Saturday, December 24, 2022

T-34/85 Soviet Medium Tank and Tank Riders

   Roughly 29.430 Soviet tanks T-34/85 were produced during WW2 because the Red Army needed a medium tank to face the German Tigers and not only.   

   When Soviet firing tests against a captured Tiger I in April '43 showed that the T-34's 76mm gun could not penetrate it, a Soviet 85mm anti-aircraft gun, the M1939, was found capable of doing the job. The gun could penetrate the Tiger I's upper hull armour at 1 km. It was still not enough to match the Tiger, which could destroy the T-34 from a distance of 1.5 to 2 km but it was an improvement.

    Production of the T-34/85 began in January '44 at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard No. 112 and became the standard medium tank of the Red Army. Its production run until the end of the war.

The Factory 112

    The T-34/85 had better armour and mobility than the Panzer IV and StuG III. While it could not match the armour or weapons of the Panther and Tiger tanks, its improved firepower made it much more effective than earlier Soviet models, and overall it was more cost-effective than the heaviest German tanks.

    Tанковый десант is a military tactic, where infantry soldiers ride into an attack on tanks, then dismount to fight on foot in the final phase of the assault. This tactic was used by the Red Army during WW2.

    Tank desant troops were infantry trained in the tactic in order to offer small-arms support in suppression of enemy anti-tank weapons or enemy infantry using anti-tank grenades. Riding on tanks during actual combat is very dangerous. Tank riders are very vulnerable to machine gun and high explosive fire, and the high silhouette of most tanks would draw enemy fire.


   The number of infantry assigned to a tank depended on the class of the tank; the usual numbers were: Heavy tank, 10-12 soldiers, Medium tank, 8-10 soldiers and Light tank, 5-6 soldiers.

   The above two tank riders with helmets are plastic miniatures of the Soviet Infantry box of Warlord Games, while the third is a metal passenger figure of the Soviet Universal Carrier of the same brand. 

   The metal figure didn't have the right foot in order to fit in the Universal Carrier so I gave it one from a sprue of plastic Soviet infantry.

Victory Day parade, 9th of May 

Red Square, Moscow

   Meanwhile we visited a very nice restaurant at Goulediana of Rethymno region in Crete, where we tasted the delicious "gamopilafo" (rice boiled in lamp and chicken broth) among other traditional dishes of the Cretan Cuisine.

Salad and fried cheese

Beef stifado

Beef in tomato sauce and gamopilafo

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more!
   Very Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

KV-1 and KV-2 Soviet Heavy Tanks

    The KV tanks were Soviet heavy tanks named after Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov, who was a military officer and politician during the Stalin era.

   The Warlord Games plastic box set has all the parts to create one KV tank body and both turrets, one for the KV-1 and one for the KV-2. 


Kliment Voroshilov

   The KV-2 tank had a 152mm howitzer and it was developed for close support against infantry, guns and bunkers.

"For the Μotherland"


   The KV-1 tank had a 76.2mm cannon and was highly resistant to anti-tank weapons.

"For Stalin"

   The commander comes from the soviet tank crew set of Warlord Games as well. 

   The Cretan cuisine among other dishes, is famous for its roasted lamp and the stuffed vegetables. When the above are cooked in a wooden oven the result is excellent!

Lamp and potatoes

Stuffed vegetables

accompanied by Greek Feta cheese!

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Soviet Siberian Veterans

    Siberian veterans were tough and battle-hardened warriors, who fought against Japan in the east and the forces of the Third Reich in the west during the WWII.   

   I followed the same painting scheme for my veterans as I did for the rest of my Soviet army. I wanted them to look as war experienced warriors, so I gave them plenty of weapons (submachine guns, light machine guns, etc.) and some German captured ones among them. 

   I used a head from the Steppe Warriors sprue of Fire Forge Games for the NCO because I wanted him to have a cruel brutal appearance! The head was bold so I put a shapka ushanka on it. I also gave him a German MP40 submachine gun as a war trophy. 

Degtyaryov light machine gun DP-28

A captured MG34 light machine gun

Panzerfaust anti-tank rockets

A variety of submachine guns

The family photo

Our cat

"I see you!"

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Soviet Inexperienced Rifle Squad

    These are my inexperienced infantrymen for my Bolt Action games. According to the special rule "Quantity has a Quality all of its own" of the Red Army, they cost no points. So, anyone who plays Soviets can add a twelve-men squad, like this one, to his army for free.

   The above squad consists of thirteen men because some times I include the banner bearer to the squad and remove a rifleman, some others I don't. When I do, my squad takes advantage of the "Rally to the Colours!" special rule.

The squad's NCO

The banner bearer

Tank hunters with Molotov cocktails


   I gave a green tone to the uniforms of this squad to distinguish them from my rest Soviet infantrymen.

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more!    

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Soviet casualties and Souda Bay War Cemetery

   In Bolt Action games there is always the need to point out somehow your army's casualties. Some people are using tokens, other - dice, and some a combination of the two. This is the case here, tokens with a socket for dice! 
   I had five Soviet casualties from Black Tree Design and wanted to use them as tokens. The five casualties came in three variants so I added helmets and weapons to differentiate them.

The tokens

   As usually, I used putty, little rocks and sand for the base. For the sockets I used matches.

A rifleman

A Guard with submachine gun

A sniper

A Guard with a captured Panzerfaust

A Siberian veteran

   It is estimated that the Soviets have suffered the highest number of casualties during WW2 with roughly 11.4 million military deaths! 

   Speaking of military deaths, recently a good friend of mine came from the States and we visited the War Cemetery of World War 2 in Souda Bay of Crete.

   That's it for today! Stay tuned for more!
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