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Vooruzhenie Sili Russkogo Gosudarstva v XV-XVII Veke
(The Armed Forces of the Russian State in the 15th - 17th Centuries)
Moscow, 1954.


(This book is a detailed account of the important changes which took place in the Russian armed forces during this period and could serve as the major source of information on this subject except that it is badly marred by the author’s insistence that Russia’s armed forces developed without any external influence and were at all times superior in quality and techniques to all others. This is an extremely xenophobic and tendentious work. It is filled with Russian chauvinism, not to mention Marxist preconception. It is useful as a basic guide to the developments of the era, but every statement should be checked. However, while the author’s comments and conclusions are biased, I believe that the numerical data on composition and strength of forces are likely correct.)
I translated and sumarized these sections of the book in 1970 and offer this now. The numbers at beginning of a paragraph indicate the page number in Chernov's book.


The Russian Army developed independently. The bourgeois and dvorianin historians of the 19th Cent gave too much credit to foreign influences. Also they treated it separately from the history of the country and did not discuss its class character, also not enough attention was paid to economic factors and they didn't periodize properly. Also Professor Razin made mistakes in the Kievan army due to non critical use of pre-revolutionary sources.

7. In ancient Kiev the forces were called “rat” or Voi” Voinstvo and Voisko, Sila and polki. The army was composed of the princes' druzhina and the boyar druzhina and the peop1es opolchenia.

The ancient Slavic tribes in pre-Kievan times had druzhina of tribal princes. Kiev strengthened it. The princes' druzhina was divided into senior (old) and junior (young) parts the older was the closest advisors. In peacetime they were local governors and administrators, in war they were voevodes of separate detachments, or all together in the force. On campaigns the seniors gathered to the prince, to plan the campaign. They were the military council. In service they brought their men. Their importance was not only personal skill and experience but also the forces they commanded. This force was separate from the princes' band and independent of the prince. It was a significant force in the Xth century. The junior druzhina was the princes own band called “gridba, otroki, detskie, dvoryani”. In peace they were household servants and close assistants of the prince.

The internal organization is not given in the sources.

The seniors became landholders and had votchinas and became like vassals. The juniors received service land while on duty. The conditions changed as they gained land permanently. By the end of the l2th cent they were called dvorov. The boyars also served the prince.

9. Their service depended upon separate agreements. The boyars could serve any prince they chose. Several princes and boyars had several thousands of men. There were wars between the princes and service to maintain internal order and to suppress the population. There was not much foreign war. The prince called up the people the “voi” militia organized in ?polki'. The polk organization existed since the founding of Kiev it was organized in 10,000's all capable men in the “thousand” under the head of the 1,000's man, The 1,000's were divided into 100's the sotnik and into 10's the desyatnik they had elected leaders. There were similar organizations in other early peoples. These organizations predated the princes and was used by the princes to strengthen himself.

10. There was further development during the feudal period, all units were called polk even the dvor and the druzhina. The city population militia had horses if possible. The bourgeois historians say the druzhina was the main force and the militia only exceptional but Chernov says the druzhina was too small to be effective as an independent force. The prince lead his druzhina personally in battle The militia's shortcoming was poor discipline, but it was still effective.

11. The cavalry was the main part of the druzhina, the militia was both mounted and on foot. In the first known campaigns of the Kievan princes there were mounted and foot units in battle the infantry and c cavalry worked together. The cavalry sometimes was dismounted. The infantry was best in siege and in defense of the city and also was used against the steppe nomads and the west European knights. The main force in campaigns on the Black and Baltic and Caspian seas and on the rivers were infantry.

Svyatoslav and Vladimir had artillery as well. During the feudal period there was a change in the organization. The separate unit received the name polk. There were usually three the center and two wings or sometimes five the center and four flanks. This helped maneuver and gave the possibility for reenforcement.

12. Alexander Nevsky at Chudovskoe Lake used a flank attack.

In Moscow there was development of the militia and the great horse dvor. The numbers in the princes dvor increased. The service princes lost independence. Both princes and boyars lost freedom and the agreement relationship. The boyars lost land if they served another prince. The militia of Moscow the “rati” was from the city population and that of the local area also.

13. After the death of the 1,000's man, Vasilii Vel'yaminov, in 1374 this elected office was ended. The princes' power was strengthened and his siege and technical capability was increased.

The first firearms were used in the 1382 defense of Moscow. They appeared later in other principalities by the end of the 14th century Russian artillery was a part of the military force, at first defense and siege guns were used and then field artillery. For a major war one princedom was insufficient to field an army. There were agreements on mutual action among the princes. In written agreements it was stated that others must help Moscow but it didn’t always work out. Still it was a way to teach cooperation, and helped subordinate the princes to Moscow. At Kulikova field in l380 there was a successful united force.

Dmitri Donskoi had 400,000 men according to the chronicle he had both horse and foot. It is one of the glorious pages in Russian military history. The Russian forces gathered far from their Russian lands and outnumbered by the Tatars under the leadership of leading military commander Dimitri won a great victory. Although the Tatar yoke wasn't broken it took the strengthening of centralization of all Russian forces and the liquidation of the separate and diverse military forces to free Russia from the Tatars.

14. The pre-revolutionary theory that the Russians copied from foreigners for weapons structure organization tactics military art and objectives is all false. At the same time the military art of the Slav peoples developed an independent way in connection with concrete historic conditions. The military activities of Svyatoslav already make clear the appearance of original military art of the Russians. Its beginnings go back to the VI and VII century, when the Slavs entered into the internationa1 arena and won over the Avars and over Byzantium. The peoples militia played a big role in this, larger role than in the west. This differentiated it from the west, The Russian infantry based on peasants and city population in difference from the western infantry could conduct independent actions. Such major battles as Russia won on the Ledov shore, and Kulikova show the result of the joint strength of cavalry and infantry. Russian battles in the XII and XIV cent also differ from the west in that in the west units were in action singly and in Russia in battle participated multi-mutual action all types of forces.

Chernov says the bourgeois idea of the influence of the Mongols is also false he says they were lower in level of cultural development and military organization.

18. The centralization of the Russian state under Moscow was a question of military necessity to throw off the Tatars. What was needed was a unified command. The process of bringing separate princes and their boyars into submission was a military process of gaining their service more loyally. The church also strengthened itself during this era. Also the peasants were exploited. The process was completed by the end of the 2nd half of the 15th cent. Economic and diplomatic measures were used with the help of military force.

“The process of unification of the Russian land around Moscow was speeded in battles against the foreign military dangers from the Germans in the north west, the Kazan Khanate in the east, the Great Horde the remnant of the Golden horde and the Crim Khanate in the south.”

19. The princes and boyars resisted this process militairly.

20. Moscow alone had insufficient strength versus the enemies, of necessity they sought unity. In the last part of the 15th cent the central organization of the military forces was the chief activity of the Moscow government. It was accomplished in two ways, by bringing the princes into service and by increasing and strengthening the Moscow prince’s dvor. Many princes came voluntarily and kept important privileges. Military service was their chief duty. 20 Of the 60 voevodes in the battle of Vedroshe under Ivan III on 14 July 1500, 11 were princes. Their position depended on their ancestry “mestnichestvo”.

21. When all princes were serving Moscow the boyars had to also or else be traitors. By the end of the 15th cent the political situation changed. The right to leave gradually was lost (not formally). Some attempts were made, the government took measures against this. The princes were made to swear loyalty, and joint responsibility was decreed, other princes made surety for each other. The lands of traitors were seized. The character of service became regulated by the prince. He strived for a united state and for a single service, that of the prince. The grand prince’s army was composed of lower rank people the dvoriani and deti boyars. The other princes armies became part of the state army. The deti boyars also joined.

23. They were also called Tverskis, Yaroslavski, etc in their own locations. The difference between the Moscow and other town deti boyars. The dvoriani were officially below the deti boyars before the 16th cent. The dvoriani officially were the grand Duke's servants and depended on him, of the 1310 men receiving pomestie in Novgorod, 280 were service people of the boyars and princes. Moscow tried to reduce the power of the princes by granting land in the name of the government.

24. Thus the dvoriani and deti boyars were mixed in the Moscow service. Former servants of princes became city dvoriane. The deti boyar title was kept in the future by lower category of local service people of the middle level ruling class. The service required a material basis. The natural economy required that it be on a land and peasant basis. Thus the Pomestie developed. It differed from the votchina.

25. The government confiscated the land from private owners and independent peasants and made it into pomesties. The government stopped peasant flight, at first it was limited to Yurev’s day. The pomestnik had to come at the call of the government armed and with a horse. The details are unknown. This militia of horsemen was not only the ruling class but some of their servants. The organization of the pomestnik militia was a major step. The size of the force increased. Its political importance was it helped free the prince from feudal dependence. He was the direct commander of the military force. The disadvantages were it assembled only at war and danger. The gathering took place slowly it took the government apparatus time to send the orders, usually several months were required.

27. The members didn't receive systematic training, they brought and purchased their own weapons so they varied with the cost and ability to pay. The pomestnik busy at home didn't want to come. There was poor discipline. The development of the military art required better organization. The army laged behind requirements.

By the middle 17th cent a new series of government measures were taken. Instead of the militia gathered only in war at the call of the veche, representatives of the people began to serve in the capacity of pomestniki service people varied by groups, the boyars, dvoriani and peasants.

When the state had a major war they called the city and rural population as much as 1 warrior for every 2 or 3 workers. The basic unit was the l00 households. The duty to serve was universal. The units also built roads and bridges etc. With the artillery the service people was important as they did all the supply work and the transport and service duties. Chernov tries to show the importance of the people's part by saying they were the key to the artillery which was in turn the key to the army. Also the people defend and guard the cities. In 1501 the Livonian war the Pskov people defended the town. In 1506 Nizhi Novgorod also was defended by the people who killed many Tatars. In 154l the Crim Tatar attack on Moscow , the people prepared for the siege. In 1517 there was a famous incident when the Crim Tatar Khan with 20,000 attacked Tula, The Voevode of the grand prince took a small detachment of people under command of deti boyars in small units and destroyed the Tatars. Learning of this the Khan retreated but the route was blocked. The infantry came out of the woods and killed many Tatars. These were local inhabitants (he doesn't say Cossaks) this shows the people could defend themselves and their land from foreigners.

From the middle XV cent the Cossacks appeared on the Dniper and in the XVI cent came the Don Cossacks.

30. In the beginning of the 16th cent appeared the pishchalniki whose role is unknown and, confused with another group or name the pushkari.

In 1510 Vasili III at Pskov sent from Moscow 1,000 Pishchalnikov. He kept there 1,000 deti boyars and 500 pishchalniki, later Smolensk received 1,000 of the same from Pskov. In l5l6 the battle of Smolensk the voyevod called for reinforcements and Vasilii sent more of these men. In 1518 - 1519 to Polotsk were directed warriors from Novgorod and Pskov, among them were Pishchalniki and pososhnie. They also defended the southern border. The Razryad list for 1545 lists troops to call from Novgorod to Kazan in various classes. The suburb 100's, ryadov, pogostov, polagalos, 2,000 pishchalnikov - 1 for every 3 to 5 people.

31. They were divided into 100's under a sotnik, They were predominately city people in distinction from the posokhi fielded from the rural area. The people had to supply the arms and ammunition, and uniforms and food. Also there were the kazennie pishchalniki who were supplied with weapons by the government. They had a direct part in battle not subsidiary. In battle they served on foot, some rode on horse to the battle. They were the first infantry detachment using firearms.

Service people from the “naryada” artillery were a duty detail. The use of artillery led to the increase in the naryad people and gradually it stood apart from the other units. There were pushkarei and pishchalniki, zatinshchiki who operated from the zatinni pishchalei.

The vorotniki guarded the city gates, there were also plotniki and kuznets. In 1540 Toropts city had 5 pushkarei, 24 pishchalniki, several with sons all living in 30 houses. Some places they lived in special suburbs, Their pay is not clear, probably they had the right to trade and be artisans and had other privileges. In 1545-46 in Novgorod there were 45 pushkarie and pishchalnikov, They had to be ready for campaign. The artillery specialists were paid well.

32. The Composition forces in the XV - XVI centuries.

  1. the local of dovoriane and deti boyars
  2. detachment of servants of the deti boyars of princes and boyars.
  3. Cossacks
  4. pishchalniki
  5. service people in the naryad
  6. pososhnaya rat in 100's

The first three were horsemen the rest on foot. Plus the artillery. The cavalry was the main part.

33. The numbers of the forces is not clear. The numbers were always changing. Foreign sources say 150 to 350 thousand. These are not reliable. We can say that in serious times the prince possibly could collect 200 thousand.


In the 2nd half of the l5th century the polk became the structure. Each army had three polki; the main, lead and rear. Then there were five by adding right and left wing polki. In the middle 16th century there were two more polki added - the special gosudarev polk of service people of the Moscow ranks. This unit was under the direct command of the grand prince and was his own force. If he was not present they went into the other polki. Under Vasilii III came the ertaylnie polk, a light cavalry detachment in front of the lead polk. This was a reconnaissance unit and provided out guards on campaign. It is first seen in the 1524 campaign to Kazan. The personnel were ad hoc. It was used most to the south and east against nomads.

34. The division into 3 or 5 polki became not only the campaign division as before but also at the place of formation the units of dvoriane and deti boyars were put under service of the princes in definite formation. All this was done by the “Razryad”. The word “Razryad” in ancient Russia had many meanings. It meant any painting, in military form it is from razryazhat, to distribute. Dimitri Donskoi razryazhal, distributed, his forces into polki at Kulikovo, later the office that did this in peacetime with formally written orders was called by this name. The various soldiers were assigned to polki and sometimes given instructions on the route to the meeting place et cetera.

35. The razryad did only the directing work, its task was important in the consolidation and strengthening of the government. At the meeting place or on the battle field the separate hosts were united. Already in the 1st half of the XVI cent, there was the general rule that the main hosts from the different princes united together and advanced guards from princes united with advanced guards etc. This means that when the separate armies joined they did so by uniting like units. This rule lasted till the middle 17th cent. The polk had from 300 - 500 to several l,000's of men. In the Kazan campaign of 1524 the advance guard polk had 5,000 men and the advance polk 15,000.

Gradually the official divisions by the Razryad in the 16th and 17th cent. were the main, advance, right, left, and watch (guard) polki. The battlefield order differed. The chronicle of the battle of Orsha, 8 Sept. 1514, where the voevode Chelyadnin put the main force in 3 lines and for movement to the flank and rear of the enemy put strong horse units on both flanks.

36. It is likely that the lead polk was the 1st line and the main polk the second line and the right and left polki were the 3rd line with the watch polk as a reserve. The main polk was the center of march and the main unit on the battle field. The serving princes commanded the polki and also the grand princes and boyars commanded. The voevode of the main polk was commander in chief of the army.

The grand prince didn't trust the serving princes, so he tried to put a Moscow boyar in command. There was a supply problem in food and especially food for the horses. There were agreements made for supply when the army operated in different a prince’s territory.

37. The introduction of artillery was a big step there was a shift from iron to cast bronze cannon. Ivan III began the artillery industry in 1475 he had a cannon shop, in 1547 the cannon office was set up. By 1500 there were several cannon works in Moscow. In 1494 Moscow had a gunpowder factory also. Smolensk in 1483 had 17 pishchalie. At the end of the 1560's the caliber varied from ½ to 5 funt in weight, the weight of the cannon from 2 to 16 pud.

The name of the cannon master Yakovlev was on the cannon of this time. In the campaign of Tver in 1485 the Russians had artillery in the siege of Viborg in 1496 much artillery was used. The pushka a large caliber weapon was the predominant weapon it shot stone. The pishchal was smaller in caliber. The in the first half 16th cent artillery was important at the siege of Pskov 1502 and Kazan 1505 and battle of Orsha 1507 and at Smolensk, The field artillery of the 16th cent, was wheeled and horse drawn. The naryad was an independent part of the army. At Kazan in 1506 the naryad was part of the main polk the commander was Ivan Obolenski he had 3 special assistants. He was named commander by the Razryad, like the other commanders. In 1524 at Kazan there were two independent naryads the larger under the commander voivode and the other under separate command — also in 1530,1541, ans 1548.

Handguns appeared in the 2nd half of the 15th century. In 1480 the Russians had firearms against the Tatars. In the 16th cent they were called fitelvni pishchali.

39. The prince gained power by moving people from one uezd to another. The service people wanted freedom from military service. All military affairs were in the Razryad Prikaz. The assembly of forces took much time and organization. It acted in the campaign of Novgorod 1478. The pomestie prikaz handled the land allotments. The namestnik was the prince's lieutenant in the local area and lead the local forces.

The reform of Ivan IV

43. The feudal reaction during Ivan's youth showed the strength and dislike of the feudal forces for the central government. The uprising against the feudal leaders by the people of Moscow in 1547 shows the people’s desires. The reforms were taken to strengthen the Tsar. In 1552 Kazan was taken as a result of the active foreign policy of Ivan. In 1555 the Siberian Tsar, Ediger, made himself a vassal. In 1556 Astrakhan was taken.

The 25 year Livonian war showed that state aims could be achieved by strong armed force. The existing force was insufficient. Ivan's reforms designed to help this. The important military theorist Ivan Semevovich Peresvetov advised reform. His work was important step I in military theory. He recommended. reform and a strategic plan. He was a representative of the lower level dvoriane. His idea was to make them the central element of the state military force. The concrete measures were, he wanted. 20,000 guards with firearms. He especially wanted the southern frontier defended, he would. lead an active foreign p~1icy, He says this work had a bearing on the reform of Ivan IV. Another reformer was Ermolaya. His idea was for the service people also, it was more concrete than Peresvetov's. He wanted to improve the material situation of the dvoriane based on a study of the real situation, The pomestie was the basic support of the dvoriani, although money and. ?feeding” were also used. It needed. closer direct ties between the service and the land, Ivans reforms connected with this aim, they were part of a wide reorganization, his reign was almost constant war. 1549_to 1556 war over the Volga, 1558 on the 25 year Livonian war and then the constant Tatàr threat also. The creation of the streltzi was the central measure in the reform. When they first appeared is a mater of opinion. There are no eyewitness accounts left. Most historians date them before 1550.

47. According to the letopises there were well trained streltzi at the coronation in 1547. Chernov says that Marx showed in his chronological notes that in 1545 Ivan established a permanent personal guard called streltzi, as it was armed with firearms instead of bows and quivers.

Part of this guard in the guise of the central kernel he sent to the army. Marx has been confirmed by Soviet historians.

In June 1546 Ivan sponsored to the the Kazan khanate a supporter of Moscow the Kasimov Khan, Shakh Ali. He left Moscow on 7 April that year the report says about that campaign that Shakh Ali was accompanied by 3,000 man detachment of Tatars and didn't take with him any firearms or artillery.

48. Shakh Ali was in Kazan a month and was expelled by the Kazan government of Khan Safa Gerei. The sources say that in the 2nd year after expelling of Shakh Ali, Ivan went to Kazan with his voevodes Simeon Mikulinski and Vasilii Obolenski Serebryani and a large army in which were firearms and armed streltzi. So the streltzi took part in military operations in l546-47. Therefore they must have been formed before then. In 1550 the vibrani “select” streltzi detachments. The tsar selected 3000 to live in Vorv'evskj. sloboda and have deti boyar officers. There were 6 detachments of 500 men each. The detachment called the stat'I was divided into 100's and probably in 10's The head of each 100 was a sotnik from the deti boyars and they received pay of 4 rubles a year, The creation of this select streltzi was part of a wide reform closely related to the institution of the select 1000's of the same year 1550. The 1000's were a detachment of select horse the select streltzi were a 3000 ma n infantry detachment. Both~ were trained personnel of a military guard and were a type of “guard” unit. The streltzi differed from pomesti militia as they lived in a special place the suburb and were payed a steady money salary. They approximated a regular unit. The social status was different from the horseman dvoriani. The streltsi were selected from the people mostly from the commercial taxpaying class.

49. The streltzi 50·man Stati existed until the 2nd half of the 17th cent. Then they gradually changed to general regiments but the 100 man companies remained. They lost their unique organization. Their first baptism in fire in a big battle was the siege of Kazan in 1552. The letopis mentions actions of streltzi there. To storm Kazan were sent the eptaul'nli, lead, and great polki In front went the streltzi and Cossacks under their atamans and sotniks. The streltsi were in the firefight when the Tatar horse made a sortie against them. The tsar ordered the voevoides of the ertaulni polk to support them.

They entrenched themselves on the bank of the river Bulak and kept the Tatars from sortieing. The 2nd voyevode of the main polk, M. I. Vorotinski was ordered with the entire polk to move gabbions against the town. The gabbions were rolled toward the walls - moved about 50 sagen from the city walls. The siege was conducted by use of trench and gabbion. The streltsi covered the operation.

On Sat 27 Aug the voevoid N. Ya. Morozov was ordered to bring up the artillery with the main force. Heavy artillery fire was conducted. The streltzi were located in entrenchments in front of the gabbions and helped cover the artillery despite casualties. On Sunday it was decided to attack from the river bank of the Kazan river, the gabbions were moved forward.

50. The voevode sent the streltzi forward under command of Ivan Ershov and the Atamans with the Cossacks. The streltzi fired their guns and the Cossacks used their bows. A sortie was repulsed by the Mordvins. A 12-meter-tower was built and from it fire was brought on the city walls. Dry wood was piled in the moat and dirt and then the streltzi led the attack. Chernov says “Sources show the decisive role in the attack was played by the streltzi”. The mounted boyars and dvoriani did not want to dismount and attack city walls it was beneath their dignity.

In the Livonian war the streltzi also played an important part. On 31 Jan 1563 the siege of Polotsk began. The city was defended by fire. The ostrog in front of the city walls was defended. It was on the river Dvina and from an island the streltzi and pushkari opened fire. Two detachments of streltzi were on the island. On 4-5 Feb. the gabbions were brought up and the artillery emplaced. The streltzi covered this operation and the Cossacks and boyar men also helped. The head of the streltzi was Ivan Golokhvastov. They burned a bastion of the ostrog on the side by the river and penetrated through the ostrog bastion but Ivan was not ready so he recalled the attack. They lost 15 men. The enemy tried to open negotiations to no result. The gabbions were again moved forward and a round the clock bombardment of the ostrog was commenced. The streltzi covered the front. On 9 February the ostrog was fired and the defenders driven into th city. The ostrog was occupied with the streltzi in the lead in a hand to hand fight. Reenforcements from he main ;polk were sent in. After the capture fo the ostrog gabbions were set up all around the city. On the night of 15 February the streltzi set fire to the city wall. The troops were ready to attack but the city then surrendered. The success in the siege was a result of active use of the artillery and the streltzi. There were 12,000 streltzi at Polotsk. Previous sieges had been unsuccessful due to lack of permanent trained infantry armed with firearms. The cavalry was of no use in city fighting. The boyar men militia and pushkari were temporary men the Cossacks had only bows. The trained infantry was essential for centralization of power.

52.The streltzi had firearms, the dvoriani cavalry had only bows and swords. Firearms had a big significance already. Chernov says this put the streltzi ahead of western armies because they had only part of the force armed with firearms in the west the rest had pikes. The streltzi were very experienced and trained in war and could shoot accurately. They could even shoot small birds with the hand firearms. A comparison of the streltzi and pushchalniki shows both were infantry with firearms but the streltzi were permeant and organized and trained and were better than the militia. So after the streltzi did so well the pishchalniki disappeared as a force and the rest of the infantry became foreign units.

The reform included the pomestie militia. This was the 2nd reform. The dvoriani militia was the basic national force. It was the class support of the autocracy. This strengthened their support. There were economic measures as well as military training reforms.

53. Before the military reforms of the dvoriani in the middle 16th cent there was an agreement on “mestnichestvo”. In the fall of 1549 Ivan began a campaign to Kazan. On the way the tsar called to himself the religious leaders and began to convince the boyars and princes.

On the campaign that he sent to Kazan on national business in order that there would not be differences on position between them. So on service all served without place. He promised to decide all argument of place after the campaign. For this fact that on campaigns it happened to convince the military people of the necessity for unity and equality. The religious leaders were called. This shows what harmful influence was “mestnichestvo”, on the army. The compact did not have a good result and the boyars continued to fight for place. Then the government decided to take legal measures. In July 1550 a meeting was called for negotiations between the tsar and the metropolitan and boyars.

Negotiation came to two conclusions.

1.a decision concerned “mestnichestvo” in general. At the beginning of discussions it was shown that in the polk the princes, dvoriani and boyars had to be on service with the boyars and voevoid without concern for place. In the agreement it was suggested to write down in the service roster that if dvoriani and deti boyars served with a voevoid not by “family rank” that it would not be a violation of “family rank”.

54.The directive part of the agreement rather decisively placed the question of “mestnichestvo” on the basis only of this one issue one can conclude of the desires of the tsar to completely abolish “mestnichestvo” ranks in the army. However further substance of the agreement decisively lessened the strength of the 1st part. Further we read if great dvoriane, on service with lower ranking voevode not by family ranks, in future if the dvoriane was serving as a voevoide with other man he would not have lost his rank, but would be senior by patrimony. So elimination of “mestnichestvo” pretensions from the side of the private soldiers toward their voevoide comaander was achieved. But the agreement left in force and confirmed the pretensions between the voevodès. This agreement of 1550 did not fully eliminate Mmestnichetvo” in the army but despite that it had a big effect. The elimination between privates and between privates and commanders helped strengthen discipline, and raised the authority of the voevode especially and raised the military capability of the force.

2 The second part of the agreement was an accommodation of “mestnichestvo” the ranks between voevodes with existing divisions of the army into polki. In the service roster it was ordered to write where the boyars and voevodes were to serve by polk. The first item - the main voevode of the main polk was the commander-in-chief. The 1st voevode of the lead polk, right and left polk and reserve polk were below the main voevode. The 2nd voevode of the main polk and the 1st voevode of the right polk were equal. The voevode of the lead and reserve polki were considered to be not lower than the voevodes of the right polk. The voevode of the left polk was not lower than the 1st voevode of the lead polk, but was lower than the 1st voevode of the right polk. The 2nd voevode of the lead polk was lower than the 2nd voevode of the right polk. This means the 1st voevode of the main polk was commander-in-chief and had subordinate to him all the voevodes of the other polki. The voevodes of the remaining four polki were equal and equal to the 2nd voevode of the main polk. Except for the voevode of the left polk who was lower than the voevode of the right polk. This subordination was slanderous because the right and left polki were equally placed. Within the polki the voevodes were subordinated by rank 1st 2nd 3rd .

55. The service place of the polk voevode was set up by agreement of 1550 and existed till the middle 17th cent, until the end of the old polk army organization. The agreement determined the voevodes and improved leadership and settled arguments. Nevertheless despite the predominance of the new system it was poorly learned by self conceited and presumptuous boyars. “Mestnitchestvo” continued to exist and the government had trouble applying the agreement.

The next measures of Ivan's government were for organization of the militia to organize a select 1,000. On 1 Oct 1550 a agreement of the tsar and boyars was made on the selection of 1,000 deti boyars. The agreement involved placing the 1,000 on pomesties within_60-70 versts of Moscow in the Moscow, Dmitrov, Ruze, Zvenigorod and other town areas. The selected people were moved from their previous holdings which, however, they did not loose. There were 3 classes of pomestie, 1st of 200; 2nd of 150; and 3rd of 100 chetverts in size. In all there were 1,078 people given 118,200 chertverts of land in pomestie ownership.

These people were listed in the special “thousands book” which is still available for study today. The names include many well known princely and boyar families. Service was hereditary. For many this was a large social promotion bringing them close to the tsar. The composition of this select group included former soldiers of separate princes and boyars. It had a big political significance. They had to be ready for service. They left the old places where they had local influence.

56. The 3 part division failed later. The Ukase of 1587 established all in equal 100 chetvert areas or 150 desyatines in 3 fields. This Ukase in entirety entered in the Uloshenia of 1649. These people spent their time near Moscow except when on service. In peace time they were sent as governors of cities heads of projects such as construction of forts etc. In wartime most were polk voevodes and heads of 100's, heads of streltzi, Cossacks, militia, and artillery. Many were middle level commanders and in the tsar’s suite. There were quartermasters and officials who checked roads and bridges and supplies. They were also directors of the prikazi and mere namestniks and volost rulers. They conducted the census and did civil duties.

57. They began to form a new group of people, and were called vibor or zhilistvo and began to integrate into the old prince and boyar group. They are included in the dvoriani book of 1551. They strengthened the Moscow tsar by being a cadre he could rely on. They were linked to local soldiers in other areas and served close to the tsar like the streltzi. The agreement of 1550 began the reorganization of the service of dvoriani and boyars and reached final form in the Ulozhenia on service of 1556. In 1556 came the agreement on abolishing “feeding” and on service. The system was much abused. In connection with feeding a new system was established. A sum called “Okup” was paid to the treasury. The appearance of “okup” was a large change in the government apparatus. A special financial organ was set up called the chertvergi. The abolishment of ?kormelenia” and elimination of the rule of “mestnichestvo” led to great change in the boyars. Now they were the tsar’s servants and dependent on the treasury not on “mestnichestvo” with their own money. The money, okup, gave the government the ability to pay the warriors in cash. The agreement of 1566 decided also the question of service. The title is “Uloshenia on Service”. The central place was the decision on connection of land and service. The owners of votchina and pomesties had to serve. Those with from 100 chertverts would serve 1 man with horse and full armor and on campaign with 2 horses. For service they also received a steady money salary. If did not serve they paid money to the person to serve instead. The Uloshenia of 1556 set norms of military service for land. The pomestie of 100 chetverts sent 1 man. It made even service from pomesties and votchinas an obligation. For the votchina and pomestia this meant that the votchina holders who had served the Udelenie (semi-independent) princes now had to serve the government. This brought to service more land owners and increased the size of the force. The government strengthened the political and economic status of the service.

59. Pomestie holders received judicial rights direct from the tsar. The reforms took power from local boyars and princes into the hands of the tsar's namestnik who had central control. In the aim of the reforms there was a pronounced dvoriani character.

The oprichnina

This was a part of the military reforms. After the reform most land stayed in the hands of the boyars. The dvoriani was dissatisfied with the boyar rule. The boyars didn’t like the tsar favoring the dvoriani and didn't like his autocracy. The boyars realized the necessity of strengthening the central power but they wanted to participate in the central government. To preserve their privileges they interfered with the reform. Having large military forces they could control the obedience of their own serfs. They didn't need the help of the central government like the others did. In 1553 Ivan was sick and placed the question of his successor before the boyars. Many refused to swear allegiance to his young son Dmitri.

60.Preferring Prince Vladimir Andrevich Staritski. Vladimir and his mother prepared armed force in case of dvoriani revolt and. gathered their deti boyars and distributed pay. They coordinated secretly with other princes, This event showed Ivan he could. not depend on the boyars or princes. In battle the boyars tried to use their feudal privileges to leave,.

61. In the spring of l564 during the Livonian war Prince Kurbski went over to the enemy side. He was a voevode in wartime. It had a big political significance. In Jan 1564 the Russians lost heavily on the River Ule near Orsha because of negligence of the voevodes, Ivan also discovered a plot in Vladimir.

In the fall of l564 the Krim Khan helped Poland government to attack Russia. All this strengthened the boyars and meant they were close to treason. Ivan took extraordinary measures. He formed special detachments that he could trust. At first 1,000 men later 6,000. Still later 15,000 to 20,000.

It was made up of small land owners and service people. Had no connections to boyars and princes or their a relatives. The purpose was to defend the tsar's power. The backbone was the city dvoriani. The oprichnina had direct participation in the war on the south and west border. In 1565 at Bolkhov the voevode of the oprichnina was sent. The process further spread and strengthened the oprichnina as it was separated from the regular army. In 1568 when the Zemski polki were stationed on the west border for the campaign on Lifland the defense of the southern border was only done by the oprichnina force. There were three main oprichnina polki, the main, lead, and rear - each had voevodes. There were three oprichnina polki at Mtsensk and 3 at Kaluga and at the appearance of the enemy the units were ordered to unite each to like unit.

62. In 1569 the defense of the south was by both the Zemski and oprichnina units, there were 5 zemski units at Serpukhov, Kolomna, and Kashir. And oprichnina units at Kaluga - the main, lead, and storoshevoi - and at Rzhev the right and left units. In 1570 all five oprichnina polki moved to Tarus and the voevode of the oprichnina was at Kaluga. The razryad documents indicate that for the defense of the south in operations the Zemski and oprichnina armies were united according to standard procedure main to main et cetera.

In 1571 the 5 oprichnina polki with their voevodes were at Tarus and the voevode of the oprichnina was at Kaluga. After 1571 the oprichnina polki disappear from the military lists of the southern frontier. The Oprichnina took part in the Livonian war also. At the siege of Revel on the campaign of 1577 there were 1,280 oprichnina and 5,190 zemski streltzi. The oprichnina was a full military force equal to the zemski force. It was included in the razryad organized in polk the same and had voevodes et cetera. For administration it had special institutions. In 1565 Ivan ordered his boyars and dvoriani to Aleksandrovski sloboda. At the head of the oprichnina was a Razryad prikaz similar to the analogous zemski razryad.

63. The oprichnina took the boyar’s and prince’s lands. They were moved to the frontier where they had no connection with the people. The class nature showed in the replacement of the big by the small landholders the large holding and udels were broken up. With the oprichnina disappeared the multi-leveled detachments of military servants.

64. By the beginning 1570's the oprichnina had fulfilled its role. Then the attack in 1571 by the Krim khan showed that the division of the army into two parts was bad and the independent oprichnina did not do well so in 1572 it was officially ended, but really units continued until the end of the 1570's.

Military reforms of Ivan IV NAVY

65. Ivan knew that he needed a navy to achieve success in the Livonian War. He took measures to increase trade in the west and organize a navy during the war. In April 1557 he began construction of a city at the mouth of the Narov River below Ivangorod. Foreign merchants were to trade there. At first the Russians advanced toward the Baltic and by May 1558 near Narva the Russians had their outlet to the sea.

66. Ivan wanted to make Narva a naval and trade base to replace Revel and Riga. He began a fleet. But the western neighbors were worried and blockaded Narva. First a Swedish fleet attacked , then Poland sent privateers, Ivan decided to retaliate with privateers. He hired the Danish corsair, Kuruted Rode, to whom he sent orders in March 1570. The appearance of the corsair operating as a privateer for Russia bothered the other countries. In 1570 the Reichstag, at the behest of Prussia ordered the imperial fleet to stop Rode, but no success was achieved. However the independent cities began to attack Rode. Then the Swedes overtook Rode near Copenhagen and he lost several ships.

67. In August 1570 Ivan sent an army to siege Revel. It was a strong fortress and naval base held by Sweden. The siege lasted 7 months but was not successful because with only land forces Ivan couldn't blockade the port. His hopes for a port were lost. His privateers had to be based at Lubeck and the Danish ports of Bornholm and Copenhagen.

Lubeck and Denmark concluded a peace with Sweden and agreed to eliminate the privateers. In Sept 1570 the King of Denmark arrested Rode and his ships. This showed that a fleet without a base needing to use foreign bases is always a risky business.

The Russian government got the Englishman, Jerome Horsy, in Russia in 1572 to secretly build 20 ships at Vologda but nothing is known of the results. All this shows Ivan's strong desires for closer contacts with the West.


68. After the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan the Turks and Crimean Tatars did not like the loss. The sultan ordered the Tatars to war. Selim II was sultan. During the Livonian war the southern border was weak, and the border danger continued. The Tatar raids continued. Moscow needed more strength to continue wars in the west and defend the rear in the south.

69. The reorganization of the southern border defenses was intrusted to the military commander of great renown, M. I. Vorotinski, a boyar voevode, who was appointed commander of all the border service. In Jan- Feb 1571 elected deti boyar representatives from all the southerner towns with border service came to Moscow. Vorotinski reported to the Tsar. An unknown number participated.

Summary of military situation at end of 16th century

75. The military strength had increased as a result of the reforms. The army consisted of the service people by heredity and those by selection. The first group service people of the Duma included the boyars, okol'niche, dumnie dvoriani. Service people of Moscow included stol'niki, stryapchi, dvoriani of Moscow, zhil'tsi. Service people of the cities included dvoriani, deti boyars, dvoriani by court list and city dvoriani. The second group consisted of streltsi, Cossacks, pushkari, zatinshchiki, vorotniki, kazenni kusnetsi, plotniki and others. There were also church attached people and the pososhni people.

Service people by heredity

76. The main group was the city dvoriani and deti boyars. By the 1556 charter service for these people began at age 15, before that age they were considered ho be not grown up. The boyars and other duma officers met with the dyaki of the prikazi periodically for the purpose of enrolling the new recruits. Sometimes this was done by the local voyevode. Upon arriving in the town the boyars had to organize elections of the local service people. Then they used questionnaires put to the men to be enroled to determine their property status and service capability. The base pay of the new men would depend oh their status as determined at this interview. The paymasters determined from the questioner how large a pomestie and what money payment each new recruit would receive. The pay depended on ancestry, property status and the service to be rendered. The pomestie varied in average from 100 chertverts to 300. Or from l50 desyatins in 3 fields to 450 desyatins.

And the money varied from 4 to 7 rubles a year. In the course of a man's service the size of both types of payment would be increased. The government watched to see that lower class people did not enter the ranks of the dvoriani. The military demands of the country, especially the defense of the southern border, which needed large quantities of manpower, forced the government to enrol as deti boyars people of non-boyar or dvorianstvo lineage, such as the Cossacks, In general the southern frontier was in such need of military forces that the government paid less attention to linage there. The new recruit often passed at the same time before a general review Of the local service people. At this review the recruit had to show the service people his credentials for service, le his horse and. arms and his men, and what his lands were and his financial status. All these affected his ability to fulfill the service. As a result of the review a list was made in each city called the “desyatnya”.

77. This term first appeared in the reform in 1554. In the militia organization the desyatnya played a important role. By this list the government counted the dvoriani and called them to service and released them. All the units were kept listed in the Razryadni Prikaz. The Prikaz kept all the statistics on pay death etc from one remuneration to the next.

For the pomestie Prikaz the desyatnya served as the basis for distributing the land in accordance with the rules. The number of serving men in each city and uezd depended on the land available. Thus in Kolomna in 1577 there were 310 dvoriani and deti boyars, in Pereyaslavl Zalesk in 1590 there were 107 men, in Murom in 1597 154 men.

The large cities had the most men. Novgorod had over 2,000 formed in 5 companies, Pskov and Smolensk had over 479 men. Depending on birth, property, service duty the dvoriani and deti boyars were divided into groups — select, court, and city were the categories.

The select dvoriani were the privileged part of the uezd service people by patrimony. In peace time they served their turn by roster in Moscow at the Tsar's court under the name of “zhil'tsi” They guarded the Tsar's court and fulfilled various duties of a military or administrative nature. In war they entered the Tsar's polk or were the tsar's bodyguard. Or they were appointed heads of the hundreds in the pomestie militia.

The court deti boyars had a middle position between the select and city dvoriani. From this group the select dvoriani were chosen. The largest group was the city or polk dvoriani. The pay these men received varied considerably both as to size of pomestie and to amount of yearly cash payment. The pomestie varied from 20 to 700 chertverts and the pay from 4 to 14 rubles a year. The pay depended on rank, in the military conquest. The congress itself is of interest. Possibly the first such congress of the frontier forces. It was designed to make use of the experience of the frontier people in order to design a new structure of defense.

78. The select dvoriani received the highest pay, from 350 to 700 chertverts of land. The court dvoriani were next, from 350 to 500 chertverts. And the city dvoriani received 20 to 500 chertverts. The pay varied by territory according to government directives and according to the fulfillment of duties. Good service earned higher pay, poor service might result in loss of land.

In the 2nd half of the 16th century service was divided into local service performed in the city in time of siege, and polk or field service performed on campaign with the army. City service was performed by small landowners with 20 chertverts and by men not fully capable of field duty. (In case of incapacity the dvoriani lost part of their land). The Siege (city )service was performed on foot. Those on duty received no additional cash payments. For good service the dvoriani could be selected to go on field service with a corresponding increase in land allotment and a cash payment. Field service was for a campaign (far), or for the defensive lines on the frontier. This was called near service or “shore duty” referring to the Oka river line. In peacetime the field service was mostly this border defense.

The Moscow service people (stol'niki, stryapchi, Moscow dvoriani, and zhil'tsl) were in a more privileged situation that the city men. They received land from 500 to 1000 chertverts, and cash from 20 to 100 rubles. Besides this, many of them had a votchina. In peacetime they had diplomatic military or administrative duties. They were voevodes in towns. In military times part of the Moscow service people were the Tsar's polk and part were in the other polki. In the other polki the Moscow “chins” were commanders, voevodes or heads of hundreds. There were 2—3,000 Moscow service people at this time.

79. The Duma “chin” (boyars, okol'nichni, duma dvoriani) had the highest command duties in the Army. They commanded polki and the main polk and were voevodes of larger cities. The boyars and okol'nichni had pomestie of 1000 to 2000 chertverts, the duma dvoriani had 890-1200 chertverts of land.

The number of “other ranks” was as follows; okolnichni 15, duma dvoriani 6, boyars 30 under Boris Gudonov but usually 15 to 20. When called to service1 the pomestniki of one uezd formed at the assembly point for that uezd in their 100's. All these then formed into the designated polk. At the end of service the dvoriani and deti boyars returned home, the 100's disbanded to be called again for the next campaign.

At the head of a 100 was a local man or a Moscow dvorianin appointed by the government or the polk voevode. This commander served only on campaign. All men came on service mounted with their weapons and their serving men. The servants outnumbered the pomestniki.

There is information on the status of the dvoriani from a review held in 1556. This shows the middle level pomestniki had 100 to 250 chertverts. All the dvoriani came to the review with horses, many had two. The weapons carried were as follows; bow 41, lances 19, ax 1, rogatin 9, 152 were unarmed, 49 had armor. Total was 222 men. At the review there were also 224 dvoriani men’s servants. Of them 129 were unarmed. The remaining 95 had the following weapons; bow and swords 15, bows and rogatin 5, bow and lance 2, bow 41, rogatin 15, lance 16, pishchal 1. Of the 224 45 had defensive armor. This indicates that there were as many servants as pomestniki and that they were better armed.

The way the cavalry changed at the end of the 16th century is shown by the “desyatnya” lists. At Kolomna in 1577 there were 283 dvoriani and deti boyari, also middle income people. At their review they were better armed that those at Kashir. Almost all had a weapon and nearly all had both a bow and saber. The review was accompanied by trials of arms. The pomestniki were receiving cash payments as well as land. They had already been on service.

The variety of weapons carried by the dvoriani shows that the government could not establish requirements specifying what weapons were to be carried on service. At the end of the 16th cent the government tried to increase the military effectiveness of the dvoriani cavalry. In 1594 at a review in Ryazhsk the majority of dvoriani had pishchalya, (firearms). The attempt to arm all with firearms and create permanent 100's organized and ready was a temporary measure. It did not succeed. In the 17th century the dvoriani cavalry was still poorly armed and unorganized. It also had poor discipline. The government tried to do something. It removed dvoriani from their pomesties and cut their salaries but this did not do much good.

The poor service and even absence from any service at all continued and reached a mass character. The government used strict punishments. The disintegration of the dvoriani militia resulted in their being replaced in the 17th century.

Seredonin gives a clear characterization. The number at the end of the 16th century was 25,000 men with a average of 200 chertverts of pomestie and or votchina. They came on service with 2 men each. This made a total of 75,000 men. But with 200 chertverts of land the pomestniki had to, according to the Ulozhenia of 1556, bring not 2 but one armed man; because those with 100 chertverts only came alone. This means a total force of 50,000 not 75,000.

The remaining books show for the end of the 16th cent that the dvoriani and deti boyars actually did not even bring the required number of men, therefore the number of troops was even lese than 50,000. These men who served by patrimony were under the Razryad Prikaz. Its function was the direction of military affairs. The Pomestie Prikaz controlled the land and hence the supply for the dvoriani.

Service people by selection

82. The first group of these were the streltzi, Moscow and city. Information on the streltzi is very limited, mostly foreign observers' reports. Fletcher said there were 7,000 Moscow streltzi, of them 2,000 mounted. Margaret said there were 10,000 streltzi in Moscow divided into Prikazi of 500 men each. The heads of these units were independent and reported directly to the government. The Streltzi Prikaz was the central administrative organ. The prikazi were divided into 100's, 50's, 10's at the head of which were golovoi, sotniki, 50's men and decurians. Their day-to-day duty was to guard the Tsar's court. The foot streltzi were on guard service by weekly turns. They also were sent to other towns to strengthen the garrison. In war they took part in campaigns. They received money and bread 4-7 rubles a year and 12 chertverts of oats and l2 of rye.

Their commanders were from the dvoriani and deti boyars. They received 30—60 rubles a year and a pomestie of 300 - 500 chertverts. The sotniki received 12—60 rubles, the decurian 10 rubles. In border towns there were garrisons of 20 to 100 streltzi. These were mostly on the northwest border such as Pskov and Novgorod. There were fewer on the southern border because there the government had other people such the Cossacks. By the end of the 16th century the streltzi were an important element of the army. They had increased to 20—25,000 men.

83. It is hard to judge the social background of the streltzi from the sources. They came from local people as a rule. But in Kazan 13% were arrivals from elsewhere. At Sviyazhk only 8% from outside. 0nly free people could be streltzi, not servants or peasants nor taxpayers. They were volunteers in good health who could shoot. Their children went on into the service. It became a hereditary permanent lifelong service. Only the elderly, wounded, or incapacitated could leave. In peacetime they were on garrison. They guarded the walls and towers and city gates and the government buildings. They guarded the saltpeter works, convoys of money or prisoners and ambassadors. In war the city streltzi were designated to the various polki. On long campaigns the foot streltzi received state horses or money to buy horses. Their weapons were the arquebus, berdish and saber. They received these weapons from the state, and also received 1-2 lbs of gunpowder, lead, and gunpowder flasks. They conducted regular drills and practice.

Jenkinsson said that they, in Dec. 1557 in Moscow, put up targets and conducted practice. Ivan and his suite participated.

The streltzi formed 5 ranks each with his weapon on his left shoulder and fuze in right hand. They fired on a ice rampart 6 x 9 x 12 till it was almost destroyed. They were in designated formations and had uniforms. It is clear that the mass ware formed in line to use line tactics. In 1605 at Dobrinicha they used line order so the infantry could fire with maximum number of weapons.

85. In the west line tactics were used first by the Swedes later in the 30 years’ War. At Dobrinicha the streltsi in line fired volleys and repulsed the Polish cavalry. It shows the Russians used line tactics 50 years ahead of the west.

The streltzi lived in special suburbs, in the town or outside. Each man had his house, yard and garden. They had land allotted to the unit for the use of individuals for farming. There were variations in the size of this area according to rank and from town to town. The streltzi also engaged in trade and small industry to earn their living. This reduced their military preparedness. Their business and trade affairs made the streltzi part of the common people. They considered themselves as such in the struggles versus the higher lords, hence they sided with the population in the uprisings which marked the century.


86. The Cossacks entered the ?selected' group in the 2nd half of the 16th century. They had a complex organization and composition. After the conquest of Kazan and of the Chuvash, Mordvin, et cetera, some of these entered the Russian forces as non Russian Cossacks with their own national detachments under national leaders, murzas, and princes. They were not in the Russian polki but were united into separate polki when assembled in large numbers. Usually they formed the lead polk and the advance guard.

In the 16th century there were on duty the following Cossack groups; free Cossacks, Yaitsk (Ural), Volga, Don, and Ukraine.

Government dealings with the Don Cossacks began in the 1570's. The government purpose was to insure that the Don area and then the Azov and Black Sea areas entered into the sphere of influence of Moscow. The Cossacks were asked to guard the government’s ambassadors and the merchants in the area and were paid, usually in saltpeter and lead.

By the end of the 16th century the government tried to take the Don Cossacks under direct control, but was unsuccessful. Tsar Mikhail Feodorivich reminded the Cossacks of their treatment under his predecessors, especially Boris Godunov and tried to win their loyalty. The Cossacks were forbidden to engage in trade or artisan work and forbidden to go to Moscow or even to the border towns to see relatives. Beginning in the 17th cent the Don Cossacks took an active role in the peasant wars. There were Cossacks in the Pretender's army. Another Cossack area was on the Volga. These were mostly ex Don Cossacks. They went by boat to the Caspian and helped the government at Kazan and Astrakhan. But then they interfered with government trade on the Volga and tried to gain control of the river so the government sent troops against them. In the 1580's Cossack detachments under the attaman Nerchai attacked the Nogai Tatars and destroyed their capital at Saraichik then moved on to the Yaik (Ural) river. They thus began the Ural Cossacks. By 1591 they already were serving in the government service. Other Volga Cossack detachments were on the west side of the Caspian and moved to the Terek river area. They became the Greben Cossacks. A detachment of Cossacks under Ermak, 600 started the Siberian Cossacks.

88. The free Cossacks were in government started by Ivan IV. On the 1550 campaign against the Nogai there were bands of Cossacks under the Grand Duke. They were active at Kazan, and also in the ?shore” patrol against the Crimean Tatars. In the Razryad list of 1575 there were Cossacks with the lead and main polk. Also in the Livonian war, on the Polotsk campaign of 1563 of a total force of 43,000 there were 5,550 free Cossacks or 13% of the force.

The Cossacks were about like the streltzi in organization. They served by “selection” under the leader who picked them. The leader was directly subordinate to the city voevode or the regional voevode. The normal composition of a unit was 500 men divided into 100's, 50's, and tens. There were the same functions and jobs in the units as in the streltzi.

The total number of city Cossacks was 5—6,000. At the end of the 16th century the government began to increase the number of city Cossacks selected from the free people. “They had the same eligibility requirements as the st±eltzi. They received the same government payments.”

89. In 1590 4O0 men were taken from the village of the Spaso—Prilutski monastery to be Cossacks.

The direction of all city Cossacks in the state was in the hands of the stre1tzi Prikaz. In the southern cities the direction of Cossacks was transferred to the Razryadni Prikaz which controlled all border troops. The streltsi Prikaz selected the recruits for service and released them, paid them money, moved them around, sent them on campaigns and was their highest judicial institution. It appointed the heads of larger units and of hundreds. This applies only to the city Cossacks. The Relations with the Don Cossacks and others were handled by the Ambassador’s Prikaz.

Puskari and zatinshchiki

89. This was a special military group, not streltsi. They were of two types, Moscow and city. The city pushkari lived on pomestie. The Moscow pushkari received greater support. The pushkari and zatinshchikik were selected from the same layer of population as the streltzi. The call to service was made by direction of the government in determined conditions and by commissions of the serving pushkari.

90. Each pushkari coming on service swore to fulfill service in the artillery in peace and war, to be loyal to Moscow state, to refrain from drinking, to not steal from the Treasury, not to divulge secrets of artillery science. Those bringing in new recruits answered with their heads for those they recruited. Probably they were taught artillery affairs after being on duty. The excellent service that was rendered at Kazan and in the Livonian war shows the result of good leadership and high technical level of the artillery men. The training methods are not given in the sources. There was a yearly shooting practice for the tsar. The number of pushkari and zatinshchiki in separate cities in the 2nd half of the 16th cent varied from 2-3 in Mazaisk and Korel to 33-34 in Kazan and Opochk. There where there was significant artillery in the south there were 5 in Venev and 48 in Tula. The total number is not known.

In peace time they guarded their weapons and did various jobs connected with artillery. They tested new weapons, prepared and transported gunpowder, supervised the preparation of shot. Where there were no gate guards or blacksmiths etc. They guarded gates or repaired guns etc. They were armed with pishchali, handguns. They received money and food for pay, and land. In the middle of the l6th century the Moscow pushkari received 3 rubles a year and l ½ puds of salt a month plus flour and clothing worth 2 rubles. On campaign they received supplementary rations. The city pushkari received 1 ruble a year and 2 puds of salt and 12 chertverts of rye and 12 of oats. Sometimes money was interchanged for food. At some cities they did not get land. The size of the land allotments varied from 1/2 to 6 chertverts each. Many also were busy as artisans and tradesmen.

91. Service people of the same rank were gate guards, blacksmiths, gunsmiths etc. The gate guards in most cities were a separate group but in others they were not. They lived in their own houses in town or in the countryside or in special suburbs. In Kazan, Pronsk, Degilov there were suburbs of smiths. Their duty was to service and repair the fortress guns. They also received land. Probably they did not differ from the regular taxpayers. The Pushechni Prikaz later the Pushkaruki Prikaz controlled these people. This prikaz did all the usual functions.

93. Besides these there also was the pososhnaya service. This was the general labor service which helped move supplies, carry equipment and ammunition, and move the cannon. In Pskov in 1560 from each 100 men 22 men were called. This service was on foot or horse. In peacetime and war when ever they were called the government payed them in cash. The numbers called were very great.

On the Polotsk campaign of 1563 with the 43,000-man army there were 80,900 on pososhnaya service.

In 1577 with an army of 35,000 there were 13,000 serving in the pososhnik service for the artillery alone. This was a significant group in the wars of the 2nd half 16th cent. They did military service duties, mainly as service for the artillery and its movements. The horse mounted pososhniki brought the shells and powder and supplies. They did military engineering duties. At Kazan they were ordered to build bridges. At Polotsk they repaired roads, pulled boats, prepared sacks of dirt, sandbags, for the siege. The taxpaying rural village population predominated in this service. They also constructed the abatis.

The city population also had garrison, and siege duty in their own town. The southern border towns men were called to guard duty along with the service people.

With the growth of the military force of the state the participation of the people grew. Military service of the people had first call by demand of the government. Any independence of the people in military affairs vanished.

Numbers and organization of the Russian force.

There is no data for the 2nd half of the 16th century. The foreign sources give various and fantastic figures such as 100 to 900,000 men. This is unbelievable. They used oral witnesses not having good contacts. It is commonplace in ancient and medieval accounts when a witness is confronted with huge numbers beyond his comprehension to give such enormous figures.

C. M. Seredonin concluded that the army was 75,000 the dvoriani and their men, 10,000 Tatars, 20,000 streltzi and Cossacks, 4,000 foreigners for a total of 110,000 not counting the datochniki and pososhniki. This is closest to reality of any previous figure. But some of his conclusions can be considered official information. On the Polotsk campaign there were about 60,000 plus 80,000 pososhniki. In the Livonian war of 1577 the total was 4O,OOO men. In 1578 it was 48,O0O. Mobilization of 35—55% of the total number of eligibles for military duty for one campaign would be about right.

Of the 60,000 on the Polotsk campaign 29% were dvoriani and deti boyars, 29% were boyar’s men, 20% streltzi, 12% Cossacks, 8% Tatars and Mordvin, and 25% from the cities.

95. It follows that service by hereditary was 29% and service by selection plus the boyar’s men was 71%.

The pre-revolutionary literature said that the main force was the cavalry of the deti boyars. Also in Soviet literature this was said , but it is not true. The main force was the lower class. In the middle 16th cent the size of the force increased by the organization of various select groups. Especially the streltsi and city Cossacks were increased. The main permanent cadre was from these two groups, more so that the dvoriani militia. The streltsi and Cossacks were better armed and orgaized.

The dvoriani militia remained the class base of the government and kept the leadership positions, but they gradually lost their importance as a fighting force in favor of the mass of the people. Likewise the division of the force into service by “patrimony” and by “selection” was not just a military designation but a class one. The service by “patrimony” were the ruling class, the select ones were the mass. The select men were always privates, never leaders.

96. The dvoriani when on duty as privates were landowners. The “selection” men received money, food and land. Their major pay was land. But the “patrimony” men received private land as property with various duties and lived on the land using serf labor. Gradually they became private hereditary land owners. The “select” men received land in units tenure collectively and used it only while on service at that city. And he lived by his own work on that land.

By arm of service, there were 4 types; cavalry, infantry, artillery, and service (engineer, transportation).

The cavalry

All dvoriani, service foreigners (Tatars), mounted city Cossacks, and town council men were cavalry.


The streltzi, foot city Cossacks, and council men,


All pushkari and part of the pososhni people.

Service of the rest of the pososhni people.

97. By numbers the largest was the cavalry and 2nd was the infantry. This was a transition period. The shift was from cavalry to infantry predominance in the 16th cent. Each type of service had its central organ of direction there was no single military direction until the beginning of the 18th century (Peter).


The dvoriani had no structure. The streltzi had one, as did the Cossacks etc.

The dvoriani was called by order of the government through the local voevode or special officer of the Prikaz, to the assembly point.

The pososhni was also called in this way. The Streltsi and Pushkari Prikazi received the order from the Razryad Prikaz on how many of their men would be needed and the time and location. At the same time as the call, the tsar would name the voevodes for the campaign through the Razryad Prikaz.

98. The chief voevode received, together with his designation from the tsar via the Razryad, and order describing who was the enemy and from what city and territory the service people would participate this the campaign and when and where they were to assemble for each polk, who would command each polk and the artillery etc; the pay and supply data, also the route of march of each polk and the plan of action. He also received an order naming the military lists of service people and voevodes in the polki. For the detailed work each voevode had an appointed dyak from the Razryad. They and their assistants were the staff of the polk, receiving in the 17th century the title of Razryadni shatra. The polk voevodes received their orders in similar fashion.

Having received his orders and designation, the voevode and his retinue went to the assembly point to check on the activity and inspect the horses and arms, verify the composition of the polki, et cetera.

The polk voevodes were dividing their units into 100's, 10's, et cetera. The heads of 100's, the sotnik was appointed by thevoevode in the middle 16th century, no longer elected, or appointed directly.

The government of Ivan tried to improve the organization of the dvoriani militia and strengthen military discipline. Thus appointment of the 100's leaders had a big significance. This helped to reduce family ties in the appointments and local favoritism.

99, During the Livonian war these leaders of 100's were able to carry out independent missions succesdful1y maintaining discipline. The rest of the army went to war in the same organization as in peace. The 5 polk organization was kept. This old organization was adapted to the new demands of strategy and tactics. This meant that in composite polki the basic tactic was for the streltsi to strengthen by firepower the polk objective. It called for close cooperation of the streltsi and arty with the cavalry.

l00. Chernov says that foreigners try to calumniate the Russians military capacity. He says Russian victories at Kazan and in the Livonian war show their superiority and the superiority of their methods.


Weapons were improved in the 2nd half of the 16th cent. The artillery was especially successful. Russians began manufacture of forged iron and cast bronze cannon. The master Andrei Chakhva in 1586 made the caliber 890 Tsar cannon, the largest in the world. The weight of the tsar cannon is 2450 pud ie 39,300 kg. and it shot a stone weighing 850 kg. or a metal one 1965 kg. He also made other cannon. Russia was the leading nation in Europe. It lead the west in technical ideas of ordnance manufacture.

The arty museum has a smooth bore iron cannon of this period that is breach loaded.

In the 16th century they made multi-barreled firearms called “corok”, used in 1555 3 centuries before the mitralleuse which only came in the west in the 19th century.

(Chernov ignores or does not know of the Itallian organ guns of this era)

Shooting practice was conducted each winter on the target range at wooden frames. There was fortress, siege and field artillery. The fortress had small, medium calibers. The siege cannon were large.

The field artillery went with the main polk. The hand firearms became important also. The matchlock was invented at the end of the 15th cent. Had disadvantages, it was dangerous and lighted poorly. In the 16th century the Russian arms masters invented a new firearm lock the wheellock of complicated construction.

Widespread use of firearms was a result of the growth of metal working and the further development of artisan working skill. The center was Tula. Powder was also improved.

The special Pushchni Prikaz handled all questions of artillery and powder. The Oruzhenie Prikaz controlled handguns. And the Ronni Prikaz made defensive armor and swords and such.

The Birth of the Regular Army

133. During the 2nd half of the 17th century there was a period of development in the army. Social and economic changes and political changes accompanied these developments.

The absolute monarchy was established. This ended the zemski sobor and the boyar duma. There was a growth of bureaucracy and administrative organs. The Ulozhenia of l649 set the theory of absolutism. The military force was a weapon for the strengthening of absolutism. There were peasant uprisings, a military force under central government control was needed.

134. In the 1630's the government organized new dragoon, soldier and 'reiter' regiments. In 1633 the truce ended with Poland and the government began preparations before then for military action to reconquer the lost territories in the west. Smolensk was the key city. It was a first class fortress. The Russians tried to get allies of Sweden and Turkey but failed,


April 1630 in Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Uglich, Vologda, Novgorod and other towns the order was received calling to service all deti boyars of the service list, They were called to Moscow and organized into 2 regiments of 1,000 each under foreign colonels. All were promised pay of 5 rubles a year and food money of 3 kopeks a day. Also each was issued by the government a firearm, powder and lead. This was a new form regiment. The government intended to form new regiments of deti boyars who could not serve as cavalry in the old style field polki because of poor economic conditions. The government also planned to make them into infantry regiments.

135. By Sept. 163O the number of men signed up for infantry service was less than 60. It was not successful as the deti boyars did not like the idea of infantry service. So the government widened the recruitment to include Cossacks, Tatars etc. By Dec 1631 there were two soldier regiments totaling 3,323 men. Then each unit had 1,600 privates, 176 officers and NCO's. Each regt was divided into 8 companies under a Colonel, Lt. colonel, major and 5 captains. In each company there was a Lt., ensign, 3 sergeants quartermaster, quartermaster-sergeant, 6 corporals,, doctor, scribe. interpreter, 3 drummers. 200 privates divided into 120 musketeers and 80 pikemen.

Beginning in 1632 the number of soldier regiments was raised to 6. The government began to attract free people as volunteers into the regiments. The last 4 regts. were formed mostly by volunteers. The first 4 regiments formed by Aug. 1632 participated in the campaign on Smolensk. The last 2 regiments were sent to Smolensk in June 1633. We don't have information on how the foreigners taught the Russians. It apparently took only a few months training to learn the drill. Simultaneously the governmnnt tried to train Russians to be the junior officers.


Experience in forming the first regiments made the government decide to reform the cavalry also. In the middle 1632 they began the formation of “reiter” regiments of 2,000 men. This formation was more successful, by Dec 1632 the regiment had 1,721 privates of dvoriani and deti boyars and with its commanding officers the regt reached its 2,000 men. Then the government raised the number to 2,4O0, by forming in the regiment a dragoon company.

This success was due to: 1 the reiter service was considerably better for the deti boyars so they volunteered.

2 Reiter service paid double the infantry service. -3 rubles for a pvt plus 2 rubles a month for the horse.

The reiter regiment of 14 companies was headed by rotmisters and there was a regimental staff. When going the war the government formed another dragoon regiment. Two soldier regiments and a separate soldier company formed of ”Datochni” people.

The total number in a dragoon regt. was 1,600 men 1,44O of them were privates. The regt was divided into 12 companies of 120 pvts. each. The dragoons received from the government a horse, weapon, and 4 rubles a year for clothing, saddle, and monthly food, the weapons were the pishchal or musket and the lance. The regt. had its artillery of 12 small cannon with artillerymen and 24 cannon balls per gun in the supply. During the 3 1/2 years before the war and during the war the government formed 10 regts of the new type for a total of 17,000 men, of them at the start of the war 6 soldier regts of 9,000 men were ready.

The regiments were much better prepared for war than the old army. During the war l632-34, the new regiments participated in the siege of Smolensk to the end of the war. At Smolensk there were 2,567 men or 1/4 of the 6 regts strength, of a total of 34,500 men not counting servants at the Smolensk army. The regiments therefore didn't make up a decisive number, but their superiority was obvious so the government decided to expand the program. After the war the government was busy strengthening the southern border. In 1636—7 construction of towns, outposts, forts, and frontier fortifications continued. The old abatis were repaired and frontier service troops strengthened.

The government resumed creation of the new regiments in 1636-7 soldiers were sent to the southern border polki. December 1637 in connection with the preparations for war with Crimea the government informed the cities that all people formerly in Russian field army service in soldier, reiter, and dragoon service were recalled for service in the spring. Thus began the 2nd stage of the organiztion of the regiments. In the spring 1638 on the southern border the big work began of strengthening the abatis and building the new ones.

138. To defend the southern border the government called to servioe 4,000 dragoons and as many soldiers. The dragoons were successful in enrolling in Moscow and the soldiers in the towns, All were put on rations, for the deti boyars it was 7 deneg a day and for the free men not formerly on service 6 deneg; and 3 rubles a year. The dragoons had the same pay, and received weapons and military equipment from the government. The attempt to recruit soldiers (infantry) in this way was not successful and free men did not want to serve. Then the government turned to forceful methods and took “datochni” people.

The dragoons and soldiers formed by the fall of 1638 were sent to the southern border. There were 5,055 dragoons and 8,658 soldiers in these regiments. But they didn't serve for long. On 1 November 1638 all the dragoons and soldiers were sent home and taken off the payroll and their weapons were collected.

In the spring of 1639 the call to service was repeated and in Sept the troops were again sent home till the spring. This continued as the yearly practice. Therefore these troops were new in their formations and drill but traditional in their temporary service only during the season of maximun danger from Tatar raids.

The government gradually realized that temporary service was not a very good method. The assembly took too long and cost too much and the military capability of the troops was lower than that of the permanent streltzi and deti boyars. Temporary service took only chance people who during the summer months could not receive much training and might not be the same individua1s the next year.

139. The military discipline was very low. Therefore the government tried a new method. In 1642—48 the peasants of a series of villages in the Voronezh, Lebedyanski, Sevski and other southern uezds were taken from their pomestniki and put into dragoon service. These peasants had to learn the dragoon service drills in their towns on a once a week drill schedule so as not to interfere with the harvest and their ability to pay taxes. The government sent officers and weapons to the villages. They were armed with dragoon carbines and swords. Besides training, the peasants had to go to the border guard tours on their own horses.

Dragoon Regiments

Thus from the peasants of the southern border the government created a new type of dragoon who was somewhat better that those on the ration pay. They served and supported themselves on their own land so instead of making service people into landowners the government was making peasant land tillers into service people. They were called ?poselennii dragoons” This shows the government's, efforts to improve the quality of the dragoon structure and support these dragoons on a more permanent basis. Furthermore it didn't require any government expenditure for salary. For patrol and guard duty these local people were more interested in their own defense and were better informed on the locale than the temporary people taken from other towns had been. The key role in this was played by the people from Komaritski Volost in the Sevski uezd as it was the strategic volost which bordered on both the south and west.

140 In August 1646 all peasants in Komaritski Volost were taken into dragoon service. They kept their land and were freed from taxes. From each household one man was taken. The total was over 5,000. Each dragoon had to have a good horse, pishchal, saber, and spear or ax and supplies for himself and his horse. The Komaritski dragoons were formed into 3 regiments of 6 companies each of 300 men per company, but there were insufficient officers.

In 1653 before the beginning of the war in the Ukraine the government conducted an inspection of the peasants in the regiment. It showed that there were 5,551 horsemen with firearms and 5,649 infantry with their own firearms and spears and 3,641 unarmed men for a total of 14,841. The foot troops were relatives of the horsemen and made up reserve and garrison units.

This measure shows the willingness of the government to gamble on the loyalty of the peasants in the very regions where the peasant uprisings in the “time of troubles” had started. The military necessity of arming these peasants must have been overwhelming.

In the war with Poland 1654-67 the Komaritski regts took an active part and suffered heavy losses and their lands were wrecked by the Tatars. This service proved to be excessive burden for the peasants. The government in 1680 had to turn them into regular soldiers and they continued to serve in this capacity until the 18th century. During the war the dragoons disappeared from the southern frontier and from the peasantry. This disappearance showed that the government was wrong in establishing the system. The peasant economic base was insufficient for him to serve away from home and for long field campaigns and still maintain his farm.

141. They had to serve on horseback with their own equipment and weapons. Thus the government equated them with deti boyars who had more land and a larger money payment, (and often their own peasants).

The result was that the land was not worked and the men lost their horses and weapons and had no replacements so they finally fled from service. In order to ease the duty of the dragoons they passed off ½ to one third of their service responsibility to others for a payment or for part of their land. The result was that service again was temporary and not well done.

At the same time the government tried another method to form units of dragoons. They called deti boyars, streltzi, Cossacks, Ukrainians and others from the border areas and made them into dragoon units. Till the middle 17th century the dragoons were called only for border service. During the war for the Ukraine the number of dragoons was increased. In 1653 the government called 6,000 men from the border towns. They suffered heavy losses. In 1658 in Belogorodski razryad polk they planned to form 5 dragoon regiments with a total of 7,300 men but only obtained 5,000 men for 4 regiments. The government called again at the end of the war for men and had 3,390 dragoons converted into town duty status.

142. The government did not consider the dragoons to be essential so by the 1680's they were dropped from the service on field duty. On the battlefield the dragoons could be considered infantry or cavalry. They required careful organization and training. But their training was haphazard and training brief so they could not be considered of equal value with the soldier or reiter regiments. And the dragoon’s supplies were even worse than that of the soldier’s. Their weapons at first included the pishchal or heavy flintlock musket. They used these well on foot but couldn't use them on horseback. So in the middle

17th century they were rearmed with the light musket called dragoon muskets or carbines. But the government did not have enough new weapons so in 1653 they were sent on campaign with the old weapons. Besides the musket, the dragoons had swords, or a lance.

Soldier Regiments

143. The government decided to use soldier regiments on the northwest frontier formed like the dragoons on the southern border. In 1649 by a ukase in Olonts peasants were taken, one man per household or 2 or 3 from large families. If they had land they kept it and they were freed from taxes. In all 7,9O2 men were taken and formed into 2 soldier regiments. Another center of formation was Sumerski Volost in Staroruski uezd. All peasants called to service were formed into 1,000 man regiments. These were all put on border duty. However when the war with Poland started they were required to go on campaign duty. The result was that soon all able-bodied men had been called and at home only the unfit men were left. They had to ask for some relief in order to harvest the crops. In Oct 1662 the government ruled that no more peasants would be called. After the war the rest were released. During the war the soldier duty was gradually widened to include all taxpayers. In the northwest towns the soldiers were taken by force from their households.

l44. The numbers varied about one man per 25 households or one male for every 3 adult males. During peacetime some soldiers were sent home, some sent on border duty. Those on border duty received pay like the streltzi.

On the southern border the soldiers formed units from the city people. Duty on the southern border was more difficult. The assessment was one or two men from a family of 3 or 4 men, due to the smaller population in the southern areas. It was a local measure of border defense, but in wartime they were called away to the front.

At the height of the war the government took general measures. In November 1658 they called to soldier duty from the whole country, besides the frontiers one man per 25 households. 18,000 men were called. If a man deserted his area had to replace him. In July 1659 the government made a 2nd levy with the same conditions and 15,577 men were inducted. In December 1660 a third call on the basis of one man per 20 households was given. By Sept. 1661 17,423 men had been inducted.

All together in the 3 calls a total of 51,000 men were taken. The pay cost 25,830 rubles and the food 43,423 chertverts of bread. The total number of men called in the war was over 100,000 for the soldier regiments.

There were 55 soldier regiments on duty in 1663 in which there were 50—60,000 soldiers. In peacetime the total dropped to 20—25 regiments or 25-30,000 men.

The soldiers were armed with the pishchal ( later with muskets, the flintlock or the matchlock fusil) and with swords, pikes and the berdish. The sword was used for training. All weapons were from the government. The regiments had a few grenadiers each.

Reiters, Pikemen and Hussars.

To the middle 17th century the reiters were exclusively dvoriani and deti boyars. In the Polish wars there were changes. In March l654 a ukaz established the Reiter Prikaz which controlled the inductions into reiter service of deti boyars without pomesties and not already on service. It was forbidden to take men already in service because they would have left the soldier or the polk hundreds service and change to the reiter if they could.

146. But later military necessity forced changes in the practice. In the 1659-60's the deti boyars and dvoriani on polk service in the south had 2,050 men transferred to reiter service. During the war the government began to take Cossacks and taxpayers and servants of landowners and monasteries into the reiter service.

This resulted in a change in the social composition.

The reiters were armed with carbines, 2 pistols, sword. A second type of horseman was the lancer. They had lances and pistols.

Their service rules were the same as the reiters. The lancers were first used in the south in 1659. In 1662 in Belgorod polk there were 2 independent lancer regiments. In the reiter regimens there was a lancer squadron and in the lancer regiment a reiter squadron. In all in the 1680's there were 22,130 lancers on duty. Later the hussars also appeared in the northwest towns. In 1662 the 1st hussar regiment under Lt. Col Nikifor Karaulov had 20 officers and 350 dvoriani. In 1673 the hussar regiment had 5 companies of 417 men and in 1679 465 men.

149. The hussars were armed with the pike and pistol, a lighter lance than the lancer. The lances on the southern border and hussars on the northwest frontier ware all under the Reiter Prikaz.

Supervisory people

In 1631 there were the following foreigners on service in the new regiments; 4 colonels, 3 Lt. colonels, 3 majors, 1 quartermaster, 13 rotmiesters, 24 captains, 28 Lieutenants, 25 2nd Lieutenants, 87 sergeants corporals etc. for a total of 190 men.

After the Polish war of 1632—34 some foreigners were dismissed and some left Russia on their own. The government began to regulate the use of foreigners and hire only the better people and it didn't let them leave. The government demanded a letter of recommendations and proof of service to show the military experience and capacity of th foreigners. The majority were not very good, they were under educated some had fled battle, some were sent to Russia to spy for their governments. Some deserted to the enemy. The government put Russians with them to learn the art of war. During the war of 1632 34 there were Russian officers too.

150. In 1639 on duty on the southern border there were 316 foreign officers and 428 Russian officers from the deti boyars. In 1649 in the reiter regts there were 200 dvoriani in the supervisory ranks. In 1653 Moscow raised 700 musketeers from the old soldiers and sent them to the southern towns as a unit. In 1662-63 the majority of officers in the rank of captain and below were Russians. In 1674-8 the reiter regts on duty had 6 Russian colonels and 2 foreigners. Soon all were Russians.

In Dec. 1675 in Belgorod there were 14 reiter regiments and in Putivl 2 regiments and all had Russian colonels.

In June 1677 General-major Agei Alekseevich Shepelev had been the commander of a soldier regiment since 1657. In 1678 he was a general-lieutenant and March 1680 a general. Other Russian colonels followed Shepelev up the ranks. In 1678 General Major Krovkov, Kosagov, and General Zmiev were on duty.

Russians gradually replaced the foreigners. In 1681-82 foreigners made up 10-15 % of all supervisory personal. During the Poland war all leaders received ration pay. A General received 90-100 rubles a month, a colonel 25—50, Lt col 15—18, a major 14-16, rotmeister 13, Captain 9-11, Lieutenant 5,8, and 2nd Lieutenant 4-7 rubles. Pay for reiters was more than for the soldier regts. Pay for dragoons was about the same as for soldiers. The pomestniki calculated pay by the household, 10-35 kopecks per household depending on the military rank and duty and pay grade.


153. In the 50 years 1630—70 the new regiments were developed in difficult and complicated manner. The government used two methods to create the new regts, the induction of dvoriani and deti boyars; and the selection of streltsi, Cossacks and artillerymen. To create the new regts the government began with the select men by taking volunteers but with no results so the government began to use compulsion also but peasants into the cavalry and infantry. All had a legal duty to serve the country. Recruitment was not the same as in western Europe. It was not a mercenary army but an army based on obligatory service of all. Service was considered to be for life. This was not new as service of the dvoriani had been for life. Also the streltzi served for life. What was new was the taking of taxpayers into life time service.

154. In peacetime the number on duty was reduced. Some were sent home on the condition that they be ready for rapid call up when needed. But most were kept on duty. All men on duty received ration pay and cash salary, and cloths and weapons and supplies.

The most frequently used new units were the soldier, reiter and dragoons. The government under valued the advantages of dragoons, with its uses as both cavalry and infantry. By the 1680's the dragoons were eliminated as separate army units, except in the west were dragoons continued. Elsehwere they were converted into infantry.

The infantry was now three times more numerous than the cavalry. There were regiments of 1,600 men in the infantry and 1,000 men in the cavalry. Each regiment had 10 companies and each company had 3 sections commanded by corporals. The independent battalion of cavalry had 3 companies. General military preparedness increased. Units now had permanent organization, better training. Peter, in his ukaz of 30 March 1716 credited his father, Alexei, with the beginnings of the regular army in 1647.

155. Thus the regular national army appeared first in Russia and afterwards in western Europe.

Composition of the Army in later 1600's

156 The Ulozhenia of 1649 established service for the dvoriani and deti boyars beginning at age 18. The new men were enroled in the lowest rank of service. The previous rule of enrolling a man in the rank of his father was abolished. Only the Razryad Prikaz could promote the town deti boyars and dvoriani and from them into the select group of dvoriani. The new man was put into reiter or soldier regiment after an inspection of his property condition. Pomestniki who were incapacitated by low mental capacity, were widowers etc. or living in poor conditions could send peasants instead of serving according to the law of 1649.

Finally in 1675-78 the government insisted that only those whose fathers had served go on service themselves. The children of non-serving fathers were not allowed. Military necessity forced the government also to take peasants into the cavalry force.

Pay for the inductee was 40 chertverts of land and 3 rubles to 350 chertverts and 12 rubles. Pay depended on social status and circumstances. They also received further payments on various occasions so that some city dvoriani received 1000 chertverts and 90 rubles. Many did not receive their legal due. Some city dvoriani received 5 to 30—40% of their due.

In 1675-77 the dvoriani and deti boyars on the southern towns were 1,078 men owning 849 peasant families, less than one each.

In 1679—80 the dvoriani in Atemar owned from 1 to 3 families each but many had none. There was not enough land to give the Pomestniki enough. Within the dvoriani group there was a struggle for land. The Moscow court dvoriani won. There was also a struggle for peasant workers. In 1649 the government strengthened serfdom in the interest of the dvoriani. The land actually given didn't correspond to the legal norms. This was a symptom of decay of the system. Much pomestie land was converted into votchina.

Peter's law shows that this had happened before his time. Money payments were used more and more to support the landless dvoriani, but the government didn't have enough money either. The pay was 5-17 rubles a year during service. The poor life of the deti boyars led to the dissolution of their militia. They had the duty to come on service with horse and arms even though their condition continued to worsen. All considered it their assignment to serve on horse and not of foot. Their armament became worse. The government considered the arms of the dvoriani poor in the time of troubles and demanded that they get good weapons. It demanded that they have a pistol, carbine or musket and besides that a bow and arrows.

160. But this did not come about. In 1645 in the regiment of the voevode D. P. L'vov there were 665 pomestniks of whom 425 had pistols, 44 had carbines, 16 had carbines and pistols, 7 had matchiocks, 79 had bows and arrows, 87 had sabers, one had a rogatin, 6 had no weapons. Thus only 75% had firearms. In 1675 in Kostrorna only 92% of the dvoriani had pistols and sabers. As they stopped using bows most merely used pistols instread of the carbine. The result was they could only fight in hand to hand battle.


The second group of service people were the streltzi.

162. During the 17th century the streltzi grew in size; from 8,000 in 1637 to 22,500 in 1681 in Moscow. Five-to-ten % of the streltzi participated in field campaigns and they made up 4-12% of the active forces. This shows that the growth of the streltzi during this period was not due to external needs. The growth was mostly due to their use in suppression of internal disorders. The 1st major uprising was in 1648; part of the Moscow streltzi participated on the side of the uprising and part suppressed it. There were uprisings also in Kozlov, Chelnavski, and elsewhere.

In 1649 the streltzi revolted.

In Pskov in 1650 the streltzi participated in a uprising. Also in Novgorod. In 1662 The Moscow streltzi and soldier regts mutinied.

In 1668 9 prikaz's of Moscow streltzi helped the government liquidate the hetman Brukhovetski. They also participated on both sides in the Stenka Rasin revolt.

The streltzi were a mixed force, some were wealthier than others. The uprisings of the period were mostly centered in the towns and the streltzi were part of the town population so they participated.

164. Another reason for their dissatisfaction was the poor pay they received, worse than the soldier regiments. They were jealous of the status of the new regiments, The government’s efforts to teach the streltzi new techniques and drills of the new regiments was resisted and unpopular. The government tried to get the streltzi into condition to support themselves, but this was also unpopular. The streltzi were so busy supporting themselves they could only be called for local duty. But the process of calling them for foreign service was increased.


The third group was the Cossacks. Their numbers grew in the 17th century. There were 20,000 by the middle 1650's. More and more relatives and children of Cossacks were put into service. It became a lifetime and compulsory service.

165. Their service was in the polki, on frontier guard and in town garrisons. The men in polk service were in the best position. In the war of 1650-67 the Cossacks also served in reiter, lancer, dragoon, and soldier regiments. As a result, the Cossacks disappeared from the polk service. In the 1680's 7,000 were still on garrison duty in the border towns. These acted as a reserve for the field regiments. The Ukrainian Cossacks, Cherkass, also played a big role. The government formed units from Cossacks fleeing from Polish oppression across the Dnieper. There were 5 units in the 1600's; the Ostrogozhski 1652; the Izumski 1685; the Kharkovski 1659—60; Akhtirski 1657; and Sulgski 1658-60.

166. Besides these regiments there were others at Voronezhski,

Bulikleiuki, Poltavski etc. Each regt settled on a territory and had a town and fort. All military organizations in the Ukraine were attached to these regiments. Each regiment had 100's and 10's. A colonel was in charge elected by the elders and privates. The colonel had all power. The Cherkass polki were a major military force. In 1662 4 regiments had 8,000 men. On the Chigirinski campaign of 1678-79 the Cherkass regiments had 13,535 men and also 13,360 in garrison.

The Campaign Field Army in 1632-1680

169. The force of M. B. Shein in 1632 consisted of Dvoriani 11,688 (34%); Streltzi 1,612 (5%); Cossacks 2,215 (6%); Tatars 1,667 (5%); Foreigners 3,744(11%;)soldiers 10,962 (13%); Reiters and dragoons 2,700 (8%); Cherkass 0; unknown 0; total 34,588.

The force of V. V. Golitsin in 1680 consisted of; Dvoriani 10,819 (8%); Streltzi 23,533 (18%); Cossacks 370 (.25%)s Tatars 0; foreigners 0; soldiers 43,204 (33.5%); reiters and dragoons 34,614 (26%); Cherkass 10,530 (8%); unknown 6,230; total 129,300.

The total force grew 5~6 times plus the addition of the forces of the Ukraine Hetman. By the end of the 1670's the government could yearly send 200,000 men on campaign. It was the largest army in Europe. The streltzi increased along with the new regiments. The streltzi in garrison and police guard duty as well as on field duty.

There was little change in the artillery. The other service people were mostly switched to the new service, but the old type units did not disappear completely. Many returned, to garrison duty.

Organization of the Armed Forces

Before the middle of the 17th were no permanent field army organizations. The streltzi and Cossacks were permanent, but not united into larger units. The dvoriani units called Razryadi at that time. In the 17th century the number of razryad increased and became permanent and organizations even when the men in them went home. In the l640's in the southern border towns and part of the Ukraine there was organized the Belgorodski Razryàd and a government measure to strengthen the southern frontier. During the war the number of such Razryad increased. In the 1650's the Novgorod and Smolensk razryad were formed and in the 1660's the Sevski razryad and Kazan razryad. In the 1670's the Tomsk and Tobolsk Razryads were created. In 1678 the Tomsk razryad was converted into the Yeniessai Razryad. By the 1680's there were 10 razryads. This term designated a military district. Each consisted of a government controlled town and area.

171. Each razryad had a polk of service people on 100's duty. The total number of men in the Belgorod razryad was 23,000; and there were 10,000 in the Novgorod razryad. Each razryad also had men on garrison service, In Belgorod the garrison was 50-60000 men. The voevode was head of the razryad and of the civil government.

Each razryad polk had several regiments of various of the new type units. In 1658 the Belgorodski razryad polk had 3 reiter regts, 5 dragoon regts, 7 soldier regts, a Streltzi Prikaz, 2,000 dvoriani on 100's service. In 1663 the Sevsk Razryad polk had 14 reiter regts, 2 dragoon regts, 8 infantry regts, and 2 polki of the 100's service. The organization of the razryad was a major organizational step in the creation of permanent territorial military units. It was made possible with the new type of regiments. This changed the structure of the field campaign forces. At the beginning of the Polish war, in the 1650's, the government organized the force on the old form. In 1654 military operations were conducted by 5 polki, the State, Main, Lead, Storozhevoi, and Ertaul. In each of these polki there were several soldier, dragoon and reiter regiments as well as the service people on 100's service organized in their 100's and militia.

172. During the war the designation by the old title was dropped as the pomestnik militia died out and units were referred to by the razryad polk instead. The new structure was first seen in 1668-69 in the campaign against Doroshenko in the Ukraine when Russian forces were divided into the Sevsk, Belgorodski, and Smolensk Razryad polki. From then on the forces were formed by Razryad polk except for the bolshoi (great) polk of state troops in Moscow. In 1674 in the Right bank Ukraine the forces were organized with the great polk in the center, the Novgorod Razryad polk on the left flank, and the Belgorod and Sevsk Razryad polki on the right flank.

In the campaign of 1678-79 the Great, Novgorod, Kazan, Ryazan, Sevsk, and Belgorodski polki participated. This permanent structure helped improve the military training and skill of the troops. The basic administrative unit remained the regiment. Several regiments were within a voevode or general polk and the voevode polki were united into a Razryad. (sometimes called “boyar”) polk. The Razryad polk was an independent unit. It was under the command of the voevode of the great polk who was commander in chief of the army. The Razryad polki stayed in existence during peacetime while the great polk did not.


173. The weapons improved during this period. An important improvement was made in the firing mechanism of the flintlock. The powder pan had a deficiency in its cover which was improved so as to protect a the powder.

Chernov says that the introduction of the flintlock preceded its use in the west. He quotes Engles that the flintlock appeared in the west in 1670 and says that Russian artisans invented one before this but that this invention was not used in practice. The inventiveness of the Russian artisans surpassed the technical capability of the country’s industry.

The troops used pishchal, musket, carbine, pistol. The pishchal was similar to the musket but the latter was stronger, longer and heavier and of larger caliber. There was no change in the old weapons except that the shpaga type sword appeared with the new regiments. They were used by the foreign instructors only for instruction but not in combat. They disappeared in the 2nd half of the 17th century. In the 17th century each arm of service became independent and had its characteristic weapons.

The government demanded that the service people bring their weapons according to their branch. Actually this requirement was not met. But the new type regiments were supplied by the government. It was essential for the new type regiments that they had uniformity of weapons. It was not possible to teach the soldiers how to handle a multitude of different weapons requiring different movements. And the supply problems would have been too great.


There were important changes in the artillery. The introduction of cast iron cannon was an important advance.

176. The use of grenades was tested. At an inspection on Jan 21 1673 witnessed by the tsar and the foreign officers the grenades greatly impressed the observers. The artillery had a great shortcoming in having too many calibers. There were 3 kinds of artillery; fortress, siege and field. The most numerous were the fortress. In 1678 in 150 towns under the Razryad Prikaz there were 3,575 cannon, The fortress artillery was of medium caliber and small caliber. In the Russo Polish war 1632-34 the artillery participated both as small field artillery and as large siege artillery. At Smolensk there were 256 cannon, two times as much as Ivan IV had at Kazan.

There was an organizational change in the artil1eyy. It was divided into the siege part of 50 guns , and the field of 206 cannon. The field artillery was attached to the great polk under the chief voevode. Each regiment also had 6 to 12 regimental cannon.

During the war there also appeared the horse field artillery especially in the dragoon regiments.

During the 30 years war in Europe the new high angle fire mortars came into use. Stone cannon balls went out of use and iron cannon balls of 15 to 30 pounds weight came into use. The siege artillery became better, less clumsy. The wide spread use of the regimental artillery in the soldier regiments resu1ted in artillery being attached to the streltsi prikazi also.

In the 1680's each regiment increased its cannon from 2 to 7 up to 5 to 21. The caliber of the regimental artillery was smaller than the field arty, 1 to 3 pounds. The Russian field artillery army had 350 to 400 cannon on campaigns. The artillery park usually had 100 to 200 cannon. In quantity the Russian regimental artillery in the 17th century exceeded that of any other country in West Europe. This was the result of major actions to improve the production of weapons. The center of production was Moscow, where there were 1OO masters employed besides numerous blacksmiths and others. But they could not make enough weapons. The shortage of iron made the government take measures to increase the production base in the country. Expeditions were sent to the Urals and the Volga area and we e successful in finding iron. Still, the distance and other problems kept production below the demand. Sole factories could not keep with the newest techniques and lost out competitively.


179. The increase in new regiments and streltsi raised military expeditures. In the period 1630 - 1670 expenses on military support in peacetime went from 275,000 to 700,000 rubles or from 4 to 12 million rubles of the value of the beginning 20th century. Military expenses mainly supported the personnel. Military expense was over half of the state budget. Besides the old military tax the government introduced new taxes in the 17th century to meet military demands. The largest was the streltzi “food—money tax” collected - to pay the streltzi. With the formation of new regiments a new tax was instituted, for them. It was levied on each household and on each artisan and merchant. The military taxes provided half of the military expenditures in the budget. Thanks to them the government could pay the costs and still have no deficit despite the increased costs. Another tax was the bread tax which was paid in food collected and given directly to the troops. It amounted to 10 million Pud of grain a year.

Adminisration and Control

181. Administration and control was very complicated due to the many layered prikazi. Under Ivan IV there were 8 prikazi dealing with military affairs; the Razryad, Streltsi, Pushkari, Foreign, Pomesti, Kazan, Ordnance, and Armorer’s. In the 1680's there were 18 such prikazi including all the previous except the Armorer’s, plus the Artekarski, Little Russia, Polonyanichni, Ambassador, Reiter, Collection of Streltzi Food, Siberian, Smolensk, Stvol’ni, Secret Affairs, Rations. This did not count the temporary prikazi and those eliminated by the 1680's such as the Armorer’s, City Affairs, Treasury, Musketeer Affairs, Panski, Polk Affairs, Ratni Affairs, Prikazi for gathering taxpayers, food, money et cetera.

181. While keeping old prikazi the government created new ones. This resulted in functions being divided between them increasing the complications. The central government became more complex with the increase in size of the country and new military maters.

New Prikazi

In 1637 the Siberian prikaz was separated from the Kazan Prikaz. Prikazi were added for Litov and Smolensk with the conquest of these areas in 1656 and 1673. The Ukraine was governed by the new Little Russia Prikaz.

182. The creation of new regiments caused changes also. The Dragoon Prikaz was organized to govern the Dragoons in 1646. In 1649 the Reiter Prikaz was established for reiters and lancers. The growth in use of firearms resulted in the creation of the Musketeer Prikaz in 1654 and the Prikaz of barrel affairs in 1647 (for musket barrels). To gather money for the soldier's pay special prikazi were set up.

The Prikaz to collect warriors pay in 1637-54

The prikaz on Money affairs in 1654

The Bread Prikaz in 1655;

The Prikaz to collect streltzi bread in 1672 and the Secret Prikaz in 1655- 1676.


The Dvoriani and deti boyars on 100's service were simultaneously controlled by the Razryad, Kazan and Siberian Prikazi. Those on reiter and lancer service were controlled by the Razryad, Reiter, Foreign and their own Oblast Prikazi. The dragoons were controlled by the Razryad and foreign Prikazi. The soldiers were under the Razryad, Foreign, Streltzi and their Oblast Prikaz. The Cherkass were controlled by the Razryad prikaz; the streltzi by the Streltzi, Razryad and the Oblast prikazi; the artillerymen by the Pushkarski, Razryad and Oblast Prikaz. The Hetman's forces were called into service by the Little Russia Prikaz. The Don Cossacks were controlled by the Ambassador's Prikaz. Moreover, to organize the forces special temporary prikazi were set up and often the non-military prikazi entered the picture( Yamski, Monastary, Bolshoi Palace etc.)


In the period 1630-1670 major changes took place in he Russian army. The size of the campaign army was increased and the forces of the Hetman of the Ukraine were added, giving an army 5 to 6 times larger than before. By the end of the 1670's the government had 200,000 troops. It was composed of old type razryad service men and new units. The percentage of dvoriani dropped from 34 to 8% of the force, the percentage of retier and dragoons increased from 8 to 26.5%; soldiers increased slightly from 31 to 31.5 % and streltzi went from 5 to 18% of the army. Infantry in total increased from 47 to 54% of the force. The new regiments increased from 60 to 75 % of the field army. The administration was conducted from the center by a network of prikazi and in the provinces by a series of razryadi. (militazry districts).

The territory of each razryad had a permanent force which continued to function in peacetime. Each razryad polk had several regiments of each type. The razryad could be created because of the creation of the new type regiments. The field army changed its structure from the old 3 or 5 polk formation to the new territorial polki of the razryadi. These were also permanent units maintaining better military preparedness. Success in the production of weapons aided the arming of the army. Iron came into wider use in cannon, The field artillery improved and horse drawn artillery came into use. The government was able to finance all this by the institution of special taxes.

Reforms of the 1680's

187. In the 1680's both the old and the new system coexisted. The war for the conquest of the right bank Ukraine went on for years with no result. There were yearly campaigns involving large numbers of forces, but no victory was achieved. The major battle for the defense of Chigirin turned out to be unsuccessful. This war showed the deficiencies in the army.

The first reform was in the military districts in 1680.

Changes were made in the selection of the service people. The selection consisted of an inspection of the men, then those having the greater material economic support and having equipment in good repair were allowed to enter the reiter or lancer service. The rest of the dvoriani and deti boyars were sent into the soldier regiments. Also, all the reiters and lancers not belonging to the dvoriani class were sent to the soldier regiments. From the taxpaying class men were sent to the soldier regiments. These men were selected by the landlord or from among the number of relatives and neighbors who had the duty of supporting a soldier and the burden of service. If a soldier died he was replaced from his group. A significant change occurred in the situation of the service people on city service; that is the streltzi, Cossacks and people of artillery rank. All these people were ordered enroled as soldiers. They had been serving on a yearly temporary field service basis. Since many people on city service fulfilled this service with land and without salary, they were allowed to fulfill their new service every other year in the regimental field service and alternate years in the city. While on regimental field service such soldiers received a cash salary equal to the permanent soldiers.

The Moscow streltzi were preserved, but they were reformed into 1,000 man regiments and distributed to the razryads. The officers of the streltzi were renamed; head became colonel, Lieutenant Head became Lieutenant colonel, sotnik became captain. The 100's organization within the streltzi regiments and also the office of the ten's and fifty's leaders remained as before.

A general analysis was made as a result of which an enumerated list was created by which service people in the regimental service were distributed into the 9 razryadi (military districts). The 9 were: Moscow, Seversk (also called the great polk as these people made up this unit), Ryazan, Belgorod, Tambov, Kazan, Smolensk, Vladimir, and Novgorod. The Tula razryad was officially abolished( it had ceased to exist in reality anyway); and the Moscow, Vladimir, and Tambov razryadi were newly formed.

Thus one of the basic aims of the reform in the 1690's consisted of creating a net of military districts. Until then these districts had existed only along the frontier, but after the reform they were applied to the entire territory of the country. However, in this list the Siberian Razryad was excluded and not effected by the reform.

189. In all 9 districts the service people consisted of the following: soldiers in 4l regiments 61,288 (37%);

Moscow streltzi in 21 regiments 20,048 (12%); lancers and reiters in 21 regiments 30,472 (18.5%); Cherkass in 4 regiments 14,865 (9%); men on 100's service 16,097 (10%;) plus Moscow ranks 6,385 their men at arms 11,830 (7.15%); taxpayer horsemen 10,000 (6%) total 164,666 men divided into 81,336 infantry (49%) and 83,264 cavalry (51%). Besides these, on the general list there were the Cherkass of the Hetman's force 50,000 with which the total reached 214,600 men.

In the general list the service people not counting the Moscow district were divided into cavalry 43,908, infantry 76,158 and Cherkass 14,865. This means that in the basic composition of the service people the infantry was 1 1/2 times larger than the cavalry, but in the regular regiments the soldier's regiments numbered 2 times more than the lancers and reiters. The Moscow district on the other hand had mostly cavalry men.

All the aforementioned service people (not counting the Hetman’s force) were divided into 9 districts numbering from 7,871 men in Smolensk to 34,000 in Seversk district. In each district except Moscow there were service people belonging to all the basic categories. Not all the districts listed in 1680 turned out to be viable. The independent existence of the Tambov district was recognized to be unnecessary and in 1681-82 it was united into the Belgorod district, which significantly increased its territory and number of troops.

With regard for the changes occurring in territorial composition and numbers of districts between the reform and the Crimean campaign we will attempt to evaluate the essential character and importance of the military district reform of 1680. First of all we must remark that the reform spread the net of districts and spread the experience of their existence to the central territory. As a result of the reforms all the European part of the state except for the far north was divided between 8 districts, each of which united several cities and uezd's. Not all the districts had the same military significance. The central districts, Moscow and Vladimir, due to their location didn't receive a final organization and did not fully participate in campaigns. But all the above mentioned districts continued to exist until the beginning of the 18th century.

Service People

190. The service people on regimental service were reformed into the a district polk of the district in which they served. This organization did not receive final form in all districts and not all districts sent polki as independent units on campaigns, but the presence of such polki in peacetime as well as in wartime on the territory of the entire state improved and quickened the formation of the campaign forces and strengthened the military power of the state.

The organization of a permanent Great Polk, until then created for each campaign, and the location of it on the territory of one of the frontier districts(Seversk) transferred the direction of forces from Moscow to the frontier, and brought the command of the forces closer to the central mass of the troops and increased the military preparedness and effectiveness of the troops.

The reform established the composition and numbers of the district POLKI. The number of the cavalry (lancer and reiter) regiments was preserved and the number of infantry regiments significantly increased by the inclusion in the district polk of all Moscow streltzi and a massive transfer into soldier regiments of the town streltzi, Cossacks and people of artillery rank.

190. The district POLKI remained as established until the 18th cent. The experience of organizing these POLKI the direction and command of them in peace and war time was similar to the formation of the forces under Peter I into the “general's commands” or divisions and corps.

The military district reform of 1680 was conducted toward the aim of improvement of the composition and organization of forces to remove the deficiencies in structure and direction that existed before the reform. One must also mention the weaker side of the military district reform. The basic shortcoming of the reform was that it didn't destroy the presence of the two systems of military forces. The increase of regiments of the new order was preserved but they didn't completely replace the service people on 100's service. The government due to financial considerations decided not the liquidate the old pomestnik cavalry militia.

Although that calvary was dispersed into the district polki and did not have an independent military significance, it nevertheless negatively influenced the military capacity of the army. This was shown in the Crimean campaign.

A further negative side of the reform was the preservation of the Moscow streltzi, which for all of their existence had been connected with the old regime. The distribution of the streltzi into the military districts merely worsened their economic and legal position. Another result was that this remnant of the old organization entered into all the elements of the new force bringing its short comings with it.

Also, the inclusion in the soldier regiments of ex—strelzi, Cossacks, and other service people of city service lowered the quality of the regular infantry organization, since these people performed their soldier service not permanently, but every other year. On the other hand, the reform didn't abolish the razryad service people, town streltsi, artillerymen and others who existed in their old form until the 18th cent.

Reform of the Administration of the Armed Forces.

191. Closely connected with the military district reform was the reform of the central military administration. This reform consisted of several separate Ukases the essence of which were to strengthen the central control of the military forces. The most important Ukase was the one of 12 November 1680 by which all military people on regimental service (except those located on the territory subordinate to the Oblast Prikazi of Siberia, Little Russia, and Kazan), were shifted to control of the three Prikazi; Razryad, Reiter, and Foreign.

191. As a result of this change service people were removed, from the control of the Novgorod, Smolensk, Great Court and other prikazi, which almost completely lost their military functions. Significantly, the Streltzi Prikaz retained its control of the remaining Moscow streltzi.

Control of the military people was divided between the Razryad, Reiter, and Foreign Prikazi in the following ways; The Razryad Prikaz controlled all service people on regimental service in the districts of Sevski, Belgorod, Tambov, Novgorod, and Smolensk,; and all reiters and mounted service people in the towns of the central Volga valley. Besides that the Razryad Prikaz controlled the service people of Moscow rank and the dvoriani and deti boyars on 100's service in the central region. This means that in control of the service people the Razryad Prikaz had to act mainly as an oblast Prikaz like the Siberian, Kazan, and Little Russian Prikazi. In control of these districts it was in effect controlling all the service people in the border of the state.

192. In the remaining area, that is the central territory, the cavalry of reiters and lancers were controlled by the Reiter Prikaz and the infantry (soldier regts) by the Foreign Prikaz. The project of centralization was strengthened by the appointment on 7 Nov 1680 of the Boyar N. U. Dolgoruki as head of the Razryad, Reiter, and Foreigh Prikazi. Thus all service people of regimental service were subordinate to one leader.

There were great difficulties in putting the Ukase of 1680 into practice. Succeeding legislation showed the sheer changeableness and unsteady position of the government on this issue. This changeableness is the clear result of the struggle for power between the governmental parties of the Narishkin and Miloslavski families and the shift of supreme power from Fedor to Peter then to Peter and Ivan jointly, and finally to Peter, Ivan, and Sophia together. The struggle of the governmental groups strengthened the conflicts between the prikazi which were struggling to widen their functions, sometimes to the detriment of the general state interest. As a result, the most important measures of centralization of military control made by the government of Fedor Alekiseevich did not receive full implementation.

For this reason the weakness of the measures taken to centralize military control resulted in the same deficiencies remaining as before. The government could not create a single system of control, but kept the existing 100's territorial system. All the military people on the designated territories were under control of one Prikaz. And at the same time kept the system of control of separate prikazi for each branch of the forces in which each type of unit was controlled by one prikaz throughout the entire territory of the state. Therefore the reform didn't achieve a clear cut delineations of functions between the Prikazi.

The 2nd basic deficiency in the measures for centralization was the attempt to revive and spread the importance of the Razryad Prikaz. The Razryad Prikaz had come into existence in the period of the organization of the pomestnik cavalry. Therefor in the process of the fall and elimination of the pomestie militia the Razryad Prikaz gradually lost its dominant position in the system of control of the military forces. The Razryad Prikaz by retaining control of the pomestie and the votchiniki was in it essence closely connected with the old military organization. Therefor the attempt by the government to widen the military functions of the Razryad Prikaz, to subordinate to it the new units, to divide these people between the Razryad and Reiter and Foreign Prikazi was doomed to failure.

We must consider that such attempts to subordinate the new regiments to the Razryad took place in 1665 during the war in the Ukraine. Finally the government had to renounce this idea. The centralization of the military administration specified in the reform of 1680 was not accomplished. The government did not decide to undertake the deep reform really needed. The division of the military administration and control of the army among several prikazi lasted until the beginning 18th cent.

Elimination of "Mestnichestvo"

One of the reforms of the 1680's was the elimination of “Mestnichestvo”. On 24 Nov. 1681 Tsar Feodor Alekseevioh ordered the boyar V. V. Golitsin to improve the military service and administration. Under Golitsin's leadership a widely based military commission was created composed of representatives of the commands, generals and colonels, dvoriani and deti boyars. The commission had to propose a program of measures for strengthening the military forces. Very important missions were placed before the commission but little concrete was done. The commission tried to eliminate existing deficiencies. These deficiencies included the existence of the two military systems and the presence of elements of the old military organization.

The question was posed. “In what military structure should the Moscow ranks, stolniki, stryapchini, Moscow dvoriani, and zhil'tsi be placed.” The commission said that these people should be put on regimental service, but formed not into 100's but into companies under rotmiesters and these companies formed into regiments. In each regiment would be 6 companies of 60 men each. This suggestion was accepted by the tsar, who ordered a list made up of who would be the rotmeisters and lieutenants. For this the commission prepared a list of the Moscow ranks. To do this the commission ran into trouble. Many of the ancient families did not get onto the list of leading people because of the smaller number of years of membership of these families of the hierarchy.

l94. In order to eliminate this family struggle the commission urged the elimination of “mestnichestvo”. On 12 January 1682 the tsar created a special commission on this issue. Its members were from the Boyar Duma and representatives of the church. Many members were interested in preserving “mestnichestvo” but after a speech by Tsar Feodor, Golitsin and the church men urged that it be abolished, so the rest of the members agreed. Thus ended a system that had been effect for almost 200 years. The system had been a great evil and had done much damage to the military forces. Its elimination was a major political victory for the government. That it could be eliminated without more struggle than this shows the loss of influence of the boyars. From now on success in advancement was to be connected with success in service.

The entrance of the Moscow ranks into the company and regimental organization and the end of “mestnichestvo” ended the activities of the commission of V. V. Golitsin. The entrance of the Moscow ranks into regimental organization did not mean that they were the same in status as ordinary service people but it was a step in the gradual liquidation of the old structure.


195. The reforms of the 1680's were conducted for the further improvement o of the organization and composition of he Russian forces.

In essence the reform of the military district system attempted to extend the military district system to the entire area of the state on the basis of the experience of the districts on the border. As a result the government could create a structure organization and composition and general number of military people of regimental service in peacetime and create permanent forces of large units such as were previously only formed in wartime. The essence of the reform was the strengthening of the central control by its concentration in 3 prikazi and the subordination of all three to one man. The dynastic political struggle and the streltzi rebellion complicated the reform and prevented its completion.

The reforms of the 17th century showed their effects in the organization of the Russian forces in the Crimean campaigns of l687-89. These campaigns were undertaken by the government to fulfill its duties undertaken on its entrance into union of European states against Turkey.

In the first Crimean campaign the forces were formed in 5 polki; Great, Sevski, Kazan (Lower), Novgorod, and Ryazan. The total number of troops reached 112,902 men(not counting the Hetman's forces and servants). The Moscow ranks and dvoriani 8,712 (7.5%); Lancers, reiter, hussars 26,096 (23%); Cherkass 15,505 (13.5%); Soldiers 49,3633 (43.5%); streltzi 11,262 (10%); plus a small number of gentry, Cossacks and others. The cavalry numbered 52,277 (46%) and infantry 60,625 (54%). Units organized in the new style numbered 75,459 men (67%).

196. For the second campaign there were 117,446 men not counting the Hetman's troops and the bondsmen. The breakdown by type was nearly the same as on the first campaign. Comparison of these figures with the composition of the troops in 1680 shows that of the 143,000 men (not counting bondsmen) shown on the list, on campaign were 82% of the army; or all lancers, reiters and Cherkass; 86% of the soldiers; about 66% of the Moscow ranks, dvoriani and deti boyars; and half the streltzi. This means the more militarily prepared units were those of the new order that was at almost full strength in peacetime and they are the ones who went on campaign. The composition and organization of the forces in the Crimean campaign shows the achievement of the government and also the weak side of the military organization.

The lancers, reiters, and soldier regiments made up nearly two thirds of the force. They were regular regiments and made up the backbone of the force in peace and war. The existence of regular regiments allowed the creation of the permanent larger units the razryad, and the voevode corps from which were formed the campaign units. The presence of the permanent regiments of new type strengthened the defense of the border, and improved the formation of the forces and their military preparedness. The new type units were a permanent force the government used in internal politics also. The growth of permanent regiments went with absolutism. The main deficiency was the existence of 2 systems. Even though the old type units were small in number they still resulted in a dual administration, supply, control, recruitment etc. and reduced the overall effectiveness.

Campaign on Crimea

197. The first one was organized by May 1687. On 8 May the forces moved out on campaign in 4 columns from the river Nerlo on a front of more than a verst and a depth of 2 versts. In the center was the infantry and on the flank of the infantry moved the wagons. There were 20,000 vehicles. Besides the supply wagons was the artillery and on the outside of all was the cavalry.

In the advance guard. the 5 streltzi regiments were in the center with soldier regiments on the flanks. At the river Samara, the Hetman's force joined the army. The forces moved south across the Kolomak, Orel, and Samara rivers to Konski Vodi where they were located on 12 June. They covered 300 versts in 7 weeks. South of Konski Vodi the steppe was burned by the Tatars. The attempt to cross the burned steppe without fodder and water was unsuccessful. The forces returned and by the middle of August reached the Nerlo river.

The government considered the weakness of the organization of the campaign ant tried to improve things for the next campaign in 1689.

In 1688 the fort Novobogoroditsk was built on the river Samara at its junction with the Dnieper to defend the Ukraine from Tatars and as a supply base for future campaigns. 350,000 puds of supplies for the support of troops were placed there. In order to avoid steppe fires the next campaign was ordered for the spring. At the middle of March 1689 the forces left the river Vorskl toward Konski Vodi in the same formation as in 1687. In Novobogoroditsk the soldiers received food for two months. Surmounting obstacles enroute such as steppe rivers, the forces by the middle of May reached the Black Dolini river and on 20 May reached Perekop. The commander, V. V. Golitsin, decided not to attack Perekop fortress and instead of military operations began negotiations. On 21 May the forces started the return journey.

Despite the failure of the campaign they showed the state of military experience of the 17th cent. It was the first mass campaign on the Crimea. The huge military force with a large supply column and artillery successfully crossed the dangerous steppe, which was depopulated in the 17th cent, and for the first time appeared before Crimea. To even undertake such a campaign was a difficult test of military preparedness.

198. On the way to Crimea and on the way back the troops beat off all attacks of the Tatars.

There were various reasons for failure. S. N. Solov'ev considered that the difficulty of a steppe campaign was insurmountable. Some say the fault was Golitsin's because he did not have leadership talent. The forces had very poor reconnaissance. There was failure to consider the obstacles on the first campaign On the 2nd campaign the obstacles were overcome, the forces left earlier and thus avoided the fires. Almost without loss they crossed the steppe and reached Perekop. Golitsin conducted himself at Perekop so badly that there were rumors of his being a traitor to the Khan.

Military forces of Ukraine in 17th century

199. From the middle 17th century after the unification of Ukraine with Russia the military forces of Ukraine - Cossacks - entered into the composition of the Russian state military forces. In the Ukraine the Dnieper and Zaporozhie Cossacks known to history from the 2nd half of the15th century. They were local Ukrainian population. The continuous military danger from the south, especially was increasing on the lower Dnieper after the organization of the Crimean Khanate. Only the bravest people were attracted to live there. But the numbers of Cossacks grew at the end of the15th century after the union of the Kievan princedom in 1471 with Lithuania and the placing there of a voevode. This move strengthened serfdom of the people to the Lithuanian gentry. Escaping from feudalism the freedom loving people left to the frontier. The Cossack of the 15th and 16th centuries was a military man, a hunger and fisherman. They gathered under the head of elected attaman. They settled in the southern Dnieper area beyond the rapids. They built forts - a sech - where they defended themselves. This was the center for Zaporozhski Cossacks. The existence of a fortified base strengthened the Cossacks in dealings with the Polish government. In the 1st half of the 16th century was the real beginning of Cossack government. The Lublin Union of 1569 of Poland and Lithuania in the Rech

Pospolita resulted in Ukraine falling under control of Poland. The Polish King needed a military force of Cossacks and tried to subordinate them. King Sigismund Avgustus ordered hetman Yuri Yazlovetski to select from Cossacks a detachment for government service, naming them a special determined yearly salary and organization norms and service conditions. Yazlovetski in 1572 had 300 men. At that time the estimated number of Cossacks in the area was 3,000. Yazlovetski started registered or town Cossacks officially into government service. From that time began the division of Ukranian Cossacks into city and Zaporozhni. Yazlovetski was not successful at bringing all Cossacks into order.

Cossacks continued to independently raid Crimea and the Khan demanded of the Polish government to repress the Cossacks. King Stephan Batory ordered them driven out and frontier governors ordered them cut off from supplies. To save themselves they began to move to the Don. Thegovernment progfram turned out badly. When they needed frontier military help they had to get Cossacks again. In 1578, 1582, 1587, and1590 temporary Cossack units were formed. Whenefer mitary danger passed the Cossacks lost support.

Cossack freedom subverted serfdom, so landlord gentry demanded an end to the Cossacks. In Polish Seim in 1592 a project was discussed for cruel repression against the Cossacks. But it was not passed by the Seim. However the government and Ukrainian administration actually put in force a repression. Many uprisings occurred. In 1596 the Seim declared the Cossacks to be traitors and demanded the confiscation of Cossack property. However that program turned out badly also. The local population helped the Cossacks. The Uprising of Ivan Bolotnikov was a typical peasant and Cossack activity. Then in 1648-54 there was war in Ukraine led by Cossacks and also city and peasant population.

All Ukraine population was against the Polish Pans. The Organizer was Bogdan Khmelnitski in 1647 he appeared from Zaporozhie. He made and agreement with the Crimean Horde - Turgai Bea for assistance. The Polish government prepared and in 1648 Hetman Pototski had 30,000 men on the Dnieper. He reported that the Cossacks had 3,000 but when he reached Ukraine they had 100,000. The government began military operations. In a battle near Korsun the king’s troops were defeated by Cossacks. Victory was the signal for a general uprising of Ukraine in the middle of 1648. All Ukrain was cleared of Polish gentry.

204. Zborovski Agreement in August 1649

For Ukraine there would be districts of Kiev, Chernigov and Bratslava. There would be 40,000 Cossacks in 16 regiments. (See table). The forces were independent with an elected hetman and headquarters at Chigirin. The rest of the people were under the king’s government - so two systems of government existed. The agreement was a big victory for the Cossacks but the rest of the poeple remained again under their land lords.

Cossack Forces on the Basis of the 1649 Agreement



Total men

Chigirin Regt.

19 - 100's


Cherkass Regt

18 - 100's


Kanevski Regt

16 - 100's


Korsun Regt

19 - 100's


Belotserkov Regt

22 - units


Umanski Regt

14 - 100's


Braslovski Regt

22 - 100's


Kalnitski Regt

19 - 100's


Kiev Regt

17 - 100's


Pereyslavl Regt

19 - 100's


Kropivenski Regt

14 - 100's


Mirgorod Regt

16 - 100's


Poltava Regt

19 - 100's


Prilutsk Regt

20, 100's


Nezhinski Regt

10 - 100's


Chernigov Regt

7 - 100's


For a total of 16 regiments with 37,745 men or 28,845 according to other sources. Of the 16 registered regiments 9 were on the right bank and 7 on the left. The numbers per regiment varied from 991 to 3,333. In all regiments there were 249 110's with from 34 to 47 men each. The regiments were named for the4 major towns and the 100's for the smaller towns. In 1649 only those participating in the war were registered. Later, when he Ukraine was united to Russia there were 17 regiments, 10 on the right and 7 on the left bank.

The Force of the Zaporozhe was set at 60,000 in 1654. In January 1654 the government took a census of all the population ans found 127,338 adult males, of whom 62,949 were Cossacks, 1898 Cossack elders and gentry, 62,454 city people and peasants et cetera, 37 monastery people. This shows why the figure was et at 60,000 and shows that for each Cossack there was a serf or city person who were the taxpayers. Such a numb er of taxpayers could not support so many Cossacks with taxes so the Cossacks were paid only when on service. The make up of the regiment varied, depending on the place and area and density of population. In the towns and cities the Cossacks and local people lived together and had their own duties and leaders. The Cossacks had atamans and the others had (boit and burtistr).

Each regiment had a colonel, two esayl (clerk) Xorunshii, odoznii, and sotniki. Each 100 had a xorunshii. The regment had musicians. The force had a hetman - cleark, 3 military judges, and artillermen.

204. There was war again in 1651-53 and the Poles won at Berestech and made a new peace agreement. The new peaxce agreement destroyed the Cossack independence and reduced their number to20,000. In 1652 the Cossacks again won at Ladizhin an Zhvaants. A new peace of 1653 resulted in Cossacks regaining their rights.

The Russian government and people helped the Ukraine. Many Don Cossacks served in the forces and Russian peasants also served. Russia helped with food and arms and military supplies. The Ukrainian people asked Moscow for help and defense. In 1630's many Ukranian peoplemoved to Moscow territory. Moscow put them into border service. In 1650's there were 5 Cherkass -Cossack regiments in Russian service.

Boghan Khmelnitski asked for a Union and Tsar Alexei was interested but internal uprisings prevented action. In 1653 when Moscow heard that the Ottoman Sultan was interested in Ukraine, it speeded up action. On 1 October 1653 the Zemski Sobor agreed to take Ukraine and on 8 January 1654 there was the agreement of Pereayslav on union. Chernov writes that the Zemski Sobor represented the will of all Russian people as did the Rada represent all Ukraine. (On any other issue he would write that this was an instrument of the ruling class.)

207. More discussion about300 years of joint struggle of Russians and Ukrainians together against foreigners. This includes mention of Poltava battle against the Swedish interventionists.

208. In 1812 war the Ukrainian people and others of the country under the leadership of the Russian people defeated Napoleon.

The agreement of January 1654 gave the Cossacks freedom and independence. There were now 60,000 Cossacks on the rosters, to be paid yearly. There were 80 cannon at Korsun. All taxes went to support this force in the Korsun area. The Cossacks supported this local tax. Taxes were colleted in cities by local officials. The Russian government handled only foreign affairs. Each regiment and 100's governed a local area as well as had military duty. The hetman and leaders had civil government powers.

After the Andrusovski Agreement the Cossack list on left bank was 30,000 men. This lasted until 1687. The actual number in the force approached 50,000 and was over half the adult male population of left bank Ukraine. The main source of Cossacks was the Cossack children. The Cossacks were forbidden to enroll serfs and taxpayers. Thus Cossacks became hereditary and for life. The main difference between Cossacks and taxpayers was they owned land and could have flocks. They could have vine culture and didn’t pay axes. They had to be ready for military service. Besides Cossacks on the list there was city service. There were free volunteers, people not already on a list. Volunteer units formed like others.

The difference of volunteer units from others was mainly that volunteers were not called Cossacks but commrades. (Tovarishty) They were not considred a lower class, however, just different.

The second difference was that volunteers were not settled. They served in temporary quarters.

The third difference was the volunteeers under ful lsupport of the hetman had no other existence. The Hetman had to support them - volunteers became a pernanent service. During war for the right bank Ukraine these regiments had an active role in operations. In ;peace they had guard duty on the lower Dnieper.

The Hetman used them for interior guard. In 1676 Samoilovich ordered Colonel of a regiment to gather his regiment at Starodub and secretly observe the elections of starshini. The Hetman did not want to take Cossacks from their farms and homes. For continuous frontier duty. So he used the volunteer regiments. Volunteer regiments were in his hand and a better military force. The Zaporozhe force in peace only had a few 100's on duty. In war they had 5,000 men. This varied during the seasons. Summer had increased numbers of people from cities. Winter was when most left for the cities and towns. Only a guard was left at Zaporozhe. The center was Chdertomlitski Sech. In 1672 this was located between the Progni and Chertomlik rivers with river ans swamp on 3 sides to make it difficult for Tatars to cross.

By he Adrussovo Agreement the Zaporozhe were subordinaed to both Moscow and Poland. The continued dual control lasted until 1686 when in ?eternal peace’ with Poland the Zaporozhe became part of Russia.


217. The period under study was the period of the organization, spread, and strengthening of the centralized multinational Russian state. The centralized state reached the determined level of economic and political development of the Russian apanage principalities and was strengthened in battle with the feudal divisions of Russia. An important aspect of centralization was the struggle with external military dangers, the battle for independence. In the process of organization and strengthening of Russia the centralized state was also formed and the military forces were strengthened.

The two basic classes of feudal society determined the composition of the military forces. The ruling class of feudal landowners and the exploited class of taxpayers. The level of participation of these classes in the military force varied during the period.

In the period of feudal division of Russia the military force of the princedom was basically the princes’ and boyars’ druzhina and the peoples militia. The druzhina was a permanent class force of feudalism on which the prince’s power depended. The people's militia was called out only in time of war. It participated in major wars and in its numbers it was the decisive factor in the makeup of the army. In the process of organization of the central state the princely and boyar druzhina was the kernel of the militia of dvoriane and deti boyars ( the pomestnik militia).

In the organization and strengthening of the central state the pomestnik militia was a similar feudal militia force like the previous druzhina. The class essence of the pomestnik militia did not change in the course of its existence.

During the organization of the central state the people's militia was eliminated by the great prince’s power. The prince called the population to military service only in case of serious military danger. He regulated the extent and character of such service. The pomestnik militia was a mounted force.

The government tried to remedy the absence of infantry by using in military operations the “(pososhni rati)” but these people who were assembled periodically and were assessed from the taxpayers had no preparation or experience in military maters. At the beginning of the 16th century the government tried to create from the taxpayers a more capable detachment of infantry, the Pishchalniki, who were armed with firearms. However this temporary formation was entirely dependent in its supply and sustenance on the population which was obliged to support it, and weak in its mastery of firearms. This meant they could not match the permanent infantry. Such permanent infantry were the streltzi organized under Ivan IV and composed of taxpayers. The wars in the 2nd half of the 16th century showed that with permanent streltzi armed with firearms the military capacity of Russia was greatly improved. The streltzi were placed on permanent service and had permanent organization in peace and war. They were the embroyo of the regular forces. With the appearance of service people by “selection” and general increase in number of troops the relationship between the various arms of service changed also. The domination of the dvoriani cavalry was characteristic of the army of the 2nd half 15th and 1st’ half 16th century. Then infantry gained more and more importance. In numbers it was still less than the cavalry, but it grew rapidly. In the 2nd half of the 16th century came the break even point.

The organization of the forces underwent less change. The formation of the forces by polk which was established during the feudal period remained the basis of the military organization of the centralized state. The forces in the form of a 3 polk (Great, lead and guard) of 5 polk (adding right and left) existed until the middle 17th century. These polki were composite, each was made up of several polki to the middle 16th century and sometimes additional formations. To the 3 or 5 polki in the middle of the 16th century sometimes were added additional formations such as the ertaul (light cavalry unit) and the State polk. The appearance of service people by selection having their own units did not change the larger units or general formation of the army. The streltzi and Cossacks were in units of l00''s and entered the POLKI of dvoriani militia enlarging them but not changing their name or location in the army.

219. All army organization until the middle 17th cent was temporary. It was called up during preparation for war and dismissed after the war. In the process of development of the industrial strength of the country the technical equipment of the troops was improved. Firearms were introduced and improved.

The increase of artillery was especially important. The Russian artillery started defensively as fortress. artillery, then siege weapons were added and in the first half of the 16th cent field arti1lery made its appearance. From then on it participated in all campaigns. In about 100 years the Russian artillery moved forward so fast that in its technical aspect, and quantity it surpassed western countries. (No examples of Russian artillery being decisive or even a major help are cited). The permanent infantry “streltzi” was armed with hand firearms. This gave the infantry a great advantage over cavalry armed only with bows and arrows.

Command of all the military forces of the state was in control of the supreme power, the grand prince. Military administration and control was divided among several independent central organs (prikazi). A single unified military administration was not created in Russia until the reign of Peter. Local military control was connected to the corresponding local organs, prikazi, that controlled civil affairs in the areas.

220. In the struggle with Polish and Swedish interventionists in the beginning 17th century the Russian forces turned out to be insufficient in military capacity and could not drive them out. The main element of the army consisted of the dvoriani and deti boyars and it withdrew and did not fight because they were busy defending their own class interests in the peasant war, and some went onto the side of the Poles.

The streltzi turned out to be more effective in morale and military capacity. They showed heroism in defending their country, but they were distributed among many towns and did not have an independent importance on the battle field. Part of the service Cossacks remained loyal to the government, but also they did not have importance.

The struggle with the foreigners fell to the population in mass. The people's freedom movement from 1608 to 1611-12 was a general national movement. After the end of this war the government tried to recreate its forces in the previous structure. The government carried the same number of service dvoriani as at the end of the 16th cent, but nearly half of these service people were not fit for service due to their poor economic position. They could only serve in the garrisons and defense of towns. The system of pomestnik landownership and the composition of the pomestnik economy could not support the service of the pomestnik.

The small number of dvoriani on polk service was aggravated by their indiscipline and poor armament. In the postwar years significant improvement in the number of city streltzi was made. Evaluating the streltzi morale and military capacity in the war, the government gradually began to increase the streltzi.

A significant change in the condition of the Cossacks occurred. The government separated out the service Cossacks from the taxpayer peasants and town people and put them in small detachments in many towns. The government gave them some material support and put them under their own military administration. As a result the Cossacks played a greater military and political significance than they had had during previous times.

As a result, the Cossacks lost the military and political significance that they had had during the war and were transformed into service people of the town and siege service.

After the war of 1612 the number of service people was equal to that in the 16th cent, 100,000 men, but of it only 20,000 were on field duty. It follows that at the beginning of the Russian Polish war of 1632-34 the government did not have enough military forces.

Preparing for the war with such forces, in the opinion of the Moscow government, required the Russians to organize their forces using the experience of the best West European countries, as they could be related to the concrete conditions of Russia.

A reorganization was undertaken in the 1630's and the first phase was the creation of regiments of the new form; soldier, reiter, dragoon, and lancer. In the period before Peter the regiments of new style underwent a complicated and difficult development. The experience of organization and military operation of these regiments gave a positive result. The soldier, dragoon, and reiter regiments entered the structure of the Russian army and gradually became the dominate part of the forces.

The superiority of the new regiments over the old units was that the new regiments were a permanent force with military people in them receiving systematic training and being fully supported. This was a regular army in Russia that appeared much earlier than in west Europe.

The organization of new type regiments and their rapid growth in the period of the war with Poland and later carried a deep rooted change in the structure of the Russian forces. This change was that the main significant part of the soldiers of the old organization were transferred to the new regiments and the remainder of service people were put on town service.

222. The streltzi continued to serve parallel to the new regiments. The streltzi gradually were changed into troops for internal security guard. As a result of these changes the regiments of new type made up 75% of all service people on field duty, and the number of the field army increased 5 to 6 times. By the end of the 1670's the government could quickly send on campaign 200,000 men.

The organization of the new regiments had deep rooted changes in the organization of the military forces. In the middle 17th century a permanent, larger military unit in the form of military districts and their corps was developed. Each Razryad polk (corps) consisted of several soldier, dragoon, and reiter regiments. The organization of the razryad polk and its existence in peacetime became a possibility as a result of the new regiments. The organization of the milttary district and its corps changed the organization of the campaign army. During the war with Poland in 1654-67 the old form of 3 polki finally disappeared. The new formation was the corps. This greatly increased the military capacity of the country. In the 17th century great success was achieved in the military forces, armament, and preparations.

The permanent forces demanded a state supply. For supply of service people cash and food payments were needed and the government created a permanent cash and food tax state wide. This tax was essential to having permanent forces. Thus, the ability to levy taxes was a requiremenmt for creating large armed forces.

The military forces of Russia in the 17th cent had serious deficiencies. First was the perseverance of the 2 systems. The new regiments did not eliminate the old. The double system required double supply and administration. Second, there was no central unified command and administration. Peter's reforms were already in preparation by his father’s and brother’s administrations.