As the war progressed, the Soviets were no more immune than the Axis powers to shrinking manpower and equipment. Taking the new infantry order of battle for July 1942, standardised finally in December 1942, given in Zaloga and Ness’ (1998) Red Army Handbook, we have the following NQM mid-war orbat :
Divisional HQ & Signals.
Comd car (C3), signal truck or cart (C3), single figure NKVD (C1), 3 single fig recce (R1). There are now twice as many political officers and NCOs in a divisional HQ as regular officers and NCOs!
Infantry Regiment HQ x 3.
Comd + 82mm mortar + MMG if not at Bn level, anti-tank rifle (CS2-4). The 76mm regimental gun has shrunk to 4 per division so is no longer a key equipment to model. I am currently (spring 2012) only modelling 2 regiments for regular battalions and 3 for guards divisions.
Infantry Battalions x 6-9.
Comd + optional MMG (C1 or 2), 3 rifle (F3) . MMGs no longer always appear at this level and I have reduced Soviet battalions to 6 in a division unless it is a Guards Division. The blue trousers of the chaps below show that they have come from my cavalry division.
Field Artillery Regiment.
FOO (O1), 76mm div gun (S3) + two-horse limber (L3). Command staff are represented at divisional level.
Medium Machine Gun Battalion.
3 MMG (S3). If they do not appear at Bn level.
Anti-tank rifle (S3), 45mm anti-tank gun (S3) + truck or Komsolets limber (L3).
Regimental anti-tank weapons appear at this level. Command staff are represented at divisional level. the Soviets recognised, as did the Wehrmacht, that anti-tank weapons needed to be as mobile as possible. this is not to say that these guns were never horse-drawn.
2 Pioneer (E2). The lack of transport implies an assault pioneer role for these troops. Command staff are represented at divisional level.
Medical cart (L3), Ammo Cart (L3), Artillery cart (L3), Truck (L3). These are often extracted to Corps level in our campaign.
In the picture above, it is clear that there is space to spare now in my standard-sized divisional box.
- The seven 120mm mortars in a division now usually appear at corps level in separate artillery battalions or divisions.
- The twelve 122m howitzers in a division also appear at corps level in artillery divisions.
- AA capability is shown at corps or army level too.
- Units are more likely to be understrength than at full strength.