Artillery is essential in Crossfire, so to support my Russian Rifle Battalion I have forward observers for a variety of calibers of weapon. In addition I’ve got the artillery pieces as heavy weapons stands. This post covers field guns, howitzers, infantry guns, heavy mortars, Katyushas, anti-tank guns, and anti-aircraft guns. The Soviets were keen on firing direct so having the models makes sense. Admittedly I haven’t used many except the anti-tank guns.
Forward Observers (FO)
Normally in a Crossfire game the artillery is off board. Artillery is represented on table by Forward Observers (FO). They call in fire from the off board batteries.
Field Guns and Howitzers
Like all nations the Soviets used an extensive range of field guns and howitzers.
76mm ZIS-3 field guns
The Soviets were fond of 76mm field guns and in early 1942 the 76-mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) demonstrated superiority over its predecessors. Mine are from Flames of War range; they have changed the models but if I purchased them today they would be Flames of War SBX11 76mm ZIS-3 field guns with ZIS-2 57mm gun option
76mm obr 1927 gun
The 76 mm regimental gun M1927 was a Soviet infantry support gun, an infantry gun. Mine are from Flames of War SU560 76mm obr 1927 gun (x2).
Normally I use Battalion Code = “A” for the Unit ID for the “Artillery” of any nation. However, I’d already used “A-76” for the 76mm ZIS-3 field guns. So I went for “R-76” for the infantry guns. “R” because they work closed with the Russian Rifles (also “R”) and because they are regimental guns.
122 mm obr 1938 howitzer
The 122 mm howitzer M1938 (M-30) was a Soviet 121.92 mm (4.8 inch) howitzer. The M-30 was mainly used in divisional artillery. Mine are from the combined pack Flames of War SBX34 Reserve Artillery Battalion, this has both 122mm and 152mm options.
152mm obr 1943 Howitzer
The D-1 howitzer M1943 was a 152.4 mm howitzer. it has the carriage of the 122 mm howitzer M1938 (M-30) and barrel of the 152 mm howitzer M1938 (M-10). I got a second pack of the combined Flames of War SBX34 Reserve Artillery Battalion, which has both 122mm and 152mm options. These are currently unpainted.
203mm obr 1931 Howitzer
The 203mm howitzer M1931 (B-4) was a 203 mm (8 inch) Soviet heavy howitzer. The used against German fortifications and in urban combat for crushing protected buildings and bunkers, notably in Berlin 1945. The Germans nicknamed the 203mm “Stalin’s sledgehammer”.
I got my 203mm from Irregular Miniatures Really Useful Guns. These are pitched as 15mm or 20mm. In reality they are 20mm. So the large 203mm howitzer became huge in 15mm. Subsequently an alternative became available, the
Flames of War SU590 203mm obr 1931 Howitzer. At some point I’ll replace my monster with some of these.
Unlike other nations the Soviets considered heavy mortars to be artillery. Specifically the 120mm mortar. They also called the early rocket launchers “mortars” as a bit of military deception.
Heavy Mortar Company
The Soviets used a large number of M1938 120mm mortar. It impressed the Germans so much they copied it. My are from the Peter Pig range because I could build they individually. But if I did it again I’d go with Flames of War SU711 Heavy Mortar Company.
Guards Mortars / Katyusha Rockets
Katyusha multiple rocket launchers of World War II included the BM-13 launcher, light BM-8, and heavy BM-31. I’ve got some from Flames of War SBX07 Katyusha Rocket Battery but they are unpainted.
I’ve lumped anti-tank guns in with the Artillery.
45mm obr 1942 Gun
ZIS-2 57mm amti-tank gun
76mm ZIS-3 field guns
The 76-mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3), described above, was also used as an anti-tank weapon. Mine are from Flames of War range; they have changed the models but if I purchased them today they would be Flames of War SBX11 76mm ZIS-3 field guns with ZIS-2 57mm gun option.
The photos are a repeat of those above under field guns.
Of course all of the above is in addition to the six mortars in the rifle battalion: 3 x 50mm and 3 x 82mm.
Roland Davis painted all the figures. Roland uses the Black Undercoat Method of painting.