This page covers the basic uniforms of the Red Army man and NCO's during the Great Patriotic War (1941 - 1945). It includes early and late war uniforms, head wear, foot wear, belts and winter clothing. For Equipment and weapons, click on 'Equipment' link. {Military Oath page.}


The Obr35 Gymnastiorka went through a number of changes but was the standard issue 'tunic' for the Red Army right upto late 1943.

The Obr35 Gym had a shirt like collar with buttons down the front either concealed under a cover of material or exposed as the pictures on the right show. The pockets came in 2 forms pleated or unpleated and were fastened with 2 buttons which could be black, subdued green. The neck was fastened with a hook and eye. A collar liner was sewn in daily.



The Red Army troops were issued with breeches which were more like jodhpurs in shape. They are fastened by steel buttons and have a fly front.
The lower part of the Sharovari is tapered from below the knee to the ankle and is fastened by 2 buttons and a piece of material which wraps around the ankle and is tied.
Both knees are re-enforced with extra material in the shape of a diamond. Those without this re-enforcement were intended for officers.


In late 1943, early 1944, a new Gymnastiorka was introduced to all Red Army and Airforce personnel; it was based in the old Czarist pattern with a stand up neck instead of the shirt collar type.

Along with a new uniform, the Czarist type shoulder strap insignia (Pogoni) was re-introduced, with magenta piping for Rifles/Infantry, Red for Artillery & Medical.
The picture on the left shows the most common pattern gym issued, while the pictures below, show the other pattern which remained in service long into the Cold War.
A white collar liner was sewn in daily so as to prevent a sore and dirty neck.


The Pilotka, Sidecap, had been Red Army standard issue for some time and lasted well past the Cold War. It was issued to all ranks including officers. The Pilotka was the main headwear of the Russian soldier until steel helmets became abundant and troops were ordered to wear them. The Pilotka could be worn under the helmet so to give better padding and fit.


The disasterous 1939/1940 Russo-Finnish war taught the Russians that short studded ankle boots were not suitable for cold and wet combat conditions, so a high length boot was introduced and issued to the Red Army, though ankle boots were still in use.

The boot sole was moulded to the leather lower foot part of the boot while the upper part was made of a rexin material.

Ankle Boots & Puttees: The boots used can be either German WWII repro ankle boots or British Naval Deck boots. Not steel capped boots.
The puttees can be either British officers puttees, (2 pairs sewn together) or reproductions.


The Red Army issued it's troops with leather and canvas belts which was used to support the ammunition belt, water canteen, pistol & holster and numerous other pouches.
The single prong leather belt buckle was issued to NCO's & other ranks while the double prong belt was issued to officers, though senior NCO's could also wear the belt. The canvas and leather 'economy' belt was worn by all ranks.


Red Army troops were issued long greatcoats called 'Shinel' which was made up of a thick and heavy blanket wool type of material which the troops used in winter conditions and as a blanket. The coat was fastened using 'hook & eyes'. Below right: The earlier pattern was lighter in colour.


This padded jacket was issued to troops for the Russian cold weather and was made of a heavy cotten. It was hard wearing and like all Soviet military clothing it faded with use. It was not uncommon to see various buttons used including German pebbled ones. NCO's above the rank of Yefreytor could wear the pogoni, rank insignia. The padded trousers were not always issued together.


The rain cape was basic issue for Red Army troops as it served a number of purposes and not only to keep the soldier and his weapon dry, it could be used as a shelter against a wall or a tree, a tent when conected to another plashe plus a number of other uses.


Obr40 Steel Helmet - Not widely used at the begining of the war but was eventually introduced as standard head protection. This pattern steel helmet saw service throughout the Great Patriotic War and well into the post war era. The helmet was lined with three canvas or rexin pads filled with wadding; the pilotka was often worn underneath.


The 'fish' fur hat was issued to troops in the winter and was usually worn with the side flaps tied up as shown but could be worn down to keep the ears warm. The hat was worn in combat but could be worn under the steel helmet.
The officers version was made of a better quality.
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