Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics



Russian Infantry Facings - Inspection Era

By Jonathan Gingerich

Introduction

This page describes the facings of the Russian infantry during the Inspection and Division eras. Most previous information in English relies on Viskovatov. Unfortunately his Inspection table is based on an unimplemented proposal. Other details have also come to light in recent Russian journals. Particular credit is due to the notes accompanying Conrad's exemplary translation of Viskovatov and to Ulyanov's work.

While color names have been carefully translated, the colors themselves are approximate and should be used with care.

Line Regiments June 8, 1802 - November 19, 1807

Inspection - miter bag, collar, and cuff Regimental - shoulder straps, miter head band, pompon center
red white yellow l.crimson2 turquoise rose l.green gray purple blue1
St.Petersburg red Leib-grenadier Pavlovsk Gr. Kexholm Belozersk3 Yelets Tenginsk4 Lithuania Petrovsk10
Smolensk white Moscow Gr. Phanagoria Gr. Perm Voronezh Uglich Kursk Polotsk
Finland yellow Velikiye Luki Ryazan Neva
Kiev l.crimson Moscow3 Novgorod Vyatka Narva Butyrki Kolyvan4 Poltava
Livonia turquoise St. Petersburg Gr. Taurida Gr. Chernigov Tobolsk Sevsk Dnieper Reval Sofiya Koporye10 Kaluga Koporye10
Ukraine rose Kiev Gr.3 Little Russia Gr. Smolensk Bryansk6 Galicia10 Estonia Galicia10
Lithuania l.green Yekaterinoslav Gr. Pskov Rostov Murom Archangel Nizov Tula Volhynia10 Mogilev Kostroma Volhynia10
Siberia gray Shirvan Tomsk Selenginsk
Dnieper9 purple Siberia Gr. Kherson Gr. Nizhni Novgorod Vladimir3 Yaroslavl Ladoga Aleksopol Kozlov New Ingermanland Crimea
dark green, piped red/red Nizhni Novgorod Vladimir Yaroslavl Aleksopol Kozlov New Ingermanland Crimea Odessa
Caucasus blue1 Caucasus Gr. Kazan Suzdal Tiflis Kabarda Saratov8 Sevastopol Vologda Saratov8
Orenburge camel Rylsk Ufa Yekaterinburg
Moscow orange Astrakhan Gr.3 Schlüsselburg Nasheburg Tambov6 Orel Stary Oskol5 Navaga Ukraine Saratov8 Kura Olonets
Brest straw Azov Viborg Old Ingermanland5 Apsheron Ryazhsk Podolia Vilna Penza
Crimea9 ecru Troitsk Vitebsk Belev3 Sevastopol7
Siberia Gr. Kherson Gr. Troitsk Vitebsk Ladoga Belev

New Regiments December 12, 1806

collar cuffs cuff flaps11 shoulder straps
Libau azure1 red red red
Kamchatka12 white white white red
Mingrelia yellow yellow red red
Villmanstrand red red red white, piped red
Brest white red red yellow
Kremenchug yellow red red yellow
Minsk azure1 red red white
Nyslott d.green red red white
Okhotsk azure1 azure1 red yellow
Pernau white red white azure1
Yakutsk d.green red d.green white

Jaeger Regiments

pompon center, cuff, collar, and cuff, turnback, and pants piping
1st straw2
2d rose
3d red
4th gray
5th turquoise
6th fire2
7th white
8th blue1
9th yellow
10th black
11th apricot2
12th l.crimson2
13th ecru2
14th maroon
15th l.iron
16th camel
17th violet
18th brown
19th purple
cuff and collar and pants piping/cuff and collar piping13
20th d.green/?14
21st red/white
22d white/red
23d orange/white
24th (l.green)/azure1
25th straw/red
26th blue1/red
collar/cuff and collar, cuff, turnback, and pants piping
27th (l.green)/red
28th (l.green)/yellow
29th (l.green)/turquoise
30th (l.green)/white
31st (l.green)/crimson
32d (l.green)/black

Garrison Regiments

 
Inspection - collar, cuffs Regimental - shoulder straps, pompon center
red white yellow l.crimson turquoise rose l.green gray purple blue1 camel orange straw black
St.Petersburg red Kronstadt Narva Novgorod Pskov Schlüsselburg Mitau
Smolensk white Smolensk Vitebsk Mogilev
Finland yellow Viborg Fredrikshamn Rochensalm Villmandstrand Kexholm Nyslott
Kiev l.crimson Kiev Yekaterinoslav15
Livonia turquoise Riga Reval Dünamünde Pernau Arensburg
Siberia gray Tobolsk Tara (renamed Tomsk) Omsk Petrovsk Semipalatinsk Zhelezinka16 Biysk Irkutsk Selenginsk Kamchatka
Dnieper9 purple Kherson Ochakov
Caucasus blue1 Astrakhan Dmitriyev Tsaritsyn Azov Taganrog Mozdok Kizlyar Vladikavkaz16
Orenburg camel Orenburg Kazan Orsk Kizel Verkhne-Uralsk Troitsk Zverinogolovskoye Simbirsk Vyatka Ufa 1st Orenburg 2d Orenburg 3d Orenburg 4th Orenburg
Moscow orange Moscow Tver Vladimir Nizhni Novgorod Tambov Voronezh Saratov Archangel Veliki Ustyug Vologda Penza
Crimea ecru Akhtiar Perekop Yekaterinoslav15

Battalion Pom Pom Colors
1st 2d 3d 4th
independent battalions white      
2 battalion regiments white red    
3 battalion regiments white yellow red  
4 battalion regiments white azure1 green red

The outside of the pompon was colored by battalion, but the sequence was determined by the number of battalions in the unit.

Transitional period

A new scheme for the Line was adopted November 19, 1807 that lasted through the fall of Paris. Collars and cuffs were red, cuff flaps d.green, and shoulder straps were in fixed sequence within each division, with the number of the division embroided on the strap. The transition period saw constant reorganization of the divisions, which Viskovatov does not clearly explain. The last recorded change is April 17, 1809, the first complete divisional breakdown is October 10, 1809, and the specification of colors January 21, 1810. It is unclear whether regiments retained their Inspection era facings during the transition. The only regiment raised during this time, Bialystok, was formed as the 5th regiment of the 9th division.

The Jaegers went through a similar transition. The coat was changed from l.green to d.green. On January 4, 1808, the senior regiment of each division took red shoulder straps, and any junior took azure. On May 19, 1808 the collars became white red piped, cuffs red, cuff flaps d.green, and pants piping red. By February 25, 1809, the collars, cuffs, and cuff flaps were d.green red piped. Finally, on July 20, 1809 the red shoulder straps switched to yellow.

The Garrison regiments went through a much simpler change. On September 1, 1806, cuffs and collars became yellow, cuff flaps d.green. The turnbacks and shoulder straps were red, with sequential white unit numbers embroided on the straps. The red became d.red August 17, 1808.

Divisional period

Infantry Regiments January 21, 1810

Shoulder straps (red embroidery on yellow and white, yellow embroidery others)
Div red white yellow d.green, piped red l.blue1 ecru17
1 Leib-grenadier Kexholm
2 St. Petersburg Gr. Pavlovsk Gr. Yelets
1st
Polotsk Lithuania
3 Taurida Gr. Chernigov Murom
20th
Koporye 21st
4 Tobolsk Volhynia Vilna
4th
Kremenchug Minsk
5 Perm Sievsk Mogilev
23d
Kaluga 24th
6 Azov Uglich Nisov
3d
Reval Sofiya
7 Yekaterinoslav Gr. Pskov Moscow
5th
Vladimir Podolia
8 Moscow Gr. Archangel Schlüsselburg
7th
Voronezh Old Ingermanland
9 Astrakhan Gr. Ryazhsk Ukraine
10th
Galicia Bialystok
10 Kiev Gr. Yaroslavl Bryansk
8th
Kursk Crimea
11 Little Russia Gr. Siberia Gr. Nasheburg
11th
Apsheron Odessa
12 Phanagoria Gr. Smolensk Narva
6th
Orel New Ingermanland
13 Nizhni Novgorod Ladoga Aleksopol
12th
Butyrki Poltava
22d
Estonia
14 C. Arakcheyev Gr. Tula Tenginsk
25th
Navaga 26th
15 Vitebsk Kozlov Kolyvan
14th
Kura 13th
16 Novgorod Nyslott Okhotsk
27th
Kamchatka Mingrelia
17 Ryazan Belozersk Brest
30th
Villmandstrand 31st
18 Tambov Dnieper Kostroma
28th
Yakutsk 32d
19 Kazan Suzdal Belev
16th
Sevastopol Vologda
17th
20 Kherson Gr. Georgia Gr. Troitsk
15th
Tiflis Kabarda
9th
Saratov
21 Velikiye Luki Neva Petrovsk
2d
Libau Pernau
22 Viborg Vyatka Stary Oskol
29th
Olonets Penza
23 Rylsk Yekaterinburg
24 Selenginsk 18th
25 Shirvan Ufa Tomsk
19th

Infantry Regiments April 24, 1812

Shoulder straps (red embroidery on yellow and white, yellow embroidery others)18
Div red white yellow d.green, piped red l.blue1
3 Chernigov Murom Reval 20th Selenginsk19 21st
4 Tobolsk Volhynia Kremenchug 4th Minsk 34th
5 Perm Sievsk Mogilev 23d Kaluga 24th
6 Azov Uglich22 Nizov 3d Bryansk 35th22
7 Pskov Moscow Libau 11th Sofiya 36th
8 Archangel Schlüsselburg Old Ingermanland 7th Ukraine 37th
9 Nasheburg Apsheron Ryazhsk 10th Yakutsk 38th
10 Yaroslavl Kursk Crimea 8th Bialystok 39th
1122 Kexholm Yelets Polotsk 1st Pernau 33d
12 Smolensk Narva Aleksopol 6th New Ingermanland 41st
13 Velikiye Luki Saratov Galicia 12th Penza22 22d
14 Tula Tenginsk Navaga 25th Estonia 26th
15 Vitebsk Kozlov Kolyvan 13th Kura 14th
16 Nyslott Okhotsk Kamchatka 27th Mingrelia 43d
17 Ryazan Belozersk Brest 30th Villmandstrand 48th
18 Vladimir Tambov Dnieper 28th Kostroma 32d
19 Kazan Suzdal Belev 16th Sevastopol Vologda 17th
2020 Troitsk Tiflis Kabarda 9th 15th
21 Neva Petrovsk Lithuania 2d Podolia 44th
22 Viborg Vyatka Stary Oskol 29th Olonets 45th
2322 Rylsk Yekaterinburg Koporye19 18th 46th20
24 Shirvan Butyrki Ufa 19th Tomsk 40th
25 Voronezh 21 1st Marine 2d Marine 3d Marine 31st 47th
26 Nizhni Novgorod Ladoga Poltava 5th Orel 42d
27 Odessa Vilna Ternapol 49th Simbirsk 50th
2822 4th Marine

NOTES

  1. Unlike English, but like Italian, Russian considers the part of the spectrum near cyan - azure as a distinct color from blue
  2. Some regiments, including the line with l.crimson regimental distinctives, used l.green pompon centers to avoid clashes with the battalion colors.
    For aesthetic purposes, the miter head band of some regts varied:
    1. black
    2. blue1
    3. Kosmolinskii gives Stary Oskol a d.green miter hat band, while Ulyanov has it l.green. Ulyanov has a d.green (or black) band for Old Ingermanland, which seems a likely response to a yellow/straw clash.
    4. as Inspection. Ulyanov does not have a variant for Tambov.
    5. l.green
  3. Saratov transfered from the Moscow to the Caucasus Inspection when Kura was formed, January 10, 1803, and was displaced when Sevastopol transfered from the Crimea to the Caucasus Inspection.
  4. Dniester Inspection color changed from purple on Nov. 27, 1804. The collar and cuff flap became d.green, piped red. The cuff became solid red. The Dniester Inspection was reorganized at this time. The Crimea Inspection followed suit, certainly by July 3, 1805.
  5. These regiments, part of those raised May 28, 1803, had variant regimental distinctions as of July 3, 1805. The latter three were displaced by regiments raised September 10, 1805.
  6. The new regiments had 5 buttons on the cuff, except the Yakutsk which had 3.
  7. Follows Ulyanov and Zweguintzow. Viskovatov gives all red.
  8. Viskovatov illustrates the later regiments with a solid colored pompon and does not mention center color. Apparently it was no longer distinguished.
    It is unclear if (l.green) was part of the distinctive, or the absence of such, but it would have only made a difference for a short time during the transitional period.
  9. It is unclear if the cuff and collar were piped, and if so whether in d. or l.green.
  10. Yekaterinoslav was transfered to the Crimea Inspection June 20, 1805.
  11. Ulyanov shows the Zhelezinka with white cuffs and Vladikavkaz with uncolored cuffs, but the anomoly is perhaps a misprint.
  12. The orginal order specified yellow embroidery for the others, but did not specify ecru. Ulyanov reports the order in the text, but illustrates red embroidery on the ecru strap.
  13. Grenadier regiments had red shoulder straps with their cursive capital initial letters embroided in yellow. A good example of cursive Cyrillic can be found here: http://www.sandia.gov/ASC/russia/cyrillic.html . Kexholm presumably would have taken К.Г., and Pernau П. as Pavlovsk was entering the Guard.
    Leib-grenadier Л.Г. St. Petersburg Gr. С.П. Pavlovsk Gr. П. Taurida Gr. Т. Yekaterinoslav Gr. Е. Moscow Gr. М. Astrakhan Gr. А.
    Kiev Gr. К. Little Russia Gr. М.Г. Siberia Gr. С. Phanagoria Gr. Ф. C. Arakcheyev Gr. Г.А. Kherson Gr. Х. Georgia Gr. Г.
  14. Selenginsk, originally in the 23d, and Koporye, originally in the 3d, were ordered to switch places during the 1812 campaign.
  15. The 46th Jaeger was intended for the 23d Division and took those distinctions, but remained in the Caucasus with the 20th Division. Eventually, (1816) the 17th Jaeger was promoted to the 7th Carabinier, and with some reoganization the 19th and 20th Divisions were rectified.
  16. Viskovatov gives the facings of the Marine regiments explicitly. It is possible that Voronezh should have been specified as dr.green, piped red, but perhaps the Infantry and Marine uniforms were sufficiently different that distinct facings were not deemed necessary.
  17. A number of reassignments took place before the new organization was confirmed by an annoucement on September 10, 1814. They centered around the creation of a third grenadier division along with grenadier-jaeger regiments, and filling out the incomplete 23d Division. It is uncertain when the changes actually became effective or when the uniform were modified to conform. On March 23, 1813, the Borodino and Taruntino infantry regiments were raised and assigned to the 23d Division. On April 25 the Leib-Grenadier and Pavlovsk Grenadier regiments entered the Leib Guard, and Kexholm and Pernau infantry regiments of the 11th Division became grenadiers. By the September 1814 announcement, the Rylsk and Yekaterinburg infantry regiments, originally with the 23d, had joined the 11th Division to fill in. On May 10th, 1813, the 18th Jaeger was reassigned to the 6th Division and the 35th Jaeger to the 23d Division. On July 23 new regiments were raised to form, along with the 4th Marine regiment, the 28th Division. And the new Krasnoye and 51st Jaeger were assigned to the 23d Division. But on November 16 the new regiments became jaegers, the Krasnoye becoming the 54th Jaeger, in anticipation of the creation of Grenadier-Jaeger regiments out of existing ones. After Paris fell, 6 jaeger regiments in various divisions were designated grenadier-jaeger, were assigned to the 1st-3d Grenadier Divisions, and were replaced by the 54th and 5 jaeger regiments from the 28th Division. The 4th Marine joined the 23d Division. By September, the 3d Division became the 28th. Koporye, in the 23d, switched with Uglich, in the 6th. The 4th Marine, in the 23d switched with Penza, in the 13th.

References

Conrad, M., trans. Historical Descriptions of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army Vol. 10a&b by A. V. Viskovatov. Eatontown, NJ, 1993-4.
---------. "Mark Conrad’s Home Page - Russian Military History" http://home.comcast.net/~markconrad. Sept. 4, 2006.
Foster, J.C. "The NBS/ISCC Color/Colour System" http://tx4.us/nbs-iscc.htm. Sept. 4, 2006.
Korolev, V. “Kisti grenaderskikh shapok, mushketerskikh i yegerskikh shlyap v 1802-1807 godakh” Orel no. 1 (1992) St. Petersburg.
Kosmolinskiy, P. Tseikhgauz no. 3 (1994), cited in Conrad.
Popov, S., annotations “Russkiye yegerya V Zagranichnykh pokhodakh 1813-14” by D. Mishanin Tseikhgauz no.9 (1/1999) St. Petersburg.
Ul'yanov, I. Regulyarnaya Pekhota 1801-1855. Moscow 1997.
Vasil'yev A. and A. Yeliseyev "Russkiye soyedinennye armii pri Borodino 2-26 avgusta (5-y sentyabrya) 1812 g." http://www.genstab.ru/oob_bor_ru.htm. July 3, 2006.
Zweguintzow, W. L'Armée Russe. Vol. 4 1801--1825. Paris, 1973.
---------. Personal correspondence.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: 1997; updated October 2006

 

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