Russian Soldiers to wear socks

#4
I'm pretty sure I've read this before. Possibly several times.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
One interesting bit is the alleged use of foot wraps in the 18th century British army. I'm surprised nobody on ARRSE has wanted to go back to that and pipeclay and so forth.

I can inmaginer the threads in ARRSE (1713) banging on about weedy-wets needing foot wraps.

Meanwhile the Russian army has clearly gone soft.
 
#9
well- for the proper cold (not like the one in UK), there is hardly anything better (and cheaper) than footwraps.
If you read the Stalingrad stuff it mentions how crap boots/socks were in keeping out the cold/damp and how feet wraps were better against trench foot, in WW1 on the western front it was done in the German Army and also the French, brits tended to stick to boots and trench foot accounted for a lot of casualties.
 
#12
Toerags are not a purely Russian invention. In 19th century Europe and in some minds that includes Britain, most of the poeple, i.e. those who weren't lording it up in top hats, would have been familiar with them.

They are shit though, fold them wrong and blisters are guaranteed. I think the attrition rate though foot injuries has finally swung it, plus the once red army appreciates the tactical benefits brought by the NATO **** sock!
 
#13
I tried them on a hike once after watching a documentary on Soviet Army basic training. As the instructor said on the TV, the important thing is make sure there aren't wrinkles, otherwise you WILL get blisters.

Impressions were that my feet were a lot warmer (I do struggle with cold feet) and comfort was no more or less (although my feet were a lot harder then than they are now). That said, once curiosity had been satisfied I went back to socks.
 
#14
No doubt the old and bold on A.R.R.S.K.I will be loudly bemoaning the passing of real men's footwear and tatty rattling rifles with wooden furniture...........
 
#15
EBay's going to be flooded with adverts for used portyanki (NKVD, SPETSNAZ, OSNAZ).
 
#17
have used Portyanki quite a lot, and has been said before once you crack the trick of wrapping them correctly then they are fine. Mess it up & kiss your skin goodbye.
Also the Soviet era footwear choice of the squadski was the high boot called "Sapogi". These boots don't hold the foot like a laced boot and are very loose (if you have ever tried on a pair you would have sworn you'd been given the wrong size). It's the Portyanki that hold the Sapogi onto the foot. The excess wrap around the ankle & bottom of the sharovari (breeches) hold them snug at the ankle when you put your boot on. This enables the foot to move around the boot, cutting back on the chance of your foot freezing rather than wearing a pair of tight fitting boots that hold the foot still allowing the cold to creep in (as the germans found out A La Russian Winter)
 
#18
have used Portyanki quite a lot, and has been said before once you crack the trick of wrapping them correctly then they are fine. Mess it up & kiss your skin goodbye.
Also the Soviet era footwear choice of the squadski was the high boot called "Sapogi". These boots don't hold the foot like a laced boot and are very loose (if you have ever tried on a pair you would have sworn you'd been given the wrong size). It's the Portyanki that hold the Sapogi onto the foot. The excess wrap around the ankle & bottom of the sharovari (breeches) hold them snug at the ankle when you put your boot on. This enables the foot to move around the boot, cutting back on the chance of your foot freezing rather than wearing a pair of tight fitting boots that hold the foot still allowing the cold to creep in (as the germans found out A La Russian Winter)
What did the Germans wear with their jackboots? Just curious.
 
#19
the germans during WW2 had both socks & own brand of footwraps called "fuslapen"... main differance is the style & construction of the high boot.
The Russian boot has a rubber sole, leather around the foot & a canvas & rubber covered shaft, The boot is very loose around the foot and is held on by gripping at the ankle.
The German Marchstieffel (spelling?) is all leather construction, leather sole & studded with hobnails & heel irons. It is a very close fitting boot, with the foot held tight. The germans found that either footwraps or socks gave no help during the Russian winter as the boot construction sucked the cold into the foot as it had little insulation with the foot in direct contact to the boot & all the metal hardware on the bottom chanelling cold into the sole. They did go onto develop winter boots, a cross between a felt boot & a jackboot & i think you can still get these in germany to this day.
For really cold weather the Russians had a differnt type of boot again called "Valenki"
 

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