The Soviets were visionaries in the development of airborne troops and tactics, and after successful trials initially formed a brigade-sized airborne force in December 1932. Other units followed and by June 1941 five airborne corps existed in the Soviet order of battle, undoubtedly the strongest airborne force in the world. However, in the desperate fighting of the early campaign, these formations were enlisted as regular infantry and virtually exhausted.
Airborne troops were eventually detached in battalion strength during the defense of Moscow in December 1941 and January 1942. An entire corps (the 4th) was operationally demobilized in February 1942, but although it survived six months in the German rear it failed in its performance goals. The Stalingrad crisis then attracted all available airborne troops to fight again as regular infantry.
Soviet airborne troops always fought with tremendous courage and panache, but lacked heavy anti-tank weapons and were poorly supported in every operation they attempted.
Includes 10 metal Soviet Airborne figures:
- Sergeant with SMG
- 4 paratroopers with SMG
- 3 paratroopers with Rifles
- 2 man LMG team
- Plastic base