Guards and people greet Catherine II on the balcony of the Winter Palace on the day of the coup on June 28 (July 9) 1762. Original by Joachim Kestner
No, the people do not feel mercy:
Do good - he will not say thanks;
Robbery and executions - you will not be worse.
A.S. Pushkin. Boris Godunov
Do good - he will not say thanks;
Robbery and executions - you will not be worse.
A.S. Pushkin. Boris Godunov
History military clothing. So in previous articlewe stopped at the fact that the reform of the uniforms of the Russian army, conceived by the emperor, can be considered reasonable and justified. Firstly, significant savings in finances, and secondly, such a phenomenon as ... fashion! Going against which at all times has been as stupid as fighting the extremes of its manifestation.
Grenadiers of the Naryshkin Musketeer Regiment, 1756-1761 Colorized illustration. Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothing and weapon Russian troops with the addition of information about banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842
But most of the Russian military did not see anything good in all these undertakings of the new emperor. The Seven Years' War, in which "the Russians always beat the Prussians," had just ended, and it seemed to them simply ridiculous to put on uniforms that looked like the uniforms of the defeated side. The habit of a spacious dress also affected, which is why they were immediately called "kurguzi". Braids, curls and the requirement to powder the hair also caused dissatisfaction.
Privates of the Leuven cuirassier regiment 1762. Colorized illustration. Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothes and weapons of the Russian troops with the addition of information about the banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842
By the way, the idea of powdering the hair of the soldiers belongs to Peter I, who borrowed everything in the West, but it happened at the end of his reign, and he did not succeed in doing this either. I didn't have time, to put it simply. Under Peter II, it was again indicated to powder the hair, and wear a hairstyle with a braid on the head. But no one remembered this, dissatisfaction with this demand was directed exclusively to Peter III.
Grenadier officer of the Life Dragoon Regiment, 1756-1762 Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothes and weapons of the Russian troops with the addition of information about the banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842
The question may arise: why then was all this necessary? All these braids, brooches ... Why was such a strange fashion necessary at all? But ... let's remember medieval Japan ... Many peasants there were rich, richer than samurai, and there was nothing to say about merchants. But a samurai, even the poorest one, could be immediately and very easily identified by his hair and two swords. Identify and have time to bow to him, otherwise you could lose your head!
Miter of the Holstein Guard officer. Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothes and weapons of the Russian troops with the addition of information about the banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842
And the same thing, only without such extremes, took place in Europe. Why did knights pacing in armor even when it was not required at all, for example, at court? And to be different from the servants, from the lackeys, who are also very richly dressed, but ... differently! The same thing happened in modern times. A system of signs was required that would simultaneously determine the social status and occupation of every person and his place in the social hierarchy. The visible boundary between the soldiers from the people and the officers from the nobility, on the one hand, and the peasants and merchants, on the other, was drawn precisely with the help of clothing. The cut of the military uniform equated the soldier with the officer in the main thing - their service to the Fatherland, but divided them according to their position with all kinds of braids, silver and gold embroidery. The hairstyle also served the same purposes, even with powder, curls and a braid. After all, she immediately visually brought the army closer to the "top" and at the same time removed it from various "black people". So whatever the cost of this fashion, its social significance simply cannot be overestimated!
And this is how the mitra-grenadier of the Leib-dragoon regiment of Emperor Peter III who has come down to us looks like. Cloth, wood, bronze, gilding, enamel, paint. Photo from one of the antiques auctions
By the way, it is quite amusing that, while complaining about the "kurguz" uniforms, none of Peter III's contemporaries who were dissatisfied with them complained that they hinder the movement of a soldier. That is, they did not differ functionally from the Peter's free uniforms. Moreover, kind to our national historians Potemkin, having introduced in 1784-1786. his famous "Potemkin uniform", narrowed the old uniforms even more, and cut off his coattails completely. But no one expressed any complaints about the Potemkin jackets. But to the uniforms of Peter III, in fact the same jackets, only with short folds - all and sundry. So, the point here is not at all in the uniforms, but ... in the personality of the one who introduced them! The circumstance is very, very characteristic in Russia even today!
Miter of the Holstein Guard artillerymen. Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothes and weapons of the Russian troops with the addition of information about the banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842
True, they said that the soldiers in new uniforms were cold in winter. But ... after all, it was under Peter III that a frock coat and such a type of clothing as an epancha appeared in the army, moreover with sleeves, which became the prototype of the future greatcoat, which Emperor Paul I introduced in 1799. And here it is necessary to pay attention to another very important circumstance - the development of the functionality of military clothing.
The uniform of the headquarters officer of the Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment. Russia. 1761-1762. Belonged to Emperor Peter III. State Historical Museum, Moscow
The fact is that the old Peter's uniform was a universal garment, so to speak, "in winter and summer in one color." The new trend in the development of uniforms, however, was directed in a different direction, namely, to its seasonal division into summer and winter, and functional - to work, everyday, marching, and ceremonial. That is, those who criticized the new uniforms suffered simply from inertia of thinking and tried to preserve the old approaches to "building" a soldier's uniform. But this attitude, again, is in no way rational. It's all one solid psychology!
So, for example, the new grenadier hats, which were introduced by Peter III, were lighter than the old Elizabethan ones by 200-300 g, since less metal was used for them (which, on the whole, gave quite a lot of metal savings!), And lighter and more comfortable than leather helmets. appeared in the guards under Peter I. They were scolded, but (such is the force of inertia of thinking) they continued to be worn under Catherine. However, I did not like the fact that all these elements of the new military suit were in many ways similar to the Prussian ones ... "and the Russians beat the Prussian ones."
Unique mitra-grenadier of the Holstein guard of Peter III. The fact is that on her forehead there is the emperor's monogram, composed ... of the Latin letters "P" (Peter) and "F" (Fedorovich). This monogram is also known for printing on a trial silver coin, issued in 1762. Penza Regional Museum of Local Lore)
Another example of the ill-considered innovations of Peter III was the replacement of red cloth in new uniforms with cloth of light colors: white, fawn, yellow or orange (and the color of the uniform could be chosen by the regimental commander!). Again, it is clear that in this way Peter III wanted to bring the Russian uniform closer to the Prussian one. On the other hand, it also made practical sense. Let us recall that in Europe only England allowed to dress its army in red uniforms, and all because good red paint for cloth (cochineal) was very expensive and it was imported to Russia from abroad. And dyed cloth for officers' uniforms was bought in the same England. There were also cheaper dyes based on bedstraw root, but the color quality was poor, and most importantly, when they were used, inconsistencies in shades were obtained. The simple abolition of red cloth was achieved, firstly, considerable savings, since light-colored paints were much cheaper. And secondly, it made it easier to achieve uniformity of color for each shelf separately, which was also quite logical. It was quite logical, but ... not national or patriotic! And the young emperor did not even think about this. But what to do, Pushkin has not yet written his "Boris Godunov" and the following words have not sounded from his pages: "But what is he strong? Not by an army, no, not by Polish help, but by opinion; Yes! people's opinion ”. Everything was exactly the same here. Popular opinion was not on the side of the young emperor, so everything he did was ... bad, and everything old and consecrated by traditions was, accordingly, good. It's just that the eternal struggle of the new with the old in this case, like a wheel from a cart, "rolled" over the fate of one single person, and it cost him his life. And he was not the first on this path, and he should not be the last!
Another mitra-grenadier of Peter III. Cloth, wood, bronze, gilding, enamel, paint. Height 28,5 cm. Judging by the richness and quality of decoration, it belonged to an officer. A feature of its design is as many as three emblems! A double-headed eagle at the top and a double coat of arms below it. Again, the Russian on the right and the coat of arms of Peter himself, the hereditary Holstein-Gottorp, on the left. At the bottom of his monogram - one letter "P". Probably the most beautiful miter in the entire history of their use in the Russian army. Penza Regional Museum of Local Lore
But this miter is clearly a private. It is simpler. Not so richly decorated, although it contains all the same images! Penza Regional Museum of Local Lore
The most interesting thing, however, happened later. The emperor died (and it doesn't matter from what reasons) in 1762. His wife Catherine, who inherited Peter's, immediately canceled all of his decrees and thus won the "love" of all the "traditionalists" in Russia. However, she did all this only to, after a little hesitation, carry out the same reforms in the future, but on her own behalf. So, in 1763, the uniform reform began. A year later, the State Military Collegium published an illustrated book with descriptions of samples of uniforms by type of service and all army ranks under the title: "Description of military uniforms, confirmed by the signature of Her Imperial Majesty." It is clear that in just one year that has passed since the death of Peter III, Catherine simply physically could not have prepared her own reform of the army uniform, which means that she used everything that was previously conceived by none other than Peter III.
Illustration from the "Description of the uniforms of military dress, confirmed by the signature of Her High Imperial Majesty"
The same illustration, but colored
And the goal of the new reform, like the previous one, was ... economy! Yes, the red color on camisoles and trousers was retained (or rather, it was canceled to replace it with other colors), but at the same time all old Elizabethan uniforms were ordered to be cut and curbed as much as possible. This decision made it possible to quickly dress the entire army in new uniforms, without giving it a single centimeter of new cloth. And now no one blamed the Empress for the cut of the new uniforms very similar to the Prussian ones. The main thing is that their color was preserved! The uniforms that were taken from the Holsteinites of Peter III, who were stripped to their underwear after their arrest, were also not lost. Everything that could be used in the Russian army was used! Blue uniforms and light-colored pants were given to cavalry for remaking, and cuirassier uniforms were given to cuirassiers. Only the cloth grenadiers, who did not fit the new uniforms either by the design on their forehead plates or by their colors, remained in the Zeichhaus. That is why, by the way, there are so many of them in Russian museums, but there are no Holstein shoes, no uniforms, no pants. All this has been used!
It's not often that you see a picture in which the victim of a crime stands arm in arm with a murderer! Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich and his wife, Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseevna. Wedding portrait by G. Grot 1745
That is, the new "Catherine's" uniform, both in cut and in details, differed very little from what her late husband had proposed, and the reforms of 1763 and 1774. only brought his plans to life. And it could not be otherwise, because the fashion for army clothes was then connected with the fact that it was to show everyone (first of all, potential opponents!) That we are not worse than everyone else, that in front of him is not the army of an impoverished minor power, ossified in their national traditions, but a completely modern, European-style uniform, armed and trained army, with which it is best not to deal. That is, the only difference was that Peter III intuitively understood all this, but ... did not understand the national specifics of his reign. And Catherine perfectly understood precisely this component of her reign, and as for the uniforms, she simply trusted the experience of “knowledgeable people” who understood well how the army of a modern and strong state should look like!
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5. Viskovatov A. V. Part 3. Clothes and weapons of Russian troops during the reign of the Duke of Courland and Princess Anne of Braunschweig-Luneburg in 1740 and 1741; Clothes and weapons of the Russian troops with the addition of information about the banners and standards in the reign of Emperor Peter III, and about the Holstein troops, 1762. SPb., Military printing house, 1842.