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Örjan Martinsson

Russian Uniforms in the Battle of Lesnaya

An impression of how the Russian army looked like in the battle of Lesnaya is given on this page. The uncertainties are however many because the pieces of information about Russian uniforms (all collected from Lars-Eric Höglund's book) are few and fragmentary. I have on this page chosen to show the known uniform details for each regiment that are closest in time with the battle of Lesnaya. Uniforms colours could however often change dramatically when regiments received new uniforms, which happened within regular intervals. I have in those cases where the uniform information is incomplete solved the problem by adding a question mark if the stocking colour or headgear is unknown. I have as a rule assumed that lining, facings, breeches and waistcoats had the same colour if any of these cloths items are not mentioned. If only the colour of the coat is known I have made qualified guesses and illustrated the facings as red or green. These highly speculative uniforms are depicted with a grey background. Finally I have made the colour of the hat trims white and buttons of brass in those cases were this is unknown.

The Russian force at Lesnaya consisted of ten battalions from Russian elite infantry regiments as well as ten dragoon regiments. This was a mobile army totalling 13 000 men in which both the infantry and artillery were on horseback. Later an additional 5 000 dragoons commanded by major general Bauer arrived as reinforcements in the middle of the battle.

The above mentioned figures come from Einar Lyth's and Pavel Konovalchuk's book "Vägen till Poltava" from 2009. According to them the Russian army was much larger than previously thought because the Russians underreported their own strength for propaganda reasons so that they and the Swedish army would appear to be of equal strength.

Tsar Peter I's Division

Artillery Regiment
Eight 2-pounder Cannons
(horse artillery)

(3 battalions)

(3 battalions)

(2 battalions)

Dragoon Regiment

Dragoon Regiment

Dragoon Regiment

Prince Menshikov's Division

(3 battalions)

Vladimirski Dragoon Regiment

Sibirski Dragoon Regiment

Smolenski Dragoon Regiment

Nevski Dragoon Regiment

Rostovski Dragoon Regiment

Vyatski Dragoon Regiment

Major General Bauer's Division
(Reinforcements arriving during the battle)

Koporski Dragoon Regiment

Yamburgski Dragoon Regiment

Permski Dragoon Regiment

Kargopolski Dragoon Regiment

Kievski Dragoon Regiment

Narvski Dragoon Regiment

Ustyuzhski Dragoon Regiment

Dragoon Regiment

Read also about Swedish uniforms in the battle of Lesnaya or Russian uniforms in the battle of Poltava.