Journal article Open Access
Austrian historian A. Kappeler suggests that a detailed comparison of Russian Cossack troops and the Austrian Militärgrenze (Military Frontier) will be extremely revealing. The paper shows that such comparison was ventured as early as in 1860 by a Russian general, N. I. Krasnov. He demonstrated that non-regular troops in a European state of the nineteenth century were doomed to extinction for economic reasons. Based on archival materials on Cossacks and Grenzers in the Russian State Military Historical Archive, State Archive of the Rostov Region and the Manuscripts Department at the National Library of Russia, we show that forecasts made by N. I. Krasnov were substantiated. The result of the paper is the conclusion that in the 1860s, non-regular troops of the classical type were doomed.