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"Russians pre-1810 - Grenadiers question" Topic

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Iztvan Inactive Member02 Jul 2018 11:25 p.m. PST

My question: How common where Grenadiers in the Russian army in the field?

Why ask this question? Well, I'm researching (and have started painting) some Perry 28mm 1809-1814 napoleonic Russians. I have done some slight modifications to field them as pre-1809 (nothing major) since I want to game the 1808/09 invasion of Sweden. I have done some research into the organisation. The one usually represented on the wargames table (since people generally game 1812 and later) is the organisation decided in 1810 with each Regiment had 3 Battalions that had 1 Grenadier and 3 Musketeer Coy's each, but before 1810 it was that the Regiment had 1 Grenadier Batt and 2 Musketeer Batt(*).

In the post-1810 system 1 Batt in 3 was left behind for recruitment purposes. I haven't found that this was neccessarily the case pre-1810 though, but sometimes it is listed that a Regiment had 2 Batt's present. I'm not sure if that's correct or just the writer assuming that the later "2 in the field, 1 at home" system was already in place.

However – if it is true – that would mean that 50% of the Battalions in the field where Grenadiers. That sounds like a lot to me, but I'm an ignorant napoleonics newbie, so what do I know?

If anyone knows and can advice, I promise pictures of (reasonably) nicely painted 28mm miniatures in exchange! ;) :lol:

(*) Just speaking for Musketeer Regiments, ignoring Grenadier and Jäger regiments for now.

Rittmester03 Jul 2018 1:57 a.m. PST

Initially the grenadiers were picked because of their height and not from performance, therefore the unproportionate large amount of grenadiers. However, it was recognized that it was preferable to chose grenadiers from the best men in the regiment, so that they would be a more "crack force" which could be used for difficult tasks, lead the attack column or secure one flank of a line etc.

I am in the same process myself, with painting up the Fanagoria grenadiers in 1805-versions from Brigade Games (one bn grenadiers and one bn fusiliers). They have been in the lead-pile for some years, but now I had some days off and was also motivated by reading about the 1812 campaign (Clausewitz's memoirs as a staff officer for count Pahlen). Wonderful sculpts with very complete and crisp details and good castings. I am only sorry that it costs a fortune to import them from the USA to Europe. Although expensive, the flags from Victrix Miniatures are also great.

Rittmester03 Jul 2018 1:59 a.m. PST

And yes, it was the same organization with one grenadier bn and two fusilier/musketeer bn's in both grenadier and musketeer regiments.

Major Bloodnok03 Jul 2018 3:01 a.m. PST

Looking at an OOB for Austerlitz (Dec. 1805), one will see that nearly all the musketeer and grenadier reg'ts fielded all three bns. The exceptions are musketeer reg'ts. Azovskii and Podolskii fielded a single bn. The same can be seen in an OOB for Krem/Durnstein (October 1805), except that the grenadier bns. of some reg'ts were removed and placed in different columns.

Iztvan Inactive Member03 Jul 2018 5:01 a.m. PST

Thank you Rittmester & Major Bloodnok

Good news, a 1:2 ration Grenadiers:Musketeers (fusiliers) feels more reasonable. I'll have to dig in my sources to see which battalions where present for the invasion 1808.

Super helpful! :-)


jeffreyw3 Inactive Member03 Jul 2018 7:16 a.m. PST

I can't vouch for the sources, but this might save you some time: link

Scott Sutherland03 Jul 2018 10:32 a.m. PST

You may want to read this



Prince of Essling03 Jul 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

OoBs for the Russo-Swedish War extracted from George Nafziger's list
808CAA Russian Army, Beginning of Finnish Operations, 3 March 1808 PDF link
808CAB Swedish Army, Beginning of Finnish Operations, 3 March 1808 PDF link
808CAC Russian Army, 20 March 1808, Finland PDF link
808CAI Danish Army, March 1808 PDF link
808DAD Swedish Army, 7 April 1808, Finland PDF link
808DAE Russian 5th Division, 12 April 1808, Finland PDF link
808DAF Swedish Army, 15 April 1808, Finland PDF link
808DAG Swedish Garrison of Sveaborg, April 1808 PDF link
808DAJ Russian Landing Force, Gottland, 1808 PDF link
808EAK Russian Army, 2 May 1808, Finland PDF link
808FAL Russian Army, 1 June 1808, Finland PDF link
808FAM Swedish Souhern Finish Corps, 19 June 1808 PDF link
808GAN Swedish Army in Aland, 28 July 1808 PDF link
808GAO Russian Forces under Kamenski, 2 July 1808 PDF link
808GAP Russian Forces, West Coast, 2 July 1808, GL Buggavout PDF link
808HAA Abstract Return, Swedish and Finish Army under Klingspors, 1 August 1808 PDF link
808HAX Russian Forces under Colonel Schepeljeff, 10 August 1808 PDF link
808HAY Swedish 2nd Brigade, 10 August 1808 PDF link
08HAZ Swedish Force of Kaptenen i armen A. Gyllenbogell PDF link
808HBE Russian Forces at Alavo, 17 August 1808 PDF link
808HBF Swedish Army, 21 August 1808 PDF link
808HBG Overview of the Russian Army, 21 August 1808 PDF link
808HBH Western Group, Swedish Army, 21 August 1808 PDF link
808HBA Positions of the Russian Army 21 August 1808 PDF link
808IAQ Russian Forces, South Coast, 1 Septembr 1808, GL Wittgenstein PDF link
808IAR Russian Forces, West Coast, 1 September 1808, GL Buggavout PDF link
808IAA Russian Forces, GL Tutschkoff, 4/16 September 1808 PDF link
808IAB Russian II Corps, GL Galitzin, 4/16 September 1808 PDF link
808IAC Russian IV Corps, GL Bagration, 4/16 September 1808 PDF link
808IAD Russian VCorps, GL Kaminski, 4/16 September 1808 PDF link
808IAS Swedish Army of Southern Finland, ll September 1808 PDF link
808JAT Russian Army under Wittgenstein, 2 October 1808 PDF link
808JAU Russian Army under Bagration, 2 October 1808 PDF link
808KAV Russian Army under Wittgenstein, 1 November 1808 PDF link
808KAW Russian Army under Bagration, 1 November 1808 PDF link

Iztvan Inactive Member04 Jul 2018 12:07 a.m. PST

Wow Prince of Essling, that's an impressive bunch!

One question – do I need to do anything special to access those pdf:s? I only get a blank page regardless of which web browser I use :-(

Stoppage04 Jul 2018 2:03 a.m. PST

I get this:

Your connection is not secure

The owner of has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site.

Prince of Essling04 Jul 2018 2:12 a.m. PST

Iztvan – very strange as you should only have to click on the PDF link! Here is a link to a list of the Nafziger pdfs listing by numbers : You could right click each link to get the actual web address for each item and then paste it into your browser to take you to the individual item.

Also the Combined Arms Research Library (from where I lifted the items) says:
The Nafziger Collection contains orders of battle from 1600 to 1945 with over 7000 individual pdf files. It began with the author's interest in Napoleonic Wars, and steadily grew to other areas because of the gaming public's interest in these highly detailed historical orders of battle. Sources range from published works to actual archival documents, which represent the largest single source. Nearly all orders of battle break down to the regimental level. The availability of strength figures and artillery equipment varies from period to period.

This collection was provided through the generous donation of George Nafziger to the Combined Arms Research Library.

Click here ( a full file list of the Nafziger Collection, and download the collection's Finding Aid (pdf format link ) to assist in navigating the titles available for viewing.

Iztvan Inactive Member04 Jul 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

Thank's for the advice Prince of Essling, but there seems like something is preventing the pdf:s from loading. I'm not computer savy enough to solve the problem.

However, I found an alternative site where I was able to download the files, so problem solved! :-)

Widowson12 Jul 2018 5:23 p.m. PST

Very interesting that, for many regiments, there were as many grenadier battalions as musketeers in infantry regiments – 1812 period.

However, from a wargames perspective, there was very little difference between the two in terms of battlefield performance. The only real elite Russian infantry, outside the Guard, were the Grenadier Battalions of Grenadier Regiments. Those guys were badass. Otherwise, they are all pretty much the same except half the guys were wearing plumes.

It must also be kept in mind that, in Russian Grenadier Battalions in 1812, only 1 in 4 companies were actually grenadiers. The other 3 companies were fusiliers, no?

Musketeer battalions were the same, except 3 companies were musketeers, the other being "grenadiers."

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