Russian Cossacks of the Napoleonic Wars

Cossack Hosts of the Napoleonic Wars

The term "Kosak", probably of Turkish origin, describes an independent man, adventurer or vagabond. The Slavik Cossack hosts were established in the 16th century, when the Muscovite laws of serfdom were tightened up in order to permanently tie the peasants to Russian soil. Thousands of people fled into the uninhabited grass steppe along the Don and Dnjepr rivers, an area bordered by the Muscovite Empire in the North, the Polish-Lithuanian State in the West, and the Khanates in the South and East. Cossacks paid no poll-tax, they lived in a truly democratic and very religious society, and in the 19th century they were considered exceptionally hospitable and cleanly. In 1802, the number of Cossacks on active military duty was estimated at 100,000 men, approximately 22 percent of the Russian army. Cossacks were excellent scouts, who continuously harrassed and attacked the enemy during and advance or withdrawal.

Available Miniatures

  • Kosak, Platows Regiment, 1812, 1:30 del Prado Kavallerie 008
  • Cossack Command, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC1
  • Cossack Characters, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC2
  • Starik's Cossack Lancers, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC3
  • Ivan's Cossack Lancers, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC4
  • Stenka's Cossack Lancers, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC5
  • Cossack Characters and Command, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC6
  • Cossack Characters, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC7
  • Cossack Scouts, 25 mm Wargames Foundry SYWC8
  • Cossacks, 20 mm Hinton Hunt BB159
  • Kosaken, 1:72 HaT Industrie 8006
  • Gardekosaken, 1:72 Zvezda 8018
  • Kosaken, 1:72 Italeri 6042
  • Don Cossacks, 15 mm Old Glory RIC-01
  • Ural Cossacks, 15 mm Old Glory RIC-02
  • Peasant Cossacks, 15 mm Old Glory RIC-03
  • Cossack Artillery, 15 mm Old Glory RIC-05

Depending on the size of the Cossack host, Cossack regiments should have had 500 to 1,000 men, organized into squadrons (sotnia) of 100 Kazaki (Cossack) lancers led by a Rittmeister, two to three subalterns, an ensign, and ten NCOs. This regimental strength was rarely maintained in the field. During the 1812–1814 campaigns, the average regimental strength was between 80 and 120 men. Russian Cossack hosts were recruited from Don Cossacks, Ural Cossacks, Black Sea Cossacks, Tschurgujewski Cossack, Orenburg Cossacks, Caucasian Cossacks, Sibirian Cossacks, Bug Cossacks, Ukrainian Cossacks, and other hosts. The Don Cossacks contributed the largest contingent of the Cossacks hosts with more than 14,000 men in 1802.

Bibliography

Frequently Asked Questions

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Russian Napoleonic Miniatures