Enemy TOEs and evaluation of the formations facing the Axis forces at the start of September 1942.
The backbone of the Soviet Army remains the Rifle Division and its “elite” variation, the Guards Rifle division.
After the heavy losses taken during the late spring and during the early Summer, the Soviets changed the TOEs for the Rifle Divisions, reducing their size by about 1.600 men. To make up for the reduction in manpower, the STAVKA has decided to add more mortars and AT Guns, thus increasing divisional firepower.
The quality of these units varies from very poor (newly reformed units barely filled with manpower fighting a delaying battle in the fields south of Stalingrad), to high (for the strong and capable units defending the approaches to Moscow). NM for normal Rifle Divisions is now at 47 (September 42') and is raising steadily, a sign that the Soviets are slowly but surely improving the cohesion and training of their forces.
Detailed view of TOE changes:
Guard Rifle Division:
The Guards Rifle Division TOE has gone through the same changes and is the same as the standard rifle division (in TOE terms only) save for the fact that they have double the amount of SMG Squads. The combat performance of the Guard Rifle Divisions is really good as these are all formations that have proven their worth under fire. The unit cohesion, morale and training is high and this shows! The Soviets have made the smart decision to combine their precious Guard Rifle Divisions into the much more powerful Guard Rifle Corps (2 Guard Rifle Divisions and 1 Rifle Divison/Brigade can combine to form a Guards Rifle Corps) and to deploy them in the way of the main Axis advance routes. Because of that decision as well as the fact that a number of Guard Rifle Divisions were destroyed during the summer offensives, the Soviets barely have 10 Guard Rifle Divisions on the front. The NM of these units is at 57!
Detailed view of TOE changes:
Comparison of the 50mm AT Gun (German) vs the 45mm M37 (Soviet):
If the Rifle Divisions have shrunk in size, the more easy to manage Rifle Brigade have received a new TOE that gives them more staying power. The new TOE prescribes increased numbers of rifle squads, MG teams and AT rifle Squads and a big increase in firepower as mortars have been doubled. These units are good on the defense and can hold off even attacks from multiple divisions. Even when they retreat, they take few losses due to their small size, which makes it easier for them to pull back from a position. NM for Rifle Brigades is at 47 but the NM for the Naval Infantry Brigades (marines) is 50.
Guard Rifle Corps:
The biggest TOE change so far however has been that of the Guard Rifle Corps. These newly formed formations (first fielded in July) are the most formidable thing the Soviets can field and a quick look at their TOE change will clarify why that is the case.
Rifle Squad strength has been increased to a stunning 862, MG and AT Rifle teams have almost doubled while firepower has also been increased a lot with the addition of 30- 122mm Howitzers and an increase in number of Field and Infantry Guns. AT guns have been doubled. The Guard Rifle Corps fields a staggering 26.223 men at full strength. These units are very strong at counterattacking as well as at holding key positions. They are becoming a big problem for our advancing forces especially in the north. There are a total of around 10 Guard Rifle Corps in the field currently and their numbers are increasing at a rapid pace. NM is 57!
122mm Howitzers will add firepower to the Guard Rifle Corps.
< Message edited by xhoel -- 12/22/2019 8:28:03 AM >