Early Petrine Army

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TheRightfulKing2013
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Early Petrine Army

Post by TheRightfulKing2013 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:37 am

I am having some difficulty getting information on Peter the Great's army before the Great Northern War.

I have read Osprey but it says that details on this army are sketchy and that most of the army was disbanded after the regent Sophia's failed coup in 1682.

It does seem that the army became more like a western-style army in terms of the 2-1 ratio of muskets to pikes (in armies that still had pikes). But I'm curious that the few images of cavalry in Osprey (Peter the Greats Army: cavalry) do not include cuirassiers. Was chain mail or mirror armour still used in some units as it had been by the landed cavalry earlier in the century?

So did Peter the Great abolish the cuirassier before the Great Northern War? Did he have cuirassiers during the Great Northern War? And did the feudal cavalry still look like earlier in the century when it wore a leather padded quilt and used cavalry archers?

Also any information on whether the flintlock was used in Russia before the 18th century?

Thanks.
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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by Glorfindel » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:27 pm

I don't have them (yet !), but I imagine that the following books from Helion might be useful :

MUSCOVY'S SOLDIERS. THE EMERGENCE OF THE RUSSIAN ARMY 1462-1689:
https://www.helion.co.uk/browse-title-s ... l?___SID=U

THE RUSSIAN ARMY IN THE GREAT NORTHERN WAR 1700-21. ORGANISATION, MATERIAL, TRAINING AND COMBAT EXPERIENCE, UNIFORMS
https://www.helion.co.uk/browse-title-s ... l?___SID=U


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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by Natholeon » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:39 pm

According to The Russian Army in the Great Northern War by Megorsky (linked to by Phil above):

'The old-style cavalry included several categories. The feudal levy of the nobility... the provincial feudal horse... Reiters... As far as tactics, weapons or uniforms were concerned, by 1700 there is no data about them and supposedly there was litle difference between them.' p.29-30

So I don't know if that helps very much. The first Dragoon regiment, the Kievsky, was raised in 1698, followed in 1700 by the Moskovsky.
I don't have the Helion book on the earlier transformation of the Russian Army. The picture of the 1700 Dragoon in this book looks like a mounted Strelets.

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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by Friedrich August I. » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:54 pm

My 2 Cts,

Muscovite Troops of the age before Peter has I rather high percentage of Levy Troops, The Noblemen called Boyar's, were the ruling, land and household owning class and as such of a feudal society in any sort of view.

Cavalry
approx. 30% of a Muscovite Army (1651 almost 52.000)
Opolchenie - levy of Nobility
Pomiestina Cavalry - lesser Nobles and sons of Boyars
Equipment: Various sorts are recorded, such as Sabers, Maces, Spears, Javelins, Bows and Long Firearms. Armor was quite expensive and only available to the richest of the Nobles. The had Chainmai and Plate, Chain Shirts were the most common. Those who could not afford such Armour wore kind of Brigantine

Muscovite Reiters - 1663 saw 22 Regiments with about 30.000 Reiters.
Based on Western European model, Better disciplined, organized and trained, mainly by foreigners who manned the Officer Corps.
Equipment: Heavy Cavalry like Western European models, armed with long Firearms(Muskets Arquebuses), Rapiers or Sabers, a pair of Pistols. Steel Helmets and Breastplates as protection.

Muscovite Dragoons - about 7% of the Army (1651 about 8.000
Equipment: Matchlock Musket, a short pike or Spear, a Saber and a Horse.

Cossacks - about 12% of the Army (1630 roughly 11.000)

Streltsy about 30% of the Army (1651 almost 45.000)
Moscow Streltsy as some kind of Elite and sheltered near and around Moscow
Municipal Streltsy as Garrison Troops.
Equipment: Long Firearms, Axes and Sabres, NCOs with Partizans. No Pikes.

Soldat Infantry - 1661-63 saw 42 Soldat Regiments with 25.000 men
Soldat Regiments were uniformed and trained after Western Model.
Compared with Streltsy the "Pike and Shot" Regiments were considered as well trained Troops with proper firepower. A large portion of Officers and NCOs were Foreigners. numbers of Companies differed, one company contained 120 Musketeers and 80 Pikemen.
Equipment: Matchlock Muskets, Rapiers; Pikes, Rapiers, Helmets and Breastplates

Well there are a lot more details available but I believe it gives you "The Picture"

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Friedrich August I.
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"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by barr7430 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:28 am

He knows, you know!
"If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you are probably right"

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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:57 pm

barr7430 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:28 am
He knows, you know!
I KNOW that you have the same Books where I got this knowledge from :wink: :lol:
„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by TheRightfulKing2013 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:26 pm

Thanks for sources. It does seem very difficult to get concrete information on this shadowy period in Russian military history. Regarding the "reiters". I know that they were probably introduced as cuirassiers (ECW style) during the reign of Mikhail or Alexei. What isnt clear is whether this was still their role during the early part of Peter's reign before the GNW. In Poland-Lithuania by the time of the Siege of Vienna, "reiters" wore buff coats and broad brim hats rather than cuirasses.
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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by Friedrich August I. » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:38 pm

TheRightfulKing2013 wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:26 pm
Thanks for sources. It does seem very difficult to get concrete information on this shadowy period in Russian military history. Regarding the "reiters". I know that they were probably introduced as cuirassiers (ECW style) during the reign of Mikhail or Alexei. What isnt clear is whether this was still their role during the early part of Peter's reign before the GNW. In Poland-Lithuania by the time of the Siege of Vienna, "reiters" wore buff coats and broad brim hats rather than cuirasses.
The First REITER- Unit was crated 1632 and organized like German Reiters (Ritterpferde in Saxony, TYW). As you say informations are sketchy at Best.
As my Books concentrate on the Timeline 1630 to 1660 and occasional mention Dates after 1660 as for Reiters in 1680 I can't really bring up better information's on the early Petrine Russians.
„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: Early Petrine Army

Post by TheRightfulKing2013 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:47 am

Found some information. According to Ospreys "Armies of the Ivan the Terrible: Russian Troops - 1505-1700", the Gordon regiment (renamed Butyrski) wore red caftans (Russian style coats) after 1689.
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