Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, March 31, 2006


This is coolbert:

Well, I was right about the Russian web site . This site IS active. A web site devoted to the ex-Soviet and now Russian airborne forces. The VDV. Aerial descent forces [parachutists].

The site is in Russian. It would be interesting to do a BabelFish translation of this site, just out of curiosity.

During the Cold War [World War Three [WW3]], the Soviets were justifiably proud of their parachute contingents.

Suvorov actually refers to "parachute psychosis".

"To give some idea of the scale of the VDV, on maneuvers in 1934, 900 men were dropped simultaneously by parachute . . . In Belorussia in 1936 there was an air drop of 1800 troops and a landing of 5700 men with heavy weapons . . . By 1938 the Soviet Union had six airborne brigades with a total of 18,000 men . . . In 1934 these clubs had 400 parachute towers from which members made up to a half a million jumps, adding to their experience by jumps from planes and balloons. Many Western experts reckon that the Soviet Union entered the Second World War [WW2] with a million trained oparachutists. . . . The parachute is not just a weapon and a form of transport. It also acts as a filter through which courageous soldiers will pass through, but weak and cowardly men will not. The Soviet government spends enormous sums on the development of parachute jumping as a sport. This is the main base from which the airborne troops and spetsnaz are built up . . . The parachute psychosis continues."

NO LESS than seven airborne divisions existed at one time in the Soviet military. All in a special category and under the direct command of the General Staff [Stavka].

Were considered to be a force that could be deployed, with rapidity, to ANY part of the world, to perform "socialist duties".

Several blog entries have referred to apocrypha regarding the Soviet parachute corps. Such as:

* A quantity of Soviet weaponry, pre-positioned, was found by the Israeli in Lebanon that would be sufficient to equip two such Soviet airborne divisions.

* That no less than FIVE Soviet airborne divisions, in an enormous "show of force" flew from the Soviet Union to Ethiopia, disembarked their equipment, and then returned home, all JUST TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE WHOLE WORLD THAT THE SOVIET UNION HAD AN INTERNATIONAL REACH WITH ITS MILITARY FORCES!!

Look at the photo that accompanies this blog entry. This photo is taken from the web site. Shows a parachutist holding a weapon that is unfamiliar to me. Appears to be a silenced sniper rifle!!?? At least that is what I make it out to be. A weapon I am not familiar with, but a weapon mentioned as being in the inventory of the Spetsnaz troops.

There are a whole series of gallery photos that accompany the desantura web site. And they are all good. This is the sort of thing I think during the Soviet era that would be strictly forbidden. The VDV seems to have had and probably does have a very high esprit de corps.




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