When the Russian army was the worst military uniforms

History 06/02/20 When the Russian army was the worst military uniform

History of the Russian naval uniform originated in the era of Peter I. Since then, Russian military form has undergone many modifications, but not always innovations contributed to its convenience and functionality.

Paul I

In Russia there was no reform of the military uniform, which would be exposed to that amount of criticism and ridicule, as in the period of the reign of Paul I. Immediately after his accession to the throne in 1796, Paul returned to the army in the form of the Prussian model, which was an admirer of his father Emperor Peter III. Soldiers dressed up in tight and uncomfortable uniforms, rather not fit for practicing military maneuvers, and logistike and drill.
slim cut for a soldier’s costume of the Prussian model on the one hand was due to savings of material, as best suited for vahtparade and parades where you had to keep your posture and do not bend when the March of the knees. According to contemporaries, during long campaigns, the soldiers suffered greatly from patent leather shoes and tight pants, much natirally feet. The only advantage of the new forms was the price: if Catherine uniform cost 122 ruble, Pavlovsky only 22.

the Introduction of Prussian form was carried out by Paul so intensely, that the obsession of the Emperor in this case was condemned even by the Prussians. The Ambassador from Berlin, General Bruhl wrote that Paul the fashion blindly follows foreign canons without first thinking about adapting them to local conditions. According to Bruhl, national taste of the Russian far more in keeping with Catherine’s form, but now it is replaced by a less convenient and unreasonable. “Grenadier hat, boots, tight shape and prevent, restrict soldier!”, – spoken Prussian diplomat. And the officer of the horse guards regiment Nicholas Sablukov in the “Notes” about the era of Paul I shouted that, according to General opinion, the uniform of the time “it was the horror, the horror, the horror!”.
Jacob de Sanglen, later one of the leaders of political investigation under Alexander I, noted that rapid changes in uniform struck the officers, many of them resembled the hated uniforms of the Prussian-Holstein-fitting period of the reign of Peter III. “In these suits we barely each other out; it was kind of like the daily masquerade, and no one could meet another without laughing, and the ladies laughed, calling us stuffed,” wrote the officer.

It was impractical headwear Pavlovian soldiers grenaderka high and wide hat. With rapid step, they are often blown away by wind and to raise the flying headpiece created special teams. But all outdid ranks of the cavalry corps, who wore black patent leather hat with visor, topped with gilded nails, ostrich feathers and a crest in the form of a lattice. However this design was only worn at great parades.

a Special torment for Pavlovian soldiers were hairstyles. The hair on the Prussian manners plaited into a braid, which was sealed with a special tape. If the braid didn’t hold the shape, then it is additionally inserted wire. In some cases, permitted artificial spit. The hair every morning was to brush with fat and sprinkle with powder or flour. The individual effort it took to curl the hair in the buckle that was supposed to be an exact size. To maintain this beauty was instituted a special military barbers.
Suffering with form and hairstyle caused many officers have a natural protest. However, the Emperor was adamant. For disobedience of the army were dismissed or exiled 7 of the General-field marshals, generals and about 300 more than 2 thousand staff and chief officers. Among the fiercest opponents of the Pavlov reform of the uniform was Suvorov. It is to him belongs the famous phrase: “Powder — not gunpowder, buckle — not with guns, spit — no sword, I am not a Prussian, and the natural hare!”.

Alexander I

successor Paul I, Emperor Alexander I in the first year of his reign started the transformation of the military uniform. However, as a lover of ceremonial robes, he made her even more uncomfortable. However, the new form many liked, and not only in Russia. So, the author of one of the French editions, wrote: “it seems to Me that no troops in Europe dressed more beautiful Russian. What could be more decent and nicer green with red for the infantry?”.

Clothes became more refined, in particular, the uniforms were cropped and fitted, why were more like coats that were recruited at that time popular in aristokratka circles. Also introduced was a stand-up collar, decorated with sewing and buttonholes. Tsesarevich Konstantin Pavlovich, talking about fashion trends Alexander time, noted that “such a despicable more recently, the coat clerk and the landlord’s robe has suddenly acquired a whole attractive force.”
hats military under Alexander I became even less practical than in the days of his father. Light hat was replaced by a massive dougalli. In winter, this hat was warm, but in summer the soldiers in it were dying of heat. But the most famous headgear of the Alexander period was the shako. Tall and heavy, he always gave the military a serious discomfort – and on marches and during battles. The most uncomfortable Chivery were hussars – with a height of 27 cm, of the cavalry Chivery was smaller, but was decorated with bulky sultans – about 18 cm in width and 50 cm in height.

Completely impractical white trousers: they looked elegant, but very quickly get dirty. And often to change or wash them in the military, was not possible. In General, the observation of the soldiers, the clothes under Alexander Pavlovich was heavy to wear and difficult to maintain.

Alexander III

the Reign of Alexander III was marked by a radical change in uniform. Known for his love of the simplicity of the Emperor was removed from uniforms all the luxuries alongside soldiers in long-skirted caftans, wide trousers, and lambskin caps. For the simple type of military foRMU Alexander III was called “peasant”. Many officers refused to wear the uniform, which, according to them, was more suitable carriers. Began retirement, the prestige of the army fell sharply.
Uniforms sample of the 1880’s was, though simple, but extremely inconvenient. Zipper hooks are not only prevented quickly put on the form, but often revealed at the most inopportune moment, and high boots were too narrow for the entire length that excessively squeezing the calf. Was very impractical headdress. Winter lamb hat didn’t save from the cold, and in summer it was extremely hot. Moreover, due to the lack of the visor of the soldier’s eyes were blinded by the bright sun.

Form the times of the USSR

After the Second world war, when a lot of new closet armies as the allies of the Soviet Union and of the States members of the Hitler coalition, the Soviet form has not undergone major changes. Although she was considered practical, but looked very unsightly. Suffice it to recall the famous jacket (the jacket), which was maintained in parts until the collapse of the Soviet Union. The jacket of course was distinguished by the comfort, warmth and cheapness, but because of the appearance caused a lot of criticism from the Soviet military and ridicule among foreigners. Supposedly one of the greatest military commanders complained that “the soldiers made the village of fools”.
the Complaints have been field cap, which was invented in the Imperial army for part of the flight parts. Many complained that the cap uncomfortable to wear, so how often will slide from the head. Got the helmet. So, the helmet of the sample in 1968 were uncomfortable suspension, in contrast to the helmets of Western armies, it could only be worn over another headdress.

a Separate story – the legendary canvas boots. They were criticized for it, they rubbed his feet, let the water flow and collect dirt. One of the former conscripts were writing about “boots”: “730 days in them! On the big toe of my left foot for a lifetime still have a scar from the first army of the boot. Imagine shoes, where do you go year round… In the boots summer run cross in the heat, and in winter in these boots – on skis!”. The soldiers joked: “Not army boots were created for the foot, this foot had to adapt to the boot!”.

fundamental changes in Russian uniform started to happen only after the Decree of President Boris Yeltsin from may 23, 1994 “About the military form of clothes and distinction signs on military ranks”. This was the date of the official abolition of the Soviet form.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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