially replaced by purchases and requisitions in occupied districts and by levies on the non-mobile border guard regiments.

At full strength, the regiment counted 5 squadrons of 2 companies each.

When Peter III acceded the throne in January 1762, all horse grenadier regiments were converted into cuirassier regiments.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • no information available yet

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was stationed on the western frontier until the Autumn of 1756 and then in Tchernigov

In 1757, when the Russian Army received orders to assemble for the campaign in East Prussia under General-in-Chief Apraxin, the regiment regrouped its best horses and troopers into a few squadrons. Additional horses were levied when the army entered into East Prussia. By July, the regiment could field only 2 or 3 squadrons. Furthermore, its unpreparedness confined it to patrol and outpost service. In combat, its troopers fought dismounted in the second line of infantry. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was part of the vanguard. 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. In July of the same year, it also took part in the invasion of Brandenburg. On August 25, the regiment fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it was part of the first line of the cavalry right wing. On September 11, during the retreat of the Russian Army, half the regiment was part of Rumyantsev's Corps who made a junction with the main army at Landsberg and encamped on the left bank of the Wartha. Around mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Soldau (present-day Dzialdowo) 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 Homiakov's Brigade deployed in the first line of the left wing. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard of the left wing behind the cossacks as part of Morbvinov's Brigade.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762


Acknowledgements for this section: Daniel Milekhin

During summer, Russian horse grenadiers did not wear coats. These were left in the baggage. For this reason, we present two different plates.

N.B.: another interpretation states that, on active duty, the horse grenadiers did not wear their cornflower blue coat.

There seems to have been important variations of the uniform in the field:

  • “kollet” edged with a cornflower blue braid or undecorated
  • “kollet” totally absent due to supply problems and replaced by the cornflower blue coat and/or the cornflower blue waistcoat


Uniform in 1757 - Source: Richard Couture

Summer uniform in 1757 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear until 1759: mitre with a 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 leather skull-cap and neck guard with brass reinforcements and decorations, a white wool pompom

Note: since 1756, there was much protests about the inconvenience of the new grenadier mitre caps for mounted grenadiers
from December 29, 1759: black felt tricorne laced white with a white cockade on the left fastened with a bronze button, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat

Neckstock black
Coat cornflower blue lined red; with copper buttons and red trimmed buttonholes

N.B.: the coat was not worn during summer

Collar red
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs red with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks red
Gloves buff
Kollet chamois leather fastened with hooks and eyes; with cornflower blue collar and cuffs; horizontal pockets, each with 3 copper buttons.

N.B.: this so-called “kollet” could also be edged with cornflower blue braid made from old winter capes

Waistcoat a cornflower blue waistcoat made from old winter capes, which was worn under the “kollet”
Breeches chamois leather with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box and grenade pouch black with a copper plate carrying the regimental arms
the grenade pouch was removed after December 29 1759
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth fawn-coloured without lace
Housings fawn-coloured without lace
Blanket roll n/a

In Russian regulatory documents, regulated description of the shape of the mustache dates back to 1755.

“Every cuirassier and dragoon should grow a mustache. When a private is in the ranks and on guard duty, a mustache should always be combed up, the mustache should be blackened, and for horse grenadiers, the mustache should be grown as long as possible and it should be curled over the cheeks. If you are still young and do not have a natural mustache, then you should get fake ones.”

Until the early 1760s, according to modern iconography and statutory documents, grenadiers in the Russian army wore mustaches with long ends and without sideburns, according to the Prussian fashion that had existed since the 1730s.

Troopers were armed with a short carbine, a bayonet, two pistols and a sabre (more precisely a straight blade Pallasch until December 29 1759 and then a curved blade sabre). They also had a cornflower blue epancha (cape) for winter.

Other interpretations

The representations of the "tails" of the kollet differ widely. Some authors show rather long tails others illustrate short tails.


Corporals wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers.

Other NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • gold laced collar
  • gold laced cuffs:
    • 1 stripe for Unterfähnrich
    • 2 stripes for armourers and quartermasters
    • 3 stripes for sergeant


Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • genadier mitre with gold decorations
  • gilt buttons
  • no turnbacks
  • black and gold silken sash
  • yellow saddlecloth and housings laced gold carrying the imperial cipher


Musicians wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • swallow nests at the shoulders
  • tricorne (only for the kettle-drummer)

The kettle-drum and trumpets were made of copper. The banners were of the colour of the squadron standards. The banner of the kettle-drum was embroidered and fringed in gold.

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


Horse grenadiers still carried standards of the 1731 pattern, measuring 123 cm by 142 cm (some sources indicate square 150 cm by 150 cm standards). The flagpole had a gilt finial.

Colonel Standard: white field fringed in gold; centre device: an Imperial Eagle, crowned double-headed, bearing the regimental arms on a breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St. George’s Order and the cross of St. Andrew.

Ordonnance Standard: green field fringed in gold; centre device: a crown surmounting a gold shield bearing the regimental arms.

Colonel Standard - Source: rf-figuren from an original black and white plate by Viskovatov
Ordonnance Standard - Source: rf-figuren from an original black and white plate by Viskovatov

The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 4 other squadrons each carried one ordonnance standard.


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, page 1-46
  • 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 Military, London, Reed International, 1996

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

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

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

Zveguintzov: 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.