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The Penal Battalion

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The Penal Battalion (2004)

The Penal Battalion (Russian: Shtrafbat, штрафбат) is a 2004 Russian eleven-part miniseries, directed by Nikolay Dostal, set on the Eastern Front of World War II. Vasilii Tverdokhlebov (Aleksey Serebryakov) is the sole survivor of a firing squad after his unit is captured by the Germans during Operation Barbarossa. Accused of cowardice and desertion, he is given a choice: summary execution, or the task of leading a battalion of political prisoners, petty criminals, deserters, and those accused of cowardice in suicidal missions as "redemption".

The following weapons can be seen in the miniseries The Penal Battalion:


Nagant 1895

In a flashback to his civilian days, Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) is seen playing Russian Roulette with a Nagant M1895 revolver. This is a pre-1930 model.

1920's production Nagant M1895 - 7.62x38mmR
Antip Glymov with a Nagant.
Playing Russian Roulette.


Luger P08

Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) captures a Luger P08 in Episode 2. He is noticeably seen using it to execute a thief in Episode 3.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm
Antip Glymov with a Luger P08 in his belt.
Close-up of the Luger.
Glymov cocking the Luger.
Glymov fires the Luger.

Tokarev TT-33

Soviet officers carry the Tokarev TT-33 in hip holsters. It is only drawn twice in the series however; once by an NKVD officer in a fight with a Soviet soldier, and by a Militsioner in a flashback.

Tokarev TT-33 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
A Soviet soldier struggling with a Tokarev TT-33.
A Militsioner draws his Tokarev.

Walther P38

A captured Walther P38 is seen on a table in Episode 3. In Episode 5, a German soldier is seen reaching for a P38, only to be shot by Russian soldiers before he can use it.

Walther P38 - 9x19mm
A Walther P38 on a table.
A German soldier eyes a P38.

Submachine Guns


Vasiliy Tverdokhlebov (Aleksey Serebryakov) and other Soviet officers and soldiers carry the PPSh-41, with 71-round drum magazines.

PPSh-41 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Vasiliy Tverdokhlebov urges his troops to attack.
Vasiliy leading from the front with his PPSh-41.
Vasiliy firing his PPSh.
Firing the PPSh.
The PPSh-41 leaning against a window.
A PPSh-41 on an officer's desk.
A Soviet soldier with a PPSh.
Vasiliy with his PPSh.
Vasiliy firing the PPSh during a river crossing.
Sweeping a trench.


German soldiers carry the MP38. Several Soviet soldiers use captured MP38s throughout the series, most noticeably Aleksey Shustrov (Aleksandr Bashirov).

MP38 - 9x19mm
German soldiers with the MP38.
Close-up of the MP38 in a Russian soldier's hands.
Aleksey Shustrov with an MP38 slung.
Shustrov with his MP38.
Shustrov during a night patrol.
An MP38 clutched by the wounded soldier of the "Russian Liberation Army" Aleksandr Sazonov (Aleksey Pushkin).
Soviet soldiers firing MP38s.
A Soviet soldier crawling with his MP38.


The main submachine gun for the Germans is the MP40. They are also carried by Soviet soldiers, most notably Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov).

MP40 - 9x19mm
A German soldier fires an MP40.
An MP40 next to a wounded German soldier.
Antip Glymov with a captured MP40.
Georgiy Tochilin (Vladimir Kapustin) uses an MP40 in close combat.
Glymov loads a new magazine into his MP40.
Glymov cleaning his weapon.
Chudilin (Timofey Tribuntsev) with an MP40.
Close-up of an MP40 being fired by a German soldier.
Glymov taking cover with his MP40.
Sergey Shilkin (Aleksey Oshurkov) firing his MP40.
Glymov fires his MP40 during a river crossing.
An MP40 lying next to dead Shlykov (Viktor Suprun).


Mosin Nagant M91/30

The Penal Battalion soldiers are issued the Mosin Nagant M1891/30 before first going into combat. Although many quickly swap it for the MP40, it is seen used throughout the rest of the series by replacements and other Soviet soldiers. Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) carries a Mosin Nagant when he becomes the unofficial Battalion chaplain.

Mosin Nagant M91/30 - 7.62x54mm R
A Soviet Lieutenant - instructor (Andrey Nevraev) demonstrates how to assemble the Mosin Nagant M91/30. Note that there is no trigger.
Penal Battalion recruits with Mosin Nagant rifles, Stepan (Oleg Mazurov) at the foreground left, Shlykov (Viktor Suprun) next to him with a rifle on his shoulder.
Three recruits clean their rifles, Fyodor Baukin (Andrey Smolyakov) at the foreground.
Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) under fire with his Mosin Nagant.
A Soviet soldier works the bolt on his rifle.
A stack of rifles taken from casualties.
A battalion soldier decides to sacrifice his foot to avoid going into combat.
Close-up of the bolt.
A Soviet soldier fires his rifle.
A Soviet soldier clearing a trench.
Father Mikhail fires his M91/30 rifle.
A Soviet soldier fires his rifle. Also seen in this image are two MP38 and one PPSh-41 submachine guns.

Karabiner 98k

The main weapon of the German soldiers is the Karabiner 98k. Several Soviet soldiers are seen using them. In Episode 7, several German soldiers have bayonets fitted to their rifles during urban combat.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Defectors Nikolay Evseev (Igor Lebedev) (at the left) and Aleksand Sazonov (Aleksey Pushkin) (at the right) with Karabiner 98k rifles.
A German soldier fires his 98k.
The German is shocked into surrendering, courtesy of a grenade.
Close-up of a bayonet.
A German soldier fires his rifle.
A Soviet soldier with a captured 98k.
A German soldier firing his rifle.
Working the bolt. Another German can be seen with a Karabiner.


Several Soviet soldiers carry and use the PTRD-41 anti-tank rifle.

PTRD-41 - 14.5x114mm
Sergey Shilkin (Aleksey Oshurkov) and his assistant with a PTRD-41.
Close-up of the barrel.
Shilkin sports the thousand-yard stare.
A Soviet crew with their PTRD.


In Episode 6, the Battalion is issued several PTRS-41 and PTRD-41 anti-tank rifles, which they use several times throughout the rest of the series.

PTRS-41 - 14.5x114mm
Soviet soldiers lugging a PTRS-41.
Semyon Drozhkin (Aleksandr Tsurkan) awaits the order to open fire. He also carries an M91/30 rifle on sling.
Close-up of the barrel.
The action.
And the trigger.
Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) mans a PTRS-41.
Soviet soldiers displace with the PTRS.
Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) with a PTRS and Rodion Svetlichniy (Vasiliy Mishchenko) with an MP38 in action.
Semyon Drozhkin fires the PTRS.
A dead Soviet soldier with his PTRS-41.

Machine Guns

Degtyaryov DP-27

At the beginning of the series, the battalion is issued several Degtyaryov DP-27 machine guns, which are used throughout the series.

Degtyarev DP-28 - 7.62x54mm R
A pair of Degtyaryov DP-27 machine guns on a table.
A Soviet soldier running into action with his DP.
Ogloblin (Sergey Tsepov) firing point-blank into a bunker.
Mustafa Kulegenov (Tagir Rakhimov) hauls a DP-27.
Kulegenov fires his DP-27.
A soldier firing the DP.
Soviet soldiers in defensive positions. Pavel Burykin (Yuriy Shibanov) holds the DP-27.
A Soviet soldier with a DP during a river crossing.
Sweeping a trench.
The soldier firing.
A dead soldier besides his DP-27.

Maxim M1910/30

Among the weapons issued to the battalion are several Maxim M1910/30 machine guns, which are typically fired from the Solokov wheel mount. Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) is noticeably seen firing it to repel a German counterattack in Episode 12. NKVD barrier troops use the Maxim to fire on retreating Soviet soldiers in Episode 3.

Maxim M1910/30 on Solokov wheel mount - 7.62x54mmR
A Soviet machine gun crew.
NKVD barrier troops set up a Maxim.
The barrier troops firing their Maxim.
Soviet machine gunners on the move.
A Soviet crew firing the Maxim.
Setting up the Maxim. Note the wheel mount and the gun shield.
Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) fires the Maxim.
A dead gunner with his weapon.
Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) firing a Maxim M1910/30.

Maxim M1910

An original Maxim M1910 is seen in one scene.

Maxim 1910, simplified version with smooth water jacket - 7.62x54mmR
A Maxim M1910 on a table. Note a smooth water jacket.


German soldiers use the MG34, although it is only fired once in the series. In Episode 4, two marching Russian soldiers carry MG34's.

MG34 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
An MG34 in a captured trench.
An MG34 behind Shustrov (Aleksandr Bashirov).
Marching Soviet soldiers with captured machine guns.
A German machine gunner firing an MG34.


F-1 Hand Grenade

Aleksey Shustrov (Aleksandr Bashirov) throws an F-1 hand grenade into a German bunker in Episode 2. Two grenades are also seen besides a PTRS-41 in Episode 7.

F-1 High-Explosive Fragmentation Hand Grenade
Aleksey Shustrov pulling the pin on an F-1 grenade.
Two grenades beside a PTRS-41.

RGD-33 Hand Grenade

In one scene, a Soviet soldier is seen with a bundle of RGD-33 hand grenades.

RGD-33 high-explosive fragmentation stick grenade, shown with the diamond-patterned fragmentation sleeve.
A Soviet soldier holds a bundle of RGD-33.

Other Weapons

45mm 53-K AT Gun

A 45mm 53K AT gun is seen during a river crossing.

M1937 (53-K) Soviet anti-tank gun - 45 mm (1.77 in)
PB Russian DP 9.jpg

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