Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms

1876 TILL 1908 OTTOMAN CAVALRY

Imperial Guard Cavalry Regiments

The Imperial Guard Cavalry [1] [2] [3]:

  • Ertugrul Cavalry Regiment of the IG.
  • First Regiment of Lancers of the IG.
  • Second Cavalry Regiment of the IG (uniform unknown).
  • Fifth Cavalry Regiment of the IG (uniform unknown)

​This list appear to indicate that the 3rd, and 4th Imperial Guard Cavalry regiments, were never organised/raised.

Two separate regimental staffs existed, one for the 1st Lancers (in Lancer uniforms), and one for the Ertugrul Cavalry in their particular green uniforms. The reason for this stituation, is that the it was likely intended to fully raise two complete regiments, however the economic problems facing the Ottoman empire in the 1876-1908 period precluded this from fully happening.

The Ertugrul Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard, after 1909 become the basis for the mounted lancers called the "Leibgarde-Kavallerie-Regiment" "Ertogrul".

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[1] Callwell, C.E. (CAPT.) (1892) Handbook of the Turkish Army. London: Harrison and Sons, St. Martin’s Lane (HMSO): 15-17. Makes no mention of the several regiments of Imperial Guard cavalry, except for two guard regiments stationed in the Constantinople garrison, forming part of the 1st Ordu:Military District; and these “guard regiments are known respectively as the Ertoghrul and Rehmunut regiments”.

[2] The 1892 ‘Handbook of the Turkish Army’, also states: the 1st-6th line cavalry regiments are part of the 1st Ordu:Military District.

[3] The 'Rehmunut Regiment', appears to be the 1st Regiment of Lancers. However, there was also a "REMONT Regiment' in the Cifteler Harasi (Stud Farm) which bred around three-hundred horses a year for the army (Askeri Müze ve Kültür Sitesti Komutanligi. (1986) Osmanli askeri teskilat ve kiyafetleri: 1876-1908 [Ottoman military organization and uniforms] Yayinlari: 18).

1st Regiment of Lancers of the Imperial Guard (Rehmunut Regiment)

Right - The  pre-1908 full-dress uniform of a Major, identified by the three-gold stripes on his cuff-patch, as well by the epaulettes which have a loose fringe (Majors, Lieutenant-Colonels, and Colonels).

  • He is an officer in the 1st Lancers.
  • The tunic has its distinctive Paraderabatte (red button-on chest lapels).

First Regiment of Lancers, and the Ertugrul Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard, were a co-joined regiment sharing the same group of troopers, who wore -

  • White metal shoulder scales (in the Ertugrul Cavalry), and attached a parade holster-bag cover.
  • Yellew metal shoulder scales (in the 1st Lancers). As well, wore the full red tunic lapel cover.

In 1897 a German-pattern cloth lancers' belt was introduced in blue cloth with red tape edging.

Ertugrul Cavalry Regiment of the Imperial Guard

Right - The special Ertugrul Cavalry tunic button.

A special 'Test Uniform' was developed for at least one squadron attached to the separate regimental staff  for the Ertugrul Cavalry, which were blue uniforms.

The 4th Cavalry Regiment

The 4th Dragoon Cavalry Regiment was uniformed as a mounted rifles cavalry unit following from the 1850s Chasseurs-a-Cheval (Horse Rifles).

Line Dragoon Cavalry

Line Lancers

Experimental Cuirassiers (1876)

Right - Extracted from the Library of Congress: Abdul Hamid II Collection, from the 'Interior of the Weapons Museum' (between 1880 and 1893), can be seen full cuirass and helmets, with star and crescent finals. The identifty of these remains a mystery [1] [2]. These same items were photographed in 1919-20 [3].

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[1] It is also possible, that these were intended for the Ottoman cavalry, in the 1876 period. A web-forum historian has stated "In 1857 the Turks were planning to form two Cuirassier Regiment(s)". But no reference has been given.

[2] The project was abandoned due to the high costs of maintain a Cuirassiers regiment, namely, the difficulty of finding suitably large horses; as the men themselves would have needed to be at least 6ft tall; the standard Ottoman horse was under-sized, and the not suited to shock tactics (British General Staff. (1995) 1916 Handbook of the Turkish Army. Battery Press, Nashville:63).

[3] Right - Photographed in 1919-20 a display of full cuirass and helmets, with star and crescent finals (Stuart, W. Pyhrr (1989) European Armor from the Imperial Ottoman Arsenal (Metropolitan Museum Journal 24: 88). 

Cavalry Dress-Uniform Cartridge Boxes

Right  - A cavalry cross-belt slung cartridge box. Used in any period from the Crimean war, till 1908.

1876 Ottoman Imperial Army Cavalry Sword and Cavalry Sword Knot

Right - The 1876 -period Ottoman imperial army cavalry sword, and its sword knot [1].

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[1] Askeri Müze ve Kültür Sitesti Komutanligi. (1986) Osmanli askeri teskilat ve kiyafetleri: 1876-1908 [Ottoman military organization and uniforms] Yayinlari.

Cavalry Sanjakdar (Standard Bearer) and Sultan's Standard

Right - A cavalry Sanjakdar (Standard Bearer). The Ottoman cavalry used the same Sultan's standard as the rest of the army. All regiments received identical flags, in two patterns – the 1844, and then 1882 version.The Sanjakdar in the 4th Cavalry (c1876-1908) displays a single silver cuff chevron as rank (which in the 1861 rank system was a 2nd Lieutenant equivalent). The rank was further distinguished by wearing the gold embroidered red carry strap, seen here under the sling strap of the cartridge box.

Officers' Swords and Portepee Rank Insignia (1876-1908)

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