New parade uniforms were introduced for officers on 25 February 1955. Neither enlisted personnel nor officers' service or field units were affected by the changes. However it represented a radical change from the high collar M43 parade (or victory parade) tunic.
M55 KGB Officers Parade Uniform
This uniforms consisted of a peaked cap, tunic, and breeches. The peaked cap had a steel grey wool felt body and royal blue band and piping. It had a gold braid cap cord, wide two-piece wreathed parade cap badge, and a pair of brass laurel wreaths attached to the visor. The tunic was also made of steel grey wool and was double breasted with an open neck. The cut was similar to a western double-breasted suit. It had royal blue piping on the collar and sleeve cuffs. Gold boards with royal blue stripes and piping were sewn on and brass laurel leaf "L" devices were attached to the collar and sleeve cuffs. In addition, brass branch of service devices (wreathed stars) were attached, in the "L" to the collars. The breeches were dark blue with royal blue piping on the outside seams. The uniform was worn with a white shirt and grey silk tie. The newly introduced gold officer's parade belt could be worn for formal occasions. This belt was worn with a parade dirk (dagger). KGB officers likely used the army dirk.
Officers Service Uniforms
The M43 service uniform (olive kitel tunic) was used until 1958. However, the distinctive royal blue and maroon peaked hat was abolished in 1954 in favour of an olive hat with royal blue band and piping.
KGB Captain's M55 Parade Tunic. The body is fine quality grey wool felt. All trim is royal blue. The brass oak leaf wreathing can be seen on the collar and sleeve cuffs.
Close-up of the above uniform. The boards on this example have royal blue stripes and piping however they are not the usual wide type with gold braid. Instead they are narrow with silver braid. These are used by administration, technical, and legal staff. Gold stars appear on silver boards, and vice-versa, for M55 uniforms.
M55 KGB Officer's Parade Hat. This hat follows the same rules as M55 army officer hats. It is made of grey wool felt with royal blue band and piping. The cap badge is the 1950's two-piece brass and hot-enamel type, not the more modern one piece aluminum and cold-enamel type. The metal leaves on the peak exist on all M55 officer parade hats and do not indicate senior officer vs. junior officer.
View of inside of M55 parade cap shown above. Maker's stamp is clearly visible. It says: "Workshop of the 23rd Anniversary of October, Size 57, 1955, Moscow".
M54 KGB Officer's Service Hat. This hat is made of khaki wool gabardine with royal blue band and piping. The new officer's oval service cap badge is used. The royal blue and maroon style NKVD hat was used by MGB and MVD until 1954.
M54 KGB Enlisted Parade Hat. This hat is identical to the hat above except for the continued use of the red star cap badge. These hats were not regularly issued to all enlisted personnel as they could use their pilotka (garrison cap) with a parade uniform. However, NCOs, extended service enlisted personnel, and enlisted personnel performing honour guard or parade duties would have been issued with one.
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