In practice during the Civil War men tended to carry multiple weapons.
Most Cossack Hosts wore an outfit only differing in minor details from
normal Russian cavalry, especially in the field version. This should be
a Cossack because he is carrying his rifle so that it comes out on his
right hand side, whereas regular cavalry carried them the other way.
Traditionally Cossack trousers were baggy and blue, with very
stripes of host colour. In practice khaki trousers were worn too,
either with or without the stripe, and many were standard cut.
The boots were worn without spurs. Instead a nagaika
Most men seem to have worn the standard furazhka
They also wore fur papakha
especially in winter. The further east the Host, the shaggier this
becomes. The Don Cossacks favouring the small kubanka
the Siberians tended to much larger and furrier items.
It was normal for Cossacks to wear their hats at an angle, sometimes
were also worn in bad weather, but were not the brightly coloured
things of the Caucasian tribes and hosts. Instead most were the natural colours of camel-hair cloth.
All steppe Cossacks used lances. Imperial practice, and the Civil War
units almost certainly did the same, was for a battle formation with
the front rank lance armed and the back rank sabre armed.
The Cossack lance was of metal, and painted black. According to the
was shorter than the regular cavalry lance at 2.75 metres,
although it says that Cossacks were moving over to the longer one
(3.25m). Some English
lances were used by AFSR troops. Pennons were not flown in wartime.
Officially men were armed thus:
sabres and carbines without bayonet (slung on their backs, never
- Cavalry machine-gunners carried pistols and swords.
- Infantry machine-gunners carried a carbine and dagger
- Artillery carried pistol and dagger, except scouts and
had a carbine and dagger.
- Officers, sergeant-majors and trumpeters, carried a pistol
regardless of branch of service.