The vast majority of the Baikal Host were cavalry, as they were
positioned to guard the long border with China.
|Officer, full dress
in British field uniform
The colour of the TransBaikal Host was yellow.
men and officers
The shoulderboards were yellow, with red markings. Khaki ones had the
cipher in dark blue. Officer buttons and lace were silver,
with rank markings and cipher in gold.
The TransBaikal Regiments were named territorially so that each
cipher was a number when needed, followed by an abbreviation for their
region. Verkhne-Undinsk (now Ulan-Ude) = ВУд ; Chita = Чт ; Nerchinsk =
Нрч ; Argun = Арг ; TransBaikal = Зб
. SemŽnov seems to have reformed at
least one regiment of each of these at some time.
SemŽnov also named his first Cossack Regiment after the Onon River, but
sufficiently early that it probably didn't require a cipher (or used
another regiment was named after Dauriya, though this might have been
also had an "Ataman SemŽnov" Regiment, formed probably from his most
loyal and reliable Cossack supporters. It had an intertwined "AC" as
their cipher. All the TransBaikal colours seem to have been otherwise
The distinguishing feature of all SemŽnov's troops, Cossack or not, was
a sleeve badge with the letters "OMO" in red on yellow.
The WWI battle flags were yellow with a diagonal white cross, and the
unit cipher marked in red:
The sotnias would have been marked by banners with yellow over sotnia
colour, with a white band in the yellow:
in the RCW
The 1st TransBaikal Cossack Regiment appears in 1919 and
then mutinied and went over to the partisans. It is not clear if
it was reformed.
In Primorye another unit of this name was formed with remaining Baikal
Cossacks, with 450 sabres. There was also a 2nd TransBaikal Regiment
and a plastoon unit.
The few Baikal Cossack plastoons would have dressed more or less the
same, but with gold for all metal, and black crosses on the
Artillery probably dressed in a uniform based
on Tsarist artillery uniforms
even when Cossack. Some sources show artillery wearing host colour
shoulderboards, which is unlikely. In 1920 SemŽnov ordered
artillery wear red shoulderboards, which was the Tsarist colour.
Baikal Cossacks intermarried freely with the local tribes, which gave
many of them a very Asiatic appearance. SemŽnov himself was half Buryat.
the officers in the photo above appear to be riding a fairly standard
European horse, many Baikal Cossacks rode steppe ponies, as these were
much more suited to the conditions.