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INSURGENTS AND PARTISANS

1: Kulak peasant rebel, Central Russia, 1917-22

2: Nestor Makhno, Chief of the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Ukraine, 1918-20 3: Uzbek Basmachi Rebel, 1918-24

Patches Ukraine 1917

November after a trainload of pro-Bolshevik troops arrived in Minsk, but the Germans soon reoccupied the city. At the time of the Brest-Litovsk treaty, in March 1918, the Rada declared an independent Belorussian state, but after the Germans left this was soon shut down by the Bolsheviks. The Belorussian SSR was officially created in December of that year. However, in March 1919 Pilsudski marched into Belorussia and declared it a part of Poland. The Bolsheviks eventually ceded large parts of Belorussia to Lithuania (July 1920) and Poland (March 1921).

The first national insignia was introduced on 11 December 1917 by the Belorussian Central Military Rada. It consisted of a ribbon in national colours - white over red over white - and was worn in a buttonhole (second from the top) on tunics and greatcoats. Far larger numbers of Belorussians served in foreign armies - especially those of Poland and Lithuania, and they usually wore the Belorussian ribbon in place of the state's cockade and often had their own facing colours. For example, Belorussian infantry serving in the Lithuanian army wore German M.1915 field blouses with white piping on cuffs and shoulder straps, white capbands and white triangular collar patches. The Belorussian Hussar squadron wore German 'attila' jackets piped red, and had white-red-white lance pennants.

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