(Chapter 6 of Voennaya Odezhda Russkoi Armii.)
Changes in Military Uniforms and Material Supply of the Russian Forces
during the Reign of Nicholas I
by M. A. Terovkin, 1994.
The material support of Russias armed forces and all changes introduced in the uniforms of Russian troops during the second quarter of the nineteenth century are connected with the reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855), who ascended to the throne after the sudden death of Emperor Alexander I and the heir Constantines rejection of the crown. Before this, Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich Romanov commanded a guards brigade, later a division, and occupied the position of inspector of engineer units. On 14 December, 1825, the day he ascended to the tsars throne, there was the Decembrists revolt in St.-Petersburg, which was put down by troops commanded by Nicholas I himself. The tragic events on the Senate Square were a great shock to the new emperors psyche which at first led to a strictly conservative, and then to an extremely reactionary direction in all the politics of his reign, both domestic and foreign.
The basic tendency of Nicholas Is rule consisted of striving to reinforce feudal aristocratic hegemony and eliminate popular protest and the progressive efforts of the leading intelligentsia. With this goal the militarized bureaucratic apparatus was strengthened along with government centralization, and the army expanded to a point where it swallowed some 40% of the state budget.
Military discipline, barracks-like procedures, and punishments for freethinkers were widely used during Nicholas Is reign. In 1826 the Third Section of His Imperial Majestys Own Chancellery was established to fight the revolutionary movement and the leading intelligentsia, and it soon lead this battle. Frightened by the French revolution of 1830 and the Polish national liberation movement of 1830-1831, the tsarist administration headed by the emperor intensified reactionary measures in Russia. Prominent representatives of the Russian intelligentsia became the victims of these measures ¾ N. A. Polevoi, N. I. Nadezhdin, P. Ya. Chaadaev, A. S. Pushkin, M. Yu. Lermontov, A. A. Bestyuzhev-Marlinskii, T. G. Shevchenko, and others. Deeply convinced of the need to strengthen the existing order, Nicholas I, as an intelligent and rational man, understood the necessity of carrying out certain reforms which did not touch upon the interests of the nobility. Among the most important of these measures taken were reform of the administration of state (treasury) peasants, carried out by the minister of government properties, P. D. Kiselev, an ukase regarding obligated (forced labor) peasants, the introduction of inventory regulations in the western provinces (concerning peasants work obligations and payments to landlords), the financial reform of Ye. F. Konkrin, the codification of laws by M. M. Speranskii, and others. But in these politics of aristocracy and social class, the emperor could only react; the development of capitalist arrangements and pressure from the coalescing bourgeoisie forced the government of Nicholas I to make concessions to the trade and manufacturing class. In 1828 a Manufacturing Council was created, a technological institute was opened for preparing technically educated cadres, industrial exhibitions were organized, and so on.
Russia during the reign of Nicholas I was in a difficult social-economic situation which conditioned her technological backwardness and powerlessness in a clash with the leading capitalist European governments in the Crimean War of 1853-1856.
The tsars foreign policy as directed by K. V. Nesselrode was linked to the social-economic process inside the country, and was also distinguished by inconsistency. One of its main traits was the effort directed at crushing revolutionary movements in Europe. In 1833 Nicholas I entered into an alliance with the Prussian and Austrian monarchies, and in 1848 he broke off diplomatic relations with republican France and undertook an intervention in the Danubian principalities. In 1849 the Russian army helped to defeat the Hungarian revolution and the revolutionary movement in Europe. The expansion of tsarism in the Near East and in central Asia and Kazakhstan was a reflection of Russias attempts to widen the markets for its developing industry. At the same time the foreign policy of Nicholas I directed at attaining his goals of being a great power had the tendency to support national liberation movements among the Balkan peoples. All this led to some of the countries of western Europe uniting against Russia in the war of 1853-1856.
Being well educated in regard to military matters, Emperor Nicholas I paid much attention to the organization of Russias armed forces. In 1832, in order to further centralize the army the higher military administration was united under the direction of Minister of War A. I. Chernyshev, who combined the posts of war minister and chief of the main staff and became the sole officer reporting to the monarch on all army matters, except for the artillery, engineer troops, and military educational institutions, which were entrusted to Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich. In this same year two higher collegial offices were created ¾ the military council and the general-auditoriat. Cadet corps under Nicholas I were greatly expanded, and a military academy was founded. A military educational system was also introduced in many civil academic institutions of the Nicholaevan period, which received purely military organizations (the Forestry Corps, Mining Corps, Engineer Corps for Lines of Communications, etc.). The administration of separate army units remained unchanged for all of Nicholas Is reign. Higher organizations of troops, in peacetime as well as war, were divisions, corps, and armies. In 1829 the 1st and 2nd armies were combined into the single 1st Army; in 1830 a special active army was formed, which continued in existence after the end of military operations in Poland. There were also separate corps: Guards, Grenadier, Finland, Orenburg, Caucasus, and Siberia. In 1835 the 1st Army was disbanded and the greater part of its corps joined to the active army or made directly subordinate to the War Ministry, while the remaining corps became part of the settled cavalry. In 1846, after being prepared for an extended period (about 14 years), a Regulation was issued for managing armies and corps in peace and wartime, according to which commanders and staffs exercising operational control had defined duties in regard to the condition of the troops, as did administrative field staffs, and higher military agencies were responsible for local military administration.
In regard to irregular forces, they were divided into 11 cossack hosts for which a series of administrative regulations was issued, beginning with the Administrative Regulation for the Don Host (1835). The military settlements, although rather limited in extent when compared to Arakcheevs time, continued to exist the whole of Nicholas Is reign.
In the Nicholaevan period there were a number of measures taken affecting certain branches of military affairs, of which the following may be noted. In 1827 a General Staff was formed from the guards general staff and His Majestys Suite for Quartermaster Affairs. In regard to the artillery ¾ a committee was established "for reviewing and rationalizing gun calibers," flintlocks were replaced by percussion mechanisms, rifled firearms were introduced (rifles and pistols), there were new cannon carriages, a new organization for the artillery, and arsenals and other technological artillery establishments were set up. For the engineers ¾ the fortresses of Kiev, Ivangorod, Novogeorgievsk, Brest-Litovsk, and the Warsaw Citadel were constructed, an Administrative Regulation for the Inspector-General of Engineering Troops, and instructional galvanic telegraph detachments were formed for the sapper brigades.
In regard to manning the army, a new Recruit Regulation was issued in 1832, according to which the length of service was very long, as before, and therefore the fulfillment of the military service obligation was a heavy burden for the populace.
In quality the infantrys armament was behind that of the leading European powers. Only rifle battalions were equipped with rifled firearms, while in the line infantry in a company of 250 men there were only six rifles. The rest of the infantry was armed with smoothbore 0.7 inch muskets. The infantry almost never engaged in training for battle. All attention was given to external appearance, musket drill, marching in step at various speeds, and maneuvering in close-order formation. Only ten cartridges were issued each year to each man in the line infantry for firing practice, so that aimed firing at targets was not practiced. In truth, soldiers did not fire a single aimed bullet the whole year, while firing in volleys was rehearsed to the point of perfection. There were few entrenching tools, and troops did not practice making field fortifications. Neither did they train in open order, fieldcraft, physical fitness, or fencing. In the cavalry cross-country riding was not practiced, and there was no instruction in battlefield tactics or scouting. In the artillery the main object of attention was the precise execution of the most complicated changes of formation on the drill square. Tactical training of the troops practically did not exist. "The ideal of the automaton, that inseparable companion of enthusiasm for close-order formations, laid its heavy and baleful mark on the education of commanders at all levels. For long years the flourishing of such a system produced blind executors of literal orders, and the spirit of personal initiative, the ability to make decisions on ones own account and act according to the situation on the battlefield at the time, i.e. the most basic combat qualities of a commander, were not able to be sufficiently developed in the forces. This system also badly affected the soldiers, most of all because in flagrant violation of the law the soldiers personality was crushed; extensively developed corporal punishments did not allow the inculcation of a feeling of honor or recognition of the soldiers sacred calling."
In must be noted that only the troops in the Caucasus differed markedly from the forces in European Russia. Constant battlefield experience produced in them a spirit of enterprise and combativeness, as well as initiative and great self-reliance on the part of commanders.
The military system of Nicholas I and all the military standards of his era revealed their complete unsuitability during the war of 1853-1856 and led to the necessary reforms carried out later by Emperor Alexander II and Graf D. A. Milyutin. Nicholas I himself and his closest advisor in military affairs, Prince A. I. Chernyshev, saw no deficiencies in Russias armed forces. In his annual reports Chernyshev always announced that "the organization of the military administration is at its desired level of perfection and does not require any great changes." Similarly, in a memorandum to Chernyshev on his leaving the post of minister of war in 1852, Nicholas I stated his conviction that the armed forces were "in excellent order".
In 1827 the tsar confirmed a "provisional organization for the Ministry of the Navy", which was then followed by a permanent reorganization of the ministry. Here, as in the land forces administration, all control was concentrated in the hands of the minister of the navy. In addition to the ministrys departments there were the Admiralty Council and the General-Auditoriat of the Navy. In 1853 a new naval regulation was issued. All auxiliary naval officials were formed into special corps: the Corps of Naval Navigators, the Corps of Ship Engineers, and the Corps of Marine Artillery.
Emperor Nicholas I treated the navy with great respect and devoted much attention to naval affairs, especially in the first decade of his reign. The Nicholaevan era saw the culmination of sailing ships dominating Russian navy matters; the sailing fleet was an impressive force and elicited the admiration of foreigners. The English captain Crawford, having witnessed the Baltic Fleets maneuvers in 1836, filed a report to his government on the relationship of the emperor to the Russian navy: "Passing between the ships, the emperor himself explained the strengths of each, named the time it was built, its particulars, and the condition it was currently in. He obviously kept current with every detail relating to every ship, which serves as proof of his untiring attentiveness to these matters and of the interest with which he keeps informed of their readiness for service. The comparative superiority of these ships over most of those which I saw in the Mediterranean in 1828-29 gave me a high appreciation for the accomplishments achieved by the Russian fleet in such a short time."
Nicholas I himself was convinced that the Russian fleet of the 30s and 40s was in proper condition. But in the course of the Crimean War it was shown that there were no ships in the navy, nor guns in the army, which would be effective in battle with the enemy. The lack of sufficient railroads and highways prohibited the rapid movement of troops and the timely supply of weapons, ammunition, provisions, and materiel to the field armies and fleet.
If the Russian army was still capable of winning victories, it was due to the national character of the Russian soldier and the talent of its individual military leaders, such as Nakhimov, Totleben, and Khrulev. However, a significant number of command positions in the army and navy were occupied by men who were better at exchanging banter than anything else. In regard to preparing and training troops they were devoted to fancy appearances and parades in dress uniform, drills, a lack of receptivity, and abject deference to rank. It was about them that Griboyedov has Chatskii say:
The uniform! Only the uniform! Once in their former life
It covered, all embroidered and brilliant,
Their weak character and poverty of judgment.
Even Emperor Nicholas I himself gave most of his attention not to the technological support of the army, nor to the combat training of its personnel, but to its external appearance and how handsome the soldiers uniform was. He thought of the army as some kind of orderly and beautiful mass, skillfully marching in parades. Bright facing colors, gold and silver galloon, piping and stripes on uniforms, sumptuous plumes and feathers on headdresses, straight lines in formation, the rhythm of the march pace, how high the soldiers stepped when on parade and their military bearing ¾ these were the basis for training soldiers and officers.
In military uniforms of this period absolutely no account was taken of the main purpose of a soldiers clothing ¾ to protect from the weather and preserve ones health, and also to provide freedom of movement and accommodate handling weapons under battlefield conditions.
Most troops used helmets as their headdress, make from black lacquered leather, with two visors, chinscales, a large plate in front, and many brass fittings. These headdresses were so constricting that in the beginning of the war permission was given to replace them on campaign with forage caps, which in peacetime were prescribed to be worn when not on duty.
The total weight of the equipment carried by an infantry soldier came to more than 30 kg, which was significantly more than the weight of equipment carried by soldiers in foreign armies.
Every kind of supplies for the troops came from two separate administrations: the provisions department, which provided rations and forage, and the commissariat, which supplied the forces with money and materiel.
In reality the logistical administration of the troops lay wholly in the hands of units commanders, whose closest assistants in were the paymaster and quartermaster. They were the sole persons responsible for the supply and condition of material goods in their units and were obligated to maintain the regiment entrusted to their administration using only the amount of money disbursed by the treasury. Each individual unit had a significant number of its own craftsmen such as tailors, cobblers, armorers, metalsmiths, carpenters, joiners, men specializing in applying lace or lacquer, blacksmiths, and in the guards ¾ plume makers. Doing this work drew off a large part of the soldiers of the combatant sub-units.
The commissariat, which provided the Russian armys material support, was in a neglected state. Its personnel did not meet the needs of service either in professional quality or in numbers. The preparation of material goods was in the hands of monopolies. Bypassing government control, items supplied to the troops were of low quality and not provided at the stipulated times. Under these conditions the emperor and government were forced to carry out a reorganization of the commissariat. After the suppression of the Polish mutiny in 1832, there were issued a temporary organizational table and an administrative regulation for the commissariat departments new organization. The number of officials was increased and their salaries were doubled from previously. This significant addition to the officials pay was not provided by the treasury, but from the general funds assigned to the commissariat. Measures were taken improve the production of goods and increase their quality. These measures were directed on the one hand at saving the treasury from losses by selecting reliable contractors, and on the other at heightening the interest of manufacturers in filling military orders. This was legally formulated in 1838 when the tsar confirmed an Administrative Regulation for Treasury Procurements.
In regard to military uniforms there were no changes in their cardinal features during the reign of Nicholas I. Many different improvements in the details of uniforms were introduced, concerned with their decorative aspect and the impression presented on parade, and with distinctions between regiments and branches of service. The majority of the changes were connected with alterations in the names of units and military educational institutions and their transfer from one branch of service to another, which led to changing the colors of facing cloth and metal appointments. A whole series of changes were general for all troops or a majority of them.
The most basic change in uniforms was the introduction of a single-breasted (instead of double-breasted) coat in the army infantry, foot artillery, engineer troops, and the corresponding military educational institutions. This coat was fastened with ten flat buttons and had red flaps on the cuffs and red piping down the front and across on the bottom to the tails (Illus. 119). The previously used officers gray riding trousers and white pants with high boots, and lower ranks white pants with gaiters over the shoes, were replaced with long dark-green pants with red piping on the side seams. Underneath the pants, over the boots, lower ranks at all times, but officers only when in formation or on parade, wore black cloth half-gaiters, fastened by five or six small buttons. Generals, field-grade officers, and adjutants were given boots with driven-in spurs, and in summer when mounted in formation they were to be in while linen or chamois pants. In the army cavalry, horse artillery, and horse-pioneers gray riding trousers with colored piping on the side seams began to be worn.
Corrections in the wearing of certain items were also introduced. Lower combatant ranks were told to place the horizontal strap of their backpack between the two lower buttons of the coat and carry the backpack on two crossbelts over the chests, while officers backpacks were to be worn using only two lacquered shoulder straps without any horizontal cross strap. The greatcoat was to be carried over the backpack rolled up in a special oilskin case.
Lower ranks who had served out the regulation number of years of service and earned the right to discharge, but instead remained on extended duty, received an additional gold galloon chevron to wear with their long-service stripes, and in 1840 extended-duty men were authorized to sew on another galloon chevron for every five years of extra service. These innovations applied to all troops.
Also applicable to all branches were further developments in rank distinctions. In January of 1827 officers epaulettes were to have small forged and stamped metal stars to distinguish rank, regardless of any ciphers or initials already on the epaulettes. On gold epaulettes the stars were to be silver, and on silver epaulettes ¾ gold, of the same shape and size for all ranks. The number of stars was prescribed as follows: one for an ensign, cornet, or cossack khorunzhii; two for a sublieutenant, major, or major general; three for a lieutenant, cossack sotnik, lieutenant colonel, cossack voiskovoi starshina, or lieutenant general; four for a staff-captain or cossack podyesaul. A captain, cossack yesaul, colonel, general of infantry, general of cavalry, general of artillery, or engineer general would wear epaulettes without stars (Illus. 120.)
In 1828 new shakos were introduced for grenadier, marine, infantry, carabinier, and jäger regiments, a little higher than before, with round pompons (plumes for carabiniers) and shortened cords going around the top of the shako and hanging down on the right side ending in two tassels. On the front part there was a shako plate in the shape of a two-headed eagle over a shield. Above the eagle was fixed a badge for distinction (for those troops having this). In the middle of the shako plates shield the unit number was cut out. In grenadier and carabinier regiments the regimental number was cut out on a raised image of a grenade (Illus. 121 and 122).
In the regiments of the Separate Caucasus Corps shakos were replaced by black sheepskin headdresses with leather visors and the fittings prescribed for grenadier regiments, except that round pompons took the place of plumes (silver for officers and woolen for lower ranks), in unique company colors (Illus. 122).
The red cuffs on officers frock coats were replaced by dark-green ones the same color as the coat, with red piping (Illus. 123).
In 1829 new buttons were introduced with raised images on them: in the guards ¾ a two-headed eagle; in army grenadier and cuirassier regiments ¾ grenades with the regimental number; in other units ¾ just the regiments number without a grenade.
In the beginning of the 1830s cloth half-gaiters were abolished for company-grade officers and lower ranks, and all combatant ranks were given new pattern pants or trousers with neither integral spats nor buttons on the side seams. Field and company-grade officers in army units were no longer authorized to wear the hat, but were to wear the shako (helmet for cuirassiers). The cut-out unit numbers on shakos were soon replaced by fixed-on numbers: tin for lower ranks and silver for officers.
When grenadier regiments changed from a three-battalion organization to four battalions, grenadier, marksmen, and fusilier privates in each battalion were prescribed a new scheme of colors for the pompons on the headdress. Subsequently the scheme for upper and lower pompon colors and piping changed in accordance with changes in the number of battalions in a regiment.
In 1836 the number of buttons on the front of lower ranks greatcoats was reduced to six. The height of the plume on the shako was also reduced.
In 1837 a new type of officers waist sash was introduced, made of narrow silver lace with three orange and black stripes and two silver tassels on the end. The waist sash was made with a strong inner layer and wrapped around the waist to fill the whole space between the two lower buttons. It was fastened on the left side using a buckle (Illus. 124).
In the interest of standardizing officers epaulettes a new pattern was confirmed that had an additional, fourth, twist of narrow braid.
In 1839 generals and field and company-grade officers were directed not to wear pants with bows or bands on the front, but rather have pants made like those for lower ranks, with a hook on the side seams.
A new shako was introduced in 1843 for officers and lower ranks, with curved sides. In order to distinguish rank among lower ranks stripes were to be sewn on their shoulder straps: one wide gold galloon stripe for sergeants; three narrow white pieces of tape with red center stripes for section non-commissioned officers; two narrow pieces for junior non-commissioned officers; and one piece for corporals. Distinguished officer candidates and plain officer candidates were to have narrow gold galloon sewn around the sides of their shoulder straps (Illus. 129).
A metal cockade was introduced for wear on the band of the officers forage cap, the same kind that had been established for officers hats (Illus. 125).
Black lacquered leather helmets replaced shakos in 1844. They had two visors (in front and in back), brass (gilt for officers) reinforcements on top and behind the body, and a vertical tube on top, ending in a flaming grenade. For parades a black horsehair plume was inserted in the tube. Chinscales, badges for distinction, and plates were fixed to the helmet just as they had been on the shako (Illus. 126).
When off duty, generals and officers were to wear the helmet instead of the hat: when in dress coats ¾ with plume; when in frock coats ¾ without plume (Illus. 127), with the chinscales being brought up and fastened above the visor. Generals wearing regimental uniform off duty were to wear a white plume on the hat instead of a black one.
In 1848 troops of the Separate Caucasus Corps were prescribed new uniforms and equipment. In place of the sheepskin headdress there were introduced caps of the pattern used by line cossacks with a top of dark-green army cloth, piped with cloth the same color as the shoulder straps, without plate, grenade, or chinscales. Coats were replaced by half-caftans with a collar, shoulder straps, and piping as were on the coat. In warm weather it was permitted to wear forage caps with visors. These could be sewn from coats past their wear-out period, while accouterments were made from Russian leather blackened with polish. Generals and adjutants in formation were left with the previous uniform, and when in the reserve division ¾ with army uniforms.
The newly introduced uniform of the Separate Caucasus Corps showed the influence of the local cossacks with whom units of the corps frequently had to work. The cap was tailored following the pattern used by the line cossacks, of dark-green army cloth, with a brim of sheeps fleece. Instead of chinscales the cap had a chin strap. Badges for distinction, for those who were authorized them, were fastened in the front on the fleece brim (Illus. 128).
The half-caftan was sewn from dark-green army cloth, with a collar, shoulder straps, and piping in the colors previously prescribed for the regiment. The cuffs on the sleeves were slit, of dark-green cloth with red piping, and without flaps or buttons. The skirts on the half-caftan were slit in the back, and there were pockets with flaps but no piping. The skirts were sewn to the body with small gussets to give fullness below. The length of the half-caftan was such that the lower edge was 22 cm above the knee. On non-commissioned officers caftans the edge of the collar and cuffs were trimmed with galloon of the previous pattern.
Winter sharovary trousers were sewn from dark-green army cloth, with pleats on the front half, with a waist, linen lining, and piping on the side seams. Summer sharovary were of Flemish linen, having the same width and length as the previous pants.
Boots were made from black Russian leather, long, welted, and with sewn-on vamps. When necessary, boots were put on over the cloth sharovary trousers and held above the knee by a strap and brass buckle.
A backpack of black Russian leather with linen lining had a cover flap and was closed with the help of rawhide straps with buckles and hooks. The backpack was carried on Russian leather straps (Illus. 130).
A kettle of sheet iron, soldered on the inside, had a lid and iron handle. One kettle was issued for every three soldiers, and carried by soldiers in the second rank. The other soldiers had mess tins made of iron.
An ammunition pouch of black Russian leather lined with linen had a leather interior with sixteen compartments for cartridges, a cover flap, and two buckles for fastening to the crossbelt (Illus. 132).
The waist belt had a frog and sheath for a sappers sword. This belt was made of Russian leather, blackened as were all the accouterments, in the manner of jägers (Illus. 133).
The officers swordbelt for carrying the half-saber was made of black morocco, trimmed with gold or silver galloon (depending on the color of the buttons), was fastened by a metal buckle, and had two rings to connect to the sling straps which carried the half-saber.
In addition to these changes, confirmed instructions were given out concerning the fitting of the ammunition pouch, firing capsule pouch, and swordbelt.
Instructions were confirmed in 1851 for all infantry troops describing how to turn up and fasten the skirts of the greatcoat while on the march and listing what items the soldier was to have in the backpack (Illus. 131).
Both on campaign as well as during inspections it was required to have two pairs of foot wrappings, boots or the makings of boots, two undershirts, ear muffs, gloves or mittens (depending on the season), forage cap, tin case for firing capsules, some feathers with trimmed ends, grease rag, dry rag, screwdriver, case for wadding, sharpened cleaning stick of hard wood, and a spare firing pin, smeared with tallow (for those with these).
The backpack also held sundry items: button board, brushes (for clothes, boots, and whitening), chalk, glue, soap, scissors, dye and comb for mustaches, not less than three needles, thimble, awl, thread, wax-end, penknife, and hair comb. In addition, on campaign there had to be rusk and salt for four days, a pair of boot soles, and a tin case with wax or grease.
For generals and field and company-grade officers of grenadier regiments during wartime there were introduced campaign greatcoats of the same pattern as the greatcoats for lower ranks, except with side pockets with flaps and shoulder straps made of galloon the same color as the buttons: with one stripe down the middle for company-grade officers, two for field-grade officers, and a zigzag pattern for generals. The number of small stars on the shoulder straps corresponded to rank (Illus. 134, 135).
With the introduction of campaign greatcoats there were established the following rules for their wear:
All generals and field and company-grade officers, when mounted and in formation, are to have greatcoats with a slit and buttons at the back, to provide for a more comfortable seat on a horse.
When in campaign greatcoats officers were not authorized the waist sash. They wore a campaign swordbelt over the greatcoat, frock coat, or dress coat.
Only infantry company-grade officers in formation wore campaign swordbelts, while infantry generals and field-grade officers, who had to be mounted when in formation, wore the campaign greatcoat with a half-saber on the standard swordbelt, worn under the greatcoat. For holding the half-saber there was a slit at the left pocket of the greatcoat.
Officers wearing the campaign greatcoat were not to wear officers gorgets, and medals were not to be worn except for the order of St. George.
Warm, fur-lined collars were not to be sewn onto the campaign greatcoats, but they could be could be worn separately over the greatcoats collar.
Campaign greatcoats were to be worn only during wartime; in peacetime greatcoats were to be of the previous color and pattern.
All the uniform changes laid out above for grenadier regiments were extended to marine and infantry regiments with the difference that marine units kept their white piping, and in regiments of the Lithuania Corps plastrons and white metal appointments were retained.
In carabinier regiments uniforms were made according to the same patterns as for grenadier regiments, but they were worn with black leather accouterments (Illus. 136).
In the guards heavy infantry: the Preobrazhenskii, Semenovskii, Izmailovskii, Moscow, Grenadier, Pavlovsk, and Lithuania regiments ¾ there were no changes in uniform patterns. They were double-breasted as before, with plastrons and lace bars on the collar and cuffs.
The construction of the shako changed a little. An image of St. George the Bearer of Victory appeared on the shield of the shako plate, while in the Lithuania Regiment there was an image of a Lithuanian knight, which was later also replaced by St. George (Illus. 136 and 137). In the Life-Guards Pavlovskii Regiment grenadier caps were worn instead of shakos, continuing long-standing tradition (Illus. 138).
In place of officers white pants and high boots, and in place of lower ranks white pants and spats, there were introduced long dark-green pants of the army infantry pattern with red piping (yellow in the Lithuania Regiment, but later also replaced by red). Lower ranks always wore black cloth half-gaiters under their pants and over their boots, fastened with five or six buttons, which company-grade officers only did when in formation and wearing the sash. Instead of gaiters, generals (in regimental uniform), field-grade officers, and adjutants wore boots with driven-in spurs.
In conjunction with their being awarded the rights and privileges of the Old Guard, the Life-Guards Grenadier and Life-Guards Pavlovsk regiments in 1832 began to wear yellow chevrons on their coats, as in other guards regiments, instead of white. In 1832 two more grenadier regiments were added to the guards: firstly ¾ The Emperor of Austrias Regiment, secondly ¾ The King of Prussias. These regiments were prescribed dark-green coats with red plastrons, cuffs, piping on the collar, lining, and tail turnbacks. The first had a dark-blue collar and the second ¾ dark green. White tape was sewn to the collars and cuffs on the coats of lower ranks; officers had silver lace bars.
In 1844 all regiments of guards infantry replaced their shakos with helmets of black lacquered leather, with horse-hair plumes, two visors, and metal fittings the same color as the buttons (Illus. 139).
The same uniform changes occurred in the regiments of guards light infantry (Life-Guards Jäger, Finland, and Volhynia regiments). Guardsmen were distinguished in their dress from army infantry by guards shako plates, double-breasted coats with plastrons, and lace bars on the collars (Illus. 140).
The uniforms of guards artillery units differed from those in the army artillery by the pattern of the coat, the headdress plate, and lace bars on the cuffs.
Guards artillerymen wore double-breasted coats with a black plastron, collar, and cuffs. Red piping was applied around the plastron and on the top and bottom of the collar. On the cuffs were cuff flaps with lace bars and buttons. Red piping on the bottom of the collar was not only on the coats of guards artillerymen, but also on the coats of army artillerymen and engineers.
The red piping on the bottom of the collar was unofficially called "learned piping" because the artillery and engineers picked the more literate personnel.
A distinguishing mark of the guards was the guards headdress plate in the form of a two-headed eagle, and artillerymen had, in addition, artillery insignia below the plate in the form of crossed gun barrels.
Guards horse-artillery uniforms were distinguished from those of the foot artillery by having a pompon on the shako instead of high plumes.
Uniforms in the guards sapper battalion underwent all the same changes as in the guards artillery, but in distinction from artillerymen, sappers did not have gold (yellow) metal appointments, but silver (white), and wore the insignia of engineer troops on their shakos ¾ crossed axes.
Engineers kept their previous uniform for a long time, including the hat with black plumage, which in 1844 was replaced by a helmet with a black plume. Guards engineer uniforms differed from those in the army by the presence of silver embroidery on the collar and cuffs.
Cavalry, as infantry, consisted of both guards and army units. Under Nicholas I there were at first five guards regiments in the Guards Cuirassier Division: the Cavalier Guards, Life-Guards Horse, Life-Guards Cuirassiers, Life-Guards Podolia Cuirassiers, and Life-Cuirassier regiments. But after the amalgamation in 1831 of the Podolia and Life-Guards Cuirassier regiments into His Majestys Life-Guards Cuirassier Regiment only four regiments were left. This was the organization of the Guards Cuirassier Division up to the end of the Russian empire.
The uniforms of the guards cuirassier regiments, which were located close to the tsars court, underwent rather frequent changes. There were especially frequent alterations in the shapes of the headdress (helmet) and cuirass and their decoration. In 1827 the helmet was shortened and the shape of the plume was changed. The plumage became wider and longer than before, reaching down to the front plate (Illus. 141). A little later all regiments were prescribed brass cuirasses instead of the iron ones painted black. New broadswords with three arches on the handle were introduced. The blouses for lower ranks in the Horse, Cuirassier, and Podolia Cuirassier regiments were replaced by dark-green jackets without tails, with red piping on the collar, cuffs, and shoulder straps (yellow piping in the Podolia Regiment).
In 1833 an image of a two-headed eagle was put on the front of the cuirasses of the Life-Guards Cuirassier Regiment, while an eight-pointed star with the monogram of Alexander I under an imperial crown was put on the cuirasses of the Life-Cuirassiers. These were of copper for lower ranks and gilt for officers.
On holidays when the emperor made an appearance, personnel of the Cavalier Guards and Life-Guards Horse regiments forming interior guard detachments in the imperial palaces wore red vests, on the front of which were depicted: for the Cavalier Guards ¾ an eight-pointed star with the monogram of Alexander I; and for the Life-Guards Horse ¾ a metallic figure of a two-headed eagle. Each was the same color as prescribed for metal appointments. The lining and toothed edge to the vests (light blue in the Cavalier Guards, dark blue in the Life-Guards Horse) were trimmed with yellow tape, or for officers ¾ galloon in the same color as the metal appointments (Illus. 142).
There were again changes in the headdress in 1845. The former helmets with hair plumes were replaced by leather ones with plumes of black horse hair. Soon after this change there were new alterations ¾ the helmets of guards cuirassiers began to be made of tombak (an alloy of brass and zinc). On front of the helmets there was the star of the order of the apostle St. Andrew the First-Called, with sky-blue enamel in the center.
On top of the helmet, with the help of a special tube, there was screwed in a grenade or a figure of a two-headed eagle, gilt or silver, depending on the prescribed metal appointments (Illus. 143 and 144).
Officers not in formation were permitted to wear leather helmets with the previous fittings and a white plume. Only generals wore hats. Polished brass cuirasses of the pattern for army cuirassiers were made regulation for all guards regiments.
Similar uniform changes were made in guards dragoon units: the Life-Guards Dragoon and Life-Guard Horse-Jäger regiments. Scaled epaulettes without fringes were introduced for the coats of lower combatant ranks, the same color as the buttons, with cloth backing and small cross-straps at the edge of the collar. At the same time the field on officers epaulettes became scaled. In the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment the slit pointed cuffs were changed to straight cuffs of the infantry pattern with flaps the color of the collar. There were three lace bars on each cuff flap: of yellow tape for lower ranks and silver for officers. Dark-green piping went around the collar, cuffs, cuff flaps, and tail turnbacks.
New shakos were introduced, with a pompon and cords, and later there appeared new-pattern shako plates, the same as established for guards infantry regiments: in copper for lower ranks of the Life-Guards Dragoons and gilt for officers (Illus. 145); of white iron for lower ranks in the Life-Guards Horse-Jägers and silver for officers. In 1829 stripes were removed from the riding trousers of officers and lower ranks, leaving only piping on the side seams.
In 1832 there were changes in regimental titles: the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment became the Life-Guards Horse-Grenadiers, and a little later the Life-Guards Horse-Jägers became the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment. In conjunction with this the shakos of the Life-Guards Horse-Grenadier Regiment were replaced by helmets of black lacquered leather, with the previous plate, two visors, and a standing front piece, above which, crosswise over the body of the helmet, was placed a rounded black crest of horse hair (red for trumpeters). In formation and during parades a long red cloth triangle was fitted to the upper part of the body of the helmet, in back and beneath the crest. Yellow woolen tape ran along the edges and middle of the cloth triangle (gold galloon for officers), and a similarly colored tassel was sewn onto its end. Lower ranks received coats with red plastrons, scaled epaulettes with a hanging fringe of red wool, and lancer-pattern girdles with a dark-green center and edges the same color as the collar (Illus. 146).
The Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment (the former Horse-Jägers) was prescribed dragoon armament and had some modifications in their uniform. In particular, round red infantry-pattern cuffs were introduced on the coat, with red flaps and dark-green piping on the cuffs and flaps. Three lace bars with buttons were sewn on top of each cuff flap, of the same color as the metal appointments. Lower ranks began to wear the same girdles as horse-grenadiers.
In 1844 the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiments shakos were replaced by helmets of the same pattern as for guards infantry, with red plumes for trumpeters and black ones for other lower ranks, and the addition of metal edging on the front visor in the same color as the prescribed metal appointments. In all regiments the piping around the tops of forage caps were regulated: in the first double-squadron ¾ red; in the second ¾ white; in the third ¾ light blue, and in the reserve and replacement double-squadrons ¾ dark green. Combatant field and company-grade officers of the Life-Guards Horse-Grenadiers were directed to wear helmets instead of hats: with the rear hanging cloth when in dress coats, and without it when in frock coats. A cockade was established under the chinscales on the right side of officers helmets in the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment. In 1848 generals and field and company-grade officers, on those days when they were ordered to wear ceremonial dress after the mounting of the guard, were permitted when out of formation to wear frock coats with chakchiry pants, with helmets (with the rear hanging cloth in the Life-Guards Horse-Grenadiers and with the plume in the Life-Guards Dragoons).
In 1854 campaign greatcoats were introduced for generals and field and company-grade officers during wartime, as in grenadier regiments.
In the guards lancer regiments, as in the guards dragoons, lower ranks wool epaulettes with fringes were replaced by scaled epaulettes without fringes, the same color as the buttons, with cloth backing and small cross-straps the same color as the collar. The fields of officers epaulettes were made scaled. Officers and lower ranks in formation were prescribed a new method of wearing headdress cords. They were passed around the neck, hung down in back, and fastened to a button on the headdress. Officers out of formation, and lower ranks in undress, were permitted to wear the cords as before, passing them under the epaulette on the right shoulder (Illus. 147). Guards lancers were distinguished from army lancers by the kind of plate on the headdress. The plate did not have a shield below the eagle, and consequently no cut-out regimental number. On their collars and cuffs guards lancers sewed lace bars of the color prescribed for metal appointments.
During Nicholas Is reign uniforms in the Life-Guards Hussar Regiment and Life-Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment underwent the same changes as in other branches of the cavalry.
The Life-Guards Hussar Regiment was given a new shako of the pattern in use by the Life-Guards Grodno Hussars since 1824 and later by army hussar regiments, but with the previous colors for the shako cloth and fittings. The collar and cuffs became the same color as the dolman (Illus. 148). Long dark-green pants were introduced for officers in undress. Instead of cloaks, lower ranks of the Life-Guards Hussars were authorized greatcoats with collars and shoulder straps of red cloth. Epaulettes with scaled fields were introduced for generals and field and company-grade officers.
In 1833 the Life-Guards Grodno Hussars were given: red pelisses and dolmans; light-blue shakos, chakchiry pants, and sabertaches (all with white trim); striped girdles with white slides; light-blue saddlecloths with white toothed edging and red braid. Along with this officers undress coats were prescribed light-blue collars, cuffs, piping, and tail turnbacks. Light-blue piping was also prescribed for officers frock coats. Greatcoats had crimson collars with light-blue tabs, white buttons, and light-blue shoulder straps piped red. Jackets were light-blue with similarly colored collars and cuffs, piped red.
From 1835 the pelisse was ordered to be worn not on the left shoulder, but on the back. Soon new patterns were confirmed for pelisses and dolmans and it was directed that they be sewn so that the pelisse could be easily worn over the dolman, sleeves and all (Illus. 149).
In order to distinguish between lower ranks the wearing of rank insignia made of shoulder cords and slides on both shoulders of the dolman and pelisse was established. These slides were flat rings wrapped with yellow or white (according to the color of the buttons) wool or gold (or silver) tinsel. Senior sergeants wore gold and silver slides. Generals and officers distinguished rank by fastening small stars on the should cords of the dolman and pelisse: silver stars on gold slides, and gold stars on silver slides (Illus. 150).
In 1845 all combatant ranks of the guards hussar regiments had their shakos replaced by bearskin busbies with the previous chinscales, and a bag of red cloth for the Life-Guards Hussars and of light-blue cloth for the Life-Guards Grodno Hussars, each trimmed with tape for lower ranks and with galloon the same color as the uniform braid for officers. Plumes on the busbies were of red horse hair for trumpeters and of white for other lower ranks (Illus. 151). Instead of the undress coat, field and company-grade officers of both regiments began to wear jackets (dark blue in the Hussar Regiment, later changed to red, and light blue in the Grodno Regiment), trimmed with gold or silver braid. Riding trousers with these jackets were of bluish-gray cloth as before. Generals were permitted to wear these same jackets instead of undress coats. With the jacket officers were directed to substitute the wearing of the frock coat with the that of an "Hungarian" coat of the same color as the jacket (Illus. 152). Generals were permitted to wear the previously withdrawn undress coats and frocks.
A plate shaped like a two-headed eagle was fixed to the front of guards hussar shakos, and for army hussars ¾ one in the shape of an eight-pointed star. Additionally, the sides of guards shakos had two rows of galloon trim, lacking on army shakos. Guards dolmans and pelisses were trimmed with braid and five rows of buttons; army uniforms only had three. Instead of chakchiry pants, army hussars wore riding trousers without embroidered braid on the front.
Changes in the clothing for army cavalry in many ways repeated those in guards units (Illus. 153). These changes began in 1826. High jackboots were withdrawn from officers, as well as long white coats and pants, and gray riding trousers with piping on the side seams were introduced for wear with the undress coat. In subsequent years the helmets of army cuirassiers, like those of guards regiments, received plates with the image of a two-headed eagle with lowered wings (in the Order Cuirassier Regiment a St.-George star was used, as before), a new form of plume was introduced (wider and longer than previously), and the height of the helmet was decreased. Uniform buttons were established with a raised image of an grenade and the regiments number: 1 ¾ Yekaterinoslav; 2 ¾ Glukhov; 3 ¾ Astrakhan; 4 ¾ Pskov; 5 ¾ Order; 6 ¾ Starodub; 7 ¾ Prince Albert of Prussias; 8 ¾ Novgorod. In 1831 helmets in Prince Albert of Prussias Cuirassier Regiment received the cut-out inscription "For excellence". Colors for collars on the kolet coats were laid down: Yekaterinoslav Regiment ¾ orange; Glukhov ¾ dark blue; Astrakhan ¾ yellow; Pskov ¾ rose; Order ¾ black; Starodub ¾ light blue; Prince Albert of Prussias ¾ light green; Novgorod ¾ raspberry. The color of the metal appointments (button color) for the first four regiments was silver (white) and gold (yellow) for the rest.
In 1845 the helmets with hair plumage were replaced with new ones with black hair plumes (red for trumpeters). Only generals were permitted to wear hats.
Metal helmets without plumes were established: in the 1st Cuirassier Division, containing the first four regiments ¾ of steel with yellow brass grenades, plates, and chinscales; in the 2nd Cuirassier Divisions regiments ¾ of tombak with tinned brass fittings, except in the Order Regiment which kept the Order star of yellow brass with enamel.
Lacquered cuirasses of a new pattern were introduced for all cuirassier regiments in 1846: in the 1st Division ¾ white with yellow cuirass fittings (scales, rivets, buckles) and black straps; and in the 2nd Division ¾ yellow with yellow fittings and red straps and trim. In addition, many orders were issued concerning the adjustment and wearing of uniforms, pouches, and other equipment.
The same uniform changes as in the guards occurred in army dragoon, horse-jäger, lancer, and hussar units, mainly concerned with headdresses, badges for distinction, and colors for metal appointments and cloth facings. In all nine army dragoon regiments these began with changes in the scheme of facing colors. Each regiment was prescribed its own unique color for the collar, cuffs, cuff flaps, piping on the turnbacks and bottom of the coat, piping on the riding trousers, and trim and piping on the saddlecloth. Thus, for example, the Moscow Dragoon Regiment was given orange as its facing color, the Kargopol Regiment ¾ white, the Kazan Regiment ¾ raspberry, and so on. Rank insignia changed. On the coats of lower ranks woolen epaulettes with fringes were replaced by scaled ones without fringes. Scaled epaulettes were also introduced for officers. Instead of dark-green pants with stripes there were established gray cloth riding trousers without stripes but with piping on the side seams. New shako plates appeared on the shakos, with a cut-out regimental number on a shield, while instead of shakos the Nizhnii-Novgorod Dragoon Regiment was given sheepskin caps like those worn by the infantry of the Separate Caucasus Corps. In 1830 the soldiers of the Kargopol, New Russia, and Nizhnii-Novgorod dragoon regiments received the right to wear badges "For excellence" on their headdresses.
In 1833 the facing colors of dragoon regiments were again changed. Collars, cuffs, cuff flaps, and piping on the turnbacks and bottom of the coat all changed color. The dark-green coats and bluish-gray riding trousers began to be belted at the waist with a lancer-pattern girdle having thin a dark-green edging and middle but two wide edge stripes the same color as the coats cuffs. In 1844 the usual change of headdress took place. In place of shakos, grenadier-pattern helmets with plumes were introduced, but with the addition of a metal edge on the front visor the same color as the helmet fittings. A new scheme for forage-cap colors was issued.
In the horse-jäger regiments, as in the dragoons, there were introduced gray riding trousers and shakos with a white plate and pompon (silver for officers), along with the cut-out regimental number on the shield of the shako plate. In 1833 the horse-jäger regiments were disbanded.
Uniforms for army lancers (Illus. 154) remained almost without change in regard to construction and the patterns of the main components, if one does not count the replacement in certain regiments of dark-green pants with stripes by gray riding trousers without stripes but with piping on the side seams. Lancer caps underwent insignificant alterations. First they were topped by round pompons (white for lower ranks and silver for officers), and a short time later new plates were confirmed in the shape of a two-headed eagle with lowered wings, with a shield underneath and the cut-out (from 1833 ¾ separately affixed) regimental number in the center of this shield. In connection with these changes lancer regiments began to use uniform buttons with the raised image of the number shown on the cap plate. The main changes ¾ renumbering of regiments, alterations in the facing colors on uniforms, headdresses, saddlecloths, and pennons ¾ were linked to reorganizations in the army cavalry, the most significant of which took place in 1833 when regimental titles were changed and transfers were made from one branch of cavalry to another.
The color of the coat (jacket) in lancer regiments was dark blue, of the riding trousers ¾ gray, and the colors of the collar, plastron, cuffs, piping, stripes on the girdle, headdress, epaulette lining, and collar tabs were in accordance with the regiments prescribed facing cloth color. For the majority of regiments the listed parts of the uniform (except for the collar tabs) were one color. The color of the buttons and other metal appointments was white for all lancer regiments (silver for officers).
At the beginning of this period army hussars wore shakos, pelisses, dolmans, chakchiry pants, boots, girdles, and also sabertaches and other hussar accouterments. As a result of changes for all army hussar regiments the color of the collar and cuffs was laid down as the same as the dolman, the trim on the pelisse was only to be of black fleece, and the braid on the dolman and pelisse was to have three rows of buttons. Hussar chakchiry pants were replaced by gray-blue riding trousers with piping on the side seams the same color as the shako. The construction of the shako was changed. It became higher than before and received a new shako plate in the shape of a two-headed eagle with open wings over a shield. In the center of the shield the regiments number was cut out, though later this number was fixed on separately.
In campaign dress hussars wore forage caps as their headdress, the same color as the dolman with a band of facing cloth.
Instead of cloaks army hussars were given greatcoats that at first had dark-green collars, but later had standing colored collars (the same color as the dolman), with white or yellow piping around the collar and shoulder straps the same color as the shako. Greatcoats were fastened by six buttons.
As in the guards, generals and officers were prescribed dark-green collars and cuffs, piped red, for the undress coat, and were given epaulettes with scaled fields. Officers undress coats were later replaced by jackets the same color as the dolman.
In the Corps of Topographers, which was separated from the General Staff in 1832, the headdress was a hat with black plume, and coats had light-blue trim and silver (white for lower ranks) metal appointments. In the General Staff itself, there were no changes in uniform except for those for the army as a whole.
Uniforms in military educational institutions, both for temporary and well as permanent personnel, were similar to those of the branch for which the educational institution prepared specialists. They differed from uniforms for combatant troops in insignia, a special plate on the headdress, and ring-shaped embroidery (for officers) on collars and cuffs.
In the newly created School for Guards Officer Candidates and Cavalry Junkers all students wore the uniform of that guards unit in which they were enrolled before entering the school. In 1836 infantry officer candidates began to wear the uniform of the Life-Guards Moscow Regiment, and cavalry junkers adopted epaulettes with fringes with their previous uniforms.
In 1832 in St. Petersburg a military academy was opened to prepare officers of the General Staff. Up to the end of their course of studies, attendees wore the uniform of that unit in which they served before entry into the academy.
Standard generals uniforms were divided into parade dress ¾ consisting of a coat with gold or silver embroidery on the collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps, with white pants and jackboots ¾ and half-dress, which included a coat without embroidery and long pants. The hat with plumage for generals was replaced in 1845 by a helmet with white plume. In 1827 a new type of epaulette was introduced for field marshals, with two crossed batons laid on a gold field.
The uniform of the tsars suite changed little. Helmets with white plumes were introduced for general-adjutants in 1844 and for aides-de-camp in 1847, and in 1852 hussars received shoulder cords with the imperial monogram, leading into an aiguilette. Members of the suite who belonged to the Separate Caucasus Corps kept the cossack-pattern uniform with an aiguilette, monograms on the epaulettes, and special embroidery on the collar and cuffs. General-adjutants and aides-de-camp of cossack hosts also wore cossack-style uniforms with "suite" embroidery and other attributes.
Cossack formations in the Russian army belonged to the irregular troops. At the beginning of Nicholas Is reign they included the Don, Black Sea, Astrakhan, Ural, Orenburg, and Siberian cossack hosts, units of Caucasian line cossack hosts, and town cossack regiments and detachments.
The uniforms for Don, Black Sea, Astrakhan, Ural, Orenburg, and Siberian cossacks were similar to one another in construction and pattern and differed only in facing color and the color of metal appointments. For example, the following uniform was established for the Don Cossack Host: headdress of black sheeps fleece with a red bag and white pompon, jacket and sharovary pants (from 1845 ¾ chekmen coat) of dark-blue cloth with red piping (red stripes on the sharovary), girdle-sash, greatcoat of gray cloth with blue collar, and boots with iron spurs (Illus. 155).
In the Life-Guards Cossack Regiment, which was part of the Don Cossack Host, there was the same series of changes in uniforms as occurred throughout the host (Illus. 156).
Officers uniforms were directed to have epaulettes with scaled fields and small stamped stars to distinguish rank. Lower ranks received the same scaled epaulettes with a red cloth backing, at first of copper with braid and fringes of orange wool, but subsequently of white iron and without a fringe.
In 1835 a headdress in the form of a black sheeps fleece hat was introduced, with a top (bag) of red facing cloth and yellow cords and pompon. Later (1838) the cords were removed and a plate was introduced (of the pattern for the Life-Guards Lithuania Regiment) of white iron, or silver for officers. The plate on the headdress was a distinguishing uniform feature for the guards cossack regiments in contrast to the rest of the regiments.
For everyday wear all ranks had forage caps of dark-blue cloth with a band and piping the same color as the collar. In 1844 a metal cockade was introduced on the band of officers forage caps, following the example of regular forces.
The set of uniforms for the Guards Cossack Regiment included a chekmen coat of dark-blue cloth, a jacket of red cloth, dark-blue cloth sharovary pants, a white linen girdle, gray cloth greatcoat with red tabs on the collar, and boots with iron spurs. Lace bars of yellow tape were sewn onto the collars of the chekmen and jacket.
Non-commissioned officers were distinguished from privates by having silver galloon sewn onto the collar and cuffs of the coat. For generals and officers the embroidery, lace bars, and galloon on collars and cuffs were silver, as were metal appointments.
In 1845 there were certain changes in the uniform of the Life-Guards Cossack Regiment.
Lower ranks were prescribed a summer coat of red cloth with two orange tape lace bars on the collar and cuffs, and a winter coat of the same pattern as the former winter chekmen but reaching two vershoks (about 9 cm) above the knee. Summer and winter coats for officers were the same as for lower ranks but with silver lace bars. The headdress was of black sheepskin about 20 cm high, with a red bag without an indentation on top, and with the previous front plate.
The uniform for Caucasian cossack units was sharply different in appearance from those of other (non-Caucasian) cossack hosts. It consisted of a fur hat, cherkes coat, beshmet tunic, and narrow pants. The hat had a wide brim of black sheeps fleece and a round crown of colored cloth. The cherkes coat was black or brown without any collar and had a wide front opening and cartridge tubes on the chest. The colored beshmet had a standing collar and, like the cherkes, was fastened by hooks. Epaulettes on officers uniforms had scaled fields, while shoulder straps on the cherkes for lower ranks were the color of the beshmet (Illus. 157).
Thus, during the reign of Nicholas I there were the following changes in soldiers uniforms:
Double-breasted coats were abolished for all army troops (except in the Lithuania Corps), and in the infantry ¾ spats with pants were withdrawn and single-breasted coats with trousers were introduced.
Deerskin pants were withdrawn from army cuirassiers, as were colored cloth pants in the light cavalry.
In the infantry the rolling up of the greatcoat and carrying it over the shoulder was done away with; it was to be carried in an oilskin case over the backpack, while the backpack was to be carried using crossbelts instead of the previous belts with the horizontal strap across the chest.
Leather helmets were introduced in place of shakos; in cuirassier regiments ¾ metal helmets, and in the guards hussars ¾ bearskin busbies.
Vests were introduced for the Cavalier Guards.
Hussars were given greatcoats in place of cloaks.
Cossacks received new-pattern uniforms.
In all branches officers were given rank insignia in the form of small metal stars on the epaulettes (later also on the shoulder straps), while lower ranks were prescribed tape sewn onto the shoulder straps.
In drawing conclusions, it may be noted that in the 30-year reign of Nicholas I there were no radical changes in uniforms. Many items were passed on from the past. In the guards, Lithuania Corps, and some other units the same double-breasted tailed frock-style coat with plastron was worn as under Alexander I. Changes mainly concerned headgear and distinctive insignia. Frequent changes in the colors of facing cloth and metal appointments were on account of the renaming of regiments or their transfer from one branch to another.
Illus. 119. Company-grade officer and non-commissioned officer of a grenadier regiment.
Illus. 120. Officers epaulettes with rank distinctions: a - ensign; b - lieutenant; c - captain.
Illus. 121. Badge for distinction and shako plate for grenadier regiments
Illus. 122. Private grenadier of the Separate Caucasus Corps and company-grade officer of a grenadier regiment.
Illus. 123. Company-grade officer of a grenadier regiment wearing the frock coat.
Illus. 124. Officers waist sash.
Illus. 125. Officers forage cap with cockade.
Illus. 126. Helmet for lower ranks of grenadier regiments.
Illus. 127. Field-grade officer of a grenadier regiment in parade dress and company-grade officer of a grenadier regiment in frock coat.
Illus. 128. Non-commissioned officer of a grenadier regiment of the Separate Caucasus Corps.
Illus. 129. Shoulder straps with rank distinctions: a - sergeant; b - distinguished officer candidate (officer candidate); c - section non-commissioned officer; d - junior non-commissioned officer; e - corporal.
Illus. 130. Backpack for infantry lower ranks of the Separate Caucasus Corps.
Illus. 131. Private of a grenadier regiment.
Illus. 132. Ammunition pouch for infantry lower ranks of the Separate Caucasus Corps.
Illus. 133. Waistbelt for infantry of the Separate Caucasus Corps.
Illus. 134. Shoulder straps for the campaign greatcoat: a - generals; b - field-grade officers; c - company-grade officers.
Illus. 135. Company-grade officer of a grenadier regiment wearing the greatcoat.
Illus. 136. Non-commissioned officer of a carabinier regiment and private of the Life-Guards Preobrazhenskii Regiment.
Illus. 137. Guards shako plate.
Illus. 138. Non-commissioned officer of the Life-Guards Pavlovsk Regiment.
Illus. 139. Uniforms of the First Guards Infantry Division.
Illus. 140. Uniforms of the Second Guards Infantry Division. [These are new 1855-pattern uniforms and belong to the reign of Alexander II ¾ M.C.]
Illus. 141. Field-grade officer and non-commissioned officer of the Life-Guards Horse Regiment.
Illus. 142. Uniforms of the Guards Cuirassier Regiment.
Illus. 143. Non-commissioned officer standard bearer of the Life-Guards Horse Regiment.
Illus. 144. Kettledrummer and private of the Life-Guards Horse Regiment.
Illus. 145. Private and company-grade officer of the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment.
Illus. 146. Non-commissioned officer of the Life-Guards Horse-Grenadier Regiment.
Illus. 147. Private of the Life-Guards Lancer Regiment.
Illus. 148. Private of the Life-Guards Hussar Regiment.
Illus. 149. Company-grade officer of the Life-Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment.
Illus. 150. Hussar shoulder cords with rank distinctions: a - senior sergeant; b - distinguished officer candidate (officer candidate); c - junior sergeant; d - non-commissioned officer; e - corporal; f - cornet; g - lieutenant; h - staff-captain; i - captain.
Illus. 151. Bearskin busbies for guards hussar regiments.
Illus. 152. Company-grade officer of the Life-Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment wearing the "Hungarian".
Illus. 153. Private of an army cuirassier regiment.
Illus. 154. Non-commissioned officer of the St.-Petersburg Lancer Regiment.
Illus. 155. Company-grade officer and cossack of the Don Cossack Host. [The uniforms should be dark-blue ¾ M.C.]
Illus. 156. Senior non-commissioned officer of the Life-Guards Cossack Regiment.
Illus. 157. Uniforms of Caucasian cossack units.
Translated by Mark Conrad, 1997.