“Mother Russia, Rain Down, Down, Down!”: My Napoleonic Russians (Part 4: Mounted Jäger)

With over 2,000 unpainted AB Figures Napoleonics in the Lead Dungeon, I really DON’T need any new Napoleonics…  However, a new arrival on the AB Figures catalogue in January prompted me to reach for my wallet: Russian Mounted Jäger.  Interestingly, the general response to this has been “WTF?!”  That’s perhaps not unsurprising, as the Russian Mounted Jäger regiments are pretty obscure, only coming into existence for the last years of the Napoleonic Wars.

In December 1812 the Russians decided for reasons unknown, given that there was already a glut of light cavalry in the Russian Army, to convert eight regiments of Dragoons to Mounted Jäger, being the equivalent of French Chasseurs à Cheval.  In fact, a lot of books actually refer to these regiments as Chasseurs à Cheval, as it amounts to the same thing and the translation is the same, being Mounted Hunters in English.  The converted regiments all kept their previous regimental names and in most cases the same facing colours.  The regiments and their new facing colours were:

Livonia/Livland – Red
Pereiaslav/Pereyeslav – Raspberry
Seversk/Sieversk – Orange
Dorpat – Pink
Tiraspol – Yellow
Tchernigov/Chernigov – Ultramarine
Arasmass/Arzamass – Dark Sky blue
Niejine/Nezhinsk – Light Blue

Note that the spelling of Russian place names and regimental titles varies wildly in English-language sources, so I’ve included some spelling variations.

The new uniform was very modern in styling, being a dark green double-breasted jacket with short tails, pointed cuffs, plain shoulder-straps and closed collar, dark green long trousers, a shako with plume and cords, a curved steel sabre and scabbard suspended from a white waist-belt and white cross-belts worn over the left shoulder, supporting a black cartridge-pouch and carbine and dark green dragoon-style horse furniture with curved corners and no holster-covers.  All regiments had white ‘metal’, a white full-dress plume, green cords, flounders and pompom and an orange and black cockade fixed with a white strap.  Sources show both white and yellow metal chinscales.  The pouch-plate and cross-belt buckles were brass.

Facing colours were shown on the cuffs and shoulder-straps, the piping of the collar and turnbacks, the double trouser-stripe with piping between, the shabraque-edging and the imperial cypher at the rear corners of the shabraque.

Officers had silver buttons, shoulder-scales, crossbelt, cords, flounders, waist-sash and shabraque-cypher.  They also had a black and orange base to the plume and a silver pompom with orange centre, bearing the imperial cypher in gold.  As in the rest of the army from 1812 onward, officers were probably permitted to wear white camelhair sashes, cords, etc, in order to reduce personal cost.  NCOs had silver lace edging to collar and cuffs, a quartered orange/white pompom and an orange tip to the plume.  Trumpeters had extensive white lace decoration on the jacket, plus a red plume.

But which regiment to paint?  During the Spring 1813 Campaign, George Nafziger mentions the ‘Lithuania Chasseur à Cheval Regiment’ serving in Lanskoi’s Hussar Division (Trubetzskoi’s Cavalry Reserve) at Lützen, being brigaded with three hussar regiments.  At Bautzen the same regiment is listed with the same brigade (then commanded by Paradovsky) and the Tchernigov Regiment had also appeared as part of Pantschuild’s brigade (Prince Eugene of Württemberg’s Russian II Corps).

Following the Summer Armistice of 1813, Nafziger lists elements of two Chasseur à Cheval Divisions serving with Korff’s I Cavalry Corps, as part of Blücher’s Army of Silesia:  The 1st Chasseur à Cheval Division was commanded by Pantschuild (who also commanded the division’s only brigade) and contained the Tchernigov, Sieversk and Arasmass Regiments.  Pahlen II’s brigade of 2nd Chasseur à Cheval Division consisted of the Dorpat and Lithuanian Regiments.  These regiments were present at the Battle of the Katzbach.

Bernadotte’s Army of the North meanwhile, included the Niejine Regiment as part of Zagriajski’s brigade of Orurk’s Cavalry Division (Voronzov’s Corps).  Benningsen’s Polish Reserve Army included two ‘Combined Chasseur à Cheval Regiments’ (presumably reinforcement squadrons?) as part of Repninsky’s brigade of Pushkin’s Cavalry Division.  The Army of Bohemia does not appear to have included any Chasseur à Cheval/Mounted Jäger regiments.

All of the above-listed regiments fought at Leipzig.  The Tiraspol and Pereiaslav Regiments were absent from the 1813 Campaign, though elements of those regiments may have been found within the two Combined Regiments of the Polish Reserve Army and both regiments are listed as en-route to the Polish Reserve Army in December 1813.  All eight regiments fought in France during the 1814 Campaign.

Given that the ‘Lithuania Regiment’ is listed by Nafziger as being the first to fight at Lützen and also fought at Bautzen, Katzbach and Leipzig, they would be the obvious choice for painting.  However, the astute will by now have noticed that there was no Lithuania Mounted Jäger Regiment!  Nafziger has clearly confused ‘Livonia’/’Livland’ with ‘Lithuania’.  There was no Lithuania Dragoon Regiment, so there could not therefore have been a Lithuania Mounted Jäger Regiment.  There was however a Lithuania Horse Regiment, who in 1807 became the Lithuania Uhlan Regiment, but the Lithuania Uhlans are listed elsewhere in 1813 and the Livonia Mounted Jäger Regiment is completely missing from the orders of battle.

In 1814 the Livonia Mounted Jäger Regiment was the only such unit to receive the award of a badge for its shakos, being a scroll bearing the inscription ‘For Distinction’, in honour of its efforts during the 1813 Campaign, so I think it’s safe to say that this is definitely the regiment listed by Nafziger as the Lithuania Chasseurs à Cheval!

So working on the assumption that it was the Livonia (not ‘Lithuania’) Regiment that fought at Lützen, I’ve therefore given my troops the red facings of the Livonia Regiment.

That’s it for now!  I was also going to post some recently-painted Napoleonic Swedes, but they’ll wait until next time.  I’ve also been going nuts on the SYW front, with lots of new units, a few units getting nice new flags and a few units getting nice new bases.  I’ve also taken a ton of photos and this month I’ll actually be wargaming!  So plenty of blog-stuff to come this month!  🙂

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleonic Minor States, Napoleonic Russian Army, Napoleonic Wars, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Mother Russia, Rain Down, Down, Down!”: My Napoleonic Russians (Part 4: Mounted Jäger)

  1. Pingback: Napoleonic Reinforcements: Swedish Corps Commander & Artillery | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  2. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 6): SYW Austrian Artillery & Staff | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  3. Jim says:

    Superb work with these Mounted Jaegers (and admirably good taste!). Mr. Barton outdid himself with these sculpts in particular. Very understated but elegant and convincing poses. These guys breathe !

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Jim! Yes, entirely agreed! My favourite sculpts by Tony are the British infantry at order arms, just standing around. Beautiful, incredibly well-observed and superb little sculptures. Nobody does ‘relaxed’ like Tony. 🙂

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