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The sceptre of the Tsars
 The Gousari horse 1812 
 Russian military history takes special notice of the fast that the gousari where originally mercenaries recruited in Hungary during the reign of Empress Elisabeth. Twelve regiments were recruited between 1741 and 1759 as a bolster to the light cavalry arm, which consisted mainly of ill disciplined Cossacks. Although the gousari underwent considerable Russification during the half century prior to the Napoleonic Wars, their organisation and appearance remained essentially Hungarian. Even the word gousari was eventually pre empted in favour of the Hungarian translation, hussar, meaning twentieth , denoting the one man in twenty selected by ballot for military service. The number of hussar hussar regiments rarely exceeded the original twelve. This owed, in part, to the companies within these regiments might total as many as twenty or as few as eight. Therefore, in 1812 , with the whole of western Europe aligned against her, Russia filled to capacity her existing hussar regiments rather than creating new ones. At the recommencement of hostilities in that year, there were still only twelve regiments eleven of the line one of the Guard. Individually, these were the Soum, Pavlograd, Elisavetograd, Marioupol, Alexandria, Olviopol, Isioum, Akhtyrsk, Bielo Rossisk White Russian , Grodno, Loubny, and the elite Hussar Life Guards. Space denies individual coverage of each regiment s organisation, dress and appointments, so we shall speak in terms of generalities. By 1812, most regular cavalry regiments were organised according to squadrons. The hussars, however, entertained a loose company , or half squadron, organisation each half squadron approximating one hundred and forty horse. The function of the hussars was traditionally reconnaissance and pursuit. The nature of the 1812 campaign changed all of this. Quite a few regiments were attached to Platov s corps whose task it was to harry and cripple the French as they floundered across the Russian wastes. The hussars were, therefore, the ushers of a new, more sinister form of combat guerillas warfare. Although not guerrillas in the literal sense, the hussars conducted their business with such deliberation and savagery that one western observer, Sir Robert Wilson, mistook them for Cossacks. The uniform of the hussars was modelled after the Hungarian national costume and each regiment had its own colour scheme. The principal head dress was the distinctive Russian kiwer. Adopted in 1811, the kiwer was an exaggerated form of bell topped shako, approximately 200 mm. in height, with a concave crown. The uniform jacket, or dolman, was waist length and closefitting. This was sometimes worn under or in conjunction with the with the pelisse, a wait length, fur lined over garment. The lining of the pelisse was white or grey for officers, fawn for trumpeters, and black for all enlisted ranks. The Hussar Life Guards, however, wore white fur exclusively. Both the pelisse and dolman boasted 13 or 15 rows of braid and buttons positioned horizontally across the front of both garments. A barrel sash was worn about the waist with the barrels co ordinated to the colour scheme of the uniform. The trousers were close fitting and decorated at the thigh with ornate embroidery known, appropriately enough, as Hungarian knots . Boots were of two types the first were fancy Hungarian Boot with a V slit and tassel to the front the second were black knee boots, rounded at the top, worn only for undress orders. The equipment of hussar regiments was fairly standard one pistol carbine lyadunka cartridge pouch and a sword, sword belt, and sabretache. The pistol, a ponderous, single shot model, was carried beneath the saddlecloth. The carbine, or mousqueton, was suspended from a white shoulder belt by means of a crochet, or swivel 
 From: Russia 
 Russian military history links Monday, 1/29/07, 9:51 AM 
 Web Site:  Xenophon 
 Ibn Fadlan & the Rus Monday, 3/20/06, 10:03 AM 
 Fadlan was an Abbasid diplomat sent to the Volga Bulgars, who recorded his impressions of the Vikings he met on the Volga: ¿More than a millennium ago, as fleets of Viking raiders were striking fear into the hearts of coast- and river-dwellers throughout western Europe, other Norsemen of more mercantile inclination were making their way east. With no less boldness and stamina, bearing luxurious furs and enticing nodules of amber, they penetrated the vast steppes of what is today Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and entered Central Asia. There they met Muslim traders who paid for Norse wares with silver coins, which the Vikings themselves did not mint, and which they coveted. Their routes were various, and by the ninth and 10th centuries, a regular trade network had grown up. Some Norsemen traveled overland and by river, while others sailed over both the Black and Caspian Seas, joined caravans and rode camelback as far as Baghdad, which was then under Abbasid rule and populated by nearly a million souls. There, the Scandinavian traders found an emporium beyond their wildest dreams, for their fjord-rimmed homelands had only recently seen the emergence of a few rudimentary towns. To the Arabs of Baghdad, the presence of the Norsemen probably did not come as much of a surprise, for the Arabs were long accustomed to meeting people from different cultures and civilizations. They were also keen and literate observers. Abbasid historians and caliphal envoys put to paper eyewitness accounts of the roving Scandinavians, leaving a historical legacy that is shedding new light both on Viking history and on a little-known chapter of early Islamic history¿ 
 From: Volga Bulgaria 
 Web Site:  Saudi Aramco world 
 Pictures of the 1812 campaign Monday, 10/24/05, 6:51 AM 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site:  Russian Napoleonic Generals 
 Project 1812 Monday, 10/24/05, 6:39 AM 
 a large, nicely illustrated site on Napoleons Russian campaign 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site:  Project 1812 
 Papers on Russian Military History Monday, 10/24/05, 6:31 AM 
 A good number of papers here 
 Web Site:  Mark Conrad 
 Russian army of the Napoleonic Wars Monday, 10/24/05, 6:20 AM 
 nice site. 
 Web Site:  ¿Napoleon¿ 
 The Crimean War Friday, 1/14/05, 4:06 AM 
 The Crimean War, involving the Turks and their allies against Russia, saw some action in Chechnya, the Balkans, the Baltic, and against Russian Far Eastern possessions on the Pacific, in addition to the main theatre in the Crimea. The famous massacre of the British Light Cavalry Brigade charging Russian guns at Balaclava, was eclipsed by the later WW2 action on the same battlefield, where 100,000 Soviet soldiers died in uphill assaults on German positions. 
 From: Russia 
 Russian Napoleonic uniforms Friday, 11/26/04, 4:09 PM 
 Web Site:  Napoleonic Wargaming Club 
 battle of Kulikovo Pole Thursday, 10/21/04, 9:42 AM 
 fought in the Donbas near Tula 
 Lesser - known battles in Russia Saturday, 2/21/04, 6:31 AM 
 Province City Date Event details 0966 Bolgar Yaroslavl 1238 River Sit V Mongols Kuban Azov 1223 Kalka Kiev V Mongols Chernigov 1024 Listem Ukraine Kiev 1036 Kuban 0965 Sarkel Svyatoslav fought the steppe nomads between the Don and the Volga Kuban 191x Famous retreat of the infant White army through the snow Moscow 15xx Mikhail Vorotinsky interposed himself between Moscow and the Crimean Tatars, who had crossed the River Oka by an undefended ford. He defeated them with a flanking move. The sadistically mad Ivan the Terrible then became concerned about Miikhail¿s popular support, and burned him at the stake, adding faggots personally to the blaze. Estonia Pskov 12xx The Ice Slaughter Alexander Nevsky marched out of Pskov to meet and defeat the Teutonic knights on the ice of frozen Lake Peipus. [Eisenstein¿s film about him is a classic] Kursk 1943 Kursk The Germans had insufficient tanks and aircraft to win this, the greatest tank battle in history, though they came close with their high-quality Tigers and Panthers. 
 Russian history Thursday, 1/29/04, 8:25 AM 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site: 
 The museum of Russian tanks Thursday, 12/5/02, 3:09 AM 
 From: Kubinka 
 Web Site:  The museum of Russian tanks 
 Battle of the Khalka River 1221 Monday, 11/18/02, 9:31 AM 
 In 1221, Genghiz, Great Khan of the Mongols, ordered an armed reconnaissance expedition into Russia commanded by Sübodei Bahadur and Jebei Noyon 'The Arrow'. The consequences for the history of Europe were incalculable. The decisive Mongol victory at Kalka River, opened up vast regions of Russia and Eastern Europe to Mongol conquest. Genghiz ordered his victorious army to return eastwards, delaying the final cataclysm by a few years. Genghiz died in 1227, but within 10 years his son Ögedei ordered a return to Russia to complete the conquest. 
 From: Russia 
 Canadian intervention in Siberia 1918-19 Friday, 11/15/02, 4:55 AM 
 This paper explains the reasons why Canada participated in the Siberian campaign, and comments on why the episode may have been "the best illustration of the growth of canada's policies in external affairs during the war."(1) first, the rationale for canadian involvement will be discussed. Second, changing political, economic and military contexts will be explored. Third, canada's decision to withdraw its troops will be analyzed. 
 From: Arctic 
 Web Site:  Canadian Military Heritage Project 
 The Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) Thursday, 10/31/02, 7:59 AM 
 The last Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) was also the most important one. In 1877 Russia and its ally Serbia came to the aid of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria in their rebellions against Turkish rule. The Russians attacked through Bulgaria, and after successfully concluding the Siege of Pleven they advanced into Thrace, taking Adrianople (now Edirne, Tur.) in January 1878. In March of that year Russia concluded the Treaty of San Stefano with Turkey. This treaty freed Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro from Turkish rule, gave autonomy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and created a huge autonomous Bulgaria under Russian protection. Britain and Austria- Hungary, alarmed by the Russian gains contained in the treaty, compelled Russia to accept the Treaty of Berlin (July 1878), whereby Russia's military- political gains from the war were severely restricted. > I have been told that the Russians were more Colonial troops and were > not dressed and equipped like the regulars but wore ACW type kepis, > tunics, pants with stripes down the outside of the legs and tall > boots. These uniforms were regulation during the 1877-8 Turkish war, and long gone by 1914. Even when they were in, many units kept the old-style furushka in protest, since the introduction of the "French style" coincided with the growth of Pan-Slavism. Somebody at the Russian War Ministry was really out of touch. 
 From: The Black Sea 
 Web Site:  The Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) 
 CHRONOLOGY of RUSSIAN HISTORY Wednesday, 10/30/02, 1:03 PM 
 CHRONOLOGY of RUSSIAN HISTORY from prehistory to the C18: see also the xenophon group site for a perhaps even more extensive chronology 
 Cossack web Wednesday, 10/30/02, 12:29 PM 
 Web Site:  Cossack web 
 THE STRELZI (1550 - 1705) Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:56 AM 
 The creation of Russia's first permanent standing infantry -- the Strelzi -- was among the military reforms of Tsar Ivan IV, the Terrible (1530 - 1584). The exact date of this event is historically controversial, but it appears to have happened around 1550. The name Strelzi derives from the Russian strela meaning "arrow" or "shooter" because these troops carried fire arms, which distinguished them from other native Russian forces at that time. Strelzi units were raised in Moscow and other cities and towns. The day-to-day duty of the Moscow Strelzi was to guard the Tsar's court and the cities and towns, to suppress internal revolts, and to protect the frontier until the entire army could be assembled. In peacetime they were on permanent garrison duty guarding the walls, towers, and gates of the cities as well as government buildings. They also guarded the state saltpeter works, convoys of money, prisoners, and ambassadors. The foot Strelzi were on guard duty by weekly turns in Moscow, and were sent to strengthen the garrisons in other towns. 
 Web Site:  xenophon group 
 Russian military history Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:52 AM 
 Web Site:  xenophon group 
 The Sixteenth Century Muscovite Army Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:50 AM 
 Ivan IV (1533-84) inherited a gentry militia cavalry and transformed it into a combined arms force, integrating cavalry, infantry, artillery, and engineers. Muscovy was surrounded on four sides. To the east, the efforts of Cossack explorers to expand into the Siberian depths necessitated fortresses to protect settlers from hostile tribesmen. To the south, each year Crimean Tatar horsemen carried off nearly 100,000 men, women, and children to the Moslem slave marts. To the west, the long border with Poland stretched as a continual battlefield. To the north, the forests of Karelia loomed as an avenue for Swedish invasion. The absorption of Kazan and Astrakhan brought the Volga River basin under Russian control, but moved Muscovy's borders even closer to the armies of the Ottoman Empire. An abortive war in Livonia (present day Estonia) (1558- 83) temporarily awarded Moscow a Baltic port, predating Peter the Great's "window on the West" by 150 years, yet the struggle ultimately bled Russia white. 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site:  The Sixteenth Century Muscovite Army 
 Russo-Turkish Wars Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:45 AM 
 The great eastward expansion of Russia in the 16th and 17th cent., during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, nevertheless left the shores of the Black Sea in the hands of the Ottoman sultans and their vassals, the khans of Crimea. The Russo-Turkish Wars were the result of Russian attempts to find an outlet on the Black Sea and¿in later stages¿to conquer the Caucasus, dominate the Balkan Peninsula, gain control of the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits, and retain access to world trade routes. 
 Web Site:  Russo-Turkish Wars 
 The campaign of Kulikovo 1378-80 Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:40 AM 
 the Russians fought the Mongols on the River Don 
 From: River Don 
 Web Site:  The campaign of Kulikovo 1378-80 
 The Zaporozhian Cossacks Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:36 AM 
 Evolving in response to the Tatar threat, the Cossacks provided an alternative political, social, and economic model for the oppressed Ukrainians of the 17th century. The growth of the Cossack military system ultimately provided the means for the overthrow of the Ukraine's Polish overlords. The development of this system into the Hetmanate further ensured the preservation of this early institution of the Ukrainian people. Accordingly, the study of the Cossack military system prior to the Khmelnytsky Wars is important for an understanding both of those wars and of the subsequent flowering of the Hetmanate. 
 From: Ukraine 
 Web Site:  The Zaporozhian Cossacks 
 Svjatoslav (942-972?), Prince of Kiev Wednesday, 10/30/02, 11:03 AM 
 The pagan Svjatoslav (942-972?), the prince of the Kievan Rus, descendants of the Swedish Vikings who had travelled down the rivers of Russia, enjoyed the reckless life of a Varangian adventurer and thrived on the exploits of military campaigns. He first, at the relatively young age of twenty-one or twenty- two, campaigned extensively in the Don Volga region, warring against the Vjatichi, the Khazars, and the Jasy, known as the Alans; and also the Kasogy or the Adygi who inhabited the Kuban basin that adjoined the region of the Caucasus. Later he campaigned against the Bulgars in the area of the Danube, as a de facto ally of the Byzantines. 
 From: Ukraine 
 Web Site:  Svjatoslav (942-972?), Prince of Kiev 
 Russian-Ukrainian military history Wednesday, 10/30/02, 8:04 AM 
 The Xenophon Group International was organized to promote the study of military history. We began by publishing a magazine devoted to Early Modern Military History, Gorget & Sash of which copies are available. In 1991 we expanded our focus to facilitate meetings and exchanges between Americans, Ukrainians and Russians, especially but not exclusively military historians. We have organized a number of successful visits and conferences in Russia and Ukraine. This page serves as a central link to topical pages relating to these subjects. For convenience the material is divided into two categories, general Military History and Russian- Ukrainian History, but much of the latter is also about military affairs. 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site:  The Xenophon Group International 
 Polish military history Monday, 10/28/02, 6:48 AM 
 From: Poland 
 Web Site:  Polish military history 
 Armed conflicts in Russia 1800-1999 Thursday, 10/24/02, 12:25 PM 
 First Russo-Persian War 1804-13 War of the Third Coalition 1805-7 Russo-Turkish War 1806-12 Second Russo-Swedish War 1808-09 Napoleon's Invasion of Russia 1812 Hundred Days' War 1815 Second Russo-Persian War 1825-28 Russo-Turkish War 1828-29 Polish November Revolt 1830-31 Russian Pacification: Murids 1834-59 Russian Expedition to Khiva 1839 Walachian Revolution 1848 Russian Conquest of the Syr 1849-54 Russo-Kokandian War 1853 Crimean War 1853-56 Kokandian Invasion 1860 Polish January Insurrection 1863-64 Russo-Kokandian War 1864-65 Russian Conquest: Tashkent 1865 Russo-Bukharan War 1865-66 Russo-Bukharan War 1866 Russo-Bukharan War 1867 Russo-Bukharan War 1868 Bukharan Rebellion 1870 Russian Occupation of Ili 1871 Kokandian Revolution 1873-75 Russo-Khivan War 1873 Kokandian Holy War on Russia 1875 Kokandian Rebellion 1875-76 Russo-Turkish War 1877-78 Russian Siege of Geok Tepe 1879-81 Russian Conquest of Merv 1884-85 Russo-Afghan War of 1885 Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 Russian Revolution 1905 Russo-Persian War 1911 World War I 1914-18 Basmachi Rebellion in Russia/USSR 1916-31 Kornilov Revolt in Russia 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia 1917 Estonian Secession 1917 Russian Civil War 1918-20 Finish-Soviet Border Dispute 1919-20 Latvian Secession 1919-20 Soviet-Polish War 1919-20 "Red" Invasion of Persia 1920 "White" Occupation of Mongolia 1920 Kronstadt Rebellion in the USSR 1921 "Red" Invasion of Mongolia 1921 Soviet Invasion of Manchuria 1929 The Great Terror in the USSR 1934-38 Spanish Civil War 1936-39 Soviet-Japanese Border War 1939 The Winter War 1939-40 World War II 1941-45 Latvian Partisan War 1944-49 Lithuanian Partisan War 1944-52 Kurdish Mahabad Republic 1945-46 East German Uprising 1953 Hungarian Revolt 1956 Prague Spring 1968 Sino-Soviet Border Clash 1969 Soviet Occupation: Afghanistan 1979-88 Osh Riots: Kyrgyzstan 1990 South Ossetian Rebellion 1990-92 Soviet Intervention: Latvia 1991 Moldovan Civil War 1991-92 Georgian Civil War 1991 Abkhazian Rebellion 1992-93 Tajikistani Civil War 1992-4 Georgian Civil War 1993-94 Chechen Revolt: Russia 1994-6 
 Muscovite war of independence from the Mongols Friday, 7/5/02, 4:58 AM 
 From: moscow 
 Web Site:  Muscovite war of independence from the Mongols 
 Reference sources for Russia and former Soviet Union countries Friday, 7/5/02, 4:52 AM 
 From: russia 
 Web Site:  Reference sources for Russia and former Soviet Union countries 
 The war against Napoleon 1812 Wednesday, 5/15/02, 12:54 PM 
 nice bilingual site. The library has some good stuff, eg. a long biography of Marshal Bagration, but you have to push the tiny buttons marked TXT to find anything. 
 From: russia 
 Web Site:  The war against Napoleon 1812 
 Cossack warfare Wednesday, 5/15/02, 11:55 AM 
 there are some v nice illustrations of weapons and armour here, amongst much else of interest 
 From: south Russia 
 Web Site:  Cossack warfare 
 Russian military dress thru the centuries Wednesday, 5/15/02, 11:51 AM 
 numerous superb graphics here 
 Web Site:  Russian military dress thru the centuries 
 Polish history Wednesday, 5/8/02, 10:57 AM extensive resource. Check out eg the battle of Chotin and the revolts of the Ukrainian Cossacks under Taras Bulba [played by Yul Brynner in the famous film!!] 
 From: Poland 
 Web Site:  Polish history 
 Russian Generals & Admirals Friday, 4/5/02, 11:11 AM 
 a fantastic illustrated site which provides in effect an overview over Russian military and naval history from circa Peter the Great onwards. 
 From: Russia 
 Web Site:  Russian Generals & Admirals 
 Russo-Turkish War 1806-12 Tuesday, 3/19/02, 3:22 AM 
 French language; includes a page on the battle of Battin 1810, there are also links to uniform details for the Turkish army. 
 Web Site:  Russo-Turkish War 1806-12 
 History of the ethnic minorities in Russia Thursday, 11/22/01, 8:26 AM 
 lists at least 50 ethnic minorities across the old Tsarist Empire, with a moderately thorough history of each. 
 Web Site:  History of the ethnic minorities in Russia 
 military history of Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans Wednesday, 11/21/01, 9:01 AM 
 Web Site:  military history of Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans 
 History of Russia, Poland and the Ukraine Wednesday, 11/21/01, 8:29 AM 
 includes also Balt states eg. a short history of Estonia 
 Web Site:  History of Russia, Poland and the Ukraine 
 The Polish cavalry 1138 - present day Tuesday, 11/13/01, 12:01 PM 
 in Polish 
 Web Site:  The Polish cavalry 1138 - present day 
 Red Steel Tuesday, 11/13/01, 10:36 AM 
 Web Site:  Russian armour 
The arms of the Romanov dynasty
The ruins of the port at Sevastopol, seen from the Malakopf redoubt 1855
coat button from the Great Northern War of 1709
the spires of Moscow have proved beyond the reach of many invaders
Cossacks / Kosaki
Grenadiers 1756 - 63
Maxim MG crew of 1914
germans push into stalingrad 1942
stalingrad disputed 1942
Russian troops at Austerlitz 1805
napoleonic period infantry in cold weather gear
grenadier 1788-91
cornet of Russian Cuirassiers 1787-92
russian marines of the 1790s
russian foot of the 1790s
russian flags of the Crimea
Russian troops of the mid C19
Russian flags of the 7 Years War
unicorn gun