Russian Cavalry


Cuirassier Facings
1805 Hussar Facings
1809 Hussar Facings
Dragoon Facings

Cavalry Weapons
Russian Cavalry Uniforms in Colour


As in almost all armies, the cuirassiers were the decisive arm used to break through an enemy through the sheer weight of man and armour.
The Russian cuirassiers wore black-enamel curaisses, front and back, and were, in the early-years of the Napoleonic Wars, armed with a straight-bladed pallasch. The sword was 82 centimetres long with a half-basket guard.
In 1809, the Russians replaced the German-based weapon with a French-style sabre, which was 87 centimetres long and had a three-bar guard.
Some cuirassiers carried short, rifled carbines for guarding the flanks during an advance.
In 1803, the Russians discarded the old bicorne hat for their heavy cavalry and introduced a very tall and distinctive leather helmet that was crowned by a huge caterpillar mane.



After Tsar Alexander's accession to the throne, the number of dragoon regiments was increased at the expense of the cuirassiers.
Russian dragoons were armed with pallasches, like the heavier cavalry, but made the switch to the French-style sabre in 1806.
Dragoons also carried muskets and bayonets.



While Tsar Paul had set back most of Russia's military with reactionary ideas, the hussars fared well under the new ruler.
The light-cavalry arm was increased from one regiment to nine by 1803 and a further two by 1811.
Hussars were armed with curved sabres.




Cossacks made up the majority of Russian horsemen with an estimated 80,000 in service in 1805.
Feared by enemies for their lack of mercy and insatiable greed for plunder, cossacks were ill-disciplined and not much use against formed units.
However, when raiding, or harrassing units on the march, they were in their element.


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