Equipment Requirements

The following is a list of the items that make up a basic 1943 RKKA Strelok Ryadovoi (Infantry Private) impression. Contact one of our unit serzhants before buying any gear; the unit may have the equipment you seek on hand. If not, the Links section of this website will guide you to several quality vendors.

REQUIRED BASIC GEAR:

EYE PROTECTION with elastic retaining strap that meets ANSI z.87.1 (Highly Recommended: facemask, mouthguard or balaclava over mouth to prevent chipped teeth.)

Headgear: M1940 helmet or M1935 pilotka sidecap with red or green small cap star.

Tunic: Wool or cotton M35 (fold-down collar) or M43 (two-button standup collar) gymnastiorka tunic in any shade of khaki, brown or green; olive drab shoulderboards with raspberry red piping. (Recommended; white cotton collar liner hand-basted in place.)

Trousers: Wool or cotton M35 sharovari trousers in any shade of khaki, green, brown, grey or navy blue. (Recommended: period suspenders or web belt.)

Belt: 1 ˝" wide brown or tan leather or webbing belt with two loops and single-tang roller buckle. (Soviet Star belt buckles are NOT acceptable for streloki under the rank of starshi serzhant!)

Footgear: Black leather calf-length sapogi boots; or black leather jackboots; or brown or black lace-up ankle boots with wool puttee wraps. (Recommended: portyanki footwraps instead of socks - if you can figure out how to keep them on - with a small sheathed eating knife in your outside right boottop and a soup spoon in your left.)

REQUIRED WINTER GEAR:

Headgear: M1940 helmet, whited and worn with dark stocking cap or liner; or Soviet-bloc issue grey or white ushanka with small cap star.

Coat: Soviet-issue brown synthetic wool greatcoat with raw hem and hook fasteners instead of buttons (double-breasted greatcoats with buttons are NOT acceptable for streloki under the rank of starshi serzhant!); OR padded cotton telegreika snowsuit jacket and pants. (Highly Recommended over telegreika: Russian-issue Winter camouflage snowsuit.)

Gloves: Brown leather lined gloves or rag wool gloves.

PERSONAL WEAPONS:

Currently, WW2-era Russian airsoft weapons are difficult to find. Members of our unit are furiously working to address this situation, but if you cannot find or afford an appropriate weapon at this time, please do not let that deter you from joining our unit for events. The unit serzhants usually have loaner weapons available to rent, but you must contact one of our serzhants BEFORE the event to reserve one. Throughout the war, the Red Army fielded unarmed soldiers as "eyes, ears, and hands." It was not at all unusual for two or three soldiers to share a single rifle. Even if all loaner weapons have been reserved and you do not have one of your own, you can still muster with our unit as a spotter, armored car crew, or machinegun crew.

Preferred Weapons: Mosin-Nagant 91/30 springer rifle; Mosin-Nagant M38 springer carbine; SVT-40 AEG; PPSh-41 AEG; DP gas gun or AEG.

Acceptable Weapons: K98 springer or gas rifle; MP40 AEG; M1928 Thompson SMG AEG; Broomhandle Mauser gas gun with detachable shoulder stock.

Holstered sidearms may be carried by BA-64 crew and unit members above the rank of serzhant ONLY!

OPTIONAL PERSONAL ITEMS:

Breadbag or gas mask bag with tin cup.

Small aluminum bucket with bail handle. (The cup in your bag, the bucket on your belt and the utensils in your boots constitute your messkit.)

Aluminum Soviet-issue canteen with cloth belt pouch.

Plashch-palatka rain cape/shelter half.

For Riflemen: M1930 Mosin-Nagant two-pocket cartridge pouch in leather or dark brown synthetic.

For Submachinegunners: PPSh/PPS stick magazine pouch, or captured MP40 magazine pouch.

Square-headed nonfolding Soviet-issue entrenching tool with canvas belt pouch.

Meshok pack or M1939 knapsack.

Homemade tobacco pouch.

Soviet ID booklet/internal passort.

Authenticity Requirements

Not sure whether or not your gear is good enough? Use the following guidelines to determine what is acceptable for use in the 198th Rifle Division:

LEVEL 4 - UNACCEPTABLE

Gear of level 4 quality has no or little resemblance to original gear used during the war. No attempt has been made to retrofit the piece in question to better resemble an original specimen. Blue jeans, t-shirts, NASCAR caps, rubber boots and modern military gear are good examples of level 4 equipment. Level 4 gear should be avoided at all costs and is not appropriate for field use at any Midwest Ostfront event.

LEVEL 3 - SOMEWHAT ACCEPTABLE

Gear of level 3 quality has some resemblance to original gear used during the war, but deviates to such a degree that it is not a permanent solution for one's impression. Post-war gear that differs somewhat from wartime examples, or gear that has been poorly modified to look like a period specimen are good examples of level 3 gear. Level 3 gear displays good faith on the part of the recruit to look the part of a Russian Frontovik and is not frowned upon; however, to improve one's impression, gear of this quality should be replaced or reworked as soon as possible.

LEVEL 2 - COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE

Gear of level 2 quality was either commercially or skillfully homemade to closely resemble an original wartime specimen. While not necessarily reproduced to museum-level standards, a reasonable attempt has been made to match the materials, pattern, size and construction of an original wartime specimen. Gear of this level is completely acceptable as a long- term part of one's impression.

LEVEL 1 - MORE THAN ACCEPTABLE

Level 1 gear consists of original wartime specimens, post-war gear that is indistinguishable from originals, and reproductions created to a museum quality standard. Level 1 gear is completely acceptable as a long-term part of one's impression.