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Uniforms Of Russia

UNIFORMS OF RUSSIA The figures in Plate III. represent the uniforms of 1905. Since that time the attempt to combine bright colours with the looseness and comfort of service dress has been abandoned, and the troops have received a more handsome full dress and a grey-green field dress. Little information as to the details of the new uniforms has been published. The ordinary infantry uniform was a doublebreasted hooked tunic of dark green cloth, dark green trousers and cap (in full dress a round fur cap). With a few exceptions, details of facings, etc., followed well-marked rules. The number of the regiment appeared on the cap, that of the division on the shoulderstrap. The two regiments of the 1st brigade in each division wore red shoulder-straps, the two of the 2nd brigade blue. The 1st regiment had a red cap band and red collar patches, the 2nd blue, the 3rd white and the 4th green. It is not known how far this has been modified of late years. Regiments with royal colonels-in-chief wear ciphers on the shoulder-strap, and some have double guardstripes on the collar. In winter a heavy grey-brown greatcoat is worn, usually with a loose sheepskin lining and a fur-lined hood. The grenadiers are distinguished by yellow shoulder-straps (with a narrow edging of red, blue, white and yellow, according to the division). The Guards wear closely fitting tunics, with guard-stripes on the collars and cuff-flaps. In the 1st Guard division the shoulderstraps and piping are red and white, in the 2nd red and red, in the 3rd yellow and yellow respectively. The cuff-flaps are red in 1st, and 2nd, yellow in 3rd division. The colour of the collars and cuffs varies according to the order of regiment within the division. The Pavlovsky regiment wears, instead of the fur cap, the old mitrecap in brass and stiff red cloth.

Rifles wear the universal pattern uniform with plain cap-band and collar and crimson shoulder-straps. The Finland rifles have light blue instead of crimson, and the Guard rifles have double guard-stripes and stripes on the cuff-flap (or Swedish cuff).

Line dragoons wear a dark green silver or gold buttoned tunic, double-breasted, grey-blue trousers and knee boots; The cap, which was peaked, and had a dark green band, was, in 1905, red for the ist, blue for the 2nd, and white for the 3rd regiment of each division, the same colours appearing on the collar patches, piping and shoulder-straps. The regimental number (or colonel-in-chief's cipher) appears on the shoulder-strap. The fur cap is in shape a truncated cone, the body of the cap being of the colour of the facings and the sides of fur. A few regiments had special distinctions.

The cuirassiers (guards) wear in fall dress white cuirassier uniforms with brass helmets and eagles, and in field order dark green tunics and white caps. The trousers are grey-blue with red stripe. The Horse Grenadiers wear dark green lancer tunic with red facings, double guard-stripe and cuff-stripe, red girdles and dark grey trousers with red stripes. They wear epaulettes and the curious grenadier cap mentioned above. The Guard Dragoons are dressed as the Horse Grenadiers, but with the dragoon busby and red shoulder-straps. The Guard Lancers wear a lancer uniform resembling the German, blue with scarlet facings, lancer caps and grey-blue trousers. The top of the czapka is scarlet and yellow for the respective regiments. The Emperor's Hussars wear scarlet tunics and blue trousers, and the Grodno Hussars dark green tunics and crimson trousers (see Plate III., line 2, No. 7), with busby, red busby-bag and white plume; girdles scarlet and blue and green and white, and braid yellow and white respectively.

The artillery tunic, trousers and cap are dark green, the piping and shoulder-strap red. The Guard Artillery has black collar and cuffs, red-edged. The engineers are distinguished from artillery by their having silver buttons and appointments instead of gold.

The greater part of the Cossacks wear a long, loose caftan. This, in the Don, Ural and Astrakhan contingents is dark blue, in the rest, except as mentioned below, dark green. Cossacks wear no spurs, but use a whip. As for the facings, the Don regiments have plain, and the other blue regiments crimson and yellow shoulder-straps respectively, and the green regiments have red, yellow or light blue. The head-dress is a conical lambskin cap, with cloth top, or a blue or green cap with band of the regimental colour. The Caucasus regiments, however, wear a more distinctly national uniform, consisting of a dark brown, collarless caftan, cut away below the throat to show a waistcoat, scarlet for Kuban and blue for Terek regiments (Plate III., line 2, No. 6). The shoulder-straps are of the colour of this waistcoat. The Caucasus regiments always wear the full headdress and never the field cap. The Guard Cossacks have short tunics (scarlet, light blue and dark red) with guard-stripes on collar and cuffs, and caps of the same colours. These wear spurs besides carrying whips. The Cossacks of the tsar's escort wear a scarlet caftan edged with gold braid, white waistcoat and dark blue trousers. The Cossack artillery wears green uniforms of Cossack cut, with red facings.

Badges of rank are as follows: Non-commissioned officers, one, two or three stripes of braid across the shoulder-strap; sergeantmajor, a stripe of gold lace across the shoulder-strap. In and above the rank of corporal, gold lace is worn on the collar and cuffs as in Germany. Officers wear broadcloth ( red, blue, etc.) shoulder-straps nearly covered by strips of silver or gold lace ; on these appear the number or cipher and stars of rank subalterns one, two and three, second captains four and senior captains none. In these ranks the cloth of the shoulder-strap shows in one narrow strip through the lace. In the field ranks, the cloth, covered by three bars of lace, shows two strips and the same sequence is followed: lieutenant-colonel, three stars; colonel, none. In general officers' uniforms the lace entirely covers the cloth, and the stars number two for a major-general, three for lieutenant-general and none for a full general.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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