Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

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edleland
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by edleland »

Folks,

I’ve run into a bit of a dead end with my research on pre-Winter War Organization for the Soviets, so thought I’d reach out and see if the Lardy Hive mind can help. It looks like the Soviets reorganized their Rifle Divisions in September 1939 to the 15 man squads. Prior to that, they were using a 1935 organization looking something like this:

Leytenant, Senior Leader, with pistol
Starshina, Senior Leader, with rifle

Squads 1-4, each with:
Serzhant, Junior Leader, with rifle
DP‐28 LMG with Two crew
One Rifle Grenadier
Nine rifleman

Zaloga and Ness say the organization was 3 squads in peacetime and 4 squads in war, so question 1 is:

- were they using peacetime or wartime strength at A) Lake Khasan (1938), B) Nomonhan (May-Aug 1939) and C) Poland (September 1939)?

Next up is what in the world did organization for the Motor Rifle units look like? They were also using a 1935 organization up until Nov/December 1939, so maybe the same as the start of the Winter War? The motor Rifles seem to be referred to as Rifle MG units and Drea lists a company having 72 Rifles, 12 LMG, 12 Grenade Launchers and 24 MGs. I can guess at Platoon organization from that, but am hoping someone has something concrete. So question #2 is:

- What is the Platoon organization of infantry platoons in Mechanized/tank brigades during this time period?

Last question is an equipment one.

- When did the m1938 50mm Mortars actually make it to units? I know they had them by the Winter War, but not sure about Lake Khasan, Nomonhan or Poland.

Anyway, thanks for any help you can give or if you can point me to good sources. Unfortunately, most of the literature on Lake Khasan & Nomonhan is based primarily off Japanese records, so details on the Soviets are scarce in Coox and Drea.

Thanks!
Ed

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Have some Nomonhan stuff archived, will have a look later today.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Hi Ed
Sorry only stuff to battalion level before 1941 and stuff like this from
THE DEADLY BEGINNING- Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940 - 1942
SOVIET ORDER OF BATTLE Volume I by Charles C. Sharp


Organization of a Soviet
Mechanized Division
May 1940 - 22 June 1941
2 Mtz Rifle Regiments, each:
Regt HQwith 3 Quad AAMG
3 Mtz Rifle Battalions each:
BnHQ
5 Rifle Cos, each:
9 LMGs, 2 50mm mortars
HMG Co with 12 HMGs
Regt Mortar Co with 6 82mm mortars
Regt Cannon Co with 4 76mm howitzers

Organization of a Soviet Motorized
Rifle Division
1940 -1941
3 Motorized Rifle Regiments, each:
Regt HQ with 3 Quad AAMG
3 Mtz Rifle Battalions each:
3 Rifle Cos, each:
12 LMGs, 2 HMGs, 3 50mm mortars
1 HMG Co with 12 HMGs
1 Mortar Co with 6 82mm mortars
1 AT Section with 2 45mm AT guns
1 AA Section with 3 Quad AAMG
Regt Mortar Btry with 4 120mm mortars
Regt Antitank Btry with 6 45mm AT guns
Regt Cannon Co with 6 76mm howitzers
Regt Truck C

From Drea - oops you got that one?
SOVIET MOTORIZED ARMORED BRIGADE
MG Company (1 in HQ plus 3 more in Bgde)
72 RIFLES
12 GRENADE
LAUNCHERS
12 LT MG
24 MG

edleland
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by edleland »

TT,

Thanks for looking! The mech & tank organization during this time period is in a bit of flux, so anything looking at changes just before Barbarossa doesn’t get this far back.

Here are a couple of other clues that I’ve found, just to add to your data file.

1 - this is the translation of a Russian article covering casualties and tank losses at Nomonhan, but doesn’t really break equipment down below Brigade level. Still really interesting though: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... n_cut1.pdf

2- There’s a TOE of a Soviet Light Tank Brigade which is claimed to be in effect from Jul 1939 in the Archive of Winterwar.com that shows 47 man motor Rifle Platoons and an MG Platoon per Company. Not sure what to make of that: https://web.archive.org/web/20100818232 ... ankbgd.htm

This period is hard to track down....

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7dot62mm
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Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by 7dot62mm »

edleland wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:39 pm
It looks like the Soviets reorganized their Rifle Divisions in September 1939 to the 15 man squads. Prior to that, they were using a 1935 organization looking something like this:

(snip)
In my Winter War campaign http://www.saunalahti.fi/~ejuhola/7.62/ ... index.html I present both the 1938 and the September 1939 platoon organizations (see the Soviet Information file). The 1938 organization is on the RKKA.ru webisite at http://rkka.ru/idocs.htm ... it's all in Russian of course and I had to assume some parts of it.

The 1938 organization has rifle grenades in each section (the 1932 organization had rifle grenades in a French-style separate section), while in the September 1939 organization they've been replaced by the 50mm mortar. Both types of platoons seem to have been present in the Winter War, and rifle grenades were still much used in 1941 as well. One supposes that the resources of the Red Army simply did not enable every unit to be converted to use new weapons - these were conscripts serving two or three years of armed service so once you had taught someone to use a rifle grenade launcher you certainly weren't going to re-train them to use a mortar. In order to determine the TOE of a platoon, I have looked at the raising date of the division it is part of.

edleland wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:39 pm

- were they using peacetime or wartime strength at A) Lake Khasan (1938), B) Nomonhan (May-Aug 1939) and C) Poland (September 1939)?
Again, I don't have any actual information. But did they mobilize reserves for these conflicts? If not, I'd say they had the peace-time organization.

edleland wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:39 pm

What is the Platoon organization of infantry platoons in Mechanized/tank brigades during this time period?
I don't know and have been assuming it was the same as that of regular rifle platoons.

edleland wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:39 pm

- When did the m1938 50mm Mortars actually make it to units? I know they had them by the Winter War, but not sure about Lake Khasan, Nomonhan or Poland.
As discussed above, it seems to be introduced into the TOE in September 1939 so likely not in units before that.

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

edleland wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:39 pm
Starshina, Senior Leader, with rifle
Good morning, Starshina, the earth says hello.
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below

If that western capitalist bourgeois doggerel doesn't get you sent to the Gulags, nothing will......
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

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Capt Fortier
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Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Help with Pre-Winter War Soviets

Post by Capt Fortier »

BaronVonWreckedoften wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:02 pm
Good morning, Starshina, the earth says hello.
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below
I think this is simply a reference to the location of the NCO's latrines...
Capt Fortier

“Un optimiste, c'est un homme qui plante deux glands et qui s'achète un hamac.” - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

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