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The Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
(Russian: Ру́сская импера́торская а́рмия) was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of more than 900,000 regular soldiers and nearly 250,000 irregulars (mostly Cossacks). The last living veteran of the Russian Imperial Army was the Ukrainian supercentenarian Mikhail Krichevsky, who died in 2008.

Contents

1 Precursors: Regiments of the New Order 2 Peter's introduction of conscription 3 1760s 4 Russian Army in 1805 5 Jews in the Russian Army 6 Napoleonic Wars

6.1 Anglo-Russian War (1807–1812) 6.2 French invasion of Russia 6.3 The 1813 Campaign in Germany 6.4 The 1814 Campaign in France

7 Army organization

7.1 Imperial Guard

7.1.1 Infantry
Infantry
of the Guard 7.1.2 Cavalry
Cavalry
of the Guard 7.1.3 Artillery
Artillery
of the Guard

8 Cossacks 9 Ethnic and religious minorities 10 Title, ranks, and rank insignia 1917

10.1 Other regiments

11 Reforms 12 World War I
World War I
and Revolution 13 Notes 14 See also 15 References 16 External links

Precursors: Regiments of the New Order[edit] Russian tsars before Peter the Great
Peter the Great
maintained professional hereditary musketeer corps known as streltsy. These were originally raised by Ivan the Terrible; originally an effective force, they had become highly unreliable and undisciplined. In times of war the armed forces were augmented by peasants. The regiments of the new order, or regiments of the foreign order ("Полки нового строя" or "Полки иноземного строя", Polki novovo (inozemnovo) stroya), was the Russian term that was used to describe military units that were formed in the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
in the 17th century according to the Western European military standards.[1] There were different kinds of regiments, such as the regulars, dragoons, and reiters. In 1631, the Russians created two regular regiments in Moscow. During the Smolensk War
Smolensk War
of 1632–1634, six more regular regiments, one reiter regiment, and a dragoon regiment were formed. Initially, they recruited children of the landless boyars and streltsy, volunteers, Cossacks
Cossacks
and others. Commanding officers comprised mostly foreigners. After the war with Poland, all of the regiments were disbanded. During another Russo-Polish War (1654–1667), they were created again and became a principal force of the Russian army. Often, regular and dragoon regiments were manned with datochniye lyudi for lifelong military service. Reiters were manned with small or landless gentry and boyars' children and were paid with money (or lands) for their service. More than a half of the commanding officers were representatives from the gentry. In times of peace, some of the regiments were usually disbanded. In 1681, there were 33 regular regiments (61,000 men) and 25 dragoon and reiter regiments (29,000 men). In the late 17th century, regiments of the new type represented more than a half of the Russian Army and in the beginning of the 18th century were used for creating a regular army. Peter's introduction of conscription[edit]

Gear of the polki novogo stroya, 1647

Russian infantry in 1742-1763

Conscription in Russia
Russia
was introduced by Peter the Great
Peter the Great
in December 1699,[2] though reports say Peter's father also used it. The conscripts were called "recruits" (not to be confused with voluntary army recruitment,[3] which did not appear until the early 20th century.) Peter I formed a modern regular army built on the German model, but with a new aspect: officers not necessarily from nobility, as talented commoners were given promotions that eventually included a noble title at the attainment of an officer's rank (such promotions were later abolished during the reign of Catherine the Great). Conscription of peasants and townspeople was based on quota system, per settlement. Initially it was based on the number of households, later it was based on the population numbers.[3] The term of service in the 18th century was for life. In 1793 it was reduced to 25 years. In 1834, it was reduced to 20 years plus five years in the reserve, and in 1855 to 12 years plus three years in the reserve.[3] 1760s[edit]

General Suvorov crossing the St. Gotthard Pass
St. Gotthard Pass
during the Italian and Swiss expedition in 1799

The history of the Russian army in this era was linked to the name of Russian General Alexander Suvorov, considered one of a few great generals in history who never lost a battle. From 1777 to 1783 Suvorov served in the Crimea
Crimea
and in the Caucasus, becoming a lieutenant-general in 1780, and general of infantry in 1783, on the conclusion of his work there. From 1787 to 1791 he again fought the Turks during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won many victories. Suvorov's leadership also played a key role in a Russian victory over the Poles during the Kościuszko Uprising.[citation needed] Russian Army in 1805[edit] As a major European power, Russia
Russia
could not escape the wars involving Revolutionary France and the First French Empire, but as an adversary to Napoleon, the leadership of the new tsar, Alexander I of Russia
Russia
(r. 1801–1825), who came to the throne as the result of his father's murder (in which he was rumoured to be implicated) became crucial. The Russian army in 1805 had many characteristics of Ancien Régime organization: there was no permanent formation above the regimental level, senior officers were largely recruited from aristocratic circles, and the Russian soldier, in line with 18th-century practice, was regularly beaten and punished to instill discipline. Furthermore, many lower-level officers were poorly trained and had difficulty getting their men to perform the sometimes complex manoeuvres required in a battle. Nevertheless, the Russians did have a fine artillery arm manned by soldiers trained in academies and who would regularly fight hard to prevent their pieces from falling into enemy hands.[4] Napoleon
Napoleon
defeated the Russians and Austrians at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Jews in the Russian Army[edit] On August 26, 1827, Nicholas I of Russia
Russia
declared the "Statute on Conscription Duty".[5] This statute made it mandatory that all Russian males ages twelve to twenty-five were now required to serve in the Russian armed forces for 25 years.[5] This was the first time that the massive Jewish population was required to serve in the Russian military.[6] The reasoning for Nicolas for mandatory conscription was because “in the military they would learn not only Russian but also useful skills and crafts, and eventually they would become his loyal subjects."[5] Many Jewish families began to emigrate out of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in order to escape the conscription obligations. Due to this, the government began to employ khappers who would kidnap Jewish children and turn them over to the government for conscription. Unfortunately, it became known that "the khappers were not scrupulous about adhering to the minimum age of 12 and frequently impressed children as young as 8."[7] "By the time the empire collapsed, around 1.5 million Jewish soldiers fulfilled what was often seen as a highly burdensome and intrusive obligation."[6] At first many Jews were hesitant, but by 1880 Russian Jews were fully integrated into the Russian military.[6] Napoleonic Wars[edit]

Capture of a French regiment's eagle by the cavalry of the Russian Imperial Guard at the Battle of Austerlitz

The War of the Fourth Coalition
War of the Fourth Coalition
(1806–07) of Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden and the United Kingdom against France formed within months of the collapse of the previous coalition. In August 1806, Frederick William III of Prussia
Frederick William III of Prussia
made the decision to go to war independently of any other great power except neighbouring Russia. Another course of action might have involved declaring war the previous year and joining Austria and Russia. This might have contained Napoleon
Napoleon
and prevented the Allied disaster in the Battle of Austerlitz. In any event, the Russian army, an ally of Prussia, still remained far away when Prussia
Prussia
declared war. Napoleon
Napoleon
smashed the principal Prussian armies at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt on 14 October 1806 and hunted down the survivors during the remainder of October and November. Having destroyed all Prussian forces west of the Oder, Napoleon
Napoleon
pushed east to seize Warsaw. In late December, the initial clashes between the French and Russians at Czarnowo, Golymin, and Pułtusk were without result. The French emperor put his troops into winter quarters east of the Vistula River, but the new Russian commander Levin August von Bennigsen refused to remain passive. Bennigsen shifted his army north into East Prussia
East Prussia
and launched a stroke at the French strategic left wing. The main force of the blow was evaded by the French at the Battle of Mohrungen
Battle of Mohrungen
in late January 1807. In response, Napoleon
Napoleon
mounted a counterattack designed to cut off the Russians. Bennigsen managed to avoid entrapment and the two sides fought the Battle of Eylau
Battle of Eylau
on 7 and 8 February 1807. After this indecisive bloodbath both sides belatedly went into winter quarters. In early June, Bennigsen mounted an offensive which was quickly parried by the French. Napoleon
Napoleon
launched a pursuit toward Königsberg but the Russians successfully fended it off at the Battle of Heilsberg. On 14 June, Bennigsen unwisely fought the Battle of Friedland with a river at his back and saw his army mauled with heavy losses. Following this defeat, Alexander was forced to sue for peace with Napoleon
Napoleon
at Tilsit on 7 July 1807, with Russia
Russia
becoming Napoleon's ally. Russia
Russia
lost little territory under the treaty, and Alexander made use of his alliance with Napoleon
Napoleon
for further expansion. Napoleon
Napoleon
created the Duchy of Warsaw
Warsaw
out of former Prussian territory.[8]

The Battle of Friedland, 1807

At the Congress of Erfurt
Congress of Erfurt
(September–October 1808) Napoleon
Napoleon
and Alexander agreed that Russia
Russia
should force Sweden to join the Continental System, which led to the Finnish War
Finnish War
of 1808–1809 and to the division of Sweden into two parts separated by the Gulf of Bothnia. The eastern part became the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland. The Russo-Turkish War broke out in 1805–06 against the background of the Napoleonic Wars. The Ottoman Empire, encouraged by the Russian defeat in the Battle of Austerlitz, deposed the Russophile hospodars of its vassal states Moldavia
Moldavia
(Alexander Mourouzis) and Wallachia (Constantine Ypsilantis). Simultaneously, their French allies occupied Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and threatened to penetrate the Danubian principalities at any time. In order to safeguard the Russian border against a possible French attack, a 40,000-strong Russian contingent advanced into Moldavia
Moldavia
and Wallachia. The Sultan reacted by blocking the Dardanelles to Russian ships in 1807 and declared war on Russia. The war lasted until 1812. In the Finnish War
Finnish War
Alexander wrested the Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
from Sweden in 1809, and acquired Bessarabia
Bessarabia
from Turkey
Turkey
in 1812. Anglo-Russian War (1807–1812)[edit] The requirement of joining France's Continental Blockade against Britain was a serious disruption of Russian commerce, and in 1810 Alexander repudiated the obligation. This strategic change was followed by a substantial reform in the army undertaken by Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly as the Minister of War. At the same time, Russia
Russia
continued its expansion. The Congress of Vienna created the Kingdom of Poland (Russian Poland), to which Alexander granted a constitution. Thus, Alexander I became the constitutional monarch of Poland while remaining the autocratic tsar of Russia. He was also the limited monarch of Finland, which had been annexed in 1809 and awarded autonomous status. The Russo-French alliance gradually became strained. Napoleon
Napoleon
was concerned about Russia's intentions in the strategically vital Bosphorus
Bosphorus
and Dardanelles
Dardanelles
straits. At the same time, Alexander viewed the Duchy of Warsaw, the French-controlled reconstituted Polish state, with suspicion. The result was the War of the Sixth Coalition from 1812 to 1814. French invasion of Russia[edit]

General Yermolov lead the counter attack on the Great Redoubt during the Battle of Borodino

Main article: French invasion of Russia Main article: Russian Army order of battle (1812) In 1812, Napoleon
Napoleon
invaded Russia
Russia
to compel Alexander I to remain in the Continental System and to remove the imminent threat of Russian invasion of Poland. The Grande Armée, 650,000 men (270,000 Frenchmen and many soldiers of allies or subject powers), crossed the Neman
Neman
on 23 June 1812. Russia
Russia
proclaimed a Patriotic War, while Napoleon proclaimed a Second Polish war, but against the expectations of the Poles who supplied almost 100,000 troops for the invasion force he avoided any concessions toward Poland, having in mind further negotiations with Russia. Russia
Russia
maintained a scorched earth policy of retreat, broken only by the Battle of Borodino
Battle of Borodino
on 7 September, when the Russians stood and fought. This was bloody and the Russians eventually retreated, opening the road to Moscow. Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov
Mikhail Kutuzov
made the decision in order to preserve the army. By 14 September, the French captured Moscow. The Russian governor Prince Rastopchin ordered the city burnt to the ground and large parts of it were destroyed. Alexander I refused to capitulate, and with no sign of clear victory in sight, Napoleon
Napoleon
was forced to withdraw from Moscow's ruins. So the disastrous Great Retreat began, with 370,000 casualties largely as a result of starvation and the freezing weather conditions, and 200,000 captured. Napoleon
Napoleon
narrowly escaped total annihilation at the Battle of Berezina, but his army was wrecked nevertheless. By December only 20,000 fit soldiers from the main army were among those who recrossed the Neman
Neman
at Kaunas. By this time Napoleon
Napoleon
had abandoned his army to return to Paris and prepare a defence against the advancing Russians. The 1813 Campaign in Germany[edit]

Russian artillerymen in 1812-1814

As the French retreated, the Russians pursued them into Poland and Prussia, causing the Prussian Corps under Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg that had been formerly a part of the Grande Armée to ultimately change sides in the Convention of Tauroggen. This soon forced Prussia to declare war on France, and with its mobilisation, for many Prussian officers serving in the Russian Army to leave, creating a serious shortage of experienced officers in the Russian Army. After the death of Kutuzov in early 1813, command of the Russian army passed to Peter Wittgenstein. The campaign was noted for the number of sieges the Russian Army conducted and the large number of Narodnoe Opolcheniye that continued to serve in its ranks until newly trained recruits could reach the area of combat operations. Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov emerged as one of the leading and talented senior commanders of the army, participating in many important battles, including the Battle of Leipzig. In 1813 Russia
Russia
gained territory in the Baku
Baku
area of the Caucasus
Caucasus
from Qajar Iran as much due to the news of Napoleon's defeat in 1812 as the fear by the Shah of a new campaign against him by the resurgent Russian Army where the 1810 campaign led by Matvei Platov
Matvei Platov
failed. This was immediately used to raise new regiments, and to begin creating a greater foothold in the Caucasus. By the early 19th century, the empire also was firmly ensconced in Alaska reached via Cossack expeditions to Siberia, although only a rudimentary military presence was possible due to the distance from Europe. The 1814 Campaign in France[edit] The campaign in France was marked by persistent advances made by the Russian-led forces towards Paris despite attempts by Alexander's allies to allow Napoleon
Napoleon
an avenue for surrender. In a brilliant deceptive manoeuvre Alexander was able to reach, and take Paris with the help of the treason of Marshal Marmont before Napoleon
Napoleon
could reinforce its garrison, effectively ending the campaign. More pragmatically, in 1814 Russia, Britain, Austria, and Prussia
Prussia
had formed the Quadruple Alliance. The allies created an international system to maintain the territorial status quo and prevent the resurgence of an expansionist France. This included each ally maintaining a corps of occupation in France. The Quadruple Alliance, confirmed by a number of international conferences, ensured Russia's influence in Europe, if only because of the proven capability of its army to defeat that of Napoleon, and to carry the war to Paris.

Russian army enters Paris in 1814

After the allies defeated Napoleon, Alexander played a prominent role in the redrawing of the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
in 1815. Many of the prominent Russian commanders were feted in the European capitals, including London. In the same year, under the influence of religious mysticism, Alexander initiated the creation of the Holy Alliance, a loose agreement pledging the rulers of the nations involved—including most of Europe—to act according to Christian principles. This emerged in part due to the influence religion had played in the army during the war of 1812, and its influence on the common soldiers and officers alike. The Russian occupation forces in France, though not participating in the Belgian campaign, re-entered combat against the minor French forces in the East and occupied several important fortresses. Army organization[edit] The Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
entered the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
organized administratively and in the field on the same principles as it had been in the 18th century of units being assigned to campaign headquarters, and the "army" being known either for its senior commander, or the area of its operations. Administratively, the regiments were assigned to Military Inspections, the predecessors of military districts, and included the conscript training depots, garrisons and fortress troops and munitions magazines.

Fifty lashes, 1887

The army had been thoroughly reorganised on the Prussian model by the Tsar's father Paul I against wishes of most of its officer corps, and with his demise immediate changes followed to remove much of the Prussianness from its character. Although the army had conventional European parts within it such as the monarch's guard, the infantry and cavalry of the line and field artillery, it also included a very large contingent of semi-regular Cossacks
Cossacks
that in times of rare peace served to guard the Russian Empire's southern borders, and in times of war served as fully-fledged light cavalry, providing invaluable reconnaissance service often far better than that available to other European armies due to the greater degree of initiative and freedom of movement by Cossack
Cossack
detachments.[9] The Ukrainian lands of the Empire also provided most of the Hussar
Hussar
and Ulan regiments for the regular light cavalry. Another unusual feature of the army that was seen twice during the period was the constitution of the Narodnoe Opolcheniye, for the first time since the coming to power of the Romanov dynasty.[10] In 1806 most of the Inspections were abolished, and replaced by divisions based on the French model although still territorially based. By 1809 there were 25 infantry divisions as permanent field formations, each organised around three infantry brigade and one artillery brigade. When Barclay de Tolly became the Minister of War in 1810, he instituted further reorganization and other changes in the army, down to company level, that saw the creation of separate grenadier divisions, and dedication of one brigade in each division to the jaeger light infantry for skirmishing in open order formations. Imperial Guard[edit]

Church parade of the Finland Guard Regiment, 1905

Tsar
Tsar
Nicholas II of Russia
Russia
in the uniform of Chevalier Guard Regiment, 1896

Throughout the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
the Imperial Russian Guard
Imperial Russian Guard
was commanded by Grand Duke Konstantin. The guard grew from a few regiments to two infantry divisions combined into the V Infantry
Infantry
Corps commanded at Borodino by General Lieutenant Lavrov and two cavalry divisions with their own artillery and train by the conclusion of the 1814 campaign. Infantry
Infantry
of the Guard[edit] At Austerlitz in 1805 the infantry of the Guard included: Guard Infantry
Infantry
Division – General Lieutenant Pyotr Malutin

1st Brigade – General Major
Major
Leonty Depreradovich-I

Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment
Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment
(2 btns.) Semenovsky Lifeguard regiment (2 btns.)

2nd Brigade – General Major
Major
Vasily Lobanov

Izmailovsky Lifeguard regiment (2 btns.) Lifeguard Yegers (1 btn.) Life Grenadier
Grenadier
regiment (3 btns.)

Organization of Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
as of 28 June 1914

At Borodino in 1812 the infantry of the Guard included: Guard Infantry Division – General Lieutenant Nikolai Lavrov

1st Brigade – General Major
Major
Baron Roman Rosen

Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment
Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment
(3 btns.) Semenovsky Lifeguard regiment (3 btns.)

2nd Brigade — Colonel
Colonel
Vladimir Khrapovitsky

Izmailovsky Lifeguard regiment (3 btns.) Lithuanian Lifeguard regiment (3 btns.)

3rd Brigade — Colonel
Colonel
Baron Adam Bistrom

Finnish Lifeguard regiment (3 btns.) Lifeguard Yeger regiment (3 btns.)

Cavalry
Cavalry
of the Guard[edit]

Russian dragoons and hussars in 1807

At Austerlitz in 1805 the cavalry of the Guard included: Guard Cavalry Division – General Lieutenant Andrei Kologrivov

1st Brigade – General Major
Major
Ivan Yankovich

Lifeguard Hussar
Hussar
regiment (4 sq.)

2nd Brigade – General Major
Major
Nikolai Depreradovich

Horse Guard regiment (4 sq.) Chevalier Guard Regiment
Chevalier Guard Regiment
(4 sq.)

Life Guards Cossack
Cossack
Regiment, 1855

At Borodino in 1812 the cavalry of the Guard included: 1st Cuirassier Division – General Major
Major
Nikolai Borozdin[11]

1st Brigade – General Major
Major
Ivan Šević

Horse Guard Regiment (4 sq.) Chevalier Guard Regiment
Chevalier Guard Regiment
(4 sq.)

2nd Brigade – General Major
Major
Nikolai Borozdin

His Majesty Cuirassier
Cuirassier
Regiment (4 sq.) Her Majesty Cuirassier
Cuirassier
Regiment (4 sq.) Astrakhan Cuirassier
Cuirassier
Regiment (4 sq.) (non-Guard status)

As part of the I Cavalry
Cavalry
Corps – General Lieutenant Fyodor Uvarov

1st Brigade – General Major
Major
Anton Chalikov

Lifeguard Dragoon
Dragoon
Regiment (4 sq.) Lifeguard Uhlan
Uhlan
Regiment[12] (4 sq.)

2nd Brigade – General Major
Major
Orlov-Denisov

Lifeguard Hussar
Hussar
Regiment (4 sq.)

Artillery
Artillery
of the Guard[edit] At Austerlitz in 1805 the artillery of the Guard included the Lifeguard Artillery
Artillery
Battalion under General Major
Major
Ivan Kaspersky. At Borodino in 1812 the artillery of the Guard included the Lifeguard Artillery
Artillery
Brigade (now a part of the Guard Infantry
Infantry
Division), the Lifeguard Horse Artillery
Artillery
under Colonel
Colonel
Kozen, attached to the 1st Cuirassier
Cuirassier
Division, and the Guard Sapper Battalion. At Austerlitz in 1805 the Lifeguard Cossack
Cossack
regiment (five sotnias) was attached to the 1st Brigade of the Guard Cavalry
Cavalry
Division. At Borodino in 1812 the Cossacks
Cossacks
of the Guard included the Lifeguard Cossack
Cossack
regiment (five sotnias), the Black Sea Cossack
Cossack
Guard sotnia, and the Lifeguard Orel sotnia. The General Staff Academy was established in 1832 in Saint Petersburg to train officers for the Army's General Staff. The army saw combat against the British and French during the Crimean War of 1853–56. Cossacks[edit]

Semirechye Cossacks
Cossacks
in 1867

See article: Cossacks In the Russian Empire, the Cossacks
Cossacks
were organized into several voiskos (hosts), named after the regions of their location, whether along the Russian border, or internal borders between Russian and non-Russian peoples. Each host had its own leadership and traditions as well as uniforms and ranks. However, by the late 19th century, the latter were standardized following the example of the Imperial Russian Army. Each host was required to provide a number of regiments for service in the Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
and for border patrol work. While most Cossacks
Cossacks
served as cavalry, there were infantry and artillery units in several of the larger hosts. Three regiments of Cossacks formed part of the Imperial Guard, as well as the konvoi—the tsar's mounted escort. The Imperial Guard regiments wore tailored government-issue uniforms of a spectacular and colourful appearance. As an example, the Konvoi wore scarlet cherkesskas, white beshmets and red crowns on their fleece hats. Ethnic and religious minorities[edit]

The Cossacks
Cossacks
and Bashkirs
Bashkirs
attack the French at the Berezina

The Cossack
Cossack
institution recruited and incorporated Muslim Mishar Tatars.[13] Cossack
Cossack
rank was awarded to Bashkirs.[14] Muslim Turkics and Buddhist Kalmyks
Kalmyks
served as Cossacks. The Cossack
Cossack
Ural, Terek, Astrakhan, and Don Cossack
Cossack
hosts had Kalmyks
Kalmyks
in their ranks. Mishar Muslims, Teptiar Muslims, service Tatar Muslims, and Bashkir Muslims joined the Orenburg Cossack
Cossack
Host.[15] Cossack
Cossack
non Muslims shared the same status with Cossack
Cossack
Siberian Muslims.[16] Muslim Cossacks
Cossacks
in Siberia requested an Imam.[17] Cossacks
Cossacks
in Siberia included Tatar Muslims like in Bashkiria.[18] Bashkirs
Bashkirs
and Kalmyks
Kalmyks
in the Russian military fought against Napoleon's forces.[19][20] They were judged suitable for inundating opponents but not intense fighting.[21] They were in a non standard capacity in the military.[22] Arrows, bows, and melee combat weapons were wielded by the Muslim Bashkirs. Bashkir women fought among the regiments.[23] Denis Davidov
Denis Davidov
mentioned the arrows and bows wielded by the Bashkirs.[24][25] Napoleon's forces faced off against Kalmyks
Kalmyks
on horseback.[26] Napoleon
Napoleon
faced light mounted Bashkir forces.[27] Mounted Kalmyks
Kalmyks
and Bashkirs
Bashkirs
numbering 100 were available to Russian commandants during the war against Napoleon.[28] Kalmyks
Kalmyks
and Bashkirs served in the Russian army in France.[29] A nachalnik was present in every one of the 11 cantons of the Bashkir host which was created by Russia
Russia
after the Pugachev Rebellion.[30] Bashkirs
Bashkirs
had the military statute of 1874 applied to them.[31] Title, ranks, and rank insignia 1917[edit]

See for a more detailed history, ranks and rank insignia

Main article: Comparative officer ranks of World War I

Main article: History of Russian military ranks

Main article: Ranks and rank insignia of the Russian armed forces until 1917

Different material colours of the rank insignia denote various regiments. In this case, the 1st Neva Infantry
Infantry
Regiment.[32]

Infantry Artillery Cavalry Cossack
Cossack
host Shoulder strap, Epaulette

Ryadovye (Enlisted personnel)

Ryadovoy (en: Private) Cannoneer Ryadovoy, Hussar, Dragoon, Uhlan, Cuirassier Cossack

Yefeytor (Gefreiter) Prikasny

Unter-ofitsery (Under officers / NCOs)

Mladshy unter-ofitser (Junior sergeant) Mladshy feyerverker (Junior feuerwerker) Mladshy unter-ofitser Mladshy uryadnik (Junior cossack sergeant)

Starshy unter-ofitser (Senior sergeant) Starshy feyerverker (Senor feuerwerker) Starshy unter-ofitser Starshy uryadnik (Senior cossack sergeant)

Feldfebel (Feldwebel) Vakhmistr (Wachtmeister)

Podpraporshchik (Junior praporshchik) Podkhorunzhy (Junior cossack praporshchik)

Zauryad-praporshchik ( Praporshchik
Praporshchik
deputy) —

Ober-ofitsery (Upper officers; senior officer corps)

Praporshchik (in times of war only) —

Podporuchik
Podporuchik
(Junior poruchik) Kornet (Cornet) Khorunzhy (Chorąży)

Poruchik Sotnik ( Cossack
Cossack
poruchik)

Shtabs-kapitan (Stabshauptmann) Shtabs-rotmistr (Stasrittmeister) Podyesaul (Junior yesaul)

Kapitan (Captain) (after 1884 it was upgrated to the level VIII, and became a staff officer rank) Rotmistr (Rittmeister) (after 1884 it was upgrated to the level VIII, and became a staff officer rank) Ysaul (after 1884 it was upgrated to the level VIII, and became a staff officer rank)

Shtab-Ofitsery ( Staff officer
Staff officer
ranks)

Mayor (Major) (abolished in 1884) Voyskovay starshina (until 1884)

Polkovnik
Polkovnik
(Colonel) Podpolkovnik (until 1884)

Voyskovay starshina (from 1885) (Lieutenant colonel)

Polkovnik

General officers

General-major ( Major
Major
general)

General-leytenant (Lieutenant general)

General ot infanterii (General of the infantry) General ot artillerii (General of the artillery) General ot kavalrii (General of the cavalry)

General-feldmarshal (General field marshal)

Other regiments[edit]

Orenburg Cadet Corps

15th Rifle His Majesty King Nikola I Regiment

5th Kargolovsk Dragoon
Dragoon
Regiment

Orlov Cadet Corps

Reforms[edit]

Russian military districts in 1913

After the Russian defeat in the Crimean War
Crimean War
during the reign of Alexander II, the Minister of War, Count Dmitry Milyutin, (who held the post from 16 May 1861 to 21 May 1881) introduced military reforms. The reforms carried on during Milyutin's long tenure abolished the system of conscription of children, and resulted in the levy system being introduced in Russia
Russia
and military districts being created across the country. As part of Milyutin's reforms, on 1 January 1874, the Tsar
Tsar
approved a conscription statute that made military service compulsory for all 20-year-old males with the term reduced for land army to six years plus nine years in reserve. This conscription created a large pool of experienced military reservists who would be ready to mobilize in case of war. It also permitted the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
to maintain a smaller standing army in peace time. Ironically, this reform was a disaster for the Tsarist regime. By reducing the length of service, peasant elders and officials could no longer threaten radical youths with conscription. Soldiers now kept their peasant identities and many learned new skills and became literate. They radicalised the villages on their return. The system of military education was also reformed, and elementary education was made available to all the draftees. Milyutin's reforms are regarded as a milestone in the history of Russia: they dispensed with the military recruitment and professional army introduced by Peter the Great
Peter the Great
and created the Russian army such as it continued into the 21st century. Up to Dmitry Milyutin's reforms in 1874 the Russian Army had no permanent barracks and was billeted in dugouts and shacks.[33] The army saw service against the Turks during the Russo-Turkish War. During the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
100,000 Russian troops fought to pacify part of Manchuria and to secure its railroads. Some Russian military forces were already stationed in China before the war, and one of them met a grotesque end at the Battle of Pai-t'ou-tzu
Battle of Pai-t'ou-tzu
when the dead Russians were mutilated by Chinese troops, who decapitated them and sliced crosses into their bodies. Other battles fought include Boxers attacks on Chinese Eastern Railway, Defence of Yingkou, Battles on Amur River. and the Russian Invasion of Northern and Central Manchuria. The army's share of the budget fell from 30% to 18% in 1881–1902.[34] By 1904 Russia
Russia
was spending 57% and 63% of what Germany and Austria-Hungary were spending on each soldier, respectively. Army morale was broken by crushing over 1500 protests from 1883 to 1903.[35] The army was defeated by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
of 1904–05, notable engagements being the Siege of Port Arthur
Siege of Port Arthur
and the Battle of Mukden. There were over 400 mutinies from autumn 1905 to summer 1906.[36] World War I
World War I
and Revolution[edit]

The Eastern Front, as it was in 1914

See also: Imperial Russian Army formations and units (1914)
Imperial Russian Army formations and units (1914)
and Russian Army (1917) At the outbreak of the war, Tsar
Tsar
Nicholas II appointed his cousin, Grand Duke Nicholas
Grand Duke Nicholas
as Commander-in-Chief. On mobilization, the Russian army totalled 115 infantry and 38 cavalry divisions with nearly 7,900 guns (7,100 field guns, 540 field howitzers and 257 heavy guns). There were only 2 army ambulances and 679 cars. Divisions were allocated as follows: 32 infantry and 10.5 cavalry divisions to operate against Germany, 46 infantry and 18.5 cavalry divisions to operate against Austria-Hungary, 19.5 infantry and 5.5 cavalry divisions for the defence of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea littorals, and 17 infantry and 3.5 cavalry divisions were to be transported in from Siberia and Turkestan. Among the army's higher formations during the war were the Western Front, the Northwestern Front and the Romanian Front. The war in the East began with Russian invasion of East Prussia
East Prussia
(1914) and the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. The first ended in a Russian defeat by the German Empire
German Empire
in the Battle of Tannenberg (1914). In the west, a Russian Expeditionary Force was dispatched to France in 1915. Amid the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
of 1917 the Imperial Russian Army dissolved. John Erickson's book The Soviet High Command 1918–1941 gives a good picture of how remnants of the Imperial army became part of the new Red Army.[37] Notes[edit]

^ This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain. ^ David R. Stone, A Military History of Russia, 2006, p.47, via Google Books ^ a b c Jerome Blum (1971) "Lord and Peasant in Russia: From the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century," ISBN 0-691-00764-0, pp. 465,466 ^ p. 33, Fisher, Fremont-Barnes ^ a b c Petrovsky-Shtern, Y. (2015, 03 01). Military Service in Russia. Retrieved from The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe: http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Military_Service_in_Russia ^ a b c Petrovsky-Shtern., Y. (2008). Jews in the Russian Army, 1827–1917: Drafted into Modernity. C: Cambridge University Press . ^ Leeson, D. (n.d.). Military Conscription in 19th Century Russia. Retrieved from JewishGen InfoFile: http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/ru-mil.txt ^ Maps of Napoleon's Campaign In Poland 1806–7. ^ Summerfield (2005) ^ Summerfield (2007) ^ General Lieutenant Depreradovich fell ill, was not present in battle ^ Raised two years prior as the Odessa Hussars in the southern Ukraine as a personal project by the Grand Duke Constantine ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 61–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 79–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 86–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 87–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 122–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Allen J. Frank (1 January 2001). Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910. BRILL. pp. 170–. ISBN 90-04-11975-2.  ^ Vershinin, Alexander (29 July 2014). "How Russia's steppe warriors took on Napoleon's armies". Russia
Russia
& India Report.  ^ John R. Elting (1997). Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grande Armée. Perseus Books Group. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-0-306-80757-2.  ^ Michael V. Leggiere (16 April 2015). Napoleon
Napoleon
and the Struggle for Germany: Volume 2, The Defeat of Napoleon: The Franco-Prussian War of 1813. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-1-316-39309-3. Michael V. Leggiere (16 April 2015). Napoleon
Napoleon
and the Struggle for Germany: 1. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-1-107-08054-6.  ^ Janet M. Hartley (2008). Russia, 1762-1825: Military Power, the State, and the People. ABC-CLIO. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-0-275-97871-6.  ^ Nasirov, Ilshat (2005). "Islam in the Russian Army". Islam Magazine. Makhachkala.  ^ Alexander Mikaberidze (20 February 2015). Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1807. Frontline Books. pp. 276–. ISBN 978-1-4738-5016-3.  ^ Denis Vasilʹevich Davydov (1999). In the Service of the Tsar Against Napoleon: The Memoirs of Denis Davidov, 1806-1814. Greenhill Books. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-85367-373-3.  ^ Andreas Kappeler (27 August 2014). The Russian Empire: A Multi-ethnic History. Routledge. pp. 129–. ISBN 978-1-317-56810-0.  ^ Tove H. Malloy; Francesco Palermo (8 October 2015). Minority Accommodation through Territorial and Non-Territorial Autonomy. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-106359-6.  ^ Dominic Lieven (15 April 2010). Russia
Russia
Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace. Penguin Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-101-42938-9.  ^ Dominic Lieven (15 April 2010). Russia
Russia
Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 504–. ISBN 978-1-101-42938-9.  ^ Bill Bowring (17 April 2013). Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the Destiny of a Great Power. Routledge. pp. 129–. ISBN 978-1-134-62580-2.  ^ Charles R. Steinwedel (9 May 2016). Threads of Empire: Loyalty and Tsarist Authority in Bashkiria, 1552–1917. Indiana University Press. pp. 145–. ISBN 978-0-253-01933-2.  ^ "International Encyclopedia of Uniform Insignia". Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ Wiesław Caban, Losy żołnierzy powstania listopadowego wcielonych do armii carskiej, w: Przegląd Historyczny, t. XCI, z. 2, s. 245. ^ Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, page 56. ^ Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy ^ Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, page 57. ^ See The Soviet High Command 1918–1941:A Military-Political History 1918–1941, St Martin's Press (Macmillan), London, 1962

See also[edit]

Imperial Russian Navy Imperial Russian Air Service Military history of the Russian Empire Cantonists Ranks and rank insignia of the Russian armed forces until 1917

References[edit]

Chandler, David G., The Campaigns of Napoleon, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1995 ISBN 0-02-523660-1 Fisher, Toddm Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, The Napoleonic Wars: The Rise and Fall of an Empire, Osprey Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 2004 ISBN 1-84176-831-6 Harrison, Richard W. The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 (University Press of Kansas, 2001) Menning, Bruce W. Bayonets before Bullets: The Russian Imperial Army, 1861-1914. (Indiana U.P. 1992). Reese, Roger R. The Russian Imperial Army, 1796-1917 (Ashgate 2006) Summerfield, Stephen (2005) Cossack
Cossack
Hurrah: Russian Irregular Cavalry Organisation and Uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars, Partizan Press ISBN 1-85818-513-0 Summerfield, Stephen (2007) The Brazen Cross: Brazen Cross of Courage: Russian Opochenie, Partizans and Russo-German Legion during the Napoleonic Wars, Partizan Press ISBN 978-1-85818-555-2 Wildman, Allan K. The End of the Russian Imperial Army: The Old Army and the Soldiers' Revolt (March-Apr. 1917) (Princeton University Press, 1987)

External links[edit]

Mark Conrad’s Home Page - Russian Military History Russian army during the Napoleonic Wars Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library Military hi

.