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Orders of battle

General The Alma

The definitive source for British Orders of Battle in the Crimea is Into Battle by Ron McGuigan,published 2001 by Withycut House, price £12 (twelve GBP), ISBN 1-899244-02-6

This gives the Orbats for 13 dates from August 1854 to April 1856, being 8 engagements (Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Kertch expedition, Quarries, first and second assaults on the Redan, and the Kinburn expedition) and 5 other key dates. It includes a short resume of the war, maps, explanations of ranks, and of the Crimean War Medal and Clasps, the modern names of the regiments, the battle honours won in the Crimea, an index of officers named, and more besides. A slim volume, but pure gold for those interested in the details of the British troops involved. The publication of this book was immediately followed by demands from readers for similar treatments of the French and Russian Orders of Battle. We can but hope!


The general deployment of British infantry was as follows.
A division comprised 2 brigades and 1 or 2 batteries of artillery.
A brigade comprised 3 regimental battalions.
A battalion usually comprised 8 companies.
A company normally comprised 100-120 men.
The general deployment of British cavalry was as follows.
A division comprised 2 brigades and 1 troop of horse artillery.
A brigade comprised 3 (in the Crimea, 5) regiments.
A regiment comprised 3 (in the Crimea, 2) squadrons.
A squadron comprised 2 troops.
A troop at full strength comprised c70 men.

The Alma (20 September 1854)

Russians Turks French British

The Russians (Prince Menschikoff)

16th Infantry Division (Kvetzenski)
1st brigade (Stschelkanov) 2nd brigade (Schonert)
31st Vladimir Musketeer Regt 32nd Sousdal Musketeer Regt 31st Ouglitch Jaeger Regt 32nd Kazan Jaeger Regt (Grand Duke Michael's)

17th Infantry Division (Kiriakov)
1st brigade (Kurtjanov) 2nd brigade (Latchinov)
33rd Moscow Musketeer Regt 33rd Borodino Jaeger Regt 34th Taroutino Jaeger Regt

13th Infantry Division
1st (reserve) brigade (Aslanovich)
25th Bialostock Musketeer Regt 26th Brest Musketeer Regt

14th Infantry Division
1st brigade (von Moller)
27th Volhynia Musketeer Regt 28th Minsk Musketeer Regt

6th Cavalry Division
2nd (Hussar) brigade (Velitchko)
11th Kiev Hussars 12th Ingermanland Hussars

The disposition of these forces in the field was roughly as follows.

Cavalry 27th Volhynia 28th Minsk (3 bns.)
Third line
33rd Moscow
Second line
31st Ouglitch 31st Vladimir 33rd Borodino 34th Taroutino
Front line
32nd Sousdal 32nd Kazan 25th Bialostock 26th Brest 28th Minsk (2nd bn.)

The Turks

(8 battalions of infantry, under Sulieman Pasha. No other details)

The French (Marshal St Arnaud)

Front line
2nd Division (General Bosquet)
2nd brigade (Bouat) 1st brigade (D'Autemarre)
6th de ligne 7th Léger 3rd Chasseurs 50th de Ligne 3rd Zouaves Tirailleurs

1st Division (General Canrobert)
2nd brigade (Vinoy) 1st brigade (Espinasse)
27th de Ligne 20th de Ligne 9th Chasseurs 7th de Ligne 1st Zouaves 4th Chasseurs

3rd Division (General Prince Napoleon)
2nd brigade (Thomas) 1st brigade (Monet)
20th Legér 22nd Legér 3rd Marine Regt 2nd Zouaves 19th Chasseurs


4th Division (General Forey)
2nd Brigade (Aurelle) 1st Brigade (de Lourmel)
74th de Ligne 39th de Ligne 26th de Ligne 19th de Ligne 5th Chasseurs

Denis Judd lists the following cavalry as being under Forey at the Alma, but they were still in western Turkey. There was present at the Alma an elite squadron of Spahis which served as St. Arnaud's headquarters guard.
(I am indebted to Tony Margrave for this information.)

Cavalry Brigade (Cassaignolles) Cavalry Brigade (D'Allonville)
6th Cuirassiers 6th Dragoons 4th Chasseurs d'Afrique 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique

The British (Lord Raglan)

Front line

Light Division (Sir George Brown) 2nd Division (Sir George de Lacy Evans)
L brigade (Buller) R brigade (Codrington) L brigade (Pennefather) R brigade (Adams)
77th 88th 19th 33rd 23rd 7th 95th 55th 30th 47th 49th 41st

Second line

1st Division (HRH The Duke of Cambridge)
Highland Brigade (Sir Colin Campbell) Brigade of Guards (Bentinck)
79th 93rd 42nd Coldstreams Scots Fusiliers Grenadiers


3rd Division (Sir Richard England)
Left brigade (Sir W Eyre) Right brigade (Sir J Campbell)
4th 44th 28th 38th 50th 1st

Cavalry Division (Lord Lucan)
Light brigade (Lord Cardigan)
17th Lancers 11th Hussars 8th Hussars 13th Light Dragoons 4th Light Dragoons †

4th Division (Sir George Cathcart) *
2nd brigade (Torrens)† 1st brigade (Horn)
46th (2 coys) 63rd 4th LD (1 troop) 20th 21st 68th 1st Rifle Brigade

* The composition of the 4th Division at the battle of the Alma is a matter of contention. This table is based on the findings of Michael Hargreave Mawson in The War Correspondent - the journal of the Crimean War Research Society - XIII.iv.22, January 1996

† Torrens’ Brigade, with one troop of the 4th Light Dragoons, had been left behind at Old Fort to embark the sick and clear the beach, and did not arrive at the Alma until after the battle.

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