The Pacific War 8: Soviet Infantry Weapons of the Pacific War -1 reply

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#1 10 years ago

The USSR in the Pacific War? What? Well yes actually. The USSR was engaged only in the very beginning and very end of the war. The first fighting between the Japanese and Russians took place at Lake Khasan in 1938 and Khalkhin Gol in 1939. The last battles involved the last land battles of the second World War, as part of Operation August Storm in August 1945.

I'm a bit brief in these weapon descriptions, because we already have a USSR weapons thread and a lot of these weapons are widely known anyways. I wanted to focus on their use in the Pacific War.

Mosin Nagant M91/30


The Mosin Nagant was the main Russian rifle of the war. By 1945, Soviet doctrine put more emphasis on Infantry laying down a high volume of firepower. This led to submachine guns and semi-automatic rifles being used in greater numbers than in most armies (except for the United States) at the expense of bolt action weapons. However, in 1938 and 1939, the Mosin Nagant was the main rifle of Soviet infantry forces.

The gun fired 7.62x54mm rounds from a 5-round magazine loaded from 5-round clips.

Weapons which were hand picked as the most accurate were often fitted with scopes and used by snipers. A carbine version was also available.

mosin91-30s.jpg Mosin Nagant sniper variant.

mosin91-38a.jpg Mosin 91/38 carbine model from 1938

mosin91-44a.jpg Mosin 91/44 carbine model from 1944.

mosinbayo.jpg Mosin-Nagant spike bayonet

024.jpg Soviet troops with Mosin-Nagant rifles, Operation August Storm 1945.



One of the first -automatic infantry rifles, the AVS-36 fired 7.62x54mm rounds from a 15-round magazine. The gun could be fired both as an automatic and semi-auto.

The AVS-36 automatic rifle was first seen in public in 1938, and first saw combat at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939. The gun suffered from reliablity problems both inherent in the gun and caused by poor training. During the Winter War of 1939-1940, the grease inside many improperly maintained weapons froze, rendering the weapons inoperable. They were quickly replaced by other guns such as the SVT-38 and SVT-40.



The SVT-38 semi-automatic rifle was first fielded in 1938. Firing 7.62x54mm from a 10 round detachable magazine, the SVT-38 arrived too late for Khalkhin Gol and was phased out by 1945. However, the successor to the SVT-38, the SVT-40, was used by Soviet forces as an infantry rifle throughout the war.

Sniper, carbine and automatic versions were produced in very small numbers and were not widely used. The gun was too inaccurate for use as a sniper rifle.



The PPD-34 submachine gun was adopted in 1935 in limited numbers. The gun fired 7.62x25mm ammunition from a 25 round magazine. In 1938, the PPD-34/38 variant was introduced, with the capacity for 71 round drum magazines. This weapon was especially popular with NKVD troops.

kp_PPD3438.jpg PPD-34/38 with 71 round drum magazine.



The main Soviet SMG of WW2. First fielded in 1941, the PPsH-41 served throughout the war. 7.62x25mm, firing from 35 round box magazines or 71 round drums. The gun had a long range for an SMG. Troops typically carried one drum and several box magazines.

The weapon was extremely common in Soviet infantry units by 1945 (during Operation August Storm).

031.jpg Soviet infantry with PPsH-41, Muleng, Manchuria 1945.



The PPS-43 was designed as a compact weapon for use by tankers, recon troops and airborne forces. The gun was first fielded in 1943. It also fired 7.62x25mm ammunition but from 35 round box magazines.

Capitulation_of_Japanese_forces.jpg Soviet soldier with PPS-43 in Manchuria, 1945



The DP 7.62x54mm light machine gun (feeding from a 47 round drum) was the main light machine gun of Soviet forces from 1928 until 1943-44 when it was replaced by the DPM. The barrel was not easily changed, but the gun had a low rate of fire (500-600 RPM) and therefore the barrel did not overheat as quickly.


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#2 10 years ago

DPM DPM_AMW.jpg The DPM was an improved version of the DP, featuring a more robust bipod and a pistol grip. It replaced the DP in 1943-44 and would have been the main Soviet light machine gun for Operation August Storm. M1910 Maxim Maxim_Maschinengewehr_1910.jpg The Russian Maxim machine gun chambered in 7.62x54mm was used in both World Wars as a heavy machine gun, up until 1943. This gun would have been used at Khalkhin Gol. SG-43 Goryunov SG-43_AMW.jpg The SG-43 medium machine gun was designed to replace the M1910 Maxim, which it replaced in 1943. Also firing belt fed 7.62x54mm. DShK 127-_____1938__3-1.jpg The Soviet counterpart to the American M2, the DShK 12.7x108mm machine gun was used as an infantry machine gun on an wheeled mount, as well as a vehicle mounted gun and an antiaircraft gun. The weapon was first fielded in 1938. The wheeled mount was actually a folded tripod with wheels and a gun shield attached. The carriage could unfold into a tripod configuration for antiaircraft use. dshk_002.jpg DShK with tripod unfolded. PTRD ptrd41_01-506-150.jpg The PTRD anti-tank rifle was a large single shot weapon first fielded in 1941. Firing a 14.5x114mm round, the gun could penetrate 25mm of armor at 300m. The gun was large and heavy, but had very good accuracy and better penetrating power than most contemporary antitank rifles. atr4.jpg PTRS ptrs-2.jpg The PTRS was a semi-automatic antitank rifle which fired the same 14.5x114mm rounds from a 5 round magazine. The weapon was extremely heavy (20.3 kg) and had a huge muzzle flash. In addition to its use as an antitank weapon, the PTRS was used as an anti-material weapon in a fashion similar to the M82 Barrett. Antitank rifles were operated by a crew of two. They served in the Soviet Army through 1945. They were especially effective against Japanese tanks, which had thin armor. M1 Bazooka Russian troops received small numbers of American M1 Bazookas under Lend-Lease. ROKS-2 liekinheitin_M41R_1.jpgliekinheitin_M41R_2.jpg The ROKS-2 was the main flamethrower used by Soviet forces. The ROKS-2 was disguised in an attempt to protect the operator from enemy fire by making him appear to be just another infantryman. The flame gun was disguised to look like an infantry rifle, and the flame tank was designed to look like an infantry backpack. The weapon had a range of 35-45m, and carried 10 liters of fuel with a burn time of 6-8 1 second bursts. Ignition was provided by an ingnition charge in a revolving cylinder which only contained 2 cartridges. ROKS-3 ROKS-2.jpg The ROKS-3 was a simplified version of the ROKS-2, with a set of conventional tanks which was not attempted to be disguised as a backpack TT-33 Pistol_TT33.jpg First fielded in 1930, the 7.62x25mm TT-33 was the main Russian sidearm of World War 2. Nagant M1895 MWP_Nagant.jpg The Nagant 7-round 7.62x38mm revolver was used by some Soviet forces. It was especially popular with the NKVD. Army reconaissance troops were often equipped with silenced Nagant revolvers. shooting-ua_pistol.jpg Silenced M1895 Nagant revolver. The silencer was known as the "Bramit Device"


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#3 10 years ago

Hand Grenades F1_grenade_Soviet_RCR_Museum.jpg The F1 fragmentation grenade was used throughout the war. 53-HandGrenadeRGD-33.jpg The RGD-33 stick grenade with a 4 second fuse was also used. SectionedRG42x.jpg The RG-42 fragmentation grenade was a design that could be cheaply mass produced beginning in 1941. IM000246.jpg The RG-33 antitank grenade was designed to damage the tracks of armored vehicles. RPG_43_AMW.jpg The RPG-43 antitank grenade had a shaped charge and a contact fuse and could penetrate 20mm of armor. First fielded in 1943, it replaced the earlier RPG-40. Streamers in the back stabilized the grenade in flight and increase the chances of striking the target's armor at a 90 degree angle. The weapon was useless against Tiger and Panther tanks but was effective against Japanese armor. RPG-6_1.jpg The RPG-6 antitank grenade first appeared in October 1943. The grenade had a bulbous base to detonated the shaped charge explosives a short space away from the tank's armor. It could penetrate 100mm of armor plate. Uniforms Source: Uniform page 1 MC_Khasan_Ia.jpg

1. Soldier of the Pos'yet Frontier Guards Detachment of the NKVD troops of the USSR. He is armed a 7.62mm Mosin-designed rifle of the 1891/1930 model. His cartridge pouches are of a pre-revolutionary model (they refer to times before 1917). One can see supporting shoulder belts as part of the arming. The service coat has a low-cut welt strip with three buttonholes according to the NKVD model. The service cap has a dark-green top, its cap band being of a very dark shade of blue bordering on black color, and crimson piping. On the service coat one can see a "Voroshilov marksman" badge. Vicinity of Lake Khasan. July 1938. [2] 2. Squad leader of the Red Army's 2nd Mechanised Brigade that belonged to the 39th Rifle Corps. The service cap is gray with black worsted cap band and red piping, the arming is of standard type. The squad leader is armed with a 7.62mm Nagant-designed revolver of the 1895 model. He is holding a signal flag in his hand. Fixed on his service coat is a "Ready for work and defense" badge. Vicinity of Lake Khasan. August 1938. [2]


3. Red Army soldier of an artillery battery of the Red Army's 40th Rifle Division named after Sergo Ordzhonikidze. There are no combat arms insignia on his service coat. The soldier is protected with a steel helmet of the 1936 model. Vicinity of Lake Khasan, August 1938. [2] 4. Senior Lieutenant of the 39th Corps Artillery Regiment belonging to the Red Army's 39th Rifle Corps. He is wearing a usual Red Army clothing, but sewn to the turndown collar of his summer shirt-like service coat are artillery senior lieutenant's collar tabs. The accoutrement is of light field type. Vicinity of Lake Khasan, August 1938. [2]


5. Squad leader of the Red Army's 32nd Saratov Rifle Division. He is armed with a 7.62mm Mosin-designed rifle of the 1891 model. Besides a standard set of accoutrement, he has a knapsack and a greatcoat roll over his shoulder. On his steel helmet of the 1936 model there is a special net for using plant branches as camouflage. Vicinity of Lake Khasan, August 1938. [2] 6. Infantry Lieutenant of the 78th Kazan Holding the Order of the Red Banner Rifle Regiment of the 26th Zlatoust Holding the Order of the Red Banner Rifle Division. The officer is protected with a steel helmet of the 1936 model, his accoutrement is of the 1932 model. The sides of his collar and the cuffs of his service coat are piped with crimson worsted, which signifies that he belongs to infantry commanders and chiefs. His service coat is decorated with the Order of the Red Star. Combat operations area near Lake Khasan. August 1938. [2]


7. The Red Army's Air Force captain belonging to the 36th Fighter Air Regiment of the Soviet troops. He is wearing a leather raglan coat and a blue Air Force service cap introduced in 1938. Vicinity of Lake Khasan, August 1938. [2] 8. The Red Army's Air Force lieutenant wearing a version of the Soviet aviation's summer flying suit. As a rule, collar tabs were not sewn to such flying suits. The 55th Mixed Bomber Air Regiment, vicinity of Lake Khasan, August 1938. [2]

Khalkhin_gol_uniform.jpgBattle of Khalkhin Gol

1. Platoon commander's assistant. The 11th Tank Brigade. He is weared in coveralls and uniform panama. July, 1939 2. Tank company commander of the 6th Tank Brigade. He is weared in summer field dress and crash tank helmet. August, 1939. 3. Scout of the Reconnaissance Battalion of the 11th Tank Brigade. He is weared in self-made «grassy» camouflage and rubber sporting slippers. There is a trophy Japanese swardm his hand. July, 1939. [4]

Helmets In 1938 and 1939, Soviet forces used the Model 1936 steel helmet. M36_Helmets.jpg09.jpg Model 1936 steel helmet. In 1940, Soviet forces had adopted the Model 1940 helmet which they used until the end of the war. 20.jpg Model 1940 helmet. Soviet involvement in the Pacific War was limited to the very beginning and very end of the war. This, coupled with the massive advances in Soviet military capabilities between 1939 and 1945, means that Soviet forces and their equipment were completely different during August Storm in 1945 than at Khalkhin Gol in 1939. At Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol, Soviet forces would have had: Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifle Mosin Nagant M91/38 carbine AVS-36 automatic rifle PPD-34 submachine gun DP light machine gun M1910 Maxim machine gun DShK heavy machine gun TT-33 pistol Nagant M1895 revolver F1 fragmentation grenade RGD-33 stick grenade RG-33 antitank grenade M1936 helmet During Operation August Storm, Soviet forces would have had: Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifle Mosin Nagant M91/44 carbine SVT-40 semi auto rifle PPsH-41 submachine gun DPM light machine gun SG-43 Goyunov machine gun DShK heavy machine gun PTRD antitank rifle PTRS antitank rifle M1 Bazooka ROKS-2 flamethrower ROKS-3 flamethrower TT-33 pistol Nagant M1895 revolver Nagant M1895 revolver with silencer F1 fragmentation grenade RGD-33 stick grenade RG-42 frag grenade RPG-43 antitank grenade RPG-6 antitank grenade M1940 helmet


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#4 10 years ago

I always thought the number of semi-automatic rifles (SVT40) decreased during the war because the production was discontinued...


FH2 Betatester

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15th July 2006

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#5 10 years ago

Ooo nice stuff there Megaraptor.


FH Dev

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29th April 2003

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#6 10 years ago
Ts4EVER;4755899I always thought the number of semi-automatic rifles (SVT40) decreased during the war because the production was discontinued...

Production of SVT has been stopped in 1945, 1,5 millions produced, including 50K of sniper rifles.

MSPfc Doc DuFresne

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#7 10 years ago

Any thing we could do to make you do threads like these for the other theaters? IMO your threads always catch as many of the weapons as possible, and you write clearly and concisely about them. I will miss having one of your weapons threads to look forward to every day when you stop the Pacific Campaign.


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17th July 2003

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#8 10 years ago

Good threads for you PBI types (Poor Bloody Infantry). :D


Brazil,presents in WW2

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#9 10 years ago

Soviets on Pacific?Thats new to me :)


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#10 10 years ago

Wasn't the PPS-43 designed during the Siege of Leningrad as a cheap, easy to build gun, with limited materials?

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