Thursday, 27 August 2015

PzB 39 Evaluation

"To the Chair of the State Committee of Defense, comrade I. Stalin

Trials of the German PzB 39 7.92 mm rifle by the Red Army Small Arms Scientific Research Proving Grounds showed the following results:
  1. Muzzle velocity: 1189 m/s
  2. Mass: 12.12 kg
  3. Bullet mass: 14.8 grams
  4. Chamber volume: 17.06 cm^3
The rifle penetrates a 20 mm surface hardened plate at a 20 degree angle from 500 meters and a 30 mm surface hardened plate at a 20 degree angle from 300 meters. Further trials were not performed as only 7 rounds were available for testing.

The PzB 39 7.92 mm rifle can be considered an effective weapon against 20 mm armour at 500 meters and 30 mm armour at 300 meters. Considering the army's need of anti-tank rifles, we consider it necessary to produce at least 30,000 rifles similar to the German one annually. As it is not possible to solve this problem using the resources of the People's Commissariat of Armament without reducing production of other weapons, we ask that the "Avtotraktordetal" factory in Saratov be transferred to the NKV.

People's Commissar of Armament, D. Ustinov."

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The One with the Rifle Shoots

Somehow, the scene from Enemy at the Gates is considered real by some people, but the situation in real life was rather different. Even in blockaded Sevastopol, nobody sent soldiers to the front lines with no rifles.

"Order #03 for the second defense sector, November 19th, 1941
  1. By order of the commander of the 31st Infantry Regiment, 43 rifles were confiscated from rear servicemen of the regiment. 43 soldiers were armed and sent to the front.
I approve of the initiative of the commander of the 31st regiment and order that:
  1. Immediately take inventory of all weapons in the rear forces, leave 1-2 rifles per squad and send the rest to arm the front line troops.
  2. The commandant of the sector HQ must confiscate weapons from rear servicemen, political department, operations department, prosecution, and tribunal.
  3. Immediately confiscate all submachineguns from HQs, regimental and divisional rear servicemen, political department, operations department, prosecution, tribunal, medical units and drivers, send them to:
    1. Regiments: to front line companies and reconnaissance units.
    2. Divisions; to the chief of artillery armament, comrade Oskin.
  4. I must ask commanders and commissars to pay attention to some soldiers that, when the enemy pressures them, retreat and throw down their rifles and even machineguns.
    I demand the strictest responsibility of soldiers and commanders for the weapons given to them. Those that abandon their weapons will be brought before a military tribunal. Form small squads headed by a brave unit commander to retrieve weapons from the dead and heavily wounded in each company. Each rifle and especially machinegun must be saved no matter what."
Via gistory.