Regiment


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Regiment

 

(1) A military unit of various combat arms and special troops in all armed services.

The regiment is an organizationally independent combat and administrative unit. There are motorized rifle, motorized infantry, infantry, tank, rocket, artillery, antiaircraft, reconnaissance, engineer, and signal regiments. Motorized rifle, motorized infantry, and infantry regiments are combined-arms tactical units. Every regiment has an organ of command and control (headquarters), several battalions or squadrons, and combat and logistics subunits. All regiments, except detached regiments, are part of larger units, such as divisions or brigades.

Regiments appeared in Russia and in Germany, France, Sweden, and elsewhere in Western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their organization was changed many times in the 18th and 19th centuries. In World War I (1914–18), all infantry regiments usually had three or four battalions with four companies each and reconnaissance, heavy machine gun, and service subunits. A cavalry regiment had four to six squadrons. Substantial changes took place in the organization of regiments before and during World War II (1939–45), when tank, mechanized, aviation, and airborne regiments were created. During the war, an infantry, or rifle, regiment was composed of three to four battalions and artillery, mortar, antitank-artillery, and antiaircraft-machine-gun subunits.

(2) In Russia from the 13th through 17th centuries, units of the battle formation of the field forces, divided into five to seven regiments, including the forward, large, right-hand, left-hand, guard, ambush, and ertoul (forward reconnaissance cavalry) regiments.

(3) A military unit and administrative territorial district in the Ukraine in the 16th through 18th centuries.

Registered-cossack regiments appeared in the 16th century. They were military units and were named after cities and small towns. In the 1630’s the registered-cossack regiments were administrative territorial districts. During the War of Liberation of 1648–54 this principle of troop organization was extended to the whole liberated part of the Ukraine. A hetman was in charge of the regiments. The number of regiments varied from 16 to 20. Along with them, regiments as military units also continued to exist. In Slobodskaia Ukraina (the future Kharkov Province and parts of Kursk and Voronezh provinces), five military-territorial regiments were formed in the 17th century from among the cossack population—the Sumy, Akhtyrka, Izium, Kharkov, and Ostrogozhsk regiments.

After the Armistice of Andrusovo of 1667, ten regiments remained in the Left-bank Ukraine. They were subordinate to the hetman of the Ukraine. Each regiment was headed by a colonel, who was at first elected by the cossacks and later appointed by the hetman. The colonel exercised administrative, military, and judicial authority within the territory of the regiment with the help of the host starshina, which was elected at the regimental council. A regiment was divided into from seven to 20 sotni (cossack squadrons) and had between 1,000 and 3,000 cossacks. Its territory covered an area of from 2,000–3,000 to 20,000–30,000 sq km. In the cities, administrative authority was vested in city atamans. In the villages, the peasant population elected voity, and the cossack population, atamans.

With the development of serfdom and the fusion of the host starshina with the Russian dvorianstvo (nobility and gentry), the elective system became nominal. At the same time, the Russian government gradually limited regimental self-government. By the late 18th century, the regiments ceased to exist as administrative territorial units.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"There'll be a dale of smoke," returned Dan, sitting up and ticking off the situation on his fingers, "sure to be, an' the noise of the firin'll be tremenjus, an' we'll be running about up and down, the regiment will.
It's for the regiment. We can't have the shame o' you bringin' shame on us.
Mulcahy for some weeks understood very little of anything at all save that ever at his elbow, in camp or at parade, stood two big men with soft voices adjuring him to commit hari-kari lest a worse thing should happen - to die for the honour of the regiment in decency among the nearest knives.
"They went into camp," said an elderly Major recalled from the whist-tables at Mussoorie to a sickly Native Regiment, "they went into camp with two hundred and ten sick in carts.
And as each man reported himself, he said: "This is a bad business," and went about his own forthwith, for every Regiment and Battery in the cantonment was under canvas, the sickness bearing them company.
Porkiss so far forgot himself as to insinuate that the presence of the officers could do no earthly good, and that the best thing would be to send the entire Regiment into hospital and "let the doctors look after them." Porkiss was demoralised with fear, nor was his peace of mind restored when Revere said coldly: "Oh!
O'Dowd remarked to Posky, who had lost her position as bride in the regiment, and was quite angry with the usurper.
But he instantly saw that it would be impossi- ble for him to escape from the regiment. It in- closed him.
The regiment slid down a bank and wallowed across a little stream.
During this halt many men in the regiment began erecting tiny hills in front of them.
The paths up the hill --that was rather a sanatorium than a fortress, being used generally as the camping place of regiments suffering from recent service in unhealthy portions of the country--were carefully blocked with masses of stones, and every other approach was made as impregnable as time would allow.
As soon as they were clear of the town the regiments formed up.

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