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(Strategy Page)   The Russian military discovers socks   (strategypage.com) divider line 41
    More: Interesting, Russians, russian military, Russia, mass market, Russian Army, German Army, Belleville, combat operations  
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8570 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Nov 2013 at 2:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-16 12:17:11 PM  
What's amusing and yet kind of amazing is after thousands of years, the creation of weapons that can kill thousands in one blow, we are still looking to find the right kind of footwear for soldiers.  I suspect when the Terminators finally take over the world, they will still be looking for the right kind of tread for marching in the bleached bones of their human progenitors.
 
2013-11-16 01:18:54 PM  
I found the story interesting, but by the fifth paragraph I scrolled down to see that I was only about 15% of the way through the article and said out loud, "Good lord, that's a long article about boots!" and closed the window.
 
2013-11-16 02:31:18 PM  

Ennuipoet: What's amusing and yet kind of amazing is after thousands of years, the creation of weapons that can kill thousands in one blow, we are still looking to find the right kind of footwear for soldiers.  I suspect when the Terminators finally take over the world, they will still be looking for the right kind of tread for marching in the bleached bones of their human progenitors.


W-Ti.
 
2013-11-16 02:34:55 PM  
Also, intelligent use of crowdsourcing by a government department. Gook Link, Subby.
 
2013-11-16 02:34:57 PM  

Ennuipoet: What's amusing and yet kind of amazing is after thousands of years, the creation of weapons that can kill thousands in one blow, we are still looking to find the right kind of footwear for soldiers.  I suspect when the Terminators finally take over the world, they will still be looking for the right kind of tread for marching in the bleached bones of their human progenitors.


Feet are awful important if you plan to walk. Lack of proper shoes has doomed more than one army, especially in Russia.
 
2013-11-16 02:35:25 PM  
These are the days of miracles and wonder.
 
2013-11-16 02:38:27 PM  
True story:  I was watching a Ukrainian movie a few days ago (called In the Fog, I think) with a Russian person, and there was a scene where a guy was wrapping a handkerchief around his foot in place of a sock.  The person I was with asked, "How do you call it in English, you know, those socks that are just a piece of cloth?"

Anyway, I totally didn't realize that was 'a thing'.  I thought people did that because they lived in the 1700's, were dirt poor, just marched 200 miles, and didn't have anything to put their foot in except for a dishrag they stole off a plague victim.
 
2013-11-16 02:40:30 PM  
What they don't mention about the traditional Russian footcloth (portyanki) is that it's very easy to put on extra layers of them, without impeding mobility and circulation.  Can't do that with socks.
 
2013-11-16 02:44:55 PM  

Spuddy345: Also, intelligent use of crowdsourcing by a government department. Gook Link, Subby.


No this is about Russia, you're thinking of Korea
 
2013-11-16 02:45:32 PM  
Whip socks?
 
2013-11-16 02:49:21 PM  
I kind of read it as 10% "Russian military discovers socks" and 90% "US Military discovers boots are important".
 
2013-11-16 02:53:27 PM  
Hey Yuri! If you run out of bullets, throw your portyanki  at them!
 
2013-11-16 03:11:26 PM  
We've come full circle: Outdoorsmen in the 50's and 60's used military surplus boots until better footwear was developed. Now those boots are being adapted for military use.

And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.
 
2013-11-16 03:16:44 PM  

Gecko Gingrich: I found the story interesting, but by the fifth paragraph I scrolled down to see that I was only about 15% of the way through the article and said out loud, "Good lord, that's a long article about boots!" and closed the window.

 
2013-11-16 03:17:34 PM  

MFAWG: And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.


upload.wikimedia.org
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-11-16 03:18:03 PM  
Those felt lined boots were the best winter boots ever. They have a thick felt inner boot with a tough rubber sole and leather upper, and the rest of the boot is canvas. In Canada they were made by a Quebec company, Sorel, which went bankrupt because of cheap Asian knock-offs but was brought back by an Amercan company.

You could buy the felt linings separately. They do last about a year or two.

You could get the boots in different models designed to keep you comfortable from 5 above zero Celsius down to about -25, or in an Arctic version that would keep your feet comfortable from -25 down to about -60.

Canadian soldiers loved them, only we have the sock technology and could wear the boots over ordinary indoor socks or thick wool socks as needed.

Perhaps the new American boots are better, I don't know, but it's great to have the felt-lined model. Like all things Russian, they aren't sophisticated but they are resilient, and that is far more important when the going gets tough. The American boots must cost a fortune. The Russian style boot were no more expensive than boots that weren't fit for city streets and the Mall.

Russians sure do good old American know-how well. Like the old joke about the Americans spending millions to develop a pen that would write in space, while the Cosmonauts just used a pencil.

No wonder the Nazis stole their boots. Us Canadians were quite happy to have them as well because we have to be prepared for Arctic warfare--if only against the Russians.

I am sort of sad to see them go. Resilience is a Canadian value. As Margaret Atwood put it in her youthful essay. "Survival", British literature is about the importance of having it made, American literature is about making it, and Canadian literature is about survival.

I'll take survival over making it any day. Nature is a biatch and you can't win if you fight her. You have to adapt, be resilient. Tough and crude will beat sophisticated and expensive in the long run.

Americans spend fortunes on technology and logistics, but nobody else can afford that solution. Canadians have been accused (by the Russians, no less) of having no doctrine of war. We are in it to win, not to play by silly rules. Check 'em in he corners and break the boards. You can see it in our two national sports: hockey and lacrosse. They are war. They weren't meant to be pretty.
 
2013-11-16 03:19:30 PM  
It might seem silly from our perspective, but this is one of those things that tends to run deep in all military folk around the world. It's a very old tradition upheld primarily for the sake of military culture. You could probably find dozens of similar examples within our own ranks of strange things we're still doing because gosh darnit that's the way we've always done it.

MFAWG: And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.


static.guim.co.uk

www.soviet-power.com
 
2013-11-16 03:25:43 PM  

MFAWG: We've come full circle: Outdoorsmen in the 50's and 60's used military surplus boots until better footwear was developed. Now those boots are being adapted for military use.

And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.


Same thing I thought. And not so interested that I'm willing to GIS it.
 
2013-11-16 03:30:38 PM  
Above you can see the cheap, basic Russian version. I bet the Chinese could sell those for dollar store prices. If you had to, you could cover them with bread bags like poor people and people caught out in the rain in their expensive dress shoes.

I loved my old Sorel boots, but with the Winters becoming milder in most years, I could get away with wearing ordinary shoes for all but a handful of days a year. But when the snow was a foot and a half deep and the plows couldn't get through to do the roads until the next day, the old Sorels got me to work on foot.

The New Sorel boots were cheaper and less durable because they had to compete with the Asian knockoffs, but there ain't nothing cheaper than the Russian army boots.
 
2013-11-16 03:32:16 PM  
Crowd-sourcing. Now THAT's resilient. That's what I'm talking about. That's what made the Russian boots and the new American boots great.
 
2013-11-16 04:05:55 PM  
Silly Russians. An army marches on its stomach.
 
2013-11-16 04:08:34 PM  

doosh: MFAWG: We've come full circle: Outdoorsmen in the 50's and 60's used military surplus boots until better footwear was developed. Now those boots are being adapted for military use.

And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.

Same thing I thought. And not so interested that I'm willing to GIS it.


my thoughts exactly.  Thanks for the pics, less lazy farkers.
 
2013-11-16 04:09:25 PM  

casual disregard: It might seem silly from our perspective, but this is one of those things that tends to run deep in all military folk around the world. It's a very old tradition upheld primarily for the sake of military culture. You could probably find dozens of similar examples within our own ranks of strange things we're still doing because gosh darnit that's the way we've always done it.

MFAWG: And article was pretty damn useless without a picture of the felt boots and wrappings in question.

[static.guim.co.uk image 460x276]

[www.soviet-power.com image 325x663]


I spent my late teenage years (16 to 18) in a wheelchair and on crutches due to major reconstructive surgery; these would completely destroy my feet..

/cringing just looking at them
 
2013-11-16 04:17:06 PM  
When I first saw Kyrgyz soldats in 2003 (Former Soviet block) wrapping their feet with what I thought were old bed sheets I thought " My God, this army is destitute" only later did I realize these were what passed for socks there. Sheesh!
 
2013-11-16 04:59:33 PM  

brantgoose: Russians sure do good old American know-how well. Like the old joke about the Americans spending millions to develop a pen that would write in space, while the Cosmonauts just used a pencil.


The thing with pencils was you were going to have a bad day if that graphite dust got into electronics of your oxygen rich metal tube doings laps around the planet or traveling to the moon and back. Even beyond that it's all an urban legend anyway. The Russians eventually came up with their own pen solution, and the ones NASA used were entirely developed using private capitol.
 
2013-11-16 05:02:01 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

There is one item of G.I. gear that can be the difference between a live grunt and a dead grunt. Socks, cushion, sole, O.D. green. Try and keep your feet dry when we're out humpin'. I want you boys to remember to change your socks wherever we stop. The Mekong will eat a grunt's feet right off his legs
 
2013-11-16 05:16:12 PM  

brantgoose: Russians sure do good old American know-how well. Like the old joke about the Americans spending millions to develop a pen that would write in space, while the Cosmonauts just used a pencil.


Mmm, I missed this earlier. Ok, I'll bite. Sure, an American developed a pen that would write in space. But it wasn't developed by NASA and it wasn't on the Government dime. A wealthy space-nut who happened to own a pen company personally funded the invention and then sold it to NASA for use in space. IOW, standard contracting - a business develops a novel device and then contracts sales to the Government. I'm not intimately familiar with this particular case, but it sounds very much like a "sole source" instance where there's literally no competition because...well, because nothing else exists.

In fact, as Snopes illustrates, a pencil is actually a pretty bad instrument to use in a zero G environment because pieces, even extremely tiny pieces, can break off and float into sensitive equipment which can cause failures. You don't want failures in space. You just don't. View film Gravity for further information on failures in space.
 
2013-11-16 05:59:17 PM  
Even the Russians can't stand Uggs anymore.
 
2013-11-16 06:06:14 PM  
OEF was kinda cool in that it was the first war where troops were basically being supplied by private sources. 'Tactical Gear' was all the rage and by the time Iraq was in full swing you had military commanders making list of stuff you COULDNT bring.

We were stuffing our issued gear in C-bags and buying our own stuff
-boots
-rucks
-Webbing
-weapon mods like magazines, optics etc
-whole uniforms. They had to ban under armor shirts because of melty ness and i remember my first RAID bdu

Hell, i think the only issue gear i had on my first deployment were NVG's, my actual rifle and my Wiley X's
 
2013-11-16 06:25:01 PM  
I Felt bad reading that...
 
2013-11-16 06:32:22 PM  

Subtle_Canary: OEF was kinda cool in that it was the first war where troops were basically being supplied by private sources. 'Tactical Gear' was all the rage and by the time Iraq was in full swing you had military commanders making list of stuff you COULDNT bring.

We were stuffing our issued gear in C-bags and buying our own stuff
-boots
-rucks
-Webbing
-weapon mods like magazines, optics etc
-whole uniforms. They had to ban under armor shirts because of melty ness and i remember my first RAID bdu

Hell, i think the only issue gear i had on my first deployment were NVG's, my actual rifle and my Wiley X's


It's pretty farking sad, IMO, when the "strongest military in the world" is reduced to individual soldiers purchasing items that should be standard issue. This was a theme in Heartbreak Ridge which was basically a bald-faced recruiting film (and it worked). But seriously, where can we go from thereabouts?

If you can answer that, then answer this: what level of active military do we require to simply defend the nation at its borders? My line of work would be diminished by a serious draw-down, so I'm biased more than a bit in favor of status quo.
 
2013-11-16 06:47:57 PM  

FrancoFile: What they don't mention about the traditional Russian footcloth (portyanki) is that it's very easy to put on extra layers of them, without impeding mobility and circulation.  Can't do that with socks.


The all weather sock system that I was issued was great.  I have inner socks and a couple of different outer socks to put on top depending on how cold it was.  You can layer up the outers if you want to.  Super comfortable and it doesn't restrict movement or circulation.  Mind you, the CAF doesn't mess around when it comes to cold. Also, our winter mukluks come with a massive felt liner.  Very comfortable, but absolute hell to wear on icy surfaces.

I had no idea that the Russians actually wrapped their feet with cloths. They can spend billions developing weapons, but haven't mastered the sock yet?
 
2013-11-16 06:55:49 PM  

casual disregard: Subtle_Canary: OEF was kinda cool in that it was the first war where troops were basically being supplied by private sources. 'Tactical Gear' was all the rage and by the time Iraq was in full swing you had military commanders making list of stuff you COULDNT bring.

We were stuffing our issued gear in C-bags and buying our own stuff
-boots
-rucks
-Webbing
-weapon mods like magazines, optics etc
-whole uniforms. They had to ban under armor shirts because of melty ness and i remember my first RAID bdu

Hell, i think the only issue gear i had on my first deployment were NVG's, my actual rifle and my Wiley X's

It's pretty farking sad, IMO, when the "strongest military in the world" is reduced to individual soldiers purchasing items that should be standard issue. This was a theme in Heartbreak Ridge which was basically a bald-faced recruiting film (and it worked). But seriously, where can we go from thereabouts?

If you can answer that, then answer this: what level of active military do we require to simply defend the nation at its borders? My line of work would be diminished by a serious draw-down, so I'm biased more than a bit in favor of status quo.


to be fair to uncle sam, most of the stuff we were issued WAS good at the job. Its just that specially made premium gear was better. Nothing wrong with the General Issue Leather Combat Boot (Panama sole). Its just heavy as fark, has no breathability, and lacks cushion support. So everyone bought Danners.

Or the OD Pistol Belt M-1956 (yes we were still being issued ALICE gear, despite most our webbing being designed for MOLLE).

hell, the best thing the military did was dump the PASGT and give us the MICH and ACH
 
2013-11-16 07:00:57 PM  

Farktastic: FrancoFile: What they don't mention about the traditional Russian footcloth (portyanki) is that it's very easy to put on extra layers of them, without impeding mobility and circulation.  Can't do that with socks.

The all weather sock system that I was issued was great.  I have inner socks and a couple of different outer socks to put on top depending on how cold it was.  You can layer up the outers if you want to.  Super comfortable and it doesn't restrict movement or circulation.  Mind you, the CAF doesn't mess around when it comes to cold. Also, our winter mukluks come with a massive felt liner.  Very comfortable, but absolute hell to wear on icy surfaces.

I had no idea that the Russians actually wrapped their feet with cloths. They can spend billions developing weapons, but haven't mastered the sock yet?


Besides the tradition argument, they said that
1) easier to make: no elastic, no complicated form or seaming, no seamless weaving
2) last longer (no elastic) - and if you get a worn spot, just wrap from the other end.  As opposed to that one spot on your big toe that wears out faster than the rest of the sock.
3) easier to launder
4) more interchangeable - no worries about sizes, left vs. right breakin, etc
5) less likely to contribute to fungus or disease, since they dry out much faster in damp weather
 
2013-11-16 08:44:35 PM  
It should be noted that it took the US military over 150 years to replace this Civil War piece of equipment:

sklep.fort.mil.pl

www.armygear.net

with a more modern equipment


0.tqn.com
 
2013-11-16 08:51:35 PM  

hasty ambush: It should be noted that it took the US military over 150 years to replace this Civil War piece of equipment:

[sklep.fort.mil.pl image 500x439]

[www.armygear.net image 432x324]

with a more modern equipment


[0.tqn.com image 234x147]


A shelter half!  I remember digging my water trench around it for runoff.  Those things sucked!  Good times (at least in memory, maybe not so much at the time).
 
2013-11-16 09:01:31 PM  
Weird.... According to Google, I've already visited the Wikipedia page on footwraps.

/I wind up in some weird places on Wikipedia sometimes....
 
2013-11-16 10:25:57 PM  
img.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-17 02:38:05 AM  

phatrabt: hasty ambush: It should be noted that it took the US military over 150 years to replace this Civil War piece of equipment:

[sklep.fort.mil.pl image 500x439]

[www.armygear.net image 432x324]

with a more modern equipment


[0.tqn.com image 234x147]

A shelter half!  I remember digging my water trench around it for runoff.  Those things sucked!  Good times (at least in memory, maybe not so much at the time).


They made us use those in basic training (mid-90's) but I always assumed it was just another way to psycho-fark recruits, considering they were (a) heavy to the point of being half the weight of your entire load and (b) useless without the other half from your 'buddy'.  It would be criminal to send someone into a real deployment with one of those.
 
2013-11-17 09:29:14 AM  

ausfahrk: phatrabt: hasty ambush: It should be noted that it took the US military over 150 years to replace this Civil War piece of equipment:

[sklep.fort.mil.pl image 500x439]

[www.armygear.net image 432x324]

with a more modern equipment


[0.tqn.com image 234x147]

A shelter half!  I remember digging my water trench around it for runoff.  Those things sucked!  Good times (at least in memory, maybe not so much at the time).

They made us use those in basic training (mid-90's) but I always assumed it was just another way to psycho-fark recruits, considering they were (a) heavy to the point of being half the weight of your entire load and (b) useless without the other half from your 'buddy'.  It would be criminal to send someone into a real deployment with one of those.


Lots of crimes were then committed.  Those things were useless as shelter. If we were absolutely forced to  bring them along we used them as a ground cloth and built a shelter out of our ponchos which at least repelled water.  Unless absolutely tight a shelter half would not repel water and even if tight it was useless in a heavy down pour.  The tent poles also broke easily .


The three best pieces of equipment the military issued in my time in were the poncho liner (God's gift to the infantry). The old style heavy duty poncho (not the light weight camouflaged POS that tore easily  and the field jacket liner.
 
2013-11-17 10:47:06 PM  
The field jacket itself was/is pretty nice. Still got mine, and wore it well into the 'goretex solves everything' age.


makes a nice hunting and yard work coat on cold and/or wet days.
 
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