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"Russian Lieb Grenadier 1812 Distinctions" Topic

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647 hits since 26 Jan 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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BOOFER26 Jan 2018 4:17 a.m. PST

Second attempt.
Our wargame group is planning to raise a number of Russian grenadier regiments for forthcoming 1812 wargames and campaigns. We have an extensive collection of Minifigs 25mm metals and will be drawing from this in the formation of the regiments.
A question has arisen as to what distinctions were applicable for the 1812 Lieb Grenadiers, particularly in relation to sword knots at company level and shako pompoms at battalion level (and any other distinctions if applicable). This is quite a mystery to us as available sources seem to be silent in the matter or are contradictory with others. We are aware that the Lieb grenadiers were possibly unique in the Russian army at the time in that all troops were grenadiers, and that the regiment was promoted to the Guard in 1813.

Can anyone help solve the mystery? Many thanks in advance.

John Armatys26 Jan 2018 5:35 a.m. PST

I have a pamphlet "The Russian Army 1812 – 1813", Bent Carlsens Forlag Aps, Second Edition, 1979. On page 14 is a table showing facing and piping colours for Line Inf of the Guard 1812 1813 which has a note "Pompoms and swordknots like line inf".

jeffreyw326 Jan 2018 5:56 a.m. PST

This is the best source in English : link

scroll down to the Divisional Period heading.

Le Breton Inactive Member26 Jan 2018 6:48 a.m. PST

From 1810 through April 1813 ….

--- awarded silver trumpets in 1760 : add 2 trumpeters with silver trumpets to the regimental band

--- all companies called "grenadier" : add 2 fifers to the drummers for the grenadier companies (the flank-grenadier companies have them already) – the numbering is :
1st Shef's Battalion : 1st Flank-Grenadier Company, 1st Greandier Company, 2nd Greandier Company, 3rd Greandier Company
2nd Replacement Battalion : 2nd Flank-Grenadier Company, 4th Grenadier Company, 5th Grenadier Company, 6th Grenadier Company
3rd Commander's Battalion : 3rd Flank-Grenadier Company, 7th Grenadier Company, 8th Grenadier Company, 9th Grenadier Company

--- pompons
1st Battalion : Flank-Grenadier Platoon Red, Strelki Platoon Yellow, Grenadier Companies White with Green Center
2nd Battalion : Flank-Grenadier Platoon Red over Green, Strelki Platoon Yelow over Green , Grenadier Companies Green with Yellow Center
3rd Battalion : Flank-Grenadier Platoon Red over Yellow, Strelki Platoon Yelow over Red , Grenadier Comapnies Red with Yellow Center

The Regiment served :
1st and 3rd Battalion : in the 1st Grenadier Division, 3rd Infantry Corps, 1st Western Army (was at Borodino, etc.)
2nd Battalion Flank-Grenadier Company : in the 1st Combined Grenadier Brigade, 5th Reserve Corps, 1st Western Army (was at Borodino, etc.) – no flags
2nd Battalion Grenadier Companies : Separate Grenadier Brigade, 1st Separate Corps (was at Polotsk, etc.)

--- the "shef" or chief or honorary colonel of the regiment was the Emperor himself : add gold buttonhole loops on the collars and cuffs for officers

--- red should straps with "Л.Г." in yellow (gold for officers), the script is Russian cursive capital letters : link

--- brass chinscales

--- armed with Russian obr. 1808 muskets

--- straw yellow woodwork

--- from February 1811 : the slimmer plumes for all ranks : 16-1/2 inches high, 5 inches wide at the top, and 2 inches wide at the bottom

--- flags :
one "white" with the 1st Battalion :


one "colored" with the 1st Battalion, and 2 with each of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions

BOOFER26 Jan 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

Thank you for the most helpful replies.
This is a unique Regiment so my assumptions are as follows,
The whole Regiment was made up of Grenadiers.
All grenadiers in the battalions had red shoulder straps and red pom-poms.
The sword straps were as per the line battalions which leads me onto the next question.
If the whole Battalion was grenadiers and there were was no elite company, as such, what was the colour of the sword straps for the forth company?

BOOFER26 Jan 2018 6:59 a.m. PST

Le Breton
Thank you, just received your reply.
Most helpful.

Greystreak26 Jan 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

Boofer, the pompon and sword knot colour schemes described by Le Breton above are fully illustrated in the link furnished by Jeffreyw3 above. Just sayin'.

Le Breton Inactive Member26 Jan 2018 8:59 a.m. PST

For the period in question, the pompons and swordknoes followed infantry regiment conventions, as illustrated by the much esteemed Mr. Gingerich at the link given by Jeffrey.


"The whole Regiment was made up of Grenadiers."
Yes – and so paid.

"All grenadiers in the battalions had red shoulder straps and red pom-poms."
Yes on shoulder straps, no on pon-poms, For pom-pons, follow the repartition for infantry regiments

"The sword straps were as per the line battalions"
Yes. But "line" is a French concept. For Russians, there were Guard Heavy, Guard Light, Army Grenadier, Army Musketeer (later Infantry) and Army Jδger Infantry regiments.

"If the whole Battalion was grenadiers and there were was no elite company:
Ther *was* an elite company – called Flank-Grandier Company, one per battalion. Each was composed of 2 elite platoons : The Flank-Grenadier Platoon and the Stelki Platoon. The remaining companies in each battalion were called Grenadier Companies and were each made up of a 1st and 2nd (Grenadier) Platoon.

"what was the colour of the sword straps for the forth company?"
I think you mean :
1st Battalion, 3rd Grenadier Company : white strap, yellow small topknot, white shank, yellow large bottom knot, white fringe
2nd (Depot) Battalion, 6th Grenadier Company : white strap, yellow small topknot, yellow shank, yellow large bottom knot, white fringe
3rd Battalion, 9th Grenadier Company : white strap, yellow small topknot, red shank, yellow large bottom knot, white fringe

Sorry, I do not knw what to call these parts in English – but the diagrams at the linked page are good.


The Life-Grenadier Regiment was over-complement as to field grade officers and above, but they were many of these assigned outside the regiment.

--- The Emperor was the shef of the regiment – but as an honorary colonel he was not actually in the field to command them.
--- The commander of the regiment major general (30 October 1812 lieutenant general) and general adjudant graf Pavel Aleksandrovich Strogonov (Paris 1774 – Copenhagen 1817) was assigned to command the 1st Grenadier Division
--- The over-complement colonel (21 November 1812 general major) Pyotr Fyodorovich Zheltukhin (Kazan 1774 – Kiev 1829) was assigned to command the 1st Grenadier Brigade of the 1st Grenadier Division
--- The lieutenant-colonel Karl Andreyevich Al'brekht was asigned to command the 1st Combined Grenadier Battalion of the 1st Grenadier Division (killed at Borodino)
--- The lieutenant-colonel Nikolai Vasil'yevich Kochkin was assigned as senior adjudant to general-of-cavalry prince Volkonskiy
--- The senior major Khristofor Osipovich Shtegman was assigned to command the 2nd Replacement Battalion, serving with the 1st Separate Corps

The remainaing majors with the 1st and 3rd Battalions were very junior
--- major Pyotr Gavrilovich Borzov (promoted 16 April 1811)
--- major Grigoriy Ivanovich Shubert (promoted 29 October 1811)
--- major Nicolay Petrovich Volkov (promoted 4 Apriil 1812)
Major Borzov was killed and both major Shubert and Major Volkov were wounded on 25 August during a sharp rearguard action just east of Smolensk at Valutina Gora.

There was no one left to command the regiment.

To make up a command staff, Major Semyon Semenovich Demchenko of the Pavlovskiy Grenadiers was assigned to command the regiment and the 1st Battalion before Borodino. Captain Pyotr Alekseyevich Rozdeyev appears to have taken over the 3rd Battalion (he will be promoted major on 21 November for distinction in battle). Major Pavel Petrovich Pozdeyev was ordered out of retirement on 28 August, but was appointed adjudant to lieutenant general Radt before arriving to the regiment. Finally Major Selekhov was transferred from the Velikolutskiy Infantry regiment on 20 November, allowing Major Demchenko to return to the Palovets. Major Shubert and Major Volkov returned to the regiment in 1813.

(Dates are all O.S. – 1 week later than western dating.)

jeffreyw326 Jan 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

Thanks for the info Breton. OP can now paint his regiment with complete accuracy! grin

Of course, only like five people in the world will know…

I love minutiae!

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 5:24 p.m. PST

What was the Sargent's name?

von Winterfeldt27 Jan 2018 11:12 p.m. PST


Le Breton Inactive Member28 Jan 2018 7:29 a.m. PST

CORRECTION : in my prior post, the captain who commanded the 3rd Battalion at Borodino as Captain Pyotr Alekseyevich CHERNOV (not "Rozdeyev"). Although wounded, he had returned to duty the time of his promotion to major in late November.

ALSO : Commander of the 2nd Grenadier Company at Borodino (part of the 1st Combined Grenadier Battalion of the 1st Grenadier Division) was the senior Captain Mikhael Petrovich Chekalov.


Russians did not have "sergeants" exactly, they had Старшихь унтеръ-офицеровъ – Starshikh unter-ofitserov – Senior under-officers. Of course, one could call them "sergeants" if one wished.

I list them, giving transliteration and literal translation. I give their pay to show relative seniority of the ranks. For comaprison, a Прапорщикъ – Praporshchik – Ensign (the lowest commission officer rank) was paid 236 rubles/year, the regimental Священникъ – Svyashchennik – Priest was paid 146 rubles/year, and a Гренадеръ – Grenader – Grenadier was paid 10 rubles/year.

1 per company (combattants) :
Фельдфебель – Fel'dfebel – Field leader (pay 38 rubles/year)
Портупей-прапорщикъ – Portupey-praporshchik – Banner-ensign (pay 17 rubles/year)
Подпрапорщикъ – Podpraporshchik – Ensign-aspirant (pay 17 rubles/year)
Каптенармусъ – Kaptenarmus – Master-at-arms (pay 17 rubles/year)

1 per battalion (non-combatttants) :
Баталiонный писарь – Batalionnyy pisar – Battalion clerk (pay 38 rubles/year)
Фельдшеръ – Fel'dsher – Field-medic (pay 30 rubles/year)

1 per regiment (non-combatttants) :
Оружейный мастеръ – Oruzheynyy master – Master gunsmith (pay 204 rubles/year)
Ложенный мастеръ – Lozhennyy master – Master gunstock maker (pay 60 rubles/year)
Коновалъ – Konoval – Farrier-vetrinairian (pay 60 rubles/year)
Полковой писарь – Polkovoy pisar – Regimental clerk (pay 60 rubles/year)
Вагенмейстеръ – Vagenmeyster – Wagonmaster (pay 38 rubles/year)
Надзиратель больныхъ – Hadziratel bol'nykh – Infirmary supervisor (pay 38 rubles/year)
Квартирмейстерской писарь Kvartirmeysterckoy pisar – Quartermster clerk (pay 17 rubles/year)
Казначейской писарь – Kaznacheyskoy pisar – Treasury clerk (pay 17 rubles/year)


Here are some of the combattant "sergeants" of the Life-Grenadier regiment in 1812 :

Fel'dfebelov : Maksim Kirilovich Bazhenov, Ivan Osipovich Zaytsev, Pytor Yegorovich Yegorov, Timofey Ivanovich Prokhorov

Portupey-praporshchik : Paramon Paramonovch D'yakonov

Podpraporshchikov : Grigoriy Grigor'yevich Avtonomov, Aleksey Fyodorovich Barkov, Pavel Fyodorovich Barkov, Stepan Grigor'yevich Dem'yanovich, Aleksandr Ivanovich
Prokof'yev, Il'ya Andreyevich Silin

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