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Ataman Annenkov Partisan Division

The Partisan Division was very much a carry over in Annenkov's mind of the partisan unit he had formed during WWI. Like many such individual units he had been given permission for personalised touches. In particular he adopted the death's head logo, like many "shock" units did at the time. This was retained as the primary symbol of the Partisan Division throughout the Civil War.

In practice cockades had to be made by people on the spot, so those of the Partisan Division in the Civil War came in a multitude of different forms. Some original examples can be seen numbered 197, 198, 199 here.

Most of the Partisan Division also wore a sleeve chevron of red and black on their left sleeve, which also dated from the WWI unit. During the Civil War a system was developed whereby units had piping on the chevron in their unit colour.

There is a record of Annenkov writing to Omsk for permission to use both the death's head cockade and chevron in mid-1919. It seems likely however that he adopted them long before that, and was merely seeking to make it official at that time.

He also asked permission to allow men to add a thin black chevron to their right sleeve for every year in the division. If they had served in first Civil War campaign, when freeing Omsk and area from the Soviets, troops were granted a St George orange and black chevron below the partisan one. Troops in the Life Ataman and Black Hussars (his favourites) were also granted a silver chevron above the partisan one, for reasons that are unclear.

The flags for the various regiments are unknown, save for the Black Hussars. It appears that the other units often used the same pattern but in their respective colours, in keeping with the extremely systematic way the uniforms were organised, and this is shown on the pages for the various units. However this is at heart speculation. The reverse of the flag is not know.

Units of the Partisan Division

Regular Cavalry
Cossack and Native Cavalry
Annenkov received a fair amount of English and Japanese material. Some was supplied as cloth, so could be sewn into Russian styles, but many men wore normal English uniforms or Japanese overcoats.

Weapons were also supplied by the Allies, so Enfield and Arisaka rifles were seen alongside Colt, Lewis, Chauchat and Vickers machine-guns.

Annenkov Himself

Annenkov plainly loved to dress up, and photos show him looking immaculate. He is normally seen in the uniform of the Black Hussars, but varieties based on the Life Ataman regiment are also seen.

Some schemes for the man himself can be seen at

The dressing up appears to also have extended to his close staff. Photos show Partisan Division officers uniforms that do not correspond directly to any unit and it may well be that they were never intended to. We suspect it is fruitless to try and reconcile all the various versions.

A famous photo shows the Black Hussars with a St George flag behind them. It would follow Tsarist practice if that was Annenkov's personal banner, as commander of the Detached Semirechensk Army, from late 1919.  

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