WHO WE ARE
We are the Ninth Company. Under orders to serve all who are interested in the cold war era, most especially from the viewpoints of the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact Countries, we welcome new members from the ranks of historic military vehicle owners, collectors, re-enactors (living history), enthusiasts, historians and traders.
Not setting out to compete with any of the excellent and commendable forums that exist to serve specific interest groups such as, for example, military vehicle owners or living history enthusiasts, we aim instead to complement them. This website exists in order to recruit new members, co-ordinate our group's displays and activities at the various shows and events and with the help of our linked websites (ostalgieuk.webs.com, redskies.webs.com and redfleet.webs.com), provide a little basic information relating to the cold war period. Security considerations and the misdirection occasioned by propaganda meant that those of us who lived through it had only a limited understanding of the full picture of the cold war and as time goes by there are increasing numbers of citizens who never witnessed it at all and for whom it is a complete mystery. It is hoped that our necessarily brief articles will stir an interest to learn and understand the subject more comprehensively. We are nowadays well supplied with books from both sides of the Iron Curtain to facilitate your research. However, even in some of these propaganda myths may persist, on occasion coupled with the writers perhaps understandable belief in the superiority of his own side's personnel, equipment and tactics despite evidence to the opposite, may distort the picture to some degree. It has always been necessary for researchers to view and question all information critically and this skill is, in our age of mass information technology, all the more crucial.
It is not our intent to in any way promote the concept of the supposed superiority of any one political system, nationality, race, religion or creed over another, nor to glorify the suffering and privations of war, although in enjoying our hobby, for which the study of history is an integral part, it is wholly fitting to pay respect and tribute to the service personnel of all nations, who whether volunteer or conscript, have suffered hardship or worse in the course of their duties and whilst defending that in which they believed.
Because we, as vehicle restorers, collectors, re-enactors, enthusiasts, historians and traders research history as part of the hobby we enjoy so much, it is easy to overlook the fact that whilst so doing we have the luxury to adopt a neutral bias, and acknowledge the bad along with the good. Such stances are seldom adopted by governments who view (and sometimes deny or alter) history through the false prism of "political correctness" nor by the entertainment industry, who normally completely and comprehensively rewrite the past with every new blockbuster, in the name of "commercial viability" (i.e. profit). And yet it is only by honestly studying the lessons of the past, warts and all, that we can ever hope to avoid the same mistakes in the future. When history is misrepresented or ignored. it has a nasty habit of teaching us anew, by repeating itself. With time, a nation's moral outlook changes. In order to really understand past events it is necessary to do so through the moral outlook of the time, even though you may find it at odds with your own. And please remember, when meeting our members displaying at events, they will seek to re-enact the moralities of the era; offence is not intended - historical accuracy is.
Membership of the Ninth Company is free and by invitation. If you wish to join, please contact Wolfie by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once a member, relevant contributions to our photo gallery page will be welcome and you may contact other members via our Facebook site, The Ninth Company. However, should you also wish to attend our shows and displays, public liability insurance is needed. Our group uses AFRA, for which the annual cost is a very reasonable £15 each at present. This will also provide you with the documentary evidence necessary for the ownership and display of realistic imitation firearms. Obviously you would also need your own uniform and kit, but as we represent the whole cold war spectrum at shows rather than adopting one, narrow theme, you will have a lot of choice.
The Ninth Company specialises in the Cold War period, with an emphasis on the Soviet and Warsaw Pact viewpoint. Whilst this obviously means that we cover the forces of Russia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland and Romania, friendly administrations within the Soviet sphere of influence, such as, for instance, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and Cuba and more, are also very much included, as are the many uniformed "home" services, of which police, customs, border guards and transportation are but a few examples.
Moreover, the very form , design of equipment, and training concepts of the Soviet Bloc forces were shaped and influenced by the equipment, training and capabilities of the opposing forces that they faced (and vice versa). In recognition of this, we also welcome members not only from those whose interests lie with the Western forces in Berlin, those facing the Intra- German Border, and their respective Military Missions, but also from those whose interests cover other formations who stood against the Soviets, such as the Mujahideen and Chinese border troops.
Feel free to look through our websites. We hope you enjoy them. Please note that the entries regarding "events and activities" are not intended to be comprehensive, and list only those which our members are liable to be interested in attending. Whilst the information is given in good faith, dates and venues may be subject to change or cancellation. Therefore, never set out without first verifying all relevant details with the official organisers, as we accept no liability for wasted journeys.
ORIGINS OF OUR NAME
This group takes its name directly from the title of the iconic Russian Afghan War film. And our motto (shown below), was "liberated" from that used by a Desantnik regiment based in Tula, but with the simple expedient of substituting the word company in place of regiment.
ARTICLE PAGE INDEX
Due to lack of space in the sidebar, it is not possible to show the full titles of the articles on each page, hence this index.
This Website; theninthcompany.webs.com
Article A; The Soviet military machine.
Article B; Desantnik, the Russian Warrior.
Article C; Bears, Fishpots and Hinds - NATO reporting names.
Article D; Soviet combat engineer
Article E; Soviet battlefield anti-aircraft systems
Wire, Walls and Watchtowers
Group of Soviet Forces Germany
Spies in the Sky
Soviet Naval Aviation
Air Forces of the Warsaw Pact
A history of the Cold War Soviet Navy
Translation: "The honour of my company is my honour - the glory of my company is my glory".