Infantry weapon teams are a key component of any Bolt Action army, providing great tactical flexibility for your force. Sniper teams, mortar teams and flamethrower teams are some of the most prevalent, presenting your opponent with multiple challenges to overcome.
The sniper became synonymous with the Red Army, especially during the grim sieges of Stalingrad and Leningrad. “Sniper schools” were established in bombed-out buildings and basements, where successful snipers passed on their skills to an increasing number of students, many of them women. Soviet propaganda paid attention to successful snipers and encouraged a doctrine of “sniping” among the troops. Snipers used telescopic sights on a Moisin-Nagant 1891/30 bolt-action rifle or, more rarely, a Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle. A variety of ammunition was used, including tracer and armor-piercing projectiles. Soviet snipers were available at company level working in teams or sometimes on their own. Individual Red Army squadrons often had a designated marksman with a rifle with a telescopic sight to compensate for the lack of long-range firepower due to the large number of machine guns in use. Soviet snipers became famous for their skill in the field, stealth and patience. The most successful snipers each counted hundreds of enemy, with around 500 being the highest number recorded by a single sniper.
The standard light mortar used by the Russian infantry during World War II was the 50 mm Infantry Mortar Model 1940 (50-PM 40), a cheaper version of the earlier 1938 model. In addition, the Soviet Army received a considerable number of 2-inch mortars from Great Britain through the Lend-Lease program. The 50 mm mortar was considered a ‘company’ mortar compared to the heavier 82 mm battalion and 120 mm regimental mortars. The allocation of 50 mm mortars was initially to individual teams at platoon level, but later they were more often concentrated at company level for mass use. The weapon was easily man-portable and could drop high explosive or smoke bombs at a distance of more than 800 yards.
The Soviets made extensive use of flamethrowers, including static FOG-1 types buried to cover bunkers and trenches. Due to deficiencies in the development of other credible anti-tank weapons, Red Army doctrine emphasized the use of flamethrowers as both anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons. They even formed separate motorized anti-tank flamethrower battalions in 1943. By far the most common Russian flamethrowers were man-carried ROKS types. The ROKS-2 was designed with a fuel tank that looked like an ordinary backpack and a nozzle that resembled a rifle, so as not to attract unwanted attention on the battlefield.
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