Friday, April 8, 2011

Go West, Young Man! Part III

There is no doubt that the sacrifice of the poor bloody infantry of the Red Army led to final victory in May of 1945.

Platoon CO with Runners

In the words of Churchill ~ It is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army. In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet Armies. (Aug. 2, 1944).

I spent my evenings this past week, when I was not playing Twilight Struggle, painting a WW2 Soviet Infantry platoon.  I bought most of the figures about the same time on eBay and they were mixed when they were primed.  The packages included figures by West Wind Line: Berlin or Bust (by Old Glory) and Harlequin Miniatures (now know as Black Tree Design). Together the two different companies provide a great mix of poses and figures.

1st Squad: 7 Riflemen and 1 SMG and a Sgt

On paper each Soviet Rifle squad would consist of a Sgt, with an Assistant Squad leader, 1 LMG (Gunner and Ammo Carrier) team, 2 SMGs and 6 or 7 Riflemen. Squads were rarely full strength or fully equipped. I have painted three 9 men squads, none equipped with the LMG teams.

2nd and 3rd Squads

The 2nd squad has 7 riflemen and 1 SMG, while the 3rd squad had 2 SMGs but only 6 riflemen.

Note: When I was putting the figures away, in my Soviet War Chest, I discovered I had already painted three LMG teams. I only had to add my yellow dot code so each team was matched to a squad. Now each squad can exercise various manpower  and equipment options.

LMG Teams Added to the Platoon

I still have another 50 primed Infantry figures to paint. These figures will allow me to bring a platoon in winter camo pattern, and a 2nd summer dress platoon up to strength. In addition, to a squad of Combat Engineers that need to take to the field with their flamethrowers and mine detectors, there is a newly arrived mortar section (4x mortars with crews) from BTD Miniatures to paint.

To complete this project I have one pack of BTD (WW2010) Soviet Character Set and four packs of Battle Honors WW2 Soviet Infantry unopened. The first, Russ-7 is a package of 10 tank riders. The second package,  Russ-18 consists of four 2 man Anti-Tank Rifle Teams.

Finally there are two packs of Russ-22 (each with 2 x Maxim MGs and NKVD Crews). If you watched Enemy at the Gates, you know you can't go to Stalingrad without them. It is amazing that despite such criminal encouragement, the heroic soldiers of the Workers and Peasants Red Army advanced into the heart of Nazi Germany.