During the Cold War the Soviet Union raised extensive parachute forces: the Vozdushno-Desantnya Voyska (VDV). Whilst the Airborne Division were under the command of high level HQs and would have been used for strategic and operational missions their smaller cousins the Air Assault Brigades were under the command of the Ground Forces so would get more tactical missions to undertake; because of this I thought they’d be an interesting force to field in our 6mm games of Nordic Weasel’s 5core: Brigade Commander.
Three- quarters of the Brigade lined up. 50mm square bases for companies, 30mm square bases for platoon sized attachments.
One of the things that would have hampered the Soviet Union’s deployment of its VDV was the lack of sufficient lift capacity, especially at the strategic/ operational level. At the tactical level insertion by helicopter would have been more common but even so the number of heavy- lift helicopters to move vehicles was limited. The non- mechanised companies could be para dropped of they could be flown in by helicopter. The engineers in the brigade were trained to make landing strips for aircraft out of West German roads (doubtless these would have been recce’d in advance) to bring in heavier vehicles.
The HQ company stand, three Heavy Companies and two recce attachments in close up. All vehicles and figures are from Heroics and Ros.
Below is my interpretation of the brigade. Sources differ as to whether there are 2 Heavy battalions or one either way there are four battalions.
AT company, BRDM3- can be fielded as 3 AT attachments.
2 or 3 Air Assault Battalions:3 companies of Infantry (limited AT).
1 or 2 Heavy Air Assault Battalion: 3 companies of Mechanised Infantry, BMDs (Advanced AT).
1 light Recce, BRDM or GAZ jeep.
2 AA, ZSU 23/2s on BTRDs
3 Engineers, GAZ jeeps.
3 Mortar, 120mm.
1 AT, 85mm ATG
For my collection I’ve got far more attachments than I actually need, this is primarily to have some variation in what I can field.
Three Engineer attachments.
Three SO120 mortars (a breech loading 120mm mortar on the BMD APC chassis).
AGS17 Plamya automatic grenade launcher attachments.
The BRDM based ATGMs which act as the anti- tank attachments.
A MMG attachment.
I’ve come up with a couple of scenarios to use with the unit that reflect the sort of tactical missions they’d have been given. The first is a landing to capture a bridge and then hold it against a counter attack until relieved, the second is to attack into NATO rear areas to take out a HQ. I’ll post some game reports when I’ve played them.
I may yet expand my collection to be able to field a regiment from a fully fledged Airborne Division later on.