Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Soviet River Fleet Parade Belt

Today's "showcase" is a belt that I picked up off of eBay a few years ago. It is a 1950's or 1960's Russian River Fleet parade belt with buckle.

The Soviet River Fleet Service had a system of rank and personnel similar to that of the Soviet Merchant Marines, but according to what I have read, it was somewhat more relaxed in uniform and discipline. The River Fleet operated on the Volga River system and ran the cargo ships, tugs, tankers and passenger ships on the river as well as shipbuilding, waterway maintenance and construction. The service had its own medical facilities and housing as well. River Fleet personnel have numbered around 350,000 since 1955.

The River Fleet belt buckle is distinctive from the Soviet Navy buckles in that it does not have a Soviet Star superimposed over the anchor. I find this quite surprising since every other service branch in the Soviet Union seemed to have the communist star.
The belt is a woven in a yellow color with two small brass rings that were used to hang the parade dagger from. If I am lucky enough to find more details on this belt and buckle I'll make another posting later (there seems to be very little info at all about the River Fleet at all and nearly nothing on their uniforms and equipment).

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