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"No artillery train in the Russian army ?" Topic

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853 hits since 29 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Osage201729 Mar 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

We all know the Russians had a very powerful artillery (in terms of caliber and numbers). However I can't find any info on their artillery train.

14Bore29 Mar 2017 2:53 p.m. PST

There certainly are uniform plates of train divers, but yes I don't know where to look. Hopefully one of out Russian friendscan help

rmaker29 Mar 2017 6:56 p.m. PST

IIRC, the uniform is the same as for other artillerymen. the Russians did not have separate train units.

Le Breton30 Mar 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

Mr. R. Maker is perfectly correct. The Russian "train" (i.e. those who were tasked with moving the artillery pieces, the caissons and ammuninition, managing the limbers, etc. were just the artillerymen. They were part of the artillery companies' combattant complement. The Russian word for "train" did *not* apply to them.

The Russian had also brigade/regimental/batallion/company "trains" for provisions, forage, tools, forges, tradesmen, officers' servants, medical support, baggage, commisaries etc. The Russian pushed much more of these logisticsl resources down into their lower tactical and administrative sub-units than did the French. The uniforms for those engaged here varied a bit based mostly on the defintion of combattant vs, non-combattant. The combattants had moslty typical uniforms. The non-combattants had medium gray uniforms in the time of Tsar Alexandre.

Unless you are doing a vignette or skirmish level, I doutbt you will want to model any of this "train" for a game. But if you do want to show these troops, tell me the ones which interest you and the time period and I will reply with the typicial staffing, equipment and uniform information.

Osage201730 Mar 2017 8:35 a.m. PST

Thank you for the answer.
Are you talking about the artillery assistants/"gandlagers" ?

The Russian artillery company of 12 guns had 35 bombardiers (bombardiry), 35 cannoners (kanoniry), and 120 artillery assistants (gandlagery).

Do you know of any uniform differences/distinctions between the bombardiers, cannoniers and assistants ?

Le Breton30 Mar 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

In a light company (battery and horse companies being slightly different) :

- 35 bombardiers : NCO's galon on the cuff (NCO's also had galon on the collar)
- 35 cannoneers : no distinctions
- 100 handlers ("assistants" may be descriptive, but not a good translation) : no distinctions
- 20 drivers (for the provision wagons) : dressed like officers' servants provided by the army (officer servants provided by the officer ** might or might not wear a uniform, depending on who they were) – plain green forage cap, no shako, no cross belts, plain green uniform coat with plain buttons and no shoulder straps.

However, as the coats were increasingly pre-made in manufactories (not tailored in the unit), using standard uniform coats for servants and drivers would be fine for 1809 and later. Also, I am sure that some of these got the non-combatant gray coats, pants and forage caps, as there was a huge surplus of these from 1811. The surplus arose because recruits would get these gray uniforms immediately upon being handed over to the army (also bathed with soap and shaved – all to prevent desertion, reduce flea and lice infestation and make clear the new social caste of the recruit: soldier, not serf).

Upon arrival to the regimental depots, the recruits got their green uniform coats and white or green pants. There was a huge peak of recruitment in 1811. The gray outfits would start piling up to some extent.

** All officers could have servants of their own. Officers with property with less than 100 serfs (i.e., almost all officers) had the right to request the army to provide them servants according to their rank, starting with 1 servant for the most junior officers. These, like the drivers, were paid less and ranked below the handlers.

Osage201731 Mar 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

Big thank you Le Breton for the detailed info ! It is very helpful in understanding this complicated (for me) matter.

So there were no "120 assistants/gandlagery" but 100 "handlers" and 20 drivers for the provision wagons ….. They were the ones who handled the 12 provisions wagons for foodstuffs, fodder, hand tools and baggage. But what about the ones for the 8 wagons for noncombatants (medical, finance & administration) ?

So the Russsian bombardiers had NCO's gallon on the cuff.
I am surprised. I wonder if the Austrian "gandlagery" had also some sort of markers. Any idea ?

Thank You in advance.

Le Breton31 Mar 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

Well, I know nothing about Austrians, I am ashamed to say.
Russian artillery companies were really quite a large and complex formation, with a light company commanded by a major until the position was upgraded to lieutenant colonel in 1810. For a light company (again, horse and battery companies slightly different) of 8 cannons and 4 licornes, in addtion to those directly assigned to specific guns and their limbers, caissons, etc. …..

1 staff (i.e. senior) officer in command of the company (major, later lieutenant-colonel)

1 "furshtatskiy ofitser" – train officer (lieutenant)
2x "fushtatskiy unter-ofitser" – train under-officer (corporal)
2x "artel'shchik" – commissaries * (chosen by the rankers from among the rankers – ran a sort of communal business for the benefit of rankers, similar to French cantiniθres but also arranged to sell the labor of the men when off-duty, acted as sort of bank for small loans and so on – were relieved of all regular duties)
20 drivers * – of which 1 was an apprentice farrier

1 company doctor (officer rank – they had a slightly special set if uniform distinctions, and wore green coats – but changed to a gray outfit similar to non-combattants when actually working or on campaign)
2 barbers ** (acted as medics during combat, ranked like vice-corporals, ahead of other privates but below corporals)
2 ward attendants ** (for tending the sick, injured or wounded – acted as medics during combat)

1 company clerk ** (NCO rank)
2 company drummers (had musicians distinctions on regular uniform)
11 officers' servants *, 12 from 1810 (mostly or all provided by the army)

1 gun carriage maker **
1 woodworker joiner **
1 carpenter **
1 lathe operator **
2 wheelwrights **
1 metalsmith (worked tin, copper and brass) **
1 apprentice metalsmith **
1 blacksmith ** (worked iron and steel)
1 apprentice blacksmith **
1 farrier **

20 drivers used for :
--- 10 standard provisions wagons : these were large, high-sided 4-wheel carts, used for foodstuffs and fodder : typically 1 for each "vzod" or platoon of 2 guns, 1 for company staff and those under medical care, 3 for fodder
--- 1 "ambulance" provision wagon : adapted to carry patients and medical equipment, a specialized design by 1810
--- 8 "artillery carts" : slightly smaller 4-wheeled vehicles – each adpated for the tools, supplies & equipment of the various workmen's trades
--- 1 field forge : a 4-wheeled wagon with a sort of towed 2-wheel platform

commisaries had :
--- 2 covered 2-wheeled carts

officers' servants had :
--- 1 light carriage for the staff officer's effects and the clerk's records
--- 1 personal horse for the staff officer to ride (the doctor riding the medical wagon, the others were suppposed to wak)
--- 7 pack horses – 1 for each of the other officer's effects
(rich and socially prominent officers, which were rare, especially in the artillery, might – against regulations – exceed the allotments by private purchase …. officers who could afford it might bring a horse of their own to ride)

[no stars] = regular uniform
* = out-of-ranks quasi-uniform
** = non-combattant gray uniform

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2017 1:43 a.m. PST

Thank you for your information.

Osage201704 Apr 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

amazing detail !!

thanks Le Breton

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