The Soviet Army – About this site.


Welcome to

This site was formed in February 2000, with the intention of providing information on the armed forces of the Soviet Union. Relatively little information is easily available on this topic on the Internet, and what is available is mostly in Russian. This makes it quite difficult for most Westerners to easily learn more on what was arguably the largest conventional armed forces in history.

Another factor which often contributes to the confusion of the situation was the political propaganda, of both the Soviet Union and the West, which warped and distorted the facts. Only near the collapse of the Soviet Union, under Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika (openness and reform) was a more accurate assessment of the Soviet Armed forces offered to the Soviet people. Up until that time issues such as dedovshchina (hazing) in the Soviet Army, or in the political sphere things such as the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, were never made public.

It is true to say that the West too has not made a fair assessment of the Red Army, mostly in failing to fairly acknowledge the massive effort the Soviet Union played in the defeat of Germany in the Second World War (or the Great Patriotic War as the Soviets named it). This lack of due recognition seems to be a mix of ignorance, culture-centric thinking and Cold War politics.

This website aims to offer an accurate and fair picture of the Soviet Army as much as possible. This website aims to be non-political in agenda leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union massive archives have now been made available for the first time. Historians are still sifting through them and will do so for many years to come. Hopefully this will ensure that a more accurate picture of the Soviet Armed forces becomes available.

Special Credits…

Kudos must be given to the following for their help and assistance:


Headquaters, Department of the Army. FM 100-2-3 – The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization and Equipment. Washington D.C.: Department of the Army, June 1991.This has provided a large amount of information for this site. The US Army has graciously approved this publication for “public release” with “distribution unlimited” allowing material to be freely used. Information from this publication is used in the Small Arms section as well as in Vehicles section. It has also contributed information elsewhere as noted.
Nedelin, A. Kalashnikov Arms. Moscow: Military Parade, 1997.This book has provided much background information for the Small Arms section as well as providing the images for the weapons (except for the Dragunov SVD).
USSR Ministry of Defence. Regulations on Wearing Military Uniforms. Moscow: Military Publishing House, 1989.This work has served as the basis for both the Uniforms section and the Ranks section. All illustrations were taken directly from this book.
Caza, S. M. Soviet Military Uniforms: A Translation of the 1988 Soviet Regulations. Ontario: Mamayev Hill Enterprises, 1995.Shawn Caza’s translation greatly assisted with Regulations on Wearing Military Uniforms by the Soviet Ministry of Defence.
Jane’s Information Group Limited (edited by Gander, T. J. and Hogg, I. V.). Jane’s Infantry Weapons: 1995-96. London: Biddles, 1995. ISBN: 0 7106 1241 9.Data for the weapons in the Small Arms section came from this work.
Jane’s Information Group Limited (edited by Gander, T. J. and Hogg, I. V.). Jane’s Ammunition Handbook: 1995-96. London: Butler and Tanner, 1995. ISBN: 0 7106 1287 7.Pictures and information for the cartridges in the Ammunition section came from this work.
Schofield, C. Inside the Soviet Military. New York: Abbeville Press, 1991. ISBN: 1 55859 160 5.Provided a lot of information for “Guide to Rank Boards”.

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While having a Java enabled browser does enhance viewing of this site (there’s some nice features that make surfing easier), it is not critical to the use of this site. In short, whatever browser and configuation you are using, this site should be able to work with your setup.

Copyright has at all times tried to follow copyright regulations, as well as being respectful of an author’s copyright. An attempt has been made to cite and credit sources for all material and information where appropriate. All information has been used in good faith, in the belief that copyright has not been breeched and that all sources were correctly acknowledged. However, if you believe a mistake has occured please email Admin.

The work of this site itself is © Anthony Winning. All rights reserved. If you want to use any materials or information from this site please check first.

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