7

Attempting to understand воинская часть. Initially I just thought it meant "troop group", but after seeing it in other contexts that didn't fit.

I've done the due diligence of looking up this word in dictionaries and on Wikipedia: "организационно самостоятельная боевая, учебная и административно-хозяйственная единица в Вооружённых Силах (ВС)"

But I still feel like I'm missing a key part of it.

Currently "military installation personnel" is what I'm using, but I still feel that is not the full meaning.

What would be the corresponding U.S. military term? Or would it be better to have a sentence describing the term initially?

Example 1: "Подготовку спланировать в ходе тренировки в управлении воинских частей - под руководством начальников."

Example 2: "Управление соединениями, воинскими частями в ходе проведения наступательной операции."

11

There are two related yet distinct terms: воинская часть and войсковая часть.

Воинская часть is primarily a management entity, similar to a branch in civilian corporations.

It has its own bank account, keeps its own books, usually is stationed on its own base etc.

Depending on the service branch, it can be a regiment (полк), squadron (эскадрилья), division (дивизион) etc.

Every such unit has its own name, or, rather, a set of two names.

The first one, the real name (действительное наименование) is used internally in the military paperwork. It discloses the organizational structure of the unit, and, as such, is classified.

The second one, the open name (открытое наименование) is used when dealing with the rest of the world. It looks like this: войсковая часть XXXXX, where XXXXX is an opaque number. The unit uses it when legally incorporating and applying for a taxpayer's identification number (ИНН), dealing with civilian suppliers, sending and receiving unclassified mail etc.

So, войсковая часть 12345 would be the open name for a воинская часть, which on its turn is a separate legal entity and a military unit. This open name is pretty much all the civilians are supposed to know of this unit.

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9

'Military base' most likely. This is usually a fenced territory with some purportedly complete set of military personnel and/or war machines, planes etc. inside.

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  • It could certainly refer to a military base, but it refers to smaller installations too. When Russian-speaking immigrants in the US see a National Guard barracks, "воинская часть" is the word they use to describe it. Such facilities generally have a large brick building, some garages, and lots of parked trucks with a fence around the whole thing. – David42 Jul 5 '16 at 16:31
  • And those could not be described as "very small base"? :) – bipll Jul 5 '16 at 16:43
  • While you could describe a National Guard armory as a "very small military base", nobody would understand you. The term "military base" suggests a fairly large facility with a much higher level of activity. – David42 Jul 5 '16 at 17:37
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    @DavidC "воинская часть" generally means "military base" in Russian. It's just that some military bases in Russia are, probably, smaller than most in the US, and/or some Russian-speaking immigrants are ignorant of the distinction between military and National Guard. There is a separate, fairly official meaning of the term, that stands for some thing like "standalone military unit", but in most casual contexts, when you mention "воинская часть" to a native Russian speaker, what they think about is the closest analogue of a military base. – Dima Jul 5 '16 at 17:42
  • @Dima Try searching for "military base" and "воинская часть" using Google images to see the difference in linguistic range. One mostly gives you thinks that look like airports and military encampments. The other mostly gives you things that look like government buildings in towns. Americans are far more likely to call such "small bases" "posts", "barracks", "military headquarters", "military accademies", "defence department offices", "military complexes", and "military facilities". If you call them "bases", most will not understand and your translation will have failed. – David42 Jul 11 '16 at 14:56
1

In addition to other replies, it has to be noted that this usage of 'часть' is quite generic. For example:

  • My grandmother served as an attending doctor in медсанчасть (медико-санитарная часть, medical and sanitary department) at a factory; there also were other departments such as хозчасть (хозяйственная часть, roughly, household department).
  • Firefighters depart for a fire from пожарная часть (fire station).
  • In a large urban school, the deputy director immediately responsible for organization of classes and lessons is called завуч (заведующий учебной частью).

Traces of this terminology are found in railway professional jargon. Quite a number of their abbreviations consists of two letters where the first letter denotes a service and the second is 'Ч':

  • ТЧ, originally 'тяговая часть', nowadays 'дистанция тяги' or simply 'депо', a locomotive/EMU/DMU depot,
  • ВЧ, 'вагонная часть', wagon depot,
  • ШЧ, originally 'шнуровая часть', nowadays 'дистанция сигнализации', a territorial branch of signalling service,
  • ПЧ, originally 'путевая часть', nowadays 'дистанция пути', a territorial branch of track and building maintenance service,
  • ЭЧ, 'электрическая часть' or 'дистанция электроснабжения', a territorial branch of power supply service, and so on.
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