Foreword Regulations of the 20th GMB Section 1.0 Membership Requirements Section 2.0 Uniform Requirements Section 3.0 Authenticity Section 4.0 Awards Section 5.0 Unit Records Section 6.0 Disciplinary Actions Section 7.0 Security Section 8.0 Operations Appendix A: Safety Rules Appendix C: Russian Ranks Appendix D: Basic Red Army Commands Appendix E: Field Sanitation SOP
Proper representation of the Russian Soldier during World War II will be maintained at all times during any event, be it a public or private battle or a living history event. Our goal is to experience how the Russian Soldier lived and fought during the Great Patriotic War. Members of the group will be trained on proper reenacting techniques. A unit SOP has been established and is available on-line to all members regarding commands and formations. Awards are the responsibility of the commander.
It is highly recommended that anyone purchasing uniform items get with the unit commander before purchasing said items. All decisions on other types of period uniforms or clothing will be decided upon by the commander.
This group seeks to provide education about the R.K.K.A. as it existed at the time of World War II . We do not condone, encourage, or justify any political ideology or practice.
Regulations of the 20th Guards Mechanized Brigade
Section 1.0 Membership Requirements
1.1 Membership: Membership will be defined as anyone who has requested to be a member to the commander of the 20th Mech. and has demonstrated a willingness to abide by the rules of the 20th Mech. Also the said individual must show an effort to get the required uniform.
1.2 A member must be at least 14 years old, and any member the age of 14 or 15 must be accompanied by a parent or other adult family member at any club activity they are participating in. Anyone from the age of 16 to 18 must have written permission from their parent or legal guardian. This will be renewed every year until said member turns 18. Also the written permission must be carried with them at ALL times!!!
Section 2.0 Uniform and Equipment Requirements
2.1 Members must have this entire group within six (6) months of becoming a member of 20th mech.
1. 43 Pull Over tunic w/ shoulder boards of appropriate piping color (rifles, armor, artillery, etc.) 2. M43 trousers 3. Boots (low-boots w/ leg wraps or jack-boots) 4. M40 steel helmet; three-pad version, w/ web chinstrap. 5. Pilotka side cap w/ star 6. Belt (brown leather w/ roller buckle or webbed w/ leather) 7. Ammo pouch(es) for personal sidearm 8. Russian canteen w/ cover 9. Gasmask bag or rucksack 10. Mess kit and spoon 11. Guards badge. Post-war and reproduction and converted equipment, uniforms and Guards badges that conform to WW 2 appearance standards are acceptable.
Recommended, but not required, items include but are not limited to;
1. Russian army overcoat or padded winter coat 2. Shelter half 3. Grenade pouch 4. Shovel w/ carrier 5. Drinking cup 6. Ushanka fur hat w/ star
NCO’s and Officers will wear appropriate uniform and rank for their positions and acquire proper equipment to perform their functions. Recommended examples of equipment are map cases, binoculars, flashlights, flare guns, compasses, time pieces, manuals, etc
2.2 Other period items may be used but must be approved by the Commander.
2.3 The standard firearm is the Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine. This is NOT the required weapon. M91/30 rifles are acceptable, but are not representative of a late war Guards mechanized unit. If you already have an M91/30 but not an M44 or other weapon, and like most of us, are not rich, keep using your M91/30. If you have not already acquired your weapon, equip yourself with either the M44 carbine or one of the following weapons;
3.1 Within one hour after a member arrives at an event they should be in uniform and their vehicle (if modern) moved to the approved parking site.
3.2 Members will remain in uniform for the duration of the event or as directed by the chain of command.
3.3 All members must maintain their hair in a neat military appearance at all times. Facial hair may only be worn if approved by the command. First timers are encouraged to but not required to meet this standard.
3.4 NO Modern-style eyeglasses allowed, period correct frames should be sought or contact lenses worn.
3.5 Modern items such as sunglasses, wristwatches, cell phones, colorful tents may not be used with-in the reenactment site. If you can’t live without your cell phone, go inside your tent or outside of the sight of other participants. If you can’t bear the thought of not leaving it in the tent and turned off for a few hours, then ensure that if it is on your person, put it on ‘vibrate only’ so you don’t disturb others.
3.6 The wearing of earrings will only be permitted for females and may only be of a small stud type. Male members are not allowed to wear earrings at any time during the reenactment.
3.7 Obviously modern Items like ice chests, sleeping bags, and water cans, may not be openly displayed. They must be kept covered by a period covering, i.e.: wool blanket, mill sack, period wood box, or any other period covering.
3.8 NO modern T-shirts or other incorrect undershirts will be worn under uniforms. Either wear an appropriate RKKA military pattern or lend-lease undershirt or don’t wear an undershirt at all.
3.9 The commander, XO, or political officer or their appointed representatives are the only authorized authenticity officers.
Section 4.0 Awards
4.1 This system authorizes awards for actual military service well as actual achievement in helping the club achieve its goals. Individual awards and decorations are earned and awarded by this system.
4.2 The following regulations outline the awards currently authorized and the prerequisites that must be met prior to a member being eligible for that award. Awards currently authorized are consistent with the awards actually awarded to members of the original Russian army and will be worn in the same manner.
4.3 The following categories of awards are: Service, Labor, Wound Stripes, and Proficiency badges
A) Service: These awards are to award the members of the 20th Mech. that have current or prior active military service in the US or other national armed services.
1, The Medal of Valor is awarded for deployment to an active combat zone. A copy of the DD 214 or equivalent document is required for verification.
2, Medal for Military Merit is awarded for active duty service that does not include deployment to an active combat zone. A copy of the DD 214 or equivalent document is required for verification.
B) Labor: These awards are given to members of the 20th Mech. who show continued support and labor in the promotion of the unit.
1, The Labor Distinction Medal, given for 10 consecutive or 20 non-consecutive days of work or labor in the support of the unit at work weekends or public event days. Also may be given for the outstanding service to the unit in the form of the successful completion of a special project or the outstanding discharge of a special duty or responsibility.
D) Wound Stripes.
1, Wound Stripe in Red, A member of the unit is authorized to wear this for or having received a US military Purple Heart or foreign military equivalent. A copy of their DD 214 or equivalent document is required.
2, Wound Stripes in Gold, a member of the unit is authorized to wear this for having received multiple US military Purple Hearts or foreign military equivalent. A copy of their DD 214 or equivalent document is required.
E) Proficiency Badges: All badges will be given for 10 consecutive or 20 non-consecutive days performing the duties of which the specific badge is given.
4.4 The awards are listed in order of precedence.
Section 5.0 Unit Records
5.1 Maintaining of unit records is the responsibility of the unit commander or their representative. He/she is responsible for maintaining records of attendance, awards, and unit property.
5.2 It is the unit member’s responsibility to check in with the commander and insure that their records are up to date.
5.3 The commander will maintain the unit handbook. i.e., make any changes that are required.
Section 6.0 Disciplinary Actions
6.1 All disciplinary actions will be referred to the unit commander.
6.2 If a member is accused of a crime against anyone in the unit/hobby there will be a hearing to get the facts from each party involved. At that time the unit commander will decide if there is a case for disciplinary actions.
6.3 If a case requiring disciplinary actions does exist the unit commander will determine the punishment to be carried out.
6.4. At any event, in all situations, the senior member of the 8th GMC present will take charge and lead all those present, and will assume the authority and responsibility of the commander. Failure of a leader to comply will result in reduction of rank and position.
6.5 Event safety and ammunition inspections will be conducted either prior to, or in conjunction with, event sponsors. The senior member present is responsible for conducting safety inspections.
6.6 Formations and inspections for events / battles; will be announced by the commander.
Section 7.0 Security
7.1 Responsibility for security of equipment and personal items rests with the individual. Incidents of theft within the 8th GMC will not be tolerated. Individuals proven guilty of theft or attempted theft will be expelled from the unit as described in Section 6.2.
7.2 Security of personal items, the 8th GMC strongly recommends that members lock valuables in their personally owned vehicle.
7.3 Responsibility for weapons security rests with the individual.
7.4 Because a lost weapon at an event / battle could result in the responsible unit being banned from future attendance, the 8th GMC will expel the member responsible for a lost weapon. NO EXCUSES WILL BE TOLERATED.
7.5 Automatic weapons must comply with the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and must have approved required forms.
7.6 Security of Private vehicles rests with the owner.
7.7 Security of Tactical Vehicles rests with the owner. The 8th GMC strongly recommends locks with chains and / or hatch locks.
7.8 At events the 8th GMC will laager all tactical vehicles together for added security. If necessary guards will be posted (at the discretion of the military council and the commander).
Section 8.0 Operations
8.1 Tactical operations are controlled by the commander; assisted by the political officer and sergeants. Squad and crew integrity will be maintained whenever possible.
8.2 Members are required to have a basic knowledge of squad drill and basic tactics, conducted in Russian, as well as the employment of their weapons, as well as crew served weapons and vehicles.
8.3 All tactical operations will be conducted in accordance with the event Host Reenactment Organization’s safety regulations.
8.4 All members are required to possess and understand the 20th GMB SOP
8.5 The tactics are based on ‘TANK AND MECHANIZED FORCES REGULATIONS OF THE RED ARMY, 1944’, ‘COMBAT REGULATIONS OF THE INFANTRY OF THE RED ARMY, 1940’, and ‘FIELD REGULATIONS OF THE RED ARMY, 1944’.
8.6 Situations or requirements for tactical operations not specifically covered in the 8th GMC SOP will be referred to the above named regulations.
8.7 The standardized training manuals of the 20th GMB will be:
“HANDBOOK FOR INFANTRYMEN OF THE WORKERS AND PEASANTS RED ARMY OF THE U.S.S.R.”, Vols. I and II by Igor Dobroff and Mark Sevigny, “SOVIET INFANTRY TACTICS IN WWII” by Charles C. Sharp, and “RED ARMOR COMBAT ORDERS” edited by Richard N. Armstrong and translated by Joseph G. Welch.
APPENDIX A:Safety Rules and Guidelines
PREFACE Safety is of highest concern. All safety rules put forth by the unit OIC and persons in charge of any event that the group might be attending will be strictly followed. Safety rules are furnished and briefed to members and to potential members. Any person wishing to review safety rules may do so by request and should be afforded the opportunity prior to attending an event. Each individual participant assumes all personal risk and responsibility for their actions by accepting permission to participate in all events. That participant may wear ear protection devices, eye protection devices and should not engage in individual tactical missions (such as one-on-one ambush) but act in concert of a unit tactical mission. Individuals should be completely familiar with their weapons and periodically check blank adapters.
Rules 1. No live bulleted cartridges can be brought to a battle event. 2. Blank ammunition shall be periodically checked to preclude the inadvertent use of live ammunition. 3. Due to the danger from muzzle blast and wadding, no firearm shall be aimed or fired directly towards a target (person) within 10 yards (36 feet). 4. No wood tipped blanks will be used in firearms without a muzzle restriction and or a deflector shield on the muzzle. 5. All weapons and ammunition will be inspected each day prior to its use and at the next event or activity. 6. All commercial and homemade blank firing adapters (BFA’s) are subject to inspection at any time. All blank adapters will be inspected prior to each battle and at least once during the course of the battle. 7. No bayonets are to be affixed during play. 8. No edged weapons shall be brandished at any time during the event. 9. No use of launched projectiles, explosion simulators or other pyrotechnics unless supervised and prior arrangements are made with event coordinators. 10. A CEASE FIRE may be called by any member if that member witnesses an unsafe act or if any non-participants stray onto the battlefield. 11. No use of controlled substances at anytime. 12. No drunkenness, alcohol will be consumed in period containers and within reason at the conclusion of tactical operations. 13. All State and Federal laws pertaining to the use of weapons will be obeyed. 14. No person may engage in or be in an area of mock combat when not wearing a helmet. 15. Helmets will be worn while riding in tactical vehicles. 16. To avoid any conflict, at no time will a member pick up another member’s weapon without that member’s permission, unless the weapon is evidently lost. 17. At no time shall the driver of any authorized vehicle operate the vehicle while conditions exist that limit or interfere with the clear, unobstructed forward or lateral vision of the driver and/or the co-driver and vehicle commander. 18. The Unit Safety Officer has overall responsibility for the safety enforcement at events and all members are subject to his orders on all safety related issues (additional rules may be added as required due to special terrain or other considerations). 19. Any member blatantly or repeatedly violating safety rules may be expelled from an event or from membership.
IDENTIFY AND PAY SPECIAL SCRUTINY TO INDIVIDUALS IN THE ORGANIZATION WHO ALSO SHOOT LIVE AMMUNITION WHEN NOT AT REENACTMENTS.
WARNING: ALLOW AT LEAST A FULL MINUTE BEFORE EJECTING “HANGFIRES” FROM YOUR WEAPON.
WARNING: CARBON WILL BUILD UP IN ADAPTERS AND MAY CAP THE BARREL, CAUSING AN EXPLOSION.
ALL WEAPONS MUST BE CLEANED AT THE END OF THE EVENT, OR PRIOR TO ITS USE AT THE NEXT EVENT OR ACTIVITY. ANY WEAPON FOUND TO BE UN-SERVICEABLE OR NOT PROPERLY CLEANED WILL BE BANNED FROM THE FIELD.
GRENADES MUST HAVE EITHER A SOFT VINYL OR PAPER BODY WITH A PYRODEX POWDER CHARGE OF NO MORE THAN 120 GRAINS OR A BLACK POWDER CHARGE OF NO MORE THAN 80 GRAINS AND A WEIGHT FILLER OF FLOUR ONLY. THERE WILL BE NO STAPLES OR OTHER ELEMENTS THAT COULD BE SENT FLYING. A SAMPLE OF ALL PYROTECHNICS WILL BE PRESENTED FOR TESTING PRIOR TO USE. RUBBER GRENADES ARE OKAY – DO NOT THROW AT SOMEONE’S FACE.
LARGE GUNS (GREATER THAN .50 CALIBER). INFORM THE DESIGNATED SAFETY OFFICER OF YOUR INTENTIONS TO BRING SUCH A DEVICE IN THE FIELD FOR PERMISSION TO USE AND FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
APPENDIX C: Russian Ranks And Duties RADOVEES 'Krasnoiarmyets = Red Army Man (some sources say this was replaced with Radovees. in 1943 but I've seen copies of Pravda dated 1945 still using this rank designation)The Rank you'll start with and to be honest probably keep is Radovees. There is no dishonor in being the bottom rank in the Soviet army. Combat losses meant the first 6 months in the field were probably going to be your last. If you survived this, you would be called a Frontovik and that carried more respect than any rank badge. YEFRIETOR Yefreitor = Lance Corporal These were lance corporals and this is the next step up for you. Awarded on merit in reality and the same is the case in the group. This represents a Yefrietor of the cavalry army. On joining the 8th guards, this rank will be in raspberry. MLADSHIY SERZHANT Mladshii Serzhant = Junior Sergeant (Corporal) These are the junior sergeants (in this case artillery) and are trusted combatants with some experience. They are squad leaders in a platoon. SERZHANT Serzhant = Sergeant This is the rank badge of a sergeant of transportation or engineering troops. These were also vital soldiers and were expected to fight as well as undertake their branch skills. A soldier of this rank would certainly be classed as a frontovik and could well have survived longer than the average 6 months in the field. STARSHY SERZHANT Starshy Serzhant = Senior Sergeant This is a senior sergeant of infantry. The senior sergeant had many different tasks and would take charge of a group of men both in the field and behind the lines. STARSHINA Starshina = Sergeant Major Here is a Starshina of the Cavalry arm. The Starshina is equivalent to a Sgt. Major. Their bite is much worse then their bark. If you see one, run in the opposite direction! MLADHSIY LEYTNENT Mladshii Leytnent = Junior Lieutenant (there seems to be some confusion whether this is a senior NCO rank or junior officer!) These are very junior officers. Not normally seen in the field. Most Soviet officers would finish their training and automatically become Leytnent. This represents a junior officer of artillery. LEYTNENT Leytnent = This was the most common officer rank in the field. Here a Leytnent of tanks is shown. They would take charge of smaller bodies of men when compared to their equivalents in other forces in WW2. The average life expectancy of these officers was around 3 months.
STARSHIY LEYTNENT Starshy Lyetnant = Senior Lieutenant This Starshiy (or senior) Leytnent is of the infantry service. He would be in charge of a platoon or company, but w ould certainly be expected to go into combat. KAPITAN Kapitan = Captain This cavalry Kapitan, is not a rank you see often and is probably the most senior rank in RKKA reenacting. These would be in charge of a company of men.
The above ranks are mostly what a reenactor will encounter during an event. You should not have to know any other ranks except those listed above. The colors of the ranks are different based on the branches represented, however, the 8th guards is an infantry unit and is recognized as such, by the raspberry colored piping around the shoulder boards.
APPENDIX D: Basic Red Army Commands
FOR ASSEMBLY or PREPARATION FOR MARCHING. Assemble: Stah-nah-VEES ! Dress ranks: Rahv-N’YAAS ! Attention: SMEHR-NAH ! Count off: Rah-schih-TiiS. Stand Easy: VOHL-nah ! Right turn: Nah-PRAH-VOH ! Left Turn: Nah-LAY-VOH! Turn about: Kru-GOHM! Dismissed: Rah-zoy-TEES’!
FOR MARCHINGMarch: SHAH-gum mársh ! Halt: STOY ! Turn to the left, literally, “right shoulder-march”: Prah-VO Plee-CHO V’pehr-yed, Marsh ! Turn to the right, literally, “left-shoulder march”: Lay-VO Plee-CHO V’pehr-yed, Marsh! To end turning sequence: Straight: Pryah-MOH! Double-time: Be-GOM Marsh! March in place: Na MEHS-teh Marsh! Cadence Call: Rahz - D’vah ! “Rest”[fall out and relax]: Preh-VAHL !
FOR DRILL WITH WEAPONSOrder Arms: Kah Nah-GEH ! Sling Arms: Nah-Reh-Meen’! Shoulder Arms: Nah-Plee-CHO! Slung Across Back: Za Spih-nu! Port Arms: Nah grut’ !
SOME BASIC COMBAT COMMANDS Advance.: v’PER-YOD ! Attack!: VAh-tah-KU ! Follow me!: Zah-M’NOY ! Form Skirmish line.: V’TSep’ ! Take Cover / Get down: Lah-ZHEES ! Dig in.: O-kah-PAHT-z’yah. Fire! [in general]: Ah-GOON! Fall back!: Aht-HOD-deem ! Rally!: S’BOR ! Surround! Aht-KRU-zhii-ehm! Attack to the flank: AH-tah-ku s’flan-geh!. Halt!: STOY ! Disperse! [and take cover from AIR ATTACK]: VOZ-Dukh !
APPENDIX E:Field Sanitation SOP
Section 1.0 Mess Operations 1.1 Handwash stations will be set up consisting of: a) one pan soapy wash water b) one pan rinse water c) towel(s) 1.2 Utensil wash station will be set up consisting of three separate stations: a) hot soapy wash with brush b) hot rinse c) hot clean rinse 1.3 A wash solution of soapy-bleach water will be used to keep all food preparation surfaces clean that are not covered with clean newspaper. 1.4 All foodstuff will be stored in closed, rodent proof boxes. No food items will be left out over night. 1.5 Volunteers will be tasked with assisting the cook overseeing Mess operations. Assistants can be rotated over the event weekend. 1.6 Appropriate trash receptacle for all trash will be utilized and hauled away at end of event. 1.7 Garbage will be collected in an appropriate container and disposed of to prevent rodent foraging by burying or burning. 1.8 Rodent “bait” can be utilized between events in structures for rodent control.
Section 2.0 Latrine Operations 2.1 When necessary, where practicable, a slit trench or pit latrine will be established. 2.2 The dimensions will be: a) slit trench: 12” wide, 12” deep and of sufficient length to accommodate troops. b) pit: a 12” diameter hole of sufficient depth. 2.3 Necessary items to be provided for the latrine will be at a minimum: c) shovel d) toilet paper (in protective cover, i.e. can) e) handwash station per Section 1.1 2.4 Additional equipment as can be acquired will be: a) a privacy screen/tarp b) seat 2.5 At the end of each event, the latrine will be closed and a wooden stake emplaced and marked with the date of closure. 2.6 Latrine operation will be overseen by the unit commander.