Hi jean-sebastien, the problem is with these, is the basic design was used for many years after the war.
Lez (my wife) has a post war issue Shuba which she wears for living history. This has printed ink stamps to the pocket lining. Other than the markings, her's looks just like this one.
It is hard say though. They are the same postwar and war time. I have 2 other type coats, one as an enlisted overcoat, with the closure at the hooks, and aother is a bit differebt type, and most probably was made by some of the artels, which could make them different.
Indeed the better pics of the buttons, and the pockets needed. Also try to find the stamp under the collar, sometimes they put it there
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Thank you for your answer. There is a plug on inside pockets. The left pocket is illegible. On the right pocket we distinguish 2 superimposed stamps, one of black color (the first one, imposible to read) and another khaki. I hope that the photo is better. I send you somme better photos of the buttons, front, collar and shoulder.
I find thiscoat rather "authentic", very different than some copy a have seen on internet. Even if it is to postwar, I would like to know if it looked like coats worn during the war. Can you say to me by which type of units? What differences with grey woolen coat more wide-spread? Forgiveness of these questions but this forum is really fascinating.
Nice warm coat from 1962.
Hi Jean-sebastien, as Kass has said, a nice original coat dated 1962.
If you see what looks like a date in something Soviet made, if it has an "r" after it, this will confirm it is indeed a date. As you can see yours is marked "1962 r" so, it is 1962.
These coats were worn by many different units, but armoured units (Tank crews) favoured them especially.
... or more likely because they are shorter than a wool greatcoat and a hell of a lot warmer inside an uninsulated steel box in the dead of winter.
Hello Jean Sebastien,
I am new to this forum and I came across your post while browsing for Russian/Soviet army stuff.
The coat you have there is a Bekesha. Basically these coats are patches of sheepskin turned inside out and sewn together.
Bekesha's were introduced in the late 1930's and are still produced on a limited scale, although as in any modern army they have been gradually replaced as cold weather clothing by more modern (synthetic) garments.
During the "Great Patriotic War' they were issued to the troops according to need. During the cold weather season needless to say. Afterwards they were taken in. A practice similar to the Royal Navy duffel coats that were part of a ship's inventory and also issued at need.
However I read somewhere that officers kept them. As I wrote above they are stull made but it seems that after the war the were used on a much more limited scale.
Anyway: if you take a look at the stamped pocket label you'll see the name of the coat in the middle bekesha but because the writing is in Cyrillic the 'sh' is spelled like an inverted (western) 'm''.
The label (normally) also gives information about the production date ( Cyr. 'D'ATA... looks like '62), location and the size of the garment (54-2). Yours was made at a Kombinat (factory) .... a bit difficult to read.
Generally speaking bekesha's were not used by tankers because the coats are not very pratical to wear inside a tank. You would simply get stuck everywhere.
The one you have looks intact but it is incredibely dirty. In most pic's of bekesha's they looked like that after some time in the field. An unused one however has a very light cream (beige) colour. The coat looks good. I would say its worth taking it to a specialized dry cleaner for a good cleansing. I say 'specialized' (in fur and animal skins) because being a sheepskin it needs oil added when cleaned. If you do decide to have it cleaned DO NOT take it to a regular dry cleaners. They will ruin it.
I'll try to post a few pics. I own 3 bekesha (all 52-2). I am not into reenactment but actually wear them together with valenki's during winter/in the snow. They really are very warm and not that heavy (3.5 kg's). The heaviest sheepskin coat I know is the Swedish army sheepskin lined canvas coat. ('Livpšlls'in Swedish). These coat can still be found in unused condition on the Internet. I have a model 1944. Fantastic coat. Basically its a bekesha stiched to a heavy canvas outer, topped of with an enormous sheepskin colar. It's also not difficult to find a decent bekesha.
Good luck with it.
Hi Rayban, welcome to the forum.
Here are a few pics of these in wear during the GPW.
I have some tankers pics somewhere.....
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