Penal Battalion
Army Soviet Army
Role Elite Anti-Infantry
Men per Squad 6
Unit Cost 300Icon Manpower Small.png 300
8Icon PopCap Small.png 8
Upkeep per Minute -13Icon Manpower Small.png -13
Produced By Special Rifle Command
Cost to Reinforce 22Icon Manpower Small.png 22
1Icon PopCap Small.png 1
Health per Man 80Icon Health Small.png 80
Infantry Type Infantry
Basic Weapon SVT-40 Semi-Automatic Rifles

Penal Battalions are improved rifle infantry squadrons composed of criminals, armed with SVT-40 automatic rifles and thrown into the face of the enemy.


Penal Battalions are somewhat expensive for what they are, so despite comments made by the Soviet Commissar they are not to be used in a suicidal manner. They are excellent Infantry killers at longer ranges, due partly to their rifles being Semi-Automatic and also because of their low armor.

Their primary function is Anti Infantry and Capturing & holding points early on, until they get their PTRS upgrade. However, they are expensive for how early you get them. They are capable of going toe to toe with Grenadiers, able to do more damage per second and also more able to take damage (because there are more of them).

Their satchel does a lot of damage and has a long timer to balance its destructive power. It can destroy most anything it explodes near. If an enemy Vehicle is holding still, it is a prime target for their satchel charge. If you need to destroy a bridge, satchel. If infantry are holding still, they are to have satchel charge tossed immediately. If Infantry are in a building, they can be easily killed by a quick satchel. Actually, anything and everything holding still is a target for the satchel. It is not recommended to use it against targets that can easily move away, however.

Penal Battalions can purchase Anti-Tank rifle upgrade, which replaces two SVT-40 rifles with 2 PTRS rifles. These rifles are cheaper than most other anti-armor infantry upgrades and are good at destroying light vehicles and certain structures at a distance but do very limited damage to medium tanks or heavier vehicles, even when flanking. The real threat to enemy armor comes with their Anti-vehicle satchels, unlocked along with the PTRS rifles.

In the campaign, they instead have the flamethrower upgrade.


Satchel Charge Edit

  • Costs 45Icon Munitions Small.png 45
  • Activation: Target Ground
  • Cooldown: 26 seconds

The Penal Squad throws a bag of explosives at an area, causing massive damage to anything foolish or unlucky enough to be near. The charge is capable of completely destroying light and medium vehicles, support weapons, bridges, buildings, and wiping out entire squads of infantry. It cripples heavy vehicles. It costs 45Icon Munitions Small.png 45.

Anti-vehicle Satchel Edit

  • Costs 45Icon Munitions Small.png 45
  • Activation: Target Vehicle
  • Cooldown: 26 seconds

This is exactly the same as their normal satchel charge, but it can only target vehicles, and it will "stick" or "home in" like an anti-tank grenade or a Panzerfaust. It is guaranteed to cause engine damage, and will completely destroy light vehicles while doing a respectable amount of damage to tanks.

Trip Wire Flare Edit

  • Costs 10Icon Munitions Small.png 10
  • Activation: Target Ground
  • Requires veterancy 1

The squad can build a trip wire, which when stepped on, reveals the enemy squad's position wherever the trip wire was. It costs 10Icon Munitions Small.png 10, and requires Veterancy 1.


ROKS-3 Flamethrower Edit

  • Costs 60Icon Munitions Small.png 60
  • Takes 20 seconds to install

Upgrade the squad with a flamethrower. Improves Anti-Infantry and Anti-structure capability. Campaign only.

PTRS Anti Tank Rifles Edit

  • Costs 60Icon Munitions Small.png 60
  • Takes 20 seconds to install

Upgrade the squad with two Anti-tank rifles. Improves Anti-Vehicle and Anti-structure capability. Allows use of Anti-vehicle satchel.

Veterancy Edit

As a Soviet unit, the Penal Batalion can gain three levels of Veterancy. Each level brings its own specific benefits, increasing the unit's combat potential and/or survivability.

Accumulation Edit

Like all other Soviet units, the Penal Batalion obtains Veterancy points by participating in combat.

Bonuses Edit

At each Veterancy level, the Penal Batalion gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below.

Veterancy1 CoH2 Level 1 Veterancy:
  • "Trip Wire Flare" ability unlocked.
Veterancy2 CoH2 Level 2 Veterancy:
  • "Oorah!" ability unlocked.
  • Cooldown decreased by 20%.
  • Accuracy increased by 30%.
Veterancy3 CoH2 Level 3 Veterancy:
  • Accuracy increased by 30%.
  • Armor increased by 30%.

Weaknesses Edit

Penal troops are very powerful anti-infantry units due to their large squad size and semiautomatic rifles, but suffer the same weaknesses as any rifle infantry - being rushed by SMG-wielding assault infantry, pinned by machineguns, and overwhelmed by armor and firepower. They are also expensive, at 300 manpower, and have a very short range on their thrown explosives. Getting the PTRS package helps them against vehicles, especially with a very powerful anti-tank satchel charge, but this does nothing for their lack of durability. Savvy German players will focus fire on them to deplete their numbers and kill them altogether when they attempt to close in to use their explosives.

Quotes Edit

"You need a suicide squad?"

"If you are not dying, you are not trying"

Gallery Edit

Penal Squad