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SVT-40 Quantitys

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I have noticed that almost every single Russian squad has at least two SVT-40's (Guards or normal army). I saw someone mention on here that the SVT-40 was quite rare in 1944, and honestly I expected to see a lot more nagants. So are the quantities accurate or are we drowning in SVT-40's.


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Yup, they were in the process of being phased out. But they were mostly being phased out with SMGs instead of Nagant rifles. Earlier formations had few SMGs, but progressively more and more were integrated. In 1943 some new formations came out that officially expanded the role of the SMG. 1944 continued on with that.

SMGs have a bunch of really great benefits:

1. Cheaper and quicker to make than rifles

2. Easier to instruct a soldier how to use a SMG

3. A badly trained soldier with an SMG is likely to do more than a badly trained soldier with a bolt action rifle

Given Soviet tactical doctrine, the huge numbers of SMGs made sense. In fact, the Germans were moving in that direction too, though with the intention of using the more capable MP44. In that sense the Soviets were just going with what they had available to them.


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Some Russian small arms figures, FWIW...

Stock of rifles on hand, June 1941 - 7.74 million

SMGs on hand, June 1941 - 100,000

Losses in 1941, 5.55 million rifles

Losses in 1942, 2.18 million rifles

Losses in 1943, 1.00 million rifles (or more)

Stock on 1 January 1943, after those first 2 loss figures, with new production -

rifles - 5.62 million

SMGs - 1.11 million

By 1944, the Russians were cutting back small arms production because they had a surplus, since the loss rate had fallen by 1943, production was high, and the field army was roughly the same size at 6 to 6.5 million men.

Total SVT-40 production, whole war, was 1.6 million units.

Total SMG production, whole war, was over 5 million.

Mosin 91/30 production in 1941 was 1.9 million, in 1942 was 3 million, in 1943 was 1.8 million, and in 1944 was only 168,000. Carbine production was 4 million (M44 model), plus 2.5 million M38s, though some of the latter in the prewar period. All told there were still roughly 13 million Mosins made during the war, on top of the June 1941 stocks mentioned above.

Very roughly, then, over the war as a whole there was one SVT for every 4 SMGs, 4 carbines, and 4 full length Mosins. But the Mosins are front loaded in that total, with more than their share lost in those peak years of small arms losses, 1941-2. The carbines are late war items, as well as overrepresented in the service troops and artillery and trains etc.

One per squad is generous for the SVTs, from those figures, for 1944. Two per would be exceptional. About one in 11 at the start of 1943 would be my estimate from the loss and production figures above, and 1 out of 8 or 9 by mid 1944 - at the front, and at best.

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Thing is that the SVT40 production was beginning to be scaled back in 1942. The peak number of SVT40s in frontline use seems to ahve been 1941, since back then they still wanted to replace all mosins with semi automatic rifles. Most of these were of course lost during the disasters of Barbarossa. All in all the SVT40 was an early war weapon, becoming more rare as the war progressed.

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Nice to see SVT-40's in the game. Bought a surplus 1942 Tula rifle a year or so back (they're cheap in Canada). It's surprisingly light, and NOISY ... after foolishly firing off a magazine with out earplugs my ears were ringing. The muzzle break makes for a relatively light recoil though. Lots of little parts to lose when you're cleaning it (I would hate to do it in the field). Fun gun to shoot and surprisingly accurate even with my bad eyes :)

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Still doesn't explain why there are so many SVT40s ingame.

I think Jason's numbers are adequate to explain some of the reason. However, there is also distribution to take into account. SVTs were never issued to rear units, for example. So they were disproportionally found in the Rifle Squads. How many is anybody's guess. They certainly were on the way out, but as with everything Soviet... things tended to stay at the front until they were lost in combat. With losses in late 1943 and early 1944 being comparatively light, the rate of loss would also drop off. Which means the amount held by frontline units would also vary considerably depending on if the unit was fresh from training at a well supplied barracks or if the unit had been largely intact since mid 1943.


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  • 5 years later...

Infantry would've had the weapons either from simply pre-war issue or priority for assaulting formations. The SVT-40 and SVT-38 were both pre-Barbarossa weapons and in fact neither were much liked by the Russians who felt they were complicated and expensive. Notice how most Russian factories switched to SVT-40 production by 1941...the same year as the German invasion per Soviet re-armament plans. The invasion threw all of that off and any factories not overrun had to switch back to Nagant construction because they could get out more of them faster. For a number of years Russian conscripts might well see themselves at the front without a rifle at all so the SVT dropped lower and lower in priority until it became apparent it wasn't crucial anymore and the Red Army expressed clear preference for sub-machine guns for its march into Europe. 

The kiss of the death for the SVT-40 seems to have been the 7.62x54r cartridge that was standard in Russian arms. The rifle certainly never would've been adopted had it not made use of this round, but it's a rather heavy bullet for a repeating rifle and this usually required a complicated operating mechanism because you couldn't just manufacture the rifle really heavy, or it'd never be accepted into service. Garand originally designed the M1 for a .276 round after all and in the end the Army pressured him to design the M1 around the .306 round...which took some tinkering and caused some problems that were not worked out until just before the war. Then the German's of course had the G41 fail in 1941 producing a battle rifle so notorious for stoppages and failures that the weapon's actual rate of fire was usually lower than a bolt action rifle. The British can hardly be faulted for seeing most of these problems with pre-war rifles and just sticking with the Lee-Enfield... 

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