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Rate of issue of SMGs in a Rifle company from late 1941 to late 1943?

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  • Rate of issue of SMGs in a Rifle company from late 1941 to late 1943?

    Was their a shortage of SMGs from July 1941 to around December 1942?

    As the ToEs seem to indicate that their was only 2 or 3 SMGs per rifle platoon for this time frame. This seems to mirror the LMG issue a bit.

    Though this seems a bit odd as most regiments had a SMG Company.

  • #2
    The smg was a new weapon to the Red Army. The Finns used the Suomi against them in the Winter War and suddenly the Red Army had to have them as well. It took time to design and get the PPSh into high production.

    I would say there was a shortage for a while. From what I have read, the Red Army liked to concentrate certain weapons together. It simplified the re-supply and the Troops only had to learn one weapon.

    The concept worked well enough for the Germans to imitate it by having Rifle and Sturmgehwher Platoons in the Volksgrenadier Infantry Company.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      The submachinegun was considered a 'police weapon' and not issued in quantity to the Red Army before 1940. When the war started, the rifle division was authorized about 1100 submachineguns, but no submachinegun units, and most rifle divisions had not received the guns when the war started. The first 'short' rifle division shtat of July 1941 only authorized 162 submachineguns in the entire division! NKO Order number 0406 dated 12 October 1941 authorized each rifle regiment to form a submachinegun company of 100 men, all armed exclusively with PPSh or similar weapons. In 1942 the tables for the Guards Rifle Division were modified so that each of their rifle regiments got two submachinegun companies instead of one.
      The major change took place in April (for the Guards) and May (for the regular rifle divisions) of 1943, when 1/3 of the rifles in each rifle division were replaced by submachineguns. Interestingly enough, the orders did not specify how the substitutions should be made, so from this time onward some divisions had submachinegun platoons in each rifle company, some had submachinegun squads in each platoon, and some even had entire battalions of submachine gunners.
      Since in addition to the regular and Guards rifle divisions most of the 'tank riders', which were about 1/3 of the infantry in the tank brigades, were armed with submachineguns, after the middle of 1943 about one out of every three Soviet front-line soldiers was armed with a submachinegun.

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      • #4
        Good thread. As a technical aside, the weapons were:
        Degtyarev's 1940 PPD
        Shpagin's 1941 PPSh
        Sudayevs's 1942 PPS (The superb compromise between performance and volume which influenced the Finnish KP-44 among others)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nebfer View Post
          Was their a shortage of SMGs from July 1941 to around December 1942?

          As the ToEs seem to indicate that their was only 2 or 3 SMGs per rifle platoon for this time frame. This seems to mirror the LMG issue a bit.

          Though this seems a bit odd as most regiments had a SMG Company.
          First of all SMGs were a short-range weapons
          PPSh-41 - 200-300 meters (aimed fire)
          PPD-34/38/40 - 200-300 m (aimed fire) (killing range up to 800 m)
          PPS-43 - 200 meters (effective range).

          So, there was a large discussion in what scales SMGs were needed.
          At long and medium ranges automatic rifles were much more effective.
          Only after the war this contradiction was fixed after design of so-called "intermediate" cartidge, which made possible to make SMG with 800m aimed range (Kalashnikov)
          To my mind we mustn't treat shortage of SMGs as something fatal for the RKKA. Much more fatal was shortage of modern heavy MGs. Maxim was very old design and not too reliable due to water cooling. And "DS" HMG was produced in not a sufficient amounts. Only in 1943 Goryunov HMG appeared.

          Regards
          Alex
          If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by amvas View Post
            First of all SMGs were a short-range weapons
            PPSh-41 - 200-300 meters (aimed fire)
            PPD-34/38/40 - 200-300 m (aimed fire) (killing range up to 800 m)
            PPS-43 - 200 meters (effective range).

            So, there was a large discussion in what scales SMGs were needed.
            At long and medium ranges automatic rifles were much more effective.
            Only after the war this contradiction was fixed after design of so-called "intermediate" cartidge, which made possible to make SMG with 800m aimed range (Kalashnikov)
            To my mind we mustn't treat shortage of SMGs as something fatal for the RKKA. Much more fatal was shortage of modern heavy MGs. Maxim was very old design and not too reliable due to water cooling. And "DS" HMG was produced in not a sufficient amounts. Only in 1943 Goryunov HMG appeared.

            Regards
            Alex

            Well The question stems from the fact that you typically hear that the Russians had huge numbers of SMGs, and issued them out in large numbers, after all in 1942 most regiments had a company armed with only them, and by mid 1943 most rifle company's had roughly 1/3rd of their weapons being SMGs.

            So when one sees a few OOBs say that they they where rare in 1941 to mid 1942 is something new.

            By the way is their any good places to look at Russian OOBs?
            I know of the RKKA site but it has little, Bayonet Strength is one but to find the Russian OOBs requires a bit of digging...

            I can find some for US, British and German...

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            • #7
              Hi

              Originally posted by Nebfer View Post
              Well The question stems from the fact that you typically hear that the Russians had huge numbers of SMGs, and issued them out in large numbers, after all in 1942 most regiments had a company armed with only them, and by mid 1943 most rifle company's had roughly 1/3rd of their weapons being SMGs.
              Rifle divisions by staff no.:
              04/400 Apr. 5, 1941 - 1204 SMGs (10%) + 10420 Rifles and Carbins
              04/600 July 1941 - 171 SMGs (2%) + 8341 Rifles and Carbins
              04/750 Dec. 1941 - 582 SMGs (6.4%) + 8565 Rifles and Carbins
              04/200 Mar. 1942 - 655 SMGs (6.5%) + 9375 Rifles and Carbins
              04/300 July 1942 - 711 SMGs (8.9%) + 7241 Rifles and Carbins
              04/550 Dec. 1942 - 727 SMGs (10%) + 6474 Rifles and Carbins
              04/550 15 July 1943 - 1048 SMGs (14.3%) + 6274 Rifles and Carbins
              04/500 (Guards) Dec. 1942 - 1097 SMGs (13.4%) + 7095 Rifles and Carbins
              05/40 (Guards) Dec. 18, 1944 - 3594 SMGs (36.2%) + 6330 Rifles and Carbins

              Source:
              Spravochnye materialy po organizatsionnoi strukture strelkovoi divizii Sovetskoi Armii v period Velikoi Otechestvenoi Voiny 1941-1945 gg.
              Genshtab, Moskva, 1951

              So, we can resume percent of SMGs through all the war was 2-14% increasing by 36% only for the late versions of the guards rifle divisions in Dec. 1944

              So when one sees a few OOBs say that they they where rare in 1941 to mid 1942 is something new.

              By the way is their any good places to look at Russian OOBs?
              I know of the RKKA site but it has little, Bayonet Strength is one but to find the Russian OOBs requires a bit of digging...

              I can find some for US, British and German...
              Russian OOB data is very hard to explore, because it's too dispersed both in the net and books

              Regards
              Alex
              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by amvas View Post
                Russian OOB data is very hard to explore, because it's too dispersed both in the net and books
                Yeah.... but still?

                Somebody needs to sit down and get all the Red Army **** into one bag and wire it up.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  Yeah.... but still?

                  Somebody needs to sit down and get all the Red Army **** into one bag and wire it up.
                  A thought I had about 45 years ago, and I've been working at it off and on ever since. It needs a very, very big bag...

                  However, back to the original discussion, of submachinegun issues, there are some elements of specifics: in, for example, Zamulin's "Prokhorovka - neizvestnoe srazhenie velikoi voiny" (pg 233) there is a chart of the weapons/manpower of the rifle divisions in 69th Army on 5 July 1943. I'll only reproduce the data relevant to our discussion here:
                  107th rifle division 3876 rifles 1211 PPSh 31.24%
                  183rd rifle division 4908 rifles 1579 PPSh 32.17%
                  305th rifle division 4626 rifles 242 PPSh 5.23%
                  375th rifle division 5696 rifles 2123 PPSh 37.27%
                  92nd Gds rifle division 5312 rifles 1852 PPSh 34.86%
                  93rd Gds rifle division 6189 rifles 2482 PPSh 40.10%
                  94th Gds rifle division 5889 rifles 2394 PPSh 40.65%

                  From regular to Guards rifle divisions, with the exception of the 305th, all the divisions have a ratio of between about 3 rifles to each submachinegun to up to 5 rifles to 2 submachineguns. These reflect the recent (at that time) orders replacing 1/3 of the rifles in the actual rifle units with submachineguns, plus (in the Guards units) having an extra submachinegun company in each guards rifle regiment.
                  Another example, on a smaller scale, comes from the table on pg 256 of the same book. The 26th guards airborne rifle regiment (9th guards airborne division) on 24 July 1943 had a shtat (official authorization) of 1794 rifles and 344 submachineguns. It had on hand only 940 rifles, but had 519 submachineguns. In other words, while understrength by 854 rifles, the regiment had managed to acquire an 'extra' 175 submachineguns: understrength by 47% in rifles, but overstrength by almost 51% in submachineguns - and having almost exactly 1 submachinegun for every 2 rifles - 1/3 of the 'rifle' troops were carrying, in fact, submachineguns.

                  Now we just need to get the same figures for the other 1400+ rifle regiments in the Soviet Army in July 1943 and the other 46 months of the Great Patriotic War, as a minimum. It takes a very big bag indeed....

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                  • #10
                    TOEs

                    Just goes to show you, TOEs issued were rarely adhered to.

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