Weaponry

By 1917 Russian industry was able to satisfy most the Tsarist Army's demand tor weapons and ammuJ tion, with imports accounting for about 12 per cent the total. Mthough the bulk of these resources fell in Bolshevik hands, they turned out to be inadequate ( needs of the Civil War.

The overall command of the weapons industry handed to the Supreme Soviet of State Kconorr Special 'Labour \rmics' were formed to provide I Red Army with weapons and clothing. W ithin rh-years, by 1920, more than 2,000 factories were engag in military production and were working under miliu law. Absence from the workplace at this time was tj tamount to desertion and was punishable by death.

Russia has always been good at producing weapon and the official statistics for this period are probJ fairly accurate: by the middle of 1920, three millj rifles, 21,000 machine-guns, 1.6 million hand-gui 3,000 artillery pieces, 5.6 million greatcoats and I million summer uniforms had been manufactured.

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I banners for i in battle'

• -.•■ur Banner I out only by Central niltee). The ■. U.1914 mi-aircraft ouId fire 20-unute, and it the beginning of the Civil War the Red formal logistical system, be il for food, munition or uniforms. The situation was icated by the diversity of equipment h more than 60 makes of artillen pieces as • pes of rifles and carbines. There was a . crvthing, and it is hardh surprising thai inces once again became a decisive factor

Rifles and pistols million rifles were left over from the old The bulk of these were the famous 2mm Mosin-Nagant M. 1891, known in the IrekhUneyka (literally 'three-lines', refer-Ljlibrc in the old Russian measurement sys-trekhlineykas had been made to order by in the USA during the Great War, and ..id to be serviceable until 1945. There were crsions: pekhotnaya (infantry); dragoonskaya shorter and lighter); and kuzachya (Cossack the same as the dragoonskaya, but without .nd with a slightly different sight configura-• rse and foot artillerymen were usually > ith the Mosin M.1908 carbine.

Alongside these 'Russian' weapons, foreign-made rilles abounded. The most common were the 7.92mm German Mauser .VI. 1898, the 8mm Austrian Mannlicher M.1895, and the Japanese Arisaka VI.1905. Another favourite was the American Winchester \1.1895, specially modified for Russian 7.62mm ammunition, and bearing the plaque 'USA for Russia'.

The standard revolver of the Civil War period was the 7.62mm Nagant M.1895, which had been licensed for local production, w hile the Smith-and-W esson l<S9.i was also widely available. The stylish and efficient German Mauser was especially popular among political commissars, commanders of all ranks and revolutionarv sailors, not to mention Chekists. Hut again, all marks of hand-gun available to the interventionist troops could also be found in use b\ Red Army men.

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