Oldtimer gallery. Number plates. USSR military standard (1942-1962).
51k photo of M-72
At the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) Red Army vehicles didn't carry any registration, although civilian vehicles did.
In 1962 WW2 time standard has been replaced by the
standard similar to civilian series of 1959-1981 but with two letters instead of three.
In war years registrations usually were hand written on the
cab doors and rear board of trucks and jeeps,
if no doors (like on Dodge-3/4) - on the front bumper, on Willyses and Fords-GPW - under
left windscreen, there was a good space for this, on amphibious Fords - on the boards above
water line about under windscreen sides.
On one "Emka" GAZ-M1 registration is clearly visible straighly on rear window.
Sometimes black plates with white hand written lettering were used, and after the war such plates
became a norm.

34k photo of Mercedes-Benz 230 W143 or 320Automobile plates.
Consisted of single letter and five digits. Supposedly the same 28 (of 33) letters of Russian
alphabet as were used in civilian standard:
No any system for this 1st letter.

Until 1944 this leading letter was of the same size as digits. The most popular combination was:
28k photo of ZiS-6 airdrome fuellerbut the following variants also noticed:
H 5-73-33
H 5-7333
Beginning from 1944 letter became higher, and often 5-end star was present over 1st or last digit.
But old-style writing was actual too and possibly even used on newly registered vehicles (no
For the numbers with high letter the following writing was often used:
87k photo of JaG-6H-57-333
but previuous style:
was still very popular.

This is plates/board records demand from 1962 military driver's manual:
on the plates, doors and rear walls of cab:
60k photo of Chevrolet 3116Letter (as a sample letter is used, this letter is wider than normal letters in most of Russian fonts):
Height - 110mm, width - 80mm, touch width - 10mm
Height - 80mm, width - 40mm, touch width - 8mm
Height - 20mm, touch width - 8mm
on the rear board of trucks:
Letter (as a sample letter is used, this letter is wider than normal letters in most of Russian fonts):
Height - 300mm, width - 150mm, touch width - 30mm
Height - 300mm, width - 120mm, touch width - 30mm
Height - 80mm, touch width - 30mm
But nothing was strict. Often on the vehicles of the 1st half of war period any registration is apparently missing.

Motorcycle plates.
The same as for automobiles but 4 digits instead of 5.
My statistics is very small, but the following variants are noticed:
Only letter used, perhaps this is due to a non-sufficient material.
Often, especially on early war photos, no any numbering on motorcycles or the registration is of armoured vehicles style - up to 4 (up to 2-3 - much more often) digits, and certainly this was not the whole army numeration.

Sources of photos, data. Gratitudes:
Archive of automobile historian and journalist Denis Orlov (Moscow)..
Collection of Vladimir Kolotovkin (Moscow, RKKA Club (in Russian)).
Central State Archive of Photo- and Sinema Materials (Russia).
Lend-Lease Automobiles Album, 1944(?).
Archiv of Karelskii Front Veterans Council.
Memoirs of Great Patriotic War veterans
Nikolai Polikarpov "JaG-6", article in the M-Hobby (in Russian) magazine, Nr. 1, 1999.
Archive of Yevgenii I. Prochko (Moscow).
You are welcome to write me by E-mail Contact. Andrei Bogomolov.
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Last updated 17 VIII 2002. Translated to English - 18 IX 2002.