Russian Hussars

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Russian Hussars

Post  buistR on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 4:13 pm

Military uniforms, especially colorful ones, are usually regarded as having little relevance to the serious business of war and politics. However in his recently republished biography "Russian Hussar" former Tsarist cavalry officer Vladimir Littauer recalls how the tide of revolution was kept back for a few months in his regiment: the 1st Sumsky Hussars, by their uniform breeches. The 18 hussar regiments of the Imperial Russian Cavalry were, prior to the outbreak of World War I, an exceptionally gaudy lot even by the standards of the time. Each had its distinctive combination of colorful dolman, busby bag and braiding. One regiment - the 15th Ukraine Hussars - went a little over the top with "rose-orange" (i.e. pink) tunics, allegedly bestowed on them by a whim of Catherine the Great's. The 1st Sumsky was less showily clad in light blue dolmans, tastefully set off by yellow braiding and red breeches. All of this finery was stored away in August 1914 when the regiment left its Moscow barracks and rode to war in newly issued khaki and blue/grey. When the February 1917 Revolution broke out Lieutenant Littauer and the other officers struggled to keep their troopers in line as morale and discipline crumbled in the Russian Army as a whole. Inspired, the colonel sent back to the depot for the stocks of peacetime breeches in store. "The red breeches had a peculiar appeal" Littauer comments and the rank and file hussars came to see themselves as different from, and superior to, the shabby khaki-clad masses around them who were deserting in masses, sometimes shooting their officers in the process. With some difficulty order held in the 1st Sumsky until the Bolshevik October 1917 Revolution swept the remains of the old Imperial Army away, regardless of the color of their breeches.

Last edited by buistR on Thu 31 Oct 2013, 7:08 am; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Russian Hussars

Post  KraVseR on Wed 30 Oct 2013, 2:38 am

1st Sumsky Hussars, 1911.

Chief officer of 1st Sumsky Hussars on horse.

15th Ukraine Hussars.


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