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Need help on uniforms of Naval Infantry.

Article about: Hello! I've been researching the 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade, more importantly the 305th Battalion (305-го батальона 83-

  1. #1

    Exclamation Need help on uniforms of Naval Infantry.


    I've been researching the 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade, more importantly the 305th Battalion (305-го батальона 83-я Бригада Морской Пехоты) and I came across a goldmine of photographs I had never been able to find before, in them they showed photos of the exact men who served which I had been trying to look for for months I had found photos of veterans but they were all post-war in their old age.

    Anyway, I found a photo of the Commander of the 305th Battalion Colonel MP Kravchenko wearing a M35 Gymnastroika and M35 collar ranks:
    Name:  The commander of the 83rd Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel MP Brigade Commissar Kravchenko and Regime.jpg
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    And I found another photo titled as 'Soldiers of the 83rd Brigade going to storm the heights Kochkanovo.' in which I see Black naval uniforms and one or two with M35 Gymastroikas coupled with the Naval cap:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soldiers of the 83rd Brigade going to storm the heights Kochkanovo..jpg 
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    My question is, what would the Naval Infantry have worn? Some soldiers issued M35's whilst others were issued with standard black Naval Bushlat? And did the Naval Infantry wearing M35 Gymnastroika wear raspberry red colour of the Infantry or the subdued Green on their collar tabs?

    Any help would be useful as I'm sure the answers are deep within Russian websites but my only friend is Google Translate so far, so I can only find out so much, I hope anyone can help, thanks!

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  3. #2


    Normally Naval Infantry would never wear any special standard of uniform.
    Most of these troops originated from Navy and therefore would keep their uniform.
    Those who came from infantry, artillery etc. would keep their respective collar tabs/gymnastiorkas trying to obtain as much Navy uniform pieces as possible i.e. beskozyrka/bushlat/telnyashka.

    Lots of images here:

    ?? - ??????? ?????? ???? 1941-1945. ???????? ????.

  4. #3


    for example 1 st Brigade of Naval Infantry (KBF) was established in sommer of 1941 year and fully completed with navy and coastal navy servicemen. They most KIA in the defence of the Tallinn, the Headbase of Baltic fleet. The brigade and remains of 10 rifle corps, defend the base within 3 days against 3 German divisions, 90 percent of them KIA. The uniform they wear was only navy uniform, as we can see them from the pictures, and from the battlefields, during the bodies reburial. The strange thing is only , the soldiers found in the Saarema island, Estonia, where the 6th Brigade fought, the navy uniform has the black collartabs on the overcoats, with white piping. It's unknown fact of use the tabs on the navy uniform

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  5. #4


    Thank you for your replies! I noticed during Caesar Lvovich Kunikov's squad where only three survived they wore M43 Gymastroika's with their Naval cap:

    Name:  A group of sailors kuniuovskogo squad before landing on the ground.jpg
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    Name:  83. БРИГАДА МОРСКО.jpg
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    Now the 83rd Marine Brigade was at Malaya Zemlya and so was Kunikov, so would the 83rd have worn Naval black bushlats and caps or M43 Gymastroikas and caps like Kunikova's men?
    It's confusing when I see re-enactment groups wearing M43's (Most probably because Bushlats are harder to find and purchase) but some also wear Bushlats especially if they are Russian or Ukrainian-Based groups compared to European based groups, so it's confusing to work out exactly what they would have worn as these groups do not always seem to portray a specific unit. One of the main real photos I found of the 83rd in action was this:
    Name:  83rd Naval Infantry Scouts.jpg
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    Apparently they are 83rd Marine Scouts but obviously they are wearing Telogreika's apart from the rear soldier who appears to be in a Bushlat so I am not sure what uniform they would wear during the warmer months. I am sorry if I sound confusing I've just seen conflicting sources, the information on the 83rd says they were raised from the Navy and army personnel filled the gaps in their ranks overtime so would the Naval personnel wear Bushlats and the new volunteer army personnel wear army uniform with naval cap? So a mix of both depending on their career?
    I personally prefer the Black naval uniform look so I would be happy if they wore that but I like both uniforms as well it would just be helpful to know for sure the rules on what they'd wear and what they wouldn't!


  6. #5


    No rules whatsoever. Everybody would wear whatever he/she had.

  7. #6


    I would always go by period photos. Speaking as a re-enactor myself, I would not rely too much on what some groups wear as being 100% historically correct.
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  8. #7


    Ah thank you!

    I assumed the Navy much like the Army would have issued some wartime uniform regulations like when the M43 was introduced and the M35 was replaced but I'd venture a guess that the Army had vastly more resources at their disposal than the Navy did so I understand why it was 'You get what you're given' when it came to Naval Uniforms. I'm glad I cleared that up because another re-enactor I asked a while ago about the same inquiry stated the same thing "The further and faster they pushed, the further they got from Naval depots with uniform stores and since they would be advancing with the main bulk of the Red Army, they'd inevitably have some soldiers issued with Army uniforms as they had no naval uniforms to spare. So do you think they will take a sailor uniform from somewhere 2000 km far away back in a Naval depot or they will simply give you a Army Khaki uniform taken from a depot just some km behind the front?" So it does make sense!

    I have another question if you do not mind, since the 83rd at the end of the war were called "83 Separate Infantry Novorossiysk Danube Twice Red Banner Order of Suvorov II degree Marine Brigade" as part of the Black Sea Fleet, so on their Bezkozyrka sailor caps, would the tally have said "Черноморский Флот" similar to this post-war modern one?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And thank you Adrian, I've seen you and the 2nd Guard's at Military Odyssey and War & Peace almost every year unfortunately I always seem to miss the Eastern Front battle when I arrive a bit too late!

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