The M1943 Field Uniform, also referred to as the M43 Uniform was the standard uniform of the Soviet Union after 1943 until the end of the war.
The basic uniform of the M43 consisted of the M1943 Gymnasterka (tunic), the M1943 Sharovari (trousers), sapogi (boots), a leather or canvas belt, the M1930 Rucksack, and either the SSh-39 helmet or M1935 Pilotka. Officers wore a standard peaked cap and often continued to do so even with better headgear available so as to display rank. As for basic equipment, a canteen was attached to the infantryman's belt as well as an ammunition pouch and an entrenching tool. For poor weather conditions, some troops were issued the M1943 Plashch-Palatka, a shelter half with a drawstring so that it could be used as a poncho.
The M43 uniform was a redesign of the earlier M1935 Field Uniform that largely changed the way that rank was shown in the Red Army. The order for the redesign was given on January 15, 1943 and reintroduced shoulder boards in two variations, for field use and for everyday. Other changes include modifications made to the tunic. Notably, the collar had been simplified to just a standing type with no folding flaps. Furthermore, the buttons of the Gymnasterka that were previously hidden were now revealed for further simplification. The trousers were also simplified for mass production.
For winter use, the M43 uniform varied slightly from its summer counterpart. Chiefly, all the components of the uniform were their winterized versions, meaning that they were made thicker or of different material such as wool. Headgear changed from the pilotka sidecap to the M1935 Ushanka. Also available to infantry was the M1941 Telogreika padded vest, valenki winter boots, and a greatcoat.
The M43 Uniform began its development following the January 15, 1943 order for a uniform redesign in the Red Army. The uniform also helped to add some uniformity in Red Army uniform, which by 1942, was quite varied. Textile production produced uniforms in varying colors and certain articles of clothing such as boots and coveralls were supplied via Lend Lease to keep up with demand.
- ↑ Zaloga, Steven J. The Red Army of the Great Patriotic War 1941-45. Osprey Publishing (1984), Page 35