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Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

Article about: Hello all! I recently purchased a Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 rifle. As such, I've been looking online for period pictures of regular Soviet troops (NOT snipers) using them in combat. Nine times ou

  1. #1

    Default Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    Hello all!

    I recently purchased a Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 rifle. As such, I've been looking online for period pictures of regular Soviet troops (NOT snipers) using them in combat.

    Nine times out of time, the searches I launch on Google yield pictures FILLED with Soviet troops toting SMGs... Mostly PPSh-41s, but sometimes PPS-43s. Rarely do I find pictures with troops using the 91/30.

    While I understand that the urban warfare of Stalingrad, etc. favored short submachine guns instead of long rifles with spike bayonets attached that were nearly 6ft tall... (I am always hitting door frames, the ceiling in my bedroom, etc. with my 91/30. I can't imagine how clumsy that thing would have been to fight with in a destroyed city-scape with rubble everywhere! ) I understand that 37million (if not more) 91/30s were built during the war. However, based on the amount of SMGs showing up in the period pictures I'm finding, it would lead me to believe that EVEN MORE Soviet SMGs were made...

    Were there really THAT MANY Soviet SMGs on the battlefield? OR Is it that photographers prefered to snap pictures of soldiers using the new and sexy SMGs instead of the long, old style 91/30 rifles that had been around since 1891?

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    The point is the time that soviet troops were using Mosin rifle and SVT-40 they hardly had any photo-cameras.

    It might be that SU prodused more SMGs than 91/30. But after the war and up they were supplied all over the globe.

    enjoy

    *ЕТ*Оспектива Архив блога Фотографии Великой Отечественной. Взятие Берлина


  3. #3

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    have a look at this thread there a few there the problem being that the russians really only took photos later on in the war and by then a lot more ppsh's had been produced

    WW2 Soviet Photos
    Last edited by talltom; 01-09-2012 at 05:31 PM. Reason: forgot the link :)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    Most photographs taken during WW2 by the Soviets were staged propaganda shots that emphasized the assault troops such as the tank riders who were almost exclusively armed with SMGs-these were easier to make and train conscripts to use than rifles and needed more aggressive tactics to be used than sitting in a foxhole and sniping at a couple of hundred yards. This also meant heavier casualties but this was not a major consideration for STAVKA (Soviet High Command). Like all armies the admin and support troops formed the majority and these still tended to use the older rifles although 91/30s largely ceased being made in 1944 to be replaced by the shorter handier M44 carbine-production totals were about 20 million or so rifles and carbines (M38 and M44s)-about 17,475,000 M91/30s were made 1930-45 in total.

    You get a similar impression of the German use of the MP38/40 SMGs, lots of propaganda shots of the elite frontline units using them when the reality was the Germans used anything they could get their hands on, especially for second line units that were never the less heavily engaged in combat.

    PS Production total for the PPSh 41 are about 5 million for the period 1941-45.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    I could be wrong but from what I understand of Soviet squad set-ups, they had entire squads of assault infantry with PPSh-41's. A lot of period photos can attest to this, however as Lithgow has stated, many of those were propaganda shots and were altered forms of the originals.

    Here is a good example of this: Raising a flag over the Reichstag - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  6. #6

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    Thanks for the responses, guys!

    I figured a lot of it was due to propaganda.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Prevalence of SMGs in Soviet Red Army?

    Quote by ph3s View Post
    The point is the time that soviet troops were using Mosin rifle and SVT-40 they hardly had any photo-cameras.

    It might be that SU prodused more SMGs than 91/30. But after the war and up they were supplied all over the globe.

    enjoy

    *ЕТ*Оспектива Архив блога Фотографии Великой Отечественной. Взятие Берлина

    I just had the time to check out that link. Very cool pictures! What is really chilling for me is that I stood on the same spots where some of those pictures were taken when I studied abroad in Berlin!

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