The Plates

Al Infantryman, 3rd Petrograd City Guard Rifle Regiment, 1()1S The 3rd Petrograd Rifle Regiment was formed from the disbanded Semenovsky Lifeguard Reserve Regiment, which had been stationed in Petrograd (St Petersburg). The Semenovsky Regiment proper had been created by Peter the Great in 1695, and was one of the key Imperial Guard regiments, but the Reserve Regiment had never shared this elite status. Immediately after the October revolution all ranks of the 3rd Petrograd Regiment wore their...

Bladed weapons

Red Army cavalrymen and artillerymen were armed with dragoon or Cossack shashka swords of the 1881 Model. Besides these, Caucasian shashkas (with no hand-guard) and L'inzhals (daggers) richly decorated with silver were popular with Red commanders and Cossack units. The M.1910 lance had been issued in 1911 to all A typical Red Army cavalryman, 191'). I is uniform consists of a fashionably tailored cotton summer gym-nasterka, with two breast pockets and horizontal cuff patches with buttons. He...

Internal serv ice troops

I nutrenney Stuzhbi (VnuS) were estab-September 1920 and embraced, organisa-' )khr troops, Cheka troops and 360,000 ps divided into 14 divisions and 18 brigades, il . protection of communications networks, ere responsible for guarding and convov--Soviet elements' to prisons and camps, n 19 January 1920 the Cheka troops were as a separate body, and all VnuS units were to Red Armv control. A. Zaitsev, commander of the 'Lieutenant Schmidt' armoured train Xo. 75. His sleeve badge is a red doth,...

The Cheka and other special formations

On 7 December 1917, the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-revolution and Sabotage was formed. Its chairman and guiding star was Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877-1926), a Pole by birth. Known as the Chrezvichaynaya Komissya or Cheka for short, the commission soon earned itself a reputation for brutality beyond the call of duty. The modern image of the Cheka as a 'secret pol< force, in the style of the later NKVD and KGB, d< not do justice to its wide-ranging role in the Civil...

The Red Army

. second day of the Bolshevik Revolution, 2(> it 1917, a supreme body was created to take over if the armed forces the Committee on and Naval Affairs. It had three members, task was to install Bolsheviks into the highest iry posts and to begin the organising of a new 'People's Army'. On the following day the committee took on six new members, and was renamed the So iet of People's Commissars on Military and Naval Affairs. At the end of November this body was split into two separate...

The Red Guards

During the 1905 Russian Revolution, Red Guard detachments sprang up in Moscow and in other towns I and cities. They reappeared in Februarv 1917, immedi-l ately after the second revolution, as a means of protect- ing the People's Soviets (councils) as well as the strategic factories and industrial sites where most Red I Guardsmen were recruited. Although not directly aligned with the Bolshevik party, it was the Red Guards of Petrograd who enabled I the Bolsheviks to seize power in the October...

Specialist Troops

1)1 Private, Broneotryad (Armour Detachment 1918-22 Red Army men serving in motorised, armoured-car at armour units all wore much the same uniform, chara. terised by the rich use of leather. It consisted of . khaki cloth or leather cap with a large square pea-introduced in the Russian Army for automobilists ar samokatchiks (velo-cyclists) a leather coat (typically . black, so-called 'Swedish', 1912-issue) and below this gymnasterka. Leather or cloth breeches were worn wit jackboots or boots w...

Red cross and railway insignia

Only in October 19 cS did the Soviet government ado the Geneva Convention and order 'all organisations a facilities dealing with sick and wounded' to install t Red Cross flag, and all medical personnel to we enamel Red Cross badges in their headgear. Vledic orderlies in a battlefield were additionally to wear white armband with a red cross 011 the left sleeve. O11 22 August 1919 an armband was introduced f commandants of railway stations earlier a civilian p fession, but militarised because of...

Red Flag and Red Star

The choice of red as the colour of the Russu Revolution deserves further explanation. Red has ii centuries been the international symbol of mutiny ai brigandage it was the traditional colour, symbolist blood, of pirates' flags alongside black, standing 1 death . In international naval usage, the red flag known as the 'flag of defiance', and was raised whe-ship was preparing for battle in contrast to the wh flag, w hich, of course, was the flag of peace or sum der. In Russian, red or krasm has...

Artillery

Thanks to the drastic expansion of arms factorie I the Great W ar and a concentration on the artillery i by 1916 Russia was virtually self-sufficient in howi 4 and field guns, and was producing three-quarters lt n heavy artillery it needed. The ammunition stock set aside by 1917 proved enough to see the Red J through much of the Civil W ar. The 3-inch field gun M.1902, the 3-inch mrnia gun 1.1909 and the M.1910 howitzer made upJ bulk of the Red Army's light artillery . The two common makes of...

Uniforms And Insignia

In the first year of the Revolution, 1917, there was no such thing as a uniform for Red forces. Red Guardsmen were dressed in all types of clothing mil itary and civilian, whatever was available. Members i Red Guards detachments workers, soldiers and pea ants - wore little more than a red ribbon or ribboi bow on their hats or clothing, and or a red armband i the mark of their allegiance. Before long, red eld armbands inscribed with the words Krasnaya Gvardn Red Guard appeared. This title, often...

G 1919 uniforms

Gl Rifleman in Winter Clothing, 1919-21 This is the typical Red Army uniform of the last years of the Civil W ar. The budenovka cloth helmet has roll-down sides and a star in the dark crimson inf'antr branch colour, while the kaftan greatcoat has bottle-green collar and cuffs, with collar patches and razgoi ory tabs also in dark crimson. Buttons are covered wit cloth. Also worn is a simple leather belt with a cartridge box. The rifle is a Mosin 1891. G2 Starshina Sergeant-Major of Artillery,...

A confusion of clothing

Kalmuk Cavalry Regiment

Due to the economic disruption of Russia caused by the Great W ar and two revolutions, it proved imposs- on-regulation sleeve badges, 111S-2II clockwise from top left 1st Kalmuk Cavalry Regiment the most popular armoured unit badge 2nd Moscow Red Heavy Artillery Commanders' School rare pattern used by aviation detachments sapper company of an infantry regiment or brigade on-regulation sleeve badges, 111S-2II clockwise from top left 1st Kalmuk Cavalry Regiment the most popular armoured unit...

International Units

Infantryman, Chinese Battalion, 1' 18-20 hinese 'internationalist' soldiers wore the same uni-i mi as most Red Army troops a peaked cap, khaki 'ton gymnasterka and sharovary breeches but they .re always instantly recognisable, since Russian cloth-was far too big for them. The Chinese had a spe-1 value to the Bolsheviks industrious, efficient and ddom able to understand Russian, they were mployed by the Cheka for the arrest and execution of ti-Soviet elements. This Chinese soldier's equipment...

Cavalry

Cossack Rifle

Cavalryman, latman's 'Red Hussars' Brigade, 18-19 man's Brigade, also known as the Zavolzhskaya jade of Red Hussars, included three cavalrv regi-rits that were dressed in the pre-war parade uni-s ot the 1st Sumsko and 3rd l.lisavctgradskv sar regiments. The main regimental distinction was light blue peaked cap piped yellow . For the mskov Regiment the cap had a scarlet band, and for Elisavetgradsky Regiment, a white band. The black rher peak of the cavalryman's cap was somewhat alter than the...