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"Specialty Officers" Topic

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763 hits since 13 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Widowson13 Nov 2017 10:06 p.m. PST

I recently viewed an illustration of the Pavlov Grenadiers, ca 1812, which had an officer wearing a shako, rather that the miter. I'm wondering if this was typical of the Pavlov in 1812, or indeed, with other miter wearing battalions in the earlier period. Frankly, I was a bit surprised that the officer was not shown in bicorn, which is a more universal officer headgear. Any thoughts or evidence would be welcome.

As long as we are on the subject, modelers of French infantry guard units should note that their cadres were typically composed of the regiments immediately their superiors.

In other words, Young Guard cadres were formed from Middle Guard personnel, and Middle Guard cadres were formed from Old Guard personnel. These individuals, officers and NCOs, were permitted to wear the uniforms of their parent units. So that means that a certain number of officers and NCOs of Middle Guard units were wearing their Old Guard uniforms – and bearskins. Likewise, Young Guard units should contain a certain number of old cadre personnel wearing their Middle Guard uniforms.

Of course, another certain number of officers and NCO's would have been promoted from within the ranks for even from line units, who would be wearing the uniform and headgear of the regiment.

But still, as modelers, we need to remember that a certain number of French Guard NCOs and officers would be wearing the uniforms of one grade higher in the order of battle.

setsuko14 Nov 2017 1:58 a.m. PST

That's a neat detail, and I'll think about adding some Old Guard uniforms if I ever get around to making some guards for my French.

Greystreak14 Nov 2017 4:47 a.m. PST

Widowson, Russian infantry field officers (not generals) were ordered to wear shakos/kievers from 6 December 1809 instead of hats while on field service. Shakos were not prescribed for generals. Based on numerous paintings, this clearly applied to the Pavlovs as well.

Widowson14 Nov 2017 1:23 p.m. PST


My understanding was that the officers wore shakos to make them less distinguishable from the troops, so I would have expected Pavlov officers to wear a miter. Don't most figure sets portray them that way?

Greystreak15 Nov 2017 1:51 a.m. PST

I can't speak for "most figure sets", and am not prepared to undertake a cross-scale survey of all manufacturers in order to collect the data at this time. I would point out that Wargames Foundry, sculpted by the Perry twins (usually noted for the depth of their historical research), depict Pavlovski field officers in shako/kievers in their set, with the bicorne reserved for the mounted colonel figure (only). See: link .

Le Breton Inactive Member15 Nov 2017 2:20 a.m. PST

From Mr. Conrad's translation of the Vistovakov at link

24 June 1801 Generals and field and company-grade officers of the St.-Petersburg garrison, i.e. the troops located in St. Petersburg, including the Leib-Grenadier and Pavlovsk Grenadier regiments, are ordered to wear hats of the new pattern, the same as described below in the description of Grenadier uniforms according to the table of 30 April 1802.

30 April 1802 [For Field-grade and] Company-grade officers of Grenadier regiments …. new hats were authorized, with black plumes of cock feathers. The bow or cockade was of the same ribbon as under the previous reign, with an embroidered gold buttonhole, and with two small silver tassels in the corners, fastened to the ends of a silver cord or length of lace in which, as in the tassels themselves, was intermixed black and orange silk. The hat was prescribed to be 9 5/8 inches tall in front, 10 1/2 inches in back, and the distance from the crown to the corners 5 1/4 inches (Illus. 1284). Generals were distinguished from field-grade officers only by the white plumage [плюмажемъ ?] around the sides of the hat (Illus. 1286).



In …. 1804, there were introduced for generals and field and company-grade officers of Grenadier regiments hats with a buttonhole loop of narrow gold galloon, of the pattern used by them on shoulder straps, and with a tall plume (Illus. 1297-8).


6 December 1809 Company-grade officers of Grenadier regiments are ordered to wear a shako instead of the hat when in formation, of the same pattern and size as those established for lower ranks, but with silver cords with a mixture of black and orange silk, only the tassel and ring being wholly silver. The pompon is silver with an embroidered, silver Imperial monogram in the center surrounded by black and orange small, toothed strips. Flat gilt scales are on the chinstraps, and there is also a small, gilt, six-pointed star behind, which has a small hook attached that during the march or while on campaign is used to take up the long cords and tassels that hang down on the right side of the shako (Illus. 1317). Field-grade officers are given the exact same shakos, but with three rows of thick, silver spangles on the pompon, sewn on around the monogram. These shakos are prescribed to have the exact same three-flamed grenades and the same black hair plumes as privates had, except that the first are gilt. Shakos are not prescribed for generals.



Infantry Ranks ….

Оберъ-офицеры Ober-ofitsery Company-grade officers
--- Прапорщикъ Praporshchik Ensign
--- Подпоручикъ Podporuchik Sub-Lieutenant
--- Поручикъ Poruchik Lieutenant
--- Штабсъ-Капитанъ Shtabs-Kapitan Staff-Captain [until 1797 : Капитанъ-поручикъ Kapitan-Poruchik Captain-Lieutenant]
--- Капитанъ Kapitan Captain

Щтабь-офицеры Shtab-ofitsery Field-grade officers
--- Маіоръ Maior Major [until 1798 : Преміеръ-Маіоръ & Секундъ-Маіоръ Premier-Maior & Sekund-Maior Premier-Major & Second-Major]
--- Подполковникъ Podpolkovnik Lieutenant-Colonel
--- Полковникъ Polkovnik Colonel


Comment : If I were to model the Pavlovskiy Grenadiers, with their special allowance of mitres for the other ranks, I would put all the officers in hats (chapeaux). They already owned them, and had to have them for when they were not in formation with their men. Why woud they buy shakos when their men did not wear them?

von Winterfeldt18 Nov 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

there is a very nice print of Russian Pavlovskij grenadiers parading in front of the Turenne monument in 1813 – quite realistic in my view, alas I have only a poor photocopy, one officer – in front of his company wears a shako.
this print was however only produced in 1888

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