Play Troops

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Play Troops

 

(Poteshnye), military detachments created in Russia in the early 1680’s for the amusement of Tsarevich Peter.

The play troops were recruited from children and adolescent manor serfs, grooms, courtiers of the tsar’s bedchamber, and volunteer dvoriane (nobility or gentry). A special field for military games was created in 1682 in Moscow near the Kremlin, and a military camp was built in 1685 near the village of Preo-brazhenskii on the Iauza River. Adults were recruited into these regiments from 1686, and the Preobrazhenskii and Semenovskii regiments, created in 1687, became the core of the Russian guards, which supported Peter I during the palace coup of 1689.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.