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"Russian Libau Infantry Regiment" Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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1234567802 Mar 2009 4:57 a.m. PST

Does anyone out there know either of the following bits of information:

1. Which inspectorate the Libau regiment was attached to?

2. The colour of its "white" and "regimental" colours?



Defiant02 Mar 2009 5:50 a.m. PST

Hi mate,

The Libau Regiment came from the Caucuses Inspectorate along with the Petrov, Kamchatka and Mingrelia Regiments.

Collar – Dull Light Blue
Cuffs – Rose or Red
Cuff Flaps – Rose or Red
Shoulder Straps – Rose or Red

White Flag corners – White/Yellow
Coloured Flag cross – Yellow
Coloured Flag corners – White
Lace – Gold

Greystreak02 Mar 2009 6:23 a.m. PST

1. According to Mark Conrad's translations of Viskatov's seminal work, the Libavksii ('Libau') Musketeer Infantry Regiment was raised by order dated 24 June 1806, and assigned to the Caucasus Inspectorate. (Note that in the Inspectorate 'system', there was no alignment between name/base of the regiment, and the 'geography' of the Inspectorate's name--the latter were purely administrative.) The Caucasus Inspectorate was abolished in February, 1807, as the Russian Army moved to a system of permanent 'divisions'.

2. Shane has provided the correct details of flags, per the 1800 Inspectorate (Paul I's reign), but forgot that after taking power, Tsar Alexander I in 1803 modified the colour scheme, making the 'White Flag' all-white for all inspectorates; the 'Coloured Flag' for the Caucasus (specifically) had white corners, and the 'cross' was coloured Medium Blue, awarded on 21 March, 1807 (according to Terrence Wise & Guido Rosignoli, MAA 78, Flags of the Napoleonic Wars (2), p. 32)

After a number of queries on various 'scholarly' fora, I was unable to find any supporting evidence that the Libau Regiment every actually received flags for a then-defunct adminstrative Inspectorate. Given that Libau is on the Baltic Sea, in what was then 'Livonia', I chose to flag my version of the regiment (for wargaming purposes) with the flags of the 1803 Livonia Inspectorate. If you order your flags from GMB for the Caucasus Inspectorate, you will receive the 1803-pattern flags with the 'medium blue' cross on the coloured flag. Hope that helps.

1234567802 Mar 2009 6:50 a.m. PST

Thanks to both of you for the responses; I knew that there was a reason I should have avoided Russians! I will probably flip a coin to choose which flag:).



Steven H Smith02 Mar 2009 9:35 a.m. PST

The newly formed Libau regiment was sent, on 21.iii.1807(os), 1 white standard and 5 coloured standards of the 1803 patern. The coloured standard had a blue (Viskovatov) or "blue violet" (Strukov) cross and white corners. The white standard was white. These were the colours for the 16th division's standards, to which Libau belonged at the time.

These standards were replaced in 1824.

Greystreak02 Mar 2009 9:46 a.m. PST

Bless you, Steven! In which volume of Viskatov did you find this? (I thought I'd trolled through all of Mark Conrad's translations--LOL.)

Looks like I'll be re-flagging my Libavskiis after all! Thanks!

Steven H Smith02 Mar 2009 10:03 a.m. PST

Actually, I used Zvegintsov's "Zhamena i Shtandarty Russkoi Armii XVIi v. – 1914", 2nd edition. Paris: self-published, first edition 1964. A dual language work in Russian and French.

There is a Viskovatov volume on the 'Flags' of Alexander's reign but Mark has not, as yet, translated it.

nvrsaynvr02 Mar 2009 10:10 a.m. PST

I find this chart handy for facing colors:


nvrsaynvr02 Mar 2009 10:15 a.m. PST

A rare opportunity I shall not miss…
Actually, Steven, I believe Strukov gives violet and Gabayev gives blue-violet…;-)

Steven H Smith02 Mar 2009 2:22 p.m. PST

NSN, my friend,

I double checked both Zvegintsov's Russian and French texts – they both state what I originaly wrote above. I will try to locate my copy of Strukov and read Viskovatov to see if my late friend made an error in his text.

I shall also read all three of Gabaev's texts on the matter.


Mark Plant02 Mar 2009 4:00 p.m. PST

Libavksii Musketeer Infantry Regiment

"Libau" is the German for Liepāja, so seems a bit anachronistic to use. Libava is at least the Russian transliteration.

It was in the Courland Governate (not the Livonian) from 1795.

Курля́ндская губерния = Kurlyandskaya Guberniya

nvrsaynvr02 Mar 2009 4:16 p.m. PST is using Courland for Kurzeme…;-)

Both Courland and Libau are better choices for an English term for the historical entity, simply in that they are more "standard". Steven and I both have put some time into that…

It's kind of like "Marseilles"…

nvrsaynvr02 Mar 2009 4:22 p.m. PST

I'm sure the Zweguintzow reference is correct. If I'm wrong about Strukov/Gabayev I need to fix something… 3 Gabayev references? I think I'm one short…

Steven H Smith02 Mar 2009 9:08 p.m. PST


But, I am "a bit anachronistic"! <;^}

I have found that whatever one does in translating from Russian to English someone will think you wrong. I have long since stopped worrying about it.



I do not have three Gabayev texts, I have three of Gabaev's texts on the matter! <;^}

Mark, do you see my point? <;^}


nvrsaynvr02 Mar 2009 10:26 p.m. PST

I hang my head in shame…well at least one was via my collection…small as it is…

Mark Plant03 Mar 2009 2:20 a.m. PST is using Courland for Kurzeme…;-)

The line below gives the Russian though. In Cyrillic even.

Both Courland and Libau are better choices for an English term for the historical entity, simply in that they are more "standard"

Why is using the German better than using the Russian, when talking about the Russian military? It was more standard, perhaps, some time ago when much military material was filtered through German, but surely those days have passed?

It's also hard to be consistent that way. Are you going to have units from Moskau and Kieff? By sticking to the native language consistency becomes much easier.

It's kind of like "Marseilles"…

Yes. Which is why any unit from Marseille would be labelled as such in any book I wrote.

nvrsaynvr03 Mar 2009 10:29 a.m. PST

Marseilles is easy. What about Rome or Munich?

Cyrillic or transliteration are fine choices too, but what do you do about inflection?

Why use German? Because that is what the Russians did. Libava isn't adding much. (And Courland is English, not German.)

As the manuals say, use a consistent style and stick to it.-)

Mark Plant03 Mar 2009 3:45 p.m. PST

It's absolutely not true that the Russians used the German terms for Liepaja, Krustpils and the like. Some members of the Russian Empire did -- the German speaking ones. Russian speakers used the Russian terms, naturally. Still do.

What about Rome or Munich

I use the English term when speaking or writing in English and referring to the place, as a place, and not quoting directly.

I use the foreign term for an indirect reference to the place.

So: AS Roma play in Rome. München-Gladbach play in Munich.

Since I write a lot referring to Eastern European places, including Libau/Liepaja, I have thought through this and do have a pretty consistent style. There's always issues though.

Transliteration is a nuisance, but generally necessary. Inflection is only an issue when marked, which is uncommon: but I put in all the letters. Hence Sebastopol' and Kup'yansk.

Generally I refer to all places by their current name in the current language. This is because it enables people to find them easier when using maps. But using German for Libau, English for Moscow, and Russian for most of the rest is not consistent and not helpful when using maps.

(I also almost always provide an appendix which cross-references the names. So many places have 5 or 6 versions that it helps people keep them straight.)

nvrsaynvr03 Mar 2009 10:59 p.m. PST

Of course Russians spoke Russian! But they are not adverse to adapting foreign words. Military terminology of the period is full of Russified German. In practical terms (i.e. character set issues) Либава is pretty much Libau, not some unique Slavic derivation.

In Russian, the regiment's title is essentially "the Libaun Regiment". That's why you see all those -skiy endings in the transliterations. So do you use the adjectival or noun form? If you refer to the colonel of the Libau regiment, are you going to declenate it in the nominative, genitive, or maybe prepositional case?-)

Current name in the current language is a reasonable standard, although al-Quds is a problem… But we are talking the Napoleonic era here, and we will be reading books set in that time period either. You are a lot more likely to find Libau on a map in the text than Liepāja.

That to me is the goal. What is the most accessible term? Usually maps and atlases will cross reference Libau. And what's important about Libau is that it was a prominent Baltic German port at the time, not it's precise location. Note that this only happens with cities that have some historical gravitas. Random Russian hamlets end up in English with transliterated names.

14Bore31 Mar 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

Not able to find my Osprey flag book and somehow seems missing on Warflag's list looked all day for a clue what Libau infantry regiment flag was. Had a old note it was in the Caucasus inspection but wanted verification.

Musketballs31 Mar 2019 5:19 p.m. PST

Not sure if you have Hourtoulle's Borodino, but the Libau flags are illustrated on p19.

Mid blue/violet cross with white corners, as mentioned above.

Prince of Essling01 Apr 2019 6:15 a.m. PST

Also see entry for 6th regiment at "Flags and standards of regiments, battalions of Russian army
infantry regiments No. 1-8" text in Russian- link

Prince of Essling01 Apr 2019 6:16 a.m. PST

Also see entry for 6th regiment at "Flags and standards of regiments, battalions of Russian army
infantry regiments No. 1-8" text in Russian-

Greystreak06 Apr 2019 8:03 a.m. PST

I agree, Prince of Essling, which is why I painted my version of the third battalion of the regiment thusly:


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