Russian Imperial Guards ORBAT 1917


A list of the units assigned to the Tsar’s own Russian Imperial Guard at its apogee on March 12, 1917- during the Russian Revolution

The Order of Battle of the Russian Imperial Guard, 1917

The last hurrah of the guard was in 1914 when the armies of the old world collided in World War One. The Guard had swelled to 12 Regiments of infantry, a brigade of sharpshooters, two cossack regiments, ten cavalry regiments, the palace grenadiers (still wearing Napoleon’s bearskin hats), artillery units, a bicyclist unit, a machinegun regiment, a railway regiment, a military police unit, a marine battalion who mounted guard in the imperial yachts and four separate red coated squadrons of cossacks of the Konvoy for the Emperor’s personal escort. These units, when coupled with quartermaster support troops, reserve cadres, engineers totaled some 140,000 men by the time of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Most units had an active force deployed at the front with the Special Army, a force made up almost entirely of Guardsmen and other elite units that was wasted holding the front sector northwest of Dubno instead of being used as a special missions force. It was led by General Vasili Iosifovich Romeyko-Gurko, a close friend of the Tsar and the only one of his generals who advised against abdication. Most historians fail to mention that the Guards in St Petersburg were reserve troops who were training to go to the front, not actual combat frontoviks

Infantry Units (Foot Guards)

Life-Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment.
Life-Guards Semenovskii Regiment.
Life-Guards Izmailovskii Regiment.
Life-Guards Jäger Regiment.
Life-Guards Moscow Regiment.(formerly the Life Guards Lithuanian Regiment)
Life-Guards Grenadier Regiment.
Life-Guards Pavlovskii Regiment.
Life-Guards Finland Regiment
Life-Guards The Emperor of Austria’s Kexholm Regiment.
Life-Guards King Frederick-William III’s Saint-Petersburg Regiment.
Life-Guards Volhynia Regiment.
Life-Guards Litovski Regiment

Guards Strelkovi (Rifle) Brigade

Life-Guards 1st HIS MAJESTY’S Strelkovi Regiment.
Life-Guards 2nd Tsarskoe-Selo Strelkovi Regiment.
Life-Guards 3rd HIS MAJESTY’S Strelkovi Regiment.
Life-Guards 4th Imperial Family Strelkovi Regiment.
Guards Strelkovi Artillery Battalion.
Company of Palace Grenadiers.

Cavalry Units (Horse Guards)

HIS MAJESTY’S Life-Guards Cossack Regiment.
Life-Guards Ataman Cossack Regiment of the Tsarevich.
Life-Guards Combined Cossack Regiment.
Life-Guards Lancer Regiment,
Life-Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment.
Empress Maria’s Chevalier Guards Regiment.
Life-Guards Horse Regiment.
HIS MAJESTY’S Life-Guards Cuirassier Regiment.
Empress Maria’s Life-Guards Cuirassier Regiment.
Life-Guards Horse-Grenadier Regiment
Empress Maria’s Life-Guards Lancer Regiment.
Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment
HIS MAJESTY’S Life-Guards Hussar Regiment
HIS MAJESTY’S Life-Guards Lancer Regiment.
Guard Reserve Cavalry Regiment
His Majesty’s Cossacks of the Konvoy (4 squadrons that form personal escort of the tsar)


Life Guard 1st Artillery Brigade
Life Guard 2nd Artillery Brigade
Life Guard 3rd Artillery Brigade
Guard Horse Artillery Brigade (5 batteries)
Guard Reserve foot battery
1st, 2nd, 3rd Guards Artillery Park

Misc Units

Orienbaum Machinegun Regiment (attached to St Petersburg Military district but not a Guards unit)
Guards Equipage (A Marine Battalion formed in 1810, led by the Grand Duke Kyrill)
Life Guards Field-Engineer Battalion
Bicycle Battalion
Armored Car Troops (Brunnoviki)
Guard Field Gendarme Squadron
His Majesty’s Railway Regiment