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Under the Red Star – Non-MOD

Caps of the Soviet Police (Militia)

Despite its rather militaristic name, the Soviet Militia was a police organization, with most of the same duties of police departments in the West. These included fighting crime and corruption, traffic control, controlling access and demonstrations, and just basically enforcing the criminal laws of the USSR. The Militia was subordinated to the NKVD or MVD (depending on the time period), which has caused no end of confusion to novice collectors and historians. However, the Militia was a separate organization and was not part of the MVD VV Internal Troops – the best known of the MVD organizations. MVD VV would support the Militia in controlling crowds or armed groups of criminals if their heavier firepower and unit training was needed. My collection is somewhat sparse in this area – as a series of uniform changes in this section of the MVD resulted in dozens of cap variations since WWII. Hopefully, I will be able to flesh this list out in the future. A thumbnail image accompanies each cap description. Clicking on that thumbnail will bring up a larger, higher resolution image.

Militia Enlisted Service

1947-1968

This cap made up part of the blue service uniform worn by the Militia from 1947 through 1968 (when it was replaced by gray). The cap has a blue, teller shaped crown with red piping. The normal militia cockade of the time is pinned to the crown while a black oilcloth chinstrap is secured with standard army-style buttons. The black chinstrap still used at this time indicated enlisted rank. The visor is fiberboard with a rounded edge, indicating late 50’s or 1960’s manufacture. Scarce

Militia General Parade

1970-1991

The most flamboyant of the Militia visor caps. Although undated (as usual for later generals’ caps), its condition and materials indicate probable manufacture in the 1990’s. With the exception of the cockade and fabric color, this cap is very similar in design to army generals’ parade caps and is “standard” in every way. It has a normal post-1969 police medium gray fabric crown set off by a red band and piping. Gold wire leaf and rope embroidery is very heavy along the band and on the visor, befitting its parade status. The general-quality natural leather chinstrap is also heavily embroidered in accordance to normal practices. Standard generals’ buttons hold it in place. The visor is black patent leather, lined with black wool underneath. The cockade is the normal gilt militia cockade in use in some capacity since 1947; militia generals did not have a special cockade like their army/air force counterparts during this period. Although not common, militia general parade caps are available to anyone with a little patience and a couple hundred bucks. Rather surprisingly, the service version of this cap is more difficult to find, probably due to its more humble appearance and subsequent lack of casual collector interest. Available

Militia Officer Service

1977-1991

In 1969, regulations changed militia service uniforms from blue to gray. This cap was a component of that new uniform. It is a saddle form with a plastic visor – indicating manufacture in the mid 70’s or later. The crown is steel gray, while the band and piping is traditional red. This cap has the later version militia cockade with fewer surrounding leaves that was introduced in 1977. Gold cords became standard for all police personnel at this time, not just officers. Army-style buttons with the embossed star and hammer & sickle secured the cords. This cap remained in service past 1991 and is the most common of the police caps encountered. Available

Militia Officer Service

1977-1991

White service caps had been used by the Soviet militia since its inception. These caps were most commonly part of “shirt-order” summer uniforms. This cap is no exception. It is of the style introduced after 1969 with a 1977 style militia cockade. As such, it is the direct counterpart to the gray version previously described. It has a saddle form crown with a plastic visor. The white cover is removable and is not piped. The band is red. Gold cords are secured with army-style buttons. This cap remained in service past 1991 and is only slightly more difficult to find than the gray version. Available