The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII
The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII

The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII

Robert Ranstadler - July 11, 2017

The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII
A pre-WWII Mosin-Nagant Model 91/30. Knowledgeglue.com

Mosin-Nagant Military Rifle

Quantifiably one of the deadliest rifles ever taken into battle, the Russian Mosin-Nagant has continuously been in service since 1891. Over 37 million units have been distributed to approximately 50 countries and used in 36 conflicts, from the opening shots of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) to the recent annexation of Crimea by Russian forces in 2014. Still in use today, the Mosin-Nagant is the most widely-manufactured bolt-action rifle in history. It was the standard service weapon of the Red Army at the outset of World War II, serving Soviet forces over the duration of the conflict, essentially arming the largest mobilized army in modern military history.

The Mosin-Nagant name stems from its creators, Russian Imperial Army Captain Sergei Ivanovich Mosin and Belgian firearms designer, Léon Nagant. The rifle underwent a series of design revision over the years, resulting in eight separate service models, including four carbines and a dedicated sniper rifle. The Mosin-Nagant M91/30 was the most-widely used version of WWII, itself undergoing a series of technical revisions to improve the production and performance of the weapon. Over 17 million copies were produced by the conclusion of the Second World War, with the M38 and M44 carbines contributing to that overall figure.

The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII
Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev posing with his Mosin-Nagants Model 91/30 PU sniper rifle. Indiatimes.com.
The Tools of War: 10 Deadly Infantry Weapons of WWII
Ivan Mikhaylovich Sidorenko, a Red Army officer and one of the deadliest snipers in history, was a Hero of the Soviet Union. He amassed 500 confirmed kills over the course of WWII. Emgn.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arguably the most fearsome of the WWII Mosin-Nagants is the Model 91/30 PU sniper rifle, a modified weapon that helped turned the tide of battle across the Eastern Front. Equipped with a resilient 3.5-power optic combat sight, the sniper version of the Mosin-Nagant was produced in far fewer numbers than the standard M91/30 (perhaps a few thousand).

The weapon made folk heroes of many soldiers, such as Vasily Zaytsev. The late Soviet sniper is credited with 225 confirmed kills at the Battle of Stalingrad, including the counter-sniping of 11 Axis sharpshooters. Ivan Sidorenko, another Red Army sniper, chalked up 500 confirmed kills with the M91/30 PU. Beyond question, such incredible numbers speak to the lethal accuracy of the Mosin-Nagant military rifle.

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