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1917 Ranks - Navy

The insignia of rank of the Russian Navy uniform was changed since the Revolution to correspond with that of all republican countries. Shoulder straps which were formerly worn to designate rank were abolished and ranks were now shown by distinctive braid worn on both arms. On all coats the braid encircles the sleeve, except the great coat (overcoat), when the braid is only sewn on the outside half of the sleeve.

The following stripes are worn by Executive Officers and corresponding non-combatant ranks:

  • Admiral. One -inch stripe with curl, two 1-inch stripes below, and above the curl three 5-pointed stars.
  • Vice Admiral. The same with two stars instead of three stars.
  • Rear Admiral. The same with one star instead of three stars.
  • Captain. Three -inch stripes, the upper one with curl.
  • Commander. Two -inch stripes, the upper one with curl.
  • Lieutenant Commander. One -inch stripe with curl and three 1/4-inch stripes.
  • Lieutenant. One -inch stripe with curl and two 1/4-inch stripes.
  • Michman (Lieut., junior grade). One -inch stripe with curl, with one 1/4-inch stripe.

Gold stripes and stars (for flag rank) were worn by executive officers, engineer officers, "Admiralty" officers, and hydrographers. There is no distinction between executive and engineer officers. Silver stripes and stars (for flag rank) are worn by surgeons, law branch officers, and constructors.

Further distinction is made as follows, by cloth sewn beneath the lowest stripe:

  • Constructors. Red.
  • Law Branch. Mauve.
  • Hydrographers. Blue.
  • Surgeons. White.

The caps worn were of the same pattern as those of the British Navy. The cap badge consists of embroiddery laurel leaves in gold with foul anchor in silver. Above the anchor is a 5-pointed gold-embroidered star. Officers wearing gold stripes have gold embroidery and a silver anchor; other, silver embroidery and a gold anchor.

To complicate Navy uniform matters, non-shipboard personnel (including Naval Infantry, aviation, coastal defense, and others) were referred to by Army-style ranks and had special uniform distinctions (usually piping color and shoulderboard insignia) to separate them from their shipboard (or line) brothers. For example, a shipborne senior NCO would be called "Chief Petty Officer ("Glavny Starshina") while the same rank in the Naval Infantry or in Naval Aviation would be called a Senior Sergeant. Same for officers: Captains 1st Rank and Colonels (Polkovnik) were the same rank. And the Soviet Navy probably had as many generals as it had admirals.

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Page last modified: 23-01-2017 15:31:51 ZULU