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Other Astrakhan Units

Some smaller or unusual units formed from the Astrakhan area.

Special Detachment for the Liberation of Astrakhan

This was formed in conjunction with the Urals Host and fought the Bolsheviks along the Caspian coast during 1919.

Initially just a few hundred men, about 50% cavalry and 50% infantry, it slowly grew. By Spring 1919 it numbered about 2,000 men and had been formed into two cavalry and two infantry units.

The Detachment peaked at 3,500 or so men, with 40 MGs and 16 guns, by autumn 1919, divided into:

1st Astrakhan Cossack Regiment
Volga Partisan Cavalry Regiment
1st Astrakhan Cossack Plastoon Regiment
2nd Krasnoyarskiy-Yenotaevskiy Cossack Plastoon Regiment
Artillery Divizion

The 1st Astrakhan Cossack Regiment was presumably the core of the Detachment. It seems likely it was dressed in normal WWI Astrakhan uniforms, as described on the Astrakhan Cavalry page. One squadron was probably Kalmyk and/or Kirghiz.

The Volga Partisan Cavalry Regiment was formed from peasants of the Volga mouth area. There is a possibility that some were Orenburg Cossacks who had been cut off by the Soviet advance.

The 1st Astrakhan Cossack Plastoon Regiment had no Imperial precedent, the Astrakhan Host only ever providing cavalry. Probably it just dressed like the cavalry.

We know that in April 1919 insignia was issued, with a chevron in yellow, point down, on the left sleeve. Infantry were to fly yellow flags in a long triangle away from the pole ane the cavalry the old Tsarist cavalry flags. In addition, Serrezhnikov (the division commander) ordered a white band on the left sleeve.

The Krasnoyarskiy-Yenotaevskiy Plastoons seem to have been based on a core of Volga delta peasants (hence the name). Some may have been Russian and Serbian infantry that had been stranded in the Urals area for one reason or another.

Some of the artillery seems to have been Astrakhan in origin, which means it was almost certainly horse artillery.

Trans-Volga Detachment

Formed in the summer 1919 as part of the Caucasian Army, it contained:

3rd Astrakhan Cossack regiment
Caucasian Rifle Division
Steppe Partisan Detachment

The 3rd Astrakhan Cossack Division had been detached from the Astrakhan Cossack Division, and so was dressed like them as standard Astrakhan Cossacks. It may well have been largely Kalmyk.

The Caucasian Rifle Division was made up of the 1st to 4th Caucasian Infantry Regiments and the Caucasian Rifle Artillery Brigade. This is likely a fairly low morale unit, since it was recently formed, its name suggests no great pedigree and it dissipated quickly.

The Steppe Partisan Detachment was formed from peasants from the east bank of the Volga. It was largely mounted.

The Caucasian Army attacked across the Volga after Tsaritsyn fell in July 1919 with this Detachment and the Lower Volga Detachment (the rest of the Astrakhan Cossack Division, the 3rd Kuban Division and the 5th Caucasian Rifle Regiment). They fought there until the very end of 1919.

Astrakhan Artillery

There were several batteries of Astrakhan artillery operating through the Civil War. Given their source, they were likely all horse batteries.

They would have worn normal Astrakhan cavalry uniforms except caps, shoulderboards and collar tabs would be in artillery colours (see the Don Artillery). No source gives the cipher, although Ac seems most likely.

Astrakhan Units Not Related to the Cossack Host

The 8th Astrakhan Dragoon regiment was a regular cavalry unit revived in the AFSR. It had no relationship with the Host at all.

The 1st Astrakhan Volunteer Regiment was formed as part of the Don's Astrakhan Army very early in the war. It was intended to be a regular infantry unit, and most of its men were ex-Imperial officers. When the Astrakhan Army was split up by Denikin, these men became the Composite Astrakhan Regiment and went to the 6th Infantry Division, later transformed into the Composite Grenadier Division.

Simultaneously a short-lived 1st Astrakhan Volunteer Regiment was also formed in the early Volunteer Army. Again it seems to have been a regular army unit.