In order not to be accused of various mortal sins, I will immediately note that I am very far from praising the Nazi ideology, this is alien to me. I am also extremely negative about the Wehrmacht and its deeds on the territory of the USSR, because both of my grandfathers fought in the ranks of the Red Army, and one of them died.
This is a completely different matter. Firstly, that many citizens of our country have somewhat distorted ideas about the Great Patriotic War thanks to the cinema. And it would be strange to blame him for this, because films are works of fiction, not documentaries. For this we love them.
Second, in my opinion, the contribution to the victory of the creators of Soviet weapons and military equipment is underestimated. And the image of German weapons, I think, is even somewhat idealized.
To get the most unbiased look at the weapon of Victory, let’s turn to the most disinterested experts – the soldiers and officers of the enemy army – the German Wehrmacht.
Even in old Soviet films, the offensive of the Nazis was shown in the form of German tanks walking in a chain, accompanied by machine gunners. And they were usually opposed by Red Army men with Mosin rifles and bundles of grenades, which were supported by small artillery batteries of “forty-five”. Approximately such a picture remained in the subconscious of most of us when it comes to the Great Patriotic War.
In reality, the Red Army also had tanks that were not inferior in their characteristics to the German ones, and quite a few. And most of the German infantrymen were usually armed not with machine guns, but with carbines. Submachine guns, which are more commonly called submachine guns, were in small quantities. Soviet soldiers, by the way, were better provided with automatic weapons than the soldiers of the Wehrmacht.
“Daddy”, or “little machine gun”
Although the Shpagin submachine gun was not the only type of automatic weapon in the Red Army, it was considered the most popular and widespread. The Red Army men respectfully called him “daddy”.
Known and respected not only by Soviet soldiers, but also by the soldiers of the Wehrmacht, who called this weapon “a small machine gun”. They considered it a great success to receive it as a trophy. And not only because the Germans had a shortage of automatic weapons. German servicemen rightly considered the PPSh-41 to be a more advanced small arms than the German MP-40, which in the USSR for some reason began to be called “Schmeisser”.
He had a higher density of fire and an effective range of fire. In addition, the massive wooden stock gave a great advantage over the German submachine gun, as it could be effectively used in hand-to-hand combat. It was also important that the PPSh disk held almost twice as many cartridges as the MP-40.
The popularity of Soviet machine guns in the German army turned out to be so great that the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, ordered the PPSh-41 to be modified so that standard German cartridges of 9×19 mm caliber were suitable for it.
The armor is strong and our tanks are fast …
Before the start of World War II, the idea of Soviet tanks in the German army was extremely vague. Faced with them in battle, the Nazis received an unpleasant surprise, as, for example, recalled one of the best military leaders of the Third Reich, Heinz Guderian. He wrote that the Soviet T-34 is superior in its parameters to any of the tanks that Germany had in 1941.
Guderian considered this war machine to be a big problem that was not easy to deal with:
Our anti-tank weapons of that time could successfully operate against T-34 tanks only under particularly favorable conditions. For example, our T-IV tank with its short-barreled 75-mm cannon was able to destroy the T-34 tank from the rear, hitting its engine through the shutters. This required great skill.
The guns of the German tanks were unable to penetrate the armor of the T-34. More precisely, they could do this, but only from a distance of no more than 500 meters, and only when they hit the side or stern. Whereas the T-34 was capable of destroying Wehrmacht tanks from a distance of 1.5-2 kilometers. Therefore, the most effective weapon against him was the 88-mm anti-aircraft gun of the Germans.
By the middle and end of the war, when the Wehrmacht acquired the famous heavy “Tigers”, they were successfully opposed by Soviet IS tanks. The commander of the “Tigers” company Otto Carius, who had to deal with the IS in battle, considered this tank “at least equal” to the German combat vehicles.
To the glory of Russian weapons …
In the course of discussions about the advantages of Soviet weapons, it should be borne in mind that the Soviet Union faced a strong, cruel and merciless enemy, which by that time had crushed almost all of Europe under itself. And despite all the difficulties and hardships, the USSR managed to defeat the fascist beast and finish it off in Berlin. And this is the main thing.
A huge role in this Great Victory was played not only by the Red Army, but also by the home front workers, who managed to create perfect models of weapons and provide the troops with them. Their work was appreciated not only by the Red Army, but also by the enemy defeated by Soviet soldiers.