Trophy Cuirasses of the Pskov Dragoon Regiment.

By Aleksandr Kilovskii.


[From Tseikhgauz No. 13, 1/2001. Pages 30-37.]


           On 14 May 1860, from Her Majesty’s Pskov Leib-Cuirassier Regiment [Leib-Kirasirskii Pskovskii Eya Velichestva kadrovyi polk] and His Royal Highness Prince Carl of Bavaria’s Yelisavetgrad Dragoon Regiment was created a new Her Majesty’s Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, remaining under the patronage of Empress Maria Aleksandrovna. On receiving dragoon status, in 1861 the cuirasses were turned in as no longer needed to the Kiev Arsenal, from where they were transferred to the Kiev Artillery Stores. During a sorting of armaments in 1875 almost all the “French” armor was sold for scrap and they were forgotten for more than 35 years. But the large-scale reorganization of the Russian army at the turn of the century and the rebirth of glorious traditions rekindled interest in the forgotten trophies.


IV. Hostages of past victories.


            For the Pskov Dragoons the second half of the 19th century passed quietly. Their sole active service was their participation in 1863 in encounters with Polish rebels. For the rest of the period the regiment’s service was of the most peaceful character. On 25 March 1865 it received the title of Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment. Although the Pskov Dragoons did not take part in military operations, the amount of their regalia increased. A rich inheritance had come to them from the Yelisavetgrad Regiment. That regiment itself did not have a long record. It had only been formed on 18 September 1856 as a second dragoon regiment for the 1st Light Cavalry Division. But from the Moscow Dragoon Regiment, part of which was used in its formation, came the traditions and regalia of the former Severskii Horse-Jäger Regiment. That renowned regiment was disbanded in 1833. Only one division [division, i.e. double-squadron] and the dismounted reserve then joined the Moscow Dragoon Regiment along with seven St.-George trumpets inscribed “To the Severskii Horse-Jäger Regiment for distinguished deed performed in the memorable campaign successfully ended in 1814.”

            In 1860 the Pskov Dragoons obtained from the Yelisavetgrad Regiment the trumpets and seniority of the Severskii, which traced its history from the 3rd Campaign Regiment [3-i kompaneiskii polk] formed by Hetman Dem’yan Mnogogreshnyi in1668. On 22 July 1868, “as a mark of the Monarch’s special favor in consideration of the loyalty and devotion to the Throne and Fatherland shown by Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, which has now served for 200 years since the founding of the unit in which it had its origins,” there was awarded “to this regiment a new standard with the inscription under the eagle: ‘1668-1868,’ signifying the year of its founding and the year of its bicentennial.” The standard was also prescribed a jubilee Alexander ribbon.

            Empress Maria Aleksandrovna died on 22 May 1880 after 38 years as chef of the regiment. Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, wife of heir to the throne Alexander Aleksandrovich, became the new regimental chef on 31 May 1880. Her husband’s ascension to the throne after the assassination of Alexander II on 1 March 1881 was followed by a thorough reorganization of army cavalry. Alexander III abolished hussars and lancer regiments, converting them to dragoons. In this the Pskov Regiment was given the number 4 on 18 August 1882. Emperor Nicholas II ascended to the throne after Alexander III’s death at Liradiya on 20 October 1894. The widowed empress maintained great influence at the court and remained chef of the Pskov Regiment, which from 2 November 1894 was called Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 4th Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment [4-i leib-dragunskii Pskovskii Eya Velichestva Gosudaryni Imperatritsy marii Feodorovny polk].

            Under Nicholas II a process of reviving traditions was initiated. In 1898 there was a Highest decision to return the regiments’ old flags and standards as indicators of past military deeds. This served as a signal to begin active searches for old distinctions, and the Pskov Dragoons did not stand aside. But what could they resurrect for themselves? This regiment had received nothing—no St.-George standards, no distinctive lace bars [petlitsy], no special badges for the helmet. Even the trumpets and jubilee standard came the services of the Severskii and not the Pskov Regiment. It was under these circumstances that the commander of the Pskov Dragoons, Colonel A.I. Litvinov, remembered the trophy cuirasses. He drew his information about them from M.I. Mikhailov-Danilevskii’s description of the Lyakhovo battle with which we are already familiar and which was repeated by M.I. Bogdanovich in 1860. According to their commander, “in the Pskov Regiment there arose a burning desire to recover for themselves a true military distinction—cuirasses taken in battle.” On 22 April 1898, Litvinov sent Report No. 1280 to the commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division, Major General P.N. Bazhenov. In it he “asked the support of Your Excellency in returning to my regiment the 700 French cuirasses captured by it in battle on 27 October 1812 at the village of Lyakhovo while defeating the French cuirassier division of General Augereau, and subsequently awarded to the regiment by Highest Authority to be worn permanently as a military distinction.”[i] Bazhenov “became interested in this question” and reported to the commander of forces in the Warsaw Military District, “The petition… met with the support of all the higher authorities and reached the Minister of War, General-Adjutant Kuropatkin, who ordered that the regiment be notified that the French cuirasses would be returned to it if it could find them.”

            After receiving this encouraging news from the Warsaw Military District commander, Litvinov gave serious attention to a Highest order that awarded the cuirasses and to a search for them. He himself with several officers made inquiries at the archives of the Main Staff in St. Petersburg and Moscow, at the archive of the Yelisavetgrad District Military Commander where the regiment’s old records were kept, and also at the Moscow and Kiev arsenals. On 5 February 1899 Litvinov reported his results to Bazhenov. He had not succeeded in finding an order itself that awarded the cuirasses. However, referring to the correspondence regarding the making of cuirasses in 1817, Litvinov drew the bold conclusion, “This new Highest solicitude and favor in awarding the cuirasses was announced by the Sovereign orally, and there was never any written directive, from which it can be concluded with certainty that it was in 1812 that the French cuirasses were awarded to the regiment through an oral Highest order to the corps commander, General Baron Korf.”[ii] True, in the archives regimental officers found K.A. Kreits’s memoranda that dethroned the St.-George aura that surrounded the cuirasses, but Litvinov consciously ignored these, and maintained as before that the Pskov Dragoons took the French cuirasses at Lyakhovo. In this vein he even published an article in Vestnik Obshchestva revnitelei voennykh znanii (1899, No. 3).

            Litvinov was not so successful in his search for the cuirasses themselves: “During our search… we found that in 1861 when the regiment was converted to dragoons, the cuirasses were turned in and accounted for in the Kiev Arsenal, and from there they were transferred to the Kiev Artillery Stores, but they were not found there now, and an audit of the storehouse showed that these cuirasses had been sold for scrap in 1875.[iii]

            The results of these searches were not comforting for the Pskov dragoons. Then “the regiment again initiated a petition, this time to be given a white cuirassier forage cap with a pink band and edging, as currently worn by cuirassiers, to commemorate that the cuirassier uniform, so to speak, had been taken by the regiment in battle and was its well-earned distinction.” It should be explained that in the 1860 reorganization, the Pskov Dragoons kept its former “cuirassier” facing color—pink. But the forage cap became the normal dragoon patter—dark green with a pink band and piping around the crown. True, already on 2 March 1862 the forage cap and helmet was replaced by a kepi with a pink band and piping around the top edge. Only after ten years, on 22 December 1872, was the kepi replaced by a new headdress with a leather chinstrap on the band. At the same time, dragoons had their forage caps in the their previous colors returned to them. In the beginning of 1897, the color scheme was changed: now the band was dark green and the crown pink with dark-green piping. Litvinov tried to change this pattern, but again failed. As he recalled in 1908: “Of course it would have been easy to restore cuirasses at that time, but now petitions did not find favor with the minister of war, even a request to allow the regiment at least the cuirassier forage cap—white with a pink band and edging—resulted in a resolution ‘that the regiment already has a pink forage cap.’”[iv]

            On 23 June 1899 A.I. Litvinov was promoted to major general and assigned as general for special duties to the government ataman of the Don Host. At the same time Lieutenant General P.N. Bazhenov left his post as commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division. With their departures the matter of returning the cuirasses came to a final dead end. A new impetus to the course of events was prompted by the cavalry reforms of 6 December 1907, when hussar and lancer regiments were reestablished. True, the Pskov Regiment remained dragoons, but it had the number 2 returned to it and, as for other “former cuirassier regiments,” Army Order No. 277 of 8 April 1908 established a uniform of which elements were reminiscent of cuirassiers—a kolet tunic and white-topped forage cap. In regard to the forage cap, the Pskov Regiment even enjoyed an exception from the general rule. When all other regiments received forage caps with dark-green bands piped in the facing color, for the Pskov Dragoons Army Order No. 576 of 13 December 1908 established entirely pink bands without piping. It would have appeared that the recent advocates of the return of cuirassier forage caps could celebrate. However, even before these orders were issued Litvinov declared in the pages of the official gazette Russkii Invalid that “the pink forage cap does not remind the regiment of its glorious feat.”[v] This article was the basis for the beginning of a new phase in the movement to return cuirassier status to the Pskov Dragoons.

            The prime actor in this process was Flügel-Adjutant Colonel P.I. Arapov, who took command of the Pskov Dragoons on 29 May 1910, “a fine leader who understood his business, a great lord and gentleman [barin], an excellent cavalryman with a passion for horses and an expert eye for them.” Arapov had one great advantage: “Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna was very much favorably disposed… to Arapov, who from an early age served his whole career in Maria Feodorovna’s patronized regiments (in his youth Arapov had been a chevalier guard, then commanded Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Dragoon Regiment, and, lastly, was commander of the blue cuirassiers.”[vi] As a professional cuirassier with twenty years’ service in the Chevalier Guards, he was seriously interested in the idea of putting his dragoon regiment into breastplates. At the end of June 1910, the Pskov Regiment arrived at Krasnoe Selo from Suwalki for the large-scale encampments. Arapov straightaway placed an article in Novoe Vremya where the old legend of the capture of trophy cuirasses at Lyakhovo was repeated, and in conclusion it was said:

And so for 50 years after 1812 the regiment wore the uniform of French cuirassiers which always was a reminder of what they had done, but soon voices arose saying that cuirassiers had outlived their time, and as a result the regiment was converted into dragoons. With no consideration of the fact that the Pskov troopers became ‘cuirassiers’ due to their military distinction, they were abolished along with the other regiments… Thus, what had been bought with blood now disappeared forever.[vii]

            In August of 1910, Arapov petitioned to have Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment renamed as cuirassiers “so ast to preserve the memory of the glorious part the Pskov troopers played in the 1812 Patriotic War.” Obviously this did not happen without the help of the chef—the widowed empress—since the report immediately reached Minister of War V.A. Sukhomlinov, who submitted it to the tsar on 10 August. Nicholas II wrote on the report in his own hands, “I am against renaming regiments as cuirassiers.”[viii] Usually the consideration of such requests would have ended with this. But here the most-august chef made her influence felt. Nicholas II was greatly under the influence of his mother, and to entirely rebuff Maria Feodorovna was not comfortable for him. So a compromise resolution was found. The regiment would not be cuirassiers, but instead of an eagle on the helmet it was prescribed to have an image of the trophy cuirasses. Drawings of the new helmets were actually prepared, submitted by the acting minister of war, Lieutenant General A.A. Polivanov, and confirmed by the emperor on 19 September 1910. In the end, Army Order No. 629 of 13 November 1910 announced: “The Sovereign Emperor, on the 10th day of August and the 19th day of September of the year 1910, has with Highest Authority deigned to order that the headdress of Her Imperial Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment be given a depiction of a cuirass instead of the normal plate, in accordance with the accompanying drawing and description.” Adherents of the heroic version of how the cuirasses were granted accepted the order as its definitive confirmation: “Thus higher authorities have recognized that the cuirasses were captured by the Pskov Regiment and belonged to it as a military decoration.”[ix]

            But at this point the military historian Lieutenant Colonel A.I. Grigorovich intervened in this subject by publishing a critical article in Russkii Invalid. He cast doubt on the heroic origin of the cuirasses, leaning to the idea that the French armor was issued to the Pskov Regiment simply because of a shortage of Russian items.[x] The Imperial Russian Military Historical Society became interested in this question, debating it at a meeting of the Section for Regimental and Ship Histories on 29 November 1910. In front of the attendees appeared Staff Captain T.M. Zemichkovskii, the historian of the Pskov Regiment, with a report. Having gone through the archives, he recognized the insufficient basis for the Lyakhovo version of the cuirasses’ capture. But, being a regimental patriot and an adherent of the heroic theory, Zemichkovskii tried to connect the appearance of the breastplates with the battles at Krasnoe in November 1812. Nevertheless, Grigorovich, as before, maintained “that as long as no Highest Order or Highest Directive is found that confirms this extraordinary and unique award of French cuirasses to the Pskov Regiment, in his opinion there is an insufficient basis to consider the cuirasses as a military award to the Pskov troopers.” He was supported by S.D. Fedorov, who noted “that he could not find in the referenced… archives precise information or indisputable evidence of the Pskov Dragoons’ taking cuirasses from French cuirassiers in battle during 1812.” The well-known uniformologist V.Kh. Kazin stepped forward with a special note. Accepting the 1856-model officer’s cuirass as of the original external appearance of the trophy armor, he came to the logical conclusion “that the cuirasses, in his opinion, were in origin not French, but Italian (Neapolitan) or Saxon, since such cuirasses as... the Pskov Cuirassiers wore were not found in the famous work of Leinhart and Humbert Les Uniformes de l’armée française de 1690 á nos jours nor in Knötel’s work Uniformkünde.”[xi] This is not surprising, since in 1856 the original appearance of French carabinier cuirasses was changed, which we already discussed. It must also be noted that Neapolitan and Saxon cuirasses of the 1810s were completely different from the yellow cuirasses of the Pskov Regiment.

            In summarizing, A.I. Grigorovich declared in the pages of Russkii Invalid that “the group, after hearing the report, and acknowledging the theme as worthy of attention, did not agree with the deliverer of the report in establishing it as a fact that, from the submitted conclusions, the Pskov Regiment was awarded captured cuirasses taken from the enemy…”[xii] The affronted Zemichkovskii published a rebuttal. Disagreeing with such an evaluation of the meeting’s results, he maintained that Grigorovich’s polemic “was written not to get to the heart of the matter or reveal the truth, and does not even maintain the appearance of doing so, but rather is rooted purely in superficialities.”[xiii] The controversy acquired an antagonistic character. As a result, in 1912 G.S. Gabaev was obliged to comment: “In regard to the version that cuirasses were awarded for capturing these same from French cuirassiers, that fact, the rather lengthy polemic notwithstanding, can hardly be considered as already proven.”[xiv]

            Gabaev was the last word in the pre-revolutionary arguments about the cuirasses. After many years Soviet historiography has not added anything new. More the opposite, in fact—the literature has freely reproduced the story of the mass destruction of French cuirassiers at Lyakhovo and the capture of 700 cuirasses. The echoes of this uncritical propaganda are unfortunately still met with today, as already discussed in the preceding issue of Tseikhgauz. We hope that our article will finally introduce some clarity to this question and allow the readers to look without preconceptions at the origins of one of the most legendary trophies of the Russian army.




of the cuirass representation on the helmets of

Her Majesty The Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment.


            The depiction of the cuirass is in the form of a metal plate [shchitok, literally “little shield”] with an exterior shape like that of the breastplates of the cuirasses that were formerly worn by the Pskov Cuirassier Regiment, and convex to conform to the helmet so that only its outside edges are in their whole length closely fitting to the surface of the helmet; the middle of the plate is stamped outwards to match the convex shape of a cuirass and does not touch the surface of the helmet.

            The material and external appearance of these cuirass-plates are to be of two types:


1) For generals and field and company-grade officers.


            Stamped plate, tombak alloy of 87-88% copper, 11-12% zinc, 1-1½% tin, polished on the exterior, gilded, with silvered rim, protruding double edging, with this the rim being ¼ vershok[1] wide, going along the bottom and along the neck and arm openings. Along the center of the rim are protruding hemispherical gilt rivets (3 on the neck opening, 2 on each arm opening, and 5 along the bottom), and the same kind of rivets are on the sides (2 each). Along the center there is a raised ridge beginning 1½ vershoks from the upper rib and ending at the encircling belt, where it comes 1/8 vershok out from the body of the cuirass. The lower edge of the cuirass-plate is trimmed to a downward point. An encircling belt, 3/16 vershok wide, gilt, matte, with a polished rectangular buckle. Chest straps, 3 1/16 vershoks long, stamped out so that indentations are along the center, 1¾ vershoks long and 3/32 vershok wide, filled with pink enamel. Along the sides of the indentations are protruding strips, 1/8 vershok wide, in appearance being flat polished gilt chain links. At the top the chest straps end in matte gilt miniature lion heads, ¼ vershok long, and at the bottom in polished gilt endpieces, 7/8 vershok long, below which project the triangular ends; the straps are below the chain links, rounded on top, with a pink enamel center and polished matte edging. Each of these ends have: 2 indentations, 3 projecting rivets, and engraved palm branches.

            The neck and arm openings, and the bottom of the plate, have silvered matte foreshortened depictions of the thickness and back of the cuirass, 7/16 vershok wide at the top, 5/16 vershok wide at the side, and 3/16 vershok along the bottom.

            At the point where the plate begins to protrude is an opening through which come the dovetails of a star, soldered against its center.

            The star is affixed to the axis of the plate, 13/16 vershok from the upper edge to the top ray, and consists of 8 groups of 7 rays each. It has the following dimensions: along the large rays – 1½ vershoks, along the small rays – ¾ vershok, and the diamter of the circle – ½ vershok. The rays are polished, silvered, pointed at the ends, with the large rays being somewhat thicker, and the others being all of equal thickness. The field of the center circle is silvered matte, with a polished and silvered stamped “M” and crown, and double edges.

            The dimensions of the plate:

            1) Along the vertical axis: a) along the curve, 3¾ vershoks; b) along the chord – 3 1/8 vershoks.

            2) At the ends of the arm openings: a) along the curve – 3½ vershoks; b) along the chord – 2½ vershoks.

            3) Along the encircling belt: a) along the curve – 2 vershoks; b) along the chord – 1 7/8 vershoks.

            The plate is fastened to the helmet such that the raised edges of the lower rim come up to the line where the visor is sewn on, and this attachment id one with the help of bent dovetails or threaded pins with nuts from inside the helmet.


2) For lower ranks.


            A stamped plate, of white metal (melchior), an alloy of 60-61% copper, 23-25% zinc, and 15% nickel (other metals are allowed in a quantity not to exceed ½-1%, with a protruding rim around the neck and arm openings and along the bottom. There is a ridge along the center of the plate, beginning 1 1/8 vershoks from the upper edge and ending at the encircling belt. The plate’s lower edge is trimmed to a downward point. On the plate are stamped: along the center – a star, with 1½ vershoks from the upper edge to the upper ray and 7/8 vershok from the bottom protuberance to the lower ray, consisting of 8 groups of 7 rays each, with a center disk 5/8 vershok in diameter (with raised double rim); in the center of the star is a monogram “M” with crown, and the star itself is bent along the vetical axis, corresponding to the curve of the ridge; in the upper part – chest straps, 2 vershoks long, with 4-toothed scales 7/8 vershok long, in 7 links, and with an endpiece 7/8 vershoks long, with 2 indentations and 3 rivets; in the lower part – an encircling belt ¼ vershok wide, with a rectangular buckle; along the edges – raised hemispherical rivets, 26 in number, placed: 5 above, 7 below, and 7 along each side.

            The surface of the plate is polished; the star, chest straps (except for the indentations), rivets, and buckle of the encircling belt are covered in yellow lacquer; the belt is painted with light-brown enamel (an even mixture of ochre and umber), while the ends coming out from under the scaled chest straps are painted with scarlet enamel.

            In the neck and arm openings and below the plate are foreshortened representations of the thickness and back of the cuirass, ½ vershok wide at the top and 1/8 vershok at the sides and bottom.

            Plate dimensions:

            1) Along the vertical axis: a) along the curve, 3¾ vershoks; b) along the chord – 3 5/16 vershoks.

            2) At the ends of the arm openings: a) along the curve – 3¼ vershoks; b) along the chord – 2½ vershoks.

            3) Along the encircling belt: a) along the curve – 2¼ vershoks; b) along the chord – 2 vershoks.

            Weight of the plate: 16 to 18 zolotniks[2].

            The plate is fastened to the helmet with leather or wooden pins [kostyl’ki] split into three small tabs, ¾ vershok high, soldered (from the back) to the upper ray of the star and under the horizontal rays and passing through the corresponding holes of the body of the helmet, or with the help of dovetails soldered at these same places, bent under the body of the helmet.


Chief Intendant,

Lieutenant General Shuvaev.


Executive director of the Technical Committee,

Major General Poslavskii.






Page 30: (Left) Non-commissioned officer of Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment in parade dress, 1872. (Peremeny v obmundirovanii i vooruzhenii voisk Rossiiskoi Imperatorskoi armii s vosshestviya na prestol gosudarya imperatora Aleksandra Nikolaevicha, Plate 660.) This uniform for non-commisioned officers was in use until 1881, with only the headdress being changed in December of 1872.

(Right) Standard-junker of Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment in parade dress, 1880-1881. (Peremeny v obmundirovanii…, Plate 660 [sic, but this cannot be the same plate as for the preceding 1872 uniform – M.C.].)


Page 31: Part of one of the so-called “Intendance tables,” presenting the dragoon regiments of the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions (1878). (From the collection of V. Perederii.) Top: His Majesty’s 1st Moscow Leib-Dragoon Regiment. Bottom: Her Majesty’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment.


Page 32: (Above) Private of Her Majesty’s 4th Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment in field equipment, 1884. (Illyustrirovannoe opisanie peremen v obmundirovanii i snaryazhenii Imperaorskoi Rossiiskoi armii za 1881-1894 god, Plate No. 62.)With insignificant changes in accouterments and weapons, this uniform was worn by dragoons from 1882 to 1897.

(Below) One of the so-called “intendance cards” schematically depicting the uniforms and regalia of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, 1906. The regiment wore these uniforms from 1897 to 1908, with only the number 4 on the shoulder straps and epaulettes being replaced by the widowed empress’s monogram on 29 May 1905. (PVV No. 361.)


Page 33: (Above) Jubilee badge to be worn on the chest, of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment. (From a private collection.)

(Inset) Another accomplishment of P.I. Arapov besides the introduction of small plates on the helmet, was the establishment of a regimental badge to be worn on the breast. Since Highest will as expressed on 17 April 1907 permitted the introduction of such badges only at centennial or bicentennial jubilees, Arapov took measures to create a badge commemorating the anniversary which had already passed on 22 August 1868. Clearly, once again this did not happen without the help of Empress Maria Feodorovna. The badge was confirmed on 4 June 1911. In appearance it was a five-pointed cross covered with white enamel, the arms being split at the ends. The cross was like that of the Legion of Honor and reminded one of the legendary feats of the Pskov Dragoons in 1812. Between the cross’s arms on a black rosette was the monogram of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich under the crown of Monomakh, the monogram of Emperor Alexander II under an imperial crown, and the jubilee dates “1668-1868.” In the center of the cross was a pink enamel circle surrounded by a green wreath intertwined with silver ribbon. Inside the circle was affixed the monogram of Empress Maria Aleksandrovna, who was regimental chef from 1842 to 1880. The badge’s usual diameter was 46mm.

(Below) Company-grade officer and volunteer (the Benkendorf’s) of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment. Photograph from 1912-14. (From the collection of Gerard Gorokhov.) The regimental badges on the chest are clearly visible in the photograph, as well as the Pskov Regiment’s forage caps with the white piping added to the pink bands on 24 October 1911.


Page 34: (Top) Schematic of the uniforms of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, January 1910. (V.K. Shenk, Tablitsy form obmundirovaniya russkoi armii.)

(Inset) The author would like to thank the Museum of the Borodino Panorama for making available illustrative material for this article.

(Bottom left) Drawing of the headdress of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment with the image of a cuirass in place of the usual helmet plate, for lower ranks.

(Bottom right) Colored engravings of the helmet plates depicting a cuirass: a) for officers; b) for lower ranks.


Page 35: (Left) Monograms on the shoulder straps of officers and lower ranks (above and below, respectively) for Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 4th Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, established by Army Order No. 361 of 29 May 1905.

(Right) Field-grade officers of Her Majesty the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment in winter parade dress when in formation, 1914. (Artist Igor’ Dzys’.)


Pages 36-37: (Left to right, top to bottom)

1st drawing: For Army Order No. 629, 1910. Section A-B (without star). Section V-G.

2nd drawing: Drawing of plate [shchitok, literally “little shield”] (cuirass) on the helmet of generals and field and company-grade officers of Her Majesty The Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, (actual size). Section D-E. Side view. [Signed] Executive Controller of the Technical Committee, Major General Poslavskii.

3rd drawing: For Army Order No. 629, 1910. Section A-B. Section V-G.

4th drawing: Drawing of plate (cuirass) on the helmet of lower ranks of Her Majesty The Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna’s 2nd Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment, (actual size). Section D-E. Side view. [Signed] Executive Director of the Technical Committee, Major General Poslavskii.

*    *    *

[From Tseikhgauz No. 14, 2/2001.] 

In the articles devoted to the trophy cuirasses the following typographic errors slipped through:

Tseikhgauz No. 10. In the commentary to the map of the battle at the village of Lyakhovo on 28 October 1812 (page 18) the front force of A.I. Bykhalov should be marked number 2, and the Don cossack brigade of G.G. Mel'nikov should be number 1.

Tseikhgauz No. 11. L. Kiel's watercolor, printed on page 22, belongs to the GIM and not the RGVIA. The caption to F.F. Schubert's portrait (page 24) should read, "Senior quartermaster of the 2nd Cavalry Corps from 1812 to 1814 F.F. Schubert. Lithograph by Gerlin after the original of M.D. Rezvyi, 1830s."

Tseikhgauz No. 12. On page 20, instead of the words "general-adjutant F.F. Korf" one should read "general-adjutant F.K. Korf." On page 22, instead of the words "(Life-Guards Chevalier, Horse, Cuirassier)" one should read "(Chevalier, Life-Guards Horse, Cuirassier)." On page 23, instead of the words "and of His Royal Highness's Dragoon…" one should read "and of His Royal Highness's Yelisavetgrad Dragoon…"

Tseikhgauz No. 13. [THESE CORRECTIONS ARE INCORPORATED IN THE ABOVE TRANSLATION - M.C.] On page 30, in the caption to the picture of the non-commissioned officer, instead of "Plate 660" one should read "Plate 549." On page 33, instead of the words "The regiment remained cuirassiers" one should read "The regiment remained dragoons." On page 37 in the description of the helmet plate, instead of the words "three tabs, ? vershoks high" one should read "three tabs, 3/8 vershoks [3/4 inch] high."

We beg the reader's pardon.

[ILLUSTRATION] Helmet plate [shchitok] (depicting a cuirass) established by Army Order No. 629 of 13 November 1910 for helmets of generals and officers of the 2nd Her Imperial Highness the Sovereign Empress Maria Feodorovna's Pskov Leib-Dragoon Regiment. Shown 64% actual size. (From a private collection.)

[1] 1 vershok = ¾ inch.

[2] 1 zolotnik = 4½ grams.

[i] RGVIA F. 499. Op. 13. D. 427. L. 2-3.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] A.I. Litvinov. “Kirasirskaya forma kak voennoe otlichie.” Russkii Invalid, 1908, No. 42.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] V.S. Trubetskoi. Zapiski kirasira. Moscow, 1991. Pages 107 and 111.

[vii] “Pribytie v Krasnoe Selo leib-dragunskogo Pskovskogo polka.” Novoe vremya. 1910. 1(14), VII, No. 12320.

[viii] T.M. Zemichkovskii. “O frantsuzskikh kirasakh.” Voenno-istoricheskii sbornik. 1911, No. 1. Page 130.

[ix] Ibid.

[x] A.I. Grigorovich. “Kirasy kak boevoe otlichie.” Russkii invalid. 1910, No. 149.

[xi] T.M. Zemichkovskii. “O Pskovskikh frantsuzskikh kirasakh.” Voenno-istoricheskii sbornik. 1911, No. 2. Pages 126-127.

[xii] A.I. Grigorovich. “O frantsuzskikh kirasakh.” Russkii invalid. 1911, No. 58.

[xiii] T.M. Zemichkovskii. Op cit. Page 125.

[xiv] G.S. Gabaev. Rospis’ russkim polkam 1812 goda. Kiev, 1912. Page 277.


Translated by Mark Conrad, 2002.