Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

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Askold
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Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by Askold » 24 Jan 2006 08:55

Would like to share with the forum members some info on UPA uniforms and equipment. All pictures are taken from this website:

http://www.oun-upa.org.ua

1. Being a self-sufficient army, UPA had to rely on its own resources and captured stocks. In the beginning due to lack of own clothing, UPA simply used captured German/Polish/Dutch/Hungarian/Soviet uniforms. As the war progressed, more materials was obtained and more less standard jackets and hats were made.

2. Late in war UPA North managed to create standard uniforms for their sector. This project was to be implemented for the whole army, but due to lack of supplies the plan was not carried out.

1. Horunzhyi and Starshyi Kozak
2. Cockade
3. Side cap patch (Tury group)
4. Collar tab for privates
5. Tab for officers.
6. Tab for generals.
7. Shoulderboards (in the order as shown):
- kozak
- starshyj kozak
- rojovyj
- chotovyj
- bunchuznyj
- pidhorunzhyj
- horunzhyj
- poruchchyk
- sotnyk
- major
- pidpokovnyk
- polkovnyk
- general-horunzhyj
- general-major
- general-pidpolkovnyk


3. UPA ranks (1944).

1. UPA head commander
2. UPA district commander
3. Army group commander
4. Unit commander
5. Kurinnyi
6. Kurinnyi-Bunchuzhnyi
7. Sotennyi
8. Bunchuzhnyi sotni
9. Chotovyi
10. Rojovyi

11. Display of isnignia - collar tab and sleeve rank.
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Last edited by Askold on 24 Jan 2006 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

Eugen Pinak
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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by Eugen Pinak » 24 Jan 2006 11:22

Askold wrote:2. Late in war UPA North managed to create standard uniforms for their sector. This project was to be implemented for the whole army, but due to lack of supplies the plan was not carried out.
It was just a draft. Even UPA-North haven't got any uniform regulations.

Stephan
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Post by Stephan » 24 Jan 2006 15:27

I see the name kozak for private. Didnt they used name strilce?? ie rifleman/rifleshooter?

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Musashi
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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by Musashi » 24 Jan 2006 16:15

Askold wrote:[...]In the beginning due to lack of own clothing, UPA simply used captured German/Dutch/Hungarian/Soviet uniforms.[...]
And of course Polish uniforms. I saw photos of UPA members wearing Polish uniforms in photos provided by you in other topic a few months ago.

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 24 Jan 2006 18:41

Eugene:

It was implemented, at least on the officer levels. Taras Bulba-Borowets can be seen wearing the general's rank, a photo from the Oath ceremony shows officers had the rank system too.

Musashi: you're right, let me fix that.

P.S. Of interesting note is that I seen photo of one member wearing tunic with American buttons - how did they come across that in Carpathian mountains, I have no idea.

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 24 Jan 2006 18:44

Stephan:

I belive the ranking was developed by Taras Bulba-Borovets. This person loved everthing Cossack and tried to form the army according to old traditions. He even added 'Bulba" to his name, to sound like Gogol's Taras Bulba :)

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Georgien
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Post by Georgien » 24 Jan 2006 18:52

Askold,

Do you have photos or pictures of UPAs foreign volunteers (Armenian, Georgian, Azeri, etc)? Do you have any info on them?

have the photos of any foreign volunteers in UPA survive the war?

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 25 Jan 2006 01:32

UPA medals.
Designed by Nil Hasevych (Armenian volunteer with UPA), the purpose of design was to produce something that did not look either German or Soviet. The order to create a system of awards was issued in 1944, however they were only made and distributed in 1945. Some of medals were made in 1951 in West Gemany and illegaly smuggled into Ukraine (UPA fought well untill 1956).

1. Cross of Valor 5 classes
2. War Merrit Cross 5 classes
3. UPA armed forces badge
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Dan E. Moe
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Post by Dan E. Moe » 27 May 2007 18:16

Very interesting thread!

Are there any photos of UPA men wearing these decorations?

Best Regards,
Dan

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 01 Jun 2007 21:27

These medals were produced in later stages of the war - around 1946-48 (the war was over only by 1956). I never seen any photos of them in wear, but they were worn and distributed along with award documents. In the early stages of war you can see soldiers using Soviet medals - accept they would get rid of soviet emblems. Those who previously served in Ukrainian/German formations, would continue to wear their German awards.

Here's a pic of a "Wound Star" - worn if you were wounded.
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JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 02 Jun 2007 22:51

Askold - can you send an email address to me? I have some pictures of a UPA Cemetery in New Jersey I'd like to send you. It's the cemetery that contains the remains of Gen. Pavlo Shandruk. (I couldn't find his grave and nobody was around to help.) I took them about 2 hours ago.

Mine is
JamesL.in.USA@verizon.net

Thanks.

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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by David Thompson » 26 Mar 2010 23:22

A duplicate post from Igor Igor was deleted by this moderator - DT.

Igor Igor -- We have a policy against redundant posts here.

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Askold
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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by Askold » 30 May 2010 19:00

A great new book "Ukrainian Insurgence Army" provides some more info on the uniforms and insignia worn by UPA:

http://www.warstar.info/upa/upa.html

NCO UNRA, 1941 - Ukrainian National Revolutionary Army, predecessor to UPA, wearing Soviet tunic and dark blue "mazepynka" hat.
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Variety of armbands was also worn:
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"Sitch" officer, 1941 - member of regular military units to be dislocated in Ukrainian towns.
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Landdienst Ukraine Bunchuzhny officer, 1941 - formed in Lutsk, this was originally a German sponsored military labour school, which was also secretly used by OUN-B to train their NCO's. Under direct OUN order, the whole Landdienst in 1943 abandoned Germans and joined UPA.
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Member of "Unit of Special Services" Viddil Osobogo Naznachennia 1941 - standart uniform made in Polish manner, with blue and yellow flag collarpatches.
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Commander of "Poliska Sitch" - Taras Bulba Borovets, 1942 - the first formation to call itself UPA, the uniform consisted of Soviet dress captured from the stock, with blue and yellow armband.
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Officer from Ukrainian Auxillary Police - 1942 - wearing Lithuanian uniform with Ukrainian armshield. With Germans refusing to recognize independent Ukraine, whole police companies switched over to UPA.
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UPA soldier, Volyn 1943 - regular uniform with blue and yellow shoulder boards.
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Cockades worn by UPA:

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Chotovyj UPA, 1943 - captured German uniform and mazepynka hat
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UPA officer with unnoficial insignia 1943 - prior to unification of UPA ranks in 1944, some units developed their own ranking systems. In this case the officer is wearing his rank on the sleeve. He is also wearing Combatants Cross, a medal established in 1940 for those who fought in 1918-21 Independence Wars:
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UPA soldier wearing 1944 standard uniform (this was only implemented in Volyn area)
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Ranking system:
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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by PF » 30 Jul 2013 15:46


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Askold
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Re: Ukrainian Insurgence Army (UPA) uniforms and equipment

Post by Askold » 19 Nov 2013 18:56

A bit on equipment and weapons in UPA, will start with what I think is most interesting. German Sturmgewer-43/44 was considered the best assault rifle of WW2. Towards the end of the war UPA managed to get their hands on some of such rifles:

p.s. All photos from the internet

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