Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.
How about asking forum participant to contribute some articles on the particular sets? HaT done it before and I think it was a really good thing to get buyers/hobbyists participate directly into the production procees.
I'm certainly no expert, but I notice there are quite a number of people here who are clearly very knowledgable about military history.
I, too enjoy reading these, and copy them and put them into my S*R books. Anytime you get the writing bug, we will be here to enjoy your efforts!
While I'm not the world's greatest expert on Eastern Front cavalry, I can probably give some basic info on the planned Strelets WWI cavalry sets:
1. 045 German Dragoons -- Though called dragoons, these probably represent all German cavalry from early 1917 onward, when the earlier distinctive uniforms were replaced with a uniform similar to the infantry and troopers were all issued lances. Troops like this mostly saw action on the Eastern Front in 1917 and during fighting against various Red and nationalist forces in 1918, rear-echelon duties in the West in 1917-18 and fighting during the various post-war civil and border conflicts involving Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Could also represent Polish or Czech units during the post-war period, or some units involved in the Russian Civil War (e.g., Finnish or Baltic troops).
2. 058 Russian Dragoons - the correct picture for this one is actually for set 073 (I originally thought it was a Turkish cavalryman). Russian dragoons wore a fur hat during the 1914-1917 period, and some units during the Civil War were similarly dressed. Could make Civil War conversions (Reds or Whites) by replacing with heads from Hat WWI Russian infantry set.
3. 059 Don Cossacks - this was the largest Cossack Host (nation) in Russia before the Civil War, living mostly along the lower Don and Volga Rivers, and would represent a large part of the cavalry on the Eastern Front in 1914-17. These would also work for other Cossack hosts (like Orenburg, Amur, Ussuri) and represent many Cossack units in the Civil War.
4. 060 German Hussars - this is the uniform worn from 1914-17. German hussar units were also present on the Western Front before the rise of static trench warfare in late 1914, so these guys could work there as well.
5. 072 German Uhlan - same period as the hussars, also works for early Western Front. Those inclined to military fantasies could have these men (and the hussars) charging dug-in British or French troops.
6. 073 Kuban Cossacks - the correct picture is with the 074 set. This Cossack host lives in the Northern Caucasus along the Kuban River (just north of Chechnya and Dagestan), and their dress was modeled on those of their Moslem neighbors, whom they fought throughout the 19th century. In WWI, Kuban Cossacks mostly served on the Caucasus front against the Turks, and also fought in the Civil War. Perhaps Strelets will do a Turkish Cavalry set for them to fight?
7. Set 074 - the soldier in the stahlhelm with rifle is a mystery for me, as he looks like yet another "German" dragoon. Perhaps this set depicts late-war Austrian dragoons, though probably not likely. He's definitely not Russian, unless you count some units in the Civil War who wore surplus German equipment.
All in all, a great start on WWI cavalry, with many more opportunities (especially among Austrian units, or even French/Belgian units for 1914)!
Thanks for your really useful info. My knowledge in this particular era is limited so your write-ups really help me a lot! Thanks again.
Probably not for the purists but some of the Germans, deprived of the lances, could pass for WWII cavalry, n'est-ce pas?
I think it is a bit clearer now the captions or photos have been switched.
I am guessing that late war german and austrian cavalry looked much the same. Is that right? Perhaps even some turks wore the german helmet?
Yeah, their uniforms would be pretty similar, though the Austrian uniforms would typically have a more fitted tunic, insignia on the collar tabs and flared riding breeches. But I'm not really sure if Austrian cavalry received helmets at all during WWI, as Austrian helmets were generally issued only to troops serving on the Italian front and the small units sent to the Western Front. Almost all of the cavalry served in the East and the Balkans, without steel helmets.
As for Turkish helmets, again I'm not sure if cavalrymen received any helmets. The Germans did produce a specialized form of the Stahlhelm for Turkish infantry assault troops, without a front peak (ostensibly so the Muslim soldiers could pray in a proper manner while wearing the helmet). This only appeared in 1918 in limited quantities.