Steel Division 2 recreates Operation Bagration, the World War 2 Soviet campaign, at an almost bewildering scale, giving prospective commanders tens of thousands of troops and war machines to fight with and against. You'll control countless individual units as well as multiple divisions, split between Axis and Soviet armies. Today we're revealing all of the Soviet divisions you'll be able to command, from the beefy 2nd Guards Tank Corps to the Kuban Cossacks in the 9th Guards Cavalry.
2-y Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Korpus (2nd Guards Tank Corps)
Developer Eugen Systems calls this division a "paragon of Soviet technology". It's chock full of new tanks specifically for Operation Bagration, so you can roll into battle with brand spanking new T-34s and T-85s. Older tanks lend support through recon and command roles, so they'll still have their uses. Watch out, however, because it doesn't have strong anti-air defences, though it does get some help from the American AA halftracks it's borrowing. Thanks, America!
29-y Tankovy Korpus (29th Tank Corps)
More tanks! This division is similar to the 2nd Guards, but it hasn't been given the same upgrade. Amid the older tanks, however, are some quirks that have been lend-leased by other nations, including a lot of M10 Wolverines and some Boston A-20 air support. The highlight comes in the form of the new IS-2 heavy tanks, just rolling out of the factories. They've even got that new tank smell. Again, it's not got strong AA defences, but it's generally more versatile, though not as punchy, as the 2nd Guards.
3-y Gvardeyskiy Mekhanizyrovanniy Korpus (3rd Guards Mechanized Corps)
This division, historically, was among the first to make it across the Berezina river and link with the partisans holding important bridges. In-game this is reflected by the division's strong infantry that's backed up by partisan light scouts, as well as lend-leased M4A2 Sherman tanks. It's a well rounded division, says Eugen, and provides strong air support.
Podvizhnaya Gruppa Tyurina (Manoeuver Group "Tyurin")
A makeshift division created from random mechanised independent units and the 157th Rifle Division, Manoeuver Group “Tyurin” was put together to fill in the gap left by the absence of corps-level tank formations in the 2nd Belorussian Front. I'm envisioning the A Team or some other group of outsiders thrust together by fate, but with tanks. My imagination might be taking liberties. The division has strong infantry, elite assault engineers, anti-tank guns and a couple of tank brigades that include some borrowed Stuarts and captured Panzer IV F1s. It's all very ragtag.
Podvizhnaya Gruppa Bezuglogo (Manoeuver Group "Bezugly")
Similar to Tyurin, Bezugly was created to fill in a gap. Instead of being an infantry division, however, it's built around the 28th Guard Tank Brigade, full of an assortment of tanks and vehicles, from older T-70s and T-34s, to SU-122 assault guns and captured tanks like the SU-88 and two T-6s. Sappers and penal troops are in the mix, too, along with forty SU-76s. World War 2's most versatile vehicle, Eugen calls them, acting as artillery, tank destroyers or assault guns. You can, in fact, have it all.
9-ya Gvardeyskaya Kavaleriyskaya Diviziya (9th Guards Cavalry Division)
The Kuban Cossacks of the 9th Guards Cavalry like to get up close to their enemies. Soviet cavalry divisions get their own tank battalions with T-70s and Valentine light tanks, as well as a few medium ones, and boast assault guns support and even some rocket launchers to give them some extra artillery wallop. The OSNAZ light amphibious battalion, a precursor to Spetsnaz, is also part of the division, and probably not to be messed with.
26-ya Gvardeyskaya Strelkovaya Diviziya (26th Guards Rifle Division)
During Operation Bagration, the 26th Guards Rifle Division was part of the first assault wave against the main German stronghold. It's one of the strongest anti-infantry divisions that the Soviets can field, boasting great close-quarter battalions and special assault units. The OT-34 flame tanks will let you heat up the battlefield, and you'll be able to field KV heavy tanks, super-heavy artillery, sappers and heavy fighter-bomber support.
44-ya Gvardeyskaya Strelkovaya Diviziya (44th Guards Rifle Division)
This one's a bit more plain than the 26th GRD. The 44th are a standard rifle division, backed up by a tank brigade featuring some T-34/76s and T-34/85s. It's a more balanced division, says Eugen, even if it's not quite as flashy as some of the others.
184-ya Strelkovaya Diviziya (184th Guards Rifle Division)
The last of the new Soviet divisions is the 184th Guards Rifle Division. It famously contained Roza Shanina, the Soviet sniper with 59 confirmed kills and first woman in the 3rd Belorussian Front to receive the Order of Glory medal. It's an infantry division with a tank brigade for support, mostly containing older lend-lease tanks. Expect lots of towed artillery and some ISU-122 tank destroyers. Eugen's advice is to dig in and fight defensively in prepared positions, letting the enemy walk right into your bullets.
And that's your lot! You'll have plenty of tanks to play with, and not just Soviet ones, but the lack of solid AA defences might get you in trouble. With the Axis divisions—keep an eye out for their reveal soon—and the extra divisions that owners of the original get, Steel Division 2 boasts 950 different units, some shared between divisions, others unique. A veritable sea of tanks and heavily armed soldiers.
Steel Division 2 is due out on April 4.