THE RUSSIAN REGIMENTS RAISED BY PETER THE GREAT

FOR THE 1700 CAMPAIGN

(This is a summary of an article "Russkaia armia in 1700 (Russian army in 1700)" by Vladimir"Gromoboy"Velikanov published in the Russian military magazine "Voin" (Warrior) in Vol. 1, 2005.


Peter the Great started preparations for the war with Sweden in the autumn of 1699. At that time Russia had an established army of about 120,000 men. The research by Rabinovich includes data on 75 foot (Streltzy and "New Model" infantry) and 25 mounted (Reitar) regiments. Most of these were in garrison on the southern frontier facing the Tartars and Turks, and could not be moved north (the peace treaty with Turkey was signed only in August 1700). Consequently, Peter had to raise new troops for the war with Carl XII. On November 8, 1699 he issued a Decree calling the "volnitca" (free men) to the Army. Nine days later a new Decree was issued which drafted "datochni" (one person from a fixed number of households listed in the noble estimates). Recruits were gathered in three places: Moscow (in Preobragenskoe village), Kazan (from "Nizovie" or Low provinces) and Novgorod. First they were gathered in training teams of about 200 men then the trained soldiers were gradually brought together into regiments.

Regiments raised in Moscow were of 12 companies each, totaling 1,238 men. The regimental staff consisted of 1 Polkovnik (Colonel), 1 Podpolkovnik (Lieutenant-Colonel), 1 Major, 9 kapitan (Captain), 1 Kapitan-poruchik, 11 Poruchik (Lieutenant), 12 Praporshik (Ensign), 1 Polkovoi obozni (Regimental Train-master), 1 Polkovoi pisar (Regimental Clerk), 36 Sergeants, 12 Kaptenarmus, 12 Podpraporshik, 48 Kapral (Corporal), 12 Rotni pisar (Company clerk), 46 Denshik (Officer's batman), 24 Barabanshik (Drummer), 24 Sipovshik (Flautist), 986 Privates. In reality these regiments in August 1700 had an actual strength of between 1,011 and 1, 322 men. There were no grenadiers or pikemen, only fusiliers. Initially, it was planned to give 2, 3-pdr cannons to each regiment. Correspondingly an order for 100 cannon was placed with the Moscow Cannon Factory in February 1699 but a fire in June 1699 destroyed most of factory's equipment, and the production was delayed. As a result the regiments left Moscow for Narva in September 1700 without regimental artillery, but 50, 3-pdr cannons were sent in October. We do not have any clear confirmation that cannons were distributed among regiments but some of them, Fliverk IR and perhaps some others, had time to receive regimental pieces before Carl XII's attack.

The regiments raised in Kazan also were of 12 companies each. By 7th August 1700 9 regiments (PIR 17-25) numbered 10,711 men or about 1,200 men per regiment. On 9th August two additional regiments (PIR 26-27) of 700 men each were formed from collected recruits and sent to Belgorod on southern frontier. The rest of the regiments were grouped in Repnin's Generalstvo (Division) and in August were ordered to move to Narva. In middle of September Repnin's regiments arrived Moscow where they were reduced to 9 coompanies: 1 grenadier and 8 fusilier. Also, they evidently received regimental pieces. Repnin's troops did not have time to join main Russian army at Narva before Swedish attack.

Two new infantry regiments were raised in Novgorod, both of 850 men in 8 coompanies. They became a part of the Trubetskoi's Generalstvo (Division) together with two Novgorod Streltzy regiments, twoPskov Streltzy regiments and the Novgorod Reitar Regiment. This division fought at Narva in the center of the Russian position and hardly suffered after Swedish attack.

In addition to the infantry, two new dragoon regiments were raised. The first was created as the Preobrazenski Dragoon Regiment on 1st September 1698 of 4 companies. In the spring of 1700 the regiment was expanded to 12 companies and named after its new colonel Shnewetc. At the end of August 1700 it numbered 1,042 men: 1 Polkovnik, 1 Major, 10 Kapitan, 1 Polkovoi pisar, 17 Poruchik, 1 Regimental obozni, 12 Praporshik, 1 Polkovoi adjutant, 24 Sergeants, 12 Rotni kaptenarmus, 1 Polkovoi lekar (regimental doctor), 12 Podpraporshik (junior ensign), 12 Rotni Pisar, 36 Kapral, 8 Barabanshik (drummer), 64 Denshik, 828 dragoons. On 20th January 1700 another new dragoon regiment was raised under command of colonel Efim Gulitc. By end of August the regiment numbered 800 men in 10 companies. All ranks in both dragoon regiments were from Moscow nobility.

These new regiments received coats of the so-called Hungarian pattern, which was introduced in Preobrazenski and Semenovski regiments in 1699. The Ordinance of January 20, 1700 made this pattern obligatory for the whole army. Today, only two such coats exists and both are now in Stockholm Military Museum. One coat is red and evidently belonged to officer or NCO, the second is a blue soldier's coat. The coat was about 1 meter long with Polish-styled cuffs and small stand-up collar. The officer's coat was decorated with horizontal tab made of metal cord or lace.

The hat was a typical Eastern European cap similiar to that worn by the streltzy and new model infantry. It is possible that all caps were red with black fur trim. This assumption is based on the dragoons and guards hat's color and mention of the red caps in the Ordinances for recruitment.

Regiments raised in Moscow received coats of five colors: red, blue, brown, green and dark green. We know regimental coats of seven regiments: Gordon - dark green, Gulitc/Mevs - blue, N Balk - red, Ungorn and I v Verden - green, Fliverk - dark green, Polman - brown. Coat colors of the other regiments are unknown. Both dragoon regiments received green coats.
[NOTE: This uniform was worn by the Guards until 1702 when a "western-style" uniform was issued, and the Line until 1704]

Infantry regiments received two sets of colors, one for parade duties and the other for field service. Each set consisted of a "white" regimental color and 11 "colored" company's colors. "Parade" colors were rich-decorated and were left in Moscow in September 1700. The collection of Moscow Armory Museum has at least 4 such colors. "Field" colors are well known from the Narva trophy collection in Stockholm. Regiments raised in Moscow received flags of at least twelve differenct colors: red, green, light ash grey, dark grey, dark brown, burnt-yellow, blue, violet, sand, dark blue, brown, isabella. Which regiments carried which color is unknown.


Field Colonel's Color m/1700

Field Company Color m/1700

The total recruitment of 1699-1700 gave 34,944 men: 22, 513 in Moscow, 10,720 in Kazan and 1,711 in Novrorod. In addition, about 2,500 Moscow nobles were called to army as dragoons and officers. These efforts allowed Peter the Great to raise 29 new foot regiments and 2 dragoons by September 1700. These troops became the bulk of the Russian army in GNW.

Regiments (PIR = Peter's Infantry Regiment and PDR = Peter's Dragoon Regiment)

PIR - 1, Devsin (Devson), Karl-Peter, in 1708 - Tver, disb. 1715
PIR - 2, Treiden, Matvei, son of colonel Iogan Treiden, on Russian service since 1650ths. Regiment was disbanded in 1704. Seniority mistakenly was given to 15th Shlisselburgski IR.
PIR - 3, Treiden, Ivan (Matvei's brother), in 1708 - Yaroslavl
PIR - 4, Evanitcki, Karl-Gustav, in 1708 - Moscow, seniority given to 65-th Moscow IR
PIR - 5, v. Zalen, Willim (his father Nicolai v. Zalen entered Russian service in 1658, distinguished in wars with Poles, Turks and Cossacks), June 1700 Willim v. Shveiden (by 1700 had served in Russia for 16 years). In 1708 - Chernigovski, seniority given to 29th Chernigovski IR
PIR - 6, Fliverk, Matvei (his farther Ivan Fliverk entered Russian service in 1658). In 1708 - Troitck, seniority given to 97th Livlandski IR
PIR - 7, Gundertmark, Tikhon (by 1698 he commanded one of the streltzi's regiments), June 1700 Bils, Ilia. In 1708 - Smolensk, seniority given to 25th Smolensk IR
PIR - 8, Bolman, Efstafi (his farther entered Russian service in 1661 as reiter rotmistr). In 1708 - Nizegorodski, seniority given to 22th Nizegorodski IR
PIR - 9, Ungor, Thomas. In 1708 - Vladimir, seniority given to 61th Vladimir IR
PIR - 10, v Verden, Irik, in 1708 - Sibirski, seniority given to 9th Sibirski Grenadier Regiment
PIR - 11, v Deldin, Ivan, in 1708 - Kazan, seniority given to 64th Kazan IR
PIR - 12, v Deldin, Willim, in 1708 - Kiev, seniority given to 5th Kiev Grenadier Regiment
PIR - 13, Gulitc, Kashpir, since June 1700 Mevs, Ivan, in 1708 - Pskov, seniority given to 11th Pskov IR
PIR - 14, Balk, Nicolai (entered Russian service in 1654, in 1664 promoted to colonel), in 1708 - Novgorod, seniority given to 81th Apsheronski IR
PIR - 15, Gordon, Alexander, in 1708 - Astrakhan, seniority given to 14th Gruzinski Grenadier Regiment
PIR - 16, Balk, Fedor (Nicolai's son, by 1700 - colonel), in 1708 - Voronez
PIR - 17, Gulitc, Kashpir, in 1708 - Rostov, seniority given to 2th Rostov Grenadier Regiment
PIR - 18, Bush, Youri, regiment disbanded in 1704, seniority given to 45th Azov IR
PIR - 19, Krog, Zakhari (by 1698 colonel of a reitar regiment), in 1708 - Arkhangelsk, seniority given to 17th Arhangelsk IR
PIR - 20, v Verden, 1708 - Lutck, seniority given to 19th Kostroma IR
PIR - 21, Dedut ,Alexei, disb. 1706 after Fraustadt
PIR - 22, Berner, Ivan, in 1708 - Belozersk, disb. 1712
PIR - 23, Berner, Pavel, in 1708 - Viatka (-ski), seniority given to 62th Suzdal IR
PIR - 24, Angler, Ivan (in 1696 lieutenant-colonel of Semenovski regiment), in 1708 - Perm, seniority given to 135th Tiraspol IR
PIR - 25, v Bukovin, Peter, disb. 1706 after Fraustadt
PIR - 26, Mitchel, Andrei (Henrich), in 1708 - Ivangorod, disb. 1712
PIR - 27, Romanovski Andrei, disb. 1706 after Fraustadt
PIR - 28, Brus, Roman (till Dec 1699 colonel of streltzy regiment in Novgorod), in 1708 - Vologda, seniority given to 12th Astrakhan IR
PIR - 29, Kulom, Ivan, in 1708 - Vyborg, seniority given to 85th Vyborg IR
PDR - 1, Shnevetc, Andrei, in 1706 - Kiev, disb 1775
PDR - 2, Gulitc, Efim (Joachim), in 1706 - Moscow, seniority given to 1st Moscow Leib-Dragoon regiment

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