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John Kettler

While we wait for VDV...

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Posted (edited)

Found this heavily viewed (nearly 7 million!) 1977 film about VDV ops. It's not a documentary, but it's got such great material in it you could practically term it such. It traces events from the issuance of mission orders, receipt of the alert, the alert process, emplaning and more. The film was made in 1977, so the AK-74s are effectively brand new, as are the BMDs. Though I think real liberties were taken as far as equipage (way too light) and haircuts (shaved heads before op as anti-louse measure), the operation of the advance group paving the way by neutralizing enemy C4I is fascinating to watch. There are no English subtitles here, but a great deal can be learned even so, for this is textbook. Am not at all sure the advance group wouldn't be Spetsnaz, for it operates exactly as Suvorov/Rezun described in his book, and he was a Spetsnaz training officer while stationed with the intelligence staff of the Carpathian Military District. The basic scenario is that two command points (one whose location is unknown but in a defined area) must be located and taken out in order for the combat jump to succeed. Ref the keyframe, though the resemblance is eerie, that's not Charles Bronson! From what my sidebar displays, it looks as if he did a number of VDV films. This film was released a mere two years after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, too. 
 

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Here's another VDV film with roughly the same cast, but this time  the Red Navy and Naval Infantry are involved. This came out in 1981, and as a former Soviet Threat Analyst, I'm astounded by what's shown, for the imagery is far better than what I had in my classified pubs, not to mention they take us inside the command centers! The array of weapons is dazzling. Haven't the faintest idea how this ever got past the censors, for it's an intelligence gold mine.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Posted (edited)

@John Kettler

Yes, there were iconic films in USSR. The second is really sequel of first. Many boys after its watching, especially the first film, dreamed about VDV service . So, these films are example of good high quality military propaganda. I watched both, but didn't like them, because VDV troopers were shown like invincible terminators in comparison with other Soviet Army units. Of course, this was demand of the genre, but I never like Rambo-style films %)

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Am not at all sure the advance group wouldn't be Spetsnaz

They are VDV recons. If VDV considered as army elite, that VDV recons considered elite of VDV, so they can be compared with Spetsnaz.

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This film was released a mere two years after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, too. 
 

No, a year before.

Edited by Haiduk

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Haiduk,

Their fight coordinator should be fired, for those fights looked downright stupid. Not too bright, either, was my inadvertently reversing time by having the film released two years after the invasion when it shoud've been two years before! Wasn't IMHO going into/in the VDV? Fairly sure he was, for I recall some times when he didn't dare say things past a certain point. Also, am curious as to your background, considering the dazzling array of clear, specific information you've provided many times on military matters in the Ukraine and your authoritative way of presenting it. 

Regards,

John Kettler

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, John Kettler said:

Also, am curious as to your background, considering the dazzling array of clear, specific information you've provided many times on military matters in the Ukraine and your authoritative way of presenting it. 
 

I'm not military, though have a lieutenant rank, gained in my politechnical university.  I just like military history and all tied with that (weapon, equipment), also I was involved about ten years in medieval re-enactment, so this is my hobby : ) 

9 hours ago, John Kettler said:

Their fight coordinator should be fired, for those fights looked downright stupid.

There is not so much Soviet films of 70-80th era where hand-to-hand combat is present. Unlike in USA, action-movie genre in USSR considered as "inorganic to the spirit of Soviet humanism" and not welcomed. The Wiki says in this film participated Tadeush Kasyanov, in a future famous stuntmaster and the man, who first brought karate to USSR approx in 1970-71. But I can't say who he was just actor or fight-scene maker too. Also this film pesonally superviced by the "god-father of Soviet VDV" general Margelov (to these days he is really like an idol of all post-soviet paratroopers). So almost all, what you can see is a real, but huge amont was anyway cutted by censorship. And real hand-to-hand combat used by special forces in that time was classified, so I suppose it was substituted by more simple army hand-to-hand combat and "soviet-version of karate" technics. But even if it looks stupid for present time, for the 70-80th Soviet cinena this was absolute WOW-effect.   

Edited by Haiduk

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Haiduk,

How does someone acquire military rank while at a STEM-focused university? Here in the US, the only path I know of would be ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Course). Had no idea fight scenes were a no-no in the USSR, which I find odd given how militarized the society was. Have read of Margelov, who was responsible for the famous striped shirts, which were imported from the Russian Navy. Have seen 1960s vintage declassified (or leaked) Spetsnaz training film which exactly depicted Spetsnaz training as reported by former Spetsnaz training officer Suvorov/Rezun, including live skinning a frog, letting it hop about, then feeding it to a snake, but that was tame compared to a scene in the film where an instructor roundhouse kicked a pickle jar full off water off the head of a recruit. The kick shattered the glass, slicing up the trainee's scalp, left considerable glass shards visible in it and made rivulets of blood pour down the young man's face. Hadn't thought of cuts for censoring the fighting, but would note the hand-to-hand combat in that SU-100 movie is even worse. Not even remotely credible. 

Since you mention medieval re-enacting, did you ever do anything like this?
 


Also, there's a very good YT series on what people ate in the Middle Ages. Was shocked to learn the serfs ate better than the nobles, because their bread was whole grain, the nobles' white bread. A real shock was learning salmon was common serf food!

Regards,

John Kettler

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10 hours ago, John Kettler said:

learning salmon was common serf food!

One would imagine that any kind of fish (easy to catch) would be poor people food and salmon would have been nothing special.  It was poaching of deer and other livestock that was heavily punished.  It's interesting how some foods that used to be cheap are now luxuries and vice versa.

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On 3/10/2020 at 5:18 AM, John Kettler said:

How does someone acquire military rank while at a STEM-focused university?

Since Soviet times each large university has military department, which allow to gain military education for the rank of junior officer of reserve. A profile of university defines specialization of mlitary education. For example, in Kyiv, politechnical university is graduating specialists of ground forces air defense, aviation university - specialists of airfield maintenance, National university - wide spectre of auxiliary staff personnel (translators, psychologists, military lawers) etc. I can't remember either gaining of military education was obligatory or not, but since 1991 - only at will. The tution at the military department had a great bonus - you were not taken in the army! Ukrainan army of 90th and to mid of 2000th was the terrible environment, so all who just could avoid consription, did it (bribing, entrance to universities with military department, etc). The level of education in these departments was formal as arule. Teachers understood perfectly that students entered at military department only to avoid real service, so they often demanded money for sucessful exams passing. Newly minted officers were going to have two-weeks camp fees, but because of bad economical situation in those years this was very rare. So, I gained the rank of lieutenant, but had only tree shots with PM pistole %)  Though, even in Soviet times the level of training at military depatments was too low, so in army envirionment the officer, graduated from civl high school scornfully called as "jacket". As I know, during 2014-2015 such officers didn't mobilize to army, though some number go to front at will. One guy from our university, became a commander of SA-8 Osa and got killed during operation on the border - Russian artillery hit their position. Since 2017 limited number of "jackets" became to call up to army each year, because of army has big need in junior and mid rank officers. Of course they were passing re-training program.

But you shouldn't confuse "junior officer of reserve" and "reservist" terms for Ukrainain conditions. Since 2010... maybe..., existed the program of reservists training.  Each citizen could pass the training program according choosen speciality and became a member of [active] reserve - they wasn't on real service, just were obliged to pass camp fees. But to 2014 only about 1500 citizens counted like "reservivts".

On 3/10/2020 at 5:18 AM, John Kettler said:

Had no idea fight scenes were a no-no in the USSR, which I find odd given how militarized the society was.

That was one of soviet life paradoxes. Politic and economic was tied on military, but culture, art, education really stood on positions of humanism (of course, I say about post-Stalin period). Even in movies about Great Patriotic War were prohibited naturalistsc and too much bloody scenes. In detectives showed mostly mind games than action. So in USSR cinema wasn't that, what names "cult of the force and violence". I lived out 15 years in USSR until it collapsed and can say modern Russian education and mass-culture much more agressive and militaristic, than in USSR. We could blame Reagun, abstract "capitalists", "US militarism", "Israeli zionism" but never hated American or other people, which "struggle for own rights and against the war". And no one TV-newscaster could afford to say "We will turn USA in radioactive ash" 

On 3/10/2020 at 5:18 AM, John Kettler said:

Since you mention medieval re-enacting, did you ever do anything like this?

I can't watch the video - "watching prohibited for your country". I re-enacted Rus of 13th century, not late Europe ) Though, can say, after terrible from the point of historical view "Vikings" serial under the brand of History channel (especially new 6th season about Anciernt Rus - that is as....le ridiculous fantasy), I can't trust anymore to their information %)

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Haiduk,

As ever, fascinating explanations and new perspectives on matters you and a few others here know from direct experience. If VPNs are permitted in Ukraine, you should be able to watch that show through one. These guys (and a few women in the sport but not the show) don real armor and use real, though blunted weapons. Stabbing isn't allowed, nor is hitting when prone, but other than that and not hitting the neck, it's war! None of this SCA PVC pipe and foam business. Sometimes, there's blood, and sprains, dislocations and fractures in the sport are far from uncommon, too. From an outing with a Roman legionary re-enacting unit (legiosix.org) representing Legio VI Victrix, I learned more about the realities of being a leionary than I ever did from a stack of books. Did this by suiting up in full war array and charging up a windswept hill, This is how I learned, the hard way, that the big scutum (curved shield reaching eyeballs to knees) makes an excellent kite! With the wind behind, it blows it clear up to perpendicular with the ground, unmaking the legionary. With the wind coming from the front, it jams it against the legs and especially the knees, making it hard to move at all, let alone charge at speed.The brutal combat on the show and availabel on YT vids of various tournaments will teach you more about Medieval combat than a pile of books ever could. Going back to the Roman re-enactors, I got to throw the pilum (heavy spear) and while "sinning" mightily by being a lefty, out threw the guys throwing the period and sanctioned right handed way, not because I was super strong but because they threw, so help me, parallel with the ground, while I threw javelin style and greatly outranged them while being every bit as accurate. Great day for someone who's been a legioary buff since grade school and had four years of Latin in high school.

Switching back to Russian military matters, here is an earl1970s video (I think) showing what I believe to be (forgive spelling Rukhopashny voi). It's NOT the Spetsnaz-specifc video from the 1960s I described (still hunting for it), but it does show, late in the video, the men in combat gear and then how the skills relate directly to intense, scary realistic military training and tactics.
 



Regards,

John Kettler

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13 hours ago, John Kettler said:

If VPNs are permitted in Ukraine, you should be able to watch that show through one.

No, even uder VPN the same. 

 

13 hours ago, John Kettler said:

These guys (and a few women in the sport but not the show) don real armor and use real, though blunted weapons. Stabbing isn't allowed, nor is hitting when prone, but other than that and not hitting the neck, it's war! None of this SCA PVC pipe and foam business. Sometimes, there's blood, and sprains, dislocations and fractures in the sport are far from uncommon, too.

If this video represented so called HMB (Historical Medieval Battles), this is more MMA in armor, than real re-enacted mediaval fighting and re-enactment at all.  In Ukraine it's also popular branch of historical hobby, but it is pure sport, because guys are fighting in optimized for tough contact fight armor, which almost didn't match for defined time period and region. Also they are using own short distance weapon less than own fists and legs %). This is good show for spectators, but it's historicity is very doubt. 

13 hours ago, John Kettler said:

how the skills relate directly to intense, scary realistic military training and tactics.

VDV and special forces troopers were forbidden to show these technics and use it beyond trainings and military operations. Technics were classified, so in the movies they can't be demonstrated. Army hand-to-hand combat was semi-legalized for civil teaching only after 1984, when karate was prohibited. But full legalization was only in 1992.  

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Posted (edited)

Haiduk,

These people are using weapons primarily, thoughI did see an instance in which someone's weapon broke, so he closed range and delivered a resounding mailed fist blow to the side of the head of his foe. In the show, they wear period correct armor, but depending on the weaponry of the time's nastiness, sometimes added pieces from their primary Medieval battle armor for additional protection. To be poleaxed took on a whole new level of meaning when I saw one wielded to great effect. That was a situation in which reinforced armor was fully justified, for its blows were fearsome and felled people like an accomplished old school lumberjack felled trees. Too bad you can't watch either the show or any of the stuff on YT!

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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The English close captioning killed me. xD

I'm more a fan of VMF naval infantry, myself. Hopefully we'll get Ukranian Naval Infantry too. But hey -- they don't have their own hip-hop videos (to the best of my knowledge).

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On 3/13/2020 at 4:06 PM, DerKommissar said:

 

I'm more a fan of VMF naval infantry, myself. Hopefully we'll get Ukranian Naval Infantry too. But hey -- they don't have their own hip-hop videos (to the best of my knowledge).

Not hip-hop, but here some videos about UKR marines:

This is air-assult marines battalion of 36th Marines brigade (in the video they are operating with different brigade and Navy support). This unit is mix of Marines and VDV. Both UKR Marines brigade has one air-assult battalion and almost each marines battalion has one air-assult company.

 

Video of beret test of 503rd marines battalion (this idf 2017 year video and you can see old black beretes, but since 2018 their color was changed to aquamarine)

Interesting, I heard that servicemen of 1st marines battalion, which unit existed as far as before the war are looking down on other new-formed marines units, because considering only they are true marines and keepers of marine tradiotions, and rest - just are re-named infantry or "mabuta" in slang. 

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DerKommissar,

Like the VDV music video, the look of the guy who may or may not be the singer, and the gravel in the voice of that singer. 

JulianJ,

You're most welcome. If I can somehow find that 1960s vintage Spetsnaz video, you may need a rubber room after watching it.Would give any number of people and groups apoplexy, but it confirms, chapter and verse, a whole series of highly specific things Suvorov/Rezun said about Spetsnaz training. 

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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