Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic the Opolchenie

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  • #33868
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Were they armed exclusively with pike (and in the case of their cavalry arm, lances), or were they fielded in significant numbers with firearms/artillery as well? I like their visual combo of grim gray streltsi-flavored uniforms with religous banners and ikons.

    #33911
    Bandit
    Participant

    Were they armed exclusively with pike (and in the case of their cavalry arm, lances), or were they fielded in significant numbers with firearms/artillery as well? I like their visual combo of grim gray streltsi-flavored uniforms with religous banners and ikons.

    I’m not aware of any mounted opolchenie units only dismounted ones.

    They were not armed only with pikes, there were large numbers of battalions armed both with pikes and with firearms. There were a fair number of “jäger” opolchenie, I don’t know if their arms consistently included rifles, my general impression is the firearms they received were highly mixed.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #33913
    Altius
    Participant

    I used to have a brigade of 15mm opolchenie back in the 90s. Not great for winning battles, but I loved the anachronistic look of that huge, drab phalanx and it was good for the occasional WTF reaction from unsuspecting opponents. Looked all over for 15mm orthodox priests, but it was the 90s and stuff like that was hard to find, though I did manage to get the boys a few icons to strengthen their resolve.

    On the question of firearms, I’ll admit I’m probably not reliable because my knowledge on this was only gathered from the Empire rule book as well as one or two other books. Nevertheless, I do remember reading that they had jaeger companies, although the pikes were more common. From what I recall, they didn’t have a reliable supply of rifles, so the jaegers had a mix of whatever firearms might have been available.

    Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline

    #33922
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Bandit&Altius, thanks! After reflecting on my Kanchenjunga of aborted projects I’ve taken a dire oath to finish two complete armies in each period in the New Year. I already have the seedy beginnings of a Revolutionary French and I think I’m going to go with an equally rank Cossacks and Opolchenie Russian force to complete my Napoleonics slot. Assuming I can justify their existence as a discrete field force. I’m (trying) to source figures that will match with the Perry range right now.

    #34008
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello Lagartija Mike!

    In George Nafziger’s book Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia he shows an Opolochenie 1st Cavalry Reg., but it only contains 126 men and was probably just a support unit. He also refers to the Cossacks raised in Tver on Sept. 12, 1812 as Opolochenie. This is probably just an editing error. Regardless these are only about 700 men.  I’m not aware of any other reference to them having cavalry. So I think it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that they had no battle cavalry.

    He shows that the Opolochenie were used to replace losses in the regular regiments and were also assigned as whole units to the various Divisions. It seems that unless they were stationed for home defence they were generally allocated to the main armies.

    In general the Cossacks were either within their own formations or brigaded with other cavalry forces. As such it would seem that the Opolochenie interaction with Cossacks would not be very common.

    Best regards,

    Glenn

    #34029
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Thanks, Glenn! I need to pick up Nafziger’s book. Aside from With Eagles to Glory and a few volumes on the early French Revolutionary Army my Napoleonics collection is pretty sparse. Too bad about the Cossack/Opolchenie mix tho’.

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