The Black Death – Part 1

Salutations comrades!

This article is brought to you by guest writer, Luke Daley – an avid Team Yankee Soviet Naval Infantry player, painter and gamer. It is published with his consent. Many thanks for allowing us to bring your hard work to the Team Yankee and Flames of War community, Luke. 

The models are from Battlefront, by and large, so it would be great to see the option of adding Soviet Marines to the forces available to Warsaw Pact players.

– Dunc

Salutations comrades! Today we are here to talk about the Soviet Naval Infantry. The Soviet Marines, as they are otherwise known, are a faction that has not been covered very much in Team Yankee. Not until now!

The Soviet Naval Infantry were an elite component of the Soviet Navy, and their main purpose was to attack targets in amphibious/covert operations. They are much like the VDV or Afghansty. Both the SNI and VDV recruit only the best-of-the-best, and both are trained to high standards. In fact, in the 1980s up to a fifth of Naval Infantrymen were parachute qualified!

This article is for Soviet players who want an alternative to the Soviet Army, or for those who played Soviet Marines in Flames Of War; and would like to see their Team Yankee counterparts. SNI has probably the most distinctive (or best!) uniforms in Team Yankee!

This article mainly details using Polish rules for Soviet Marines. This is a stopgap measure until the Marines get their own ruleset.

In our timeline the Soviet Naval Infantry, after WW2 were disbanded. With the rise of a need for a marines unit, the Soviet Naval Infantry was refounded in 1961. They mainly stayed out of conflicts like Afghanistan, although some Naval Spetsnaz personnel were involved.

In the Team Yankee campaign PDF: ‘Invasion Iceland’, surprise, surprise Iceland is invaded! The primary force for such an invasion would be the Soviet Naval Infantry, with their famed hovercraft and landing operations. 

On the battlefield, the Soviet Naval Infantry is a unique concept. By 1980s Soviet standards, they are equipped with second-rate weapons and equipment, but are highly trained and motivated.

In terms of rules, it seems that only the Afghansty Companies or Polish Army units mimic an elite Soviet unit. Regular Soviet, East German and Czechoslovak unit cards are not suitable for Soviet Naval Infantry, due to equipment or the characteristics they possess not really fitting the bill.

Soviet Marines didn’t have AGS-17 grenade launchers. They also only had BTR-60s as transports. The vast majority of Naval Infantry tanks were either PT-76s or T-55s (the latter sporting an early active missile defence system,
Drozd ).
When using Polish rules, use PT-76s as BMP-1s, and T-55AM2s as their Naval Infantry counterparts. The SNI also did not possess most of the SAM, ATGM and artillery platforms that the army had – so no Gophers, Geckos, Storms or Acacias, sorry!

As for support – use Polish support. Carnations, DANAs and Hails in support represent coastal artillery units or naval vessels attached to the SNI.
SU-25s represent Naval air assets (Yak-38s!). Hinds represent the parachute-trained SNI battalions using naval air assets (such as the KA-29 Helix) as transport.

Any other support like ‘black box’ support would be the 2nd line units to taking over from the Marines after an operation.

2 thoughts on “The Black Death – Part 1

  1. Luke/Duncan excellent stuff. You could of course have the Polish Naval Landing Division – again PT-76 from FoaN, MRL from landing ships, DANA from offtable cruisers Sverdlov has 152mm/6″ guns. At a pinch possible some BMD for the Soviet naval infantry. SU-25 would be a like a Yak on drugs as their payload would be rubbish. But probably SU17/20/22 would be a closer match. Poles would have OT-62/BTR-50 apc

  2. Fully agree with everything you said apart from the Yaks mate. They had rocket pods and could take missiles similar to a frogfoot, just could only take 2 not 4

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