Kabardians (or Kabardins) are a large tribe speaking a Caucasian
language from what is
now Kabardino-Balkaria (the Balkars are a neighbouring Turkic speaking
tribe). The Kabardians are mostly Moslem, with a few Christian ones in
Ossetia. They are one of the tribes sometimes grouped under the term
and 2nd Kabardian Horse Regiments
The Imperial Army formed a Kabardian Regiment in the Savage Division,
and we have assumed that the RCW units kept this basic uniform
(admittedly without any great
Kabardian Horse Regiment
Kabardian Horse Regiment
bashlyk and officer's hat,
ivory with white piping
Details on the Kabardians are light. The Savage Division unit had light
blue shoulderboards, and "white" bashlyks, which probably weren't pure
white in practice. Officer lace was silver, so rank markings for
cavalry were in gold. Khaki shoulderboards were marked in light blue.
in the RCW
The 1st and 2nd Kabardian Horse Regiments were formed when the Terek
started to organise against the Bolsheviks in mid- 1918. In September
they entered the 1st Native Horse Division, which formed
part of Colonel Shkuro's command. (The rest of the division were the
and 3rd Circassian Regiments, the Karachay Regiment and an Ossetian Divizion
In late 1918 the Kabardians split off to became a Separate Kabardian
Brigade, which in
March 1919 formed part of the Combined Mountain Division. This fought
of the Forces of the North Caucasus, as the AFSR drove towards
The 3rd and 4th Kabardian Horse Regiments were formed in February 1919.
They joined the 1st and 2nd Regiments, and the 2nd Horse Artillery
Divizion, to form the Kabardian Horse Division in September (or perhaps
In October 1919 the bulk of the division was sent to the Caucasian
While called a division, it wasn't very large.
– Maj-Gen. Bekovich-Cherkasskiy
1st Kabardian Horse Regiment – Col. Anufriev – 140
2nd Kabardian Horse Regiment – Col. Leus – 35 sabres
3rd Kabardian Horse Regiment – Col. Krapotkin – 62
sabres, 3 MGs
4th Kabardian Horse Regiment – Col. Khodzinskiy –
2nd Horse Artillery Divizion – Maj-Gen. Fok
1st Horse Battery
– 2 light cannons
2nd Horse Howitzer Battery – 1 howitzer
5th Horse Battery – 1 light cannon
The small 5th and 6th Kabardian Horse Regiments and two training
commands were still in the Forces of the North Caucasus.
All the Kabardian units were formally broken up in May 1920, but were
likely defunct some time before that.
The 4th Circassian Regiment of the Circassian Horse Division was
Kabardian. This may have been a Cherkes unit, since they speak a
language related to Kabardian.
Some Kabardians made it to the Crimea, where the 1st Native Cavalry
Regiment was briefly formed in April 1920. After being moved around a
couple of times, it was broken up in August 1920 and the horses sent to
the 1st Cavalry Division. It is possible that a squadron or two of one
of this division's component cavalry regiments was Kabardian.
During the Civil War the AFSR also included the reformed 80th Kabardian
Infantry Regiment, based on officers from the Imperial unit of that
name. We believe
this was a normal infantry unit, and not composed of mountaineers.
The light blue and white colour scheme of the Kabardians is very
similar to that of the 2nd Dagestani Horse
Regiment, discussed on its
The WWI Kabardian Horse had had been
Nikolai (in the non-Christian variant without the slogan and the icon)
but it was never delivered.
The modern flag of Kabardino-Balkaria is this:
A photo of the period (see photo page) seems to show something
Islamic crescent and star theme, known to have been used at
the time, inside a tricolour. Combining the modern colours with that
symbol, we get:
We have collected various period photos of mountaineers on a separate
> Cossacks and
Natives > mountaineers