headgears rank insignas patches belts and accessories awards section
Soviet uniform

The soviet uniform, as we know it, has been adopted right in the middle of WWII. It looks very much like the old tsar uniform with large shoulder boards (rank insigna) and high cap, and replaced the typical red army uniform.




We can say that the soviet uniform has always had a kind of spartan semplicity, except for decorations and medals. Besides the official awards, it was also authorized the use of decoration and pins, even in field or combat uniforms, while the western armies payed more attention to the studies about camouflage.


to see specific section click on image above: headgear,
shoulder boards, belt, badge, medals,

The colors of collar tab and the shoulder badges were very showy too, according to the various force: red background for infantry; pale blue for air force and paratropers, black for army detachment (artillery, tank corps, ...) and navy; royal blue for kgb, brown for ministry of interior's troops.

shoulder boards
Enlisted men shoulder board are of the same colour and show the foolowing letters (in yellow):
* CA - troops (generic) of the soviet army
* PV (ПВ) - border guards of KGB
* GB (ГБ) - guards of KGB (special detachment)
* VV (ВВ) - guards og interior army ministry
* K - kursant

As regard Navy, shoulder boards show the following letters:
* BF (БФ) - Baltic fleet
* CF (ЧФ) - Black sea fleet
* SF (СФ) - North sea fleet
* TF (ТФ) - Pacific fleet

Finally, for military academies cadets, the shoulder boards show the following letters:
* VMU (ВМУ) - Musical academy
* SVU (СВУ) - Suvorov academy
* N (H) - Nakimov academy (navy)

From this link you can see photos of shoulder boards.

Badges/patches
On the collar tabs was applied a golden badge, related to branch. The background color was red for infantry, black for specific branches (i.e. artillery, armoured, trasmission,...), and pale blue for air assault and air force. Later, the colour of collar tab and badge, in the combat/service uniforms collar tab and badge, was changed into green.

From thislink you can see photos of patches and collar tabs.

Belts
There were two kinds of belts: service and parade.
Officer belts were made of leather, with a brass buckle, supported by a leather crossbelt, holding up a leather holster
Parade belt was in golden brocade, with golden buckle. In the army officers type here was an hammer and a sickle inside a star. Two suspenders, in golden brocade too, holded up the dagger. In the navy officer type there was anchor. In the general type there was the coat of arms of USSR; admirals type had an anchor and the coat of arms of USSR.
Enlisted men belt was initially leather made, but was soon replaced with syntetic leather in the post war period. Brass buckle, showed an hammer and a sickle inside a star. In the navy type there was anchor. Later was introduced a fabric belt and the colour of the belt, was changed into green. Parade belt was white,

From this link you can see photos of belts.

Standard of the production
Soviet production was simple, but at the same time very accured. A specific bureau ensured the state standard for Soviet Union (ГОСТ=государственный стандарт союза сср). There was a project for every item; marks indicate code-model, size, year of production...
marks on a panama hat

other examples:
officer shirt label marks on a combat uniform of navy infantry officer kloak/hood label

Here some pages from soviet documents (you can click on a picture to enlarge it):


Camouflage pattern
KLMK pattern (1965) KZS pattern (sniper) border guards (kgb) pattern
3 colours pattern, issued since 1984 ("butan")

click to enlarge
examples of camo suits; KZS,KLMK/KLM-P and BUTAN

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