Author Topic: The uniforms of Alexis  (Read 50860 times)

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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2009, 07:33:57 PM »
Re the Second Lieutenant's Uniform of the Life-Guard Engineer Battalion:    My pleasure!   The amazing thing that "drove home" the reality, was that the uniforms WERE so small, truly child-size.  The provenance notes that it " was acquired from the Alexander Palace, Tsarkoe Selo in 1941."   Best regards,  AP
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 07:41:47 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline nena

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2009, 07:45:37 PM »
More about that uniform, regiment and Alexei here:

http://yaik.nichost.ru/forum/showthread.php?s=a6b4cccbe659410194ecbb0ff1231381&t=184

Tsarevich Alexei Nikolayevich's Officer Uniform of His Majesty's 1st Urals Squadron of the Life-Guards Composite Cossack Regiment St Petersburg Russia. 1910s Cloth, silver, diagonal cloth, silver galloon, velvet and silver thread; l. of tunic 52.5 cm . Мундир офицерский 1-ой Уральской Его Величества сотни Лейб-гвардии Сводно-казачьего полка, принадлежавший наследнику-цесаревичу Алексею Николаевичу Санкт-Петербург Россия. 1910-е гг. Сукно, серебро, диагональ, серебряный галун, бархат, серебряная нить; дл. мундира 52.5 см[/i



Photo of uniform on link above and on link also closeup. And, colour is different also, from that regiment. And not very similar to real uniform, IMO(a portrait to photo). Strange.

Thanks to AP and Sarushka !  :)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 07:48:17 PM by nena »
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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2009, 08:17:52 PM »
Please note that in my haste to get out the information, I incorrectly gave the wrong uniform designation.   I have now correctly identified it in the Reply #3.   IT IS CORRECTLY:  A CHILD'S 2ND LIEUTENANT'S UNIFORM OF THE LIFE-GUARD ENGINEER BATTALION .  I regret the error that the time-lag caused in the posting correction.  The source's page numbers and illustration are the same.  Regards,  AP

Offline Ausmanov

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2009, 08:35:33 PM »
Thank you very much for that information Aleksandr, its been bugging me for days. Do you know what the military badge is? That exhibition sounded really interesting. 
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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2009, 06:22:30 AM »
Thank you, "Ausmanov:"  It was my pleasure to identify the uniform for you.  I will attempt to research the military badge for you and get back to you in a couple of days.  At the exhibition, the badge and the Order of St. Andrew were not on the uniform.   Yes, that particular Exhibition was only shown in the USA at 4 locations.  There were many fascinating items there, the most unusual that I remember, was to observe at close range, the "Coronation Egg" by Faberge with its miniature Coronation Coach (at that time the egg was owned by Forbes, Inc.), and then, to look into the very next exhibition room, and THERE was the ACTUAL coach itself, having been brought over from Russia!    Best regards.   AP

Offline Ausmanov

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2009, 02:56:51 PM »
Wow that would have been incredible. Faberge made made some amazing not to mention incredibly intricate items. I think its a shame that allot of the treasury, imperial jewels and so on are still missing.
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DanielB

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2009, 10:30:37 AM »
Hi everybody,

Egornov’s beautiful portrait depicts Alexei in his uniform of Chief of the Life-Guards Finlandsky Infantry Regiment. Besides having various combinations of cuffs, lapel (plastron), buttons, embroideries and helmet plume colour which can help identify the  Guards Infantry regiments, each one had specific embroideries on collar and tabs. The Finlandsky regimental pattern can clearly be seen on a large size version of the Egornov portrait I have.

Nena: Egersky does look somewhat like that one but besides having different embroideries, it had a dark green lapel unlike the Finlandsky which had the same so called « tsar's green » blue-green lapel as the tunic.
Aleksandr Pavlovich : the uniform you describe and have seen (I did too) is indeed the one of the Life-Guards’ Engineers Battalion (in which Alexis was enrolled) :



But its cuffs and lapel were made of dark velvet, it had silver buttons and embroideries instead of gold. Also epaulettes had Nicholas II’s monogram , the Finlandsky had none.

Here is the sketch of the LG Engineers Battalion published by the General Staff in 1910 (officers on the left):



And here is the sketch for the LG Finlandsky Regiment :



But you did see a Finlandsky Infantry regiment tunic at the 1999 exhibition, only it was the one which belonged to Nicholas II (see catalogue no. 318). Sorry I don't have a photo of it. The catalogue is mistaken in stating that Alexei was named as its « commander-in-chief » for its 1906 bicentennial : the Tsesarevich was named colonel-in-chief by his father on 07-30-1904, the day he was born (O.S.). Furthermore the catalogue shows white shako plumes for the Finlandsky Regiment and Engineer Battalion but they both had a black plume, as shown on Egornov’s portrait and General Staff sketches.

Ausmanov : the badge of Alexei's chest, below the Order is St. Andrew, is the Guards’ Finlandsky regimental badge, granted to the regiment by the Emperor on Dec. 12, 1906 for its bicentennial :



Hope it helps!

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2009, 11:10:08 AM »
Marvelous, Daniel !   You have done all of us a great favor by elaborating on the subtle differences in detail of the uniform in question.  I hope that all who read my previous attempt in description will now notice your more CORRECTIVE attribution.  ( I do remember the Finlandsky uniform of Nicholas II, and I have the catalogue.  I am happy that you apparently were able to see the exhibition as well!  It was simply outstanding.) Your added information helps in a multitude of ways, even knowing that the exhibit catalogue was incorrect (as on the plumes, etc.)!    Thanks again for the clarification!  Best regards,  AP

Offline Ausmanov

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2009, 04:38:23 PM »
Thank you very much Daniel and Aleksandr for all your help in identifying those badges and the uniform. I was wondering if either of you could tell me which units,regiments and so on that Alexei was particularly involved in. I know he was involved in the Life-Guards Finlandsky Infantry Regiment and i read in The last diary of the Tsaritsa Alexandra that he was, i think, the Patron of the 14th Georgian regiment.
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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2009, 05:00:51 PM »
Thank you for your kind words, "Ausmanov" !   As to the number and identification of military titles, ranks, etc. held by the Heir, I would gratefully defer to Daniel's excellent knowledge and resources to give you a definitive answer.  Best regards,  AP

Offline nena

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2009, 05:49:13 PM »
Yes, Daniel Briere's knowledge about regiments and uniforms are excellent, I noticed long time ago.



Same cap, isn't it, of  Life-Guards’ Engineers Battalion, from Toys of Tsar's children, or Na Detskoi polovine Russian book. Similar caps appears in some Aleksei's photos.  ;-)
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DanielB

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2009, 04:17:58 PM »
Thank you Nena ☺. I’m no expert…yet but have a lot of books and done quite a lot of research on the topic.

AP you are right about subtle differences in details of Imperial Russian uniforms. So subtle that many are often quite difficult to identify, especially on black & white photos. Furthermore, there were numerous reforms in millitary dress  introduced during Nicholas II’s reign, adding to the many possibilities, but at least one can get some clues for dating them.

Yes I have seen the fabulous Nicholas & Alexandra 1999 exhibition in the US. Twice I might add, as I was quite overwhelmed by it on my 1st visit. So much to see and to reflect upon…I had to go back for a second visit to see it all. I doubt we’ll ever see another exhibition like that one outside Russia. Hope you saw the smaller 2004-2005 « Nicholas & Alexandra : at Home with the last Tsar & his Family » exhibition too : only one of Alexei’s uniform but his beautiful christening set and a number of his toys. Quite moving.

Ausmanov, you are right in both cases. Alexei was named Chief of the Life-Guards Finlandsky Regiment on the day he was born but was only officially introduced to his regiment when he was 2 years old, on the occasion of its bicentennial celebrations in December 1906. Boris Kustodiev’s painting of the Regimental Church Parade shows him in his father’s arms, still dressed as a girl! Not very manly for an officer…



As for the 14th Gruzinsky (Georgian) Regiment he received it as a « birthday present » from his father when he turned eight. Here is a photo of Alexei wearing the new 1913 pattern dress uniform (which only a few regiments received before the War broke out).
 



Below you’ll see his tunic, now in the Hermitage Museum collection . Please note that the photographic process used at that time made yellow look as black, which doesn’t help with identifying regiments!
 

As you will see, Alexei was also involved in many other units and regiments. Although tsarevich Alexei was too young to serve as an officer in the Army (during the war he began “serving” as a private and was later promoted to the rank of corporal « yefreitor », which he was really proud of), he nevertheless was named chief (russian word is ‘‘shef ’’ although this position is better know in the West as patron, honorary colonel or colonel-in-chief) of a number of regiments and other military units and establishments (with the lowest officer’s rank and insignia of sub-lieutenant).

On the day he was born, he was named Ataman of all Cossack Troops (ataman/ hetman is a title for a Cossack military chief ). In the tsarevich’s case it was an honorary post which had been held by every Heir to the Throne since Nicholas I had created it for his eldest son Alexander (future Alexander II).

On the same day (07-30-1904 Old Style) Nicholas II also named his son Chief  (colonel-in-chief) of the following 4 regiments:
- Atamansky (Cossack Cavalry) Life-Guards Regiment of His Imperial Highness the Heir Tsesarevich. By tradition, as Ataman of all Cossacks, the Heir to the Throne was always named chief of this regiment which he only kept until he became Emperor. BTW had Alexei lived until his 16th birthday, he would have celebrated his dynastic coming of age by wearing this regiment’s uniform and swearing the oaths as officer and Heir to the Throne while holding this regiment’s standard – which was saved and smuggled out of Soviet Russia after the Civil War by 3 former Atamansky Cossack officers. The standard is now in Paris, missing only its St. Andrew Jubilee Ribbon as, sadly,  one of those 3 brave officers was caught and killed by the Bolsheviks, giving his life for the honour of the Tsesarevich’s Regiment);
- Finlandsky (Infantry) Life-Guards Regiment;
- 51st Litovsky Infantry Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (not to be mistaken for the Litovsky Guards Regiment);
- 12th Siberian Rifle Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich.


DanielB

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2009, 04:20:41 PM »
As he grew up, his father  the Emperor named him chief of more military units and establishments. The last official list, published by His Majesty’s Military Chancellery for 1917, names the following (listed by dates of regimental/school holiday). Sadly enough, that year, the February Revolution broke out and the Tsarevich was deprived of his title of Chief of regiments before any of them would celebrate their holiday.

When I could find them, I added the dates (old style) on which he was named chief:

- Konstantinovsky Artillery School;
- 1st Nerchinsky Trans-Baikal Cossack Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (during the War);
- 1st Zabaikalsky (Trans-Baikal) Cossack (Artillery) Battery of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (on 05-06-1910, his father’s birthday);
- 12th Siberian Rifle Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (07-30-1904);
- 1st Orenburgsky Cossack Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (1914);
- 14th Gruzinsky Grenadier Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (on 07-30-1912, his 8th birthday);
- 89th Belomorsky Infantry Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (on 07-30-1915, his 11th birthday);
- Horse-Grenadier Life-Guards Regiment (06-13-1910);
- 5th Kievsky Grenadier Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (1912);
- 43rd (later16th ) Tversky Dragoon Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (on 07-30-1907 his 3rd birthday);
- 1st Volgsky Terek Cossack Regiment of H.I. H. the Heir Tsesarevich (06-1916);
- 2nd Don Cossack Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (during the War I think);
- Tashkent Cadet Corps of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (on 10-05-1904, his namesday);
- 3rd Kuban Plastun (Cossack Infantry) Batalion of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (04-19-1915);
- Alexis Military School (02-02-1906) formerly known as the Moscow Military School;
- Naval (Cadet) Corps (Morskoi Korpus) of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (11-08-1914);
- Moskovsky (Infantry) Life-Guards Regiment (on 11-08-1910, their regimental holiday);
- 206th Saliansky Infantry Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (also for his 3rd birthday in 1907);
- Novocherkassk Cossack Military School;
- Atamansky (Cossack Cavalry) Life-Guards Regiment of  H. I. H. the Heir Tsesarevich (07-30-1904);
- 4th Life-Guards Horse Artillery Battery of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich  (01-25-1906); 
- 51st Litovsky Infantry Regiment of H.I.H. the Heir Tsesarevich (07-30-1904);
- Finlandsky (Infantry) Life-Guards Regiment (07-30-1904).

I might add that during the war a military hospital was opened in the Winter Palace and named after him.

Only the regiments known as His Imperial Highness’ Own (which I have indicated according to their official Russian name as “of H. I. H. the Heir Tsesarevich”) or establishments named after him were entitled to wear his monogram on their epaulettes and shoulder boards. Oddly enough the Atamansky Regiment didn’t wear his monogram. It seems only the Life-Guards’ regiments with Russian or Foreign Heads of States were entitled to a monogram.

Here is a pair of shoulder-boards from my collection with Alexei’s monogram. The combination of one star, gold monogram, braid & red piping (outer red piping missing), means they most probably belonged to an ensign from his 51st Litovsky Infantry Regiment although his Tashkent Military School had the same pattern too.



Although being “shef” was purely a honorary  position, he took his duties quite seriously, learning about the regimental histories, receiving delegations from his regiments and schools, usually on his birthday, namesday and regimental holidays, and attending military functions from a very young age. He must certainly have been more familiar with those of his regiments - and their officers – who were stationed in Tsarskoe-Selo or St. Petersburg. From the regiments who were far away, he would only get telegrams, gifts and photo albums on his birthday and namesday, and the occasional visit of their commanding officer either in Tsarskoe Selo or Livadia. At times, detachments from his regiments were also invited to participate in special occasions such as jubilees or maneouvers. During the War, while accompanying his father on inspection tours, he also got to review a few of his regiments. The men were apparently quite impressed to meet their chief in the flesh, and surprised to see him wearing only a soldier’s khaki uniform.

When Alexei was born he was also enrolled in all regiments of which his father, mother and grand-mother were colonel-in-chief at the time. Others were added on later. Here is the official 1917 list (again by order of regimental holiday):

-   80th Gen. Feld-Marshal Pr. Baryatinsky Kabardinsky Infantry Regiment
-   His Majesty’s Life-Guards Lancers
-   1st Cadet Corps
-   Horse Guards
-   Life-Guards Combined Cossack Regiment
-   Life Guards Grenadiers
-   1st His Majesty’s Rifles
-   Alexandrovskoe Military School
-   6th His Majesty’s Life-Guards Don Cossacks’ Horse Artillery Battery
-   Her Majesty Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Life-Guards Cuirassiers
-   Nicholas Cavalry School’s Cossack Sotnia
-   Her Majesty Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Life-Guards Lancers
-   Pavlovskoe Military School
-   Izmailovsky Life-Guards (Infantry) Regiment
-   Sappers (Engineers) Life-Guards Regiment
-   His Majesty’s Life-Guards Cuirassiers
-   13th Erivansky Leib-Grenadier Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich’s Regiment
-   16th Emperor Alexander III Rifles
-   Preobrazhensky Infantry Life-Guards Regiment
-   1st Ekaterinoslavsky Leib-Grenadier Emperor Alexander III’s Regiment
-   84th His Majesty’s Shirvanksy Infantry Regiment
-   Egersky Life-Guards (Infantry) Regiment
-   5th Alexandrinsky Her Majesty Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Hussars
-   Her Majesty Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Chevaliers-Gardes
-   18th Seversky King Christian IX of Denmark’s Dragoons
-   His Majesty’s Life-Guards Cossacks
-   His Imperial Majesty’s Own (Cossack) Escort (« Konvoi »)
-   65th His Majesty’s Moskovsky Infantry Regiment
-   His Majesty’s Life-Guards Hussars
-   1st Life-Guards’ Artillery Brigade
-   Semyonovsky Life-Guards (Infantry) Regiment
-   Pavlovsky Life-Guards (Infantry) Regiment
-   1st His Majesty’s Life-Guards Horse Artillery Battery
-   2nd Pavlogradsky Emperor Alexander III’s Leib-Hussars (Alexis was « 2nd chief » of the regiment)
-   17th Nizhegorodsky His Majesty’s Dragoons
-   Garde Equipage (Naval Guards)
-   3rd His Majesty’s Life-Guards Rifles
-   4th Imperial Family’s Life-Guards Rifles
-   His Majesty’s Own Railroad Regiment
-   1st His Majesty’s Ermak Timofeev Siberian Cossacks
-   Volynsky Life-Guards (Infantry) Regiment.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 04:28:43 PM by Daniel Briere »

DanielB

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2009, 04:26:30 PM »
Being enrolled in a regiment permitted him to wear its regiments’ uniforms too, which explains why Alexei can be seen in uniforms of regiments he was not chief of. You’ve already seen the one Nena posted (His Majesty's 1st Ural Squadron of the Life-Guards Composite Cossack Regiment, with the raspberry tunic). Here are a few others :

In 1912, His Majesty’s Life-Guards Cossacks presented a full uniform and sabre kit to Alexei. His portrait was painted and hung in the Guards’ Cossacks Regimental Museum in St. Petersburg. After the Revolution, most of its collection was saved by the Cossacks who refused to disband and went into exile. Nowadays, part of the regiment’s collection is in their private museum in Paris, including Alexei’s portrait :



The other part of the collection is on loan to the Brussels Army Museum which recently opened a new permanent display to showcase the treasures of the Guards Cossacks and some others saved from the Revolution. A scarlet tunic which belonged to Alexis can be seen there. It may well be the one presented to him by the regiment in 1912.



Alexei was also enrolled in his Grand-mother’s Garde Equipage which provided crews for the imperial yachts. Until the War began, he often wore a uniform of sailor from the « Standart » but he also had a miniature officer uniform for ceremonial occasion, shown below left, under his 1st Life-Guards Artillery Brigade uniform :

 

As you can see, Alexei must have had a huge collection of uniforms! He wore them at military parades and on special occasions like regimental holidays. The full dress uniforms were usually presented to him by his regiments in a leather trunk inscribed to his name (I have seen one of them) with all the equipment (epaulettes, helmets, boots along with a miniature sword). He then would have his portait painted and photos shot to be hung in the officers’ mess and soldiers’ barracks. Their « Chief’s » photo was in every new soldier’s handbook. On purpose, some were also published in newspapers and on postcards to show Russia had a beautiful - and apparently healthy - Heir to the Throne. He also could be seen in the newsreels shown at movie theaters, walking alongside his father, a miniature tsar-in-waiting. This helped his popularity immensly.

By the time the Revolution broke out, It’s not yet clear to me if he had received uniforms from all the regiments of which he was chief of or enrolled in, but I’m nevertheless amazed at the number which did survive a Revolution and 2 wars. Until the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia most of them were still kept in the Alexander Palace wardrobes. While preparing to evacuate the Tsarskoe Selo Museums most valuable treasures to Siberia, the staff cleverly thought of using the Imperial Family clothes and uniforms to wrap the museum treasures, thus saving them from destruction or looting. Not all of Alexei’s uniform went back to Tsarskoe Selo. Some were given to other museums such as the Russian History Museum in Moscow, others are in the Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps collection (St. Petersburg). The Hermitage as a number of them and some are on display at their new Guards Museum. But it seems quite a few made it back to the Tsarskoe Selo Museum reserves (Catherine Palace) and some of them are - at last! - back home, on display at the Alexander Palace. Even without all their fittings, epaulettes, medals, regimental insignias, they stand as beautiful memories of a lost world and a young tsarevich who would never be tsar.

Offline nena

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Re: What uniform is this?
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2009, 04:35:42 PM »
Wow!  :o THANK YOU, if I may add this my little add Russian link about his regiment:

Wartime regiment, Battalion:

http://historydoc.edu.ru/catalog.asp?cat_ob_no=13047&ob_no=13710

But you are simply fantastic, I appreciate your work and huge knowledge, Sir!

I wonder, did he wear uniform during war days because of some regiments, or his peronal will, or traditional thing, since war was then? Also, can't define his uniforms he wore during visiting Stavka, I believe they are just regular uniforms, expect Cossack one from Ocober 4th of 1916. I remember you said Alexandra wasn't present, because of her illness. Thank you again! 

Sotnia Cossack review, july 4th 1916, Mogilev , GHQ - Stavka:



October 4th 1916:



With count A. Grabbe (last one), same year, July 4th (first one, I think same day) and October 4th (second one):



I think 4th one is typical day for reviewing troops, or just    incidental?

« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 04:47:04 PM by nena »
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