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"Russian Army... how many soldiers fighting without weapons?" Topic

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728 hits since 4 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 2:37 p.m. PST

Reading about this book….


Took my attention that:… " Sokolov consistently emphasizes how after Red Army forces swept through previously occupied territory, those recently liberated, men and women, were regularly conscripted into the Red Army. Soviet forces were continually on the move, sustaining casualties, and in constant need of replacements. There is evidence that at times these conscripts received limited training (sometimes as little as two weeks). However, I find it rather absurd to believe, as the author posits, that these recent recruits received no training, no weapons (they were instructed to pick them up off the battlefield), and were often employed…"

Remembering movies as that famous of the Russian Snipper in Stalingrad were the new soldiers have one weapon for each three or four men… how much was the amount of Russian soldiers who fought without them (and without uniforms too?)….


on the frontline with such speed that they even lacked Red Army uniforms, and that this was the norm rather than an exception. The author would have his readers believe that the Red Army, throughout 1943 and 1944, waged war against the Wehrmacht by employing soldiers with no weapons. This means everything written about German actions in the east need to be reconceptualized so that we can understand how an armed force lacking basic small arms figured out a strategy to defeat ‘the conquerors of Europe' with all the modern technology then available at their disposal.

deephorse06 Apr 2018 12:52 a.m. PST

I was going to add that this book only got a 2 star review on Amazon but then realised that the review is what you've posted above.

donlowry06 Apr 2018 7:11 a.m. PST

Ah, the dreaded Russian snipper.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

So… anyone used russian soldiers without weapons in your wargame?… (smile)


Andy ONeill06 Apr 2018 10:05 a.m. PST

It's doubtful anything like the depicted event happened, Armand.
They had plenty of rifles.
Ammunition shortages happened, often due to poor logistics.
Little to no marksmanship training was possible.

Blutarski06 Apr 2018 10:23 a.m. PST

Read "The Siege of Budapest". By late 1944, the Soviet army was quite short of infantry. Advancing Soviet forces were impressing into service any and every able-bodied peasant they came across with little or no formal training.

The official TO&E of a 44/45 Soviet Rifle Division – PDF link
- suggests about 6000-7000 men (best guesstimate) as the effective divisional combat infantry strength of a fresh unit.

Here are some unit combat strengths (i.e. – omitting HQ, artillery, transport, medical, service & support elements) as taken from the appendices of the a/m book -

(Note – typical Soviet Rifle Corps = 3 divisions)

Oct 1944
10th Rifle Corps ~8,000 men
23rd Rifle Corps ~10,000 men
31st Guard Rifle Corps ~8,000 men
37th Rifle Corps ~8,000 men

Dec 1944
31st Guard Rifle Corps ~16,000 men

Jan 1945
20th Guard Rifle Corps ~6,000 men
93rd Rifle Division ~1,500 men

- – -

Casualties suffered by the Soviet army in its final six months of fighting -

Casualties – Operation
320,000 – Capture of Budapest (108 days)
168,000 – Capture of Vienna (31 days)
352,000 – Capture of Berlin (23 days)

- which is nearly equivalent to Soviet losses in the Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad together (865,000).



14Bore06 Apr 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

I'm sure it happened, best guess when would be during operation Barbarosa and very possibly with penal battalions which there were over 100,000 men involved.

14Bore06 Apr 2018 3:40 p.m. PST

I know I have read accounts of Russians half or over tanked with vodka locking arms and going to their deaths.

Vostok17 Inactive Member07 Apr 2018 12:36 a.m. PST

Ah, this is Boris Sokolov. Do not waste time on political agitation.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 10:26 a.m. PST

Thanks for the data!.


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