Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Russian Pandour and Hussars part four

Uniform of the Hussars and Padours 1741-1763 By  Vladimar "Gromboy' Velikanov
(my notes are in black bold italic, line drawings are from a Russian site which I will replace in time with my own)

I have not found the exact date when the Hussars received their first uniform regulation. I believe it was about ( October 15th 17411741-42 and dated from first years of the reign of Empress Elizabeth. Nevertheless, Viskovatov in "Historical description..." (Vol. 3, p. 56) gives a detailed description of their uniform and equipment. The Russian Hussars received a uniform like the Austrian one.

Field Hussar Regiments

Buttons: copper or tin or yellow for officers
Pelisse: short cloth jacket without collar. Decorated with cords and closed sewed buttons. Trimmed with black sheepskin fur for troopers, officers grey or brown, possibly yellow for the troopers of the Macedonian regt and possibly the Georgian as well, the respective officers for these regts are recorded in Fox fur.The Pelisse was usually worn over the left shoulder. It was worn as a jacket only in inclement weather. Some images have the Georgian regiment with ten rows of cords (Preben Kannik, "Uniformen in Farben" 1967 as does Survorov)
 Front and back and cuff lace are in the same colour as the cords.

Dolman (Dulam): Wollen cloth jacket with small stand-up collar. Also decorated with cords and buttons. The Dolman was bordered with lace of the same color with cords. Usually 2 rows of 8 buttons on both sides and a single set in the middle.

Usually it was belted with Kushak. (Kushak: a wide barrel sash). It had two parts: the base barrel sash and some vertical barrels. They were of different colors. As a rule, vertical parts were black and the base the same color as the Dolman. Officers had Dolman colour and metal normally silver, Survorov has a red sash on an officer.

 Chashkirry: tight, cloth breeches decorated with cords. normally the colour of the dolman laced in various colours.
Lace on the front of the breeches for Ors

A good example of a Moldavian officers lace, not the yellow rather than white fur on the pelisse.

Epancha: a kind of cloak used in the Russian army normally red. It reached to mid-calf. The Epancha was worn in cold and inclement weather. 

Black cloth cravat. 

Tsipely: short leather boots, as a rule black in color. Officers are pictured in yellow or red boots with tassels.

Shako. Different regiments had different types of shako:

Serbian, Hungarian, Georgian and Moldavian had the same pattern of shako. It was a fur headdress decorated with cords, with the top of the regimental color.

Regiment The Top of Headdress and flap
Serbian light blue 
Hungarian red
Georgian red
Moldavian red

Slobodian and Yellow Hussars had a kind of a mirliton cap with folding fan feathers. All mirlitons shakos were of one collar; white for Slobodian regiments and yellow for Yellow.


Broadsword or saber: 

worn in leather sheath with metal fittings. The sheath was carried on a special belt, called a Pasak. It was hidden under the Kushak. 
Sabretache: leather with a cloth cover. It was suspended from 3 straps on the left side, and dangled about the knee. It was decorated with a monogram and bordered with lace of the same color as the monogram. 

A short Fusil or Carbine with bayonet. 

Baldric was worn over the left shoulder and Cartridge- box over right shoulder. All cross belts were made of black leather.

 Mounted Hussars also had a pair of pistols carried in the saddle holsters.
officers pistol
Horse equipment
Hungarian saddle, split breast plate,crupper, stirrups, two pistol buckets, twin circingle and Zarza decorative tassels in the form of brushes woven from very thin leather and attached to the headband, and Sarsamami decorative wollen knots attached to the breast plate and the crupper, (Funcken and Austrian sources only have them attached to officer horses but Viskovatov has them for all ranks) single halter bridle and reins,  black or  red leather (Funcken black leather, Knotel red leather) .

note the Sarsamami on the officers horse hanging off the crupper, the officers red boots and the Georgian hussar on the middle right with nine buttons on the pelisse and the yellow hussar with ten buttons on the pelisse. Also the white fur on the Pelisses?

private Serbian Hussar Regiment from 1763 to 1776
note the Sarsamami and white fur on the pelisse.

Chaprak (Shabraque )
Similar in cut to the austrain chaprakov, Viskovatov plainly says: ".......a long chaprak, modelled on the current hussar saddle cloths". The chaprak covered the saddle and pistol covers. The chprak basically followed the colour of the dolman with the same lace colour as the cords. Monograms may of appeared in the corners, it is hard to say as they may of followed the other Russian regts and monograms only appeared on officers and Ncos chapraks. Officers had gold lace, these may of also in have been laced around the border depending upon rank. The edge of the chaprak had galloons or teeth, according to Funcken, although thier is weak support for this, Zhalnin supports a wavy line like the Austrain chaprakov, however I think this is unlikely.

Non-commissioned officers (corporals, quartermasters, and vakhmeisters) had the same uniform and armament as the other ranks but wool lace changed to gold. All non-commission officers had one braid on the border of the collar. Quartermasters also had one braid on sleeves and vakhmeister (senior corporal in Pandour units) - two. Corporals did not have any special distinctions, except the braid on the collar. Hussar non-commissioned officers were armed with a saber and a pair of pistols. Their equipment consisted of a sabretache and pistol housing.

Ncos, note the lace on the  breeches and the cuffs, and the braid on the collar. The mirliton plates are also a puzzle.

Hussar officers wore the same uniform as other ranks but better decorated. All cords and lace were gold in spite of the regimental color. Tsipely were yellow. They were armed with a saber and a pair of pistols. 

Hussars did not powder and plait their hair. Usually they grew it in long curls and wore long hanging moustaches. Slobod Hussars, formed from ex- Cossacks, were an exception. They shaved their heads, except for one long lock in the center, like other Cossacks.

Each regiment had 1 kettle-drummer and 10 trumpeters, one for each company. They changed from other Hussars by small wings on shoulders and braids of different colors. Unfortunately, these decorations were not regulated punctually and images of Hussars musicians weren't preserved. All musical instruments were made from copper in regular cavalry pattern and decorated with lace and cords of the regimental color.

Hussar trumpeter and trooper 1763

A swallows nest like infantry musicians, lace around the collar and cuffs of the Dolman also perhaps bands on the arms as per the image above. 
Swallows nests and collar
Serbian Regt:black with silver lace
Hungarian Regt: black with silver lace
Georgian Regt: Red  with Blue lace
Moldavian Regt: Blue with silver lace
Slobodisch regt: Unknown
Yellow regt: unknown
Macedonian: Unknown
New Serbian: Blue with white

The kettle drums had the colour of the regimental flag, decorated with gold embroidered silk, gold lace and fringe.

Immediately after the establishment of the hussar regiments on October 15 1741, they received banners, which were carried by each company. The banner was slight, split with long tails, one regimental flag was carried assumed white with the Russian national emblem, the rest in company colour with the imperial emblem. It is known that the Georgian company flags were all red and the monogram was Anna's. (Regalia and Insignia of the Russian Army Col-Gen N. Shataba Ikolaev 1899) It is likely the hussars carried colours during the seven years war but problay did not take them into the field, thier is evidence that the standards were similar in pattern to  Russian cuirassier colours.

Settlement Pandours

Units described above were enlisted field units. The main bulk of the Pandours in Russian service were settlement troops. The New Serbia military establishment included 2 Hussar and 2 Pandour regiments (later one garrison battalion was added) and Slavian Serbia, only 2 Hussar regiments.

Their uniform was not regulated punctually. They did not belong to the regular army and information about them is desultory. They were regulated and managed by local officials, and I haven't found any information about them in the open state archives (most of the archives in Russia are still closed for readers). Viscovatov in "Historical description..." (Vol. 3, p. 60) gave a little information about the Settlement Hussars but described foot Pandours in detail.

Knotel; the Pandours on the left do not match any Russian descriptions? the Pandour on the right is from the Novomirgorod  garrison

According to Viscovatov, the New Serbian Hussars had the same uniform as the Moldavian Field Hussar regiment. As to the Slavian Serbian troops he wrote that their uniform was not regulated during the reign of Empress Elizabeth. In the later descriptions of the Russian uniforms their description was omitted.

Pandour Infantry Uniform
Pandour Officer

Russian Pandour infantry had a uniform and armament like the Austrian Grenz infantry. They were organized in two settlement regiments and one garrison battalion. These units had different colors of uniform and I will describe them separately.

Settlement Pandour Regiments
Each regiment consisted of 5 Grenadier and 15 Pandour, or Musketeer, companies. Viscovatov gave the same colors for these regiments, but the grenadiers and musketeers had some differences in uniform and equipment.

Private of Musketeer Company

Pandour Musketeer


Gunetz: long, black coat with red cuffs, lace and cords. 
Brusluk (vest): green vest, with red lace and cords. 
Chashikirry: (breeches) tight  red breeches. 
Kushak: a wide, red barrel sash. 
Tsipely (boots): black boots, yellow for parade. 
Shako: black, in Hussar style, but higher and tighter, without cords. It was decorated in front with copper plate bearing the Russian Arms. (Grenadier plates were different)
Epancha (cloak): all wore a red cloak.


Saber: short carried in a black leather sheath. The hilt was copper. Pasak: black leather sword-belt with copper fittings. Fusil: infantry pattern, without bayonet. Cartridge-box.

Pandour Grenadier note the grenade pouch and shako plate

Pandour Grenadier plate

Grenadiers had the same armament and uniform as the musketeers but carried a grenade-box instead of a cartridge-box. A small cartridge box was worn on the waist belt. In addition they had a large plate on the headgear with a monogram of the Empress and a prospect of New Serbia.

Non-commissioned officers had the same uniform and armament as the other ranks but with tight gold braid on the cuffs. Quartermasters had one braid, vakhmeister (senior corporal in Pandour units) - two. Corporals did not have any distinctions.

Officers wore another kind of coat, called a Kaput. It was green, with red cuffs. Brusluk (vest) and Chashkirry (breeches) were red. Cords and lace were gold. Tsipely (boots) were yellow. Officers were armed with saber and a pair of pistols. Drummers and fifers had the same uniform as the other ranks, but with small wings on the shoulders.

Novomirgorod Garrison Battalion

Officer and Grenadier Novomirgorod Garrison

It consisted of 1 Grenadier and 3 Musketeer companies. They had the same cut of uniform and armament as the other Pandour infantry. 

Soldiers and non- commissioned officers had the following colors:

Gunetz - light blue, with red cuffs, lace and cords; 
Brusluk and Chashkirry - red, with light blue cords and lace; 
Kushak - light blue; 
Epancha - red. 
Officers: Kaput - light blue with red cuffs; 
Brusluk and Chashkirry - red;
 Kushak - black with gold; all cords and lace were gold.

I doubt musketeer pandour regiments carried colours.

Hussar uniform of 1763 pattern
Knotels 1762 Russian Hussar plate, note the brown fur lining on the Pelisse

By pattern of May 10, 1763 Hussar uniform consisted of the following details:

Pelisse, Dolman, Chashkirry, Tsipely, black cravat, Epancha - all as the previous pattern. All regiments received a unified pattern of shako. It was a black cone decorated with cords and lace. Also yellow gloves were added. Individual colors for Hussars regiments are given in Table 2.

Hussar armament included: Saber with sword knot of the regimental color, sword belt of the black leather, sabretache, waist-belt, carbine without bayonet, cartridge-box, a pair of pistols.

On the whole, Hussars uniforms and armament did not change. All changes led to unification of the uniform details and decrease of the maintenance costs.

Hussar Uniform of the 1776 Pattern

Officer and enlisted man of the Moldavian Hussars from 1763 to 1776
note the white fur on the pelisse and the Sarsamami on the troopers horse furniture.

On December 24, 1776 the Hussar regiments were again re-formed and received new uniform colors. It was adopted for all field and settlement Hussar regiments. The style of uniform and ammunition stayed the same as previously. For the purpose of decreasing the cost of maintaining the Hussars, they received some identical uniform elements.

Common elements: Pelisse - black, with gold cords; Epancha - white; Shako, Sabretache and Saddlecloth - black, with gold cords, lace and laying- out. Metal - cooper.

 Individual Colors of Hussar Regiments (1776 Pattern)
Regiment Dolman and
Chashkirry Cuffs of
Dolman Cords
Serbian black blue yellow
Illirian crimson blue yellow
Dalmatian orange green black
Macedonian yellow red black
Moldavian and Wallachian brown red yellow
Bulgarian brown white yellow
Slavian green black yellow
Hungarian black white yellow

This uniform remained in the Hussar regiments till 1783, when they were converted to light horse.

Mine in Bold black italics
1. Viscovatov. Historical description of the Imperial Russian army uniform. Vol. 2-5, S. Petersburg, 1899
2. Manstein C. Notes about Russia 1727-41 by GM Christofor-Herman v. Manstein. Moscow, 1997.
3. Rumiantsev P.A. The collection of the documents. Vol. 2, Moscow, 1953.
4. Potrashkov S. Kharkov's regiments: three centuries of battle history. Kharkov, 1998.
5. Golovinskiy P. Slobodian Cossack regiments. S. Petersburg, 1864.
6. Handbuch der Uniformkunde. Die militärische Tracht in ihrer Entwicklung bis zur Gegenwart Knötel Vol III, Richard; Herbert Knötel d.J.; Herbert Sieg:
7. Reiter, Husaren und Grenadiere. d. Uniformen d. kaiserl. Armee am Rhein 1734. Harenberg, Dortmund 1979. Bleckwenn 
8. Historische Uniformen  Lilane and Fred Funcken
9. Hohenzollern the tragic private lives. Douglas Norman Parker.
10. Images from "The dress and arms of the Russian army 1742 to 1762"
11.  Russian Army of the Seven Years War (1) and (2), Men-At-Arms Series 297, Osprey Punblishing 1996  Angus Konstam,; Bill Younghusband.
12  Russian Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War, Birmingham 1980 Pengel, R.D.; Hurt, G.R.:

Russian Pandour and Hussars part three

Regular Hussars (1763-83) By  Vladimar "Gromboy' Velikanov

Officer and enlisted men of the Moldavian Hussars from 1763 to 1776

A new era in the Pandour military development began in 1762. Just ascended, in June 1762, to the Russian throne, the new Russian Empress Catherine the Great began the reforms of the state. She established the Military Commission for reforming the military forces. The Seven Years War had revealed a huge problem in the structure and tactics of the Russian army. The Commission analyzed the Russian military, and twice, in 1763 and 1765, presented reports to bring about reform. In particular, it suggested increasing the amount of regular cavalry by transforming a portion of the Pandour Hussars and the rest of the Slobod settlement Cossacks into regular cavalry. In March 1763 a special commission was formed for this purposes. It was commanded by E. Sherbinin, Major of Leib-Guard Izmailovskiy regiment. The main task of the Commission under Sherbinin was to increase the numbers of the regular light cavalry and to regulate Serbian and Slobodian settlements. But their revision showed the necessity of fundamental reforms.

The Commission suggested radically reforming the Serbian settlements and military. Sherbinin revoked their autonomy and established Russian State legal procedures and administration. This reform of Serbian settlements was a result of their administrative anarchy. These lands had not been managed effectively because of sabotage by Serbian. They ruled these lands like independent Princes, and often refused to submit to Russian officials. In the 1750's the Russian officials shut their eyes to it, because they protected the southern border of Russia from the Turks and Tartars, but by the 1760's Russia felt herself strong enough do it without any help.

Sherbinin also reformed the entire Pandour military. The Seven Years War had revealed a huge problem with their recruitment. The 1760's were the border dates for age categories. The men arrived in Russia in the 1740's at the age of 25-40 had grown old. At the same time the youth, born in Russia, hadn't yet reached recruiting age. The influx of volunteers from abroad couldn't replace losses and the decrease in age. The actual strength of the Pandour units was decreasing every year, and they were losing their military efficiency.

First of all the Commission under Sherbinin disbanded incomplete regiments and completed the rest of them to the full strength. On May 10, 1763 Georgian and Yellow regiments were united in one Georgian (II) field Hussar regiment. Macedonian regiment was disbanded. Serbian, Moldavian, Bulgarian and new Georgian (II) regiments were reduced to 8 companies each. Slodod Hussars stayed in 10 companies. This decreases allowed to complete the full staffs of the rest units and got rid of "death souls". This term meant in Russian army persons available only in payment list, not in field.

On March 22, 1764 New Serbia became Novorossiyskaia (New Russia) province of Russia and lost its special administrative status. New-Serbian Hussars were disbanded and their troops were transformed into 2 new settlement Hussar regiments, Black and Yellow (II), each of 16 companies. These units were formed from Serbs. Personnel of the other nations, most of all Wallachians, were incorporated into the Elizavetgrad Pikinerniy (from the word pike) regiment of 20 companies. This new kind of military force was similar to Cossacks and Pandours, but didn't have a special administrative privilege. AS with the Cossacks and Pandours, the Pikemen had to serve as a light cavalry in the case of hostilities and received lands for their service, but unlike them, this new military didn't have a separate administrative status. The main difference from Pandours was the nationality of the troops. Pandour Hussars were formed from Serbs, but Pikineers were for the most part Wallachian or Moldavian.

In the same way the other Serbian settlements were reformed. On June 9, 1764 Slavian Serbia became the Elizavetgradskaia province of Russia. The Shevich and Preradovich Hussars were reformed into the Bahmut Hussar regiment of 16 companies. In this territory there was also the settlement of the Moldavian Hussar regiment (8 companies), renamed to Samarskiy. Besides this, from non-Serbian inhabitants of Slavian Serbia were formed 3 Pikinerniy regiments, each of 20 companies:

* Luganskiy
* Dneprovskiy
* Donetzkiy

Some sources wrote, that next in the next year, 1765, the Samarskiy Hussar regiment was joined to the Bahmut Hussars, but in OB's of the Russian Army in the war of 1768-74 it was a separate unit. I have to say some words about the organization of the Russian frontier forces at that time. The previous system of patrols and armed settlements was changed to the cordon system. The military settlement troops were bartered for regular troops. On the Russian southern border were stationed forces of the Ukrainian Division. They were placed in the numerous strongholds along the frontier.

The Staff of the Ukrainian Division on September 24, 1768


* Borisoglebsk Dragoon
* Rostov Carabineer
* Yamburg Carabineer
* Pskov Carabineer
* Perm Carabineer
* Izym Hussars


* Starooskol
* Belevsk
* Riazsk
* Eletsk
* Kursk
* Briansk
* Orel
* Tambov
* Sevsk


Carabineer - a type of Russian heavy cavalry, armed with sword, a pair of pistols and carbine.

The Izym Hussar regiment was formed on March 3, 1765 from Izym Slobod Cossack regiment.

As you can see, the Ukrainian division consisted for most part of the infantry and heavy cavalry and couldn't react to the rapid Tartar raids. This task was entrusted to the military settlements. But coordination between garrisons of the strongholds and armed settlements was not established. The first were submitted to the Commander of the Ukrainian Division, while the military settlements were submitted to the General-Gubernator (military and civil governor) of the province. The lack of coordination resulted in poor efforts in the struggle against enemy raiding parties. For example, on January 27, 1769 10 000 Crimean Tartars broke through Russian frontier cordons and approached settlements. Settlement forces didn't react immediately and gathered very slowly. Russian Commander-in-Chief Rumiantsev wrote, that:

"The leaders of the military settlements didn't think about defending their settlements. As soon as the first news about the Tartars had appeared they moved their valuables and families to the other side of the Dnepr and later followed them".

Only the arrival of the Russian regular cavalry saved the province from pillage. The Tartars were repelled into southern Poland. It was the last Crimean raid into Russia. It showed a poor administration and organization of the military settlements. Having been protected by the regular army they had gradually lost their combat efficiency.

Settlement regiments were gathered for training only once a year for some weeks. Frontier cordons easily repelled small raiding parties, and the Pandours gradually forgot the military sciences.

In 1768 the next war (1768-74) between Russia and Turkey began. By this time the total population of the Pandour military settlements numbered about 75,000. The troop strength was about 12-14,000. In 1768 the following Pandour units were in the rolls of the Russian army:

Field regiments
Georgian Hussars 8 companies in Moscow
Serbian Hussars 8 companies in Poland
Hungarian Hussars 10 companies in Poland
Bulgarian Hussars 8 companies in Central Russia
Settlement Regiments
Bahmut Hussars 16 companies in settlements
Samarian Hussars 8? companies in settlements
Black Hussars 16 companies in settlements
Yellow Hussars 16 companies in settlements
Luganskiy Pikinerniy 20 companies in settlements
Dneprovskiy Pikinerniy 20 companies in settlements
Donetzkiy Pikinerniy 20 companies in settlements
Elizavetgrad Pikinerniy 20 companies in settlements

Each company had a field strength of about 100 men in the field regiments, and 70-120 in the settlement ones.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey were broken in September 1768, but active actions began only in the spring of 1769. This time was used by both sides for the mobilization of their military forces. The Serbian Hussars and other 8-company Hussar regiments were increased to 10 companies (5 squadrons). All settlement regiments were mobilized up to the full field strength. Unfortunately they again showed their poor organization and administration. First of all, there was a shortage of officers in the settlement regiments. Many of them tried to find any excuse to stay at home. Too, soldiers arrived with bad horses and incomplete ammunition. Thus, the Russian command did not use settlement regiments for field service, only for vanguard and guard duties.

There was another situation with the field regiments; all field Hussars except the Bulgarian and Georgian took an active part in actions during this war. Serbian and Hungarian Hussars were moved from Poland to the frontier with Turkey. They joined the main Russian field army under Rumiantsev and fought in all major battles such as Ryabaia Mogila, Larga, Kagul and numberless actions in Moldavia and Wallachia.

The Bulgarian Hussars were incomplete throughout the war and didn't take part in any actions. The Georgian Hussars fought in detachments. On October 3, 1769 3 squadrons (6 companies) of Georgian Hussars were sent to form the Moscow Legion. In reforming Russian army, the Military Commission tried to form a unit consisted of all kinds of troops. The staff of this Legion included 1 Grenadier and 4 Musketeer battalions, each of 6 companies, 3 squadrons of Carabiniers and 3 of Hussars, a detachment of Cossacks and an artillery battery; total of 5,757 men. Battle experience in the war against the Polish rebels showed their logistical problems and these units were disbanded in 1775.

The rest of Georgian Hussars (2 squadrons) were sent to Caucus in Corps under GM Demedev. They fought in the steppes near the river Kuban and in foothills of the Caucuses. They conquered the Nogai nomads and moved the Russian frontier to the river Terek. These were Chechin lands. The first skirmishes between them and the Russians began in 1770. It was a beginning of a Caucuses war lasting for a whole century; indeed, the Chechnian conflict still continues

When the war began refugees from Moldavia and Wallachia fled to Russia. Most of them moved to the southern regions of Ukraine, where they were under the protection of the Russian army. In 1769 they were allowed to settle in Elizavetgradskaia province. Russian officials planed to raise the Moldavian (II) settlement Hussar regiment from them like the other Pandour military settlements. But the completing of this unit was not finished. Initial actions against the Turks resulted in an advance of the Russian army, and by 1770 it controlled half of Moldavia and Wallachia. Thus the refugees moved back to the Motherland. Only some of them settlement on lands given to them, and their numbers were not enough to complete a separate settlement regiment.

At the same time many volunteers from these areas joined the Russian field army. By the end of 1769 they were organized in the irregular Hussar regiment of unknown strength under the command of Wallachian Kniaz (Prince) Kantakuzen. Later this unit was transformed to the regular Russian service as the Wallachian Hussar regiment. I believe it had a staff of 10 companies in 5 squadrons.

The War with Turkey ended in 1774. Russia gained new lands near the Dnepr and in the foothills of the Caucus. The Crimean Khanate became independent from the Turkish Empire. It was bled white in the long war and couldn't again threaten the Russian settlements. Later, in 1783, Crimea was conquered by Russia without any serious resistance. The availability of the settlement forces for frontier protection ceased to have significance, so the Military Commission prepared suggestions for converting all Pandour Hussars to the regular cavalry. The Commission also suggested on October 3, 1775 a new uniform for forming regiments. But this pattern wasn't accepted because of its high cost.

Later these suggestions were resubmitted, and on December 24, 1776 all

Pandour Hussars:

* Black
* Yellow
* Bahmut
* Moldavian
* Serbian
* Bulgarian
* Wallachian
* the rest of Georgian
* Hungarian,

Were converted to 9 regular Hussar regiments:

Officers and enlisted men of the Black and Yellow Georgian Hussar Reg

* Slavian
* Illirian
* Serbian (II)
* Bulgarian (II)
* Dalmatian
* Wallachian (II)
* Moldavian (II)
* Macedonian
* Hungarian (II)

These new regiments received a staff of 8 companies, but conversion to regular cavalry resulted in the discharging of old soldiers and actual strength was less then the authorized one. Russian officials again tried to complete these regiments from titled nations. They recruited the youth of ex-Serbian settlements and native volunteers from over strength regiments. Ex-Pandours tried to get out of regular service at any price. The number of national volunteers during peacetime was small, and, as a result, the forming of new regiments proceeded very low.

The procedure of completing the new Hussar regiments stretched on for years and at last on June 28, 1783 Pandour Hussars vanished as separate units.

The next reorganization of light cavalry resulted in the converting of all available Hussar regiments to Light Horse regiments:

* Macedonian and Dalmatian Hussars became Alexanderiyskiy Light Horse
* Illirian and Wallachian - Constantinopolskiy Light Horse
* Serbian and Bulgarian - Olviopolskiy Light Horse
* Hungarian and Moldavian - Khersonskiy Light Horse
* Slavian - Tavricheskiy Light Horse

The personnel of the title nations were diluted with Russian and Ukrainian recruits, and these regiments lost their national status. These regiments became a part of a corps, called Ekaterinoslavskaia Cavalry. It consisted of the light cavalry and was garrisoned on the southern border of Ekaterinoslavskaia province. It was not a continuation of the previous frontier service. Crimea had already been conquered, and the main duty of these units was garrison duty and observation of the frontier.

These regiments took an active part in the next war with Turkey of 1787-91. They fought at Rymnyk (11.09.1789), Fokshany (24.07.1789), sieges of Ochakov, Bendery, Izmail, etc. Their main work was as the vanguard and in the reconnaissance service, and regiments of Light Horse took part in countless skirmishes and small actions in the steppes of Moldavia and Wallachia. Till the 1790's these regiments preserved their national body and roots, for the most part because of the influx of new volunteers during the war with Turkey 1787-91.

But by the middle of the 1790's they became typical regiments of Russian regular cavalry, and only some veterans remembered the age of the Russian Pandours.

Russian Pandours and Hussars part two

Pandour Hussars (1741-61) By  Vladimar "Gromboy' Velikanov

The next period of the Pandour development began in 1741. When the War of 1736-39 with Turkey ended, many volunteers wished to stay in Russia. In the previous chapter I described irregular units raised during this War. Many of them were completed from natives of the countries remaining under Turkish rule.

These men couldn't return home when the hostilities had ended and were allowed to stay in Russia. They were encouraged to enlist into the Russian regular army or settle in the Southern regions of Ukraine. This predetermined the following development of Pandour troops in Russia. Some of them became a part of the regular army; others formed military settlements like the Austrian Grenz military settlements. But both their histories were connected and depended on the struggle between Russia and Turkey in the Ukrainian and Moldavian steppes.

On October 14, 1741 Princess Anna Leopoldovna of Braunschweig- Lunenburg, who ruled Russia from November 11, 1740 to November 25, 1741, authorized the raising of 4 Hussar regiments (each of 10 companies) from natives who had remained in Russia:

* Serbskyi (Serbian)

* Gruzinskyi (Georgian)

* Vengerskyi (Hungarian)

* Moldavskyi (Moldavian)

The Serbian Hussar Regiment was formed on the Kommanda of Serbian Hussars and other Serbs, which "in 1740 were numbered about 1,000." The Georgian Hussar Regiment was raised from 3 available companies and extra volunteers.

The Hungarian Hussar Regiment was composed of Hungarian natives who had settlement in the southern regions of Russia, totaling about 500 men by 1741.

The Moldavian Hussar Regiment was raised from Moldavian and Wallachian volunteers who had joined the Russian Army during the 1736-39 War. For the most part they were from Kantemir's Hussar regiment. Viscovatov wrote, that in 1741 total strength of Moldavian Hussars was about 700 men.

These regiments were enlisted, not conscripted. They were on a level between regular and irregular cavalry. Hussars were recruited only from the title nation; i.e. these regiments were national units in Russian service. All troops (including officers) were national and commands were given in the national languages. Each regiment was supposed to have a fixed organization of 10 companies, each of about 100 men. But these regiments were recruited from different sources, and I believe, that they had never achieved authorized strength. Some OB's confirm this.

Some of these regiments took part in the war with Sweden of 1741-43. The List of the Russian field army under Field Marshal Lacy near Vyborg at the end of May 1742 included:

Detachment of the Horse Guard - 300 men
3 Cuirassier regiments - 1,640 men
6 Dragoon regiments - 4,200
3 Hussar regiments - 1,686
3 battalions of the Guard - about 1,500 men
23 Infantry battalions - each about 500 men
Galley fleet - about 10 000 men on 43 galleys
Total: about 35-36 000 men.

So, you can see that the average strength of the Hussar regiment was about 600 men, instead of the authorized 1000. Unfortunately it is not known what Hussar regiments took part in the campaign against Sweden.

In 1739 Austria lost a war to Turkey, and after the Treaty of Belgrade Serbia fell into Turkish hands. Thousands of Serbs moved to Russia. On December 24, 1751 ex-Colonel of Austrian service Horvat was allowed to establish a separate Serbian settlement in the southern Ukraine. Russian officials intended to use them for protecting the Russian southern border. They planed to settle Serbs along the frontier with the Crimean Tartars and form a sort of Austrian-style Grenz infantry. The Serbs received undeveloped lands on the right side of the Dnepr, between the rivers Kavarlyk and Amelnik, which were won back from the Turks and Crimean Tartars in the last war.

The territory of the Serbian settlements was called Novaia Serbia (New Serbia), with its administrative center in Novomirgorod. This land received the same status as did the Cossack lands: New Serbia had an administrative autonomy, Serbs preserved their customs and traditions; they had their own legal proceedings and military organization.

The Serbs were organized after the Austrian Grenz infantry, and because of their Balkan roots they were all called Pandours in Russia. All of the male population was registered and had to serve in the case of hostilities. All men available for service were divided into two parts: active and reserve. The former patrolled the frontier and were on garrison duty in the strongholds. The latter worked their plots and had to be present at strongholds with arms and supplies at the first summons.

New Serbia had an administrative division of 20 company districts. Each district provided one hors (Hussar) and one foot (Pandour) company. By the first Ordinance of Dec.24, 1751 the New Serbia military were collected into one Pandour and one Hussar regiment, each of 20 companies. But by January 11, 1752 Horvat was allowed to raise one more Pandour and one Hussar regiment, each of 20 companies also. At the same time the staff of the Pandour regiments was changed. They now consisted of 5 Grenadier and 15 Pandour (Musketeer) companies each. Unfortunately the sources remain silent as to how these changes had an effect on the administrative system. The total number of the New Serbia military establishment was 6-10,000 men (total settlement: 25-30 000).

Following Horvat were other Serbian leaders. On May 17, 1753 Lieutenant Colonels (ex-Austrian) Shevich and Preradovich were allowed to establish Serbian national settlements on the left side of the Dnepr, between the rivers Bahmut and Lagunia on the same conditions as above. This territory was called Slaviano-Serbia (Slavonic Serbia) with its administrative center in Slaviansk.

This settlement was numbered at around 10,000 by the end of 1753. In contrast to New Serbia, the Slavonic Serbia military establishment consisted only of horse. On March 31, 1754 Shevich and Preradovich were allowed to raise 2 Hussar regiments, each of 20 companies, named after colonels (Shevich and Preradovich).

All of these Serbian units (4 Hussar and 2 Pandour regiments) were from the military settlements. The practice of using settlement units for protecting the southern border had been implemented by the Russian government since the middle of the 17th Century. In the 1650's they were Ukrainians, but by the 1750's the Ukraine had become a part of the Russian State, and the settlement units had become Serbian. Every Hussar or Pandour received an individual plot of land and some money for initial expenses. They had to buy their own equipment, horses and weapons with their own funds.

In peacetime these men were in turn on guard duty near their settlements. During wartime they joined the field army. During their service these troops received payment from the state, in other times they lived off their plots of land. As a Russian historian wrote, the main defect of the Serbian settlement troops was that "they were numerous only when they received money." At the same time they were of high military value, because the constant Tartar raids had shaped them into a solid fighting force that could be assembled quickly and to great effect.

In 1756 Russia entered into the Seven Years War. The first actions demonstrated a lack of regular light cavalry. The Russian army had numerous Cossacks and Tartars, but they were irregulars and couldn't fight in lines. The only regular light cavalry were 4 field Hussar regiments, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to the heavy regiments. The Russian officials tried to change the situation by the enlistment of local natives into the Hussars. This mission was charged to General Horvat.

On May 10, 1759 he enlisted 2 field Hussar regiments:

* Macedonian,
* Bulgarian

Each consisted of 10 companies. On December 11, 1760 one more Hussar regiment, called Zeltiy (Yellow), was added. It was formed from Serbs settlement in New Serbia who had volunteered.

The Macedonian and Bulgarian Hussars didn't amount the staff strength and took no part in the Seven Years War actions. At the same time the exigency of the regular light cavalry resulted in the sending off the settlement Hussar regiments. Duffy writes (Christopher Duffy, Russia's Military Way to the West. Origins and Nature of Russian Military Power 1700-1800, Otley (West Yorkshire), Terence Wise, 1994), that in the following Hussar regiments took part in the Seven Years War:

* Serbian,
Serbian Officer, note the cream fur on the Pelisse.
Serbian NCO, a good image of the belt arrangement on a dolman.

* Hungarian,
Hungarian trooper

* Georgian,
Georgian Officer

* Moldavian,
Moldavian officer and trooper, note the white fur on the Pelisse and the different lace on the officers breeches.

* Horvat,

* Slavonic Serbia,
Slavonic Serbian trooper, note the monogram on the mirliton.
* Yellow,
Yellow Regt trooper

* New Serbia. 
New Serbian trooper

Konstant gives (Angus Konstam, Russian Army of the Seven Years War, 2 vols., London, Osprey, 1996) different information:

* Serbian,
* Hungarian,
* Georgian,
* Moldavian,
* 1st Novoserbian,
* 1st Slavianoserbski

I believe that Horvat and 1st Novoserbian are the same unit. The regiment named after colonel Horvat was the oldest unit formed in New Serbia, and it is possible that some sources identified it as the 1st regiment of the New Serbia settlement. Another situation with the Slavonic Serbia military is that it included only 2 Hussar regiments, without any Pandour troops and sending off a full settlement regiment would expose a sector of the frontier. So, I believe that the Russian officials formed a combined Hussar regiment, called Slavonic Serbian. Otherwise, it would be called after its colonel (Shevich or Preradovich).

The departure of the military forces from the southern border to Prussia demanded the strengthening of the rest troops. On June 13, 1759 the Novomirgorod garrison was formed as separate unit. It consisted of 1 Grenadier and 3 Pandour companies. Sometimes it is referred to as the Third Pandour regiment, but I think this is incorrect. It had the staff organization similar to that of a battalion of the Russian garrison infantry, and it is better to call it garrison battalion.

So, by December of 1761, when Peter the Third ascended the Russian throne and ended hostilities with Prussia, the following Slavic (non-Russian) units were in the official List of the Russian Army: Hussar Regiments - 8 (each of 10 companies):

* Serbian,
* Georgian,
* Moldavian,
* Hungarian,
* Slobodian,
* Macedonian,
* Bulgarian,
* Yellow.

Settlement Hussar Regiments - 4 (each of 20 companies):

* Horvat,
* Novoserbian (New Serbian),
* Shevich,
* Preradovich.

Settlement Pandour regiments - 2 (each of 5 Grenadier and 15 Pandour companies) and the Novomirgorod Garrison (battalion of 1 Grenadier and 3 Pandour companies).


The Slobodian Hussar Regiment was formed on September 26, 1756 from ex-Slobodian Cossacks, and was officially related to the Pandour Hussars. I have not found reference to any names for the infantry Pandour regiments. Probably they were just called the 1st and 2nd.