A very fine wartime example of the Soviet "Ready for Labour and Defense" badge, 2nd grade, and specifically a rare model of 1940-1941. Screwback reverse with marked matching spinner. This badge has an attractive patina and shows some wear, all of which is visible in photos. "Ready for Labour and Defense of the USSR" was the All-Union physical culture training programme, introduced in the USSR on March 11, 1931 on the initiative of the Komsomol. It was a complement to the Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR. While the latter provided Soviet physical education system requirements only for athletes, GTO was a programme for all Soviet people of almost all ages. In 1939 the tense international situation caused the inclusion of tests, necessary to prepare young people for service in the Red Army, and to prepare all the population for the possible war. Such disciplines as "crawling over", "speedy foot march", "throwing a bunch of grenades", "rope (also pole and tree) climbing", "carrying over a cartridge box", various martial arts were introduced. Most of them were removed in post-World War II revisions. Only "throwing a grenade" and "50 m small bore rifle shooting" (men only) remained.
WWII Soviet "Ready for Labour and Defense of the USSR" Badge (1940-1941)