The Lounge > Historical Discussion

Russian Napoleonic ranks


Since the Holdfast forums got deleted and the old Taleworlds threads are a mess, I decided to post this old table of mine here for posterity, although I don't think any NW regiments will make use of it. Where you see "dittos" to save space, look along the same row to the left.

Ranks of the Russian Empire, 1802-1826, divided by branch and regimental type

Table of Ranks gradeInfantryCavalry (including Cossacks)ArtilleryNavyIГенерал-фельдмаршал
 - General-fel'dmarshal - General-Field-MarshalDittoDittoГенерал-адмирал - General-admiralIIГенерал-от-Инфантерии - General-ot-Infanterii
 - General of the InfantryГенерал-от-Кавалерии - General-ot-Kavalerii
 - General of the CavalryГенерал-от-Артиллерии - General-ot-Artillerii
 - General of the ArtilleryАдмирал - AdmiralIIIГенерал-Лейтенант - General-Leytenant
 - Lieutenant-GeneralDittoDittoВице-Адмирал - Vitse-admiral - Vice-AdmiralIVГенерал-Майор - General-Mayor
 - Major-GeneralDittoDittoКонтр-Адмирал - Kontr-admiral - Rear-AdmiralVn/an/an/aКапитан-Командор - Kapitan-Komandor - Captain-Commodore
Table of Ranks gradeGrenadiers, Musketeers and Naval InfantryJägersDragoonsCuirassiersHussarsUhlansCossacksArtilleryNavyVIПолковник - Polkovnik - ColonelDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoКапитан 1-го ранга - Kapitan pervogo ranga - Captain of the First RankVIIПодполковник - Podpolkovnik - Lieutenant ColonelDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoКапитан 2-го ранга - Kapitan vtorogo ranga - Captain of the Second RankVIIIМайор - Mayor - MajorDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoВойсковой Старшина - Voyskovoy Starshina - Host Elder (Major)МайорКапитан-Лейтенант - Kapitan-Leytenant - Captain-LieutenantIXКапитан - Kapitan - CaptainDittoDittoРотмистр - Rotmistr - Rittmeister or CaptainDittoDittoЕсаул - Yesaul - Chief or CaptainКапитанЛейтенант - Leytenant - LieutenantXШтабс-Капитан - Shtabs-Kapitan - Staff-CaptainDittoDittoШтабс- Ротмистр - Shtabs-Rotmistr - Staff-Rittmeister or Staff-CaptainDittoDitton/aШтабс-Капитанn/aXIIПоручик - Poruchik - LieutenantDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoСотник - Sotnik - Centurion or LieutenantПоручикМичман - Michman - MidshipmanXIIIПодпоручик - Podporuchik - Second LieutenantDittoDitton/an/an/an/aПодпоручикn/aXIVПрапорщик - Praporshchik - EnsignDittoПрапорщикКорнет - Kornet - CornetDittoDittoХорунжий - Khorunzhiy - Khorungv-bearer - or Cornetn/an/aNCOs
5Фельдфебель - Fel'dfebel' - Feldwebel or Sergeant MajorDittoВахмистр - Vakhmistr - Wachtmeister or Sergeant MajorDittoDittoDittoСтарший Урядник - Starshiy Uryadnik - Senior NCOФельдфебельБоцман - Botsman - Boatswain4Портупей-Прапорщик - Portupey-Praporshchik - Swordbelt-Ensign or Distinguished Officer CandidateПортупей-Юнкер - Portupey-Yunker - Swordbelt-Junkern/an/an/aПортупей-Юнкерn/aПортупей-ЮнкерБоцманмат - Botsmanmat - Boatswain's Mate3Подпрапорщик - Podpraporshchik - Sub-Ensign or Officier CandidateЮнкер - Yunker - JunkerФанен-Юнкер - Fanen-yunker - FahnenjunkerЭстандарт-Юнкер - Estandart-yunker - StandartenjunkerЮнкерDitton/aЮнкерГардемарин - Gardemarin - Garde de la Marine or Officer Candidate2Каптенармус - Kaptenarmus - Capitaine d'Armes or Supply Sergeantn/aКвартирмейстер - Kvartirmeyster - (Squadron) QuartermasterDittoDittoDitton/an/aКвартирмейстер1Младший Унтер-Офицер - Mladshiy Unter-Ofitser - Junior NCO or CorporalDittoDittoDittoDittoDittoМладший Урядник - Mladshiy Uryadnik - Junior NCOФейерверкер - Feyerwerker - Feuerwerker or Corporaln/aPrivates
2Гренадер - Grenader - Grenadier /
Стрелок - Strelok - SharpshooterDittoФланкер - Flanker -
Mounted Skirmisher with a rifled carbineDittoDittoТоварищ - Tovarishch - Towarzysz or Lancer in the front rank/
Фланкерn/aБомбардир - Bombardir - Bombardier /
Канонир - Kanonir - Cannoneern/a1Фузилёр - Fuzilyor - Fusilier/
Мушкетёр - Mushketyor - MusketeerЕгерь - Yeger' - JägerДрагун - Dragun - DragoonКирасир - Kirasir - CuirassierГусар - Gusar - HussarШеренговый - Sherengovyy - Private in the second rankКазак - Kazak - CossackГантлангер - Gantlanger - HandlangerМатрос - Matros - Seaman
Taken from the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire:
Infantry and cavalry tables for 1802 - No. 20,252.
Artillery tables for 1802 - No. 20,672.
Cossack officer rank equivalencies - No. 18,673.
Cossack regimental personnel for 1803 - No. 20,921.
Naval Crew tables for 1804 - No. 21,146.
Ensigns added to Jäger regiments - No. 22,200.
Infantry reorganization in 1810 - Nos. 24,400 and 24,406.
1796 Infantry Regulations - No. 17,588.
1796 Cavalry Regulations - No. 17,589.

General reference for the Table of Ranks:
Leonid Shepelyov, Titles, Uniforms and Orders of the Russian Empire (Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf, 2005).

-The "Table of Ranks" was a formal system of comparing ranks across different branches of state service, with associated titles, addresses, paygrades and eligibility for promotion and decoration, but only for the nobility, so the lowest grade on the table was XIV for the rank of ensign. The grade of XI only existed in the civil service ranks so it's omitted from the table. Enlisted ranks below the table are numerated separately in Arabic numerals for clarity.
-Staff-captains were functionally the same as full captains, but commanded the staff-companies (companies nominally commanded by a staff-officer such as the Regimental Chief, regimental commander or one of the majors) in the absence of its nominal head. Therefore, when there are 5 staff-officers in a regiment for example, then there should be 5 staff-captains and the remainder of the companies/squadrons are taken by full captains.
-Besides the dragoons, the rank of second lieutenant did not exist in the cavalry and its place in the squadron was filled by another cornet.
-Despite the name, the Cossack squadron called the "сотня - sotnya" was nominally commanded by a "yesaul" (captain) and not the "sotnik" (lieutenant).
-The rank of sub-ensign and swordbelt-ensigns (and their cavalry counterparts) were typically filled by nobles serving temporarily as NCOs and as such, were effectively officer candidates. They also served as colour-bearers in their battalions. Though there were nominally one of each type in every company, so that each battalion had 8 officer candidates, each battalion of infantry only had two banners. The swordbelt-ensign differed from the sub-ensign in the right to carry an officer's sword and swordknot and promotion to the swordbelt-ensigns had to be approved from the Emperor himself. Both of these ranks could be filled by commoners from the junior NCOs (corporals) if no nobleman could fill the vacancy. The swordbelt-ensign/junker does not appear in the cavalry tables for any type except the uhlan regiments, but the rank could theoretically be created for a distinguished junker at the behest of the Regimental Chief.
-The hussars and uhlans generally had no standards, except for the Lithuanian-Tatar and Polish Horse, the Pavlograd Hussars who were awarded Georgian standards in 1807 for the 1805 battle of Schöngrabern, and the Sumy and Izyum Hussars who only received theirs after the wars. So the junkers of those branches nominally lack the "standard-" prefix.
-Jäger regiments didn't carry banners before 1837 and musketeer regiments converted into Jägers (33rd and above) turned theirs in to nearby arsenals. Their noble NCOs were called junkers.
-Capitaine d'Armes and cavalry Quartermasters were responsible for their company/squadron's weapons and equipment.
-An NCO rank of "фурьер - fur'yer - fourrier" was formally listed in the 1796/98 tables, but from 1802 onward it existed only as a post held by some other NCO in the company. Their duty was to establish and maintain lodgings or quarters in camp ahead of the army on the march and secure forage for horses. In these duties they answered to the regimental quartermaster and general-quartermasters. An alternative name for this post was "квартирьер - kvartir'yer - Quartierherr".
-All NCOs from the nobility may be generally referred to as "junkers".
-From 1810 onward, grenadier companies were split into a heavy and light platoon; the members of which being "grenadiers" and "sharpshooters". The heavy platoon took its place on the battalion's right flank as the 1st platoon, the light on the left as the 8th.
-The regular companies, comprising the center platoons 2 through 7, were called fusiliers for grenadier battalions, musketeers for musketeer/infantry battalions, and Jägers for Jäger battalions.
-Gardes de la Marine are naval cadets with NCO rank attached to war vessels for a time before receiving an officer's rank, and are equivalated with the sub-ensigns of the Army for simplicity's sake.
-Flankers were 12-16 privates in the cavalry squadrons armed with rifled carbines that could be detached to skirmish. They can otherwise be referred to as cuirassiers, dragoons, hussars etc.
-The two types of private in the uhlan regiments may be referred to simply as "улан - ulan - uhlan".
-Bombardiers were senior to Cannoniers and drew a larger salary, but were functionally the same. Hanglangers were primarily labourers, assisted the bombadiers and cannoniers, and were junior to both.
-The two degrees of private shown on this table are equal in rank, but not necessarily equal in the wages they drew, and the higher row is the more prestigious or elite role.
-All privates can otherwise be referred to as "рядовой - ryadovoy - literally 'pertaining to the files' or 'ranker'", although regulations stressed that grenadiers and sharpshooters should be addressed by those titles to recognize their distinction and instill pride. Indeed transfer to the grenadier company in a battalion could be used as an award, and transfer back to the center companies as a punishment.
-A trusted and experienced private soldier could be given the special designation of "ефрейтор - yefreytor" from the German "Gefreiter", which exempted him from standing sentry duty and instead permitted him to command a small detachment on guard. As guardsmen, they carried their muskets at the right shoulder and presented arms by holding it vertical at arm's length as an NCO would hold his halberd in the 18th century. They could also serve as instructors or fuglemen during training. Gefreiters had no other special duties in battle or on labour detail and are not listed in the prescribed personnel tables from 1798 or 1802. The 1796 Infantry Regulations called for each company to have at least 15 gefreiters and they were the pool of men from which new corporals were promoted during vacancies, being the best privates. When a gefreiter had to temporarily fill the role of an NCO in the line without formal promotion, he was referred to as a "вице-унтер-офицер, vitse-unter-ofitser, vice-non-commissioned officer".

Great work!



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