Don Life-Guard Regiment
One of the elite regiments of the Don Host, descended from one of the
Imperial Guard units.
regiment parade their flag in August 1918 (Photoalbum)
Guard Regiment of the Don Host
This uniform is based on the service dress of the Imperial unit. (The
had a red 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 stripes,
rather than the thin
ones of Guards units.
WWI field dress would have all the red replaced by khaki, but some
coloured parts might well be retained in practice in the Civil War.
seeing the Life Guard Regiment at the front wearing red caps in late
trooper field version
Shoulderboards were surprisingly plain. Button and officer
lace were silver, so rank markings would be in gold.
There was a regulation pre-war papakha, with large red "bag". If they
wore papakha in the Civil War that they were normal
ones, presumably with the red cloth inside and silver cross for
officers of normal Don units.
in the RCW
When the Don Host started to form its own army, straight
after the February Revolution, the 1st Regiment of that was almost
immediately given the name and standard of the old Imperial
"Life Guard His Highness Cossack Regiment".
When the Young Army was formed, the Life-Guard Regiment was its senior
Regiment again. Most officers had served in the Tsarist predecessor,
and the ranks were filled with young men. It was placed in the Guards
Brigade of the 1st Don Cavalry Division with the Ataman Regiment,
the other Don Guard regiment.
In October 1919 it had 194 bayonets, 66 sabres, 8 MGs –
typically for a Don unit it combined
infantry and cavalry in proportion to the number of horses available.
The Soviets assessed its strength in October 1920 as 600 sabres.
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, red
squares [?] and silver embroidery. Apparently it can be seen in Paris,
museum of the Don Guards.
The battle standard appears to have been a red 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.
> Life-Guard regiment