|Soviet Small Arms and Equipment|
|Function||Bearing arms and arming bears|
|Brief||Weapons that won't stop working|
Mushkin SA Revolver
The Mushkin SA Revolver resulted from a requirement for a weapon to replace the Tokarev TT-22 double action revolver. Rather than building a pistol to an existing cartridge in the Soviet inventory, Nikolai Mushkin essentially utilized the "9mm Ultra" cartridge which had been designed by Carl Walther G.m.b.H. for the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Walther's cartridge became the 9x18mm Mushkin. For simplicity and economy, the Mushkin revolver was of single-action operation, with the 9x18mm cartridge being the most powerful cartridge it could safely fire. Although the nominal calibre was 9.0mm, the actual bullet was 9.3mm in diameter, being shorter and wider and thus incompatible with Allied pistols chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum cartridges. Consequently, Soviet ammunition was unusable in Allied firearms, making it impossible for captured Soviet ammunition to be turned against its maker.
The Mushkin is a favourite of many non combat personnel near or on the field, such as mid-ranking officers, technicians, ship crews and engineers; simply because of the fact it can be stored in a holster while not in use without impeding movement of the user, unlike other common Soviet weapons. Because of this, it isn't completely unheard of to have a careless Peacekeeper be shot by a combat engineer, simply because they forgot that all of them are issued the revolver.
Mushkin PM-63 Semi-Auto Pistol
Put into service in 1963, the PM-63 was the response to Soviet Military Order 559, calling for a modern handgun chambered in the 9x18mm round to be issued to every soldier regardless of rank and to replace the various older Russian handguns and revolvers. Made as compact as possible for ease of storage as well as for concealment, the PM-63 utilizes a 7 round box magazine.
When WWIII started two years later, however, it was found that there were not enough PM-63s to go around. As such, combat engineers and noncombat support units were forced to make do with older single action revolvers. Soldiers that actually were seeing combat were given priority for the PM-63. However, by the end of the war, there were finally enough PM-63s available to begin phasing out the rest of the old pistols used by various units; the PM-63 is expected to fully replace all Soviet sidearms by December 1970.
50,000 Volt Tesla Pistol Mk. 2
In the early days of the Second World War, Soviet commissars were regularly issued a Russian .32 ACP Nagant-Revolver or a 9mm Tokarev semi-automatic pistol. In the later years of WWII, commissars did not receive any service weapon at all, but had the right to seize any weapon they saw fit, which led to them typically using PPSh-500 submachine guns. Of course, given their role during Stalin's time, commissars just as often used their weapons to keep Soviet soldiers and officers in line as they actually employed them against Allied forces.
Following Cherdenko's coup, the armament and role of commissars was reviewed. While their weapons were generally adequate for self defence, it was found that lethal force was far from appropriate in many scenarios, such as in the event that a commissar had to deal with unruly conscripts or soldiers who had been drinking on duty (often the same thing). A non-lethal weapon would have served far better in such situations than resorting to fists or shooting them. To this end, the Ministry of Experimental Science was tasked, among many other things, with the development of a non-lethal weapon for commissars to use.
Dozens of concepts were considered and then discarded, but eventually the Ministry was able to arrive at a suitable idea, which would employ electricity to incapacitate the target, and which would be preferably pistol-sized for portability. Surprisingly, a search of the Ministry's extensive archives (conducted to see if any such weapon already existed) uncovered the fact that a similar weapon did in fact exist, though it had been designed to be lethal. The weapon had originally been designed during the war, but had been forgotten about after its designer subsequently made a failed attempt to defect. Ministry personnel were sent to retrieve the prototype, which had been stored in one of the Ministry's many warehouses.
This weapon, the Tesla Pistol, consisted of a small tesla coil with a pistol grip, powered by a battery the size and shape of a one litre tin can, an attempt to miniaturise Tesla weaponry after the successful employment of Shock Troopers in the Second World War. It was to be able to deliver a burst of electricity capable of killing a fully grown man. Unfortunately, the design had suffered from a number of problems, mainly pertaining to issues with the battery, which generally depleted itself rather quickly. For the Ministry's current purposes, however, the weapon was perfect. Since the voltage only needed to be powerful enough to incapacitate, the demand on the battery was less, allowing more shots to be fired before the battery needed to be recharged.
Following extensive refinement of the design by the Ministry (a process that took considerable time), the Tesla Pistol Mk. 2 was ready. Field trials generally proved satisfactory, and commissars were issued with the new pistol. The Tesla Pistol soon proved its worth, showing its usefulness when it came to apprehending deserters and in various other scenarios, not to mention having utility in battle as well, since the pistol could also incapacitate enemy soldiers or even temporarily overload the electrical systems of vehicles. The Tesla Pistol's effectiveness is such that variants are currently being field trialled for use by police officers, though time will tell how far this scheme will go.
PPSh-500 Submachine Gun
Known as the "poppa gun" or "Stalin’s popcorn maker" for the noise it makes when firing, the PPSh-500 was considered the quintessential Soviet submachine gun during the Second World War for the Union and its allies whenever the ADK-45 was either not available or deemed counter-productive. When it was conceived, it was decided that it had to be simple to make, simple to maintain, and so easy to use even a drunken peasant could kill something with it.
Made out of stamped metal and wooden parts from pre-war rifles, with the barrels made from various longarms cut in half, this submachine gun fired an underpowered version of the .32 ACP round, originally developed for the Nagant revolver during the last days of the Russian Empire, probably because there were huge stockpiles of the ammunition left over. In Soviet fashion, it was decided that quantity would be better than quality, and the gun only came with 50 or 100 round drum magazines. Completely lacking in anything resembling accuracy, range, or stopping power, it made up for it with one of the fastest automatic actions that had yet been achieved, and a low cost of production that meant the weapon could be issued in massive quantities.
While the PPSh-500 was replaced after the war by the PPSh-611, it is still in use, mostly in other communist countries, such as in the hands of the NVA and Vietcong.
PPSh-611 Submachine Gun
Also known as the Mini-K, the PPSh-611 was designed to replace the legendary PPSh-500, which hadn’t aged well since the end of WWII. Due to demands from the Soviet military for a modern submachine gun to replace the PPSh-500 as soon as possible, it was decided just to copy the ADK-45 assault rifle, rechamber it for the 9x18mm round, and scale the whole thing down as far as possible, rather than design an entirely new weapon from scratch. As to why the Kalashnikov design bureau allowed for their famous rifle to be so blandly ripped off, it is said that it was an exchange for the gas ducts system used on the ASK-45U.
By the start of, and during WWIII, the PPSh-611 was mainly assigned to urban assault units, tank commanders, and Air Force personnel. A special snap together version was issued to fighter pilots that could be stored in the ejector seat’s supply compartment, and like the ADK-45, so many were manufactured that they could be found just about anywhere. Overall, however, the PPSh-611 is generally a rather unremarkable weapon; the one notable thing about it is that it has one of the lowest levels of recoil of any submachine gun made.
KAR-90 Machine Pistol
Most combat engineers receive only a Mushkin SA Revolver for protection, as they are not expected to see any combat. It is realised, however, that some engineers often find themselves in the thick of combat, and while the Soviets are stingy, they realise that for such engineers, going into combat with only an aging, single action revolver is foolish. Thus, these special individuals receive a much more modern, and far more effective weapon; the KAR-90.
The KAR-90 is a fully automatic 9mm machine pistol. It is of the same size and weight as a normal pistol, and thus fits easily into a holster without impeding the user in any way. However, unlike a normal pistol, it can achieve a rate of fire of up to 450 RPM, peppering a would-be attacker with 9mm rounds. It carries a 30 round magazine, more than enough to stop an Imperial Warrior mid charge and give a Peacekeeper something to think about before attacking. Although the recoil of the gun is ridiculous, a secondary handle located near the front of the pistol can be folded down if required, alleviating the recoil problem significantly. Extended magazines are also available on request, with magazine sizes of up to 50 rounds, more than enough to stop an entire fireteam while the engineer makes a dash for enemy structures.
The KAR-90 has also been adopted in some Spetsnaz brigades as sidearms due to its stopping power and quick draw capabilities. It also burns through ammo slower than other machine pistols, something which attracted Spetsnaz troopers. For this reason, single shot and three round burst fire options has also been added to the custom machine pistols, further improving their accuracy and decreasing ammunition usage.
Service Rifles and Carbines
The rifle of choice at the twilight of the Russian Empire and for the early years of the Soviet Union's existence, the Soviet Union stockpiled tens of millions of these rifles throughout the 1930s and 1940s before switching to the SKAS and then the ADK-45. Due to the massive surplus, the Soviet Union began doing whatever it could to get rid of the rifles, such as offering them freely to buy the loyalty of rural people (which earned it the nickname "Wolf Rifle", as it was advertised as being capable of shooting a wolf dead in a single shot).
They also shipped crates of them to bases during both recent world wars, so that an outpost would never be without means of defending themselves. This policy did lead to a large number of the rifles being taken as trophies by Allied troops where they remain circulating between collectors and criminals; the weapon is humorously known as the "Moist Nugget" in the West due to its perceived low quality.
In reality, the rifle is serviceable but not particularly notable for its era. It has found a place in the heart of Russian culture, however, invoking images of stern protectors of wintery yet cozy cabins in the vast Russian wilderness. The rural issuing of these rifles has also bred a generation of deadly accurate snipers who learned their art in these same forests, hunting deer and protecting their homes from wolves and bears, though this unusually high proportion of gifted snipers is complicated by their categorical refusal to use the newer sniper rifles of the Soviet Union over their battered yet trusted Mosin-Nagants.
Originally designed to be a semi-automatic sniper rifle, the SUVT-40 came into service in the relatively calm period between WWI and WWII. Incorporating several technologies that were cutting edge at the time, such as a semi automatic firing mechanism, adjustable gas system and muzzle brake, the rifle was designed to replace the ageing Mosin-Nagant, and used a 10-round magazine.
However, it did have several rather major flaws that were never really ironed out. The SUVT-40 had a huge problem with vertical shot dispersion, making it unsuitable as a sniper rifle. Although an increased barrel length and higher quality alleviated the problem slightly, it still suffered from problems with accuracy. Plans to convert it to a standard issue infantry rifle also ran into roadblocks, as the rifle was too expensive and too complicated to mass produce. Instead of wasting time and resources to try and make the SUVT-40 feasible for mass production, Soviet high command simply abandoned the SUVT-40 the moment the SKAS came along.
Although fewer than 50,000 SUVT-40s were ever produced, it still sees active service even today. It is particularly popular with the Airborne Guards, as the SUVT-40 offers them the capability to reach out to ranges where carbines would be ineffective, while still retaining a fairly high volume of fire. Most Airborne Guard battalions usually have two to three SUVT-40 wielding sharpshooters to provide precision rifle fire.
The standard rifle of the Red Army's allies (when they couldn't get their hands on Mosin-Nagants or ADK-45s) throughout the second world war, the SKAS was a semi-automatic rifle based on the sketches of Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov, a weapon designer Stalin had exiled from the country due to an off-colour joke about the Premier scrawled in the margins of one of his designs.
The weapon was adapted by a much less talented weapon designer, Demyam Ovchinnikov, and the final weapon, while serviceable, was notable for its notorious lack of reliability, unwieldy size, and flimsy construction, (an American report on the weapon from 1948 stated that "it feels like the bolt was constructed out of crushed soda pop cans") and for its uncanny ability to stop working at the slightest pretence.
During the Second World War, Chinese, Mongolian, Korean, Yugoslav, and other Soviet friendly troops did whatever they could to be designated to "assault units" and get reissued the much more reliable PPSh-500 submachine gun if they couldn't get the older Mosin-Nagant or the new ADK-45. However, the weapon was incredibly cheap to make and simple to operate and maintain, and Stalin took a liking to the weapon so it remained one of the most exported weapons of the Soviet Union throughout the Second World War, still being produced even as enough ADK-45s were produced to meet Comintern demands. After his death, it was abandoned the moment something better came along.
During the Second World War, large caches of SKAS rifles were shipped to North Vietnam in order to arm Communist and Viet Minh forces there, and a good number of these rifles are used by the Vietcong up to this day as sniper rifles.
ADK-45 Assault Rifle
The most produced assault rifle in the world and a weapon so common many countries even have it on their flag or coat of arms Designed in 1945 (hence the title) by a Soviet soldier named Mikhail Kalashnikov who had handled the old Federov-Avtomat and wanted to make an improved version that would marry the service rifle and the submachine gun together while being cheap and easy to make while being incredibly tough and so simple to maintain even a child could do it, all while having a bit of a punchier round than the Avtomat, one of the earliest assault rifles.
Because he lacked a formal education in weapon design or engineering, Kalashnikov deliberately kept his design simple, with wide tolerances and simple operating procedures, and he built a prototype of the weapon in a machine shop the moment he had enough time on hand to do so. The weapon was a resounding success, and caught the eye of a local commander, who ordered Kalashnikov to stay back and manufacture more examples of his weapon to issue to his troops. After examination, the commander, one Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Krukov, saw to it that an updated version of Kalashnikov's design, dubbed the ADK-45, would be issued to all Soviet soldiers. Stalin himself voiced his approval of the weapon, calling it a true gun of the proleteriat and gave Kalishnikov and Krukov heroes of the soviet union medals for vastly increasing the firepower of Soviet troops. While the SKAS would continue to be presented as the weapon of the soviet infantry man in propaganda, the ADK-45 would be manufactured in the millions in secret so that at the start of the war, Soviet units would surprise world with the next evolution in small arms.
The ADK-45 is simple, robust, reliable, and packs a decent punch with its 7.62x39mm round. The large, heavy rifle is renowned for its legendary reliability, and will fire in just about any condition; Allied soldiers were ordered to use thermite or fill the guns with concrete when destroying enemy resources, because anything short of that was usually considered survivable by the robust weapon. The ADK-45 has become a omnipresent part of Soviet culture; non-functional versions of the gun are issued to high school students to practice maintenance drill on, and the weapon's silhouette is used throughout the Soviet Union as a good luck charm, in the form of small pressed medal medallions or spray painted onto buildings or vehicles. It is also one of the most prolific weapons in the world; the rifle or a variant on it is issued to almost every person in the Union's military and to allies of the soviet union, assorted guerrillas and revolutionaries, and to people that just plain annoy the Union's enemies just to get rid of them.
Not surprisingly since so many were made the Soviets experimented with different variations of the ADK-45, the most successful examples being:
- ASK-45U: A shortened folding stock carbine variation with upward gas release ducts to help control recoil, the ASK-45U was originally used by paratroopers until the Spetsnaz forced the BAK-58 bullpup assault rifle into mass production. The ASK-45U still in use however, mainly with the Soviet Navy to repel hostile borders, as well as the Soviet Marines where it has been further modified to be able the fire even after being submerged in salt water for prolonged periods of time, this recent Marine variation has been dubbed the ASK-45UM.
- AMK-46: A long barreled 10 round semi automatic variation designed to replace the SUVT-40 Rifle as the marksman rifle of the Airborne Guard battalions, however much like Soviet snipers and the Mosin-Nagant, the airborne guard soldiers are strongly attached to their current SUVT-40 Rifles and using their influence had production shut down after only 7500 were made.
- AEK-69: Currently in the testing phase, the AEK-69 is designed to replace the powerful but terribly inaccurate Degtyaryov Type-ET as the standard weapon for the Soviet Space Marine. Modified to use exhaust gases to clear the barrel instead of gravity, chambered in the same 5.6x39mm round as the BAK-58 bullpup assault rifle, and a 40 round mini-drum magazine. Feedback has been gently positive and it is hoped that the AEK-55 will enter production by 1974.
BAK-58 Bullpup Assault Rifle
Airborne troops try to minimise the weight they carry with them. After all, there is only so much a transport plane can carry, and for troops dropping behind enemy lines for strategic operations, they are already burdened down with extra supplies and equipment. Apart from that, there is also the problem of weapon barrels getting tangled in the strings of a parachute, making a short barrelled weapon ideal. For some time, the Soviet Union's airborne forces made do with ASK-45U carbines, which were shortened, folding stock variants of the ADK-45, but the Spetsnaz Airborne Guards, the most elite of the Union's paratroopers, wanted something better.
That something was the BAK-58 5.6x39mm bullpup assault rifle. Not actually a new weapon, the BAK-58 was designed in 1965 by the weapon designer German A. Korobov, and was decades ahead of anything in the Soviet inventory. As a bullpup, not only was it more compact than other rifles, but it also managed to solve most of the problems usually associated with bullpups, such as brass ejection, thanks to a unique ejection mechanism, which ejected the brass from above the muzzle. The rifle was extremely compact, with an overall length of 525mm and weighing a mere 2.3 kg, thanks to the use of plastic components and a firing mechanism that made it possible to reduce the weapon's length. Despite this, the BAK-58 possessed far superior accuracy than an ADK-45.
However, the Ministry of Experimental Science, feeling it was too radical, rejected the weapon, classified its existence and put the only prototype into storage, where it would remain until the Spetsnaz learnt of its existence. Using their full influence, the Spetsnaz commanders were able to get the Ministry to begin production of these weapons and issue them to the Spetsnaz battalions. The new weapons have proven to be excellent replacements for the ASK-45U, compact and lightweight, allowing the Spetsnaz to carry more supplies and ammunition when they go behind lines. Despite their effectiveness, however, the Ministry has been extremely reluctant to issue the weapon to anyone outside of the Spetsnaz.
QBZ-2 Assault Rifle
|I don't remember THAT on the list!
This article (Soviet Small Arms and Equipment), or a section of this article, is not considered canon until Team Paradox has considered it so.
One the very few communist firearms manufactured outside of Russia worth mentioning, the QBZ-2 assault rifle has the distinction of being the first bullpup assault rifle to enter widespread military service. Starting off as Project 3, named for the fact that was jointly developed by Iran, North Korea and Red China, in order to decrease dependence on surplus and often outdated Soviet small arms and equipment, was first designed in 1960 and after extensive testing entered production in 1964 in both Iran and North Korea, however due to the mismanagement, and the questionable sanity of Communist China's leadership at the time, Red Chinese production of the QBZ-2 was not started and only a small number of pre-production model rifles were available when the bombs fell and are now considered treasured possessions and status symbols amongst Red Chinese warlords. Not exactly the most pleasant firearm to look at the QBZ-2 was designed to put the durability and stopping power of the ADK-45 into a compact easy-to-use package. Made mostly out of lightweight metal, with parts made of much heavier weight metal in strategic areas to negate recoil, the QBZ-2 while costing slightly more to produce, as well as weighing the same as the ADK-45, makes up for it with much better accuracy than the ADK. The only flaw with the weapon is with brass ejection for as a bullpup shell casings can fly into the face of left-hand users, although the ejection mechanism could be detached from the rifle by removing a series of screws with a tiny allen wrench and replaced with one with the ejection mechanism on the other side, a process that in skilled hands can be done in as little as 5 min. Currently in service only with Iran and North Korea, other communist countries such as Romania and Czechoslovakia have started to commission Iranian state industries with orders for the QBZ-2 as well since North Korea has shut off all contact with the outside world following the Chinese nuclear exchange.
KPV 14.5mm Heavy Machine Gun
Also known unofficially as the "Infantry Eraser" in lieu of its Yak-5 like performance, the KPV is the most powerful of all heavy machine guns. Firing the monstrous 14.5mm API round, a single bullet from the machine gun can sunder a man, and a short burst can lay a squad low. Couple that with a solid 600 RPM rate of fire, and the fact that Sentry Gun emplacements are equipped with three of these heavy hitters, which when combined can put out a wall of lead, and you can see why infantry are highly reluctant to charge these otherwise open-topped and exposed defensive positions.
The 14.5mm bullet used is almost 1.5 times the mass of the standard 12.7mm bullet used by the PKX. As a result, it is nearly twice as powerful as the 12.7mm bullet, allowing it to punch through up to 1 inch of steel plating and still retain sufficient energy to kill the crew or destroy the engine block of the vehicle being targeted. However, the sheer weight of the machine gun relegates it to use in fixed defensive positions only. After all, even an entire squad cannot carry an additional 200 kg between them, not including the ammunition, which weighs almost 160 g per bullet. Furthermore, the KPV requires almost 40,000 rounds to sustain it for a day's fighting, which when combined with the gun itself, weighs just shy of a ton.
The KPV is so heavy that walkers like the Sickle would be unable to support the extra weight without an unacceptable reduction in carried ammunition. At one point, the Soviets also tried fitting YaKs with the KPV, but they eventually realised that it was simpler and more effective to mount 4 PKXs than 2 KPVs.
PKX 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun
The PKX is the Soviet's answer to the Allied Browning M2. Based on the Allied design, it bears some external similarities to the M2. Like the Browning, it has a respectable rate of fire and is reliable, and is the Soviets' main heavy machine gun.
The two machine guns are quite similar, and several parts are actually interchangeable, so much that troops from both sides have been known to cannibalise components for their machine gun from the other side's machine gun. However, the PKX is actually a newer design, having been developed in 1938. The Soviets were able to get their hands on a Browning machine gun by unknown means, which is why there are so many similarities between the two. However, the PKX is not just a cheap knock-off of the Browning, and has several notable differences. In fact, the PKX was only partly based on the Browning.
The PKX fires Soviet made 12.7x108mm ammunition, different from Allied 12.7x99mm ammunition. Secondly, the PKX, unlike the Browning, lacks recoil reducing foam buffers and several other components that were thought to be unnecessary. This reduced weight and cost of production, but also means that the PKX has slightly inferior accuracy due to an increase in recoil. The original PKX was fed via drum magazine, but the magazine's small capacity of 100 rounds proved insufficient, so the designers copied the Browning's belt fed mechanism. The quick change barrel of the PKX is based off the Browning's own quick change barrel, and bears many similarities, including the handle.
Much like its counterpart, the PKX has seen extensive usage in almost every sector of the Soviet army, from the Sickle to the Twinblade, Pincers and even on supply trucks. In fact, the PKX is so popular among the Soviet forces that 2 PKXs have been produced for every Browning M2. Together with its sibling, the two machine guns make up nearly 50% of all heavy machine guns in use throughout the world today.
RDP 7.62mm Light Machine Gun
The RDP light machine gun was developed in the early 1950s, and was designed to be easily carried and set up by one man. Weighing in at 12 kg with an attached bipod, the RDP was intended to act as a squad automatic weapon that could provide sustained covering firing on the enemy, as the SKAS tended to jam easily when firing more than 6 bullets in one go. Sporting a relatively low firing rate of 500 RPM, the RDP's designers focused on long term sustained covering fire and ammo management. A RDP equipped trooper would only need to carry 10 kg worth of ammunition to last him a battle, enabling him to carry another weapon.
A new round was also designed for the RDP; the Soviet 7.62x39mm round, which would also be adopted by the ADK-45 after the war. The round was designed to have less recoil than the 7.62x54mmR round, while still packing enough of a punch to fell a man from half a mile away.
The RDP also sports decent iron sights, which along with the lesser recoil produced by the lower rate of fire, results in a rather accurate weapon. However, the production cost of the RDP was relatively high, and its focus on accuracy instead of rate of fire meant that significant training was required for operators to use it effectively, further driving up costs. Eventually, when the ADK-45 came out shortly after, RDP production was reduced significantly as resources were diverted to the construction of the new, cheaper assault rifle that also fulfilled the role of sustained automatic suppression fire.
However, the RDP is still in service in the Red Army today, issued to regular soldiers as well as special operations teams and naval infantry squads. It has also caught on with this supply & logistics branch of the Soviet Army, whose trucks struggle to transport the ammunition for PKX machine guns on top of their supplies. In theory, one in every ten conscripts are supposed to be issued the weapon; this is used as a test of the conscripts' comprehension of communist doctrine. Successfully passing this test, by equally sharing the weapon ("“Equal rights for all, special privileges for none”") or electing a member of their own to carry it ("From each according to his ability, to each according to his need") can fast-track a group of Conscripts to promotion. As a result of being the single unequal element within the ranks of the conscripts, the RDP has earned a somewhat mythical reputation, which is perpetuated by veterans onto new conscripts as a way of increasing the difficulty of the test by making the RDP more coveted. According to this rather extensive mythology, the RDP fires homing bullets, is made from the same materials as Soviet spacecraft, and will never allow itself to run out of ammunition when the operator is in danger.
Degtyaryov 7.62mm Machine Gun
The black sheep in the Soviet Union's machine gun arsenal, the entire production line of Degtyaryov machine guns were plagued with problems. The light weight of the machine gun (4.2 kg, to be precise) and the (admittedly impressive) rate of fire made recoil almost uncontrollable, and the ADK-45 outclassed it in terms of reliability and cost. As a result of these faults, the Degtyaryov quickly fell out of use in the Red Army, although the Germans did try to replicate captured versions following the war for use in paratrooper divisions, without much success.
However, its perceived problems would eventually turn out to be advantageous. Due to the weapon's extremely light weight, the Degtyaryov was three times cheaper than another weapon with comparable firepower to send up into space, and the drum magazine used by the Degtyaryov could be packed into a circular rocket much more efficiently than the ADK's magazines. However, one critical advantage of the Degtyaryov over its competitor sealed its spot as the weapon of choice of the cosmonauts; the ADK-45 had a tendency to jam in space, as its reloading mechanism required assistance from gravity to eject the spent cartridge; however, the Degtyaryov does not suffer from such a problem as it relies on exhaust gases to clear the barrel.
Thus, weapon designer Vasily Degtyaryov, with approval from Soviet high command, proceeded to improve the weapon and iron out its kinks, which resulted in the Degtyaryov Type ET. Though the recoil problem was not completely solved--in fact, the rate of fire was increased to 1,200 RPM--a Space Marine would hardly feel the recoil thanks to his powered armour and would actually be able to hold the gun steady and aim with it. Accuracy was also improved with the addition of a foolproof iron sight, with a huge aiming reticule that essentially says "shoot here". The pistol grip was modified to better fit a gloved hand, with a massive trigger guard, and the carrying strap was replaced with a tether.
Outside of the Space Marines, however, the Degtyaryov remains highly unpopular due to its light, almost toy-like feel and ridiculous recoil. It has found its way into strange places though, sometimes landing in the hands of the Airborne Guards, who use it for its light weight, though they must fire in short bursts or on single shot firing mode if they don't wish to lose control of the weapon.
KM-21 Semi-auto Shotgun
For close quarters combat, every Soviet soldier has a variety of tools at their disposal. All soldiers have their standard-issue hatchet for melee fighting, and the ADK-45 and its variants are still effective at short range, though their size can be a hindrance in confined areas. There are submachine guns and sidearms, which offer a more compact alternative. If all else fails, a Soviet conscript can always try to beat their opponent to death with the butts of their weapons or their bare fists (not recommended against opponents with swords or martial arts training). However, if a Soviet soldier needs a truly devastating close quarters weapon, there is the KM-21 Shotgun.
As the name suggests, the KM-21 is a 12-gauge, semi-auto shotgun, developed in the years between the Second and Third World Wars. It is a highly specialized weapon, designed solely for the purpose of close quarters combat. Unlike the Grummond-8 or Grummond-9, it is highly inaccurate, and useless at longer ranges due to its elongated design. Even at short range, the weapon is still highly inaccurate, so the shotgun relies on filling the air with slugs until one hits something. It is also quite heavy, and the heavy recoil makes the weapon difficult to control.
On the other hand, the KM-21 is utterly effective at its role. Capable of unleashing a literal wall of lead, it employs a blowback mechanism and 12-round tube, and possesses the characteristic robustness of Soviet firearms; in a testament to the effectiveness of the design, the Grummond-9's semi-automatic mechanism is heavily based off a captured KM-21. At short range and against infantry, it is unmatched; while other shotguns may fire larger rounds or have better accuracy and range, none can match the sheer volume of fire the KM-21 puts out. If a foe is not in cover or retreat, they are generally torn apart with alarming swiftness. Worse still, though one will almost never see a Conscript carrying one, the KM-21 is still more common than the Union's enemies would like; the shotgun is uncommon but some have been known to be issued to Grenadiers. Even the Spetsnaz use it, though their version is sawn off.
Anti Tank Weapons
RPGL-6 Rocket Launcher
An antique from the years of WWII, the revolutionary RPGL-6 was part of the RPGL series of anti tank weapons, back in the days when grenades and anti tank rifles were the best options Soviet infantry had against charging tanks. Succeeding the Soviets’ previous attempts at anti-tank rocket launchers, the RPGL-6 took infantry-portable anti-tank weapons to a whole new level for the Soviet Union, proving superior to previous rocket launchers, and being the first that could be considered an original design, as opposed to simply being a knock-off of an Allied weapon.
The RPGL-6 is a simple, 40mm diameter steel tube into which a PG-6 90mm rocket propelled grenade is fitted. The PG-6 was comprised of two sections, a standard 90mm anti-tank warhead used by many anti tank grenades at that time, and an attached miniature rocket motor. The rocket motor propels the grenade to up to 750 miles per hour in under 3 seconds, increasing its effective range to 100 yards, significantly higher than the 20 yards offered by a good arm and a hand grenade.
However, the years have since caught up with the RPGL-6, and its 90mm warhead can no longer punch through modern armour with the ease it used to have. It was officially retired from service in 1962, when the RPGL-7 finally went into mass production.
Even so, the Soviets continue to produce RPGL-6s as it is extremely profitable to sell them to militia groups and third world countries. Experts estimate that RPGL-6 sales alone account for 670 million rubles in profits per year for the Soviet Union. As a result, the RPGL-6 can still be found in service around the world, from the Vietcong, to the GLA, to even the Confederates, who insist on calling them "RDM-50s" and stamping "Made in America" logos on them. A few relic RPGL-6s can even be found among the ranks of the Red Army, as "trophies" of soldiers brave enough to break into the Union's numerous storage warehouses in the dead of night and help themselves to the obsolete weapons within.
RPGL-7 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher
The RPGL-7 is the successor to the notorious RPGL-6. It features several fundamental design changes, including a significantly reduced fuel supply and a much thicker operating manual. The RPGL-7 grenade carries an extremely limited fuel supply, only enough to last it for 1.5 s of powered flight. Thus, successfully using the weapon to hit a target is tricky business. The operator must be able to accurately gauge the distance and velocity of a target, and compensate accordingly to score a direct hit on the target.
The difficulty and experience required in the usage of the weapon has confounded many Allied weapons analysts for years. Why give up a perfectly functional, extremely cheap, easy to use, foolproof weapons platform for one that required extensive training to use properly and couldn't even hit aircraft. To the Soviets, the reason was simple. The RPGL-6 had difficulty penetrating the armour of the Allies' newer tank designs. The RPGL-7 was designed from the ground up as an anti tank weapon. The PK-7 95mm grenade warhead contains twice as much high explosive as the PG-6, and the trajectory meant that the PK-7 would hit the top of tanks, where the armour is thinnest and therefore the most vulnerable. The RPGL-7 could also be reloaded much faster compared to its predecessor. While the PG-6 required the 50 cm long rocket motor to be completely inserted into the launcher, an unwieldy and time consuming process, the lack of fuel in the PK-7 meant that it had a short 10 cm "tail" that could be easily slotted into the tube. The RPGL-7 also minimised backblast, reducing the risk of injury to the operator or anyone standing nearby.
In addition, the PK-7 also has a variant, the PK-7 APHE, which explodes with greater force, but lacks a penetrative warhead. The new grenade is highly effective against infantry formations, and with good aim, garrisons as well. Grenadiers are the most avid users of the RPGL-7, using the inherent arc of the weapon as a means of raining extremely deadly indirect fire on an opponent from behind a wall or inside a trench, turning one of the weapon's most crippling weaknesses into its greatest strength.
Grenades and Explosives
ZDS-10 Throwable Inflammatory Device/Molotov Cocktail
Better known as the "Molotov Cocktail", the ZDS is popular among conscripts due to its ease of use and destructive potential. A ZDS-10 is a container of solid silicon dioxide filled with extremely flammable alkanes and sealed with a fuse. To use the weapon, a conscript must use a Type 15 Standard Issue Lighter to trigger a chemical reaction that results in the ignition of the fuse before throwing it in a precalculated parabolic arc at the enemy.
Upon impact, the silicon dioxide matrix shatters, releasing the flammable alkanes within. The force of the impact sprays the liquid into the surroundings in a fine mist, which then comes into contact with the lit fuse and ignites. The resultant fireball can cause immediate third degree burns to anyone within 2 m of the fireball, and cause significant injuries within 5 m. The ZDS-10 is mostly ineffective against modern armoured vehicles, due to the fact that such vehicles usually sport protection for their engine and have crew compartments sealed against the outside environment. When thrown in large numbers, they can also result in the "unintended" combustion of buildings. In addition, the ZDS-10 is highly efficient at clearing garrisons, as when aimed correctly, it can create a sufficiently sized inferno in the building to roast the occupants.
RDG-33 Concussion Grenade
The standard high explosive grenade for the Soviet Army, the grenade operates in a similar fashion to its Allied counterparts. A pin is pulled and the lever is released. This initiates a mechanical 5 second timed fuse, which then detonates the explosive charge, maiming or killing anyone unfortunate to get caught in the blast radius. Contrary to popular belief, the Soviet grenade is actually more powerful than its Allied counterparts, containing an entire 500 grams' worth of highly explosive TNT surrounded by a thin casing.
These grenades are not issued to conscripts, as it is cheaper and less of a strain on logistics to arm Conscripts with Molotov cocktails, which are far more user friendly in any case. Elsewhere in the Soviet army, from the Grenadiers to the elite Spetsnaz Airborne Guards, however, the RDG-33 is common. The RDG-33 does requires significant training to use well, however, as it is not easy to accurately throw a 1.4 kg projectile 40-45 m away accurately. More than one poorly thrown grenade has landed dangerously close to Soviet troops, although such incidents are well covered up by Soviet military intelligence.
ZDS-13 Inflammatory Grenade
Despite the simplicity of the ZDS-10, it was still just a glass bottle with a rag stuck in it, and so after the war the new Premier ordered the development of a proper inflammatory grenade. Currently undergoing field trials, the ZDS-13 is surely an Allied soldier's worst nightmare. Roughly the same size and shape as a soda can, and painted just as brightly, most likely in the hope that some dumb capitalist would pick it up to have a drink, the ZDS-13 uses heavier alkanes than the ones used in standard ZDS-10s along with several top secret additives, and in much a more concentrated manner, which can result in a fire ball easily several times the size of those produced by the ZDS-10. These alkanes also have a tendency to adhere to surfaces and combust at much higher temperatures, resulting in increased damage to enemies. However, the heavier alkanes tend to have increased mass and as such an increased risk of self-immolation, which is why only experienced soldiers are selected for trials. Soviet officials hope to have the ZDS-13 enter full production by 1970.
Schardin Magnetic Mine
The Schardin is, in short, an oversized and extremely heavy grenade. Each mine weighs in at a hefty 5 kilograms, and has a whooping 3 metres effective range. Operators have frequently be taught NOT to throw the mine as it is extremely inaccurate and can result in shoulder dislocation. Instead, each mine has a low-power electromagnet on its back that, when turned on, allows the mine to be stuck onto the side of a tank or vehicle. A 5 second timed fuse then initiates, allowing the operator to dive for cover before the explosive charge detonates.
Although it may appear crude, the effectiveness of the mine is indisputable. The Schardin contains 4 kilograms of high explosives, compared to the PK-7's 1.4 kilograms. As a result, the explosion is more than enough to devastate tanks, a fact which has not been lost on Soviet soldiers and officials. The mine is also extremely cheap to produce, and costs less than a PK-7. As a result, it has become immensely popular within the Soviet Army, and even non-penal divisions have used it as demolition and breaching charges during attacks. Some mines have also been converted to proximity variants that spray a cloud of lethal toxins when an enemy is near, and are a favorite of Chemical Troopers.
Flak Troopers however, remain the most common operators of the Schardin and often carry more than 10 of these into combat at once. They also have found a rather unusual and somewhat comical way to employ the mines against the enemy, using their overly developed arm muscles to use a mine as a killer frisbee capable of knocking out a charging enemy trooper. This has resulted in an increase in the number of "In Soviet Russia, mine comes to you" jokes among the conscripts, and has also resulted in some soldiers (half jokingly) suggesting that Flak Troopers should be renamed "Disk Throwers".
Model 1948 Utility Hatchet
All factions have weapons meant for the brutality of close quarters combat. Imperial soldiers are infamous for their bladed weapons and willingness to use them. All Allied personnel are issued combat knives for hand-to-hand, while Peacekeeper gear is highly suited for close quarters; shotguns work best at short range, and Peacekeepers are also trained in various unarmed combat techniques. The Soviets also issue their troops a variety of weapons intended for close quarters fighting; Soviet small arms factories produce a wide assortment of shotguns, submachine guns and other short range firearms, but the one CQC weapon issued to every soldier in the Red Army, from freshly inducted Conscripts to veteran Spetsnaz, is the Model 1948 utility hatchet.
Issued along with a instructional pamphlet titled Comrade hatchet and you the Model 1948 is capable of inflicting grievous wounds in unprotected flesh if swung hard enough, and consists of a sharp, steel bladed axehead attached to a 30cm hardwood handle. Though much larger than a combat knife, the Model 1948 is still a fairly compact weapon, light enough that it can be swung fairly frequently, while being just heavy enough that the blunt end can still be used as a somewhat effective bludgeon. The hatchet can also be used to break down locked doors. In combat, soldiers are instructed to aim for an opponent's limbs, since these areas are less well protected than the torso and thus easier to inflict wounds on. Because the Model 1948 is such a common weapon in the ranks of the Soviet Army, a good number have been taken as souvenirs by Allied soldiers.
GSf-30 Misznay Flak Cannon
Often labelled by Allied gun magazines as "The most ridiculous and unwieldy weapon of war ever devised", the Gryazev and Shipunov developed GSf-30-1 Misznay is hardly a weapon troops would kill for. Weighing in at a crushing 46.5 kilograms, not counting the 4 kilogram ammunition clip, improper usage can easily result in spinal injuries and shoulder dislocation. The recoil of the gun is massive, and can even shake sandbag mounts, let alone a person, and prolonged usage will almost certainly result in deafness. Even the most loyal of Soviet conscripts would rather charge into battle bare handed than lug around this hunk of metal.
As a result, the Soviets had no choice but to forcefully assign them to penal divisions, a cruel but nevertheless necessary measure. The Misznay proved a very potent anti-air weapon, as the powerful 37mm time-fused rounds find no trouble in sending shrapnel through the aluminium fuselages of aircraft. In fact, the Misznay's anti-air performance rivals that of the Javelin, an impressive feat, as a Misznay costs one-third the price of a Javelin.
However, unlike the Javelin, the 37mm shell is incapable of penetrating the front armour of most tanks, limiting its effectiveness against them to a flanking role. To solve this issue, a dual purpose proximity fused fragmentation round was fielded during WWIII, though the ammunition was proved too expensive for prolonged combat and production of these rounds have ceased.
Even before WWIII, several improvements were made to ease the pain on the operator slightly. Foam pads reduce the strain on the operator's shoulder, and cheaper alloys reduced the weight of the weapon by 25%, and a hydropneumatic recoil damper was added. In addition, the length of the cartridge was reduced from 152mm to 115mm, which resulted in less recoil when firing, significantly reducing the chances of spinal injury. However, this reduced the penetration capability of the flak cannon, although according to the designers, this would be a fair trade for a soldier's health. When that argument didn't work on the Ministry of Experimental Sciences, they developed an armour piercing composite rigid round, which would have half the weight of an AP round. The lighter weight would allow a higher velocity, while the kinetic energy of the shot was concentrated in the tungsten core and hence on a smaller impact area, improving the penetration of the target armour. It also meant even less recoil for the user. This new version of the Misznay, the GSf-30-2, was more operator friendly, to the extent that the proud designers handled it themselves when they displayed it to the "Ministry of Weapons Development" officials, who was deeply impressed by the weapon's performance. At least, until they saw the price tag. To Gryazev's and Shipunov's despair, the officials confiscated the only prototype and all documents about the improved weapon's existence, and threatened the designers with a fate worse than that of a Flak Trooper, if they should ever mention the existence of the GSf-30-2.
RKS-2 Anti-personnel Chemical Sprayer
|I don't remember THAT on the list!
This article (Soviet Small Arms and Equipment), or a section of this article, is not considered canon until Team Paradox has considered it so.
The RKS-2 was an experiment by the Soviets into uncharted territory. Its designers initially intended it to be a man-portable flamethrower, usable by the average conscript to clear pesky vegetation (and enemies). The original plan for the RKS-2 comprised of four tanks, two for fuel, one for the oxidiser and the last tank was for the propellent. The two fuel tanks carry seperate types of fuel, a low viscosity kerosene and a high viscosity napalm. The kerosene fuel can be sprayed much a significant greater distance, allowing the soldier to reach enemies even 70m away, although it was unable to cause anything worse than second degree burns at that range. The napalm had a much shorter range, but burned longer and adhered to anything caught in its way. The propellent used by the flamethrower is an inert gas under high pressure, usually helium (as it also helped to slightly lighten the weight of the pack), to prevent unintended explosions and the oxidiser is simply oxygen under high pressure.
The flamethrower had two triggers, the first one opened the valves to the tanks and started the release of the oxygen and fuel into a mixing chamber at the back of the flamethrower, while the second trigger released the mixture and simultaneously ignited a pilot flame, resulting in a giant plume of flame flying forth. Due to the inherent dangers in such a weapon, the Soviets took many measures to prevent a catastrophic explosion that might wipe out an entire squad. The oxygen tank was placed on top of the others, far away from the fuel, making it unlikely for a bullet to penetrate both at once. The inert gas also helped to prevent ignition in a tank failure or unintended sparking by providing a non-combustible environment. Finally, to dissuade enemy soldiers and snipers from targeting the flamethrower trooper, the Soviet designers cleverly disguised the "gun" part of the flamethrower as an ADK-45, and made the fuel tanks look like a standard Conscript rucksack.
However, the programme ran into several problems early on. The napalm proved to be too viscous to fire safely, and the fuel tanks proved particularly hard to cover up. More importantly, while the flamethrower itself was cheap and easy to manufacture, its fuel was expensive. With the Soviet war machine already stretching its fuel supplies to its limits, production of flamethrower-grade napalm had almost ceased, and all napalm had simply been cracked to obtain more petrol. Kerosene was also in short supply, with MiGs and Twinblades guzzling through their stocks. There simply was not enough fuel left to support a large amount of infantry portable flamethrowers.
Thus, a new "fuel" had to be found. Eventually, after numerous tests, designers found an alternative. By distilling Desolator Defoliant at 75 degrees Celsius and then filtering out any impurities, a highly corrosive and toxic liquid can be obtained. Unlike Desolator Defoliant though, this liquid rapidly evaporates and reacts with environmental moisture to become inert and harmless, thus reducing its lingering effects and allowing Soviet troops to advance over recently cleansed terrain. This made it perfect as "flame"thrower fuel, with its ability to rapidly neutralise enemy infantry without permanently rendering a route impassable.
To accommodate this change, the four tanks on the RKS were instead swapped for a three tank design, one for the chemical and one for the propellant. The final (small) tank is for liquid H2O to clean up contaminated areas and enable Soviet soldiers to pass. The new tanks are lined with corrosion resistant plastic to prevent the acidic chemicals from eating holes and spilling everywhere and are also reinforced with armour plating to help protect against small arms fire, especially since the new chemical is even more prone to exploding than the old fuel. Some changes were also made to the nozzle, such as increasing its diameter, to increase the spread of the chemical spray, allowing it to cover a larger area. Finally, activated charcoal was placed in the propellant tank, to remove any traces of water which may reduce the effectiveness of the chemical.
The result was an effective, albeit gruesome, weapon capable of causing significant damage to personnel and concrete buildings alike. While metal plating does reduce its effects, its highly acidic properties means that not even tanks can withstand sustained fire for long. Despite the designer's efforts though, the weapon still explodes violently in the event that the fuel tanks are punctured with a tracer or incendiary round, making it just as dangerous to the operator as it is to the enemy. Even so, the weapon is still pressed into service due to its low cost and ease of use, enabling even an average Conscript to pick it up and fire it at the enemy.
EX-07 Cyclotron Rifle
When the Soviets first witnessed Allied particle accelerator weapons in battle, they were shocked. The weapons afforded penetration that allowed them to penetrate even the toughest of tank armour, as demonstrated when a Rocketeer squad destroyed the Apocalypse tank Fist of Vengeance. After that incident, the Soviets demanded a particle accelerator weapon to match the Allies' own weapons.
The best minds at the Ministry of Experimental Science were put to work on the problem immediately. However, all attempts to capture Allied accelerator weapons and reverse engineer them failed, while attempts by Soviet spies to steal the blueprints for the Allies' most state of the art particle accelerators similarly failed to produce any satisfactory results. In the end, the scientists were forced to make do with old Soviet cyclotron designs. Nevertheless, they were able to develop a working weapon: the EX-07 Cyclotron Rifle.
It should be noted that the EX-07's design diverges somewhat from Allied particle accelerator based weapons; where the Allies accelerate minuscule quantities of hydrogen to relativistic speeds, the Soviets opted to accelerate a far larger projectile, but at much lower velocities. Thus, the EX-07 is only able to accelerate its projectiles up to 0.5% light speeds, but still very destructive for a rifle, due to the comparatively large mass of its projectiles, each weighing over a milligram. Unfortunately, the (somewhat) larger size of the projectile also leads to increased air resistance, which means that a lot of energy is wasted. However, the Soviets realised that this could be used to their advantage, since friction generates a large amount of heat.
Thus, the projectiles fired by the Cyclotron Rifle are coated in an outer layer of magnesium, which makes them burn fiercely and cause even more damage upon impact. When fired, the projectile leaves a very bright white streak across the battlefield, all the way from the barrel to the target. While lacking the penetration of Allied proton weapons, the projectile usually turns into a highly destructive, if extremely small, fireball on impact. This makes it far more deadly against structures and infantry as compared to Allied accelerator weapons, although it does suffer in the anti-tank department. Naturally, these rifles are extremely complicated and difficult to manufacture, and are only sparingly issued to elite soldiers to examine its effectiveness in field tests, though results thus far have been extremely promising, with soldiers giving favourable evaluations of the destructive capability of the rifle.
K63 Combat Uniform
The standard uniform of the Red Army, this uniform is issued, in one form or another, to most front-line enlisted soldiers. It is worn under conscript coats and grenadier jackets, and with a bit of ironing it also serves as their dress uniform.
The cloth portion of the uniform consists of a collared shirt, a short-sleeved undershirt, undergarments, a tie, socks, high trousers, and a wedge hat, all in a uniform light olive green. All articles of clothing are in some way trimmed in a deep scarlet. The shirt has epaulette loops, contains buttoned-flap patch pocket with box pleats, for carrying identification papers, and a reinforced patch for medals. The trousers have high waists, two pockets, a rear pocket on the right-hand side, and are worn with suspenders. The tie is an unusual element for a combat uniform, but is designed to be used as a tourniquet. All these items are well spun, comfortable and extremely resistant to wear and tear.
The uniform is also issued with sapogi style boots, made of plasticised leather. These are a sort hobnailed jackboot specially fitted, with an adjustable strap on a pull-tag sticking out from the top of the boot. It is widely considered the best marching boot in the world; not only is it comfortable and almost immune to wear and tear, but soldiers can relax the boot just by releasing the tab while resting, without having to remove their boots and leave them potentially vulnerable should a combat situation arise.
Rank is denoted by epaulettes. There are no unit insignias, and merit patches are subdued, as the Red Army prefers to issues medals.
Red Army Overcoat
The standard heavy gear of the Soviet Union, this coat is issued to every conscript and given up after they are promoted, to be passed on to new soldiers. With a button-over front, a belt and crossbelt to carry equipment, and yellow trim indicating a trainee soldier, the coat contains a multitude of pockets and is issued with a ushanka.
The coat is notable because it has absolutely no iconography or distinctive markings, instead using blank, monocolour patches as part of the conscript's induction process. It is thick, warm, and legendarily durable; the torso section contains several plasticized layers that can reduce the impact of small arms considerably.
K63a Field Jacket
After they have entered the Red Army proper, soldiers are issued the K63a field jacket. Red Army Green with deep scarlet trimming, reaching down to mid-thigh, this hard-wearing jacket has two front pockets and two extremely large thigh pockets. It lacks the built-in ballistic protection of the Red Army Overcoat, but is typically expected to be worn with armour. Belt loops on the outside connect directly to an internal webbing structure for easy carrying of equipment pouches.
Most of the Red Army is fed fairly conventionally, through field kitchens and mess halls. Food is fairly basic and crude. Mostly it comes down to a foul stew made of leftovers and small cubes of bland meat, with a side of a thick, black substance that one might call bread if anyone was convinced grain was used in its baking (though it does taste good). Few complain; in the last war Conscripts were fed even less. A conscript is rarely away from his base, so he requires little in the way of field rations, though some units have energy bars made of pressed fruits for a quick pick-me-up. One thing that the Soviet Union doesn't skimp on is vodka, as a Russian deprived of his vodka is fiercer than a War Bear. As long as they don't get so drunk they can't fight, Conscripts can more or less drink their fill, since it is also a nutrient source as well.
This simplicity is a great boon to the Soviet Union, as it means large amounts of food can be transported easily to the front. The Soviet Union has excellent transportation networks, and rarely is food denied to the front. Even if it was, the Red Army is still adept at stripping the countryside of food, though nowadays it is limited so the inhabitants of said land don't starve as well. All in all, the Soviet Union has a simple but effective method for feeding their troops, but it requires a fair bit of propaganda to convince the Red Army that it is indeed fed well, with the tastiest of food that can be made. Any who come across Allied food are convinced that it was just food for one of the business executives who happened to inspect that unit.
However, the Soviet Union has noticed the efficiency of the specialised rations other powers have, so they started to toy with making their own. Eventually, they conceived of a way of putting pre-cooked food in airtight, flexible containers that they could use their expertise in vacuum science to suck the air out of and head off bacteria growth. The package needs only to be ripped open, and the food inside is ready to eat at any time. The food can be warmed by holding it over a fire, in someone's helmet if nothing else. This food has been issued to soldiers at the forefront of manoeuvres, who get the better equipment overall.
The only problem is that the Soviets were so giddy over the admittedly efficient method that they neglected to think of the soldier's wishes. The vacuum itself manages to suck most of the flavour of the food away, leaving the food a bland mush. Worse, the Soviet Union neglected to choose any menu of food, and instead went with nothing but beans for this vacuum ration. Since beans could be canned anyways, many have questioned if this benefits the Union in the first place. Still, any conscript can now eat beans anywhere, anytime he wants, and that is thought to count for something.
Contrary to popular belief and Allied propaganda, Soviet war bears do not draw their sustenance from the corpses of dead Peacekeepers. The Soviets find the idea of bears feasting on dead human bodies just as repulsive as anyone else. Bears do require a diet high in protein, though, as well as more food per day than several men put together. "Bear Tablets" were designed to provide a non-perishable meal that bears could carry into battle and be sustained on for up to a day.
Flour (wheat, barley, and corn in various amounts), ground beans, meat (mostly offal), soy, and various flavouring agents are mixed into a dough and baked into a hard tablet the size of a textbook. Bears tend to find the tablets somewhat unappetising, which has the unforeseen but welcomed side affect of discouraging bears from fighting or attacking their handlers over the meals.
In order to save resources on the cost of bear food and improve bear morale, many officers turn a blind eye to bears occasionally obtaining their own food. In places away from fierce fighting, it's not uncommon for a soldier to sneak off with an ursine comrade during a patrol and to share a crudely cooked meal of fish or deer meat.
Soviet high command has also attempted to discourage Conscripts from hazing new squad mates by making them eat bear food, with little success.
The Soviet Union uses standardised barium peroxide tracers, producing a green effect. However, in order to manufacture them more cheaply, the compound is often cut with other chemicals, which has led to tracers having a sickly yellow tone instead. Tracers are manufactured in an almost 1:1 ratio with regular rounds, and conscripts are taught to load them with a 1-in-3 pattern; two rounds and a tracer. Special forces frequently use a reversed 2-in-3 pattern, or distribute rounds in all-tracer magazines and no-tracer magazines for different purposes. The Soviets also started the trend of adding tracer compounds to tank rounds for identification during night fighting, intimidation, and arc tracking. Tracers are even manufactured for pistols, in what is considered a sure sign of industrial excess.