Pride and Glory: Russia Celebrates Marine Corps Day

27.11.2023 10:34

Pride and Glory: Russia Celebrates Marine Corps Day Pride and Glory: Russia Celebrates Marine Corps Day
Photo: Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov

November 27 is observed annually in Russia as Naval Infantry Day, commemorating the establishment of this branch of the Russian Armed Forces, which is sometimes referred to as the marines.

Originally established in 1995, the Naval Infantry Day commemorates the November 27, 1705, decree by Russian Tsar Peter the Great to create the first regiment of “sea soldiers” – forefathers of the Russian naval infantry.

The modern iteration of the naval infantry originates in the tumultuous years of World War II when many Soviet ships were either sunk by Nazi German forces or pulled far back to protect them from Nazi aircraft, explained Viktor Litovkin, a retired Russian Army colonel and military analyst.

While these vessels were either permanently or temporarily taken out of the fight, their crews were not: having retained their trademark naval fatigues, these men battled the Nazi invaders on the ground, quickly earning a reputation for courage and utter contempt of death.

After World War II ended, naval infantry became a “subspecies” of the Soviet Navy, Litovkin remarked.
“Each [Soviet] fleet had a naval infantry regiment or a naval infantry brigade: the Baltic Fleet, the Northern Fleet, the Caspian [Flotilla], the Pacific Fleet,” the analyst informed.

Specializing in swift amphibious landings and special operations, Russian naval infantry have participated in a number of armed conflicts that broke out in recent years, including the conflict in South Ossetia, the Syrian conflict, and the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.

Naval infantry detachments also often participate in escort missions meant to deter pirates – such as the infamous Somalian pirates, for example – from attacking merchant ships.

“Naval infantry is the pride and glory of our navy,” Litovkin stated.

Russian naval infantry has an impressive assortment of weapons and military hardware that helps them accomplish the most challenging missions, which includes amphibious tanks equipped with 125mm guns, BMP-3F amphibious infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, artillery systems, infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers and drones, to name a few.

“Today Russian naval infantry has a full assortment of the most advanced military hardware that they use in their missions,” according to Litovkin.