Thursday, December 22, 2011

WWII: Early War Russian Army 15mm

WWII: Early War Russian Army 15mm

The paper strength of a Russian Rifle Battalion was rather impressive. It was a well armed and balanced force that had rarely achieved full strength in the units deployed at the start of the war. Let alone in the regiments raised once the war started. Still, there are plenty of options available to present a historical yet strong force.

According to the old archived Bayonet Strength site, by July of 1941, the order of battle changed and greatly trimmed down the number of troops in the battalion. For some units that had been mobilized at the start of the war, it would be possible that they would be able to retain some of the support elements that they had at the start of the war in June. Newly called up battalions would reflect the much reduced order of battle.

As I get around to it, this page will be updated as I complete and get pictures together.

Russian Army 1941

Rifle Company

Rifle Company HQ
Well the basing is not done but the Company HQ has a Commissar, a Company Commander and two MMG teams. The MMG Teams really need some additional crew members but they will do for now. I also have a standard bearer, just for fun. Rifle Platoon 1
The platoon headquarters consisted of an officer and two runners. At the start of the war, it also had a 50mm mortar attached to it. This mortar team was eliminated by July of 1941.

The platoon was made up of four rifle squads, each of eleven men. In theory this was to be an NCO squad leader armed with a rifle, two SMG armed men for close support, a six man rifle team and a two man LMG team. In theory, this was a well armed unit. The reality is that shortages of SMGs and light machine guns limited this deployment. By July of 1941, the SMGs were eliminated and only two of the four squads were issued light machine guns.

Rifle Platoon 2
This platoon was based initially for FOW but works just fine for IABSM. Two of the squad members from each squad are individually based for casualty removal.

Rifle Platoon 3
MG Platoon
This had an officer and two maxim MMGs with five crew each. This platoon was eliminated in the July 1941 restructure.

Battalion Supports
Anti-Tank Platoon
This element contained an officer and two 45mm anti-tank guns. This platoon was eliminated in July of 1941. This removed the best tank defense that the common infantry man had.

Machine Gun Company
Company HQ (1 Officer, 1 Commissar, 6 men) Three Platoons, each comprised of; 1 Officer, 28 men

Mortar Company
Company HQ (1 Officer, 1 Commissar, 5 men) Three Platoons, each comprised of; 1 Officer, 14 men

Early War Russian Armor

Just as with the Germans, I am too lazy to figure out the proper order of battle for armor. Especially since my games tend to be infantry centric. The basic platoon size was three vehicles. A company would have one or two vehicles in the headquarters.

Lets start with the big guy on the block. This was probably the best tank at the start of the war in the east (or any other theater). The early model had limited turret space and suffered from lack of a radio net. But it definitely put a fear in the enemy. German troops took great delight in scaring incoming Italian troops throughout August of 1941 with tales of the T34.

This is one of those tanks that to me defines the Russian armor in 1941. The T26 had a number of variants. Some just plain odd - like the double turreted version.


  1. That's a good start to your Russian force Chris. I would have been disappointed if there had not been a banner bearer. The whole Red Army vibe really demands one.