Ranks and insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces 1943–1955

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces in the period 1943–1955 were characterised by a number of changes in the armed forces of the Soviet Union, including the reintroduction of rank insignia badges and the adoption of a number of higher ranks.

Changes[edit]

In conjunction with the permanent increase of the manpower strength of the Soviet armed forces, the service branches and arms were formed by orders of the People' Commissariat of Defence, consisting of artillery, air force, air defence forces, signals corps, corps of engineers and the armoured corps. Major combat support units up to command level were established. This process was characterized by a need for well qualified command staff, in a suitable rank structure. The Soviet state – and party administration – responded to these challenges by the introduction of additional higher ranks, as well as by reintroducing the traditional Russian rank insignia.

A new rank group at OF-9 level (equivalent to the general of the branch in the Wehrmacht and the Imperial Russian Army) was introduced, named marshal of the branch or chief marshal of the branch.

In January 1943 the ranks of marshal of the air force, marshal of the artillery and marshal of the armoured corps came into existence.[1] In October 1943 it was followed by the additional ranks marshal of the communication troops, and marshal of the engineer troops, and the equivalent chief marshal of the branch ranks were added.[2]

Generalissimus of the Soviet Union[edit]

The highest rank of generalissimus of the Soviet Union (Russian: Генерали́ссимус Сове́тского Сою́за) was created in October 1943, as an individual award to Stalin, the head of state and party chief, and functioned as supreme commander on all Soviet armed forces. Promotion to this rank was limited explicitly to wartime. The instruction was conveyed by an order to the front commanders-in-chief on 26 June 1945,[3] however, Stalin refused to officially implement the rank.

Ranks and distinction insignia for the land forces and air force[edit]

The introduction of new distinction insignia to the officer corps of the Red Army came by order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on 6 January 1943.[4] Selected were two versions of shoulder straps or epaulettes, one for everyday uniforms and the second for field use (breadth 6 cm, length 14 to 16 cm, depending on body size). On 15 January 1943 the introduction of new uniforms was decided.[5]

Corps colours[edit]

Corps colours, agreed and created in 1935, remained in use, but minor changes took place. The padding of the newly introduced shoulder straps were made from wool cloth, designed in branch of service colours with piping. Command staff wore silver or gold stars and characteristic metallic branch badges.

Corps colours—enlisted men and non-commissioned officers

The shoulder board padding indicated the appropriate corps colour of service branch, corps or special appointment, with coloured border piping.

  • Infantry (generic motorised rifles or motorised infantry) – padding raspberry, piping black
  • Aviation troops and air force – sky blue
  • Cavalry – deep blue with black piping
  • Artillery & armoured corps – black with red piping
  • Medical troops, veterinarian service – dark green with red piping
  • Technical troops – black with black piping
Corps colours—officers up to colonel
  • Army generic infantry, motorised rifles and logistics – raspberry
  • Artillery, armoured corps, medical troops and veterinarian service – red
  • Aviation troops and air force – sky blue
  • Cavalry – deep blue
  • Technical troops – black
Corps colours—officers above colonel
  • Army generic infantry, motorised rifles and logistics – deep red ("general's red")
  • Aviation troops and air force – sky blue
  • All other uses – raspberry
Any other insignia

Regiment numbers were placed on other ranks' shoulder straps along with the emblem of the armed service, branch, special troop, or appointment. For commanders of battle units or task forces the emblem was gold coloured, for others it was silver.

Enlisted men and non-commissioned officers[edit]

Enlisted men and non-commissioned officers
Shoulder strap to
service uniform
basic
RA-SA A-inf R1Private 1955.png RA-SA AF R2Gefr 1955.png RA-SA A-сav R4Corp 1955.png RA-SA A-armour R6SGT 1955.png RA-SA A-med R7SFC 1955.png RA-SA A-engin R8FirstSg 1955.png
Rank designation Private Corporal Junior sergeant Sergeant Senior sergeant Starshina
(Рядовой) (Ефрейтор) (Мл. сержант) (Сержант) (Ст. сержант) (Старшина)
Emblem InfanteryEmblems1941-1945.png RAF AF branch insignia1.jpg USSR A Cavalry emblem - 1924.gif RAF A emb-Armoured forces1936.gif Engineer1924 forces emb n9619.png
Corps colour Infantry
motorised rifles
Air force Cavalry Armoured corps Medical troops,
veterinarian service
Technical
troops
NATO-equivalent OR-1 OR-2 OR-4 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8

Officer up to general of the army[edit]

Designation Officers & commanding staff Higher commanders & commander in chief
Shoulder strap to
service uniform
basic
RA-SA A-artil F1-3Lt 1955.png RA-SA A-inf F1-2Lt 1955.png RA-SA AF F1-1Lt 1955.png RA-SA A-armour F2Capt 1955.png RA-SA A-cav F3Maj 1955.png RA-SA A-engin F4LtCol 1955.png RA-SA A-inf F5Col 1955.png CCCP-Army-OF-06 (1943–1955).svg RA-SA AF F6MajGen 1955.png CCCP-Army-OF-07 (1943–1955).svg CCCP-Army-OF-08 (1943–1955).svg CCCP-Army-OF-09 (1943–1955).svg
Rank designation Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel Colonel Major general Lieutenant general Colonel general General of the army
(Младший лейтенант) (Лейтенант) (Старший лейтенант) (Капитан) (Майор) (Подполковник) (Полковник) (Генерал-майор) (Генерал-лейтенант) (Генерал-полковник) (Генерал аpмии)
Emblem RAF A emb- Rocket forces and artillery.jpg Emblintend1942.gif RAF AF branch insignia1.jpg RAF A emb-Armoured forces1936.gif USSR A Cavalry emblem - 1924.gif Engineer1924 forces emb n9619.png
Corps colour Artillery Intendantur
service
Air force Armoured troops Cavalry Technical troops Infantry
motorised rifles
Army
(generic)
Air Force Army
(generic)
NATO-equivalent OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9

Marshal up to generalissimus[edit]

Designation Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Marshal of the Soviet Union Generalissimus
Shoulder strap to
service uniform
basic
RA A F9MarsArtil 1955.jpg RA AF F9MarsAvia 1955.jpg RA A F9MarsArmor 1955.jpg RA A F9MarsComs 1955.jpg RA A F9MarsEngin 1955.jpg Rkka-1943-ChiefMarshalArtil.gif Rkka-1943-MarshalAvia.gif Rkka-1943-ChiefMarshArmoredForce.gif Rkka-1943-ChiefMarshSignals.gif Rkka-1943-ChiefMarshEngineers.gif CCCP-Army-OF-10 (1943–1955).svg Rank insignia of генералиссимус Советского Союза.svg
Rank designation Marshal
of

artillery
Marshal
of

aviation
Marshal
of

armoured
troops
Marshal
of

signal
troops
Marshal
of

engineer
troops
Chief marshal
of

artillery
Chief marshal
of

aviation
Chief marshal
of

armoured
troops
Chief marshal
of

signal
troops
Chief marshal
of

engineer
troops
Marshal of the
Soviet Union
Generalissimus
(Unapproved version of draft)
Emblem RAF A emb- Rocket forces and artillery.jpg RAF AF branch insignia1.jpg RAF A emb-Armoured forces1936.gif Communication1936 forces emb n9618.png Engineer1924 forces emb n9619.png RAF A emb- Rocket forces and artillery.jpg RAF AF branch insignia1.jpg RAF A emb-Armoured forces1936.gif Communication1936 forces emb n9618.png Engineer1924 forces emb n9619.png
NATO-equivalent OF-9 OF-9 OF-10

Shoulder straps field uniform[edit]

Shoulder strap of a senior sergeant

Shoulder straps to field uniforms, standardized to all service ranches, were made of khaki wool cloth. The piping indicated the service branch, matching the corps colour.

Colours of the rank piping (on shoulder strap)
  • Infantry, motorized rifles – raspberry coloured
  • Aviation troops and air force – sky blue
  • Cavalry – blue
  • Artillery and armoured corps – red
  • Medical troops, veterinarian service – dark green
  • Technical services – black

This specific shoulder strap design was used in the Red Army 1943 until 1946, as well as in the Soviet Army from 1946 to 1955.

Enlisted men and non-commissioned officers[edit]

Private – and non-commissioned officers ranks (infantry, motorised rifles)
Shoulder straps
to
field uniform
CCCP-Army-OR-01 (1943–1955)-field.svg CCCP-Army-OR-02 (1943–1955)-field.svg CCCP-Army-OR-04 (1943–1955)-field.svg CCCP-Army-OR-06 (1943–1955)-field.svg CCCP-Army-OR-07 (1943–1955)-field.svg CCCP-Army-OR-08 (1943–1955)-field.svg
Rank designation Private Corporal Junior sergeant Sergeant Senior sergeant Warrant officer
NATO-equivalent OR-1 OR-2 OR-4 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8

Officers up to general of the army[edit]

Designation Officers and commanders Higher commanders & commander-in-chief
Shoulder straps
to
field uniform
CCCP-Army-OF-01a (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-01b (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-01c (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-02 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-03 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-04 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-05 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-06 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-07 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-08 (1943–1955)-Field.svg CCCP-Army-OF-09 (1943–1955)-Field.svg
Rank designation Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel Colonel Major general Lieutenant general Colonel general General of the army
NATO-equivalent OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9

Marshal to generalissimus[edit]

Designation Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Marshal
of the Soviet Union
Generalissimus
of the Soviet Union
Shoulder strap
to
field uniform
1 rkka-field-1943-marshalArtil.gif 2 rkka-field-1943-marshalAvia.gif 3 rkka-field-1943-marshalArmour.gif 3 rkka-field-1943-marshalSignals.gif 4 rkka-field-1943-marshalEngin.gif 5-rkka-field-1943-ChiefmarshalArtillery.gif 6-rkka-field-1943-ChiefmarshalAvia.gif 7-rkka-field-1943-ChiefmarshalArmour.gif 8-rkka-field-1943-ChiefmarshalSignal.gif 9-rkka-field-1943-ChiefmarshalEngine 4.png CCCP-Army-OF-10 (1943–1955)-Field.svg Project of the Generalissimo of the USSR's rank insignia - Variant 5.png
Rank designation Marshal
of

artillery
Marshal
of

aviation
Marshal
of the

armoured
troops
Marshal
of the

signal
troops
Marshal
of the

engineer
troops
Chief marshal
of

artillery
Chief marshal
of

aviation
Chief marshal
of the

armoured
troops
Chief marshal
of the

signal
troops
Chief marshal
of the

engineer
troops
Marshal
of the Soviet Union
Generalissimus
of the Soviet Union
NATO-equivalent OF-9 OF-9 OF-10

Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Navy[edit]

By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on 15 February 1943 on "distinction insignia to the Soviet Navy" the introduction of shoulder straps and epaulettes took effect, marking the début of Imperial Russian Navy-style insignia to the Soviet Navy.[6] As the navy also had coastal services, ground ranks similar to the Red Army were introduced with their respective insignia to be used by the coastal service personnel. These ranks were also used by the navy's medical corps and technical services. Shoulder rank insignia were in dark blue shoulder boards (gold on the dress uniform only for officers).

Naval officers and flag officers[edit]

Designation Officers & commanders Flag officers & commander-in-chief
Shoulder strap
to
service uniform
Russia-Navy-OF-1a-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-1b-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-1c-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-2-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-3-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-4-1994-everyday.svg Russia-Navy-OF-5-1994-everyday.svg CCCP-Navy-OF-06 (1943–1955).svg CCCP-Navy-OF-07 (1943–1955).svg CCCP-Navy-OF-08 (1943–1955).svg CCCP-Navy-OF-09 (1943–1955).svg None
(1944-1955)
None
(1940-1944)
CCCP-Navy-OF-10 (1943–1955).svg
Sleeve insignia
on
uniform jacket
UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF1c insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF1b insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF1a insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF2 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF3 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF4 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF5 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF6 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF7 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1955-1991 OF8 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1943-1955 OF9 insignia.svg UdSSR Navy 1943-1955 OF9 insignia.svg
Rank designation Junior lieutenant Lieutenant Senior lieutenant Captain lieutenant Captain of the 3rd rank Captain of the 2nd rank Captain 1st rank Rear Admiral Vice Admiral Admiral Admiral of the Fleet
(1940-1944)
Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union
(1944-1955)
NATO-equivalent OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10

Naval ratings (naval service)[edit]

Designation Junior ratings Senior ratings
Shoulder strap
to
service uniform
Sovflot 119.png Sovflot 118.png Sovflot 117.png Sovflot 116.png Sovflot 115.png Sovflot 114.png
Rank designation Seaman Senior seaman Petty officer 2nd class Petty Officer 1st class Chief petty officer Michman
NATO-equivalent OR-1 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Decree of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 16 January 1943
  2. ^ Decree of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 9 October 1943
  3. ^ Decree of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 26 June 1945
  4. ^ Decreel of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 6 January 1943
  5. ^ Decree of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 15 January 1943
  6. ^ Decree of the "Presidium of the Supreme Soviet" of 15 February 1943