I would like to thank Barend Janssen, who drew up some lovely uniform schemes and put in an enormous number of hours of research, for all the work he did in preparing this section.
This section of the site covers almost all the Cossack and Native armies of the Russian Civil War, although information is slight on many units.
Also included are non-Cossack units that fought alongside the Host armies. Sometimes Host armies were given regulars (usually infantry) and they often recruited native tribesmen.
The uniform information presented usually mentions the uniform as it was in World War One, often at some length. This is because the Whites usually kept previous traditions into the Civil War, but also to help people interested in armies from that period. In particular we have given full details on shoulderboards and hat colours, when we can find them, even while knowing that few Civil War units will have been able to produce them.
Corrections and suggestions for improvements are very welcome: pygmywarsATgmailDOTcom
What many think of as the "Cossack" dress was in fact the traditional style of the mountain peoples of the Caucasus.
Only two Cossack hosts, the Kuban and the Terek, dressed this way. However, these two hosts and the Caucasian "mountaineers" themselves formed a considerable part of the White armies of southern Russia, especially the early Volunteer Army, which was largely formed in the Kuban.
All these Cossack units wore a uniform basically similar to standard Russian military dress.
The Don Host fought from the very beginning of the war, originally independently, then as part of the AFSR. The Astrakhan Host never formed an army as such, but units fought on several fronts.
Astrakhan Cavalry in the AFSR
Other Astrakhan Troops – Artillery, Units with the Urals Host, Units with the AFSR
The Cossack Hosts were all more or less anti-Bolshevik, but in Siberia were not always aligned particularly closely with the main White forces.
The history of these hosts are not very well known, so in some cases more extensive historical notes have been added separately.
The Yenisei Host in the RCW (Yenisei = Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk)
The Semirechensk Host was strongly associated with Annenkov from early 1919 onwards. This section covers the units that fought alongside the Semirechye Cossacks.
A large number of Cossacks were reformed into new units in the Far Eastern Army in TransBaikal in 1920. There were official changes made to uniform regulations by Ataman Semenov, which isn't to say that they were obeyed:
Cossacks in the Far East 1920-1921 in Russian at kolchakiya.ru
In general the Cossack armies used the same systems for uniforms and flags as the White armies. Pages in that section detail some of that practice, and also give the sources of our information.
Tsarist Flags (useful as many carried over)