Sunday, June 21, 2015

Let's start a Soviet airborne battalion

This weekend, I've decided to begin a Soviet VDV (airborne and air-assault) battalion which will, in time, support my East Germans in their drive across the North German Plain and up the Jutland Peninsula. 

In 1981, VDV battalions would have had either the BTR-D:
or the BMD-1:
as their APC/IFV. However, as the BTR-D was significantly cheaper and faster to build, it would have been the more common of the two types. Battalions were always equipped with one vehicle or the other, but never with both.

Being a wargamer, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I'd like both vehicles, but I can't see ever needing two VDV battalions, so I'll tweak reality slightly and do a mixed battalion: two companies of BTR-D and one of BMD-1. Ok, so sue me, but it's MY Soviet Army, not the REAL Soviet Army. If, in future, I find the need for another battalion, I'll just separate this one by vehicle types and then flesh both of them out. 

Here's the company that I finished this weekend:
VDV battalions were often accompanied by a separate light antiaircraft platoon equipped with MANPADS (in 1981, the SA-14 Gremlin), 
but it was quite common to see each company with an additional SAM of its own, which was attached to company command:
The command vehicle would've been a BMD-1K (photos of which seem to be non-existent), which sported two long "clothes rail"-type antennas, but O8 doesn't make them, so I just went with a BTR-D. 

Mrs history PhD has chosen (and I've ordered) her next FOW Vietnam project, so stay tuned for that. More next weekend!


  1. interesting point about mixed vehicles in units, not come across that. I must admit I have been using them for weapons carriers and Observation post wagons, Some great pics

    1. Although no mixing was not an ironclad rule among Soviet/Warpac armies, it was adhered to as closely as possible.

  2. Hi, if you are thinking off buy more minis, let me know, I must have the worlds largest stock of surplus 3mm. Also looking at moving on some painted armies. Sad story behind this. But if interested please get in touch with me.

    1. Perhaps for my benefit and that of my readers, you can let me/us know what sorts of 3mm minis you have?