Semirechensk Host Units
Other units of the
seems that the Semirechensk Cossacks fielded infantry from the start.
The first unit was formed in Sergiopol (Ayagoz) in July 1918. It may
well have included some Old Believer units, as these started to join up
afterwards. A second foot regiment, with the designation of Zaysan,
Assuming they dressed as plastoons, they would have had host raspberry
shoulderboards with all insignia (buttons, officer
lace and cipher) in gold/yellow. Markings would be dark blue on the khaki side. The
cipher, if they bothered, would be "1.См.П.".
Semirechensk had little artillery, and with no obvious source of supply
other than a long overland haul from Semipalatinsk, ammunition must
have been very scarce. In March 1920 only one battery is listed.
If they followed the WWI pattern, Cossack gunners would have worn the
standard artillery uniform (see
) but with a "См" cipher.
The 3rd Siberian Cossack Regiment served from mid-1918 in the Semirech'e
area. It seems it was recruited from Siberian Cossacks in the
Semipalatinsk area, so the Semirech'e front was rather closer than the
Urals. We do not know exactly when it left the area but mid-1919, when the
Siberian Host's lands were under direct threat, seems very
The Siberian army sent the 1st Siberian Aviation Detachment in July
is an armoured car noted as surrendering to the Reds in March 1920 with
the southern group. As that group was almost entirely Semirechensk Host
forces the reasonable assumption is that the host had an armoured car.
It may have been captured from the Reds, as it is hard to see how else
it would reach the Semirech'e.
and other Natives
Semirechensk fielded quite a large number of native horsemen in separate units. A Kirghiz
Brigade being listed at one point, plus some partisan units. There is
mention of Taranchi (Uighur) partisans. Plenty of Dzungars
(Mongols) lived in the area.
It was normal for such units to be commanded by Cossack officers in battle,
although they were often under the formal command of a local prince or
khan if there was a suitably qualified one available. Quite a few Cossacks included native blood and spoke the local
languages. It is doubtful that natives would have uniforms in the
Semirechensk area, as the Cossacks struggled to supply their own men.
They may have worn white arm bands or strips like many partisans did.
Such units would often have a shaman attached, if Buddhist like the
Dzungar, or a mullah if Muslim.