Ski Warfare History:
– First ever recorded history of Ski Warfare came out of Denmark in the 13th Century. The Danes saw ski troops as a replacement for light cavalry because of it’s potential mobility and speed.
– Norway used ski troops against Sweden during the Napoleonic Wars from 1807-1814.
– In WWI the Italan Army mobilizes 88 Alpine Battalions
U.S.S.R – Soviet Union:
PLEASE SKIP TO 0:30. This archival footage of Red Army ski troops in combat is by far my absolute favorite WWII combat clip. Here an entire brigade of Soviet ski troops come barrelling down the side of a hill, shredding some Russian pow while firing their rifles and submachine guns and being shot at by German MG-42 fire! This battle was critical to the Soviet’s counterattack in their defence of Moscow in 1941.
Soviet Ski Troops in WWII:
– Soviet 54th Division massed the first deployment of Soviet ski troops during the Winter War (1939-1940).
– Dubbed the “Siberian Ski Brigade”
– 1,400 of the 2,000 ski troops were killed in action at the Battle of Suomussalmi in Finland, by Finnish Ski troops.
– Soviet Ski troops fought throughout the Battle of Moscow
– They were used extensively for raids, pincer movements and counter attacks all throughout 1941-1943 on the Eastern Front.