Origin and History
The regiment was established by an Empress's order of March 30, 1756 and raised the same year with the third grenadier companies (200 men each) of the following line infantry regiments which were thus reduced to two grenadier companies per regiment :
- 2nd Moskovskiy
N.B. most Russian sources mention the unknown "Samogitskiy" regiment instead of Smolenskiy, probably because of typo in books, published after 1852.
The new grenadier regiment consisted of 2 battalions of 5 companies each.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- no information found yet
Service during the War
After its creation in 1756, the regiment was stationed in Estonia.
In 1757, the regiment took part in the campaign in East Prussia under Field-Marshal Count Apraxin. On August 30, it was at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf where it was part of Andreas Manteuffel's Brigade belonging to Browne's 3rd Division. When the Russian army deployed, it was kept in reserve behind the right wing.
In January 1758, the regiment took part in the invasion of East Prussia. At the beginning of August, the regiment accompanied the Russian army in its [[invasion of Brandenburg. On August 25, the regiment fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it was part of Lubomirski's Brigade in the first line of the infantry right wing. Around mid-November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Culm (present-day Chelmno) and surrounding villages as part of Rumyantsev's 3rd Division.
On July 23, 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to the 2nd division commanded by Villebois. It was deployed in Dolgoruki's Brigade on the left of the first line of the infantry centre. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the first line of the centre in the 3rd division, once more as part of Dolgoruki's Brigade.
In 1761, the regiment took part in the Siege of Colberg.
To do: more details for the campaigns from 1760 to 1762
Russian regiments of grenadiers all wore the same uniforms.
|Coat||dark green with 9 copper buttons on the right side on the chest and 9 red trimmed buttonholes, and 2 copper buttons (one on each side) in the small of the back|
N.B.: During summer campaigns, the coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Soldiers carried a cornflower blue cape rolled over the shoulder. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry appeared to be entirely clad in red.
|Waistcoat||long sleeved red waistcoat lined green with 9 copper buttons and 9 red trimmed buttonholes, and with 2 en patte d'oie pockets each with 3 copper buttons and 3 red trimmed buttonholes|
|Gaiters||black leather with 10 large copper buttons (white for parade)|
During winter, line infantry wore knee-length cornflower blue cape.
Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers but were distinguished by their gold laces on their tricorne, collar, and cuffs.
Most officers wore gold laced tricorne (gold/black pompons) but some officers wore a mitre.
Officer’s coat was similar to other rank’s but with a gold laced collar and lateral pockets closed by lapels en patte d’oie with 3 golden buttons each. Generally officers wore the coat with opened turnbacks. They also wore white cravates, green breeches and yellow gloves.
Officers carried a musket in action, the use of halberds and spontoons was abandoned.
Officers also carried a sword suspended to a red leather belt.
Officer’s cartridge box was edged in gold.
Officer’s saddlecloth and holsters were red with round posterior corner, edged with one or two gold stripes (the inner broader), as rank distinction. EPI ciphers on the corner and holsters.
Staff officers wore a black and gold sash.
Drummers wore the same uniform as the troopers with swallow nests on shoulders and braids on cuffs, pockets and collar.
Fifers wore the same uniform as the troopers with braids on cuffs, pockets and collar (no swallow nests on the shoulders).
The Drum Major had a gold edge on his tricorne, and gold braids on cuffs and collar.
Drums were made in copper, the regimental coat of arms engraved in the front, bordered in red and green, green and white cords.
Important notice: Even though our illustrations depict yellow laces, the colour of the braids on the uniforms of the musicians were chosen by the colonel. For instance, it could have been the distinctive colour of the regiment (shown on the ordonnance flag). They were often decorated with red “XXXX” in the middle.
N.B.: During summer campaigns, the green coat was not worn, being left with the baggage. Since the waistcoat was red, Russian line infantry musicians appeared to be entirely clad in red.
The flags measured 1,43 m. x 2,13 m. and were mounted on a 3,02 m. the flagpole had a gilded finial. The flag was nailed to the pole with gilded nails.
Colonel Colour: white field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing on a central breastplate the illustration of St. George killing the dragon. The breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. The Imperial Eagle stands on a trophy of red flags and grenadier equipment (mitres, grenades...). The Imperial Eagle was surmounted by a cloud bearing Elizabeth's cipher in gold. In each corner: a black grenade on a red flame pointing at the centre.
Regimental Colours: red field with, in its centre: an Imperial Eagle bearing on a central breastplate the illustration of St. George killing the dragon. The breastplate encircled by the necklace of the St.George’s Order. The Imperial Eagle stands on a trophy of yellow flags and grenadier equipment (mitres, grenades...). The Imperial Eagle was surmounted by a cloud bearing Elizabeth's cipher in gold. In each corner: a black grenade on a white flame pointing at the centre.
Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin, 1902, p. 3, Anlage 1
Konstam, Angus, and Bill Younghusband: Russian Army of the Seven Years War, Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series, No. 297, 1996
Lubimow, A.J.: Die Feldzeichen der russischen Armee 1741-1761, in. Die Zinnfigur, Uniformheft 18
Pengel and Hurt: Russian Infantry of the Seven Years War, Birmingham, 1976
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989.
Viskovatov, A. V.: Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, vol. 3, Petersburg: 1900
Ziegler, Volker: Die Russische Linien-Infanterie zur Zeit des 7-jährigen Krieges, Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für hessische Militär- und Zivilgeschichte 3, 2005
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Roman Shlygin for the section on origin and history
Carlo Bessolo for the initial description of the uniforms