|“||It's almost time for a showdown with our Russian "allies".
- Andrew Campbell, West Meets East
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has the cheapest, fastest to produce infantry and a good medium tank, the T-34 advanced medium tank. They are fast and cheap, but take a long time to construct. Similarly, the IS-2 advanced heavy tank is fairly easy to produce while utilizing level 5 armor and an effective gun. Has one huge weakness, and that is Anti-Air. The U.S.S.R. also have some of the best artillery in the game, featuring the Katyusha rocket launcher. Do not be afraid to invest in multiple Russian aircraft, the U.S.S.R.'s air force is weak overall but bombing an enemy with PE-8s and IL-2 is viable. Just don't expect to shoot down enemy aircraft.
The red army was created by Bolshevik revolutionist Leon Trotsky during the Russian revolution. Russia's army performed very poorly in Finland in 1939-1940, this was due to morale drop during "The Great Purges". The appointing of politically correct career managers instead of experienced officers, and in the initial German invasion, also added to the struggles of the Red Army. This was due to the fact that Stalin did not expect Hitler to betray the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (at least that early), and as such did not even believe the Germans would attack, even to the point of telling his soldiers to "Not return fire" to avoid provocations. On July 3rd Stalin addressed the nation, calling the conflict the Great Patriotic War.
Russian troops were almost entirely conscripted, meaning that the country had a mandatory service system that trained a vast number of reservists prior to the war.This is in contrast to Germany's hastily-trained conscripts that they threw at the Soviet border in 1941. The teutonic hordes simply overwhelmed the brave, highly-trained border guards.
Early Russian armor was superior in terms of firepower and armor to early war period German counterparts. These included the heavily armored KV tank and fast, well armed, and extremely effeciently armored T-34.
Initially the Soviets were on their knees, however once reinforcements arrived from experienced and battle-tested (against Japanese incursions) Siberian divisions (Gvardiya), they were able to stop the German advance at Moscow. The Russians failed to gain ground in the Winter Campaign of 1942, resulting in a bloodbath. The German summer campaign of 1942-43 began as an offensive toward Caucases' oil reserves, but evolved into the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the largest in history. The Soviet Operation Bagration in the Summer 1944 was simultaneous with D-Day, and crushed the German lines. After that, and until the end of the war the soviets kept pushing the Germans back to Berlin.
Lend-Lease aid from the U.S., relocation of factories behind the Urals and, sheer determination and total mobilization of each and every citizen possible only in a harsh totalitarian regime, allowed the Soviet Union to create a powerful war machine that could push the Germans back to Berlin.
Strategies and Tactics
Russia has relatively strong artillery, infantry, and tanks, as well as a good fighter-bomber.
Their primary weakness is air as their static AA unit. While cheap, it must be deployed in extremely large numbers to be effective. Their mobile AA is a much more effective unit, though not as good as its comparative counterparts. Likewise their advanced fighter, the Yak-3, is quite weak, and their aerial recon is slow and vulnerable.
Due to the strength of Soviet bombers, an early bomber rush is possible; however this is easily averted by a smart opponent through use of camouflage & spy ruses, as well as early attention to anti-air/fighters.
The Soviet style of play therefore is one primarily of ground with aerial support. In a larger map, Soviets will do well to be paired with a strong counter-air team such as Britain, Germany, or the US to provide AA or fighter support.
With proper command of the Soviet Artillery Branch, ominously named by Stalin himself "the god of war", the skilled player can decimate opponents, while using terrain and treelines to their advantage with concealed ground recon and anti-tank forces to provide cover. 152-mm cannons can be rapidly deployed without research,while being equivalent to other nations' Advanced artillery. Only a determined combined-arms response, overwhelming force, or massive aerial attack can destroy a well-balanced Soviet force.
Soviet tanks take a while to construct, but if a player deploys 2 armored bases, the war machine can go much faster. The U.S.S.R. can mass produce infantry.
The USSR have powerful units, having the strongest medium tank in the game, a good dive bomber, and the most spammable infantry in the whole game, and ambushing with Russians is very easy. They have very cheap units, but, as Germany, they take very long time to produce, so their production rates are low not for their prices, but for their own rates.