of Russian infantry in 1700-1721
Drill manuals: musketeers,
Regulations: from 1698,
1700, 1707, 1709, 1715
page will explain briefly, how Russian infantry was organized and how it
acted on the battlefield in the course of Great Northern War.
contemporary documents, regulations and drill-manuals are included.
of Russian infantry in 1700-1721.
Infantry regiments consisted of 8 to 16 companies with 4 companies in a
battalion. A company was broken into 4 corporalships. Grenadier company
in every regiment were not part of any battalion and in most line
regiments were detached to comprise combined grenadier regiments.
Guards, however, remained with their grenadier companies. Preobrazhensky
regt, besides grenadiers, had a separate company of bombardiers, which
was an elite artillery and engineering sub-unit.
The new Peter's regular army didn't
differ much in tactics from it's European counterparts. Whether it
relied upon firing or upon cold-steel charges as offensive tactics is
unknown to us so far. Regulations of 1698 and 1700 prescribed 6 ranks
deep formation. 1707 regulation prescribes 4 ranks deep line with every
second man in the first rank armed with pike.
- "Nederfallen", a sort of fire
by ranks when all soldiers knelt and ranks stood up and fired in
succession from rear to front.
- Firing by ranks: front rank never fires but is ready with bayonets and
pikes. Second, third and fourth ranks fire in succession. Third rank
should only fire once fourth ranks has loaded. This metheod is
considered less effective in 1707 regulation.
- Firing by platoons: four platoons in a company fire in succession; the
fourth platoon only fires when the first platoon has loaded. In this
method, as in firing by ranks, only 3 rear ranks fire, while first rank
preserves fire. This method in same 1707 regulations is considered much
better and safer than firing by ranks and it was recommended to train
this method more than any other.
manual for musketeers as described in the only survived illustrated
Regulation from 1698. This Regulation is also known as Regulation of
General Adam Veide. (pages in Russian).
and throwing grenades and use of bayonets as described in Veide's 1698
Regulation (page in Russian).
Use of pikes
in Russian army in the earlier period of Great Northern War is not described in any documents known to us so far, so it is
hard to tell what part of infantry formation if any was armed with pikes before 1707. Regulation
of 1707 prescribes 4 ranks deep infantry battalion, with pikemen placed in the
first rank 50/50 intermixed with musketeers.
only Pike Manual in Russian was published in Russian in 1647. See
the document (in Russian).
FOR A COMBAT AS IT IS TODAY (UCHREZHDENIYE K BOYU PO NASTOYASCHEMU VREMENI) (in
Russian) 1707-1708: establishes 4 rank formation for the infantry; prescribes
places for officers in company's formation; desrcibes firing by ranks and by
RULES FOR THE BATTLE
into English), 1709. Created by Tsar Peter and introduced to the
Russian army just before battle of Poltava and is based on combat experience
of then recent actions: Golovchin in July and Lesnaya in September 1708.