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"Thinking of Starting 1805 Napoleonic Russians" Topic

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Hordini22 May 2020 9:24 p.m. PST

So, I'm seriously considering starting a Napoleonic Russian army. The primary game I would be building the force for is Lasalle, but I intend to base them in such a way that they would also be usable for General de Brigade (probably 6x2 ranks on an infantry base and either 2x1 or 3x1 on a cavalry base).

I intend to use AB 18mm miniatures.

I want to do early Russians, based around 1805 battles such as Austerlitz.

I've done some research with Osprey books and here on TMP, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track to build a force that is at the very least historical plausible. I would likely build regiments and battalions that were or could reasonably have been present on the same battlefield, if not directly adjacent in the line of battle.

Now, here's where things get slightly tricky: uniforms in 1805. I know that there were regulations in place in 1805 and earlier for certain uniform items to be replaced. For example: In 1805 the musketeer bicorn hat was ordered to be replaced by the shako and grenadier mitres were ordered to be replaced by the shako with "Busch" plume. From what I have seen, I get the impression that by the time of Austerlitz in December 1805, some units had been equipped with shakos and gotten rid of their mitres, but some other units almost certainly had not. Evidence of this includes archeological discovery of mitres belonging to grenadiers at Austerlitz, such as from Old Ingermanland Regiment and at least one more that I can't remember off the top of my head. The Pavlov Grenadier Regiment were also authorized in 1807 to retain their mitres, which indicates that even by 1807, they had either not been issued shakos, or if they had been, had not gotten rid of their mitres, and I suspect that they were likely not the only unit who held onto their mitres past 1805.

Full disclosure: I love the look of the grenadiers with mitres.

Now, what the means for my planned 1805 Russian army:
I intend to create a force that looks like it's been on campaign and would have a mix of headgear. Some regiments with bicorns, some with shakos, and some grenadier battalions with mitres. Does this seem historically plausible or would I be doing something that would be very unlikely historically? Does any part seem more out of line than another. For example, would bicorns be inappropriate but mitres still be plausible?

Any input you all have would be greatly appreciated!

nsolomon9922 May 2020 9:49 p.m. PST

I think it would be very likely to encounter mixed uniforms through 1805 and 1807. Armies used up the supplies in the warehouses first. Not even in Czarist Russia did they throw away perfectly good uniforms.

I think as gamers we do uniform research and seem to think that the regulation changes were implemented immediately and uniformly (pun intended). I think thats nonsense and certainly doesn't come from anyone with real live military logistics experience.

The Russian army, fighting in central Europe, was a long way from its bases and on extended logistics.

I mix up the uniforms for my AB Russians and some Grenadier battalions are in mitre and some in shako. Some Musketeer battalions are in bicorne and some in shako. Fuslier battalions with their shortened mitre work well. The mixture looks cool.

von Winterfeldt22 May 2020 11:00 p.m. PST

I agree that decisions and regulations needed a while to be implemented fully, especially when the army was campaigning in a different country.

Nevertheless here a good quote of how at least in theory the Russians did it.

(Chapter 5 of Voennaya Odezhda Russkoi Armii.)
Military Uniforms and Material Supply of the Russian Forces
during the Reign of Alexander I
by G.N. Nesterov-Komarov, 1994.
After Emperor Paul's death his oldest son and heir succeeded to the Russian throne, reigning from 1801 to 1825. Graf N. I. Saltykov was considered Grand Duke Alexander's teacher – a limited but clever imperial courtier. In actual fact it was the Swiss Lagarp who took care of the upbringing and education of the future emperor. Lagarp was an adherent of republican ideals, and helping him in this was Azbuka izrechenii, a book of dictums especially composed by Catherine II for her grandson. The Azbuka contained such sayings as, "By birth all people are equal". In his youth, therefore, Alexander often expressed to those close to him his hatred of despotism and love of freedom. He was intent on making inviolable laws the foundation of Russia's well-being and leading the Fatherland onto the path of enlightenment by instituting a liberal constitution. But these were only intentions. In actuality it was the desire to win popularity and play a role in world politics that were the main stimuli that directed Alexander I's actions.
Alexander's ascension to the throne was greeted with enthusiasm by society and the nobility. "After the storm, the storm most horrific, today our day becomes beautiful…" Ύ sang the guards.
In his first manifesto Alexander I declared that he would rule his people and government as had been done by Catherine the Great. He expressed his hope to bring Russia to the greatest glory, make law and justice the basis of his governance, and thus provide "imperturbable bliss" to all true believers. According to the statements of those close to the emperor and knew him well, Alexander loved freedom only superficially and did not work for its actual realization. A. S. Pushkin in his novel Evgenii Onegin characterized the Russian tsar's personality rather accurately: "A weak and cunning ruler… with a hopeless ardor for glory, reigned over us then."
Alexander was convinced that everything left him by his father was in need of reform and improvement. Therefore, the Neglasnyi Committee was set up for the preparation of government reform projects, consisting of the emperor's closest confidantes.
The universal antipathy toward Paul I's innovations, their clear obsolescence in comparison with Potemkin's reforms and the battlefield experience of Suvorov demanded the abolishment of everything in the army that was from Gatchina or Prussia. However, the young emperor and his brother Constantine were under the strong influence of the style created by their father at Gatchina, and they were infected with "uniformania", a passion for the minute regulation of the troops' clothing and equipment. Alexander I's contemporary, General S. A. Tuchkov, in his writings gave a very clear picture of the emperor's proclivity for the barracks. In Tuchkov's opinion, the tsarist court was similar to an army barracks. Orderlies, messengers, and privates were dressed in clothing patterns for the various arms, and the tsar spent several hours with them making chalk marks on the uniforms. Along with brushes for mustaches and boots, the emperor's wardrobe was filled with boards for cleaning buttons and other sundries. Alexander I was able to spend whole hours on the drill field, observing the marching, and in this regard he was like his father.
In the beginning of his reign Alexander I designated the reorganization of the ruling administration and the reduction of government expenditures as unavoidable measures. In regard to army administration the tsar was well informed. He was most of all familiar with the commissariat in that when he was still the heir to the throne, he carried out the duties of the St.-Petersburg military governor, was colonel-in-chief of the Semenovskii Regiment, and inspector of infantry and cavalry in the St.-Petersburg and Finland inspectorates. Alexander I also knew that an unavoidable need in the military administration in regard to maintaining the troops was the development of government cloth and leather manufacture, since their current state was not satisfying the needs of the forces.
Still not ready to accept radical governmental decisions, Alexander I's first legislative acts concerned the military. One of these was an order to return to the system of naming regiments after Russian towns instead of Paul I's method of naming them after their colonels-in-chief, and another was an ukase of 24 July 1801 dealing with the implementation of army reform. With this ukase the tsar established a special military commission under the chairmanship of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich. The commission's members included prominent military leaders and influential persons from the military administration: Generals of Infantry Golenishchev-Kutuzov, Lamb, Prozarovskii, and Tatishchev; General-Commissary Svegin; Lieutenant Generals Volkonskii, Dolgorukov, and Arakcheev; Major General Rusanov, and Quartermaster-General von Sukhmelen.
Along with questions regarding the size of the army, unit and sub-unit tables of organization, weapons, and supply, the commission had to examine the matter of soldiers' clothing. It was given full and far-reaching powers: "To consider everything that it finds useful or necessary to introduce or to abolish". In regard to uniforms, the emperor's ukase of 24 July 1801 directed "with minimal expense, give the clothing a most martial and durable appearance that is also not only the most generally suitable for all kinds of service and the preservation of the health and morale of the soldier, but is most befitting for each arm of service."
While examining this question fundamental disagreements arose among the members of the commission. Members' opinions regarding several "items necessary for soldiers' clothing" had to be referred to the emperor for decision (about hats, combing hair, greatcoats, linings on coats, and boots).
In regard to the hat, Tsesarevich Constantine and General of Infantry Lamb came out for the tricorn while the other commission members preferred round hats, the care of which, in their opinion, did not tire the soldier as much. The round hat would not need to be constantly rebound, frequently cleaned, and preserved its shape better and longer. Regardless of such conclusions, the sovereign set forth his decision: "In agreement with His Majesty the Tsesarevich and General of Infantry Lamb."
As for greatcoats, the commission came to an unanimous decision Ύ in fine weather, or when they were not needed, greatcoats and entrenching tools would not be carried by soldiers on the march, but rather carried on wagons. Cloth for greatcoats was to be of a rough dark or light gray color, but of a single shade in each regiment.
The commission was also of one voice in regard to boots: "Greased boots are more suitable than lacquered, since cleaning them does not require wooden legs and wax polish." In this point the emperor's decision was that "Boots are to be greased, and so that they do not fall down, two buttons are to be sewn onto each pair of pants in accordance with the pattern which will be made known to His Majesty the Tsesarevich." The buttons referred to by the sovereign were necessary for fastening the shafts of the boots to the pants so that they would always present a correct appearance.
The question of the choice of cloth for linings – kersey or linen – was reviewed thoroughly. Linen linings were much cheaper than kersey and somewhat stronger, but kersey (a less common, rough woolen fabric) was a finished product at the same establishments that made cloth for the outside of garments. By reworking the remnants of their production into kersey, the manufactory upheld the profitability and quality of its basic fabrics. If the commissariat decided against kersey, and it had indeed prepared more than three-quarter million yards of it, then a manufactory would have to lower the quality of its cloth. So it was decided to keep kersey as lining.
In their opinions regarding hair and queues, commission members were in favor of cutting the hair and abolishing queues, powder, and tallow: "which above all require large and useless expenditures from the soldier's pay, and also constantly fatigue the soldier by forcing him to get up early or not go to sleep at all, so that everyone can braid each other's queue and powder and tallow it." Tsesarevich Constantine and General of Infantry Lamb were of another opinion: "Do not cut the soldier's hair, but bind or braid it so that it is not in the style peculiar to peasants." The emperor's decision was fully in favor of the latter recommendation, but with one concession: "…do not use powder except at big parades and holidays." Thus, the braiding of queues was preserved, and the Russian army was only freed from them at the end of 1806, when the Military College received an order from the emperor: "The Sovereign Emperor, to provide relief to the forces, is pleased to direct that all lower ranks, including the guards and hussar regiments, cut their queues to combing length, and that as for generals and field and company-grade officers, they are allowed to make their own decision in this matter." This same order abolished powder and tallow except for "big parades and holidays", but they still burdened the soldier since large-scale parades were constant in the Russian army, especially for units around the court.
Having received the emperor's opinion, the commission worked out an administrative regulation "On the Cutting and Sewing of Soldiers' Clothing", in which were established the amounts of materials, costs, and time periods for carrying out these army orders. The release of this document was preceded by much work in producing sketches and models of military clothing items and accouterments, this effort being having been assigned by ukase to a member of the commission Lieutenant General Dolgorukov. When making new items, not only was external appearance and quality taken into account, but also economic factors. Looking for ways and means to possibly reduce military administration costs to the treasury and troops, the commission worked out the prices for all items of clothing and equipment, setting amounts that actually corresponded to the costs of these items. The new accounting of items and materials was supposed to provide a yearly savings to the treasury of over 390 thousand roubles.
Some changes in the patterns of uniforms bypassed the military commission. New patterns for cavalry units were worked out under the direct orders of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich, who looked after these forces, and in some corps changes in uniforms were made at the direction of Lieutenant General Dolgorukov, partly by orders from the Commissariat Department, and partly by orders on the part of the corps themselves. The Neglasnyi Committee had no influence on the military commission's course of business.
The reform of military uniforms began in the form of an experiment in modifying artillery clothing in conformance with the fashion of the time. The experimental military uniform of the artillerymen consisted of a high black tricorn hat, a short dark-green coat cut like a tailed frock with black collar, cuffs, turnbacks and tails, as well as narrow white pants tucked into boots.
The unsuitable lacquered shoes and gaiters that were impractical to wear were replaced by greased boots with high shafts reaching a little higher than halfway up the calf (Illus. 82). Generals and officers in their felt hats were prescribed plumes of cock feathers, with generals distinguished by a white plume. The double-breasted coat (two rows of six brass buttons) with narrow sleeves had a very high collar such that "the head appeared to be in a box and it was hard to turn it."
The coat for the guards artillery was distinguished by black velvet collars and cuffs, and for officers it was decorated with a gold aiguilette on the right shoulder and gold lace buttonholes on the collar and cuffs, which for lower ranks were sewn-on pieces of yellow tape. The edges of the collar, cuffs, bottom of the coat, and turnbacks were red throughout the artillery (Illus. 83). Army artillerymen of the line had coats entirely in cloth without embroidery or taped buttonholes. Officers were distinguished from privates by shoulder straps edged round with gold galloon, a plume of black cock feathers on the hat, and a sash with tassels, as worn by guardsmen. A similar uniform outfit was given to the Emperor's Suite for Quartermaster Affairs (the General Staff newly reintroduced by Alexander I was called the Suite for Quartermaster Affairs). The distinction of the uniform of an officer of the Suite from that of a guards artillery officer lay in special ornamental gold embroidery on the collar and cuffs (Illus. 84, 85).
Non-commissioned officers and officer candidates ("column leaders") of the Suite did not have embroidery, plumes, or sashes.
Hats, worn with the corner pointed ahead, were worn by members of the Imperial Suite, officers of the General Staff, engineers, and topographers (Illus. 86).
Significant changes in uniforms and military administration under Alexander I began in 1802. For the army infantry (grenadier, musketeer, marine, jδger, and carabinier regiments) there were introduced double-breasted coats cut like frocks with tails, with high standing colored collars and narrow white pants (breeches), as first introduced experimentally for artillerymen. These coats were made from dark-green cloth (except for jδgers, who until 1807 wore light-green colored coats), with cuffs the same color as the collar, flat brass buttons, flaps on the cuffs, and red kersey linings. The color of the collar was in accordance with the facing cloth prescribed for the regiment. Pants were made from white cloth (for summer – of Flemish linen) with drop fronts. The headdress in grenadier regiments was a grenadier cap or forage cap.
The grenadier cap was the same as under Paul I, while the forage cap was of dark-green cloth with a band the same color as the collar (or without one), with piping along the seams the same color as the shoulder straps, and a colored tassel. A black neckcloth covered the front of the throat and was tied in the back.
In the Life-Grenadier Regiment an aiguilette was kept on the right shoulder: gold for officers and yellow for lower ranks (Illus. 87).
Greased boots with round toes went halfway up the calf.
For all troops the cloak was ousted by soldier's greatcoats made of rough, unfinished cloth of a gray color, with a colored standing collar. At first the greatcoat was made to not only fit over the coat, but a warm sheepskin coat as well. In 1806 the sheepskin coat was withdrawn from issue so that the soldiers would look trim. In cold weather the coat was taken off and stowed between the shirt and greatcoat at the waist. The sleeves of the greatcoat were cut long and turned up like cuffs so that in freezing weather they could be unfolded and used to cover the top half of the hands (Illus. 89).
Lower ranks were prescribed a backpack in the form of a round suitcase of black Russian leather 40 cm long and 21 cm in diameter. Inside the backpack one section held rusk for three days, while another section contained two shirts, foot wrappings, wool socks, a warm jacket, summer or winter pants, brushes for mustaches and for cleaning footwear. thread, needles, polish, soap, chalk, blacking for the mustache, and other sundries. The backpack was worn on crossbelts: by privates – over the right shoulder, and by non-commissioned officers – over the left (Illus. 88).
Non-commissioned officers of grenadier battalions had the same uniform as privates, except with one shoulder strap on the right shoulder (from October 1803 – with shoulder straps on both shoulders) and gold galloon sewn around the bottom and sides of the collar and the upper edge of the cuffs. They also wore white chamois gloves with cuffs, and they had canes.
Company-grade officers of grenadier regiments wore the same color and pattern coat, pants, and boots as privates, except that the coat with tails was a little longer and had narrow gold galloon around the edges of the shoulder straps. They also had gloves but without cuffs; they wore hats with black plumes of cock feathers, an officer's silver gorget, a waist sash, and when in formation Ύ a spontoon.
The greatcoat was introduced for officers at the same time as for lower ranks, and in addition to the standing collar it had a pelerine or cape hanging from the shoulders down to the elbows. Officers wore the greatcoat when not in formation (Illus. 90).
Field-grade officers had gilt officers' gorgets. In formation they were mounted on horses, wearing jackboots with knee-cuffs and deerskin or chamois breeches. Generals did not wear a gorget; they were distinguished from field-grade officers by their white plume on the hat.
In 1805 all grenadier regiments replaced the grenadier cap with shakos with a thick black plume of horse hair. In 1807 the construction of the shako was altered: it was made with a sewn-on visor, and on the top and sides it was trimmed with leather. The shakos also began to be called kivers (Illus. 92). The plume on non-commissioned officers' kivers was white on top with a yellow stripe down the middle; for musicians it was red. Spontoons and canes were abolished for officers in 1807, and epaulettes took the place of shoulder straps for officers and generals: company-grade officers – without a fringe; field-grade officers – with a fringe of thin cord; generals – with a fringe of thick cord. In the same year ciphers were introduced on shoulder straps and epaulettes (either the number of the division or the regiment's initial letter), and from 1809 Ύ the monograms of regimental honorary colonels.

you may find those plates usefull as well


and Mark Conrad's excellent web page (the quote above is most likely from this site)


In case of a good discussion, without going into wild speculation, alas all experts of the Russian Army have left TMP, two of them are still very active at


I would post my question there to obtain solid answers.

Attalus I23 May 2020 1:08 a.m. PST

I have found this site helpful for 1805 Russians:


14Bore23 May 2020 1:44 a.m. PST



Prince of Essling23 May 2020 4:30 a.m. PST

Don't forget Historical description of the clothing and equipment of Russian troops, with pictures
Edited by: Viskovatova A.v.
Original title: Historical clothes and opisanie Rossijskih vooruzhenija vojsk, with pictures
Publisher: Military typography
Place of publication: Spb.
Year of issue: 1841-1862
The multivolume work "Historical description of clothing and weapons to Russian troops, with pictures, was compiled by the highest commandment of" coming out in St. Petersburg in 1841-1862 Gg. Richly illustrated publication contains detailed description military and civilian costume for the period from 862 until the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, military uniforms, weapons, banners of various military units and military insignia.
Edition came out in the form of notebooks with the attached illustrations in two versions: in an expensive (Whatman, and figures on the Chinese paper) is a partially painted illustrations, and cheaper (text in French, drawings on wove paper)-with black and white illustrations.
All 30 volumes in pdf or djvu at:

Illustrations by volume:
Volume 1 – colour
Volume 2 – black & white
Volume 3 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 4 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 5 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 6 – mainly colour
Volume 7 – mixture (most uniforms in colour)
Volume 8 – mixture (many uniforms in colour)
Volume 9 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 10 – black & white
Volume 11 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 12 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 13 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 14 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 15 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 16 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 17 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 18 – mixture (uniforms in colour)
Volume 19 – black & white
Volume 20 – black & white
Volume 21 – black & white
Volume 22 – black & white
Volume 23 – black & white
Volume 24 – black & white
Volume 25 – black & white
Volume 26 – black & white
Volume 27 – black & white
Volume 28 – black & white
Volume 29 – black & white
Volume 30 – black & white

Robert le Diable23 May 2020 5:32 a.m. PST

Though relevant to the later period (1812-14) rather than 1805-07, there's some very interesting material on patterns of Russian shako/kiwer in the Link posted by 14Bore above (and there are a couple of previous threads too which give some further information & discussion).

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2020 8:03 a.m. PST

This is an incredibly useful resource for building forces for 1805:

The historical scenarios (with OOBs and maps) allow you to build accurate forces and play smaller battles. The only elements that are tied to the ESR rules are unit ratings which is obviously remedied if you have another set of rules in mind. The painting guides are very thorough and provide a sort of "best available research" approach. So, for the Russians it shows which units are reliably known to have still been wearing grenadier mitres.

Hordini23 May 2020 6:39 p.m. PST

Thank you all! This is great. I really appreciate the assistance.

"Roll Up the Map" looks like it will be very helpful, so I went ahead and ordered one.

It looks like it is pretty well solidified that some grenadiers still used the mitre in 1805. My impression then would be that some musketeer units would also still be using the bicorne in 1805? Is that a safe assumption?

From everything I'm seeing it looks like it would be historically accurate or at least historically plausible to still be using a mix of all headgear types in an 1805 force, similar to what nsolomon99 describes.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2020 12:36 p.m. PST

My impression then would be that some musketeer units would also still be using the bicorne in 1805? Is that a safe assumption?

I think that's a safe assumption. You will see in the painting guides that all the Russian musketeers are shown with shako, but that doesn't mean those regiments didn't have men in bicornes, just that the author found nothing definitive.

Fredloan14 Jun 2020 1:48 p.m. PST

Hordini I have 2 Grenadier regiments in mitre for 1805-07. I also have some bicorne mixed in with Shakos as this was a time of change. I have 1 division in uniform and 1 Division in greatcoats.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2020 6:00 p.m. PST

Useful information no less. Thanks to the OP.

I too am building a 'supporting' body of Russians where the '1805' columns merged with Austrian.

How do we reconcile Nafziger- who says the Grand Duke Constantine 'uhlans' continued to wear their 1803 hussar uniforms (convereted from), He also references epaulettes, which don't go with an 'hussar' uniform so perhaps they were re-equipped before the campaign. However- he cites they weren't issued actual lances till 1806?

Duffy et al have taken their designation at face value and deemed them lancers @ Austerlitz.
Does this confusion derive from rather they were called under Polish hegemony 'horse' and by translation an error has occurred?

Also Nafziger- great list of infantry and uniforms, yet book is entirely absent on actual body of Grenadier regiments except the Leib-Grenadiers.

Do we take it that their uniform colours would be the 'same named' infantry regiment colours? I'm not the least bit interested in anything after 1806 unless theres a direct reference to earlier uniform parts. 'Little Russia is the first I'm taking a bash at as I already have some in shako figures,
Cheers d

Prince of Essling15 Jun 2020 12:41 p.m. PST

On the infantry do go with Jonathan Gingerich's site which Attalus I and 14Bore above have the link showing. The regiments were organised in Inspections and the facings etc would be in accordance with that.

Turning to Grand Duke Constantine 'uhlans' again go with Jonathan.Marcel Gayda & Andre Krijiysky "L'Armee Russe sous le Tsar Alexandre !er de 1805 a 1815" has (apologies for the lack of accents):

" A ces regiments de Chevaux il faut ajouter le REGIMENT DES UHLANS du Grand Duc Heritier Constantin. Cree en 1803 comme Hussards d'Odessa, il avait ete transforme en Uhlans Presque aussitot. C'etait la premiere fois que le mot Uhlan etait employe. Le regiment n'avait pas de lances. La tenue qui lui a ete alors donnee est celle des Regiments de Chevaux avec certaines particularites.

La coleur distinctive est ecarlate. Les basques sont du modele de celles des Cuirassiers avec bandes distinctives. Les epaulette de laine sont melangees de jaune et d'ecarlate. Boutons jaunes. Boutonnieres au col et aux paraments en gallon jaune et ecarlate. Schapska bleu fonce avec soustaches et cordons jaune melange d'ecarlate. Le manteaux est remplace par une cape a col ecarlate. Les hommes de troupe sont dits cavaliers comme dans les autres regiments.

L'armament est celui des Hussards. Carabine au crochet d'une porte-mousqueton en cuir blanc porte sur l'epaule gauche. Sur le droite, giberne de cuir noir aplaque de cuivre avec banderole de cuir blanc. Seize carabiniers par escadron ont un mousqueton raye.

Schabraque bleu fonce, galonee d'ecarlate. Les chevaux sont de la taille de ceux des Dragons, mais ne valent que 40 roubles. Pas de robe determine.

Les sous-officiers ont les distinctions or. Les trompettes ont leur galonnage jaune. Le porte-epee jounker a la tenue des sous-officiers avaec la dragonne d'officier.

Les officiers ont les boutonnieres du col et des paraments brodees en or. Les cordons du schapska sont d'argent, melange de noir et d'orange. La banderole de giberne et le ceintron sont recouverts d'un gallon d'or. La schabraque a deux galons d'or avec bande ecarlate entre des deux.

En 1806 ce regiment a recu la lance enbois noir avec flame en taffetas rouge (enhaut) et blanche. Les carabines ont ete retirees ainsi que le porte-mousqueton. La giberne a ete porte sur l'epaule gauche. Le manteaux du modewle general a ete pris a la place de la cape. Il a le col et les pattes d'epaule eclarte."

So yes they were called uhlans but without any lances until 1806.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2020 3:39 p.m. PST

Cool GN wins again!

Exactly what I was thinking it may be- a Polish style uniform sans lances (weird style for an Odessa regiment- Crimea)?
Seems it was hi-jacked by 'royalty' to create his own named unit after a fashion that was about to break out again- polish designs and military wear.
After that detail I may have to make a token gesture, assuming I can find lanceless uhlans.

Great work PoE, as usual, another round on me!
regards davew

Widowson15 Jun 2020 8:05 p.m. PST

19 August, 1803 is the date set forth by Viskovatov as that when shakos were authorized for the musketeers. By Austerlitz, two years later, you can believe that all musketeers wore shakos. Grenadiers were regulated to the same, but some retained the miter, and some Grenadier battalions of Musketeer regiments also retained them.

As to which Grenadier regiments and grenadier battalions of Musketeer regiments kept the miters, I don't have that info right to hand, so you'll have to wait or read posts of others.

14Bore16 Jun 2020 1:18 a.m. PST

Somewhere around 5 -7 grenadier regiments were the last mitre wearing. Had to search it as had a few in them and wanted them to be the right units.

Ruchel16 Jun 2020 11:27 a.m. PST

By Austerlitz, two years later, you can believe that all musketeers wore shakos.

I do not think that all musketeer regiments wore shakos in 1805.

For example, most Austrian infantry wore helmets during 1809 campaign despite the fact that the shako was authorized in 1806.

Many Spanish regiments wore their 1802 uniforms during 1808 campaign even though new uniforms were authorized in 1805. And some Spanish historians think that two regiments still wore their 1791 uniforms…

And there are many similar examples in other Napoleonic armies.

According to one contemporary source (that is, from those times, so a primary source), a Russian hussar regiment, Izyum, still wore their mirlitons in 1805 despite the fact that the shako was authorized in 1803. And there were only nine hussar regiments in 1805.

Taking into account that there were more than eighty infantry regiments, a complete replacement from 1803 to 1805 was impossible. So it is more likely that many Russian musketeers still wore bicornes during 1805 campaign, and probably some time after it.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 11:40 a.m. PST

The most famous being the so called 1812 bardin uniform for the French, which probably didn't show up until 1814 and probably only the Waterloo campaign saw most French in that uniform.

Fredloan18 Jun 2020 1:48 p.m. PST

I agree with nsolomon99 My Russians are a mix of Shako with a sprinkling of bicornes. Like I stated earlier I have a division in greatcoat and one not. Greatcoats make for painting an army quickly.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 10:55 a.m. PST

To appreciate the broadness of this topic, notwithstanding some of the links above cater to the very specifics- I've compiled a short list of previous discussions so that locating info comes closer to our time.
Trust this helps::::

Supporting actors category includes:

"Uniforms of Russian cavalry generals" Topic

"Flags for my 25mm Russian Napoleonic Collection" Topic
TMP link

"Russian Organization and Uniforms 1796-1805 " Topic
TMP link

"Russian Fusiliers 1805-1807" Topic
TMP link

"Russian Miters – Seroga" Topic
TMP link

"Russian Infantry,Napoleonic, " Topic
TMP link

Ultimate source site on post 1800 Russian Army:

Mark Conrad's Home Page – Russian Military History


Russian Facings of the Napoleonic Era ( Jonathan Gingerich )


Orders, Decorations and Medals of Imperial Russia
link .

- -

davew vodka

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 11:30 a.m. PST

And this one that didn't immediately appear in the 'search' results:-

"Austerlitz Russian Army: Mitre or Shako for Fusiliers " Topic

TMP link

davew vodkavodka

Sarge Joe05 Aug 2020 6:32 a.m. PST

rusian is for me the S= word

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2020 6:21 p.m. PST

Updater: Russian Standards/ Flags

[Apologies in advance if this has already been quoted_].

"For those who are interested in what the infantry banner looked and produced in 1797, a quote from Gabayev "Painting the Russian regiments…":

"The banner consisted of a square cloth, each side of 2 arshins. Nine pieces of silk (middle circle, 4 ends of the cross and 4 corners) were sewn from the side. "The images were only in the middle circle, painted with oil paints and gold."

Here is an image of the banners of the Grenadier regiments of 1797 in the 9th part of the "Historical Description…" Viskovatova:

(The regimental banner of the Little Russian Gren. regiment is highlighted."

However there isn't enough controversy,-
"The banners were single-layered. Could be a two-layer central medallion. The image of the eagle on both sides of the banners of 1803 was to be raised by its left wing. This can be seen on Palpatine's link to the real banner, the color pictures are wrong.

The front side of the banner is the one to the left of the shaft (We write and read "left-to-right", the same and the banners, first the tree – then the banner."

A commenter makes this-
" The most interesting thing is that you can find exemplary drawings of banners with different and with the same position of the eagle on the front and back.
And in G.Gabayev's work "Document on Russian banners and other military regalia" describes numerous inconsistencies in colors and their location,available at Viskovatov. I think that the question of Russian banners of the early 19th century is more complicated than it may seem.

For example, the French eagle of the sample of 1804 had a single-layer cloth, and the eagle of the sample of 1811 already had a two-layer. The layering of Russian banners is stubbornly not mentioned in the texts.

But the banner given in the NV of the Little Russian Grenadier Regiment is quite historic and it can be left alone. You just need to add colors to the image in the central circle.
The color of Russian banners (often, alas, bordering on tastelessness) was truly limitless."

You will have to float around this site to find regiments, for me that means a lot of 'translator'…
d cup

Prince of Essling10 Sep 2020 8:55 a.m. PST

For Russian army flags (site is in Russian) see link

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2020 7:06 p.m. PST

Thanks PoE, I was going to come back and add the head site as I was surfing around a fair bit.

Already I've found that (paraphrased) "In exchange for the dilapidated banners of [1797] in 1800, the Moscow Grenadier Regiment [was] issued [in 1804] simple banners modeled on 1803".

So despite 'English' language books citing the existence of the 1797 flags and the regiment carrying them- they were in fact replaced prior to the 1805 camapign!

And quite how the 1803 was classed as 'simple' compared to the earlier ones I do not understand.
cheers d

Prince of Essling10 Sep 2020 10:43 p.m. PST


The Russian site contains a wealth of info, though one has to be patient whilst looking for the nugget of info on a particular regiment.
All the best

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