Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

2 posters



    Location : Bolanda
    Registration date : 2015-07-16
    Number of posts : 11

    "Wave" Empty "Wave"

    Post by sonderbarliebe Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:04 pm


    I was wondering if anyone of you collectors also got into the topic of the phenomenon called (literally in Polish language) "wave" that was present in the Army? Either back in the good old days of the Peoples Military of Poland and Warsaw Pact as well as until not long ago.

    "Wave" was social occurence associated with draft into compulsory service* thanks to which new draftees ("cats") were constantly coming just like the sea waves hitting the beach - in two major drafts during the year: in spring and in autumn (with supplementary drafts taking place sometimes, depending on the personnel needs, in summer and winter) becoming the "lowest form of life on earth"** in the unit it hapened for them to have good fortune and honor serve their country in.

    * - up until around mid 90s draftees had to serve, as with all of the Warsaw Pact militaries, for the period of 2 years, between mid 90s and 2000 the service period was 18 months, from 2000 it was one year, and finaly somewhere well into first decade of XXI century it was reduced to nine months only; today those willing to become privates have to attend candidate service (just like any candidate for proffesional military personnel) in form of preparatory service which takes 4 months - duration of the basic training (consisting of recruit/basic and "specialist" phases)

    ** - and thus relieving former "cats" of duties associated with this affiliation, then being promoted to "vice cats". Former "vice cats" became "pops", former "pops" became "reservists" who would eventually turn "civilians" 30 days before discharge. All the vocabulary as well as "membership criteria" differed from garrison to garrison, sometimes from building to building within the same barracks compound and sometimes even from company to company (however, as a rule of a thumb, servicemen during their first 365 days of service were always, regardless of their allocation, considered to be "cats"). Affiliation to the specific groups was based on the time the serviceman had served in the military; most common indicator of the "social status" was the "counter" (in the last, I don't remember exactly, 100 days it was a tailor's measuring tape, with centimeters being cut out each day until it reach zero - day of discharge) usually displayed in verbal form of anouncing number of DUC: Days Until Civilian, the smaller the number, the higher in hierarchy serviceman was.

    Of course this is only to draw the outline of how the servicemen were affiliated by their fellow draftees that had already served some time. There is much more to it, practically every single aspect of 2 years of life donated by everyone of them was regulated by the laws of "wave".

    I am asking wheter anyone of you has ever thought about this because uniforms and equipment you have in your collection, if used, might bear very interesting markings associated with the owner's tales and fate and disclosing something about them.

    Share your thoughts, ask questions if you have any!

    Best regards!

    Location : New England, US
    Registration date : 2009-03-08
    Number of posts : 6804

    "Wave" Empty Re: "Wave"

    Post by CollectinSteve Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am

    I never saw this thread until now. Pity!

    I've never seen anything marked on any of my used Polish uniforms that marked time or anything else. Occasionally I'll see a name written inside, but tht's about it.

    BTW, "wave" is a very common term for a large call up of conscripts. In German it is also literally translated as "wave" from the word Welle. My guess is, like so many other common military terms, the Germans are the ones that came up with it and everybody else adopted it. Whoever came up with it was spot on!


      Current date/time is Mon Oct 02, 2023 6:55 pm