Russian Line Infantry Uniform

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


Under Empress Anna Ioannovna in 1731, a Military Commission was created under the leadership of Field Marshal Münnich, which, among other things, was supposed to develop and approve standardised models of uniforms for the Russian army. For this purpose, dozens of models of weapons, cartridge boxes, horse harness, etc. were ordered from Prussia. The influence of the Prussian uniform had been growing in Russia since the 1710s, when Peter I became friends with the then Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm. As a result, the Russian guards uniform was copied from the Prussian uniform of the Crown Prince, as well as a number of models of firearms and bladed weapons.

During the work of this Military Commission in 1730–1733, a uniform was developed and approved for each branch of the Russian Army, which remained in use, with minor changes, until 1762. In 1731 (with adjustments in 1734), the Russian Army adopted a standardised green coat for all infantry regiments with a red collar and round cuffs. The waistcoat and breeches were red.

Hat and Fatigue Cap


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.


The headgear was a tricorne in black woollen felt laced in white, a white cockade on the left, fixed by a bronze button. The brim of the tricorne was supposed to measure no more than 13.3 cm. Since November 1761, tricornes had to be made of lambswool.


At the beginning of the 18th century, the Russian Army did not have a standardised model of headdress for grenadiers. The army used various models, guided both by considerations of practicality and existing fashion.

In 1731, the model of the Russian grenadier cap was developed based on the received Prussian models, however it had a smaller brass plate than the Prussian model. The regimental coat of arms was to be embossed in the centre of the front plate, according to the standardised regimental coat of arms approved in March 1730. The pointed cap of the new caps was assembled from four equal cloth wedges. In the infantry regiments, the caps were made of green cloth. The seams on the cap were trimmed with white woollen cords. A white woollen tassel was sewn to the top of the cap. Infantry caps were issued for a period of six years, and brass plates for 12 years. More expensive and high-quality cloth was used for officer's caps.

The final shape of the brass plate was approved only in 1733. By 1735, contracts had been concluded with suppliers. However, during the War of the Polish Succession, the Russian grenadiers wore a mix of grenadier caps without brass plates, or with brass plates of arbitrary designs. The process of replacing grenadier caps in the army with a single unified model dragged on for several years. Only by 1737 did the field and garrison regiments almost completely switch to the new headdresses. The exception was the regiments of the former Nizowoi Corps, for which caps of a new model were ordered to be made in January 1738 with standardised brass plates, that is, without regimental coats of arms, but with the coat of arms of Russia and the monogram of the Empress.

The so-called M1731 caps was the only officially approved grenadier headdress from 1731 to 1755.

Around the mid-1740s, new models of grenadier caps began to appear in the regiments. They differed from the 1731 model in that they had a high front plate, which was similar to the Prussian models depicted in the 1737 Dessau Specification. No official documents relating to these headdresses have survived. But at the same time, several models of such hats have been preserved in museums. Most likely, the reason for such innovations was the changing fashion. And probably the regiment ordered and manufactured such caps based on the wishes of the colonel, but at the same time the regiments tried to adhere to the existing costs for the production of the 1731 model. As a result, the brass plates were thinner and often cracked and broke. The design of the cap itself retained all the features of the 1731 cap, but with a higher front flap. The crown itself, of the previous design with a frame on four whalebones, now leaned towards the front plate, the rear flap remained short. In 1747, the very first caps of this design were officially received by the grenadier cadets of the Gentry Cadet Corps.

In the early 1750s, grenadier caps with high front plate began to dominate, and their rear cloth flap began to be attached close to the crown. It was precisely these grenadier caps that were worn by the grenadiers of the Sankt-Peterburgskiy Infantry at the Battle of Zorndorf, judging by Prozorovsky’s memoirs.

Modern historians got access to additional written notes of that period, e.g. information that in 1749 officers of Nevskiy Infantry ordered a “new-manner” front plate similar to those “already used in Sankt-Peterburgskiy and Voronezhskiy regiments”. Additionally, the mitres of Bjeloserskiy Infantry and Rostovskiy Infantry are nowadays considered to be of the 1742-1756 period.

In 1743, the Military Collegium considered a new model of leather grenadier helmet modelled on the hats of guards grenadiers, but for various reasons, the introduction of this new model did not take place. Then, in 1755, it was considered once more, and additional changes were made to the design of the 1743 model. In 1755, the new model was officially approved and a regulation was issued for grenadiers to wear leather caps of a new type. That is why some historians call it the 1755 model, while others call it the 1756 model. But this does not change the essence. Since 1756, new headdresses began to arrive in the regiments. Most likely, within two years the army's needs were fully satisfied, given the deadlines announced by the contractors for the production of headdresses. The service life of grenadier hats was set at 8 years. For some regiments, caps were made centrally, and some regiments assembled them independently, that is, within the regiment.

The 1756 model was soon considered as very uncomfortable. Thus, at the end of 1759, grenadiers were allowed to use a fatigue caps and then in 1760 a red cloth mitre cap was approved and the M1756 were put in storage…


Grenadier mitre introduced in 1731 - Source: Roman Shlygin
Grenadier mitre introduced in 1731 - Source: DigitalMuseum and the Swedish Army Museum

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 woollen 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 centre 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.

Modified M1731

Bjeloserskiy Infantry modified M1731 grenadier junior officer mitre in use between the mid-1740s and 1756 - Source: Roman Shlygin
Rostovskiy Infantry modified M1731 grenadier captain mitre in use between the mid-1740s and 1756 - 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 could only be considered as modified M1731. Nevertheless, according to the specimen of mitres from the period 1740s-1755 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.

Note: the specimen from the Memorial Museum of A. V. Suvorov, dated mid-1740s-1757, has a 30 cm tall front plate and is 18 cm in diameter.


Grenadier mitre in 1756 - Copyright Kronoskaf

The M1756 mitre cap, introduced in 1755, 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.

The black boiled leather skull-cap and neck guard was decorated at the front with a solid copper plate no more than 267 mm high, embossed with trophies of weapons and standards and carrying in its centre the state or regimental coats of arms surmounted by the Imperial Eagle, and a small plate was attached at the back with the regimental monogram, that is, the initial letters of the name of the regiment. The grenadier regiments had a front plate embossed with the state coat of arms, and on the back the first letters of the name of the regiment name. For example, the 1st Grenadier Regiment had the letters ПГП on the back in Cyrillic characters. A white woollen pompom. Men belonging to Grenadier regiments wore a mitre with the state coat of arms 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.

The grenadier caps, approved in 1756 for the newly formed Observational Corps, had a number of distinctive details. The shape of the front plate on these caps had wavy side edges. The upper edge of the front plate ended not with an acute angle, but with a semicircle. The design of the front plate was particularly original. The image of the military fittings was complemented by the figure of the god of war Mars, and the soaring goddess of victory Nike under the monogram of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. A brass grenade with Elizabeth's monogram was attached to the back of the leather crown of the hat. The regiments of the Observation Corps received ready-made caps at the beginning of 1758, that is, they came to the theatre of military operations equipped with the new-style grenadier caps.

As for grenadier officers, on August 31, 1756, through General Stepan Apraksin, a decree of the Empress was announced, in which the appearance of the grenadier cap for officers was finally approved. Officers' caps in all regiments were approved to be the same and had the same design of the front plate, namely Elizabeth's monogram at the top, below was the state coat of arms made of black enamel, and below it, was St. George. On the back plate is Elizabeth's monogram. In fact, in the Russian Army, officers often moved from regiment to regiment. As a result, a standardised design avoided unnecessary replacement of all the brass fittings. However, there is a high probability that, by the time this decree was issued, some officers had made M1756 caps for themselves, but with the regimental coat of arms on the front plate. Accordingly, these same officers would have continued to wear caps with regimental coats of arms on the front plate from 1757 to 1760. Officers' hats were distinguished by the quality of materials and more elegant decoration. The brass parts were gilded, and a silk tassel was attached to the top instead of a woollen one.

It soon became cleat that, with the new M1756 mitre, practicality had been sacrificed to decorativeness and pomp. This headdress turned out to be uncomfortable and sensitive to the effects of rain and sun. Many regiments had not yet received these new headdresses when, on September 23, 1756, General Pyotr Saltykov wrote to the Military Collegium about the inconvenience of the M1756 caps for horse grenadiers. And this is not the only example.

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).

However, the earliest known official decree to replace the M1756 caps with cloth caps was issued only on December 29, 1759. Then General Saltykov’s proposal to replace the M1756 caps in the horse grenadier regiments of the army operating in Europe with triangular hats with iron iron-skull was finally approved. And on May 25, 1760, General Fermor ordered the transfer of all M1756 caps of the infantry regiments operating in Europe to arsenals for storage and the production of red cloth caps to replace them.

“Instead of the grenadier caps now used in the infantry regiments of the Foreign Army, which during the campaign are not only in themselves inconvenient for people, but also from the heat and rain, drying out and becoming wet, cause them considerable burden, use ordinary cloth caps, and these old caps, do not take them on a hike.”

It was planned to hand over the M1756 caps for temporary storage to the nearest commissariat stores. However, it it important to note that they had not been discarded but simply replaced temporarily with cloth caps.

It was not before 1764, that M1756 caps were officially abolished.

Thus, from 1755 to 1760, grenadiers were required to wear the M1756 cap, at least during parade, formation, battle and when passing through the city. That these leather caps were worn in battle or when passing through the city is confirmed by archaeological finds on the battlefields of the Seven Years' War (re.: the findings of Grzegorz Podruchny), as well as by a small amount of iconography, such as the manuscript of Elbląg.

From 1760

Grenadier mitre in 1760 - Copyright Kronoskaf

Even though cloth caps were officially allowed from 1760, this does not mean that they were not used before 1760. Cloth grenadier caps were not included in the officially approved uniform lists and, accordingly, the state did not allocate money for them. Therefore, cloth caps were made from regimental savings. According to the history of the Life Guards and of the Grenadier Regiments, in the Summer of 1756, red cloth caps with tassels trimmed with yellow braid were made for the lower ranks of the 1st Grenadier Regiment, which had been formed from separate grenadier companies of several infantry regiments. These caps were intended for lower ranks while they were in camp and on campaign. A grenadier cap was sent to the grenadier companies of the infantry regiments of the Observation Corps in March 1757 to use as an example. In other regiments of the Russian Foreign Army that participated in the Seven Years' War, cloth caps also began to be produced everywhere.

Detail of a box depicting a Russian grenadier wearing a cloth mitre cap - Source: Deutsches Historisches Museum

Documents attest that the cloth mitre cap was made of red cloth and without any brass plate. But in practice, the shape, finish and colour of such caps could have different variations. The iconography of this period is, unfortunately, very poor. We can see what the red cloth cap looked like by looking at the one illustrated on a box kept in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, as well as in the Pavlovsk Museum. The picture shows a Russian grenadier in a red cap with a semicircular crown and two front and rear vertically standing visors. Essentially, this is the only existing iconographic source that we know. Based on these drawings, the cap was red and had two vertical visors. The front high visor was additionally decorated with a tassel. This faithfully corresponds to the cloth cap depicted for the bombardier in the Elblag manuscript. However, please note that the bombardiers of the artillery regiments were the only soldiers who wore officially approved cloth caps as everyday headdress.

In field regiments, caps could be sewn in various shapes. The colour combinations used were limited to red, green and blue, since the caps were made from cloth left over from the production of uniforms. But again, the caps were officially approved in red and they had no brass decorations.

The design of these cloth caps probably proved its practicality, because the use of such caps continued further in the 1760s and 1770s.

Hair and Mustache

Hair was powdered, curled into 'boucles' and put into a braid tied with a black leather strap, so the bow of it was at the level of the collar. However, the requirement to powder hair did not apply to soldiers in camps and during campaigns.

Rank and file could wear a moustache. For musketeers this was optional, but for grenadiers it was a prerequisite, if one did not have a moustache, he had to wear a false-moustache dyed black. However, officers, had to shave their moustache.

Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches

Russian Line Infantry Musketeer - Elbing.jpg Detail of an illustration of the Manuscript of Elbing depicting a Russian musketeer - Copyright Tomasz Karpiński
Note: It is not entirely clear what shoes are shown in the picture. The musketeer is depicted either in shoes and gaiters, or in boots. If these are boots, then they are drawn incorrectly. Infantry boots had to be below the knee.
Russian Line Infantry Grenadier – Elbing.jpg Detail of an illustration of the Manuscript of Elbing depicting a Russian grenadier - Copyright Tomasz Karpiński
Note: The drawing has a number of deviations from the officially approved uniform, namely:
  • The brass decorations on the grenadier cap are not drawn quite correctly. For example, there should not be a brass grenade on top.
  • The grenadier is shown with a musket with iron accessories, which indicates that the type of musket is an old model. Since 1758, muskets of a new model, with brass accessories, began to arrive in the army.
  • The brass plate on the cartridge box is drawn incorrectly or is not of an officially approved shape. There should be no grenades on the cartridge box, as well as on the small belt cartridge box. The grenadier probably made them at his own expense. The belt on the waist box should be black.
  • The gaiters depict buttons that the soldier used from an old uniform, since the buttons on gaiters should be covered with fabric.

As mentioned in the introduction, in 1731 (with adjustments in 1734), the Russian Army adopted a standardised green coat for all infantry regiments with a red collar and round cuffs. The waistcoat and breeches were red.

A coat, waistcoat and two breeches were issued for a duration of three years. Regiments were distinguished by shoulder straps made of wool braid, which were sewn on the left shoulder.

Despite the introduction of a standardised uniform for all infantry regiments, in the 1730s and 1740s a number of regiments did not comply with the established uniform rules. This was especially evident at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign. Regiments, often without the knowledge of the Military Collegium, began to introduce multi-coloured tassels for hats, sword knots attached to the hilt of sabres and swords, non-standard brass plates for grenadier caps, copper plates for cartridge boxes and pouches; waistcoat received coloured lapels, collars and cuffs…

For example, from the late 1730s to the mid-1750s, many regiments had double-breasted waistcoat with coloured lapels (green and red), from the cloth that remained after sewing the uniform. If these deviations from the rules did not require additional costs, the authorities often turned a blind eye to them. For example, in response to the decision of one of the garrison regiments to make waistcoats with lapels, Field Marshal Münnich gave the following resolution: “... if there is enough cloth, then it is allowed to make waistcoat with lapels, for the better benefit of the soldiers.”

In the 1750s, regimental commanders were already busy “beautifying” the regiments entrusted to them. During the inspection of several regiments in 1753 and 1755, the following deviations from the rules were revealed:

However, with the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the administration tried to stop this in every possible way. Decrees were issued that required regiments to make identical uniforms throughout the army and “not have any unregulated differences.” In 1759, uniform samples were once again approved for infantry, dragoon, and garrison regiments, as well as for land militia regiments. In fact, the uniform was no different in appearance from the uniform established in 1731. However, the uniform required a smaller quantity of cloth, the coat having a tighter fit.

As a result, during the Seven Years' War, a soldier of the Russian Army wore the following uniform:

  • A coat made of green cloth with green pocket-flaps and red collar, cuffs and turnbacks. In Russian terminology of the 18th century this coat was called a “caftan”. The coats were made single-breasted and in three sizes. The length of the coat was as follows: if a soldier knelt, the edge of the coat should be about 4 cm higher from the ground, that is, two fingers. The sleeves of the coat had to be “neither narrow nor wide” so that the soldier could wear something warm under the coat in the cold season.
  • A waistcoat made of red cloth with a green collar and cuffs. The waistcoat was also single-breasted and should be approximately 9 cm shorter than the coat.
  • Buttons were made of brass in all regiments and existed in two sizes: large ones were sewn on coats, small ones on waistcoats. On the coat, buttons were sewn on the chest, approximately 4-5 cm from the edge of the side of the coat, three on each pocket-flap, and two buttons (one on each side) in the small of the back. Depending on the height of the soldier, the coat required only 18 buttons for large height, 17 buttons for medium height, 16 buttons for short height.
  • Buttonholes were originally covered with red cloth, but from 1756 the red covering of buttonholes was abolished. There were no buttons on the cuffs. Overall, 21 buttons were sewn on the waistcoat: buttons were sewn in one row on the chest and three on each pocket-flap.
  • Breeches below the knees made of red cloth.
  • As outerwear, a sleeveless cloak (epancha) was used, made of blue cloth, lined on the inside with red kersey. The cloak was fastened with one button and a leather-trimmed loop.

During the summer season of military operations, the Russian Army went on campaign in red waistcoat and blue cloaks. They left their coats in magazines or with the train that followed behind the army. However, there is evidence that with the onset of cold weather, soldiers did not always have time to receive their coats from regimental stores.

Neck Stock and Shirt

A white canvas shirt was worn under the waistcoat. A white neck stock was tied around the neck. There is an assumption that by the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Russian infantry wore black neck stock with a white border on top. But the documents do not clearly indicate the colour of the neck stock, which is not mentioned in the treasury expenditures. Officers wore both white and black neck stocks.


As outerwear, every four years, soldiers were given a red cloth cloak (“epancha” in Russian terminology) with a blue collar, and since 1743 the cloak was approved in blue.

Gaiters and Shoes

Once a year, all lower ranks were given one pair of shoes, one pair of boots (below the knee), and two pairs of woollen stockings.

Since the beginning, boots in use were of the round toe model. However, blunt toe shoes were in use until 1758. From September 30, 1758, all soldiers were ordered to make round toe shoes with low heels. Experience had demonstrated that round shoe footgear were better, soldiers getting less tired on the march. From that time on, throughout the 18th century, Russian infantrymen wore only round toe shoes. Musketeers of the Observation Corps wore boots.

From 1761, soldiers were given three pairs of stockings: a pair of woollen stockings and two pairs of canvas stockings.

Gaiters were black with wooden, fabric-covered buttons. The Guard had both black and white gaiters.

Soldiers were allowed to use buttons from old uniforms and sew them on their gaiters, thus replacing the fabric-covered buttons. The main condition was that it was the same in one company.

Leather Equipment

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 white 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.

Other Equipment

Rank and file had backpacks. They were made of black cowhide leather, had a belt and iron buckles. However, not a single one has survived and there are no images and no clear descriptions of their design. In the Russian army, the backpacks were carried in the baggage train.

During campaign, a soldier could carry a bread-bag made of randomly shaped canvas, a water flask and, of course, a musket and a cartridge box.

In January 1758, General-in-Chief Willim Fermor ordered all infantry regiments subordinate to him to have bags for carrying five-day provisions. These bags were made "...of calfskin with hair facing outwards, and in case calfskin was not available, from canvas or from thick dense linen, with straps sewn for carrying over the shoulder" (backpacks for carrying provisions were not suitable – "they were filled with clothes and other small things, and were carried on pack-horses."

Unlike backpacks, the design of a water flask is known, since its detailed descriptions were preserved when the Military Commission developed a sample flask and entered into supply contracts.

The water flask was made of double tin and had a brass plate on one side with the image of a two-headed eagle. It had a black cowhide belt with an iron buckle. There is one example of such a flask preserved in the Gotland Museum. Brass plates from such flasks are also found at battle sites in the 1750s - 1770s.

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 regimental oboists.

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

Grenade Box carried by the Grenadier officers – Source Viskovatov

A standardised uniform for all field infantry officers was approved on December 7, 1731 in the “Instructions for Army Generals and Inspectors”. In 1757, all this was once again confirmed, taking into account small changes introduced in the past period in the “Regulations on the uniform, combat dress, horses and baggage of officers of cuirassiers, mounted grenadiers, dragoons, foot grenadier and musketeer regiments.” Based on these documents, officers of the infantry and grenadier regiments of the field army were supposed to have:

  • A coat of green cloth with a red collar and cuffs, and a red waistcoat, so a coat and waistcoat similar to those of privates, but everything was made from higher quality cloth. Unlike privates, their breeches were green. The buttons were gilded.
  • Hats for parades were supposed to be semi-down, edged with a 3 cm wide gold braid. The everyday hat was made of lambswool and had no braid. Both hats had a white bow on the left side and a gilt button – a Russian field badge – and gold tassels mixed with black silk. The hat had to be deep to the ears, and its brim had to be no more than 13 cm. When the brim of the hat was turned up, it should be two fingers higher than the crown of the hat. Junior officers of the grenadier companies wore a black leather cap (see above).
  • Officers wore their unpowdered hair in a braid. The braids were wrapped with black silk ribbon. One or several curls were braided over the ears in accordance with fashion.
  • The neck stock was supposed to be black, although white neck stocks were also used.
  • The shirt was made of a thin fabric, the cuffs were always starched.
  • Senior officers were given sashes made of yellow and black silk threads with an admixture of gold thread, junior officers were given entirely silk ones (made of yellow and black silk threads). The sash was always worn around the waist. The sash was of such length that, having wrapped the sash around the belt, one could thread one end of the sash into a hole specially made at the other end.
  • All officers received silver gorgets of the 1731 model with the regimental coat of arms in the centre. Senior officers had completely gilt gorgets, and junior officers: captains only had gilt coats of arms and a border around the badge, and junior officers only gilt coats of arms.
  • Elk leather gloves.
  • Junior officers were armed with a musket of the 1746 model (weight 4 kg, calibre 15-16 mm, barrel length 1,122 mm, musket length 1,512 mm), of a better quality than that of the privates, and a sword of the 1750 model with a cast hilt and Elizabeth's monogram. The lanyards for swords were silk, the same colours as the sashes. The sword belt was worn under the waistcoat. Except for Guard officers, no officers carried a spontoon since they were finally abolished in 1746. The senior officers on horseback, quartermaster, adjutant and auditor did not have muskets but carried a sword.
  • The cartridges were carried in small cartridge boxes on a belt made of silk braid, the same colour as the sash, with gilt copper buckles, and with a gilt copper plates on its cover. The design of the plates was different from one regiment to another, and was not regulated, but it should be identical within the same regiment.
  • Officers of the grenadier companies also carried a decorated box for grenades. This grenade box was approved as a single model for all grenadier officers. However, it is likely that some of the officers made themselves boxes that differed from the official model. The official model had two gold-plated brass plates on the lid. On the lower one, St. George the Victorious was depicted, on the upper, narrower one, a double-headed eagle. The box was worn on a wide sling covered with gold braid on top (see accompanying illustration). Grenadier officers carried cartridges, like infantry officers, in a cartridge box on their belt (in Russian terminology “lyadunka”).
  • All senior officers, adjutants, and quartermasters were entitled to one combat horse. Officers’ saddle cloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one 2 cm stripe for adjutants or two gold stripes for senior officers (the inner braid broader at 4.5 cm). Higher officers were given horse harness made of red leather or covered with red cloth or red braid, with gilt copper plaques. The tassels for weaving into the withers and mane of the horse were red silk, optionally with gold. Iron bits and stirrups. During training and on campaigns, leather saddle cloths and holsters housings were used.
  • Officers who were in the ranks on horseback were given blunt-toed boots with small cuffs, gilt copper spurs with buckles on one side, and shtibel-cuffs made of thin linen. All other company officers had blunt-toed shoes, black leather gaiters with socket and white shtibel-cuffs, as well as other white gaiters. The gaiters had copper buttons. During parades, when senior officers were on foot, they wore shoes and gaiters.
  • All mounted officers had a pair of pistols in black leather holsters.

It should be noted a curious case when some of the officers of the Russian army, going on a campaign, made themselves uniforms in the old style, that is, spacious, with large cuffs, reminiscent of the coats/caftans of the army of Peter the Great. They believed that in these old-fashioned clothes they would be seen as former victors at Poltava. However, apart from the grins of the inhabitants of East Prussia, this did not produce any effect.

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.


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

Egorov, V. I.: Гренадерские шапки драгунских и пехотных полков образца 1731 года (Grenadier caps of dragoon and infantry regiments of 1731 model), Saint-Petersburg 2010

Karpiński T.: The unknown iconographic sources for the history of the Russian army. The Russian garrison in Elblag during the Seven years' war through the eyes of eyewitnesses in Milhist Info

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: Русский военный мундир XVIII века (Russian military uniform of XVIII century), Moscow 1996.

Malyshev, V. N.: Суконные гренадерские шапки первой половины XVIII века (Cloth Grenadier Caps of the 1st Half of the XVIIIth 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.: Неизвестная шапка армейских гренадер царствования Елизаветы Петровны (Unknown Cap of Grenadiers of the Reign of Elizabeth Petrovna)

Tatarnikov, Kirill: 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


Carlo Bessolo for the initial version of this article, Arthur Yushkevich, Tomasz Karpiński, Daniel Milekhin and Roman Shlygin for major improvements to the article.