Russian infantry

Infantry Weapons
Infantry Formations

Infantry Facings

Russia began the wars against Revolutionary France well and truly on the back foot.

The army had undergone major reforms under Catherine the Great, but her death in 1796 brought the reactionary Paul I to the throne of the Tsar.

Paul was determined to return his army to what he perceived to be the best style for a military force - that of the Seven Years' War - and went about introducing ridiculous drills and uniform changes.

Some of these included marching stiff-legged and putting steel balls into the hollow butts of muskets so they would rattle on the parade ground.

Fortunately, for Russia's military, Paul was assassinated before he could completely ruin it and under his son, Alexander I, it returned to the path of modernisation.

The Russian army was truly massive, with estimations of its strength in 1795 being just under 750,000 men, more than 500,000 of which were infantry.

Recruits to the infantry came from the nation's serfs, who were signed up in regular levies by their landowners for 25 years' service.

They were tough, uneducated men who suffered the difficulties of military life with stoicism. If wounded, they were not allowed to show pain and Baron Marbot said this often badly affected his men who thought the Russians superhuman.

Infantry officers were not highly regarded by other nations' officer corps, being ill-educated and prone to gambling and excessive drinking.

But, without doubt, these factors were overlooked on the field of battle where courage and devotion could not be considered lacking.





Napoleon Bonaparte
Career Portraits
Quotes Family
Loves Letters
Plots Murdered?
His will Places
Era of Napoleon
Powers Opponents
Coalitions Allies
People Timelines
Key sites Shrapnel
Campaigns Battles
Armies Generals
Marshals Winners
Glossary Medical
Weapons 1812 War
Uniforms Battlefields
War at Sea
Naval War Heroes
Artworks Signals
Nelson Trafalgar
Key Maps Peninsula
Animated 1796/1800
1809 Russia
French Revolution
Revolution Guillotine
Posters People
Art, Film, Games
Education Goya
Sharpe Hornblower
Books Movies
DVDs Music
Wargames Images
Cartoons Caricatures
About Us Sources
Awards Sitemap
Links Militaria
Miniatures Reenactors
Forum Quizzes
Home Waterloo Diorama
Copyright Richard Moore 1999-2017 | Privacy Policy | Contact Us