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"1980s Soviet Uniforms" Topic

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819 hits since 17 Mar 2017
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benglish Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 8:08 a.m. PST


Trying to figure if the 15mm Soviets I'm using for 80s Fulda Gap scenarios can do double duty in Afghanistan scenarios.

The basic uniform color should be the same, right? As long as the Russians aren't in winter kit, they should fit in for Afghanistan, correct? References I'm checking seem to agree, but interested in your opinions

There are limited options in 15mm for Afghanistan-specific Soviets with boonie hats and ballcap style afghankas (MJ Figures and QRF, I think). I could get a smattering of those to mix in, I suppose. But those lines aren't extensive.

Thoughts appreciated.

UsmanK17 Mar 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

Yes, the color is the same (well, the same – it was slightly different in shades from different factories). Strictly speaking, in the second half of the 1980s. The GSVG switched to an "afghanka" uniform (instead of the uniform of the 1969 model).
Winter uniforms were used in Afghanistan – they say it's cool in winter.

Fallout207718 Mar 2017 4:38 a.m. PST

You don't see the afghanka uniform in Europe till at least 1988. That's when it was officially adopted by the military, it appeared in the 1988 regulations as the standard issue uniform for everyone at that point but even then the Obr.73 uniform was still used mostly till about 1990/91.

The afghanka first shows up in Afghanistan in about 1984, and only to VDV, GRU, and other special troops, most normal soldiers(motor riflemen) still had the Obr.73 uniforms. Up until 1988 the afghanka was still considered experimental, it was not issued outside of Afghanistan till it was officially introduced in 1988, there is story of soldiers who where given the uniform when heading to Astan but then having to return then and switch back to the Obr.73 uniforms when leaving.

The GSFG did not see the afghanka used till about 1990, I have a photo from April 1989 that shows soldiers of the GSFG still in the obr.73 uniforms. In fact its rather hard to find photo of the Afghanka used outside of Astan or the Soviet Union till post 91. When the GSFG pulled out in 1994 almost all of them had switched by that point, but in the 80s, no way.

I have links to all 3 Uniform regulations(1969, 1973, and 1988) if you are interested.

As to color, yes for the most part both the summer Obr.73 and summer Obr.88 are the same color, but as UsmanK said, there is difference in shades from different factories and also after continued use and wash they tend to fade, so you end up with troops that look like this:

benglish Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 6:39 a.m. PST

Fallout this is great. Can you post that link or shoot me an email?

email me at brianjenglish AT gmail DOT com


UsmanK18 Mar 2017 6:39 a.m. PST

A couple of additions:

The GRU units had their own form – the so-called "mabuta". It is quite easy to confuse with "Afghanka", but it is different. It was adopted in 1973. For obvious reasons, there are no rules of wearing in the public domain. By 1980, almost all special purpose units wore it.

Here, in fact, there is one feature – in the troops (including in the GSVG), this uniform began to arrive earlier than it was officially accepted (in the early 1980s, and the rules of wearing were officially approved only in 1988). Another thing is that it was mainly in warehouses and was not issued to servicemen.
Actually, in the GSVG "Afghanka" as an experiment was introduced in 1986-1987 in some units, and was introduced gradually in the period from 1986 to 1989. The final transfer of the Soviet Army to this uniform was carried out in 1989.

Fallout207718 Mar 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

Here are the regulation links(I will post them here so others can see them too):


Its in Russian, but scroll down for pictures.

The Obr.69 regs were not full implemented when the updated Obr.73 regs were released. The 73 regs used mostly the same uniform(very minor changes) the big difference was insignias.

The Obr.73 regs were used even along side the new Obr.88 regs even past the fall of the Soviet Union, with the Obr.88 become more and more common and the Obr.73 less common as time when on.

the 69 regs would not have been seen past the mid 70s at the very latest. The uniform regulations that came before the 69 regs was the Obr.1959 regulations, and there are a few rare cases of the Obr.59 uniforms being used as late as the mid 80s, very rare though.

UsmanK, yes you are correct most of the time GRU used the Mabuta, the DshB also used it alot of times. But there are some cases when they wore the Afghanka, but for the most part they wore mabuta. I was just using that as a point that the afghanka was mostly only used by special troops.

I have photos from 1981 of the very rare experimental afghanka, but for the most part the common type seen was introduced in 82/83 and only seen in numbers from 1984 on wards in Astan. Officially adopted in 1988 by the Soviet Military.

Do you have more info on the units that received the afghanka in the GSFG in 1986/87? It is not that I think you are wrong its just that I had always heard the GSFG didn't get them till late 88/early 89 and it is not commonly seen there till about 1990, so to hear that it was there in 86 is really surprising to me, I had been under the impression it was reserved for Astan. It was one of those items that was issued only in Astan and was considered experimental elsewhere, well until it was made official in 1988.

I do think as you said, that they had them in war stock at warehouses to be issued in wartime, along with other items, such as body armor.

UsmanK18 Mar 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

Hello, Fallout2077!

With "afganka" uniform, just do a separate song. It itself began to develop in the late 1970s, developed in 1982, officially introduced in 1984 (Order No. 145), and in 1988 – wear instruction has been introduced. At the same time the form itself began to arrive in the troops in 1982-1983.
In addition, during the period from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, there were several more variants of the experimental uniform (for example, "Warsawka", which was an camouflaged "Afghanka" with minor differencies).

Specifically, about the units I have no information – usually this does not accentuate attention. At the same time, photos of soldiers in the "Afghanka" do not exist in the OKSVA. For example, in the photo below – Privolzhsky military district, before 1983 (exact dating, since this is a photo from the book of 1983):


Strangely enough, in Afghanistan this form was considered to be experimental. Actually, in Afghanistan, "Afghanka" was called "Experimentalka."

Yes, mainly they were in warehouses. Moreover, rather, their storage is not up to the war, but until the previous form (1968-1973) will not fail.

Fallout207718 Mar 2017 12:43 p.m. PST

Wonderful photo! Thank you very much for posting that! I have never seen a photo of the early type winter afghanka(type with only 1 arm pocket), only the summer type.

Here are a few photos I have saved of the early experimental pattern of afghanka from 1981, with only 1 arm pocket instead of 2 as seen on the 1982 and up pattern:

I have several more saved too.

mckrok18 Mar 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

Great pics and excellent example of why not to get too excited about having the perfect color for uniforms.

benglish Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 6:32 p.m. PST

This is amazing stuff. Thanks to everyone for responding in such detail. This is what makes TMP such a fantastic resource.

Thank you so much, guys.


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