Interesting facts about footcloths and tarpaulin boots

Recently, the army has decided to move away from footcloths to the side of socks, and replaces the kersey with ankle boots. Clever, but far from the army's everyday life, people consulted for a long time and stubbornly and decided to follow the enlightened Europe, which had outdone soldiers for a couple of decades. After all, if we want to have a modern and professional army, then the first thing we need to do is get rid of those terrible tarpaulin boots and footcloths. Everything is so yes-not-so. In practice, getting rid of boots with footcloths is not at all as easy as it seems from the outside. Firstly, the warehouses of the Ministry of Defense are bursting with tarpaulin boots and footcloths - and all this stuff must be put somewhere. Secondly, tarpaulin boots have their own advantages - for example, cheapness, all-weather resistance and universal cross-country ability. Footcloths have their own advantages - only with them is it possible to wear such rough shoes as tarpaulin boots.

Or, for example, if the soldier's socks get wet, they must be removed and dried over the fire - otherwise you will get such calluses, you will not wish the enemy. And it is enough to take off the footcloth, rewind the dry side to your feet, and that's it - you can go again. Footcloths practically do not tear, they do not need to look for a pair or select a size.

Finally, few people know, but it was tarpaulin boots with footcloths that at one time ensured the status of the most powerful army in the world for the Soviet army. However, first things first.

The Russian soldier did not always wear boots. From the time of Peter the Great to the end of the eighteenth century, officers and soldiers wore blunt boots with buckles (boots in winter). Only the cavalry could afford boots. Of course, no one tried to challenge the merits of the boots. But everyone knew that it would take as much leather to make a pair of boots as it takes to make five boots! Therefore, they tried to equip at least all the cavalry with boots. In 1778, Prince Grigory Potemkin became Field Marshal of the Russian Army. He started a large-scale reform in the army, he destroyed panache, abolished pigtail, bouclie and powder. “The beauty of military clothing lies in the equality and conformity of things with their use: dress so that a soldier is a dress, and not a burden. All panache must be destroyed. The soldier's toilet should be such that it is up and ready. " Soldier's boots are shorter, softer and more comfortable. But panache in the army was not long absent - Tsar Paul I again dressed the army for the Prussian maneuver, returned the braids and curls. Army boots began to be made of patent leather - these were boots with high tops, and boots, certainly with stockings.

Alexander I - abolished patent leather boots and shoes, and introduced knee-high yuft boots. Nicholas I - canceled yuft boots and introduced short boots, over which black cloth boots with five or six buttons were worn. And Alexander II - again returned to the army boots with footcloths. And by the end of the 19th century, Nicholas II, in order to save money, decided to change the shoes of the army from boots to boots with windings. The windings are a boot replacement dating back to the First World War. Just don't think that this is a Russian invention. At the same World War I, the British roamed about in mustard-colored woolen windings, and the Germans in gray ones. By the way, special hooks were riveted to the German ones so that they would not unwind. Since then, the bourgeoisie has been led to supply the army with boots, but the Russians returned to boots closer to the 30s of the 20th century, when tarpaulin boots were invented ...

In 1928, the Russian chemist Sergei Lebedev came up with the idea of ​​making shoes on a cotton basis, impregnated with artificial rubber - this material was popularly called "tarpaulin", that is, a layer of frozen and cracked earth. And all because in the cold such fabric hardened so much that it became brittle. On the basis of Lebedev's invention, chemist Ivan Plotnikov established the production of tarpaulin in Vyatka at an artificial leather plant. The material quickly gained unheard of popularity, and footwear made of it quickly acquired the status of a national one, because it was comfortable, practical and - most importantly - affordable for a completely impoverished people. On April 10, 1942, Plotnikov was awarded the Stalin Prize of the second degree in 100 thousand rubles. By the end of the war, the Soviet army numbered 10 million soldiers, wearing tarpaulin shoes.

After World War II, footcloths were adopted for use in the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries. Also, the use of footcloths from the time of the Russian Empire continued in the Finnish army. In the GDR, footcloths were abandoned in 1968, in Finland - in 1990, in Ukraine - in 2004. Chechnya is the last war where "kirzachi" were massively used in the Russian army. In the XXI century, ankle boots came to it almost everywhere. Kirzovye boots also remained, but at non-combat units - for example, in the construction battalion.