Wednesday, March 21, 2012

20mm WW2 Soviet Rifle Regiment

Well… most of it…

I really only did this to wrack up a lot of points for Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge… mostly… A month or so ago I briefly had a notion I should have another go at Blitzkrieg Commander and while the notion has, for the moment, passed, I did get excited about organizing and finishing up (if not playing with) a few of my 20mm WW2 forces. The Russian Rifle Regiment seemed the easiest to do… so I tried to get most of it finished…

Some of these have been painted previously…. Most were finished up this last week….

We shall start with the Regimental Assets…

(Do keep in mind most of the element/stands represent platoons)

First of all I should have a Regimental HQ stand… but I don’t… I’m thinking I might pick one up from SHQ Miniaturesat some point (under their “Russian Vehicle Crew” they have a pack called “ RT40 Staff Group, Infantry, Tank Officers being Briefed” that might fit the bill).

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Regimental AAMG Platoon (I think this was from FAA).

This was based some time ago and doesn’t really conform to the current basing system (80mm frontage). I’m kind of torn about whether to rebase this or not. As an Anti-Aircraft element I don’t really think of it as having a “front” and thus all side should probably be equal… but an 80x80mm base for these two guys!? Seems a little HUGE!?

I do like the fact that with the bigger bases there is the the potential to make mini-dioramas on them. Perhaps if I could find (or convert) some Soviet infantry men running and ducking for cover I could have them all scattering away from teh gunner as though an airplane is flying directly at them to strafe and the fearless AA gunner and the pilot are going to have a little showdown...

Regimental Reconnaissance Company - one Foot, one Mounted Platoon. The foot are from Platoon 20. The mounted I have no idea where exactly the minis came from... Combat Miniatures...? Maybe...? with plastic horsies from Eagle Games...?

Regimental Pioneer Platoon – also Platoon 20. Some Orders of Battle I’ve seen claim there was a Regimental Pioneer COMPANY, others just a platoon... All I currently have is this platoon... so I'm going with the OOBs that said only one platoon... (until I find some more Soviet Pioneers!)

Regimental SMG Company. There should be 3 platoons. I have only the two at the moment. The one on the left is made up of figures from Platoon 20, the platoon on the right are all from Plastic Soldier Model Company.

Regimental Gun Battery. Two platoons of 76mm Infantry guns all from Plastic Soldier Model Company

There should also be a Regimental Heavy Mortar Company (with 120mm Mortars)... but I don't have those yet... I’ll probably pick up a few from Platoon 20 at some point.

I should also have a Regimental Anti Tank Battery (with 45mm AT guns)... I DO have those (well, two of them…), but I just didn't get to painting them...

Then we have the three Rifle Battalions of the Regiment….

First Battalion (Rifle companies). These are all from Plastic Soldier Model Company

Second Battalion (Rifle companies) These are also from Plastic Soldier Model Company.

Third Battalion (Rifle companies) The two files on the left, one of the CHQs and the Battalion Command stand are older assorted plastic 1/72 models (Revell, Italieri, etc). The file of the right (and two of the CHQs) are metal Platoon 20 figures.

The Heavy Machine-guns. The three platoons in the front row are plastic figures (from Revell, Italieri, etc), The two in the rear are metal Platoon 20 models

Now, here's where I get a little confused... More than a few of the OOBs I've seen state that each battalion had a complete company of Machine-guns (three platoons each) AND each Rifle Company had an HMG platoon, in addition to it's three rifle platoons... for a whopping SIX platoons of HMGs per Battalion (compared to nine rifle platoons in the battalion) and EIGHTEEN Machine-gun Platoons in a Regiment... Is that for reals?! Or is that wishful thinking on behalf of the Soviet general staff!? I have only five at the moment... guess I need to get a few more! I'll probably just pick up four more at some point and have three per battalion...

The Mortars – Plastic 1/72 on the left, Platoon 20 on the right…

Again, according to most OOBs I've seen the Soviets apparently had a Mortar COMPANY per battalion - three platoons serving NINE 82mm tubes! Compared to one platoon in each German or Commonwealth infantry battalion!? So I need another SEVEN for the Regiment at some point - if I ever care to kit out the force with their full authorized strength... to start with I'll probably pick up ONE more and give each battalion a single platoon...

Not part of the Rifle Regiment… but Russian and could potentially be attached to make an even BIGGER force…

Soviet Naval Infantry (from FAA, I think)

At some point I wouldn’t mind putting together a tank force… company… battalion… possibly from an independent tank brigade for supporting these infantry… Those Palstic Soldier Model Company fast-assembly T-34s look awful tempting…

I didn’t take a picture of the entire force as… well… the entire force isn’t complete. It thought I’d at least finish up those AT guns I have before I take a picture of the works all together!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Gosh… I don’t know… what to do now…? Space Ships? Greeks? 20mm WW2 Germans for my Soviets to steamroller!


  1. Tim as regards to OOB's, you do realise (yeah I know me being silly) that the Russians used the terms one level up from what they were to represent ? Battallions being Companies in comparison to other armies ? Something to do with misleading the German Intel Services... This might be the reason for your "confusion" re the number of support weapons etc

  2. Heh! Could Be!?

    So what you're saying is I actually have a DIVISION here!? Awesome!

    Was it actually a case of a ruse to call one thing something else, or was it more a case of chronically undermanned units suffering staggering losses and never being reinforced so that they were at any given time so understrength that battalions had only the strength of a theoretical company...? If the former, rather than the latter, then it seems their ruse was so effective it has confounded history writers to this very day!

    This is part of the reason I like games where a stand represents a platoon - or even a "strength step" within a battalion - to 1:1 games for WW2. That way a platoon is a platoon and it can be pretty much assumed that neither side has their platoons up to their full authorized strength... I mean what army EVER had full strength units to send into combat (other than perhaps on the very first day of a major offensive which they'd had a lot of time to prepare for... even then...). Yet look at any Flames of War force on a table - or any of the 28mm forces I've put together for WW2 - Full authorized strength! All the time!

    This is why I'm not so concerned about having the battalions up to their full authorized strengths... rather than 6 MG platoons I'll probably only ever have three... maybe one mortar platoon (instead of three) and I could probably field battalions of 6 rifle "platoon" stands... to further show the critically understrength nature of the soviet units.

    I read somewhere an excerpt from an interview with a Canadian veteran that stated the sections within their platoons rarely went into action with more than FIVE men (despite an authorized strength of TEN - I wonder what that does to theoretical section tactics - which broke teh theoretical section into a rifle group of six and a gun group of four... Did they just have rifle groups of three and two men serving the Bren...? Or were the section tactics just thrown out the window?

  3. That's an awful lot of well painted Societ mini's. Very nice.

    @paint-in: I'm told that the Royal Navy of today does something similar. We call our destroyers frigates and our cruisers destroyers. Although, apparantly, it was to sneak bigger ship designs passed the MOD and parliament rather than to fool the Soviets.

  4. Wow, that's a fine mass of figures there!
    Great work! Congrats on your 3rd Place in APC!

  5. Christian KnudsenMarch 22, 2012 at 5:02 AM

    Yeah, I havta disagree with you a bit, Paint-in. The Sovs very often fielded units that were, while named at one size, were manned at or near a step down, but this was due to losses, not design. It didn't help that because of the decision to centralize supporting arms like arty, engineers, and armour, the basic Soviet division, even at full strength, was way smaller than it's German or western allied counterpart. On the other hand, the Soviets, especially towards the end, had a plethora of independent supporting arms units...

  6. Rats,

    I always had the impression that it was a ruse born out of neccesity......
    Propaganda et all... well it clearly fooled me :-)