A colourful Russian unit

By Rob Morgan

I’ve always believed that re-enactors have a great deal to offer the wargamer in terms of the “reality” of life in warfare, particularly, of course, where there is no prospect of encountering a veteran or survivor of those wars. Take a look at these three active participants in the Russian Civil War. They are

Thanks to Martyn Clarke for his photo.

Thanks to Martyn Clarke for his photo.

members of the 1914-1921 Society, linked to the old, lamented Frontovic journal. The two flanking figures are fairly basic — a White “Armed Forces of the South of Russia” infantryman wearing a greatcoat and a lot of kit on the left, and a female member of the army on the right. There were rather a lot of women fighting in Russia, especially early on, often in one of the “Women’s Battalions of Death.”

The black-clad man in the middle is an NCO of the AFSR’s General Kornilov Shock Infantry Division. This unit was named after the once-supreme commander of all Russian forces, killed in 1918. The unit really was elite in every sense. It saw hard fighting. The red-white-blue chevrons of the AFSR are worn and the elaborate shoulder boards, as well as the attractive divisional badge on the upper left sleeve. Many of these troops, especially officers, wore even more elaborate black uniform tunics (see Plate E5 in the Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 305, “Russian Civil War White Armies”). A brilliant, vivid unit for the table top. In Peter Pig’s 15mm World War I range, Pack 67 Russian Officer Battalion, and Pack 65 Russian Infantry Commanders will provide ideal figures. The female soldiers, incidentally, are to be found in Pack 82 Women’s Battalion of Death, more frequently on the Red side, it must be said.

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