Imperial Russian Army, Crimean War Era
Mounted Shtab-Ofitser (Field Officer) of a Grenadier Regiment, c. 1855
Infantry officers when mounted wear the normal-pattern overalls and not breeches or pantaloons. The field officer’s (colonel of lieutenant-colonel) uniform is remarkable only in that he is wearing just below the throat the rank identity plate which was first introduced in 1808, and is now merely an ornament, together with a cockade on the right-hand side of the helmet at the chinstrap mounting. This cockade was awarded to grenadier and certain infantry regiments. The horse furniture is of standard infantry officer pattern; a single bit with a curb-piece extension (rather like a Pelham bit); a leather saddle with a single leather breastplate and a crupper, placed on a leather numnah and a decorated horse-blanket (shabrack). Behind the cantle is a valise, and the cloak or greatcoat is carried forward of the pommel, strapped in a waterproof roll. Two large leather wallets or holsters, known as chushki (pigs), are carried forward of each saddle-flap.
Mounted Officer of the Emperor’s Cuirassiers in full ceremonial dress, c. 1856
In full dress the tunic is white, for undress or general service dark green. The piping and shoulder-straps for cuirassiers generally varies by color within the division, the first two regiments wearing red, the third yellow and the fourth blue. The cuirass is normally yellow, weighing over twenty pounds. Breeches for full dress are blue with a thin single or double red stripe, but on dismounted guard duty overalls may be white; in the field they are either grey or dark green. When not on state occasions, the eagle can be removed from the helmet. In undress the flat 'muffin' cap without a peak is worn. The ornate horse-blanket cover (shabrack) is never taken into the field. The cuirassier’s arms consist of pistol, a 3 ft. 8 in. straight sword weighing about four pounds, in a steel scabbard, and the nine-foot lance common to Cossacks and most cavalry, furnished with a leather sling and a foot-loop. Pennons are carried on the lances, colored according to the identity of the regiment.
Shtab-Ofitser (Field Officer) of Infantry (The Regiment of His Majesty the king of Naples, formerly the Nevsky Marines); winter ceremonial parade uniform, c. 1849
This uniform is worn by a colonel or lieutenant-colonel, and in this regiment has features, particularly the red trouser-stripe and gold lace facings on the collar and cuffs, which arc to be found in guard and sometimes grenadier regiments, but not in infantry of the line. Field officers, when on parade, wear epaulettes with tassels instead of the shoulder-strap. A shtab-ofitser is not, of course, a general staff officer. general staff officers wear uniforms similar in design to that shown here except that a general wears the dark green tunic, aiguillettes attached to the right shoulder, gold epaulettes and a scarlet and gold collar, red trousers with a gold stripe (full dress) or green trousers with a red stripe, and a black spiked helmet with long white horse-hair plume. A general staff officer wears a dark blue tunic and trousers, black velvet facings, scarlet piping and white buttons, silver epaulettes and aiguillettes. His helmet has a white horse- hair plume.
Ryadovoi (Private Soldier) of Infantry (The Regiment of His Majesty the king of Naples); summer ceremonial parade uniform, c. 1849
The chevrons on the left sleeve denote that the soldier has long service and may be an aspirant for a commission, while the white background on the shoulder-strap shows that the soldier may have come from 3, 6, 9 or I 2 Infantry Divisions. The titular designation (the King of Naples) was merely a courtesy exchange of titles by the crowned heads of Europe who permitted their monograms to be used on the shoulder-straps and standards. The regiments then became known as shefskie polki. The cartridge-case on the right breast is meant primarily for the safe carriage of musket percussion-cap igniters. The musket with fixed bayonet is held in the traditional carriage position for marching in column.
Gornist (Bugler) of a Grenadier Regiment, summer ceremonial uniform, c. 1855
Musicians usually wear the red plumed helmet, which otherwise is of similar pattern to the spiked general service shako. The gold reverse-cheuon sleeve facing is common to the ceremonial dress of musicians in the Imperial Army. In field service uniform only the top shoulder- piece is worn. Grenadiers always wear yellow shoulder-boards, whereas the guards wear different colors according to the seniority of the division and of the regiment - red for the senior regiment of 1 Guards Division, blue for the second regiment and dark green for the third. The color system is complicated, however, for in 3 Guards Division the first and second regiments wear yellow shoulder-boards. Infantry of the line wear the color of the divisional shoulder-board. In hot weather white linen tunics arc taken into use. Like all musicians the soldier wears on ceremonial occasions the short half-sabre as a side-arm.
(Michael Roffe for Osprey)