Soviet Reconnaissance Troops – Equipment

The Soviet unit at East Wind is the 7th Company (7POTA) of the 5th Independent Recon Battalion of the 27th Motor Rifle Division. While the 27th and the 5th were units that were actually stationed in Germany during the 80's and 90's, 7POTA is a fictional unit. The 27th's HQ was in Halle, with the 5th's HQ being located in Muhlhausen. Soviet Independent Reconnaissance units were the "eyes and ears" of the division. They were more lightly armed/armored and were meant to swiftly locate points of initiative along fronts and either exploit or hold them. 7POTA is a recon unit. That is what we do. We get out, we find the enemy, we fix the enemy and only with orders to we fight the enemy. 7POTA is not meant to stand toe to toe with full NATO combat units. We are the eyes and ears, we simply let the fist of Soviet might know where and when to strike!

While being technically a Category A unit, 7POTA has a distinguished history of mediocrity in this classification however, owing either to a lackluster supply officer or a apathetic commanding officer, or even at times both and it often finds itself in precarious position of being both in the front and rear without the gear. As a result the company has a reputation with "doing more with less" than any other unit in the Battalion.

We do however have access to most of the technology that many Category A units do have. When assigned to 7POTA you will be using the latest in Soviet communications, night vision, transportation and weapons technology. You will dine in a fully functioning Soviet field kitchen/mess hall and will have the opportunity to partake in regular "Political Information Briefings" in the form of informative films shown by the Political Officer. We work hard, we play hard, we fight hard and we do it all "Za Rotu! Za Rodinu!" (For the company, for the Motherland!) What more could you want from a tour with the Western Group of Forces in Germany.

What is a Category A unit?

Soviet forces were divided between 4 readiness categories; Category A is a combat ready formation. Category B is between 50-75% strength with modern equipment requiring a few days to be combat ready. Category C is less than 50% strength with older equipment requiring 2 months mobilization time. Category D has less than 5% strength and real old equipment requiring 6 months. All Divisions outside the USSR and all Airborne Divisions were Category A.

What is "Soviet Forces Germany" or the "Western Group of Forces"?

The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (1949 - 88) (ГСВГ, Группа советских войск в Германии), also known as the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany (1945 - 49) and the Western Group of Forces (1988 - 94) were the troops of the Soviet Army in East Germany.

The Soviet armies permanently stationed in Germany were the predominant land-based military threat to NATO from the late 1940s until 1989, a primary factor in the military situation during the Cold War. Following a resolution of the government of the USSR in 1979/80 20,000 army personnel, 1,000 tanks and much equipment was withdrawn from the territory of the GDR, among them 6th Guards Tank Division, HQ Wittenberg. In the course of Perestroika the GSFG was realigned as a more defensive force regarding strength, structure and equipment. This entailed a clear reduction of the tank forces in 1989. The GSFG was renamed the Western Group of Forces on June 1, 1989.


Personal Equipment

Each individual attending as a Soviet reconnaissance soldier is required to have all of the equipment listed on this page before they will be allowed entry to the field. Click on the name of each item for more details, and photos. There will be an inspection when you sign in. If you have questions, or are having trouble sourcing some items, please contact us.

While some of the equipment on the list may not seem to have immediate value, it is not just for the sake of realism or re-enacting. All the equipment is designed to work as a system, with other people's gear, and with the heavy equipment we provide. For example, it seems like any cup, bowl or plate would work for eating off. But using the correct mess kit means the serving line runs faster, and your kit fits into the cleaning equipment we provide.

Before being sure you have all of this stuff, be sure to read the list of items that you cannot bring.

Required Items:

Optional Items:

The following items, while not required, are permitted for use:

Warsaw Pact Standing Orders:

  1. Facial hair is restricted to a well groomed mustache. Otherwise, all troops will appear clean shaven with no beard growth. Hair length will be restricted to being a military-style haircut or at least neat in appearance with no hair touching your collar. No pony-tails or shaggy hair will be allowed.
  2. Collar liners are mandatory for all collared uniforms - if it has a collar, it needs a collar liner.
  3. Helmets will be worn when on duty or forward deployed. The only time helmets are not required is when you are in the HQ camp and not on duty.
  4. Head covering is required at all times when outside - helmet, caps or ushankas.
  5. Soldiers will have their weapon and at least two loaded magazines on them at all times. This applies to downtime at the HQ camp as well. All parts of the field are in play - you need to be prepared to respond to an attack at anytime.

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