Izmaylovsky Regiment

The Izmaylovsky Regiment (Russian: Изма́йловский лейб-гва́рдии полк, romanizedIzmáylovskiy leyb-gvárdii polk) was one of the oldest regiments of the Imperial Russian Army, a subdivision of the 1st Guards Infantry Division of the Imperial Russian Guard. It was formed in Moscow on 22 September 1730 as Empress Anna's personal life guards (leib guard), named after the Romanov ancestral estate of Izmaylovo.[1]

Izmaylovsky Lifeguard Regiment
— III —
Active22 September 1730 – 1917
CountryRussian Empire
Garrison/HQSt. Petersburg
Banner of the regimentPostanovleniye Znameny Leyb-gvardii polka i Sankt-Peterburga inspektsiya 1800-1813.jpg
Badge of the regimentLG Izmajlovsky.jpg

The first colonel of the regiment that was appointed was Adjutant general Count Karl Gustav von Löwenwolde. After him, only members of the imperial family were appointed chiefs of the regiment.

On 17 March 1800, the regiment was renamed to Lifeguards of His Imperial Highness Konstantin Pavlovich (Лейб-гвардии Его Императорского Высочества Константина Павловича), and then on 28 May of the same year to Lifeguard of His Imperial Highness Nikolai Pavlovich (Лейб-гвардии Его Императорского Высочества Николая Павловича).

The original name was restored in 1801. The regimental church was Trinity Cathedral, Saint Petersburg, where its military ensigns were kept.


Ceremonial chiefsEdit

Uniforms and physical appearanceEdit

Izmaylovsky Regiment
Izmaylovsky Regiment

Throughout its history under the Russian Empire, the regiment wore the standard uniform of the Infantry of the Imperial Guard, which from 1683 to 1914 was predominantly of a dark green (eventually verging on black) colour. The main distinctions of the Izmaylovsky Regiment were the red facings (plastron, cuffs and shoulder straps) edged in white piping. Collars were of the same dark green as the tunic; piped in red and worn with distinctive regimental patterns of braid (litzen). In addition, the tsar's monogram appeared on the soldiers' shoulder straps and officers' epaulettes.[3] In 1912, in recognition of its long and distinguished record, officers of the regiment were authorised to wear a large metal gorget of a design dating from 1732.[4]

A peculiarity of the Russian Imperial Guard was that recruits for most regiments were required to meet certain criteria of physical appearance, in order to provide a standardised appearance on parade.[5] This tradition was taken so seriously that during the 19th century the tsar himself might make the selection from a line of new recruits, chalking the regimental initial on the coat of each recruit. For the Izmaylovsky Regiment conscripts were selected on the basis of their hair colour (brown), and beards (for the first company of each battalion only).[6]


  1. ^ Simon Sebag Montefiore (2016). The Romanovs: 1613–1918. Orion. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-4746-0027-9. [Anna] founded her own Guards regiment, named after her mother's estate, the Izmailovsky, filled with German officers whom she trusted after her many years in Germanic Courland.
  2. ^ Patrick de Gmeline, page 43 "La Garde Imperiale Imperiale Russe 1896–1914", publisher Charles-Lavauzelle Paris 1986
  3. ^ Schollander, Wendell. Glory of the Empires 1880–1914. pp. 566–567. ISBN 978-0-7524-8634-5.
  4. ^ Patrick de Gmeline, page 43 "La Garde Imperiale Imperiale Russe 1896–1914", publisher Charles-Lavauzelle Paris 1986
  5. ^ Schollander, Wendell. Glory of the Empires 1880–1914. p. 492. ISBN 978-0-297-85266-7.
  6. ^ Patrick de Gmeline, pages 36–37 "La Garde Imperiale Imperiale Russe 1896–1914", publisher Charles-Lavauzelle Paris 1986

External linksEdit