Penal Battalion, The

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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 Two. 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: to lead 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:



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 (Yuriy Stepanov) with a Luger P08 in his belt.
Close-up of the Luger.
Glymov cocking the Luger.
Glymov fires the Luger.

Russian Nagant 1895

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

Nagant M1895 Revolver - 7.62x38N cartridge (aka 7.62 Nagant ammo)
Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) with a Russian Nagant 1895 revolver.
Playing Roulette.

Tokarev TT-33

Russian 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 Russian soldier, and by a police officer in a flashback.

Tokarev TT-33 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
A Russian soldier struggling with a Tokarev TT-33.
A Police Officer 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


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

PPSh-41 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Vasilii Tverdokhlebov (Aleksey Serebryakov) urges his troops to attack.
Vasilii leading from the front with his PPSh-41.
Vasilii firing his PPSh.
Firing the PPSh.
The PPSh-41 leaning against a window.
A PPSh-41 on an officer's desk.
A Russian soldier with a PPSh.
Vasilii with his PPSh.
Vasilii firing the PPSh during a river crossing.
Sweeping a trench.


German soldiers carry the MP38. Several Russian soldiers use captured MP38's 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 (Aleksandr Bashirov) with an MP38 slung.
Shustrov with his MP38.
Shustrov during a night patrol.
An MP38 by a wounded German soldier.
Russian soldiers firing MP38's.
A Russian soldier crawling with his MP38.


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

MP40 - 9x19mm
A German soldier fires an MP40.
An MP38 next to a wounded German soldier.
Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) goes Rambo with a captured MP40.
A Russian soldier demonstrates a new way to use a weapon.
Glymov loads a new magazine into his MP40.
Glymov cleaning his weapon.
A Russian soldier with an MP40.
Close-up of an MP40 being fired by a German soldier.
Glymov taking cover with his MP40.
A Russian soldier firing his MP40.
Glymov fires his MP40 during a river crossing.
An MP40 lying next to a dead Russian soldier.


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 Russian soldiers. Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) carries a Mosin Nagant when he becomes the Battalion chaplain.

Mosin Nagant M91/30 - 7.62x54mm R
A Russian instructor demonstrates how to assemble the Mosin Nagant M91/30. Note that their is no trigger.
Penal Battalion recruits with Mosin Nagant rifles.
Three recruits clean their rifles.
Antip Glymov (Yuriy Stepanov) under fire with his Mosin Nagant.
A Russian 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 Russian soldier fires his rifle.
A Russian soldier clearing a trench.
Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) fires his Mosin Nagant.
A Russian 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 Russian 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
Russian defectors 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 Russian soldier with a captured 98k.
A German soldier firing his rifle.
Working the bolt. Another German can be seen with a Karabiner.


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

PTRD-41 - 14.5x114mm
Russian soldiers manning a PTRD-41.
Close-up of the barrel.
A Russian soldier sports the thousand-yard stare.
A Russian 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
Russian soldiers lugging a PTRS-41.
Two Russian soldiers await the order to fire.
Close-up of the barrel.
The action.
And the trigger.
Father Mikhail (Dmitriy Nazarov) mans a PTRS-41.
Russian soldiers displace with the PTRS.
The PTRS in action.
A dead Russian 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 Russian soldier running into action with his DP.
The soldier firing point-blank into a bunker.
A soldier hauls a DP-27.
A Russian soldier fires his DP-27.
A soldier firing the DP.
Russian soldiers in defensive positions.
A Russian 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 Russians in Episode 3.

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

Maxim M1910

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 Russian soldiers with captured machine guns.
A Russian 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 (Aleksandr Bashirov) 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 Russian 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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