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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

Opinions?
 

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SVT was not a soldier friendly weapon. Also like you said lack of training/maintenance had a lot to do with the dislike of the weapon.If ask me, I would rather be armed with a svt than 9130
 

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The english version. http://english.iremember.ru/

I would say technical savy of the end user. The Finns fixed a lot of the small problems with the reliable 91/30. With a semi-automatic those small problems affect the performance more. Filing and sanding a moving part here and there may totally change and unreliable system to a reliable one. The soviets could replace the soldier easier than the Finns.
 

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Most armies (other than the U.S) main battle rifle was a bolt action.

Even the U.S marines were using 1903's for some time.

Bolt actions are, simple, reliable to a fault, and practically indestructible.


Given the time period, I don't think the average soldier would have felt under armed with a bolt action rifle


Whereas, semi-autos were, at best, finicky, difficult to maintain, etc. Therefore the opting for a bolt action piece.


Wendell
 

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Most armies (other than the U.S) main battle rifle was a bolt action.

Even the U.S marines were using 1903's for some time.

Bolt actions are, simple, reliable to a fault, and practically indestructible.


Given the time period, I don't think the average soldier would have felt under armed with a bolt action rifle


Whereas, semi-autos were, at best, finicky, difficult to maintain, etc. Therefore the opting for a bolt action piece.


Wendell
+1,

There are many reason most countries still produced bolts even though the technology and design was there for semiautos. WW2 for example when semi-auto was introduced it was being used and issued as secondary/aux weapon; the united States being the exception of course. Just because most problems of a bolt action could be solved by the average solider. The avg semi-auto rifle with its corrosive gas system and complicated design (US being the exception) was a whole different animal. The mentality - stick to what works.
 

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Soviet brass has very little regard for individual infantrymen, as such they weren't properly trained in neither tactics or equipment operation/maintenance.
 

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+1,

There are many reason most countries still produced bolts even though the technology and design was there for semiautos. WW2 for example when semi-auto was introduced it was being used and issued as secondary/aux weapon; the united States being the exception of course. Just because most problems of a bolt action could be solved by the average solider. The avg semi-auto rifle with its corrosive gas system and complicated design (US being the exception) was a whole different animal. The mentality - stick to what works.

Spaxs hit the nail on the head here...
My wife and daughter love their semi-autos, only because they don't have to clean and maintane them.
I hate semi-autos.
When it's -2 degrees F, and the dogs are going nuts about something out there, wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx, skunk (pick one) I'm going out there with something I know is going to work no matter what.
 

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Spaxs hit the nail on the head here...
My wife and daughter love their semi-autos, only because they don't have to clean and maintane them.
I hate semi-autos.
When it's -2 degrees F, and the dogs are going nuts about something out there, wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx, skunk (pick one) I'm going out there with something I know is going to work no matter what.
Good to see you back Montana! Its been to long. Good to see you posting once more. Cheers:thumbsup:
 

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The production angle must be considered.

Regardless of function issues and soldier preference, the Soviets lost vast amounts of equipment in the early stages. They needed to replace an enormous amount of small arms, and fast. The SVT was much more complicated and time consuming and expensive to produce than a Mosin. For self loading they went with the cheap, easy to make ppsh.

Simple as that, it really didn't matter what they liked or disliked
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I understand the production difficulties. But I was talking about soldiers' preference. I guess training had a lot to do with it. Professional soldiers were mostly lost in the first stages of the invasion. They were largely armed with SVTs and trained in proper operation of that rifle. I read an interview with a border guard and his squad was armed with SVTs and DPs. They put up hell of a fight but were eventually flanked and had to withdraw. People like that rarely complain about reliability of their semi-auto rifles. Later conscripts did not have time nor proper instruction to operate SVTs and were just issued them and thrown into battle. Thus they had problems with the rifles and this created a stigma that SVTs were unreliable.
 

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Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

Opinions?
Soviets did not train their beloved soldiers in most cases (after war started), in some cases there were grabbing just "liberated" men and throwing them into battles with no uniform and almost without arms and were not enlisting them to lower battle casualties (dead unaccounted civilian is not a battle loss). That was the only reason. As you mention and I could elaborate - trained soldiers highly regarded SVT, that's true for German, Finnish armies and national insurgents in Baltic states and Ukraine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please do elaborate. I am interested in more info.

A relative of mine has an SVT-38 with all accessories and someday it will probably be mine. So I would like to find out as much as possible.
 

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Elaborate on what exactly? How to handle SVT-40 properly? The best thing is to read original manual, but I don't know if translations exist.
 

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Funny how opinions change thread to thread. In this one people, I think correctly, explain how the 91/30 was preferred because the SVT was complicated, unreliable, difficult to maintain and expensive to produce.
In the SVT versus Garand thread, people were trying to say the SVT was a superior weapon to the Garand. Following that logic, they would now have to argue that the 91/30 was a superior Main Battle Rifle to the Garand.

Most of the primary participants in the slaughter we call WWll excelled at some particular piece of armament:
The Germans had the best squad automatic weapon, the MG-42
The Russians the best all around battle tank, the T-34
The Americans the best battle rifle, the Garand, and the best strategic bomber, the B-17 and long range fighter the P-51.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Elaborate on use of SVTs by German and Finnish armies where they highly praised them.

As far as the manuals, I have no issues in reading the originals.
 

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The preference of the bolt action versus the semi-auto could also be a matter of how comfortable the soldiers felt with new technology . . . as when they were civilians, what was their "standards-of-living"?. A considerable amount of them, prior to taking up arms, lived in places that did not even have indoor plumbing or electricity. Whereas we live with advanced technology that was unimaginable 70 years ago.

Think back to our ancestors (in modern societies), such as grandparents, that were comfortable using a typewriter, but were afraid of using a personal computer for word-processing. The typewriter and PC have the commonality of the QWERTY keyboard, and that's where it ended. Whereas today's grandkids can handle word-processing chores as easy as making a phone call.

So I can imagine that a semi-auto rifle in Russia 70 years ago would be looked upon as advanced technology that not everyone would be comfortable with.
 

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Elaborate on use of SVTs by German and Finnish armies where they highly praised them.

As far as the manuals, I have no issues in reading the originals.
Oh, well. It just known fact from memoirs, from lot pictures of German and Finnish soldiers carrying it in battles (not just posing). Unfortunately I can't elaborate further.
Finnish soldiers:
tumblr_myodexOiGm1rc7erjo1_500.jpg

German soldiers:
IngOZWz.jpg
 

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Germans had skilled field armorers with every regiment who could help with keeping the SVTs going. Also, Germans early on had the leisure of a bit more free time to keep things clean, being the attackers rather than the attackees.

I think the average German soldier had more fondness and skill at small mechanical items and precision maintenance than the average Soviet, but that it just based on my perhaps prejudicial view that Germans really like precision mechanical stuff. (Mercedes, BMWs, Lugers and Mausers come quickly to mind, but German clockmakers also were pretty sharp.)

Not only were Mosins a whole lot easier to keep clean and reliable (one jam might mean your life), they were more accurate and easy to fix even in horrible conditions. An experienced Russian trooper with a stripper clip could load a Mosin very quickly, while a mud-filled SVT mag was hopeless. I think that mostly the Russians used stripper clips in SVTs, so they were loaded at the same speed as a Mosin.

It's just that if you left an SVT dirty for a few days in the snow, darkness, cold and muck, it didn't work anymore, while a Mosin shook it off like a muddy old dog and went on shooting straight and reliably. Grab a few parts off a damaged one in a ditch and you practically had a new rifle.

That's why my SVT doesn't get shot much and my Mosins do - the cleaning is a pain, even in perfect conditions.

Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

Opinions?
 

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"lived in places that did not even have indoor plumbing or electricity."

That was also true of most of rural America in 1936 when the Garand was adopted.
 

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Oh, well. It just known fact from memoirs, from lot pictures of German and Finnish soldiers carrying it in battles (not just posing). Unfortunately I can't elaborate further.
Finnish soldiers:
View attachment 736884

German soldiers:
View attachment 736885
I would have to disagree that one picture of each country represents "lot pictures" (sic) The photo of the lone German with the SVT is the same one that is posted over and over, hardly seems overwhelming evidence that the SVT was "highly praised" by the Germans. I would think more likely it was just that the Germans early in the war had no semi-auto rifle available to them, so they made limited use of the SVT despite its poor reliability just because it was all that was available.
 
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