Uniforms and equipment of the Red Army

At the beginning of World War II, the shape of the uniform and the way it was carried was determined by Order No. 176 of December 3 of 1935 of the year. For generals, there were three types of uniforms: casual, holiday and dress. For officers and soldiers, there were also three types of uniforms: casual, guard and day off. Each type of uniform had two options: summer and winter.

In the period from 1935 to 1941, many small changes were made to the uniform. The field uniform of the 1935 model of the year was made of a fabric of various shades of protective color. The main distinctive element of the uniform was a tunic, which in its cut resembled a Russian peasant shirt. The cut of the tunic for the soldiers and officers was the same. The breast pocket valve on the officer's tunic had a complex shape with a protrusion in the shape of the Latin letter "V". For soldiers, the valve often had a rectangular shape. The officers had a triangular reinforcing strip on the lower part of the tunic's collar, while the soldiers had a rectangular shape. In addition, the soldier's tunic had a strengthening rhombic stripes on the elbows and the back of the forearm. The officer's tunic, unlike the soldier's one, had a colored edging. After the outbreak of hostilities, the colored edging was abandoned.


Uniforms and equipment of the Red Army


There were two types of tunic: summer and winter. The summer uniform was sewn from cotton fabric, which was of a lighter color. Winter uniforms were sewn from wool fabric, which was distinguished by a more saturated, dark color. Officers girdled with a wide leather belt with a brass buckle decorated with a five-pointed star. The soldiers wore a simpler belt with the usual open buckle. In the field, soldiers and officers could wear two types of tunics: casual and weekend. The output shirt was often called french. Some soldiers who served in elite units wore tunics of special cut, distinguished by a colored stripe running along the gate. However, these tuners are rare.

The second main element of the uniform of both soldiers and officers were trousers, also called riding breeches. Soldier trousers had a rhombic shape reinforcing stripes on the knees. As shoes, officers wore high leather boots, and soldiers wore boots with windings or kersey boots. In winter, officers and soldiers wore a coat of brownish-gray cloth. Officer's overcoats were better quality than the soldiers, but had the same cut. In the Red Army used several types of hats. Most of the parts wore budenovki, which had a winter and summer version. However, the summer budenovka was everywhere crowded out by a cap introduced in the late 30s. In summer, officers preferred to wear caps instead of budenovok. In parts deployed in Central Asia and the Far East, instead of caps wore wide-brimmed Panamas.

In 1936, the helmet of the new model (created on the basis of the French helmet of Adrian) began to arrive at the equipment of the Red Army. In 1940, the design of the helmet made significant changes. The new helmet of the 1940 model of the year everywhere supplanted the helmet of the 1936 model of the year, but the old helmet was still widely used in the first year of the war. Many Soviet officers recollect that the Red Army men did not like to wear a helmet, considering that only cowards wear helmets. Officers everywhere wore caps, the cap was an attribute of officer power. Tankers wore a special helmet made from leather or tarpaulin. In the summer they used a lighter version of the helmet, and in winter they put on a helmet with a fur lining.

The equipment of the Soviet soldiers was strict and simple. In some parts, the 1930 brown leather backpack of the year was also used, but such backpacks were rare in the 1941 year. More common was the canvas canvas bag sample 1938 of the year. The base of the knapsack was a rectangle 30х10, see Height of the knapsack - 30, see. There was two pockets on the knapsack. Inside the duffel bag, soldiers wore footcloths, a poncho, and in their pockets were rifle accessories and personal hygiene items. At the bottom, poles, pegs and other tent-making equipment were tied to the duffel bag. On the top and sides of the knapsack were stitched loops, which were attached to the roll. The sack was worn on a belt, under the bag. The sizes of the 18XXNNXXX24 bag. See. In the bag, soldiers wore dry rations, a kettle and cutlery. The aluminum pot had a tight-fitting lid that was pressed by the pot handle. In some parts, the soldiers used an old round bowler with a diameter of 10 cm and a depth of 15. However, the bag and the kit bag of the 10 model of the year were quite expensive to manufacture, so their release was stopped at the end of 1938.



Each Red Army man had a gas mask and gas mask bag. After the outbreak of the war, many soldiers threw gas masks and used gas bags as duffel bags, since not everyone had the real knapsacks. According to the regulations, each soldier armed with a rifle should have two leather cartridge bags. In the bag it was possible to store four clips for the Mosin system - 20 cartridges. Cartridge bags were worn on the waist belt, one on each side. The statutes provided for the possibility of carrying a large cloth cartridge case that held six clips - 30 cartridges. In addition, the Red Army could use cloth cartridge belt, worn over the shoulder. 14 rifle clips could be put in the cartridge belt compartments. The grenade bag contained two grenades with a handle. However, very few soldiers were equipped according to the regulations. Most often, the Red Army had to be content with one leather cartridge case, which was usually worn on the right side. Some soldiers received small sapper shovels in a cloth case. The shoulder blade was worn on the right thigh. If the Red Army man had a flask, he wore it on his waist belt over the sapper blade.

During bad weather, soldiers used a cloak. The raincoat-tent was made of tarpaulin of a protective color and had a ribbon with which it was possible to fasten the raincoat-tent on the shoulders. A raincoat tent could be combined in two, four or six and thus receive awnings under which several people could hide. If a soldier had a kit bag of the 1938 model of the year, the roll consisting of a raincoat and overcoat was attached on the sides and over the bag, in the form of a horseshoe. If there was no knapsack, then the roll was worn over the shoulder.

The officers used a small bag that was made from either leather or tarpaulin. There were several types of such bags, some of them were worn over the shoulder, some were hung from the waist belt. On top of the bag was a small tablet. Some officers wore large leather tablets that were hung on a waist belt under their left arm.

There were also several types of specialized uniforms. In winter, tankers wore black overalls and black leather jackets (sometimes black leather pants were included with the jacket). The mountain arrows wore black overalls of special cut and special mountain boots. The cavalrymen, and first of all the Cossacks, wore traditional clothes instead of uniforms. The cavalry was the most colorful arm of the Red Army, since a large number of Cossacks and representatives of the peoples of Central Asia served in the cavalry. Many cavalry units used standard uniform, but even in such units Cossack uniforms were often encountered. Before the war, the Cossack troops were not popular, because many Cossacks did not support the Bolsheviks during the Civil War and went to serve in the white army. However, in the 30-ies were formed shelves of the Don, Kuban and Terek Cossacks. The personnel of these regiments were uniformed with a uniform with a large number of details of a traditional Cossack costume. The field uniform of the Cossacks during the Great Patriotic War was a combination of uniform items of the 30 model, the pre-revolutionary Cossack uniform and the uniform of the 1941 / 43 model of the year.

Traditionally, the Cossacks are divided into two groups: steppe and Caucasian. The uniforms of these two groups differed significantly. If the steppe (Don) Cossacks to the traditional military uniform, the Caucasians were dressed more colorful. All the Cossacks wore high hats or lower Kuban. In the field, the Caucasian Cossacks wore dark blue or black beshmet (shirts). Parade beshmety were red for the Kuban Cossacks and light blue - for the Terek Cossacks. On top of the beshmet, the Cossacks wore a black or dark blue Circassian coat. On the chest Circassian gaskeepers sewn. In winter, the Cossacks wore a black fur jacket. Many Cossacks wore towers of different colors. The bottom of the Kuban was tightened with matter: the Terek Cossacks were light blue, and the Kuban Cossacks were red. On the matter, two bands passed crosswise - gold for officers and black for privates. It should be borne in mind that many soldiers recruited from the southern regions of Russia continued to wear a Kubank instead of the earmuffs according to the rules, even if they did not serve in cavalry. Another distinctive feature of the Cossacks were dark blue riding breeches.

In the early years of the war, Soviet industry lost significant production capacity in the German-occupied territory. However, most of the equipment was still able to take to the east and organize new industrial enterprises in the Urals. This decline in production forced the Soviet command to significantly simplify the uniform and equipment of soldiers. In the winter of 1941 / 42, the more comfortable winter uniform was used for the first time. When creating this uniform, the sad experience of the Finnish campaign was taken into account. Red Army men got quilted jackets, wadded trousers and fur hats with synthetic fur. The officers were given sheep coats or fur coats. Higher officers wore hats instead of fur hat. The troops fighting in the northern sector of the front (north of Leningrad) were dressed in a special northern uniform. Instead of sheep's fur coats, some parts used sakui seals. As shoes, soldiers wore special boots with dog fur or woolen lining. Earflaps for soldiers who fought in the north were made of real fur - dogs or foxes.


However, many units did not receive a special winter uniform and the Red Army men were frozen in standard overcoats, insulated with items requisitioned from the civilian population. In general, the Red Army was characterized by the extensive use of civilian clothing, especially this was clearly visible in the winter. So, in winter, many Red Army men wore felt boots. But not everyone could get the felt boots, so even in winter most of the Red Army personnel continued to wear tarpaulin. The only merit of tarpaulin boots was that they were free enough so that they could be warmed with additional footcloths and newspapers, turning shoes into winter boots. Soviet soldiers did not wear socks - only footcloths. Socks were too great a luxury to wear in loose boots. But the officers, if they managed to get a pair of socks, did not deny themselves the pleasure of wearing them. Some parts were more fortunate - the personnel of these parts received felt boots with galoshes, which was especially useful in the autumn and spring thaw. In 1942, the Red Army soldiers were quite motley outfit. Tankers wore black, gray, blue or protective overalls. In the manufacture of uniforms, synthetic leather and rubber were widely used. Cartridge bags were sewn from tarpaulin or impregnated tarpaulin. Leather belt belts everywhere replaced with canvas.

Instead of blankets, Red Army soldiers used overcoats and cloaks. In addition, the roll of his overcoat or cloak with success successfully replaced the duffel bag for the soldiers - things were rolled inside. To remedy the situation, a new knapsack was introduced, similar to the one used in the royal army during the 1 World War II. This kit was a canvas bag with a neck, intercepted by a cord and two shoulder straps. In 1942, under Lend-Lease, uniforms from the USA and Canada began to arrive in the Soviet Union. Although most of the uniforms, coming from America, were made according to Soviet models, the American uniform came across. For example, the United States supplied 13 with thousands of pairs of leather boots and one million pairs of soldiers' boots in the USSR, and in Canada, sewed coveralls for Soviet tank crews.

Uniforms for women serving in the Red Army, was determined by several documents. Before the war, the distinctive details of the women's output and dress uniforms were dark blue skirt and beret. During the war, the order of women's uniforms enshrined orders issued in May and August 1942. Orders kept wearing skirts and berets. Under field conditions, these uniform items were made of fabric of a protective color, and the output uniform included a blue skirt and a beret. The same orders largely unified the female uniform with the male one. In practice, many women military personnel, especially those acting on the front line, wore male uniforms. In addition, women themselves often altered many of the uniform items themselves, using written off clothing for this purpose.

The experience of fighting in Finland showed the need to have white camouflage overalls in the troops. Such a jumpsuit appeared in 1941 year. There were several types of winter overalls, as a rule, they consisted of pants and a jacket with a hood. In addition, many camouflage summer overalls were on the equipment of the Red Army units. Such overalls, as a rule, were obtained by scouts, sappers, mountain shooters and snipers. Overalls had a baggy cut and were made of a protective-colored fabric with round-shaped black spots. It is known from photographic documents that the Red Army men also used inverted camouflage overalls, which were green on the outside, and white on the inside. It is not clear how widespread such overalls were. A special type of camouflage was developed for snipers. A large number of narrow strips of fabric, imitating grass, were sewn onto the protective overalls. However, such overalls are not widespread.

In 1943, the Red Army adopted a new uniform that was radically different from the one used so far. The system of insignia was changed in the same fundamental way. New uniforms and insignia largely repeated the uniforms and insignia of the tsarist army. The new rules abolished the division of the uniform into everyday, output, and parade, because in wartime conditions, the output and parade uniforms were not necessary. Details of the ceremonial uniform were used in uniforms of special-purpose units that carried guard duty, as well as in officer uniforms. In addition, the officers kept the exit uniform.



Order No. 25 of January 15 of 1943 for the soldiers and officers introduced a new-style tunic. The new tunic was very similar to the one used in the tsarist army and had a stand-up collar, fastening with two buttons. The soldiers on the tunic had no pockets, whereas the officer's tunic had two breast pockets. Fit sharovar not changed. But the main distinguishing feature of the new uniform was the epaulettes. There were two types of shoulder straps: field and everyday. Field shoulder straps were made of fabric of a protective color. On three sides, the shoulder straps were bordered in the colors of the armed forces. On the officer’s shoulder straps there was no Kant, and belonging to the race could be determined by the color of the gaps. The senior officers (from major to colonel) had two openings on their shoulder straps, and the junior officers (from junior lieutenant to captain) had one each. Doctors, veterinarians and non-athletes had gaps in red with a brownish tint. In addition, on the shoulder straps near the buttons they wore a small gold or silver badge, designated the branch of service. The color of the logo depended on the kind of troops. The shoulder straps of the marshals and generals were wider than the officers, and the shoulder straps were military doctors, lawyers, etc. - on the contrary, narrower.

Officers wore a cap with a black leather chinstrap. The color of the band around the cap depended on the type of troops. The caps of the cap were usually protective in color, but the NKVD troops often used caps with a light blue cap, the tankers wore gray caps, and the Don Cossacks had gray-blue caps. The same order No. XXUMX defined the type of winter headgear for officers. The generals and colonels were supposed to wear hats (introduced back in 25), while the rest of the officers received ordinary fur hat.

The rank of sergeants and foremen was determined by the number and width of the lychek on uniform. Usually the strips were red, only the doctors and veterinarians showed the strips had a brownish tint. The elders wore a shoulder strap in the shape of the letter "T". The senior sergeants on the epaulets had one wide strip. Sergeants, junior sergeants and corporals had on the epaulettes three, two or one narrow strip, respectively. Border chase was the color of the kind of troops. According to the regulations, the emblem of the kind of troops was supposed to be worn on the inside of epaulets, but in practice, soldiers were very rare to wear such emblems.

In March, 1944 was adopted a new uniform for the marines, which was more convenient for use on land. Since the Soviet Navy was in ports for most of the war, many sailors fought on land. Especially widely marines used in the defense of Leningrad and the Crimea. During the war, however, the marines wore standard navy uniforms, supplemented with some land field uniform items. The last order, concerning the uniform, was issued in April 1945 of the year. This order was introduced dress dress, for the first time the soldiers put it on during the Victory Parade on the Red Square 24 June 1945 of the year.

Separately, it would be worthwhile to make out the colors of the types of troops in the Red Army. The types of troops and services were indicated by the color of the edging and insignia. The color of the buttonhole field showed affiliation to the race, in addition, a small badge in the buttonhole spoke about belonging to a specific race. The officers wore gold-embroidered or enameled badges, while the soldiers used the border color. The sergeants of the buttonhole had an edging the color of the kind of troops, and from the soldiers they were distinguished by a narrow red stripe passing through the buttonhole. The officers wore hooded caps, while the soldiers used caps. Kanty on the uniform were also the colors of the kind of troops. Belonging to the class of troops was determined not by any one color, but by a combination of colors on different parts of the uniform.

A special position in the army was occupied by commissioners. There were commissars in every unit from the battalion and above. In the 1937 year, in each unit (company, platoon) a post of political officer was introduced - a junior political officer. The insignia of the commissioners as a whole was similar to the insignia of the officers, but had their own characteristics. Instead of chevrons, the commissars wore a red star on their sleeves. The commissioners had the buttonhole edging black, regardless of the type of troops, while the political instructors had the buttonhole edging colored.

Sources of:
1. Lipatov P., “Uniforms of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht”, Youth Technique, 1996;
2. Shunkov V., "Red Army", AST, 2003;
3. Shalito A., Savchenkov I., Roginsky N., Tsyplenkov K., "Uniforms of the Red Army 1918-1945", 2001.
Author:
Oleg Beginin
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