Russian Naval Infantry: The 'Other' BTR Rifles subject logo: MILGAM
2006-06-04
Posted by: badanov

Try this one for size:

Russian Naval Infantry Detachment

1 Company BTR-borne Naval Infantry (BTR-80s)
2 Companies Naval Infantry Dismounts
1 Battery D-30 122mm howitzers, no transport, no ammo carriers
1 Mi-24D Attack helo

Notice no tank at all, inasmuch as we know the AI will be buying some tanks, usually an enhanced T-72s or T-80Us both with rudimentary thermals and 125mm gun tube launched ATGMs.

The T-80UM-BARS tanks, our personal preference against the AI, is an incredibly potent vehicle and is able to stand up to the best armor Iran can offer. One Russian T-80UM-BARS can stand up to several tanks, when they are driven by the AI.

The Russian mechanized Naval Infantry is cheaper than the offering for a regular run-of-the-mill Russian army BTR unit, primarily because the AI leaves out the SAM team for the company headquarters vehicle, plus the small arms mix is slightly different.

In the game the naval infantry behaves just as Russian doctrine says they should. The unit in the initial contact ( the covering force ) takes and give the lion's share of the casualties, while follow on mobile units will counter manuevers against the opposing covering party with automatic fire. So, at the end of an engagement the point BTR platoon may have lost half to two thirds of its strength in casualties ( mainly to small arms and mortar fire ), but it has done its job if it has stopped the enemy and allowed further conditions for pursuit to develop. Those boys as the covering force will pay a high price, but then so will the enemy, but in far higher casualties.

Artillery missions are split between the two objectives the AI normally choses. Delivered in time, a Pasdaran unit doesn't even take many casualties before breaking and pursuit can begin. The trick is catching them at just the right time. A turn or two late and Iranian infantry will take rather large chuncks out of your forces before all is said and done.

While this type of force is fun on the silicon battlefield, in reality, Russian Marines are deployed differently than our own beloved American Marines. We will likely never see a Russian Marine unit in an offensive operation with a mission objective more comprehensive than what Fleet Command wants done.

In the Russian Navy, Naval Infantry are the personal guard of Fleet Command. Russian Marines have fleet-specific tasks placed before them, unlike American Marines, which are, in our most humbled opinion, our only truely strategic ground force.

The grand distinction in Russian Marines are this: Russian Marines are deployed and fight according to how the Fleet wants them to move and fight.

For example, in a war with Iran, the Caspian Flotilla, which in real life ( last we read ) has a full brigade of Marines deployed at its headquarters in Astrakhan, could be called upon to take directly from an airborne deployment, a port facility, just the same an American Marine unit would act, except that once the operation is concluded, it is game over for the Russians. Mission accomplished. Set up a perimeter and allow the Fleet use of the facility. The same wth American Marines, except American Marines would likely also be called upon to further aid the fight, fight further inland, and aid regular army troops in extensive operations.

For Russian Fleet Command, once the job is done, Russian Marines have no other task before them.

The attack helo does present some difficulties. Russian Naval helo units are mainly airborne early warning and anti-sub platforms. We know of no Russian Naval organization that actually has AHs readily available. In fact, even in the high point for the Soviet Army, each mobile Category One divison could claim less than five machines total. The grand bulk of AHs were concentrated at the army and front ( military district ) level and in battalion strnegth, mixed with heavy and light lift units.

It is possible that a naval operation could require army units. It happened often in WWII when the Northern Fleet and the Karelian Front often participated in joint operations, including aviation.

However, the most likely aircraft to be involved in a land battle including Russian Naval Infantry would be a T-22M naval patrol bombers, armed primarily with missles, but which also can be armed with heavy bombs.

In WinSPMBT, the TU-22M is fun to use, but it is a blunt instrument when the only thing you want to do is to kill Iranian armor.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

Number of Comments so far: 4

Click here for a list of stories in the War and Military category