These are my first two painted Red Army Cavalry sections, one mounted and one dismounted:
"On the morning of 23 June 1944 our Combined Mechanized Cavalry Group (III Guards Cavalry Corps and III Guards Mechanized Corps) entered the gap that had been made in the German defences by tank and infantry units. The 2nd Squadron of our regiment was the first to go into battle at Bogushevsk. This squadron, under Guards Senior Sergant Oleinikov, was the regiment's point and suddenly ran into Fritz's defensive perimeter around the town. Olenikov made a bold decision: two sabre platoons dismounted and began a firefight with the Germans, distracting their attention, while Oleinikov and the two remaining sabre platoon bypassed the German defences and stormed them from the rear, on horseback with sabres drawn. The Germans fled in panic."
These were the first two sections, now I only need to paint up two more: one mounted and one dismounted! Then I can field one platoon of each kind at the same time (that is half a squadron, where the squadron has four platoons of two sections each). When dismounting, four men are left behind as horseholders, so the dismounted section fields only eight men. The mounted section is already converted and the dismounted put together so I will hopefully show them off here soon!
As there was (and still is… Warlord games, let's do it!) no 28mm soviet cavalry to buy, I had to convert them. As I had quite a lot of unpainted Copplestone Miniatures Bolshevik and Cossack Russian Civil War cavalry in my miniatures cabinet, I used those. I think it's hard to get better ones for this project anyway. The ammo pouches are maybe outdated for WW2 but you can't get everything. Following conversions were carried out:
The project started out as two five men units for Bolt Action (BA). Unfortunately I never got them painted for when we still played BA, so I have not tested them with that ruleset. I had to do two more to fill up a mounted section for CoC, which is why they are two men short in the picture below.
First cavalry in greatcoats:
And with greatcoats rolled upon the saddle instead (and a group picture):
I also made a dismounted cavalry Serzhant to lead a section when on foot. He got a carbine and sabre! In hindsight, it would maybe have been better to arm him with a SMG as the Serzhants seems to got SMGs already in the Autumn of '41. But then he can substitute a cavalry soldier who shows some initiative instead, and he will be great as junior leader when gaming the period before that.
The body and head is Wargames Factory, arms from Warlords Blitzkrig german set (or possibly their plastic soviets), carbine from Warlords plastic soviet set and the sabre from a Copplestone RCW cavalryman. I am especially pleased with the green stuff strap to the carbine (I carved a bit in the back of the miniature to be able to fit the carbine properly).
Hurahh and welcome to the first Red Cavalry blog post!
I will make some posts on background, modeling, painting and gaming with the Red Cavalry. The focus is on 28mm scale and the ruleset used is Chain of Command (CoC). So why collect and game such a strange force as cavalry in a WW2 game? Mainly because:
Murmurs from parts the gaming group about the usefulness of cavalry in WW2 made me even more into research on the subject. I should show them the usefulness of the saber charge! Especially as I intended to write the rules myself… There was a cavalry list for CoC in Operation Winter Storm but I did not know about it when I started out writing my own. I made an comprehensive list covering all the war that I have used so far, but especially the rules for mounted cavalry still need more playtesting. The list have been posted on the CoC forum ("Soviet Cavalry List" topic) and an updated version will be posted here when I have done more playtesting.
A mounted cavalry platoon. It is such a force I intend to be able to field in CoC (note the tracks in the snow, probably from the photographer!)
Cossack cavalry on parade, somewhere it was stated the picture is from 1937. Probably the first squadron of a regiment. A very wild guess is that the men are from the "1st Zaporozhe Cossack Cavalry Division", a pre-war unit that was formed to the 32nd Cavalry Division in 1938 in the Kiev Special Military District. Cossack units were raised both before and during the war. PROLETAIRER ALLER LÄNDER, VERENIGT EUCH!
Riding in style on an 45mm AT-gun. Cossacks were known to cross water obstacles standing on their swimming horses!