|Men per Squad||6|
|Upkeep per Minute||-13|
|Produced By||Special Rifle Command|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||80|
|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
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 45.
Anti-vehicle Satchel Edit
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
ROKS-3 Flamethrower Edit
Upgrade the squad with a flamethrower. Improves Anti-Infantry and Anti-structure capability. Campaign only.
PTRS Anti Tank Rifles Edit
Upgrade the squad with two Anti-tank rifles. Improves Anti-Vehicle and Anti-structure capability. Allows use of Anti-vehicle satchel.
At each Veterancy level, the Penal Batalion gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
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.
"You need a suicide squad?"
"If you are not dying, you are not trying"