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Russian vs German Infantry Weapons

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Lt Fox, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    The British and Russians had "masses of bolt army rifles" too.



    By the way they're called "Bolt action rifles".
     
  2. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Although out dated the Kar 98 was still an effective weapon in the hands of a skilled marksman. Also the Mg 34, and 42 are said to be the best Machine guns of there time, as well as the MP 44, the Panzerfaust was also very devestating and the Steilhandgranate. All good weapons and easily compared to any Allied weapons.

    After all, it is not the gun but the man behind it that makes the weapon deadly.
     
  3. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    " After all, it is not the gun but the man behind it that makes the weapon deadly", geat post, some on this site need to read that statement
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    You are right. Some do :rolleyes:. Yet some have to make threads trying to compare them.
     
  5. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    let me guess,me[ some might say i watch the History channel to much]
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  7. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    what about the military channel, i think it is a little more accurate
     
  8. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    The Germans and russians were about evenly matched regarding small arms. The MP-44 did tilt the balance later in the war but by then it was far too late for any weapon except a nuke to have any decisive effect on the war's outcome.
    The Kar98 was a fine bolt action but when fighting outnumbered, which in Russia the Germans almost always were, what they really needed was a selective fire assault rifle (which was yet to be invented in 1941).

    If the war would have continued longer the Germans planned to arm all their troops with the MP-44. But if this had happened, the allies would certainly have got around to issuing a similar weapon to their troops at some point to counter the MP-44.
    Fortunately the Germans had the finest machine guns in the world (Mg-34 and 42) and their squads and platoons were organized around it. So basically you had a squad (8 to 12 men) and platoon (30 to 50 men) armed with a mix of bolt rifles, mp-40 smgs, and 1 or more machine guns (usually crewed by 2 men). the bolt action rifles were good at long range, the smgs were only good at short range, and you basically had squads and platoons supporting the machine gun crew due to the limitations of their infantry weapons. The germans were very good at tactics, were well led and well disciplined and this was of course the reason they were so effective.
    the russians armed most of their troops with the PPsh submachine gun for several good reasons. Most of the soldiers were illiterate peasants and would have trouble using a complex weapon like the mp-44. What these troops needed was a simple weapon for close range, a "bullet hose" that didnt require much precision aiming. Also a sub gun is only good at short range - thus forcing the Russian troops to close with the enemy to fight. Which is exactly what the commisars had in mind when they issued it. The russians also did issue some of their troops a bolt action rifle similar to the k-98.

    But in my view both sides could probably have exchanged weapons and the outcome of the war would have been the same.

    Photo below shows which smg this German soldier preferred in the Mp40/PPsh debate.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Exactly, victories are not decided at squad level, they are decided at army level or even above. Your rifle may be the best in the world, but if you climb two levels in the TOE scale, and the enemy's battallion mortar battery is interdicting your ammo supply, after your wonder rifle has fired all it's rounds it can't get any more, then it becomes an over-engineered club.
     
  10. allias1995

    allias1995 recruit

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    the best gun in world war 2 was definatly the kar98k, how could the moisin nagant be better, oh yeh, just to add, i think the PPSH was better than the mp-40, but i like the mp-40 better...:D
     
  11. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    The North Koreans used the Russian AT rifles for sniping.
     
  12. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    The PPS also had a layer of Chrome in the barrel which meant it was resistant to poor maintenance whilst the Mossin Nagant was an old belgian design which meant a lot of the older stocks were extremely well machined to pre war standards which made it resistant to poor maintenace too.

    The Russian light machine gun was inferior to the Germans LMG's but the russian had more generous issues of maxims and modern Hmgs that the germans simply lacked an equivelant to a serious advantage in open areas of Steppe. The Fact that the Germans took every heavy machine gun they could capture suggest they saw an issue with only using a so called universal LMG.
     
  13. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Steering the thread somewhat back to topic, I have been thinking about Max Hastings' arguement in Armageddon: essentially, he argued that the German and Russian army were substantially better than the Western Allies.

    One of the interesting comparisons he made was between the Battle of the Bulge and the Oder-Vistula Offensive. He states that the rapidity with which the Germans were able to effect a breakthrough against the 1st Army and the depth of their penetration compared more than favorably to the sluggish attack carried out by Patton's 3d Army, rejecting the conventional wisdom that Patton's difficulty in breaking the German 7th Army, a second rate formation, was the result of extreme cold and the paucity of roads.

    Similiarly, he states that in January 1945 the Russians successfully carried out a massive assault on German lines in the Vistula-Oder Offensive, in total contempt for German counterattacks and freezing temperatures. He noted that in both cases, the German and Russian attacks went faster and advanced in more depth than any US or UK operations in the war. Many German soliders and commanders he interviewed felt that the Americans were ridiculously sensative with their flanks and lacked the martial spirit of Red Army soldiers who seemed to attack with a fervor totally unimpressionable to the odds.

    It is a cogent argument, but although I bow to Hastings' meticulous primary research and his great success in reconstructing the experience of warfare from combatants and civilians alike, there are little things in his book that seem to be somewhat inaccurate or out of place, as it'd seem that as a civilian writing military history he did not quite grasped the technical aspects of war, or at least to a lesser degree then Steven Zaloga.

    What do you gentlement think about Hastings' thesis? Is this a case of a misconception as the result of the lack of understanding in the physical reqirements of war? Or is his thesis as correct as he avers?
     
  14. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    The difference between the Germans/Soviets and the western Allies was, the allied commanders had to keep casualties down. Too high casualty lists would lower civilian support for the war.
    Also for Britain's case, the U.K. is small compared with the other nations, and there was a growing manpower shortage. Loose too many people and the results would have been disastrous.
     
  15. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Wrong thread. I thought this was the German infantry v. Russian infantry one. Guess I should read a little more carefully.

    In Britain's case the reluctance to lose men is quite understandable. They were about clean out of reserves of manpower.

    My question is really more pretaining to the technicalities of tactics. How does weather conditions effect offensive operations? Does cold incapacitates everyone equally, or does it hinder the attacker more? I already know that Hastings comparison of meteorological conditions were a bit off. The German and Russian attacks were made at about freezing point. 3d Army's couteroffensive was made at -28 degrees Celsius. So it would matter how does weather effect offensive operations.

    Hastings' comparison of the 5th Panzer Army with 3d Army's performance is potentially invallid, considering at the breakthrough battle the 5th Pz. Army threw a corps at the 28th Inf. Div and encountered no prepared defenses at its way in. It took Patton four to five days to punch through the 7th Army, the weaknest German army in the offensive. But Patton had just one corps of three divisions against the four of the Seventh Army which was in the process of digging in to recieve an attack.

    By the way, does anyone know what units the 3d Army engaged during the Allied offensive phase of the battle? It probably wasn't just the 3d Army as I distinctly recall Patton's forces claimed many panzer kills, which the 7th had almost nil.
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Mods, can I just move my post to the relevant thread?
     
  17. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Don't forget the semi-automatic rifles of both combatants. In the case of semi-auto rifles, the SV-40 is clearly superior to the FG-42, even though it’s detachable box mag. (10 rounds) is exceeded by the FG-42, second model which could have either a 10 or 20 round unit.

    And don’t throw out the G43 or K43 as a counter argument, since that one wasn’t a success until it incorporated a copy of the Soviet gas system to replace the Bang (name of inventor) unit it had originally.
     
  18. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Simply not true, the Moisin Nagant was issued to more troops than the PPSh 41. The reason the PPSh was issued in such great numbers was because it fitted in with Soviet doctrine (close range, lots of firepower effectively), they didn't make up the doctrine to fit with the weapon.

    Commissars didn't issue weapons or have influence on what soldiers recieved other than propaganda etc. They were political officers, not storemen.

    IIRC many soviet SMG barrels were made by cutting the barrels of old stock MN's in half. The standards of machining on the rifles varied greatly but the major strength of the MN was that it was incredibly robust, maintainance was hardly an issue whether using an old or new weapon. I know a chap who was having stoppages with his on a range and was advised to stop cleaning it so often. It is simply a mechanism that holds up to abuse well.

    That might be more to do with simply pressing into service captured kit, not necessarily the fact they liked/needed them. The Maxim was really more of an MMG (and was heavier and more cumbersome than the MG34 or MG42 for little benefit), the DShK was a heavy MG and would have filled a gap in the German inventory but they were hardly as widely issued as you seem to think.
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Oh goodness me! More arrant, ignorant bovine faecal matter!

    In case you don't know (and obviously you don't), in the Red Army there were two types of units related to this topic: Infantry Divisions and Mechanised Corps.

    In the Infantry Division the Battalion TOE (6 to 9 to a division) contained among other things 3x Rifle CompanieS, and I mean rifle (plus one Light MG per squad, plus the usual assortment of Hy. Weapons).

    The Mech. Corps contained 3x Mech Brigades of 3x Battalions, and each Battallion contained 2x Rifle companies + 1x SMG company. There were no units higher than company level entirely armed with SMGs. And during the entire war the red Army did not raise more than 13 Mech Corps. Therefore the real numbers are very low in comparative terms.

    And thank you very much for your insulting remarks, these say more about your character than about than the Red Army.
     
  20. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Za, I was going to join you in jumping on that, however it does make me think of the SVT40 which was unpopular with army soldiers because they found it over-complex and difficult to maintain. The naval infantry (generally better educated and more used to dealing with machinery) found it easier to work with and so most of the SVT's wound up with them.
     

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