Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1st Semirechia Cossacks


Recommended Posts


Sorry I could not identify this Regt in the lists I have?

The mention come from the BOWH on Persian Operations page 93

Which mention the 1st Semirechia Cossacks 700 strong arrived at Meshed on the 1 August 1915 and moved four days later to Turbat I Haidari

This date is before Baratov and his force arrived in early 1916

I thought at first it may relate to the Caucasian cavalry division under Gen Sharpantie or Gen Prince Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy 12-15 

1Bde - 16th Tverskoy Dragoon Regt 17th Nizhegorodskiy Dragoon Regt 
2Bde - 18th Severskiy Dragoon Regt 1st Khoperskiy Cossack Regt

But they also were reinf to Baratov in early 1916

So no luck there

Any ideas on who this Cossack Regt maybe?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers Travers.

I notice page 158 that the 1st Regt was joined by the 2nd Regt

Of cause I am unsure where they fit into the Order Of Battle here, as there are a number of Cossack Host's in the lists, but none called Semirechye

These were fighting around Van in 1915 and could moved into Persia, but during this time both the Russian and Indian/British Govts didn't want to get invovled in Persia, only stop the Germans from stiring things up


3rd Tamanskiy (Kuban host) Regt

3rd Kubanskiy (Kuban) Regt 

or in Azerbaijan Army

3rd Verkhneudinskiy (Zabaikalskoe Cossack Host) Regt

2nd Argunskiy (Zabaikalskoe Cossack Host) Regt
1st Kavkazskiy (Kuban Host) Cossack Regt

1st Tamanskiy (Kuban host) Cossack Regt
3rd Volgskiy (or Volzhskiy; Volga) (Terek host) Regt

3rd Chernomorskiy (Kuban host) Regt replaced by 3rd Zaporozhskiy (Kuban host) Regt 2-15 -

3rd Volgskiy Regt and

3rd Kizliaro-Grebenskoy (Terek host) Regt 
3rd Sunzhensko Vladikavkazskiy (Terek host) Regt 
2nd Chitinskiy (Zabaikalskoe Cossack Host) Regt

2nd Nerchinskiy (Zabaikalskoe Cossack Host) Regt
3rd Gorsko-Mozdokskiy (Terek host) Regt +

Just to name a few of the many

No idea on the Bde or commanders of the Semirechye Cossacks?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Steven

As the Russian army is WW1 is not my main interest I had not realised how many different cossack regiments there were.  I can't add any more it was just that my search engine came up with Semirechye as a suggestion. Could be a phonetic match if said quickly, esp with the many languages spoken in the Russian empire.

I did note that the Semirechye Cossacks took part in the pre 1914 Tsarist conquest of Central Asia so would be a logical fit to post them to operations in Persia.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


no worries mate its a hard question, as my knowage is also limited to freinds like Mikhail, who has a varst knowage here.

I was not sure the BOWH had the correct spelling, so I was looking at units that sounded like that name

Your reply made me think the answer maybe correct?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Dear Steven, @stevenbecker

I will try to clarify the participation of the Semirechye Cossacks in the Great War.

The 1st Semirechensky Cossack Regiment of General Kolpakovsky was introduced into Persia in December 1911, reinforcing the Mashhad and Kuchan detachments in the Khorasan province with its hundreds. As a result of the actions of the Russian troops in the north of Persia and the British in the south, the Persian revolution was suppressed.

However, the 1st Semirechensky Cossack Regiment continued to serve there, controlling the Khorasan province. By January 1914, the 1st and 2nd hundreds (= squadrons) of the regiment were in Mashhad, and the 3rd and 4th in Kuchan.

In the summer of 1914, after the beginning of the Great War, all Semirechensk Cossack army was mobilized. In total, in 1914-1917, the 2nd and 3rd regiments, four separate hundreds, seven hundred militia and one spare hundred were formed. Guards Semirechensky platoon went to the front as part of the Life Guards Consolidated Cossack Regiment.

Persia declared its neutrality, but none of the parties wanted to reckon with this. By the summer of 1915, the Khorasan detachment, formed from the 1st and 2nd Semirechensky Cossack regiments, was again introduced into North-Eastern Persia. This detachment formed the so-called "curtain troops", which stretched from the southern coast of the Caspian Sea to the city of Birjan and joined south with a similar "curtain" of British troops. The general command of the detachment of the Semirechensk Cossacks was carried out by the commander of the 1st Semirechensk Cossack Regiment, Colonel S.E. Gushchin. The main tasks of this detachment were the destruction of sabotage groups formed from German prisoners of war who fled from camps in the Turkestan region, the arrest of Turkish and Swedish instructors who trained these groups, the disarmament of caravans that were moving into Afghanistan controlled by the British allies. The Cossacks also suppressed uprisings of Turkmens in the Khanate of Khiva in 1915-1916.

The role of the Semirechye Cossacks in the battles of the First World War may seem unremarkable against the background of the participation of other Cossack troops, however, according to the reports of the Russian military agent Colonel L.N. Skurat, thanks to the actions of the Khorasan detachment under the command of Colonel Gushchin, the pro-German intelligence network was undermined by numerous arrests and the discovery of weapons depots, and the anti-British and anti-Russian ferment in the Khorasan province hid.

In the order for the 1st Semirechensk Cossack General Kolpakovsky Regiment No. 9 dated July 30, 1916, it was reported that during the Imperial audience at the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Emperor Nicholas II asked the regiment commander to convey “... to the Semirechensk residents of the royal His Imperial Majesty Thank you for the invisible, inconspicuous, but difficult and useful service in Persia".

The 3rd Semirechensky Cossack Regiment during the war was in the Semirechensk region, guarding the border with China and forming a consular convoy to protect the Russian consulate in Ghulja. The divisions of this regiment were serving at that time in Naryn, Dzharkent, Ghulja and the fortification of Bakhty.

Also several separated hundreds of Semirechye Cossacks served on other fronts of the Great war, including the Southwestern Front against the Austrian troops.


Photo below: Shcherbakov Nikolai Petrovich - Commander of the 4th hundred of the 1st Semirechensky Cossack regiment, from 08/09/1899 - 08/08/1906, sotnik (=poruchik). Later - Deputy Ataman of the Semirechensky Cossack army, in December 1918 - March 1919, major general, during the Great War was awarded the St. George weapon.



Edited by Mikhail
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Always glad to here from you.

Amazing what you can find


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Steven,

You're welcome!

The field uniform of 1st Semirechensky Cossack Regiment and officer's badge of Semirechensky Cossacks.

upload_army_unit_image_159-1-01 Смр Казач пох.jpg



Edited by Mikhail
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...