Military Order Cuirassier Regiment
The Military Order Regiment was raised during the reign of Catherine the Great. By the time of the Napoleonic Wars it had accumulated some distinctions that would remain with the regiment until the end of its days. The Star of the Military Order replaced the Imperial cypher and the Imperil Eagle on headdress and other articles of clothing. The regiment remained part of the cuirassier arm until the 1880’s when the entire cavalry arm was converted to dragoons. In 1914 they were the 13th Military Order Dragoons. They did retain some special features such as a black tunic with white facings and the star on the headdress until 1918 when , along with the entire Imperial Army, they ceased to exist..
The helmet is the 1803 pattern with red crest worn only by musicians. The badge on the brass plate is the badge of the Military Order of St. George, unique to this regiment.
The white cuirassier kollett has two rows of brass buttons with black collar and gauntlet cuffs. One black shoulder strap is worn on the left. The collar edge and shoulder strap is edged white. The short turnbacks are edged in wide black lace. Drummers and trumpeters lace was normally white with facing color stripes in cuirassier regiments. In the Military Order Regiment, however it was black with orange stripes and was worn along the edges of the collar, on the swallow’s nests, on the front loops and the chevrons on the arms. It was also on the back seams of the kollett. Breeches were white and tucked into heavy black leather jackboots.
The horse furniture includes the black shabracque with the Military Order badge in the corners and black bridalry. The shallow kettledrum banners were also decorated with the Order star alternatively with the Imperial Cipher in gold thread.
In 1808 the cavalry helmet lost the large crest and was replaced by a horsehair combe and overalls were taken into wear for campaigns. In 1810 kettledrums were abolished for all except the Lifeguard Regiments. In 1812 Cuirassiers were ordered to exchange their facing color shabracques for red ones but it may have been 1815 before this took effect.
The Star of the Military Order