Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Combat use of special forces in contemporary conflicts has become common practice. This is due to the fact that modern warfare is very often require the application of a surgically precise and at the same time, quickly and quietly blows, that is the task of special forces. At first glance, the special forces - the concept is relatively new, peculiar nature of modern warfare. However, this is not true: the history of Russian special forces rooted in the distant past, to be more precise - in the era of the birth of the Cossacks in the southern Russian steppes.

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Special Cossack divisions have arisen during the Zaporozhye Sech, and already during the Russian-Turkish war of 1787-1791 scouts received the status of a special division in the ranks of the Black Sea Cossack troops through training, and achieved remarkable combat skills, is very different from the rest of the armed forces.

In 1842 in the staffing cavalry and infantry units of Black troops were included bellies company from 60 to 90 people. Scouts were issued the most modern weapons of the time. It was the first to obtain long-range scouts union with pritykaemymi bayonets. Taking into account the specificity of services scouts pay higher salaries.

In the case of detection of the enemy in the course of exploration Cossack scouts almost never gave up. It was considered a rule that Plastun better die than lose freedom. Properly selecting the position and advance outlining the escape route in case of pursuit, scouts or were shot or blended with the terrain, the skilful use of its features. The enemy has preferred to avoid direct confrontation with a group of scouts and not pursue it, because in this case he could easily get ambushed and suffer the senseless loss of well-aimed fire Plast. In the XIX century, Russia is constantly involved in military conflicts on its southern borders - Crimea, the Caucasus, the Kuban steppes. In these circumstances, Plast division, and read special forces, becoming almost a paramount importance for the Russian army. A significant figure in the development of Plast-Cossacks became Yakov Baklanov, which in 1845 was moved to the destination in the 20th Don Regiment, standing on the left flank of the Caucasian line in a small strengthening Kura. Here, he spent eight years, who praised him and entrusted him Plast.

Don Cossacks in contrast to the local (linear) used in the Caucasus bad reputation. Raised among the steppes Don people with difficulty getting used to the mountains. Baklanov has done the impossible. In a short time his regiment was transformed. strict control was established over the content of weapons and horses. Baklanov Cossack entered training sapper and artillery case. For reconnaissance regiment Plastunskaya team of the best archers and riders was formed. In violation of the statute Baklanov formed in part entrusted to his command training one hundred, where trained junior officers - sergeant. In order to preserve state-owned property and encourage Cossacks boldly go into battle, Yakov Petrovich moved his regiment on the uniforms and weapons only trophies. Cossack form and state-owned weapons were stored in the armory in case of parades and baklanovtsy sported Circassian and weapons removed from prisoners or killed mountaineers ... From 1845 to 1853 Baklanov's regiment of Highlanders stole 13 thousand head of cattle and 40,000 sheep . Yakov Petrovich himself said, laughing: "Ottyagat someone else, it is seen invested by God in our Cossack nature, and even then could not restrain himself"

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Uniform of a Cossack-Plastun was №8. What is taken away, then we wear.

Scouts and dressed like mountaineers, with the poorest. Each search gorges and Debra thoroughly wears uniforms. Hiking decoration Plastun were Circassian, battered, covered with colorful patches; threadbare, poryzhelaya hat is usually cocked jauntily on his head; chuviaki leather wild boar, bristle outwardly. In the hands of a true union with the saber at the waist - a dagger and a so-called personal belongings: powder flask, bullet pouch, zhirnik nipple, an awl from the horn of a wild goat, pot.

Particularly noteworthy leggings - a very specific part of the costume mountaineers of the North Caucasus and the Cossacks-Plast. They were very comfortable for riding, and for long walks transitions in mountainous relief conditions and forest undergrowth. Leggings worn over the pants and they fit snug leg from the ankle to the knee, and sometimes higher. Thus, nogovotsy protected from horse sweat pants, as well as shrubs and stones. They were made of cloth or felt, and the parade - from morocco. Leggings were fixed on the foot with the help of garters, made of felt, lace or leather.

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

headdress Plastun were hats and truhmenki (for officers).

For war is only sewed hats fur sheep, wolf and bear, t. To. Only this fur softens the blow bombs, due to its specificity. Officers and podhorunzhih at the front cap form clothes hats at the seams (crosswise seam and lower) narrow silver bitevym trimmed with braid, width 1 cm 2.

Ataman or officer wore truhmenku - gray fur hat with red Shlyk made of astrakhan lamb. In general, it should be said that for a Cossack hat is - one of the most important pieces of clothing. So, for the flap hats Cossacks put particular securities and orders. Safer place was not - lose his cap Cossack could only head.

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Unchanged cherkeska with gozyrnitsey unchanged.

Gazarnnitsy or napatronniki - also a special piece suit Cossack Plastun. In fact, in every regiment, he was different. Thus, the officers of the 1st and 2nd Caucasian Cossack regiments have instructed napatronniki black velvet, with internal pockets lined with silver braid around broad; sleeve Karelian birch with vyserebrennymi heads. And, for example, Konno officers Daghestanian irregular-shelf - napatronniki red velvet for 20 rounds; taxed in 4 rows of silver braid, ends on Gazyr silver bullets

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Whip - ancient Cossack weapon that has many varieties and types. The Cossacks were often whip as certain combat decorations to the dress uniform, and its use on the battlefield often occur due to the loss or damage to the main weapon. Although, in the capable hands of Plast, it has been very effective in close combat.

Don whip type consists of two parts - the handle and whip, while the Kuban whip handle as if woven into a whip.

Due principally various devices and various techniques have been used combat use whips. For example, Kuban type construction implies the possibility of applying snap bumps on a "traveling wave", while in the Don they essentially impossible due to the presence of the coupling device. But it can be a different technique, based on the horizontal rotation of the whip around relative to the fixed handle.

Cossacks-scouts or the first Russian special forces

Martial traditions and tactics Plast formed over the centuries. In the campaign they are in an advanced reconnaissance patrol, in camp - in an ambush in the outposts. The field fortifications - in constant search of the surrounding forests and caves. At the same time scouts at night in groups of 3 to 10 people to penetrate deep into the location of the enemy, watching him, overheard conversations.

Plastun could not become just like that, just on their own, because there was a whole system of selection. Experienced scouts themselves chose additions to your team and change the future among the most trusted and respected warriors. The scouts tried to take the Cossacks from their bellies family, all martial and hunting tricks handed down from generation to generation, from father to son. Preference was given to the Cossacks of middle age, as it was thought that the young can not be adequately patience and perseverance, and old ones too heavy to lift and fast enough. To pass the captious selection was not enough one of courage and daring nature, required also the ability to shoot without a miss, and possess excellent physical health and stamina.

Special emphasis was placed on the patience and composure, because of the specifics of Plastun. After all, they had to wait for hours to lie or sit in the reeds, thorny shrubs and sometimes in ice water or buried in snow, in any case, without revealing its presence at random movement.

Plast manner of action characterize their contemporary expression "cleft palate and foxtail" indicating trick imperceptible quiet approach and sudden threatening attack. Among the main advantages of Plastun belonged ability to hide their own movement, the first to reveal the whereabouts of the enemy and lure him into an ambush. Special respect enjoyed the Cossacks, who were able to read "Sacmi" (enemy of the trail), it determines the number of opponents and the trajectory of their movement. Their own tracks, if it was not possible to hide them altogether, scouts thoroughly confused, using different techniques: moving backwards, jumped on one foot, in every possible way to hide their direction and the number of people in the unit.

Outstanding quality Plast served as Russia not only in the Caucasus but also in other theaters of war. The Crimean War (1853-1856 years) 2nd and 8th Cossack bellies battalion distinguished in battles at Balaklava and defense Sebastopol legendary fourth bastion. Scouts carried out raids in the enemy trenches, with particular peculiar to them carefully remove the guards, destroyed the gun, and once captured, and with the help of the French prisoners dragged to his three enemy mortars. While on patrol, secrets in the intelligence finding, scouts paid attention to the many minor at first glance the details in enemy activity. Opened new artillery positions, showed maintenance work on the digging of tunnels for the purpose of mine-laying under the arrangement of Russian troops.

Looking at the Plast, commanders of army infantry regiments in Sevastopol, began to make at their sample special commands. Collected themselves brave and shrewd soldier gave them a rare while in regular forces union and expelled the Night Watch. Soldiers learn from experienced Plast their oven mitts, habits, and even began to imitate in clothing.

They excelled in Sevastopol and were awarded scouts Kravchenko, Siskin, White, Onishchenko Sopelnyaki brothers, Semak. 2nd Kuban bellies battalion bestowed the St. George flag with the inscription "For the approximate difference in the defense of Sevastopol in 1854 and 1855 years", the 8th Battalion - St. George flag with the inscription "For distinction in the capture of the fortress of Anapa June 12, 1828 and estimated courage in the defense of Sevastopol 1854 and 1855 years. " Participated bellies part in Russian-Turkish, Russian, Persian, Russian-Polish and Russian-Japanese war. Twenty-four bellies battalion fought in the First World War. On the Caucasian front reconnaissance Plast entered into Mesopotamia (in what is now Iraq), which made contact with the advance units of the Allied Russian British troops. In this war, equestrian Cossack regiments was replaced two compounds in their bellies battalions - three ...

Photos for the report made in September 2012 during the reconstruction of the battle of Alma in the Crimea.

Costume Cossack Plastun produced his hands sophia_orsetti, based on historical data, scientific literature and drawings from nature V. Timm made in 1855.