units supplied from the Terek Host were cavalry. This
carried over into the Civil War period, although a shortage of horses
meant more men fought on foot.
On the left, a typical
officer of the RCW period in a studio shot. Note the AFSR chevron on
his left arm: while
part of the official uniform, they are rarely seen on cherkeskas. To
the right a shot of a Terek group supoosedly taken in 1919.
and 2nd Volga Regiments
seems that the beshmet undershirt was be pale blue
trimmed with lace along the collar and front. In the field
plain shirts were very much the norm.
blue, with black trim. (Not all were piped.)
of 1st Volga Regiment:
- Trooper up to 1916 and then with new monogram
- Esau (Captain) up to 1916 and then with new monogram
papakha: cross for officers and plain for men
Buttons and officer
lace were silver, and as cavalry units that meant that officer
markings were normally in gold. An exception to this rule was that in
1916 the 1st Volga Regiment were granted the monogram A of the
Tsarevich (shown) which was in silver for officers. Likewise the 1st
Regiment was granted the monogram N of the Tsar in 1915, so that also
would be an exception in silver. These two regiments probably reverted
back to their original gold letter ciphers in 1917 with the abdication.
The field versions of the shoulderboards for rankers were the
same, but khaki with the unit
number and cipher (or monogram) stenciled on in dark blue.
Ciphers were Вг
for the Volga Regiments;
for the Mountain-Mozdok Regiments;
Kizlyar-Grebenski Regiments; and С-В
for the Sunzhensk-Vlaikavkaz Regiments. In peacetime only one regiment
of each area was formed, so there was no need for a leading number, but
during WWI and the RCW there were multiples of each and so the
appropriate number was added.
Terek Cossacks never seem to have work standard military furazhka
caps. Crowns of fur hats might be
coloured as shown, or plain khaki in the field. Few men seem to have
Mamontov also speaks of "the first regiment of the
Terek" exchanging their papakhi
felt hats in good weather, so that they looked like Mexican cow-boys.
in the RCW
A unit called the 1st Volga Regiment formed in July 1918 as part
of the 1st Cossack Horse Division, part of Colonel Shkuro's detached
force operating in the Caucasus. In October 1918 the unit entered the
Volunteer Army and was broken up (the men were placed in the 2nd Kuban
Meanwhile two units claiming descent from the old Imperial 1st and 2nd
Volga Regiments (and probably including men from them) had been formed
September 1918 as part of the Volunteer Army. They were in the 1st
Caucasian Cossack Division until January 1919, when they entered the
1st Terek Cossack Division.
In October 1919 the 1st Terek Cossack Division, now composed of the two
Volga Regiments and the 1st and 2nd Mountain-Mozdok Regiments, was
the Army of the Don. Attached with them in the division was a rifle
regiment and an
of 3 horse batteries. The 1st
Volga Regiment numbered some 625 sabres and 35 MGs (tachanki
) at this
The units of the division were broken up around mid-1920, after the
The 1st Volga regiment was commanded from March 1919 by Colonel V.I.
Staritskii. The 2nd Volga Regiment was commanded by Lt-Colonel
As former Imperial Army units the regiments may have
preserved their old
Imperial banners, and may have carried them with their HQs in the
field. All four Volga Regiments had 1857 models that would have looked
or less like this:
The field banner of the regimental
commander was in the Host colour
with a distinguishing number in yellow. That's pretty boring, so I have
some other options based on the blue and black diagonal flag of
the independent Terek republic.
Sotnia (i.e. squadron) flags were Host colour above and
colours below (namely: scarlet, light blue, white, dark green,
yellow and brown).
Figures painted in these uniforms would be similar to any Terek units
of WWI or the Civil War, with just the cipher distinguishing
|Trooper: 1st Sunzhensk-Vladikavkaz
field dress with burka
While most Terek units fought on the right flank of the AFSR, in the
Forces of the North Caucasus around Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan, units were
also leant to the Don Army and sometimes to the Volunteer
For late 1920 figures painted as any of the regiments
the 1st Terek Cossack Regiment, part of the Terek-Astrakhan Brigade of
Wrangel's "Russian Army".
The Terek uniform is also very similar to that of the Ossetian units of
AFSR, some of whom also fought with Volunteer Army in the Ukraine. This
makes a unit looking like this very versatile.
We have collected a number of photos of Terek Cossacks, although most
date from before the Civil War unfortunately. As some are quite
large they are on a separate page.
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