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Opponents of the Freikorps, German Intervention in the East
Officer, Latvian Streltsi (’Strelki’), Red Army; Riga, May/June 1919

From 1915 the Russian Imperial Army had included Latvian (Lettish) volunteer rifle battalions named after the 17th century streltsi or ‘shooters' - a prestigious title. Many Latvians joined the Revolution in 1917, and would rise to high rank in the internal security organization. In October 1918 the Bolsheviks renamed all their infantry as streltsi; and the Latvian Rifle Brigades were among their best units, vital to the survival of the Revolution during the fighting on the Petrograd front.
Although no rank insignia are worn, and officers ' rank titles had been abolished, this Kraskom (‘Red commander’) is still identifiable as such. He has pinned to his left pocket the enameled, officer’s version of the Imperial streltsi badge, on which the red star has replaced the Tsarist eagle. His cap, with its stiffener ring removed in wartime fashion, also bears the red star. His M1912 gymnastiorka (shirt-tunic) has been stripped of its shoulder boards and crested brass buttons, the latter replaced by composition civilian examples. Note that it buttons right over left, in female style, and also the tucked-in collar. His brown leather M1912 field belt has a small whistle pouch on the left brace. Quantities of the ‘broomhandle' Mauser 1896 7.63mm semi-automatic pistol, complete with wooden holster/stock, were bought by the Russian government before the war.

Volunteer, Polish Military Organization (POW); Upper Silesia, 1919-21

He has pinned to his civilian cap the M1919 national eagle badge (’Orzel wz.19’); he wears an industrial worker’s coat and civilian trousers, with German field-grey puttees. His Kar 98A, M1909 pouches and grenade are from stocks left behind by the retreating German armies after the Armistice.

Volunteer, Lithuanian Nationalist Savanoris; winter 1918/19

With the exception of his cap this patriot is dressed in traditional Lithuanian peasant costume. The so-called ‘Kaunas’ cap is patterned after the British style, and has a yellow band and piping and a cockade bearing the national emblem of the Vytis medieval knight. On his left arm is a triangle in the yellow, green and red national colors. His rifle is the Russian M1891 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant with fixed bayonet; ammunition is carried in a Russian belt pouch, and he has a couple of German stick grenades.

Opponents of the Freikorps, German Intervention in the East

Officer, Latvian Streltsi (Strelki), Red Army; Riga, May/June 1919

From 1915 the Russian Imperial Army had included Latvian (Lettish) volunteer rifle battalions named after the 17th century streltsi or shooters' - a prestigious title. Many Latvians joined the Revolution in 1917, and would rise to high rank in the internal security organization. In October 1918 the Bolsheviks renamed all their infantry as streltsi; and the Latvian Rifle Brigades were among their best units, vital to the survival of the Revolution during the fighting on the Petrograd front.

Although no rank insignia are worn, and officers ' rank titles had been abolished, this Kraskom (‘Red commander) is still identifiable as such. He has pinned to his left pocket the enameled, officers version of the Imperial streltsi badge, on which the red star has replaced the Tsarist eagle. His cap, with its stiffener ring removed in wartime fashion, also bears the red star. His M1912 gymnastiorka (shirt-tunic) has been stripped of its shoulder boards and crested brass buttons, the latter replaced by composition civilian examples. Note that it buttons right over left, in female style, and also the tucked-in collar. His brown leather M1912 field belt has a small whistle pouch on the left brace. Quantities of the broomhandle' Mauser 1896 7.63mm semi-automatic pistol, complete with wooden holster/stock, were bought by the Russian government before the war.

Volunteer, Polish Military Organization (POW); Upper Silesia, 1919-21

He has pinned to his civilian cap the M1919 national eagle badge (Orzel wz.19); he wears an industrial worker’s coat and civilian trousers, with German field-grey puttees. His Kar 98A, M1909 pouches and grenade are from stocks left behind by the retreating German armies after the Armistice.

Volunteer, Lithuanian Nationalist Savanoris; winter 1918/19

With the exception of his cap this patriot is dressed in traditional Lithuanian peasant costume. The so-called Kaunas’ cap is patterned after the British style, and has a yellow band and piping and a cockade bearing the national emblem of the Vytis medieval knight. On his left arm is a triangle in the yellow, green and red national colors. His rifle is the Russian M1891 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant with fixed bayonet; ammunition is carried in a Russian belt pouch, and he has a couple of German stick grenades.



Opponents of the Freikorps, German Intervention in the East

Officer, Latvian Streltsi (Strelki), Red Army; Riga, May/June 1919

From 1915 the Russian Imperial Army had included Latvian (Lettish) volunteer rifle battalions named after the 17th century streltsi or shooters' - a prestigious title. Many Latvians joined the Revolution in 1917, and would rise to high rank in the internal security organization. In October 1918 the Bolsheviks renamed all their infantry as streltsi; and the Latvian Rifle Brigades were among their best units, vital to the survival of the Revolution during the fighting on the Petrograd front.

Although no rank insignia are worn, and officers ' rank titles had been abolished, this Kraskom (‘Red commander) is still identifiable as such. He has pinned to his left pocket the enameled, officers version of the Imperial streltsi badge, on which the red star has replaced the Tsarist eagle. His cap, with its stiffener ring removed in wartime fashion, also bears the red star. His M1912 gymnastiorka (shirt-tunic) has been stripped of its shoulder boards and crested brass buttons, the latter replaced by composition civilian examples. Note that it buttons right over left, in female style, and also the tucked-in collar. His brown leather M1912 field belt has a small whistle pouch on the left brace. Quantities of the broomhandle' Mauser 1896 7.63mm semi-automatic pistol, complete with wooden holster/stock, were bought by the Russian government before the war.

Volunteer, Polish Military Organization (POW); Upper Silesia, 1919-21

He has pinned to his civilian cap the M1919 national eagle badge (Orzel wz.19); he wears an industrial worker’s coat and civilian trousers, with German field-grey puttees. His Kar 98A, M1909 pouches and grenade are from stocks left behind by the retreating German armies after the Armistice.

Volunteer, Lithuanian Nationalist Savanoris; winter 1918/19

With the exception of his cap this patriot is dressed in traditional Lithuanian peasant costume. The so-called Kaunas’ cap is patterned after the British style, and has a yellow band and piping and a cockade bearing the national emblem of the Vytis medieval knight. On his left arm is a triangle in the yellow, green and red national colors. His rifle is the Russian M1891 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant with fixed bayonet; ammunition is carried in a Russian belt pouch, and he has a couple of German stick grenades.


   
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