This study looks at how the Soviet armed forces developed and deployed a range of machine guns that fitted with their offensive and defensive infantry tactics across six years of total war. In 1939, three machine guns dominated the Red Army’s front-line infantry firepower – the DShK 1938 heavy machine gun, the PM M1910 medium/heavy machine gun and the Degtyaryov DP-27, a lighter, bipod-mounted support weapon. Confronted by cutting-edge German technology during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), the Soviets responded with the development of new weaponry, including the RPD light machine gun, the 7.62x54mmR SG43 medium machine gun and the improved version of the DP-27, the DPM. Taken together, all these weapons gave the Red Army a more practical range of support weapons, better able to challenge the Germans for fire superiority on the battlefield. Fully illustrated, this study explains the technology and the tactics of these machine guns. Noted authority Chris McNab sets out how these machine guns were distributed and tactically applied and provides numerous examples of the weapons in action, from assault teams on the streets of Stalingrad to tank crews struggling for survival at Kursk. The book also reflects upon the weapons’ post-war service; many of the machine guns remain in front-line use today. Illustrated with high-quality photographs and specially commissioned artwork, this is a deep analysis of these essential tools of warfare within the Soviet forces.
Soviet Machine Guns of World War II