Living History Unit

"Preobrazhensky Life Guards", 1709


About us

History of the regt


Development of the regt - Campaigns and battles

 Creation of the regiment, its' development 

Seniority since 1683, May 23. Regimantal holiday - August 19, Transfiguration Day.

1683. Young Tsar Peter (later known as Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia) started to gather fellow-boys for his military games in the village of Preobrazhenskoye (Transfiguration). This troop was called fun ("poteshniye"). Initially, there were but 50 boys - both children of Russian aristocracy and palace servants. Initial organization of POteshniye is unknown; we only know that after some time the amount of troops had grown and part of them was moved to a neighbouring village of Semenovskoye. 1687 the unit is called . In 1700 was officially treated as Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment.

Preobrazhensky regt in 1690 's: fusilier, serjeant and ensign. By S.Letin.

1687. Poteshniye are called Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky Soldier regiments.

1695, April 30. Preobrazhensky regt is given organization  of 9 companies with addition of an artillery of "Bombardier" company. 

1698. Regiment comprises 4 battalions with addition of Bombardier and Grenadier companies.

First Narva campaign, 1700: Jr-officer of Preobrazhensky, fusilier of Butyrsky, Sr-officer of Preobrazhensky, NCO of Semenovsky and grenadier of Preobrazhensky regt. By S.Letin.

1700. August 22, on the day of departure towards fortress Narva, the Regiment is called Life Guards for the first time.

1703. In March, while Regiment was departing towards fortress Nienschantz, those soldiers who remained unable to continue service were left in Moscow and comprised Moscow Retired Company of Preobrazhensky Life Guards regt.

1706. August 3, Tsar Peter took rank of Colonel in the Regiment.

1707. In April a decree was issued: Regiment should be mounted on horses while on march. Thus in campaigns of 1707, 1708, 1709 and 1710 Regiment was mounted when outside battlefield.

1722. January 24. According to the newly introduced Table of Ranks, Senior and Junior officers of the Regiment were given 2 ranks seniority above line regiments.


Campaigns and Battles during reign of Peter I

1695 April 27, Regiment headed from Moscow to a Turskish fortress Azov. July 5—17, siege and taking separate towers; however the fortress itself was not taken. Returned to Moscow in November 22.

1696 March 15, second departure towards Azov; May 19—July 18, siege and taking of Azov; returned to Moscow on September 30.

1700 September 23—November 19, first siege and battle of Narva. In the battle, the Regiment saved whole army from total decstruction.

1702 In May, 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Regt followed Tsar to Arkhangelsk; founded fortress of Novodvinsk, on August 5 went to Novaya Ladoge to meet 1st and 4th battalions, that fought under General Apraksin and defeated Swedish General Kroniort at Izhore river in July; September 2—October 13, siege and taking of fortress Noteburg. Returned to Moscow in December 6.

1703 April 23—May 1. Siege and taking of fortress Nienschantz. May 7, capture of 2 Swedish ships on Neva river; on May 16 - foundation of new fortress of Saint-Petersburg.

1704 May 31—August 12. Siege and taking of Narva, and then - taking fortress Ivangorod on August 16.

1705 August 14—September 4. Siege and taking of Mitau.

1707. In May regiment's Bombardier company took part in siege and taking of fortress Bykhov.

1708 August 9. Took part in battle at Dobroye (Tchernaya Nappa river), September 28 defeat of Loevenhaupt at Lesnaya.

1709 February 15, action at Rayevka; June 27, battle of Poltava; July 30, capitulation of Swedish army at Perevolotchna.

1710 April 1—June 14, siege and taking of fortress Vyborg.

1711 July 8—11, combats against Turks at river Prut.

1712 June 17, defeat of Polish rebels at Largov on Varta river.

1713 January 31, battle of Friedrichstat; May 4, taking of Tuningen; A battalion that was in St.Petersburg was send to Helsingfors, took Abo on August 8. October 6, action at river Pelkina.

1714 February 19, battle of Lappola; July 27, naval batle of Gangut.

1715 May 29—September 1. Sea travel along Estland and Kurland shores towards Libawa.

1716 April 10— October. Sea travel from Libawa to Kopenhagen; winter quarters in Rostock.

1717 June 6—September 10. Way back to Revel by sea.

1718 August. Sea travel to Gangut.

1719 June 8—August 8. Sea travel to Swedish shores; and then - quarters in Estonia.

1720 May 1. Sea travel from Revel to Helsingfors. July 27, took part in naval batal of Grengam on galleys, took 4 fregates. Returned to St.Petersburg on September 8.

1722 May 15. One battalion departed, together with Peter, from Moscow to Persia; August 25, took Derbent; 18 December back to Moscow. 

Schenk V.K. Imperatorskaya Gvardiya. Spravochnaya Knizhka Glavnoy Kvartiry., SPb, 1910.

* on this page we use pictures by Sergey Letin.


Living History Unit "Preobrazhensky Life Guards" (с) 2003