Infantry in Semirech'e
The Siberian Whites sent some regular infantry in August 1918 and two
regiments spent the entire war on the Semirech'e front.
Siberian Rifle Division
There is no direct information on the uniform of this regiment.
However, as a "rifle" division it had Imperial practice as a guide,
apart from some known deviations for White Siberia.
dress British uniform
uniform was plain khaki, except that trousers were
meant to have a thin raspberry stripe and caps piping even in
the khaki field versions. It it likely that any suitable khaki was worn
in practice. English uniforms and Japanese overcoats certainly made it
Semirech'e, so were likely worn.
has uniforms for the units on either side of the 5th Division in
numerical order: the 21st Rifle Regiment uniform
follows the basic pattern, and so did the 16th Ishim Rifle Regiment uniform
until it got special colours. These show old rifle practice being kept
for the most part (but note that these show the colour "raspberry" as
red, which it probably was in practice).
marked on khaki side
Eger (Jäger) Battalion
Coloured shoulderboards were meant to be in raspberry, with markings
stencilled in yellow. Khaki side had markings in raspberry. Buttons
were gold. The cipher was the unit
number plus "Сб." for Siberia.
Formally, the officer
lace, monogram and rank markings were in gold. However
in Siberia meant that many were marked on the
khaki face, with yellow cipher (standing for the gold) and
the lines between braid drawn in raspberry.
In practice it was very difficult
to obtain proper raspberry, so actual
shoulderboards were probably marked in whatever range of reds could be
Unit cockades started with the white over green cloth of
Independent Siberia. In early 1919 this was changed to metal cockades,
on the Imperial model. However since these were not available in any
numbers, many units instead used white-blue-red strips instead. As the
17th Regiment was an early Siberian unit, and a long way from the
inspectors in Omsk, we have assumed that they kept the white-green
Fur hats could have raspberry cloth, with gold braid cross for
officers. More likely most were plain khaki.
to the division by 1920 was a Jäger Battalion, which was normal
practice for Siberian divisions. The schemes at bergenschild
the standard curly "E" for Егер
but oddly without the "5" that one
would expect to indicate the division.
in the RCW
The division briefly started life as the 5th Steppe
Regiment. In August 1918 it became the 5th Siberian
Division and its components the 17th
Semipalatinsk, 18th Tobol, 19th Petropavlovsk and 20th Tyumen Regiments
Siberian Artillery Divizion
It was sent to fight on the Semirech'e front.
18th and 20th Regiments were detached to the 7th Tobolsk Siberian
Division in January 1919, and sent to the 3rd Steppe Army Corps. The
17th and 19th Regiments fought on in the Semirech'e area until
evacuation to China in March 1920.
In 1920 the Jäger Battalion is noted as having 361 soldiers,
14 officers and 6 machine guns.
An Engineer Divizion
and defected to the Red in February 1920 with just over 600
As new units they had no Imperial practice to fall back
on. Sister regiments seem to have mostly gone for variations on the
white and green of Siberia. This is one known design:
There is a reference to the 18th Tobolsk Regiment having a red flag
with a wide yellow border
and an orthodox cross with "Сим Победиши" on the front.
This uniform is basically that of any White rifle regiment in the east.
> 5th Siberian Division