General Information about the Museum Stock and Collections
The Military-Historical Museum of Engineer and Signal Corps is now one of the most significant military-historical museums in the world having precious collections of artillery armaments and ammunition, rifles and cold steels, military-engineering equipment, signal means, combat banners, military uniforms, works of battle painting and drawing, insignia, as well as archival documents being evidences of history of the Russian artillery development and feats of arms. The Museum holds impressive collections of paintings, drawings and sculptures. Amongst exhibits are works of art reflecting the heroic past of Russia, portraits of Emperors, Grand Dukes, famed commanders, soldiers and officers who distinguished themselves in military operations. The Museum halls are decorated with canvases by well-known Russian painters.
|Grenadier cap for a student of the Land Szliakhetski Military School (Cadet Corps). 1732-1741.|
The Museum rarities include a ceremonial kettle-drum chariot for carrying the banner of the artillery, small cannons of poteshnyi regiments of boys-soldiers under Peter I, military awards of Russian Emperors, gifts to regiments of the Russian Army, artistically designed silverware and goods made of crystal, including those produced by the Faberge Company, personal arms of Alexander I, Nicholas II, Ottoman Platov, Napoleon Bonaparte, Marshall J. Murat, Russian and Soviet military commanders.
|Silverware from regimental museums and officers' assemblies of the Life Guards Keksgolm, the Life Guards Pavlovsk and the 147th Infantry Samara Regiments.
St. Petersburg, Warsaw. Early 20th century
A collection of pieces of ordnance is considered to be one of the biggest in the world indeed. At present it numbers more than 1,200 cannons and mortars - from ancient tiufiaks and pishchals of the 14th century to the modern atomic artillery and rocket materiel. Caliber of the exhibited guns are in the range from 20 to 420 mm, the weight is from a few poods (old-Russian measure of weight equal to approx. 16.38 kg) to dozens tons. In addition the collection is international by its composition. Almost a half of it consists of foreign arms from three continents and thirty three countries of the world.
|Model of the 1/2-pood (8,19 kg) field howitzer with conical breech chamber (so- called «edinorog») Model 1805. 1/8 of original size
Second quarter of the 19th century
The Museum holds the only in its way collection of models of the artillery materiel. It was formed due to artistic activities of students from the Technical Artillery School founded by Master General of Ordnance Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich in 1821. Looking after improving the quality of the Russian artillery he focused on arsenals which were almost the only producers of all artillery materiel in the early 19th century.
The Grand Duke founded a college - the Technical Artillery School - attached to the St. Petersburg Arsenal striving for preparation skilled masters in the arsenals. Just this college became a place for preparation Russian gunsmiths, specialists for arsenals, ordnance yards, gun and powder plants. The students made more than one thousand working models of pieces of ordnance (both Russian and foreign) for military education institutions, museums of the reigning Romanovs House and for presenting to authorities in almost all states of Europe and Asia. The Museum has the most complete collection of these models in the world. It allows to see high professionalism, jewelry mastery, delicate artistic taste of masters-gunsmiths. These works of art were awarded with high prizes at the World Exhibitions in Paris (1839), London (1861), Vienna (1873) and the All-Russian Exhibitions in St. Petersburg (1870), Moscow (1882), Nizhnii Novgorod (1886).
|Portfolio for papers of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, Master General of Ordnance (1819-1849). Letter of Emperor Nicholas I to Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich from Gatchina with expression of sincere gratitude for zealous service; autograph.
October 19, 1842. Envelope of thick paper; sealing-wax stamp of Nicholas I on the reverse side.
Amongst the working models (there are more than 1500 items in the collection) are unique cannons of the 18th-19th centuries.
The most interesting are such samples as the secret howitzer Model 1758, system of P.I. Shuvalov (1/6 of the original size). The Senate ordered after successful testing "To keep stamped in the Arsenal in order not to discover the invention, but only show the outward appearance and to make appropriate inscription"; a 4-pounder (87 mm) French field cannon, system of Jean Gribovalle (second half of the 18th century, 1/6 of original size). J. Gribovalle was the chief director of the French artillery since 1765, awarded with the title "the father of the French artillery" for distinguished reorganization of the French artillery; a 12-pounder (122-mm) Prussian fortress cannon of big proportion (second half of the 18th century, 1/10 of original size), the barrel of which is chased with monogram of King Friedrich-Wilhelm I and mottoes "For Fame and the Homeland", "The Last Reason of the King"; an 11-barrelled breech-loading experimental case-shot gun of the late 19th century (1/5 of original size) - one of the earliest systems of volley fire with a traversing gear around a long axis; a 42-barrelled (107-mm) field battery cannon Model 1877 on the gun-carrier of A.P. Engelgardt system (1/8 of original size); a 1/4-pood (122-mm) mountain edinorog Model 1846 (1/8 of original size).
|Model of the 36-pounder (174-mm) fortress cannon Model 1838. 1/8 of original size. 1848|
The only in the world ceremonial kettle-drum chariot is a wonderful monument to bravery and heroism of Russian artillerists during the Seven-Years War (1756-1763). It was a property of the 1st Artillery Regiment (1756-1763) which participated in the main battles of the Russian Army with Prussians.
The chariot was made for two months by the order of P.I. Shuvalov by Russian masters headed by "painting master" Major P.I. Melissino in 1760. It was intended for carrying the banner of the 1st Artillery Regiment during parades. The banner was presented to the Regiment by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1745. Its unique feature is in fact that it is the last one in history of the Russian Imperial artillery. Artillery did not have banners since 1763 to 1917. Since the epoch of Emperor Nicholas I the banner of the 1st Artillery Regiment acquired the status of the banner of all Russian artillery. It was used just the same during burials of Master Generals of Ordnance and during celebrations of the 500th anniversary of this arm of the service.
The regimental banner is a width of white satin with sewed on and partially embroidered colored images of a field cannon, two crossed bore brushes, and a powder barrel on the foreground. Above the cannon is a sparing double-headed eagle throwing the lightning. The gilded Latin motto "Tuetur et terret" (Preserve and Frighten) is on the top of the banner. In top corners of the width - two grenades with burning fuses.
|Tip of the Bavarian presentation Palace Guards kouza. 1678|
Design of the carriage is very simple in comparison with the others existing in the mid-18th century. A body on four wheels is fastened to vertical uprights with leather belts. There are no amortizing devices. Before the body there is a socket for a banner staff. The richness of the carriage is in its decoration. The body is made in the form of a big shell and decorated with deep carving and ornament of palm and acanthus leafs, rocaille volutes, military accessories consisting of banners, artillery barrels, shells and granites. A figure of the double-headed eagle with stretched wings is rising above the military accessories before the carriage. Behind - a sculpture of flying goddess Minerva with a spear in one hand and a shield in the other one. A back side of the bed plate, wheels and a pole are decorated with a clever wood-carving. The outward side of the body is painted (carved details are gilded). It is upholstered with red velvet with golden lace on the inside. Additional decoration of the carriage are bronze gilded decorative buckles on the belts, covering on the axis and linchpins on the wheels, as well as cast angle bars between spokes.
It is not enough to note only smartness and beauty of the chariot. Each image has an allegoric or emblematic meaning. The military accessories, the cannon barrels, the shells and the granites symbolize brilliant victories of the Russian artillery in the Seven-Years War. Minerva is presented in this case not only as a goddess-fighter, but the goddess of wisdom and justice. She personifies flourishing of science, art and handicraft in the Russian state during Elizabeth's reigning.
The chariot was carried out by a six of horses of one color. All of them were saddled, and six horsemen in parade uniforms sat on them.
The Museum collection of military uniforms and head-dresses is of much interest. It includes personal belongings of Russian Emperors, Grand Dukes, commanders and military leaders (both of the Russian Army, the Soviet Armed Forces and the Navy), designers of Russian arms. The exhibited are the things which belonged to Emperors Peter the Great, Peter III, Catherine the Great, Empress Maria Fedorovna, Master General of Ordnance Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, Field Marshall M.I. Golenishchev-Kutuzov, Marshall of Artillery N.N. Voronov, General-Lieutenant of Engineering-Technical Service V.G. Fedorov and others.
In addition to different arms monuments the fundamental collection includes collections of blase, staff and cold steels (swords, sabers, daggers, etc.), as well as Russian and foreign bayonets. Unlike the other Russian museums where the cold steels is collected, kept and studied first of all as works of decorative-applied art, while completing the collection of cold steels in the Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps the principal factor was the completeness of the collection. The Museum is interested not only in personal arms of heroes of former battles and famous commanders, but regular specimens of fighting arms not presented in the collection by some reasons, experimental arms and even repeated samples produced by different masters, firms and plants.
|Submachine gun Model 1916. Fedorov type.Russia. First quarter of the 20th century|
|Tip of the French «Garde du Cour» Royal Guards partisan. Louis XIV epoch (1643-1715)|
Just these principles of completing the collections allowed to form the biggest collection of cold steels in Europe, and possibly in the world. A special place is given in it to exhibits having much historical value. They are connected with the names of historic personalities, prominent commanders: cold steels of Ottoman M.I. Platov, Generals M.A. Miloradovich, M.G. Cherniaev, A.V. Komarov, awarding arms of Russian generals and officers. The collection numbers more than 25 items of cold steels which belonged to Russian Emperors and Grand Dukes, including a saber of Peter the Great, a sword of Alexander I, sabers of Alexander III, Nicholas II and the last throne-heir Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaevich. Among the relics of the Soviet period are a dagger of G.I. Kotovskii, a saber and a dirk of Marshal of Artillery G.F. Odintsov, a saber of Marshall of the Soviet Union L.A. Govorov, knifes of Marshal of the Soviet Union K.E. Voroshilov and D.F. Ustinov, sabers and dirks of former commanders of the Main Rocket-Artillery Administration General-Colonels of Artillery N.N. Zhdanov and Iu.M. Andrianov.
In the collection of non-Russian cold steels the notable are the French presentation saber of the early 19th century which belonged to J. Murat, and then Louis Bonaparte; the saber presented by Spanish king Alfonso XIII to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I; the German naval dirk presented by Prussian Prince Heinrich Albert Wilhelm to Emperor Nicholas II in 1901.
A French general's saber - a trophy of the War of 1812 is one of the rare pieces. Medieval blade arms are brilliantly represented by German two-handed swords of the 16th century.
Decorated cold steels of the 19th century manufactured by the Zlatoust Armoury are of high artistic value.
The Museum holds Russian and foreign firearms from the Solovetskii Monastery collections (arsenal of the Solovetskii Monastery) of the 15th century to modern samples; experimental guns of Tokarev, Simonov, Kalashnikov, Degtiarev, Fedorov; arms which belonged to members of the Emperor's family: hunting arms of Elizabeth Petrovna, cold steels and firearms of Nicholas II, boy's guns of Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich - future Emperor Alexander III - and his brother Grand Duke Nikolai Alexandrovich, cold steels and firearms which belonged to the heir of the last Russian Emperor - Tsesarevich Aleksei. Among the other items in the collection are personal and awarding arms of Soviet state workers and commanders: revolvers and submachine guns of N.D. Iakovlev and N.N. Voronov, presentation arms of I.V. Stalin, M.I. Kalinin, V.I. Chapaev.
The huge Museum collection of all possible samples of arms is a result of the work of the most prominent gunsmiths of the world. A collection of the foreign rifles includes pieces of the 15th - 20th centuries. The earliest exhibit bearing a date is a German fortress gun of 1420.
Equally with combat samples of different rifles the Museum disposes significant collections of hunting and sport firearms of the 17th - 20th centuries. A German hunting wheel-lock carbine of the late 17th and a wonderful double-barrelled sporting gun of English Company "J. Perday and the Sons" which belonged to well-known Russian traveler N.M. Przewalski may be given as examples.
The Museum holds sport and hunting arms because historically many innovations and inventions often appeared for the first time just in the hunting and sport guns, and only after that the most promising and rational ones were inculcated upon fighting rifles. The collection of fighting arms includes almost all basic models which were patterns for imitation and copying in many countries. A typical example of such a model - a French infantry gun Model 1777. The biggest nomenclature in the collection of non-Russian rifles - a group of military magazine rifles and carbines for cartridges with smokeless powder. It is started with a French magazine rifle of Lebel of 1886 and finished with various rifles worked out in the 1930's.
|Submachine gun Model 1941. Shpagin type. USSR. Viatskie Poliany.
1942. Presented to I. V. Stalin by workers of the 367th Plant.
This group is chronologically continued by a nomenclature of self-loading and automatic rifles. The collection includes the first in the world army self-loading rifle, Mondragon system Model 1908, which was adopted by the Mexican Army, and one of the most popular systems now - American automatic rifle M16A1. Such kind of light automatic arms, as a submachine gun, is presented in the Museum collection from the first model - an Italian submachine gun, Revelli system Model 1915 - to Israeli submachine gun "Mini Uzi" of the mid-1984. The collection numbers more than 800 non-Russian self-loading and automatic pistols of the 1890's-1970's, including one of the most popular - German gun PO8 "Parabellum". There are modern models, as well, to include 9-mm pistol "Glock" (Austria, the 1980's) and 9-mm pistol ZCZ 99 (Yugoslavia, 1990's).
Protecting armament is represented by Medieval knight armours, cuirasses of the 16th - 18th centuries, mails, helmets and shields of the 15th - 17th centuries. There are also modern helmets and armoured waistcoats. The most interesting from the memorial exhibits is an armour of the False Demetrius I made in Western Europe in the late 16th century. The Museum holds a collection of Japanese Samurai armours of the 17th - 18th centuries, samples of Iran, Turkish, Indian, Mongolian, Chinese and Caucasian protecting armament.
|Polish cavalry cuirass. Poland, mid-18th century|
One of the unique Samurai armours - gusoku (early 17th century), possibly belonged to Samurai of rather a high rank, Christian by religion. The armour includes a helmet (kabuto) with coats-of-arms (mon) in the form of Catholic cross, a mask (mempo), a cuirass (do) with a skirt (kusadzuri) decorated with bear skin, shoulder defenders (sode), arm defenders (kote), an apron (khaidate), leg defenders (sune-ate), boots from bear skin (kegutsu) and a leather pursue.
Mails, misiurka-caps, elbow defenders and other things of the defending armament of the Life Guards Caucasus-Mountain Half-Squadron of His Imperial Majesty Escort; misiurka-cap of the 18th century, which belonged to Georgian Prince Abashidze; Turkish ceremonial shields of the 18th century, Abyssian (Ethiopian) leather shields of the early 19th century completely decorated with silver plates; Iran and Turkish shields of the 18th century made of rhinoceros skin; a Russian silver cuirass with monogram of Empress Catherine II; an armament set for a Horse-Guards man who participated in crowning of Pavel I (1797) and others are of obvious historic value.
An especially precious collection keep manual firearms and manual throwing arms, as well as cold steels and protecting armaments having details or decorations from precious metals or precious stones. It includes a flint-lock gun of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (Tula Armoury, 1744); a double-barrelled flint-lock sporting gun presented by Caucasian gunsmiths from the settlement of Kubachi to Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich - future Emperor Alexander - in 1845; a magazine hunting carbine of the Sestroretsk Armoury made on the basis of the rifle, S.I. Mosin system and produced for Emperor Nicholas II in 1912; a flint-lock gun of Lepage, which belonged to Emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte; a Finnish hunting magazine carbine "FINWOLF" presented to Minister of Defence of the USSR Marshall of the Soviet Union A.A. Grechko by the Minister of Defence of Finland in 1971, etc. In the collection there is a series of Russian, Caucasian, Middle-Asian, West-European, Indian, Turkish and Balkan guns, rifles and pistols of the 18th - 20th centuries.
The samples of cold steels are represented in this collection by works of the Zlatoust Armoury, gunsmiths of the 17th - 20th centuries from different countries of the world - from the Far East to the North American continent. Among them the following may be noted as the most interesting by their artistic decoration - dagger "Othello" (1863) made by St. Petersburg master A. Sokolov; a hunting knife made by St. Petersburg firm "Schaf and the Sons" which belonged to Nicholas II; a combat damask steel hatchet presented by Chiva Khan to the last Russian Emperor in honour of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov House’s reign; a boy's shashka (a Russian type of the saber), a boy's saber, a dagger and a shashka of high artistic work by Kubachi gunsmiths presented to Tsesarevich Aleksei Nikolaevich; Georgian broadswords of the 18th century which belonged to Princes David and Tsitsia Dadiani; a saber adopted in the Russian regular army of the 17th century; trophy Turkish maces of the 17th-18th centuries brought by a legend to St. Petersburg upon finishing of the Russian-Turkish War (1768-1773) by future Admiral F.F. Ushakov; a saber of Osman-Pasha - commander of the Turkish Army during the Russian-Turkish War (1828-1829); a Persian saber of the 17th century from the collection of prominent Russian scientist-metallurgist General-Lieutenant Professor of the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich Artillery Academy D.K. Chernov; a Golden arms presented by Emperor Alexander II to General-Major N.O. Rozenbakh for his combat merits during the Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878); Arabian daggers presented to N.S. Khrushchev and A.N. Kosygin by the governmental delegation from Yemen; a hunting knife which belonged to Minister of Defence of the USSR D.F. Ustinov.
The Museum has a rich collection of paintings, drawings and decorative-applied art. These are paintings and drawings by well-known Russian battle-artists A.E. Kotsebu, P. Gess, A.I. Zauerveid, A.I. Sharleman, A.I. Gebens, F. Krueger, L.F. Lagorio, N.N. Karazin, P.P. Vereshchagin, A.D. Kivshenko, N.D. Dmitriev-Orenburgskii, Ia. Sukhodolskii, V.V. Mazurovskii, F.A. Rubo, N.N. Bunin, N.S. Samokish, M.B. Grekov and others. The paintings came to the Museum from the collection of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, regimental museums of the Russian Imperial Army, the studio of military artists headed by M.B. Grekov and private collections. There is also a lot of portraits of Russian Emperors and military commanders starting from the 1st half of the 18th century up to now. Activities of so-called Trophy Commission had much significance for forming the collection of paintings in the Museum. The Commission worked during World War I. A special military-artistic detachment worked within the Commission. Artists of the detachment made a great deal of various sketches picturing St. George Order holders, made a series of drafts with oil and water colors on the front.
|M. I. Samsonov. Scouts. 1943
A collection of the Association for Adherents of History partially came to the Museum in 1929. Two years after more than forty battle paintings dedicated to history of sieges to different fortresses by Russians and images of fortifications in pre-Revolutionary Russia were transferred from the museum stock of the Winter Palace and the State Hermitage to the Artillery Museum.
Canvases from the collection of the Central Military Museum of the Engineers which possessed one of the best collection of battle paintings became a very precious gain for the Museum. The most interesting from them are works by battle-artists of the 19th - early 20th century whose specific feature was much historical accuracy in picturing the events.
The Museum holds a rich collection of photos and photo albums. Many of them have autographs of members of the Emperor's family, prominent state, military and church figures.
Among the exhibits is a unique album from the collection of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich. It is opened with photos taken in Poltava during celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Poltava victory (June 25-27, 1909). One of the pictures the Life Guards Semenovsky Regiment with its full complement (2 generals, 75 officers, 5 physicians, 5 officials, 5 priests, 1,600 rankers). One may view not only a face of each person on this huge photo, but details of their uniforms.
Another photo included in the album pictures the Life Guards 3rd Artillery Brigade. The officers are ahead in the center, a musical command is from the left and from the right at the front row, and the rankers are drawn up in 23 rows on a special false work. Orders, medals and the brigade badges are seen on officers' chests.
The 19th Rifle Regiment is pictured on the other photo. Orderly rows of soldiers with rifles near their feet, and cartridge pouches on their waists. The badges given for excellent firing may be distinctly seen on chests of many soldiers. It commands respect for it was not easy to deserve such awards. At the same time some details look funny. A dog is quietly taking a rest having curled up into a ball before the formation. One may see a laundress wringing out the clothes near a wash tube in the background.
An album of lithographs and a description of a ceremony of burying Emperor Nicholas I is of much interest. The album has a niche keeping memorable relics: plume of ostrich feathers, small ermine tails from a mantle and a silver embroidery from the hearse which carried the body of the late sovereign to the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral.
The Museum holds a unique 30-volumes publication by A.V. Viskovatov "Historical Description of Uniforms and Armaments in Russian Troops". Lithographs are hand painted with water colors.
A sculpture collection of the Museum is deserving a special attention. Plaster horse and unmounted figures picturing the uniforms of the Russian Army are of much interest. They were made for the collections of Emperors Nicholas I and Alexander II by sculpture V. Gazenberger. The models were manufactured from life and have portrait resemblance. All details were made from natural materials (leather, cloth, metal, horse hair, etc.).
Wonderful sculptures by E.L. Lansere ("The Falconer with Falcon", "The Hunter with Russian Wolfhounds", "The Cossack with a Lance in His Hand" and others) arouse much delight.
Among the things of applied art the most notable are a silver wine bowl gilded inside, which was presented by Emperor Nicholas II to the Life Guards Pavlovsk Regiment in 1909 (the Emperor's prize for excellent firing); an album presented to Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich by officers of the Life Guards Horse-Artillery Brigade. Both were made by the Faberge Company. Also interesting is a unique cup - a gift to the 147th Infantry Samara Regiment - from officers of the Life Guards 1st Artillery Brigade in commemoration the 100th anniversary of the Regiment (1912); cups in the form of head-dresses of the Russian Imperial Army regiments, and other things.
The Museum also keeps a sculpture made by the Karl Faberge Company as a present of the Life Guards Dragoon Regiment to its patron Grand Duke Vladimir Aleksandrovich (1897). A red marble rock with silver inscription and a coat-of-arms of the Grand Duke stands on a base of black polished marble. Figures of rankers dressed in the uniform Model 1847 and the 1870's are at the foot of the rock. A legendary in the regiment personality - Senior Sergeant-Major of the 3rd Squadron V.A. Konstantinov - riding a mighty bay is on the peak of the rock. All of the figures are silver and are notable for their high artistic level.
|Case for the Osmania Order, 1st class, and deed about awarding Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, Master General of Ordnance (1856-1909), by Turkish Sultan Abdul-Azis (1861-1876). August 21, 1871.|
In 1826, a collection of Emperor Alexander I awards was placed in the Museum. 30 years later it was replenished with awards of his brother Nicholas I. Now the Museum keeps one of the biggest collections of Russian and foreign insignia in Russia (about 24 thousand items). It represent all Russian orders of all classes with which people were awarded for state service and military merits, order badges of the Provisional Government, a unique collection of stars (sewed, cast and those united with order of other states). The Museum holds a vast collection of the USSR awards, badges of the Russian and the Soviet Armies, as well as awards of former socialist countries. Orders and medals of modern Russia are also presented.
A collection of banners and standards, flags and pennants (both Russian and foreign) including trophy ones captured by the Russian Army during the wars of the 18th - 20th centuries is of a great interest as well. It includes the artillery banner Model 1745, which was the first and the only banner of the Russian Artillery; a standard of the Life Guards Horse Regiment under Pavel I. The Regiment captured the banner of the 4th Battle French Regiment under this banner during the battle near Austerliz. As a result it was awarded with a new one inscribed: "For Taking the Enemy's Banner near Austerliz".
|Colors of the Smolensk Infantry Regiment (company). 1780|
The Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps has a unique and one of the biggest collections of ammunition - from Old Russian stone balls to modern powerful rocket shells.
Many relic samples are kept in it. They are a metal arrow found near a bricked up sepulchre of Iziaslav Andreevich (son of Suzdal-Vladimir Prince Andrei of Bogoliubovo), who died in 1164; 3.42-inches granite exhibited at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900; turbojet rocket shells 280-mm M-28 and 320-mm M-32 designed by Leningrad Design Bureau and made by local industry in blockade Leningrad in the first half of 1942 (used only on the Leningrad front) and other unique ammunition.
A collection of sights for artillery guns of the 18th - 20th centuries, artillery meteorological instruments, range-finders, aiming circles and stereo-telescopes is one of the most complete in the world.
|Wire-cutting shell.20th century|
Exhibitions halls and collections of the Museum present models of fortresses and field fortifications from wood-earth ones to prefabricated constructions from iron, concrete and elements of corrugated steel. Many of them were produced in the 19th century. A collection of mine barriers includes Russian antipersonnel and anti-tank mines starting with those used during the Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878) to the modern ones. Foreign antipersonnel and anti-tank mines (made in Germany, England, Italy, China, USA) both used during World War II and modern ones (to include those used against Soviet troops in Afghanistan) are of not less interest. A collection of demolition supplies including Russian and foreign ones allows to follow stages of their improving for the 20th century. Among the exhibits are optical instruments for engineer intelligence, camouflage means, diving equipment, illuminating, wood-working stations, saw-mills, as well as means of water supply.
|Model of the radio station «Siemens and Galske». 1904|
The Museum holds signal, mobile and electric means of communication used from ancient times. A collection of wiring communication means is one of the richest in Russia. It includes different modifications of Schilling, Morse, Bodo, Uze telegraphs which were used in the Russian Army. A collection of radio means allows to learn its gradual development (including the first radio set (laboratory) of A.S. Popov, the first Russian ultra-short waves stations, radio-stations of WWII period). There are also foreign electronic communication means of USA, England, Japan, Italy, former socialist countries, and other states of the world.
The Museum archives deserve being mentioned in a special way. The archive was founded by initiative of N.E. Brandenburg specially for studying history of artillery. Since the 1830's the archives started being completed with documents of other subjects. Now the archive numbers more than 217 files. Available documents are of a wide chronological compass (since 1628) and differ by subjects, contents and types. In addition to the artillery topic the archival documents provide information on history of Russia - documents on city building and medical services, geography discoveries and political movements, about history of theatre and secrete diplomacy - both in Russian and foreign languages. The archive includes a lot of letters, note books, diaries, autographs of Emperors, state figures, scholars, military commanders, designers, artists, architects and actors. Among of them are drafts of cannons cast by famed Russian masters A. Chokhov and S. Dubinin; an album with plans of frontier fortresses of the Russian Empire and their descriptions which belonged to Catherine II (1792); a complete service list of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaeivich, Sr.; an ultimatum to Paulus, commander of the 6th German Army, which was encircled near Stalingrad; etc.
|Patent for the rank of ober quarter-master Ivan Kartmazov. 1766.
Autographs of Empress Catherine II and Master General of Ordnance G. G. Orlov.
|Deed of Emperor Pavel I for lands in the Lithuanian province provided to kammer-zahlmaister (chamber treasurer) Semen Golenishchev-Kutuzov (1754-1836), brother of General Field-Marshall Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov, for eternal and hereditary owning. June 7, 1797|
The Museum library was formed in 1876. It was intended first just for the Museum work, but later on it extended its purposes. The library collections contain more than a hundred thousand different books - numerous Russian and foreign publications on history of artillery and engineering art, including regulations, manuals, reference books, collections of orders and circulars, monographs, issued since the 16th century up to now.
|Chronicle of the Russian Emperor's Army. Collected from different sources by General- Major, Member of the State Military Board and Holder of the St. Anne Order (1st Class) Prince Dolgorukii… St. Petersburg. 1799.|
The library keeps an outstanding by its completeness collection of regimental historiography. Books from disbanded regimental museums of the Russian Imperial Army, arsenals, military education institutions were transferred after the October Revolution (1917) to the Museum library. The library holds regulations of the Russian Army starting with the book prepared as early as 1647 - Teaching and Ruses of Infantry Formation. This collection is followed by the "Regulations on Soldiers, Ordnance and other Subjects of Military Science" by Onisim (Anisim) Mikhailov; famous "Military Regulations" of 1716 and other rare publications.
Such books as " The General Armorial of Noble Families of the Russian Empire" and "The Genealogy Book of Russian Princes and Noblemen..." (1787), as well as "The Statute of Russian Orders" (1797) are of a great interest. There is a collection of military and civil Russian pre-Revolutionary journals ("Voennyi Sbornik" [Military Collection], "Russkaia Starina" [Russian Antiquities], "Russkii Arkhiv" [Russian Archives], "Starye Gody" [Old Times], "Drevniaia i Novaia Rossiia" [Ancient and New Russia], and others) including the full set of the "Artilleriiskii Zhurnal" [Artillery Journal] since the very first issue published in 1808. A very rare collection dedicated to history of regiments of the Russian Army is of eternal interest. These books with leather covers and golden edges keep information not only about military campaigns, in which a particular regiment participated, but people, who served in the regiments.
|Bobrovskii, P. O. History of the 13th Life Guards Erivan Regiment of His Majesty for 250 Years. Including portraits, drawings, illustrations, a map of campaigns in Russia and other countries, a map of Caucasus and plans of some battles. Part 2. Butyrsk Infantry regiment. St. Petersburg. 1892|
The Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps became a subject of national proud for Russia, a real temple of Russian military history, a "division of eternity" within the Russian Armed Forces, as it is rightfully called. Its doors are always open to the visitors who can expect to find an exciting meeting with military history of Russia and other countries of the world.