Tag Archives: telogreika

The ballistic properties of the Red Army winter coat

As it’s 100 degrees outside, this seems logical to review now.

Popular legend has it that the submachine guns of WWII had trouble penetrating the Soviet Red Army’s padded winter coats. The coats, called “telogreika” (body warmer) were first fielded during the war to help keep Stalin’s frontoviks cozy amid the frosty Russian winter while they repelled the “fascist invaders” in what the country continues to call “The Great Patriotic War.”

Hero of the Soviet Union Semyon Agafonov – intelligence officer of the 181st reconnaissance detachment of the Red Army. Note his Mosin Sniper with PE scope and padded telogreika uniform

The myth is that German MP38/40 SMGs, firing puny 9mm parabellum, were no match for the awesome Ivan thus swaddled in his quilted telogreika or two. The legend further swelled with tales of Chinese volunteers fighting in the Korean war, clad in cloned jackets, overcoming .30-caliber M1/M2 Carbines through the magic of layered cotton and wool. A more modern version of this involves Carhartt jackets and the NYPD’s 9mm handguns.

To debunk this, Kalashnikov Concern’s in-house historian, Vladimir Onokoy, coats (get it?) a dummy in not one but two telogreikas then riddles the construction with an MP40 that just happens to be around in the above video. The results tend to vindicate the burp guns.

As you have come this far, check out the below debunk of the whole NYPD thing as well.