History 29/01/20 the biggest secret of Stalin: why in 1943, he returned the shoulder straps in the army
In February 1943, the Red Army to radically change its appearance. The main innovation – the tunics appear to disappear after the revolution, epaulettes, more varied in colour and cut it becomes itself a form.
a Trend of changing uniforms of the red Army emerged in the summer of 1941. Then launched a program to provide warm clothes for the winter: mostly clothing received from the public and from the warehouses, at the same time improving industrial mass production form. It was important to adhere to three principles: simpler, easier, cheaper.
on 15 January 1943 the people’s Commissar of defense Stalin issues an order No25 “the introduction Of new insignia and the changes in the uniforms of the red Army”. Changes were to come into force in the shortest possible time – from 1 to 15 February, however, until the summer of 1943 individual fighters armored and air units wore the old form.
the Newspaper “Red Star”, commenting on the decree, wrote that it was an important event in the life of the army, as it is intended to contribute to the further strengthening of military discipline and military spirit. The publication also drew attention to the fact that the innovation confirms the glorious continuity of traditions and respect for the history rich in heroic deeds of our fathers and grandfathers.
the shoulder Straps, as noted by front-line Newspapers, is not only an element of clothing, but also the attributes of military dignity and honor. Externally, the new Soviet shoulder straps resembled the king’s, small were the differences in materials, colors and shapes. For example, officers ‘ epaulettes of steel pentagonal, hexagonal was retained only for General. As in the Imperial army, the Soviet epaulets of the sample was applied insignia: color gaps and trim fit around the arm, and the size and number of stars denotes rank.
Evolved into a new form and shirt. Now, instead of a turn-down collar appeared standing, which are fastened through hinges. Tunic privates and sergeants did not assume pockets for officers was done internal pockets, covered by flaps.
Innovations in form for the red touched and camouflage clothing, which is primarily used by the scouts, snipers and mountain troops. Camouflage in different color combinations, had a loose fit allowing to wear it on top of uniforms and equipment.
the Dressing up of the Soviet army was only a part of the big changes, in parallel with this, the military leadership has tightened the requirements for appearance of soldiers and officers. Unshaven, wearing wrinkled clothes and dirty shoes of the soldier now, could be severely punished. Much tougher steel suppressed any manifestation of laxity, indiscipline and postanogi behavior. Since that time, very rarely could be found a soldier walking around with a duffel bag at the market or riding on the steps of the tram. The Soviet military was supposed to be the pride of the nation and a model of behavior in society.
the German propaganda tried to convince the population of the occupied territories, that all innovations that started Stalin, only demonstrate his helplessness. “Seeing that the Red Army bad protecting him, seeing that the coming destruction of his power Stalin was absolutely stunned by fear and embarking on such things that is funny, and surprising,” — was written in one of the German leaflets.
Indeed, Stalin’s decree came at a time when a radical change in the war hasn’t happened yet. The German military had enough resources to resume the offensive. However, it is hardly necessary to attribute to this event the role in July 1942, played order No. 227 — “not one step back”.
However, the decree of 15 January 1943, wore including ideological hue. General Andrei Khrulev, who was responsible during the war for the logistic support of troops, in itstheir memories have pointed out how slowly and painfully he picked up and sent for approval to the Supreme commander new versions of army forms. There is a legend that seeing them and noting the similarity with the Imperial army, Stalin then jokingly said Kalinin: “Khrulev old regime.” This “all-Union elder statesman” said that the younger generation no longer remembers the former, and form, which like the youth can play a positive role in the struggle against fascism.
At the same time, we developed a new ranking system of the military, which in many respects resembled the Tsar and changed only the name. So, the Lieutenant was the Lieutenant and the captain just captain. Revived the tradition of differences in officer ranks according to the number and size of stars on the shoulder straps: senior officers compared to the younger had an increased star rating.
Historians concede that the changes were a kind of attempt to recreate the officer class, which was in the Imperial army, and the emergence of the shoulder straps was to be a symbol of officer authority. It is no coincidence that since the end of 1942, the word “officers” is being increasingly used in official statements, in particular, on the celebrations, although in the regulations it was confirmed after the war.
in addition, the introduction of the new “table of ranks” Stalin had already anticipated the victory of the future. In fact take Berlin army under the command of “political officers”, “brigade commanders” and “division commanders” was undignified. Needed a gradation of ranks, at least somewhat like rank in the armies of allied countries.
© Russian Seven
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