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Wallachian and Moldavian uniforms 1750-1815?

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Reading about the history of the Romanian Principalities at the beginning of the 19th century (Wallachia and Moldova), I realised that they weren't under complete ottoman occupation, but just paying the yearly tribute. Thinking so, they would had had own armies, even if very small, and the uniforms of their soldiers would be a mix betwen russian, slavic, austrian and ottoman uniforms. But still, is there any image related to my question? This is what I found yet,nit sure about all, but hope to get more suggestions...







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This is not an area in which I have any expertise at all but my understanding of the Ottoman armies is that they included units and/or recruits from various 'subject' states.  Part of the 'taxation' system, at one level - 'You owe us X hundred young men per year.' I'm not sure how long this practice lasted.

The Janissaries were officially abolished in 1826 apparently, but I would think that Wallachians and Moldavians might still have been recruited, perhaps as auxilliary troops, into the Ottoman army, as it would seem odd not to use the manpower resources. 

My two cents worth!

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Thank you! Now, the question would be about the uniforms of the units that served inside their own "countries". I only know that after Alexandru Ioan Cuza's reforms of 1862-1864, the permanent units of Wallachia and Moldavia, now united, would increase from 4000 soldiers to aproximatly 16000. That concludes the two principalities already had their own armies, even if very small, before the unification from 1859. How did these soldiers' uniforms look like?

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Interesting question indeed!  The plate you shared - I suspect from an Osprey book - pictures a 'Chieftan', a 'Boyar' and two others who I assume are of high rank, leading irreegular troops, so my guess would be that there may not have been actual uniforms as such.  You should, however, be able to put together a 'look\ based on traditional ethnic dress plus whatever weapons would have been commonest in the area.  Not much help, I know!:(

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I found something, but it's 2-3 decades ahead from what I'm looking for. But still, this is what I found:

- Commander-in-Chief of the Wallachian army 1852

- Prince's adjutant Moldavia 1834

- Infantry second-lieutenant Moldavia 1830

- Artillery private, parade uniform Moldavia 1848

- Infantry soldier, summer uniform Moldavia 1853

- 3rd Wallachian Infantry Regiment (left) meeting the Moldavian Chasseurs Regiment (right) at Socola, near Iași, on April 14/26 1859


As a note, the "pandurs" (very common in the Balkans), as a Wallachian unit, have been used by Tudor Vladimirescu during the 1821 revolt against the ottomans as militia units. They were very similar to the Croatian ones, but I was looking for the regular army of the principalities. There are many refferences about their uniforms until the 2nd half of the 17th century and after 1859, but less about the period betwen. Plus, the "boyars" were the equivalent of the western nobles, since the Medieval times, huge land owners (the other large owners being the "voievod" and the Orthodox Church) and close members to the ruler. Thank you anyway!







Edited by Morar Andrei
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On ‎2017‎-‎11‎-‎02 at 20:30, Morar Andrei said:

But still, is there any image related to my question?

Andrei, you should go on a visit to the National Military Museum. They have a very nice collection of uniforms, including from the period you are interested in. Please take a look the the thread describing a tour through the Romanian Military Museum.

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Thank you! I visited the museum back in 2013, but I forgot about some of these uniforms; they match to what I'm looking for. Also, the uniform images from my previous comment are from a set of cards bought from the museum when I visited it. Hope to get there again!

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  • 2 months later...

I found something older. It's from a museum in Oradea, close to the Hungarian border. It is probably a Wallachian uniform, somewhere between 1830 and 1848. The unifoem from the left might be a bit older, but the ones from the right I've seen them in most of the movies placed on that period. At least, one of them. The other one is wearing a Martini-Henry rifle, so it might be after 1879, when these rifles have been introduced to the Romanian Army. So the ones from left and center can be the most siuted to the age I was looking for.


Edited by Morar Andrei
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  • 2 years later...

I may have found out the reason for the lack of images from the Napileonic era regarding military units of Wallachia and Moldavia at the beginning of the 19th century. The armies of the two principalities were recreated only in 1830.

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  • 7 months later...

The armies were not recreated in 1830, what happened in 1830, specifically 1831-1832 was a modernisation of the two principalities through the "Organic Regulation" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulamentul_Organic . Both Wallachia and Moldavia had armies even during the phanariote era, the 18th and early 19th century. The armies were mostly made up of mercenaries and were very colourful, with a number of 27 different troops being mentioned throughout the century, check here: https://www.historia.ro/sectiune/general/articol/armatele-uitate-trupele-tarilor-romane-in-lungul-secol-fanariot . As you can see from the article the armies were mostly made up of cavalry with various units like, between others, Hussars(or rather equivalent of), Uhlans, Dragoons, and even some kind of Cuirassiers (probably those existed only in first half of the 18th century). However we have very few illustration of these troops, in fact there's next to none. There's this one of a Wallachian tolpatch(on the left), dated to around the 1740's so mid 18th century


there's this one of "A Wallachian" from an 1805 album, but probably copied after a much earlier illustration 


The earliest 19th century illustration of a soldier from Wallachia might be this one 


Titled "A soldier from Bucharest" it was made in 1869, however the soldier appears to be wearing a Russian medal which means he participated in one of the two Russo-Turkish wars that took place then, though it's probably the war of 1828-1829 because he should've looked much older if he was in the war of 1806-1812.

The uniforms you mentioned are from the Wallachian Grenz infantry of the Austrian Empire.

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  • 1 month later...

Oh, so the two principalities did have permanent armies even before the Organic Regulations of 1830. I always had the impression that was the beginning, especially since many history books on the topic start with 1830, as well as that seems to be the year when the armies of Moldavia and Wallachia received standardised uniforms for each kind of unit. 


Were standardised uniforms a thing before that year too, or the troops were looking more like irregulars, perhaps on the model of the Panduri? Especially after the mass introduction of muskets/firearms (when did the two principalities start using predominantly musketeer units instead of the pike and shot tactics?) and the 18th century

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