Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:23 PM
Sorry. I see you provided this same info earlier in the thread. I didn’t pay much attention to it given the other responses. My bad.
Given the date and the title of the article, I suspect that the article is discussing the Okhotniki. Prior to 1904, the East Siberian rifle regiments had mounted scout detachments (Okhotniki, sometimes referred to as Hunter Detachments). 16 of the best soldiers (usually volunteers and not conscripts) in each battalion were selected, mounted on horses, and trained. These detachments were often consolidated into a company-size formation and employed by the regiment or brigade. During the Russo-Japanese War, they proved quite useful and were usually a division-level asset after the formation of the East Siberian divisions in 1904. After the war, such detachments became part of the regular infantry organization.
The various military observer reports (RJW) document these units. I also have several articles from RUSI from the 1890s discussing their development.
I again doubt that this article is referring to a regular cavalry type. Even after the renaming and renumbering of the Russian cavalry in 1907 (bringing back the traditional cavalry types, lancers, and hussars in addition to the existing dragoons), all Russian cavalry were trained as dragoons. Unlike other European armies that still separated the roles of close combat and mobile firepower by cavalry types, Russian cavalry was trained in both and made no distinction in role based on types. Cossacks were fully organized and trained as line cavalry. All could execute a mounted charge and all could maneuver, dismount, and bring fire. General Gurko describes the use of his lancers as dismounted troops in his capture of Marggrabowa in 1914.