Soviet Kit Guide

Reference information and uniform and kit Q&A

Moderator: Lardassmonkey

User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:40 pm

This Soviet kit guide is intended to aid those of you looking to put together a soviet impression for the Great Patriotic War. This basic guide illustrates what is required, what is optional and what I would regard as being unsuitable. It is geared towards a Russian Private Soldier or Red Army Man impression and so I have avoided any officer related kit.

Where applicable I have broken down the list in to recommended, acceptable and avoid. The recommended kit is what you should aspire to and should look for if you want to build an accurate impression and the acceptable kit is what can be considered as a suitable look-a-like kit for beginners or those looking to put together a one off impression for a single event. Kit I have marked as avoid, is kit that is incorrect. Beginners can often be fooled into buying these items, believing them to be authentic but they should be avoided where possible.

Basic Essential Kit
Side cap – Pilotka
Tunic – Gymnastiorka
Trousers – Sharovari
Belt
Canteen
Magazine Pouches
Boots
Backpack – Vyeshch-Myeshok or gas mask bag

Recommended Additional Kit
Helmet
Rain cape – Plash Palatka
Fur Hat – Ushanka
Greatcoat – Shinel
Reserve Ammunition pouches
Grenade Pouch

Optional Additional kit
Padded winter suit – Telogreika
Soft Winter Helmet-Budyonovka
Entrenching tool
Y-straps
Bread bag
Bayonet
Mess kit
Spoon & cup
Collar liners

Weapons

Soviet
Captured
Allied


Basic Essential Kit

These items can be considered the basics for a Soviet infantry impression. They include everything you need to get the correct look but is still practical to play in.


Side Cap- Pilotka

The iconic side cap of the Soviet forces and one of the first things you buy. These are cheap, readily available and can be worn with either a red enamelled star or a painted, subdued variant.

Tunic – Gymnastiorka
Recommended
Both the M35 and M43 tunic are recommended for use. Both these models have a half button front and are pullover types. Full button fronts are not found on wartime models.
The M35 is distinguishable by its full collar to which the insignia was attached. These were issued from 1935 to 1943 and so are best suited to the early half of the war but are occasionally seen in later on in period photographs. Their rarity means that reproduction tunics are the only viable option.
The M43 replaced the M35 in production in January 1943 and was not replaced itself until the introduction of the M69 uniform; It is distinguishable by is stand up collar and shoulder boards (these were banned before 1943). Tunics with or without breast pockets are acceptable but ones without are preferred if possible.
War time models were primarily produced in cotton but postwar woolen models are acceptable. Postwar versions can still be found at reasonable prices, especially in smaller sizes and reproductions are widely available.

Acceptable
The soviet M69 uniform is accepted on a look-a-like basis and is distinguishable from earlier models by the buttons running all the way down the front. These can frequently be found for sale as WW2 items but are clearly not. The low cost of M43 uniforms makes the M69 a false economy so these are only recommended if you wish to wear them on a one off basis.

Insignia
The M41 subdued insignia is preferred for use on the M35 uniform although the full colour M35 insignia is acceptable. The M43 uniform should be worn with the M43 subdued insignia. It is recommended that raspberry insignia for infantry is worn as this would be most suitable for any likely scenarios. M35 & 41 insignia also require the crossed rifles pin badges for infantry impressions.

Trousers – Sharovari

Recommended
Sharovari breeches can be found in cotton or wool (mostly postwar) and like the tunics either M35 or M43 models are fine.
As with tunics post war M43 types can be found relatively easily whilst M35 types are largely only available as reproductions.

Acceptable
M69 breeches are fine as look-a-likes even when worn with wartime tunics as long as the lower leg is largely covered by riding boots or puttees.

Belt
Recommended
Either a full leather brown belt or leather reinforced canvas belt are recommended. The brown leather belt is more suitable for early war and should have a single prong metal buckle and be around 1 ½ inches/ 4cm high. Canvas belts can be easily found at various vendors.

Acceptable
Captured German belts are acceptable for use. They ideally should have the buckle stamp removed or defaced.

Avoid-Soviet belts with metal star buckles are not acceptable and are post war. The canvas versions may have been introduced before the end of the war but were not seen in the field.

Canteen
Correct wartime canteens came in aluminium and glass and are of course acceptable, however, both are difficult to find. Post war models are extremely close to wartime models- it is merely the cap that is different. These are easy to find and are very cheap.

Magazine Pouches
This obviously depends upon the weapon used so I’ve only covered the types we are most likely to use. They can be worn singly or in pairs.

Recommended
PpSh & Pps magazine pouches should be canvas triple pouches or a single drum pouch for the PpSh 41. Mosin Nagant pouches should be brown leather or canvas with leather fittings.

Acceptable
Rubberised canvas Mosin nagant pouches with leather fittings are very late war (I think) but acceptable. These can be found everywhere for very little money.
German webbing is acceptable for those using German weapons.

Boots
Recommended
The Soviet airsofter has two options for authentic footwear. Firstly, Sapogi are half leather, half rubberised canvas riding boots with rubber soles and intended for the lower ranks. These can be found cheaply at most vendors as they were issued right up until the end of the Soviet Union.
The other option is low boots or botinki. These should be black with rubber soles and must be worn with puttees (obmotki). Royal Navy deck boots are a good choice but any period looking boot is fine.

Acceptable
Rubber soled lend lease boots are fine to wear with puttees. German boots are ok to wear if you
have nothing else although historically the Russians did not like using them.

Avoid-High leg laced boots, officers’ boots and post war VDV (Russian Para) Jackboots.

Backpack- Vyeshch-Myeshok or gas mask bag

I’ve given two options here to allow some freedom of choice. Both of these are useful for carrying additional equipment and almost every red army soldier would have at least one for the two.

Recommended
Backpack should be the wartime model with no external pockets or additional straps. Gas mask bag can be either an early or late war model. The gas mask bag is perhaps the more useful for skirmishing with but the backpacks tend to be cheaper and easier to find.

Acceptable
Converted late model Vyeshch-Myeshoks. The removal of the post war additions easily turns a late model into an earlier one and is perfectly fine.


Recommended Additional Kit
This kit that is not essential to creating a good impression but is recommended if you want to take your impression a stage further. These additional items give greater flexibility in terms of what you can portray accurately and include additional items which may prove useful in the field.

Helmet
Recommended
Soviet M40 helmets are the recommended choice if you want to wear a helmet. M36 and M39 helmets are also acceptable but are unlikely to be found at reasonable prices. M40 helmets however can still be found at good prices as these were produced long after the end of the war.

Acceptable
Soviet M60 and Czech M53 helmets are acceptable for use as use the same shell but different liners. I would not recommend buying one of these over a correct M40 given the negligible price difference but if you already own one they are fine to use.

Please see Sasha’s excellent guide to the different Helmet models for more info.

Rain Cape- Plash-Palatka
The classic rain cape/tent half section forms part of the iconic image of the soviet soldier when worn wrapped around the body over the shoulder - these are also extremely useful in wet weather.

Recommended
Wartime and early post war models used leather grommets and can still be found at most major vendors. Wartime versions should only have the grommets on the one side of the cape- post war ones can be easily modified to look like this if required.

Acceptable
Later models use brass grommets but are acceptable if you conceal these as best you can while wearing it.

Fur Hat- Ushanka

Yet another iconic piece of Russian kit and very nice to wear in cold weather. You do have to be careful when buying one of these due to the mass of different versions available.

Recommended
The most universally accepted model available is the Bulgarian version which can be bought very cheaply. Usually worn with metal politka type star on the front.

Acceptable
Any brown fish fur (fake) ushanka with star. Rabbit fur or similar of a homemade style is also fine. White is also acceptable for winter but a bit obvious without any snow!

Avoid- black or post war grey/blue versions.

Greatcoat- Shinel

Thick woollen greatcoat issued to keep out the Russian winter. May be too hot to play in most of the year but you will appreciate having one when it is cold. They also look great and are perfect for wearing during the colder evenings.

Recommended
These should be brown without buttons in the enlisted mans style. Can be worn without insignia to allow them to fit into any period. Post war versions are near identical to wartime ones and are readily available in small sizes and from some vendors in larger sizes. Keep an eye on ebay & such for larger sizes and lower prices.

Reserve Ammunition Pouches
These were designed for carrying spare loose ammunition. In airsoft they are useful for carrying additional kit on your belt, especially if you have a Gymnastiorka without pockets. These can be found at most major vendors.

Grenade Pouches

There are two types of wartime grenade pouch. The RDG-33 stick grenade pouch is the larger and holds 2 grenades. The smaller F1 grenade pouch holds 3 ‘egg’ grenades. These fit their airsoft equivalents and can be found at the major vendors.

Avoid- 2 pocket F1 grenade pouches. These are a post war version.


Optional Additional Kit and Alternatives
These items of kit are the things you may wish to get to finalise your impression or bring it up to more of a re-enactment standard once you have acquired everything else.

Padded Suit- Telogreika
In winter this two piece padded suit was often issued in place of the Shinel. You may wish to use one of these instead of a Shinel as they can be more comfortable. Bear in mind they can be even warmer to wear so you may not want to run around in one most of the time. Like the Gymnastiorka these come in two variants that match the tunics. Early ones have full collars; later ones have upright collars and shoulder boards.

Soft Winter Helmet- Budyonovka
These winter hats were an iconic piece of the Red Army’s uniform during the civil war and continued to be worn into the early 40s until replaced by the Ushanka. They make suitable alternative to the Ushanka for an early war impression but disappeared fairly quickly during the GPW. They should be brown with a large red star on the front.


Entrenching Tool

The Russian entrenching tools were very similar in design to the German model (one being almost exactly the same, the other having a pointed blade). Large numbers of captured German entrenching tools were also used as Soviet ones were always in short supply.

Recommended
Square bladed Russian, German or Swiss entrenching tools are all recommended as are pointed Russian ones if you can find them. Russian covers can either be brown leather or canvas.

Acceptable
Soviet welded spade. These are believed to be late war issue (confirmation needed) and should be painted green. They can often be picked up quite cheaply on ebay etc.
German folding tools are also fine to use as captured kit.

Y-straps

Y-straps are made from canvas and were standard issue pre war but disappeared very quickly during the GPW for unknown reasons. If you are putting together an early war impression then you may wish to use a set but otherwise they are not needed. Ostfront now have repros for sale.

Avoid- Post war Y-straps made rubberised canvas like the belts.

Bread bag

Like the Y-straps these are largely of pre war issue only and are therefore rarely seen later on. They can make a good alternative to gas mask bags on an early war impression. These can be found at major soviet kit vendors.

Mosin Nagant Bandolier
An alternative to belt pouches when carrying a rifle is to use a canvas stripper clip bandolier worn across the chest. These came in two versions, one containing 6 ammunition pouches and one with 5 ammunition pouches and a pouch for a single F1 grenade. They were less common than belt pouches but still relatively widespread.


M91/30 Bayonet

An essential piece for Soviet re-enactment as the red army was very fond of them but rather less useful in airsoft. The standard red army practice of carrying them on rifles at all time is also obviously not practical in games. Scabbards are available but these were largely pre war issue and became quite rare, especially later on. Bayonets are however very cheap so you may want one to complete your impression.
A more practical alternative is a rubber K98 bayonet as captured kit- that way you can use it in games if you wish.

Mess kit
Recommended
There are two options here- a two piece pot and lid the same as the German model or a simple cooking pot with handle. The mess tin was usually carried in the backpack or gas mask bag, hence why it is not essential - it wasn’t visible.

Acceptable
Post war, preferably East-German of the same design as the wartime models and painted green.

Spoon & cup

Soviet re-enactors joke that no Red Army soldier should be without his combat spoon; however, they can be a nice touch to complete an impression. They were often homemade from scrap metal or wood but any suitably old or rough spoon will do. Cups can be either aluminium or white or green enamel.

Collar Liners

It was regulation that Gymnastiorka were to be worn with white collar liners sewn into the collar each day to protect the tunic. This is not a requirement for airsoft but if you wish to build a fully accurate impression then this should be considered.

Weapons

This is a brief out line of what weapons you can consider for an accurate soviet GPW impression.

Soviet
Obviously the most accurate option is to look for a Soviet weapon, however currently the choice of accurate soviet weapons is extremely limited.
The only major manufacturer producing a wartime weapon is KTW who make a number of Mosin Nagant Variants. Unfortunately these are both extremely expensive and largely unskirmishable.
The only other option for off the shelf weapons is custom made versions.

This version of the PPSh-41 is popular with our comrades in the US;
http://www.airsoftbattlezone.com/sgscustomairsoft.html

Here in the UK Trapper industries can make their own version to order.
http://www.trapperindustries.com/airsoft/page2.html

Otherwise it is up to you and you own skills to make your own weapon of choice!

Captured
The use of captured German weapons by the Red Army was quite widespread although it was rarely officially sanctioned.
The best choice of captured weapon would be an MP40. These were quite liked for their light weight and accuracy and were popular with scout troops.
Captured Kar98ks were used in large numbers but mainly by rear echelon troops and militias. However using one in airsoft will be fine.
The use of German machine guns was quite common so it would be acceptable to use one should you own one. British Bren Guns would also be acceptable to use as look-a-like captured Czech ZB26/30 machine guns.
Other German weapons such as the MP44 were much rarer and less likely to be used by Soviet troops. It is not recommended you use one of these unless it is a very late war scenario and this should be done so sparingly.

Allied
The Western Allies supplied large amounts of small arms to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program. However the vast majority of these weapons never saw action. They were supplied with vehicles and were lacking in ammunition.
The only Allied weapon that could be recommend for use is the Thompson sub-machine gun, preferably the M1928 version as large enough numbers of this weapon were sent to justify their usage.

Hopefully this guide will prove of some use to those of you planning a Soviet GPW impression. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

If I have missed anything, made any major mistakes or you can help out with any of the appropriate Russian names for kit then please let me know.
Last edited by Lardassmonkey on Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Gadge
Fought at the Battle of Hastings
Fought at the Battle of Hastings
Posts: 7194
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:04 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Gadge » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:30 am

Excellent, dead useful that. With some good pics we should perhaps ask dave to make it a sticky or on the drop down menu.

I dont mind if they use the shots I did for the AI russian article as a stopgap.
Image
ImageImage

Image
Image
"I think we are in rats' alley - Where the dead men lost their bones."
User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:51 am

Its already a sticky but some pictures might be useful. At least until a proper drop down one can be put up. Thanks for the editorial assistance by the way Gadge, :good: I forgot to add that to the end of the guide. :slap:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
marsha
Fought at Waterloo
Fought at Waterloo
Posts: 1074
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 1:27 pm
Location: birmingham
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby marsha » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:59 am

this is very helpful thanks ill be able to start getting my load next month
ImageImage
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:29 pm

Excellent, I look forward to seeing it. :good:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Barrie and Anne
Fought at Waterloo
Fought at Waterloo
Posts: 1118
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: East Anglia

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Barrie and Anne » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Marsha please note the belts we got from Sabre Sales that we told you about via pm are the canvas ones with metal buckles, listed above as AVOID - whoops - so don't get those.

Everything else was ok though I think.

Trapper Industries, the people who do the PPSH in the link above, also do uniforms and they seem very cheap at £45 for shirt and trousers. They also do the padded winter ones. I'm not sure they're right for WWII though.
User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:41 pm

The tunics labelled under Gymnastiorka at Trapper are correct and the padded jacket on the second army uniform page is right for ww2. £65 for a Gymnastiorka tunic and trousers is a good price too, if you're small enough to fit in it. :raspberry:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Sasha
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Sasha » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:23 pm

You beat me to it! This is a good guide :good:

I appreciate I probably come across as some sort of hardcore living history nut but I promise I'm much more reasonable in real life. 8)

If it's OK I'll just add some points of clarification/explanation of what's been the sort of things Red Army reenactors have used and found in the past.

Some overall comments;

If you're going for right material then anything in the khaki denim that most postwar gear is made in is fine. You do, occasionally ,see a later more green synthetic mix which is no good for reenactment but would probably do the trick for airsoft.

Officers gymnastiorkas also turn up in a dark green mix but these are officers.

Soviet dating - if you're unsure which of the many numbers on the stamp is the date then it's going to be the one that has what looks like a small 'r' after it. This is actually a Cyrillic 'G' for godom = year. NB Gymnastiorkas often don't have a date stamp the date, if it's there is the number stamped on the backs of the buttons.

I'll leave out details of how to spot postwar satellite production kit as it probably isn't material.

Finally I've included some Hardcore Reenactor tips so you can see that my ranting about M69s is just the tip of a very big iceberg. :shock:

Anyway on to specific examples....
Side Cap- Politka
The iconic side cap of the Soviet forces and one of the first things you buy. These are cheap, readily available and can be worn with either a red enamelled star or a painted, subdued variant.


Speaking to Russian reenactors anything dated up to c.1972 is 100%. After that date then it becomes less certain but probably fine for airsoft and you find 80s dated ones that are still bob on so probably not worth losing any sleep over. Hardcore reenactor tips: If you can't get/afford wartime then you want a 50's brass and enamel star or a pressed steel one painted green. Also keep a needle and thread inside the flap - see collar liners.

Tunic – Gymnastiorka
Recommended
...Gymnastiorka tunics came in two material types; wool for winter and cotton for summer, both of which area acceptable.


Speaking to Russian reenactors, again, many say that only the cotton denim ones were issued in the war so I really wouldn't sweat the difference. You do see some originals made in GI wool but these probably belonged to big men and were not for the Frontovik :wink: . Hardcore reenactor tip: for all Soviet tunics (regardless of period) you are supposed to sew in a fresh collar liner every day using the needle and thread you keep in your pilotka.

Belt
Recommended
Either a full leather brown belt or leather reinforced canvas belt are recommended. The brown leather belt is more suitable for early war and should have a single prong metal buckle and be around 1 ½ inches/ 4cm high. Canvas belts can be easily found at various vendors...

...Avoid-Soviet belts with metal star buckles are not acceptable and are post war. The canvas versions may have been introduced before the end of the war but were not seen in the field.


The leather belt should be c. 1.5 inches wide,has a roller buckle and two 'keepers' (one captive and one not). Modern ones are readily available or can be made up (mine is made using a buckle from a piece of saddle tack I picked up for a pound and the strap from a £5 belt I got at a pointy stick reenactor's fair.

Officer cadets wore brown leather belts with a brass buckle like the postwar one issued to all ranks. This is the only substantiated wartime use of this style of belt/buckle. A friend has one of these buckles in his collection (GIT!) and it's much better quality than the postwar one. Unless you have the rest of the kursant uniform I'd just avoid them.

Hardcore Reenactor tip: The leather belt should be c.40 inches long as it's supposed to be worn over whatever you're top layer is.

Canteen
Correct wartime canteens came in aluminium and glass and are of course acceptable, however, both are difficult to find. Post war models are extremely close to wartime models- it is merely the cap that is different. These are easy to find and are very cheap.


Hardcore reenactor tip: early DDR aluminium water bottles are a dead ringer for the wartime Soviet bottle and a cheaper way of getting one. Just add a cover and change the button.

Magazine Pouches
...
PpSh & Pps magazine pouches should be canvas triple pouches


Hardcore reenactor tip: Believe it or not there are two different types of pouch depending on the weapon. The PPS one has slots for the cleaning rod but I've never seen a Soviet one - only satellite production.

Messtins, cups yada yada


Red Army reenactors all used to use Bundeswehr ones actually. This is one I wouldn't sweat for airsoft. You can pick up 80s dated M1936 'German' (yes that's what they were called) ones for peanuts and they're even the same colour - I paid £10-£15 (I forget exactly) for a 1950 dated set a couple of years back. The M1924 pot type is around as a repro if that's what you want.

HEALTH AND SAFETY TIP: Do not use the tinned steel originals of the M1924. The tinned surface is usually old and unstable and you wouldn't like it if you ingested it. There are aluminium originals and the repros are, of course, made from aluminium.

Hardcore reenactor tip: The bob on cup to get is one that's enamelled green on the outside and white on the inside. I found an online camping shop doing them for £1.50 a pop last year. And you want the 8cm size.

Recommended
.... The gas mask bag is perhaps the more useful for skirmishing with but the backpacks tend to be cheaper and easier to find.


Early war ones are the BN type and have two pockets on the outside, wartime types have no pockets at all and you can pick up 1950s examples for not a lot - I paid £5 for both of mine. The really postwar example has one pocket on the outside but you just remove that and, hey presto, you've got the wartime type.

There are civil defence type of bags that are the same size and general shape as the pocketless type but fasten differently. They're no good for reenactment but will give you something with the correct profile. One dealer at Detling has several of these in a great big pile of Ostie cr@p last year.

Plash Palatka


The 100% way to tell if it's postwar is to ignore the grommets and look for two small tabs sewn on in one corner. This is for attaching to the postwar y-straps. If it's got them it's postwar.

Hardcore reenactor tip: The very earliest ones have buttonhole stitching at the holess not grommets. But if you've got one of these you shouldn't be using it. :D The next variant has a leather grommet on one side with buttonhole stitching and then leather grommets on both sides with no buttonholing. Metal grommets are the very last thing. Other variants I've seen are fibre, leatherette or a type of hard vinyl. Buttons should be wooden but postwar ones are often plastic
User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:19 pm

Thanks for the extra info Sasha. Very helpful. :good:

Speaking to Russian reenactors, again, many say that only the cotton denim ones were issued in the war so I really wouldn't sweat the difference. You do see some originals made in GI wool but these probably belonged to big men and were not for the Frontovik


Really? I assumed when winter and summer uniforms issued I've read about were referring to the different materials used. What about trousers?

Hardcore reenactor tip: early DDR aluminium water bottles are a dead ringer for the wartime Soviet bottle and a cheaper way of getting one. Just add a cover and change the button.


Do you know of anywhere that has these as I've been looking for one? I didn't include it in the guide as I thought it was pointless suggesting something that I couldn't even find myself. Instead I've stripped the paint from my postwar one to make it look more passable to the casual observer.

Red Army reenactors all used to use Bundeswehr ones actually. This is one I wouldn't sweat for airsoft. You can pick up 80s dated M1936 'German' (yes that's what they were called) ones for peanuts and they're even the same colour - I paid £10-£15 (I forget exactly) for a 1950 dated set a couple of years back. The M1924 pot type is around as a repro if that's what you want.


I was actually thinking about getting a Soviet M1936 type mess tin for my German kit as they look spot on for German wartime mess tins ( I assume they were a direct copy?) . Certainly look better than either East or West German ones. For my Soviet GPW kit I have a M1924 which I think is genuine- I don't intent to use it but it looks good on my kit.

I found an online camping shop doing them for £1.50 a pop last year. And you want the 8cm size.


I don't suppose you can remember which shop it was?
Last edited by Lardassmonkey on Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Sasha
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Sasha » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:29 pm

It applies to trousers as well. They still maintained the two issues - May and October but what we're being told is that they just changed the uniform and issued additional kit, ushanka, telogreika and vatni sharovari for the winter.

There is some support for this - pre-war the summer underwear issue was a light blue vest and dark blue boxer shorts while winter issue was a shirt and longjohns. However, photo evidence from wartime seems to support the issue of winter underwear all year round. Also, postwar they discontinued the winter weight uniform. It's one of the RKKA things where you have to use Occam's Razor until more sources come to light :D .

Like I said I wouldn't get too hung up on it.

I have three DDR water bottles all found at Beltring/Detling. You're looking for a German style woolen cover with a bakelite cup. Two of mine were on a long strap and either for medics or made for the civilian camping market.

The mug was probably these guys. I can't remember for sure but this looks right.

http://www.surplusandoutdoors.com/shop/ ... 28268.html
User avatar
Sasha
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Sasha » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:43 pm

I will add that the thing about collecting Red Army kit is that there is nowhere here in the UK where you can pick up the gear (original or repro) all in one place.

It's still largely a case of doing legwork at militaria fairs.

I'll tell you a story to illustrate. One year at Beltring when it suddenly rained cats and dogs while a friend and I were looking round the stalls. We ducked into a dealer specialising in DDR kit to take shelter. My friend started having a look round because he likes NVA stuff and I stood and looked at the rain because I don't. Anyway, for something else to look at I glanced down at the cardboard boxes of tat that were being kept under the tables and immediately spotted a small clip hanging over the edge of one box attached to a piece of very familiar thin khaki webbing. I got hold of it, started to pull and out came a Soviet wartime pattern gasmask bag. Luck plus experience.

These days there are some Czech, Polish and Russian dealers who go to Beltring/Detling of course that we always make a beeline for.
User avatar
Lardassmonkey
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Fought at the Battle of Agincourt
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Arse end, just outside nowhere.
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Lardassmonkey » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:52 pm

Yes the UK is really lacking a decent retailer of RKKA kit. You can pick up a few bits and pieces but for anything major you do have to order from overseas which can be a pain. Especially considering the main options- Trident= overpriced, Ostfront= rarely seem to have everything you need or Front of Russia= pain the arse western union/direct transfer payment. Even RusMilitary don't seem to bother restocking any of their GPW or early cold war kit. Having a UK retailer would be a good boost to increasing interest in the theatre.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Special Department.
First Posting
First Posting
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Special Department. » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:59 pm

Comrades,
Part of the fun of being Progressive is you have to look for it.... It is very much a Historic Mission to Conform to the Norms of this Direction of Interest. :D


" We do this not because it is easy, but because it is our Patriotic Duty".
User avatar
Sasha
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Sasha » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:27 pm

Special Department. wrote:Comrades,
Part of the fun of being Progressive is you have to look for it.... It is very much a Historic Mission to Conform to the Norms of this Direction of Interest. :D


" We do this not because it is easy, but because it is our Patriotic Duty".


I've got to agree with Viktor here. I didn't start out as a collector but that's what I've become. Part of the attraction/enjoyment of Red Army (and my other interest Czechoslovakian People's Army) for me is the 'thrill of the chase'.

Do the stalls at Beltring, say, and you never know what you'll find :D
User avatar
Diggah
Fought at the Somme
Fought at the Somme
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:40 am
Location: Orkney
Contact:

Re: Soviet Kit Guide

Postby Diggah » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:02 pm

Bloody hell I turn my back for 8 months and this section explodes into life :)

Good job on the guide all. I would also agree with the hunting sentiment. I've found some cracking things on ebay if you look hard enough (and avoid the general toss thats passed off as WWII)

Keep it all up peeps!
No longer involved in airsoft.

Return to “Soviet Uniforms and Kit”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest