Thursday, 17 August 2017

Armoury of the Moscow People's Militia

In September of 1941, things weren't looking so good for the Red Army. The possibility of the German army reaching, and even taking, Moscow was on the horizon. A People's Militia was formed to defend the city if necessary. At the same time, an inventory of obsolete weapons was taken, to see what they could be equipped with if the regular army consumes all of the currently produced guns. Numbers of functional guns and those in need of repairs are given, the latter in brackets.

Any modern collector would be envious of the result:







"7.7 mm English rifles and carbines: 8992 (11911)
7.92 mm rifles and carbines: 24897 (13188)
8 mm Lebel rifles and carbines, model 86/93 16380 (2890)
8 mm Lebel rifles and carbines, model 907-15-16 21630 (5100)
7.62 mm Finnish rifles and carbines 2406 (8190)
6.5 mm Japanese rifles and carbines 3260 (5554)
6.5 mm Italian rifles and carbines 1777 (1455)
8 mm Mannlicher rifles and carbines 15096 (1481)
8 mm Steyr rifles 1194 (928)
11 mm Gras rifles 3906 (1303)
10.4 mm Vetterli-Vitali rifles 1080 (296)
6.5 mm Fedorov submachineguns 882 (67)

7.62 mm Finnish Suomi hand-held machineguns 38 (261)
7.7 mm Hotchkiss hand-held machineguns 71 (0)
7.7 mm Lewis hand-held machineguns 0 (514)
7.92 mm Lewis hand-held machineguns 64 (0)
7.92 mm German Bergmann machineguns 86 (115)
7.92 mm German Maxim hand-held machineguns with no bipods, unsuitable for use 800 (0)
7.92 mm Polish Browning machineguns 40 (97)
7.92 mm German hand-held Maxim machineguns 37 (424)
8 mm Chauchat hand-held machineguns 673 (983)

7.62 mm Colt mounted machinegun 1796 (0)
7.62 mm Vickers machinegun on a tripod 172 (0)
7.62 mm Finnish Maxim machinegun (no mount) 25 (339)
7.62 mm Colt machinegun (no tripod) 0 (603)
7.7 mm Vickers machinegun (with tripod) 280 (0)
7.92 mm Vickers mounted machinegun 112 (0)
7.62 mm Browning mounted machinegun 503 (0)
7.92 mm Polish Hotchkiss mounted machinegun 209 (42)
7.92 mm Maxim mounted machinegun 62 (0)
8 mm Schwartzlose mounted machinegun 133 (14)
8 mm St. Etienne mounted machinegun 815 (0)
8 mm Hotchkiss mounted machinegun 964 (141)

7.92 mm Polish Browning aircraft machinegun 70 (0)
7.92 mm Polish aircraft machinegun 82 (0)
7.92 mm Polish Vickers synchronized aircraft machinegun 0 (132)
7.92 mm German Vickers turret aircraft machinegun 33 (0)
7.92 mm Hotchkiss aircraft machinegun 42 (0)

76 mm model 1902/30 regimental gun 279 (45)
76 mm model 1900 gun 0 (48)
76 mm French model 1897 gun 12 (208)
76 mm model 1933 gun 89 (112)
76 mm mountain gun model 1909 1 (51)"

Thankfully, the militia received proper modern firearms, and didn't have to go into battle with this museum. Andrei Ulanov provides the following excerpt:

"3. People's Militia divisions were re-armed and are equipped with domestically produced weapons:
  • With small arms, 50 mm mortars, and 76 mm divisional guns: completely
  • 82 mm mortars: 39%, 120 mm mortars: 15%, 45 mm guns: 15%, 76 mm regimental guns: 32%, 122 mm howitzers: 100%
  • Communications equipment: 20-45%
4. To fully equip the People's Militia divisions, the following must be issued:
  • 396 82 mm mortars, 122 120 mm mortars, 98 76 mm regimental guns
  • 30% of regularly issued pioneer tools
  • Main communications equipment (radios, telephones, cable).
September 3rd, 1941 (signed: Schadenko, Artemyev, Yakovlev)."

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