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Under the Red Star – Army Caps

Caps of the Soviet Army

Due to the large number of caps in this category, I have subdivided the Army cap section into the five uniform periods described on my Uniform Periods page to the left. Although I have only displayed M55 parade uniform caps on this page (since they were the centerpiece of the 1955 regulations), you can see service uniform caps from this same period on the M58 page. A thumbnail image accompanies each cap description. Clicking on that thumbnail will bring up a larger, higher resolution image.

1955-1958: M55 or “Zhukov” uniforms

Infantry Officer Parade

1955-1958

This M55 series parade cap reflects a beautiful but short-lived attempt to smarten up Army uniforms, reportedly sponsored by Marshal of Soviet Union Zhukov. Under the 1955 regulations, parade uniform tunics for all Army officers became medium gray (steel), as did the cap crown color. As an infantry cap, the band and piping were done in traditional crimson (also referred to as magenta or raspberry). Justice officers also used this combination during this period. Metal visor leaves selectively introduced into the Army in 1949 (Navy had used them earlier) became standard for all branches on these caps, as did a new national cockade (oval in shape with a superimposed red star), surrounded by a spray of metal leaves on the band. Gold cords previously only used by generals were also authorized. The overall effect of the M55 parade uniform was pleasing to the esthetics’ eye, but apparently proved to be too much for the Army’s traditionalists to stomach and was replaced by a simpler, khaki colored uniform in 1958. Scarce, but most common of the M55 caps

Special Troops Officer Parade

1955-1958

Another of the 1955 parade uniform variants, this cap was part of the medium gray (steel), uniform of an Engineer, Signals or other Special Troops’ officer. Most of these support branches used the color combination of black band with dark blue piping along the top of the band and the crown. The remainder of the cap elements was the same as for other M55 caps. Metal visor leaves selectively introduced into the Army in 1949 became standard for all branches on these caps, as did a new national cockade (oval in shape with a superimposed red star), surrounded by a spray of metal leaves on the band. Gold cords previously only used by generals were also prescribed. Scarce

Medical Officer Parade

1955-1958

Another of the 1955 parade uniform variants, this cap was part of the medium gray (steel) uniform of a Medical, Veterinary, or Administrative officer. These branches used the color combination of dark green band with red piping along the top of the band and the crown. The remainder of the cap elements was the same as for other M55 caps. Metal visor leaves selectively introduced into the Army in 1949 became standard for all branches on these caps, as did a new national cockade (oval in shape with a superimposed red star), surrounded by a spray of metal leaves on the band. Gold cords previously only used by generals were also prescribed. Scarce-Rare