Senior Commanders

I: Commissar, Spec ial Task I Hit, 1919-20 pecial Task Units, or ChONs, could be distinguished m ordinary Red Army units by their banners, which ere covered with slogans and communist svmbols, id by the youth of the men mostly between 14 and Jtl years old. All members of Special Task Units also ore large red cloth stars on their left sleeves. Many nits served in Turkestan and fought against the lasmatchi Central Asian Muslim rebels. These units ere issued with cotton 'panama' hats, as shown here.

12: Commissar, Army of the Far Eastern Republic, 1921-22 he Far Fastern Republic (FKR) was a senii-jtonomous territory with its own communist-influenced army known as the People's Revolutionary \rmy PRA). The uniforms of the PR A were a combination if Russian, Japanese and American. In place of red star cap-badges, PRA men wore a yellow five-pointed star. \t the centre of this star was a circle of red over blue, representing the sun rising over the sea, on which was : crossed pick-axe and anchor, symbolising the union • f miners and fishermen. The PRA diamond sleeve

Sleeve command badges of the People's Revolutionary Army of the Far Eastern Republic, 1921. The triangles, squares anil diamonds used on Red Army command insignia were replaced in the PRA by a combination of broad and narrow stripes, and, for the highest ranking commanders, with chevrons. PRA units awarded with the Order of the Red Runner had, as in the Red . Irmy. a gold border around their patches.

From top left: Military Commissar, Front Commander, Armj' Commander, Headgear badge. Division Commander (Cavalry), Brigade Commander (Artillery); Regimental Commander (Staff). Bottom row: Battalion Commander (Infantry), Company Commander (Engineers), Platoon Commander ( Military Surgeon). Starshina ( Machine-gunners), Platoon Deputy Commander (Signals), Section Commander (Medical Orderly), Soldier (Military Railway I nils).

badge had in its upper part a rising sun device surrounding the letters ''PRA' in the Cyrillic alphabet, while the lower part was reserved for rank badges. I lere the red star indicates a military commissar. These sleeve badges were printed, embroidered, or made of metal. This commissar has a Russian peaked cap, a 'French' jacket, khaki g a life breeches, and American leggings, belt and boots.

1'3: Member of the Soviet General Staff, 1919-22 The Soviet General Staff uniform for formal wear was garish in the extreme. The most colourful garment was a crimson cloth gymnasterka with black velvet collar patches, razgovory tabs and star on the left sleeve, and silver aiguillettcs on the right shoulder. With this were

Operations room of the 2nil PR.-t Composite Rifle Division headquarters, the Par Eastern Republic, 1922. The sleeve patches are the white-piped insignia of HQ officials. Patches of various sizes are seen; the only requirement was for them to be large enough to accommodate the necessary symbols.

worn (despite the clashing colours): scarlet riding-breeches with yellow side-stripes; a scarlet peaked cap with yellow piping ('borrowed' from the Lifeguard Hussar Regiment); and kid-leather jackboots with spurs.

This picturesque uniform was considered pompous, and the crimson gymnasterka, in particular, often ended up in the possession of wives, who cannibalised them for the fine-quality material, turning many into ladies' jackets. As a result, few of these garments have survived. Nevertheless, the scarlet peaked cap and riding-breeches became relatively popular, and were worn with a khaki gymnasterka faced with black velvet. F'or field use, lower visibility over-garments were authorised, namely a kaftan greatcoat of high quality pea-green cloth with black velvet collar, cuffs, razgovory tabs and star (on the left sleeve), all piped crimson, with four rows of gold lace on collar and cuffs. Also worn was a pea-green budeiwvka hat with black velvet star piped crimson and with buttons covered with black velvet.

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