Don Ataman Regiment
One of the elite regiments of the Don Host, descended from one of the
Imperial Guard units.
Parade of Dismounted
Sotnia of Ataman Regiment in 1918 (Photoalbum).
Life Guard Ataman Regiment of the Don Host
is based on the service dress of the Imperial unit. (The parade uniform
had a blue coat.)
As a guard unit, it did not follow the
usual Don colour scheme. Instead all its shoulderboards and cap colours
The trousers were apparently unstriped. Dress belts
of guards were white.We have gone for wide Cossack-style
rather than the thin
ones of Guards units.
WWI field dress would have all the blue replaced by khaki, but some
coloured parts might well be retained in practice. Williamson reports
seeing the Ataman Regiment at the front in the full coloured caps.
trooper field version
Shoulderboards were surprisingly plain. Button and officer
lace were silver, so officer rank markings would be in gold.
There was a dressy pre-war papakha, with large blue "bag" and
plume. If they wore papakha in the Civil War they were normal
ones, perhaps with mid-blue cloth inside and silver cross for officers.
in the RCW
When the Don Host started to form its own
after the February Revolution, the 2nd Regiment of that was almost
immediately given the name and standard of the old Imperial
"Life Guard Ataman Regiment".
It was placed in the Guards Brigade of the 1st Don Cavalry
Division brigaded with the other former Don Guard unit, the Life-Guard.
Some members took part in the Steppe March.
When the Young Army was formed, the Ataman Regiment was its 2nd
Regiment again. Most officers had served in the Tsarist predecessor,
and the ranks were filled with young men. Later it recruited normally.
In October 1919 it had 240
bayonets, 131 sabres and 9 MGs – typically for a Don unit it
infantry and cavalry in proportion to the number of horses available.
Under General Morozov, the Ataman Regiment played a vital part in the
defence of the Crimea in early 1920, preventing the peninsular from
falling and thus allowing the AFSR to rally there. Morozov also had the
42nd Don Cossack regiment and co-operated with the brigade of General
Sakhno-Ustinovich (1st Petrograd Uhlans Petrograd, 3rd Novorossiysk
Dragoons and the reserve squadron of the 8th Lubenski Hussars).
After that it was re-brigaded with the Don Life-Guards in the newly
reformed 1st Don Cavalry Division. The Soviets assessed the regiment's
strength in October 1920 as 300 sabres and 8
Unlike some other Guards units this was a fighting body, and it
generally was near the thick of any fighting. It appears to have
retained its morale even when other Don units were irresolute.
The regiment had an 1857 model flag, with yellow background, blue
squares [?] and silver embroidery. Apparently it can be seen in Paris,
museum of the Don Guards.
The battle standard appears to have been a mid-blue square with
triangular dark blue "pigtail".
This seems very plain, but then somewhat surprisingly the unit didn't
have any monogram on the shoulderboards either.
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