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.:


Unlucky General said...

Outstanding reference point Matt - really useful stuff. Thanks for keeping that bar up high.

Mike said...

Very nice post; very informative.