Why Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan began to wear

Another 24/01/20 173rd Detachment of special purpose (Kandahar)Why Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan began to wear “bras”

the War in Afghanistan was the largest military conflict in which the Soviet Union took formal participation since the end of world war II. Before that, the Soviet Union has not imposed in other countries such a large contingent of troops. Tacit participation in the wars in Korea, Vietnam and African countries were limited to the supply of equipment and missions of military experts. Thus, in Afghanistan, Soviet troops first clashed with the new military realities of modern weaponry and tactics of the Mujahideen.

Practice has shown that the Soviet army is ill-suited for combat operations in mountainous terrain. The case concerned both the strategy and tactics, and uniforms of soldiers. The classical scheme, according to which air reconnaissance was followed by an artillery attack in the mountains didn’t work. First, the enemy had excellent opportunities for camouflage, and secondly, difficult terrain nullified the lethality of artillery projectiles.

In the end, the fighting often came down to clashes in the policing, intelligence and movement from one area to another. In this case the attacked unit had to stay until the arrival of reinforcements, as a rule, this acted as a strike helicopter group. The battle could drag on for hours, so the amount of ammunition they carried when each fighter had a vital importance.

Military bra

to increase carry ammunition and to balance the backpack, the soldiers made the so-called “bras” — sewn together airborne packs or pouches. As he writes in his memoirs, Sergeant razvadouski Alexey Antykov, “bra” was hanging on the chest and fixed with straps around the neck and shoulders. Thus, the ammunition, which has now been twice, was literally at hand, and even ae defended the front part of the body. In case of need “the bra” could throw off the lay. Innovation perfectly complements standard army discharge, which the soldiers called “harness”.

However, the fashion for “bra” introduced just Mujahideen who are familiar with the specifics of the fighting in the mountains. According to one version, the US supplied them with “bras” Vietnamese model “Chi-com Type 63”, which was purchased in China. Spooks embroidered them with leather and beads, giving personality. Since the trophy “bras”, the idea of a new discharge came to the Soviet troops.

the Soldiers tried their best and they were made from a raincoat-tents and pouches, come up with different types of fasteners, sewed additional pockets. Called such products “Samothraki”. Assessing the demand, discharge bibs began to sew in neighboring Pakistan. Soviet leaders also realized the need of modernization of equipment. However, the first statutory bib-unloading of factory production, “ZONE A” and its modification “ZONE B”, appeared only a year before the end of the war in 1988.


the War in Afghanistan has made adjustments not only in military equipment. It turned out that regular footwear is ill suited to the mountainous terrain. Canvas boots quickly showed his unsuitability. They rubbed his legs, dumped, slid. The situation was a little corrected boots, ankle boots, which have begun to supply the troops a couple of years after the start of the campaign. And yet in the mountains was much more comfortable sneakers. They are perfectly suited to the hot climate, they are better felt surface.

Branded shoes soldiers bought at the local bazaars or simply selected from the merchants. Domestic shoes ordered demobilized colleagues and relatives who were sent on a few pairs. The fact that on the mountain paths made of imitation leather sneakers quickly rushed.

The best was considered cymric suede sneakers Shoe factory and Lida of Belarus. Those who are not fortunate enough to get myself a good CROsouki, went to simple cloth sneakers with rubber toes. Such was considered the worst option due to the very thin soles but still they were uncomfortable bertam worn only in the arrangement of parts in the eyes of the commanders.

“Sneakers us, the young Communists of the Komsomol Central Committee has given 200 pairs of the Moscow “Adidas”. The entire squad went on “fighting” sneakers, very comfortable shoes,” writes the commander of the sixth separate motorized rifle brigade of SN (Lashkar Gah) (Vladislav Eremeev in the book “Memories of the war in Afghanistan”).

it is Also thought that running shoes reduce trauma from antipersonnel mines. Soldiers believed that if you step on a mine a foot, clad in sneakers, departs only a foot. If the foot is shod in shoes or boots, the blast energy through them will be passed above, and then can not escape the loss of the entire limb.

Igor Dokuchaev

© Russian Seven

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