Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


Ottoman Cavalry Regiments (1828)

In 1828, the Ottoman new army’s cavalry force was expanded to four regiments, comprising [1]:

  • One regiment of Guard Lancer cavalry, hat was squadrons strong.
  • One regiment of line Lancer cavalry.
  • Two line regiments of Dragoon cavalry.

The 1828 line regiments were each of six squadrons of 150 men. Dragoons carried a carbine and a saber, while the lancers were armed with a lance and a straight French saber [2].

By 1828, the cavalry wore tall red-and-yellow striped caps, and green jackets with red and white loopings, red girdles, and blue trousers [3].


[1] [2] Marcel Roubicek. 1978 Modern Ottoman Troops, 1797-1915: In Contemporary Pictures. Franciscan Printing Press.

[3] Knotel, R. Knoetl, H. Sieg, H. 1980 Uniforms of the World - A Compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force Uniforms 1700 - 1937. Arms Armour Press, London.

1828 Guard Lancers (1st and 2nd Squadrons)

The 1828 uniform of the ‘Lancers of the Guard’ wore a tall red conical hat (identical to the foot guardsmen) with gold vertical tape decoration.

Right - Two different versions of the Guard Lancers, raised from the Sultan's Lifeguards, in 1828 (Vinkhuizjen Collection), which are are miss-dated to 1830-49.

One illustration shows a lancer with a red collar and blue cuffs and heavy gold-cord lace - possibly for an officer, which fully encircles the distinctive pointed edged cuffs (which is also a feature seen on Persian/Iranian uniforms).

Far-Right - Illustration shows the traditional Turkish 'khanjar knife carried forward of the rider on the saddle.

The other drawing of the Guard Lancer is depicted with a blue collar and blue cuffs, with yellow tape lacing, and is likely a trooper, from the other squadron.

The lance pennant in red, displaying a version of the Ottoman Flag, with yellow crescent and eight-pointed star.

1828 Guard Lancers (3rd Squadron)

Right - A likely illustration of the third squadron of guard cavalry, mis-dated to an earlier 1826 date (Vinkhuizjen Collection). He is wearing a green jersey with red lace; rather than the Guard's red jersey with yellow lace (used by the first two squadrons). There is an identical discription of this uniform in Knotel, "Cavalry wore tall red-and-yellow striped caps, and green jackets with red and white loopings, red girdles, and blue trousers" [1].


[1] Knotel, R. Knoetl, H. Sieg, H. 1980 Uniforms of the World - A Compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force Uniforms 1700 - 1937. Arms Armour Press, London.

1827-1828 Sesiasker Cavalry Regiment

In 1828, the original Silistra Cavalry Regiment/Brigade (first formed in 1826) was organised into new ALAY: regiments. One of these, later became a regular cavalry dragoon regiment.

Ottoman Cavalry (1832)

An 1832 account states: "The cavalry wear a dolman with a brightly coloured lace, five rows of white buttons, red cuffs, mameluke trousers of the same colour as the dolman, and a red girdle" [1].

The 1832 cavalry headdress, was the same as in the infantry, namely a TARBUCHE: or Greek cap. A TEQUI: a close-fitting cap, worn underneath the headdress, can be seen with a part projecting down all around. The boots are of black leather, the spurs of blackened iron, as in the French army.

The four cavalry brigades wear green, chestnut brown, dark blue, and light-blue uniforms; and the guards, scarlet. All arms have an undress uniform of white linen, ornamented with blue lace. The arms of the cavalry are a carbine, pouch, and French pattern sabre, with white accoutrements.


[1] Knotel, R. Knoetl, H. Sieg, H. (1980) Uniforms of the World - A Compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force Uniforms 1700 - 1937. Arms Armour Press, London.

1828-1832 Patterned Rank Tape Insignia

Am 1832 dated image of a cavalry trooper (Vinkhuizjen Collection), shows wearing a Fez (which was first adopted in 1832).

  • This figure is wearing a green jersey with red piping, and has decorative embroidered tape in white edged red, with black highlights displayed on the collars, cuffs and chest.
  • It is speculated, that this is a form of NCO insignia, because the use of the decorative embroidered tape was only adopted between 1828, and 1832.

It was used on the 1807-08 type of jersey worn at this time [1]. Two version of the green Dragoon’s jersey uniform (1828-32) can be identified:

  • First version: In keeping with the original, displaying the embroidered tape (white edged red, with black highlights), on the collars, cuffs and chest, and another version without.
  • Second version: Plain version worn from 1828.

After 1832 (with a Fez) a blue jersey piped red, with red pointed cuffs, and embroidered pink tape, with dark-red highlights, across the chest.

  • It is unknown if this is representing one of the Guard, or line regiments of Dragoons, up till 1834.
  • As the army universally, after 1832 began to adopt a common blue jersey with red piping for all infantry, and cavalry with no apparent regimental distinctions.

The original illustration in the Vinkhuizjen Collection, also shows the figure with two further inverted chevrons in matching lace (pink tape, with dark-red highlights), placed high on the lower arm;

  • This sleeve detail appears to be some form of NCO insignia.


[1] In 1839-40, these were replaced with the newer style of European wool shell jackets with stiff high collars, and coat-cuffs, introduced in dark blue wool cloth for the entire army.

The 1832 'Green' Cavalry Guidon

Right - A pre-1839 illustration (Vinkhuizjen Collection) shows an officer, still wearing the pre-1839 jersey, and the Fez (post 1832) and carrying a green and gold flag [1]. This is a smaller cavalry-guidon, displaying what appears to be (as the original shows a crude version of this), the Tugra of Mahmud II displayed inside the gold wreath.

This appears to be an 1828-32 Ottoman Army Flag. It should be noted, that the 1826 organisation did allow for the creation of the rank of SANJAQDAR: flag bearer, for each company, in each regiment.


[1] It is generally understood, that it was Sultan Abdülmecid, who reorganized the army and gave out the European –styled regimental standards in 1843–1844 (these were red flags, displaying a silver crescent).

1834 Ottoman Cavalry Regiments

The 1828 war against Russia, had destroyed the early new army and the one raised following this war, and is new organisation, by 1834:

  • Three regiments of Guard cavalry.
  • Two line regiments of Dragoon cavalry.

New Post-1837 Ottoman Cavalry Regiments

By 1837, the cavalry force was expanded to six regiments of cavalry:

  • Four Dragoon Regiments carrying carbines.
  • Two lance armed squadron-sized regiments.

This force had some 80 more squadrons of army reserve cavalry.

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