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Czarist Army - 1900 - Order of Battle

For military purposes the Russian Empire was divided into 13 districts (including one province), and among these are distributed the 24 army corps of which (with the addition of some independent divisions) the army consisted. An army corps had in general a staff, 2 infantry divisions, and 1 cavalry division (with attached artillery), a corps of engineers (consisting of 1 company of sappers, 1 telegraph company, 1 section of field engineers, and half a pontoon battalion), 1 battalion of train, and a section of the reserve horse dep6t. Its normal strength is about 1,030 officers, 47,653 men, 16,965 horses, and 124 guns. The active army was supplemented by the Reserve troops, Depot troops, Fortress troops, Local troops, and the Imperial militia.

The infantry consisted of 12 regiments of the guard, 16 grenadier regiments, and 181 army infantry regiments, each regiment having 4 battalions of 4 companies. In addition there were 4 rifle battalions of the guard, 24 rifle regiments, 8 Finland rifle battalions, 8 Caucasian rifle battalions, 8 Trans-Caspian rifle battalions, 4 Turkestan rifle battalions, and 12 East Siberian rifle regiments. For frontier service in Asia there were 15 Turkestan, 5 West Siberian, and 11 East Siberian battalions. The Cossack infantry consists of 16 Kuban and 4 Trans-Baikal battalions. The reserve infantry (intended to expand in war) had, in Europe, 1 guard reserve regiment, 15 reserve regiments of 2 battalions, and 50 reserve cadre battalions of 5 companies. In the Caucasus are 4 reserve regiments (Russian), 4 native reserve regiments of 2 battalions, and 10 reserve cadre battalions. In Siberia there were also 10 reserve cadre battalions, and in Turkestan 5 line cadre battalions. The fortress infantry had 1 regiment of 5 battalions, 17 of 2 battalions, and 13 single battalions. There was also local infantry in 141 small detachments in remote places. Depot infantry was formed on mobilisation-one battalion for each infantry regiment of the active army, and smaller bodies for the rifle brigades and Cossack battalions. The imperial militia infantry was to consist of 640 battalions in brigades of 8 battalions, and divisions of 2 brigades, so that there would be 40 divisions; in addition, there would be 18 fortress militia infantry battalions in the Warsaw district ; making 658 battalions in all.

The cavalry consisted of 4 regiments of guard cuirassiers of 4 squadrons ; 6 regiments of light cavalry of the guard, of 6 squadrons ; 54 regiments of dragoons of the line, of 6 squadrons; 1 regiment of Finland cavalry, 1 of Littoral, 1 of Crimean Tartar, and 1 of Daghestan cavalry, each of 6 squadrons ; 1 division of Osset, and 1 of Turkestan cavalry, each of 2 squadrons. The Cossack cavalry consists of 44 regiments (in war, 130) of 6 squadrons ; 8 (in war, 18) of 4 squadrons ; and 21 (in war, 53) independent squadrons. Depot cavalry sections are maintained corresponding to the 64 cavalry regiments of the guard and line, ready to be grouped into cadres and brigades. The imperial militia cavalry will consist of 80 squadrons, grouped in 20 regiments.

The artillery consisted of: Field artillery, 3 guard brigades; 4 grenadier brigades; 45 line brigades, attached to infantry divisions; 1 Turkestan brigade ; 2 East Siberian brigades; 1 Finland regiment of 4 batteries ; 5 divisions of 3 batteries attached to 5 line rifle brigades ; 1 Trans-Baikal division of 2 batteries; 1 West Siberian division of 2 batteries; 3 TransCaspian batteries ; 1 division of 2 light and 1 mountain batteries attached to Caucasian rifle brigade ; 1 division of 2 batteries attached to guard rifle brigade ; and 1 East Siberian division of 3 batteries. The regular horse artillery, 1 guard horse artillery brigade of 6 batteries; 23 line horse batteries; 1 horse mountain division of 2 batteries; 1 Turkestan horse mountain battery. The Cossack horse artillery has 20 batteries (in war, 38). The howitzer artillery consists of 7 regiments of, in all, 24 batteries of 6 howitzers each ; and 2 batteries belonging to the Siberian artillery.

The first and second reserve field ammunition columns (expanding in war), consist, in peace, of 52 parks for the 52 divisions of the active army ; 8 parks for the 6 divisions of the guard, the Finland and the Caucasian rifle brigades ; 2 East Siberian parks; 7 howitzer parks ; and 1 cadre for transport column for troops in Trans-Caspia. The third ammunition reserve column consists of 91 local parks. The reserve field artillery consists of 7 reserve brigades, 3 of 45 batteries, 3 of 5, and 1 of 7 ; and 1 reserve cadre battery. On mobilisation these 41 batteries expand into 164. The field communication columns consist .of 8 parks, which expand in war into 18 reserve artillery park brigades, attacked 18 reserve divisions ; 12 parks attached to 12 reserve divisions in European Russia ; and 2 reserve mountain parks, attached to 2 reserve divisions in the Caucasus. Depot artillery has permanent peace cadres of 3 depSt brigades, each of 3 batteries (expanding into 12 batteries) ; 3 depot batteries (expanding into 12) ; 1 guard battery, and 1 Caucasian battery (expanding respectively into 3 guard batteries, and 4 Caucasian) ; and 1 horse artillery dep6t battery. Imperial militia field artillery consisted of 80 batteries combined into 40 regiments, each of 2 batteries, attached to the 40 divisions of the militia infantry. The foot artillery consists of 56 fortress battalions ; 4 siege battalions ; 10 fortress artillery companies ; 2 fortress detachments in Asia ; and 5 sortie batteries. The imperial militia foot artillery will consist of 10 battalions in war.

The engineers consisted of 25 sapper battalions ; 4 Turkestan and Siberian battalions ; 8 pontoon battalions, and 7 of field park engineers. There are 7 battalions of railway troops ; 2 engineer siege parks ; and an instructional balloon park. Reserve engineers consist of 2 reserve sapper battalions. The fortress engineers are 23 fortress sapper companies and 4 half companies ; 15 submarine mining companies ; 6 fortress balloon detachments ; 7 fortress telegraph detachments ; and 10 engineering artificer detachments. The depot engineers form on mobilisation 4 depot sapper battalions and a depot technical battalion. The imperial militia engineers will consist, on mobilisation, of 20 militia sapper companies in 5 battalions.

The frontier guard, stationed on the frontier, were in 31 brigades and 2 detachments, in all about 35,000 men. In addition to these components of the Russian army there were field gendarmerie (6 cadres kept up in peace), field post service, Caucasian native militia, the Palace grenadier company, corps of military topographers, veterinary service, sanitary divisions (attached to the infantry divisions), train (6 battalions), reserve horse depots, &c.

By 1900 Russia had an extensive frontier both by sea and land, protected by numerous fortifications of various classes. On the west, Poland was defended by a system of four strongholds, sometimes called the Polish Quadrilateral - Novogeorgievsk on the right bank of the Vistula; the fortifications of Warsaw ; Ivangorod on both sides of the Vistula ; Brest-Litovski on the Bug. As the Vistula line remained unprotected on the rear from a possible invasion through Eastern Prussia, new fortifications had been raised in the rear of these fortresses. Western Poland, to the west of the Vistula, remained also quite unprotected, but new fortifications are being raised now about Kielce, at the foot of the Lysa-Gora Mountains in south-west Poland. There were numerous other fortified places, mostly neglected, on the Vistula and Bug.

The more important fortresses and forts were divided into three classes as follows: In the first class were Warsaw, NovoGeorg'ievsk, and Brest-Litovsk in the Warsaw district, and Kovno in the Vilna district. The second class consisted of Kronstadt and Sveaborg in the St. Petersburg district; Ivangorod in the Warsaw district; Kerch in the Odessa district; Libau in the Vilna district; and Vladivostok in the Pri-Amur district. In the third class are Viborg in the St. Petersburg district; Ossovets and Ust-Dvinsk (Diinamiind) in the Vilna district; Sevastopol and Ochakov in the Odessa district; and Kars and Batum in the Caucasus district. There are also fortysix places unclassed, many of them being mere fortified posts. The list was as follows :-Zegrj in the Warsaw district; St. Petersburg ; Kiev and Dubno ; Dvinsk in the Vilna district; Alexandropol, Evdokimov Shatoi, Yevgenievsk, Karadagh, Khunzakh, Khodjal Makhi, Preobrajensk, Veden, Georgievsk, Guvieb, Akhti and Zakatali in the Caucasus district; Kushk Port, Alexandrovsk, Krasnovodsk, Ashkhabad, Merv, Chikishliar, Tashkend, Ura Tiube, Namangan, Kokand, Aulieata, Khodjend, Samarkand, Chinaz, Kliuchevoi, Khust, Makhram, Petro Alexandrovsk, Andijan, Margelan, Chimkend, Perovsk, Djarkend, Bakhti, Karakol, Narin, and Zaisan in the Turkestan district; and Nikolaievsk in the Pri-Amur district.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:47:11 ZULU