Vladimir Putin signed decrees conferring honorary titles on the 154-th separate commandant and 1-th separate rifle regiments of the Moscow garrison. From now on, they began to be called, respectively, Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky. According to the Kremlin press service, this was done in order to revive the glorious military historical traditions, as well as taking into account the merits of the personnel of the current regiments of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
In childhood, in accordance with the traditions of the court of Peter the First, comrades in "fun" surrounded him - servants and peers. Together, they amused themselves in a typical war game for boys of all ages and nations. Only the young prince had more toys than ordinary children - up to several platoons of "amusing", and even wooden cannons.
As time went on, Peter grew, and the problem was becoming more and more clear: the young king had no loyal troops. The bodyguards, nobles from the Gosudarev regiment, fled at the sight of an angry mob of Streltsy, which gave power to princess Sofya in 1682 year. The only people loyal to the sovereign were only his “robits”. So innocent fun has acquired quite a serious meaning: to create a well-trained, fairly numerous and loyal to the king guard, which could protect him from any upheavals.
Not far from Moscow, near the villages of Preobrazhenskoye and Semenovskoye, far from toy exercises began to be conducted. And the “amusing” weapons were already received by real, not wooden cannons. New troops were trained by capable foreigners from the German Quarter - Scottish Patrick Gordon and Swiss-born Franz Lefort.
The 1686 year includes information about the appearance of the first two regiments - Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky. But, only starting from the 1692 year, the "amusing" regiments become combat-ready units.
Preobrazhentsy and Semenovtsev divided into companies, they had their banners, sergeants and a unified form. Dark green in the former, and blue in the latter. The first regiments were created, most likely, in the likeness of the Guard of Louis XIV.
“The king himself always leads us”
For the first time, Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky regiments “smelled gunpowder” during the Azov campaigns and earned the reputation of “good soldiers” from the tsar and his foreign advisers. But, in addition to the army, the state required a fleet: not only master shipbuilders, but also naval officers. It was also necessary to reorganize the artillery, create and train new regular regiments. So preobrazhentsy and semenovtsy from soldiers become students, and then teachers. The most talented of them — sergeants and officers of the bombing (artillery) company — go with Peter to Europe to study science. Talented shipbuilders, diplomats, gunners, engineers and officers come from among the Preobrazhentsy and Semenovtsy ...
The Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky regiments officially became the 22 of August 1700 of the Guards, on the day of the defeat of the Russian army near Narva. In this battle, the guards saved the remnants of the defeated Russian troops. As a token of appreciation, the officers were presented with silver breastplates. In addition, the Transfiguration and Semenov received red stockings as a sign that the guardsmen "stood knee-deep in blood."
The Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky regiments participated in all the major battles of the Northern War, including the capture of Noteburg and Nyenskans, Narva and Vyborg, Ivangorod and Mitau, in the battles of Lesnoy and Poltava. After the battle of Poltava, Peter the Great said to the guard: “Your brave deeds will never forget posterity”.
Already under Peter, the guard was given a significant two-rank advantage over the army. Major Guard was equivalent to the rank of army colonel. And it concerned not only officers, but also the lower ranks, too.
As in the army, the service of the guards was unlimited. Only injury, severe illness, or death was freed from it. Unsuitable for the service of the soldiers were determined in special retired companies. And other retired engaged in training recruits.
Anyway, all the dismissed Guardsmen received a decent pension or had the opportunity to be kept free at the monasteries. In place of retired soldiers came their sons.
In addition to serving as bodyguards, officers and sergeants of the Preobrazhensky and Semenov regiments often carried out special assignments: they recruited, trained army regiments, supervised the execution of government contracts, controlled the activities of governors, and performed diplomatic missions.
In addition, the Transfiguration and Semenovtsy arrested and guarded state criminals, who were maliciously plotting against the most august sovereigns and sovereigns. Some of the officers made a career in political investigation.
In the role of "praetorians"
Separately, it must be said about the role of the Preobrazhensky regiment in palace coups. It is not for nothing that a number of Russian historians compare the Russian Guard (and the first among them is the Preobrazhensky regiment) with the infamous Praetorians, initially bodyguards, and then the "workers" of the Roman emperors. A decisive role in the Russian troubles of the post-Petrine period was played by the Decree on Uniform Inheritance, which allowed the monarchs to independently determine the heirs to the throne, and not to transfer power to the eldest son.
In the 1725 year, when Peter the Great lay on his deathbed, Menshikov led the company of the Preobrazhensky regiment loyal to him to the palace. Only one kind of tall guardsmen convinced the nobles to transfer power to the widow of the deceased monarch Catherine. In fact, the power was in the hands of the Supreme Privy Council, in which Menshikov played the first violin. Two years later, under Peter II, the all-powerful favorite, Transfiguration officers also arrested. And in Berezovsky exile the former Generalissimo was accompanied by retired soldiers of the same regiment.
The death of Peter II in 1730 forced the Supreme Privy Council to invite Anna Ioannovna, the niece of Peter the Great, to the throne. True, the grandees were going to limit her power to the so-called "condition" - conditions that contemporaries compared with the famous British Bill of Rights 1688 of the year.
But when Field Marshal Prince Vasily Dolgorukov, the former regiment commander, tried to persuade the Transfigurations not only to swear allegiance to the queen, but also to the Supreme Privy Council, they indignantly refused and supported the autocracy unanimously.
As a result, Anna Ivanovna defiantly broke the "condition", the council was abolished, and the first in Russia draft restriction of absolute monarchy remained on paper ...
During the reign of Anna Ioannovna, the Transfigurations lost the role of the Praetorian Guard. This was greatly facilitated by the execution in 1737 of the warrant officer of the Preobrazhensky regiment A. Baryatinsky for the intention to raise "a man with three hundred friends" for the sake of Elizabeth, "daughter of Petrova". Elizabeth herself was able to get dry from the water, even taking into account the fact that the government was known for its popularity as a guard. The Tsarevna often spent time in the barracks, gave money to the guards and baptized their children. Three years later, in the 1740 year, Anna Ivanovna died. Death glorified cruelty and tyranny of the empress reflected on the discipline of the guard. It is not surprising that denunciations of the unbridled behavior of the soldiers and noncommissioned officers of the regiment flowed into the Secret Office of the former Transfiguration Ushakov. The soldiers were serving in the “considerable uncleanness”, “unknown” were leaving the guard, playing cards and making jokes in the taverns ... Drinking, hooliganism in the urban markets, fighting, firing, looting of foreigners became common. It came down to the theft of silverware from the palaces of the Empress and nobles. An attempt to strengthen discipline with exemplary punishments of troublemakers and a ban on holidays did not bring popularity to the government in the eyes of soldiers and officers.
The anti-German sentiment skilfully took advantage of Count Minich to overthrow the all-powerful Biron, the favorite of the deceased Empress and regent of the minor Tsar John VI. Shortly before this there were rumors about the appearance in St. Petersburg of six army battalions, designed to provide reliable protection of the government, and about the dissolution of the guard. True, according to some testimonies, the Transfigurations were deceived by Munnich: they were supposed to take the crown prince Elizabeth to the throne, and not another German.
However, this was not the case. Less than a year, as Peter's daughter was forced to force a long-standing coup. Learning about the transfer of the Preobrazhensky regiment to Vyborg for war with the Swedes, Elizaveta hurried to the regiment’s barracks on the night before their performance and addressed them: “Guys! You know whose daughter I am, go after me. ” The coup passed without any particular complications: the guards in the literal sense in their hands brought their empress to the palace.
Fear of palace coups always pursued a new empress. And although most of the conspiracies turned out to be imaginary, Elizaveta Petrovna chose not to rely on the Preobrazhensky regiment any more, but organized a special detachment of personal guards of about 300 men. She was called the Life-company and initially consisted of soldiers of the grenadier company of the Preobrazhensky regiment who helped her carry out a coup in 1741. The life company, however, did not escape the fate of the Praetorian Guard: it was famous for its extreme licentiousness and the almost complete lack of discipline. Under Catherine, most of the abolished Peter IIIs were joined to the Cavalry Guard Regiment.
In 1762, the Transfiguration, as well as in 1741, were agitated by rumors about the replacement of guards by army troops. It was said that they would be sent to fight in Denmark, and the Holsteens and Prussians loyal to him would become the new bodyguards of Peter III. However, then the soldiers of the Izmailovsky Life Guards regiment, in which the Orlov brothers served as future favorites of Catherine the Great, became the main striking force of the coup.
Catherine, like Elizabeth, learned the lessons of history and, during her reign, closely followed the mood in the guard. But the lessons of the empresses did not learn the son of the murdered Peter III, Paul I. The Gatchina drill, the fierce treatment of officers, who were razdezhivshihsya in Catherine's time, even more demonstrative favoritism - all this led to the fact that the officers of the Transfiguration of the Year actively participated in the coup 1801 of the year. However, ordinary soldiers did not know that they were going to regicide. The main role was played by officers-conspirators and noble grandees.
During the uprising in 1825, unlike many of the Guards regiments of the Life Guards, the Preobrazhensky Regiment immediately and unreservedly supported Tsarevich Nicholas.
Eleven companies of the regiment took part in the suppression of rebel forces, such as guards, on Senate Square. Since then, Nicholas I, on the anniversary of the December uprising, invariably visited the barracks of the regiment and talked with officers and lower ranks.
Voice of honor
In the XIX century, the Transfiguration Regiment returned its former glory and ceased to be considered the Praetorian Guard of the Russian emperors. However, the first episodes of the regiment's participation in the Napoleonic wars are associated with severe defeats of the Russian army. When Austerlitz in 1805, the first and third battalions of Transfigurations successfully repelled the attack of the Mameluke cavalry, the personal guard of Napoleon Bonaparte (65 soldiers and 8 officers were killed). Being in full force, the Preobrazhensky regiment covered the withdrawal of the Russian army after the defeat at Friedland in 1807. At the same time, during the historic meeting with Napoleon in Tilsit, the first battalion of the Preobrazhensky regiment guarded the emperor Alexander I.
During World War 1812, the regiment was in the First Western Army, General Barclay de Tolly, but did not take part in the battles until Borodino. In the general battle near Moscow the regiment was in reserve. The personnel suffered losses from artillery fire (25 killed, 125 injured) and took part in the last counterattack on the “Rayevsky battery”. The French cavalrymen did not get involved in the battle with the militant infantry and preferred to retreat under the protection of their guns. The regiment became famous in the foreign campaigns of the Russian army 1813- 1814. Under Kulm in 1813, the Transfigurations lost over 700 people killed and wounded, reflecting, along with other guards regiments, the attack of several times superior French. Things reached the point that musicians and non-combatant ranks were forced to take up guns. For this battle, the regiment received an honorary St. George banner. At the scene of the battle still stands a monument to the Russian Guard, built back in the year 1835.
Individual regiment battalions fought during the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829, suppressed the Polish uprisings of 1830-1831. and 1863. In 1877, the regiment took part in the liberation of Bulgaria: fought at Adrianople, San Stefano, Tashkisen. For the last case, the Transfiguration were granted premium St. George signs on hats.
Russia was crucified ... its defenders
In the First World War, the Life Guard Preobrazhensky Regiment fought on the North-Western Front, participated in the Battle of Galicia, the Warsaw-Ivangorod operation, the Masurian battle, the Vilna operation. Then he was transferred to the South-Western Front and participated in the Brusilov breakthrough. As a result of all these battles, the personnel of the regiment, including officers, were almost completely destroyed.
A complete change of personnel led to the fact that 1917 also participated in the storming of the Winter Winter in October, along with numerous soldiers of spare parts who were afraid of being sent to the front, alas, and Transfigurations ...
So it turned out that the Russian state was overthrown, ultimately, by its own guardians, albeit under the influence of populist agitation by the Bolsheviks and the Social Revolutionaries. And in March 1918, the Preobrazhensky regiment, as well as other guards units, was disbanded.
The regiment was recreated as part of the White Army in the south of Russia in the summer of 1919, however, its number never exceeded the battalion. Some of his companies fought against the Red Army in Poland in 1920, where they were eventually interned and went into exile, and in the Crimea, from where they fled after the defeat of the troops of Baron P.N. Wrangel.
Not a simple story and Semenov ...
During the Patriotic War 1812, all three battalions of the Semenov regiment were included in the 1 Brigade of the Guards Infantry Division of the 5 Infantry Corps. When they marched from St. Petersburg, the 51 officer and the 2147 lower ranks were in the ranks. During the battle of Borodino, the regiment was in reserve, and after the enemy seized Battery Rajevsky participated in repelling the attacks of the French heavy cavalry against the center of the Russian position (lost 120 people).
In the 1813 campaign of the year, the Semenovs participated in the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Kulm and Leipzig, and in the 1814 campaign they reached Paris. By the way, in these two campaigns, a unique officer took part in the regiment’s combat operations - the St. George Cavalier, Colonel (later General) Sergey V. Nepeytsyn (1771 — 1848), who lost his leg under Ochakov and fought on the “artificial” leg of the famous Kulibin mechanic.
October 16 1820, the leading company of the Semenov regiment, tied to the former commander Ya.A. Potemkin, filed a request to cancel entered under A.A. Arkacheev cruel orders and change the regimental commander Schwartz. The company was deceived into the Manege, arrested and sent to the casemates of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Then the whole regiment stepped in for the rebel company. He was surrounded by other parts of the garrison of the capital, and then sent to Peter and Paul Fortress in full force.
The first battalion was committed to a military court, which sentenced the ringleaders to expulsion through the ranks, and the rest of the soldiers to exile to distant garrisons. Other battalions were scaled to various army regiments.
In 1905, the regiment was transferred to Moscow to suppress the armed uprising. By the 16 number, when the Semenovts and other arrived units entered into the business, one of the city’s districts, Presnya, and the Moscow-Kazan rail line to Golutvin remained in the hands of the rebels. For the suppression of the rebellion outside Moscow, the commander of the Semenov regiment colonel GA. Ming singled out six companies under the command of Colonel N.K. Riemann. For the suppression of the December uprising in Moscow, the commander of the Semenov regiment, George Alexandrovich Min, deserved special praise from Emperor Nicholas II, was promoted to major general and enlisted in His Imperial Majesty's Suite.
However, during the revolutionary events of the 1917 of the year, the Semenovsky Regiment declared itself a supporter of the new system, and was renamed the "Uritsky 3 Petrograd City Regiment".
After the October Revolution, as the Bolshevik press wrote, many "bourgeois sons" enrolled in the guard regiment of the Spassky district of Petrograd to evade service in the Red Army.
However, when Petrograd began to face the danger of the White Guard offensive, the units stationed in the city began to be sent to the front. The 3 th guard regiment was transformed into the 3 th Infantry Regiment of the 2 th Petrograd Special Forces Brigade and sent to the front. 28 May 1919 regiment located in the village of Vyra, which is in 6 kilometers from the station Siverskaya Petersburg-Warsaw railway. The 3 battalion of the regiment, numbering 600 people, was stationed in the village, the other two were on the front line. At night, in agreement with the commanders of the battalion and the White Guards, the White Guard Talab regiment entered the village, and the conspirators headed by V.А. Zaitsev, former captain, commander of the 1-th battalion, and S.A. Samsonievsky, also a guard officer, began to arrest and shoot the Communists. After the reprisals against them, the regimental officers, accompanied by the regimental orchestra, marched ceremonially. All in all, about six hundred people, a regimental orchestra and a two-gun battery went over to the side of the whites. It was one of the most notorious transitions of the Red Army to the side of the whites, which attracted the attention of the top leaders of the Soviet state. According to the historian Yaroslav Tinchenko, "for the Soviet power, the Semenovsky regiment was the most hated of the entire Russian imperial army."
Soon after the end of the Civil War a lot of noise caused in the RSFSR and throughout the world so-called. "Semenov case". When analyzing the altar of the church of the Life Guards Semenov Regiment, the OGPU representatives discovered the regimental banner that the former Semenovs had secretly kept for all these years.
According to Aleksey Polivanov, now a living descendant of one of the officers of the regiment, from 21 the arrested XIUMX semenovtsy were shot. Four more received labor camps for 11 years, five Semenovites got off with 10 for the ITL years.
Currently, the Military Medical Museum, Russia's largest world-class military history museum, is located in the building of the former Regimental Hospital of Semenovtsy in St. Petersburg at Lazaretny Lane, 2.
October 11 A monument to the Russian guardsman of the Semenov regiment by sculptor Andrey Klykov was solemnly opened on October 2008 on Semenovskaya Square in Moscow.
Revival of glorious traditions
Assigning to the separate commandant’s 154 and to the separate separate infantry regiments of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation the honorary names Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky imply that they will serve as the most elite units of the Russian army. Indeed, for a long time, since the Great Patriotic War, both regiments in one form or another carried guard in the Moscow garrison for the protection of the most important institutions of the Ministry of Defense, and the 1 regiment also separated from its staff important foreign guests and solemn representation at all kinds of state and government ceremonies. No wonder the basis for the formation of the 154-th regiment was a separate company of the Guard of Honor.
Based on the historical mission and responsible tasks performed by the regiments, both of them absolutely deserved the right to be called Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky. By the way, it would be quite possible, in order to fully comply with the glorious traditions, to assign them also the titles of the Guards. Deserved.