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"General of Cavalry, General of Artillery etc." Topic

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873 hits since 23 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Osage201723 Nov 2017 4:18 p.m. PST

I noticed that in some armies (Russian, Prussian, Austrian etc.) were the ranks of Generall der Kavallerie, Generall der Artillerie, and Generall of Infanterie.

But if General of Infantry could also command cavalry and artillery troops (for example Dohturov in the Russian army) then why they also needed General of Cavalry ?
Why did they multiplied the ranks ?
How it can be explained ?

seneffe23 Nov 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

Peacetime a promotion structure within their usual arm of service, which was overridden as necessary during periods of conflict.

14Bore23 Nov 2017 6:01 p.m. PST

As a Prussian/Russian Napoleonic aficionado it amazes me this practice lasted up to WWII

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2017 7:37 p.m. PST

Seneffe's comments are correct.

In addition, the Germanic terms Generalmajor and Generalleutnant are normally translated as Major General and Lieutenant General but are actually more equivalent to a Brigadier General (one-star) and Major General (2-star). The General der Infanterie, Kavallerie, and Artillerie were the equivalent of a Lieutenant General (3-star) but be could also command an army as well as a corps. In 1854 the Prussian Army added the rank of Generaloberst (Colonel General, 4-star).

In the Austrian Imperial Army, the higher ranks were generalmajor, feldmarshall-leutnant, general der infanterie, kavallerie, and feldzeugmeister (artillery), then feldmarshall. The 4-star equivalent generaloberst wasn't added until 1915.


Le Breton Inactive Member23 Nov 2017 9:29 p.m. PST

Catherine's reign

Класс 1 --- Генерал-фельдмаршал :: General-Fieldmarshal
Класс 2 --- Генерал-аншеф :: General-in-Chief
Класс 3 --- Генерал-поручик / Полковник гвардии :: General-Lieutenant / Guard Colonel
Класс 4 --- Генерал-майор, Генерал от фортификации / Подполковник гвардии :: General-major, General of Fortification / Guard Lieutenant Colonel
Класс 5 --- Бригадир / Премьер-майор гвардии :: Brigadier / Guard Premier Major
Класс 6 --- Полковник / Секунд-майор гвардии :: Colonel / Guard Second Major
Класс 7 --- Подполковник / Капитан гвардии, Ротмистр гвардии :: Lieutenant Colonel / Guard Captain, Guard Cavalry Captain
Класс 8 --- Премьер-майор / Штабс-капитан гвардии, Штабс-ротмистр гвардии :: Premier Major / Guard Staff-Captain, Guard Cavalry Staff-Captain
Класс 8 --- Секунд-майор :: Second Major

Paul's reign and Alexander's reign

Класс 1 --- Генералиссимус :: Generalissimo
Класс 1 --- Генерал-фельдмаршал :: General-Fieldmarshal
Класс 2 --- Генерал от инфантерии, от кавалерии, от артиллерии, Инженер-генерал :: General of Infantry, of Cavalry, of Artillery, Engineer-General
Класс 3 --- Генерал-лейтенант :: General-Lieutenant
Класс 4 --- Генерал-майор :: General-Major
Класс 6 --- Полковник / Полковник гвардии :: Colonel / Guard Colonel
Класс 7 --- Подполковник / Капитан гвардии, Ротмистр гвардии :: Lieutenant Colonel / Guard Captain, Guard Cavalry Captain
Класс 8 --- Майор / Штабс-капитан гвардии, Штабс-ротмистр гвардии / Войсковой старшина у казаков : Major / Guard Staff-Captain, Guard Cavalry Staff-Captain / Cossack Major

Catherine and Alexander made no appointments of Генералиссимус – Paul promoted Suvarov to this rank.

From Paul's reign, the ranks of Майор and Подполковник did not exist in the guard.

Promotion to a rank with nobilary Класс 8 (or above) conferred hereditary nobility for the officer's family.

From Feburary 1811, the rank of Капитан in the army artillery, engineers and quartermasters suite was made equivalent in pay to an army
Майор, including the higher nobilary Класс. From this point, the rank of Майор did not exist in these arms of service.
From April 1813, these characteristics were applied for the officers of the newly created guard regiments, the "New" or "Young" Guard.

Osage201724 Nov 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

If an army had, let say, 50 lieutenant-generals, were they divided into the three categories: infantry, cavalry, artillery ?

If so, did they wear distinct uniforms ?

Sho Boki24 Nov 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

In Russian Army – yes.
Artillery generals haved black collars, cuffs and turnback instead of red and Cavalry generals haved white plumes instead of black and sabres instead of swords.

Prince of Essling Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

From Viskavotov (Mark Conrad's translations):

Volume 10B:Grenadiers, Musketeers, Jägers, Marines, and Carabiniers 1801-1825
1286. General. Moscow Grenadier Regiment of the Smolensk Inspectorate. 1802-1804.
1316. Generals' Hat. 1809-1815. link
1376. Generals. 18th and 19th Jäger Regiments. 1802-1804. link

VOLUME 11 Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Horse-Jägers, Hussars,
Lancers, Gendarmes, and the Train 1801-1825
1409. General. HER MAJESTY'S Life-Cuirassier Regiment. 1802-1803. link
1424. General. Yekaterinoslavl Cuirassier Regiment. 1813-1814. link

VOLUME 12 Army and Garrison Artillery, Army Sappers and Pioneers, Field and Garrison Engineers, Military Labour Battalions and Companies, His Imperial Majesty's Suite for Quartermaster Affairs, and Topographers 1801-1825

1604. General. Foot Artillery, 1801. link
1686. General. Garrison Artillery, 1808-1809. link
1733. General. Corps of Engineers, 1801-1802. link
1756. General and Company-grade Officer. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY's Suite for Quartermaster Affairs, 1801. link

VOLUME 13 Garrisons, Internal Guard, Invalids, Recruits, Administrative Officials, and Medical and Veterinary Personnel. 1801-1825
1780. General. Garrisons of the Moscow Inspectorate, 1802-1803. link

VOLUME 14 Guards Infantry. 1801-1825
1884. General. L.-Gds Izmailovskii Regiment, 1802-1807
1944. General and Clerk. L.-Gds. Jäger Battalion, 1802-1804

VOLUME 15 Guards Cavalry. 1801-1825
1994. General. L.-Gds. Horse Regiment, 1802-1803. link
2001. General. Cavalier Guards Regiment, 1803-1806. link
2006. General. L.-Gds Horse Regiment, 1804-1806. link

VOLUME 17 Military Educational Institutions, Individual Military Appointments and Ranks, and Flags and Standards of Regular Forces. 1801-1825
Before the establishment in 1808 of a special general officer's coat, in all circumstances generals wore the uniform coats of those regiments and units to which they belonged.
26 January 1808– At parades, on specially tabulated holidays, and in general at any gathering of troops, generals were ordered to wear a standard newly established general officers' coat, of the normal pattern for officers at this time, double-breasted, of dark-green cloth, with red collar, cuffs, and turnbacks, with dark-green cuff flaps with red piping, and gold embroidery on the collar, cuffs, cuff flaps, and pocket flaps that depicted oak leaves. Gold epaulettes, white cloth pants, and tall boots [botforty] with spurs. With this uniform generals in the Infantry wore the normal infantry sword, those in the Heavy Cavalry—the cavalry sword, and those in the Light Cavalry—sabers. Along with this, generals were given shabracks and pistol carriers of bear fur, with St. Andrew stars (Illus. 2363 and 2364) (74).
22 January 1809– Generals serving in garrisons but not on the Army's list at large [ne chislyashchies' po Armii] were allowed to wear the standard general officer's uniform, changing only the gold embroidery, epaulettes, and buttons to silver, and to have infantry swords and—on their hat—a black plume [sultan] (Illus. 2365) (75).
8 June 1809 – The plumage [plyumazh] on generals' hats was removed and the previous pattern of buttonhole loop, of narrow galloon, was replaced by a new one consisting of four thick braided cords the same color as the buttons, of which the two center ones were twisted together in the form of a plait (Illus. 2365) (76).
In 1810 the high plumes used on generals' hats were shortened (77).
6 May 1811 – In addition to their prescribed parade coat, generals were allowed to wear the standard army coat described below, provided that when troops of more than one regiment were gathered at one place they were to put on the parade coat, observing this rule even in the field and when in battle against the enemy (78).
In 1812 high collars were changed to lower ones. On the parade coat the collar remained diagonally open as before, while on the standard army coat it was closed by means of small hooks (79).
6 April 1814 – On the embroidered coats of cavalry generals, instead of two rows of buttons, it was ordered that they have a single row of nine. Piping down the front opening was to be red, and both ends of the collar were to step back from the front opening for a distance of four vershoks [seven inches] (Illus. 2366). The standard army coat for cavalry generals was ordered to have the same buttons and piping, but the collar was to be closed with small hooks (Illus. 2367) (80).
In 1814 there was added to the black tape with orange checks that was on the edge of the cockade on general officers' hats a white tape of the same width, latter changed to silver (81).
2363. Infantry General. 1808-1810. link
2364. Standard generals' coat embroidery, established 26 January 1808. link
2365. Garrison General. 1809-1810. link
2366. Cavalry General. 1814-1825. (Light Cavalry.) link
2367. Cavalry General. 1814-1825. (Heavy Cavalry.) link

Prince of Essling Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

Austria – pages from Ottenfeld & Teuber "Die Osterreichische Armee von 1700 bis 1867" Volume 1:


Osage201725 Nov 2017 5:00 p.m. PST

Big thank you Prince of Essling !
I am highly impressed with your knowledge.

Murvihill27 Nov 2017 10:53 a.m. PST

In many cases the 'of cavalry', 'of infantry', 'of artillery' was more a mark honoring where they came from than an expectation of their current assignment, especially when they got to the corps level and above.

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