|Naval Infantry Engineer|
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
|Designation||Elite Sea Assault|
The Soviet Union has a well deserved reputation for poor training and large amounts of men. However, even the Union realizes some tasks are best left to the professionals. One of the most obvious is naval assault. Against a fortified position, conscripts charging on the beach would be mowed down as soon as they left their boats, and tanks could not be concentrated en masse. As much of the Allied Nations lie across the sea from the Union, sooner or later the situation would arise.
The Soviet military hit this problem head on, especially the Soviet Navy that would field the force. Given the storm of bullets that the marines would meet, they would be given actual armour, enough to have complete protection from shrapnel, and could even take a few direct bullet hits. The great weight of it was seen as an advantage; the marines would sink to the bottom from their landing ship close to the beach and walk on the ocean bottom, with heavy boots that compressed the soft muck enough to provide good footing.
Though flexible snorkels were developed to allow them to breathe, the Union caught a break when an independently wealthy party member purchased a Mediterranean Syndicate SCUBA suit and sent it to the Ministry of Science for reproduction. The party member was commended, and then had his party member status revoked for dealing with a megacorporation.
As the marines would need to give as much as they got, the new soldiers would need something that allowed them to carry above and beyond the maximum 80 pounds soldiers could optimally carry, as proven throughout history. In a controversial move due to the great cost, the soldiers were given hydraulic harnesses that permitted them much stronger upper body strength than a normal man. Not only could they carry more supplies on their back, they could also carry heavier weapons; each soldier is given a machine gun as standard issue, ensuring that any enemies they face would have a hellish and accurate bullet storm to fight through.
Other issued weapons and equipment include grenade launchers, light cannons, and heavy utility claws for engineers. Even miniature Tesla Coils were tested but were eventually rejected as sea water's electrical conductivity resulted in... rather spectacular and devastating results. The entire system was given the uncreative (even by Soviet standards) name of "Naval Infantry".
Beyond merely assaulting beaches, Naval Infantry are adept at other tasks. Their equipment allows them to operate in enemy harbours, theoretically attacking ships and facilities without even leaving the water. They are just as adept at freshwater operations; a naval infantry squad could walk the entire length of a river to attack a target behind enemy lines. Given their superior armament and protection, they are also easily capable of inland operations, though their heavy armament isn't well suited for close quarters combat.
As the Naval Infantry are the best of the best (of the best) of the Soviet armed forces, they are usually picked from the smartest, most athletic, and brave boys and girls the Union can offer, or failing that, the children of high ranking Party members. In many ways, they are the Soviet equivalent of Peacekeepers, though any good Soviet citizen argues the Allied forces are inferior.
In WWIII, they were present in all campaigns, but mostly as a strike force, with no large units. This was due to the Red Army having the initial advantage, and they were being kept at full strength with the mind of invading Allied nations outside of Europe. However, when progress was slower than expected, the Naval Infantry were deployed en masse against Spain. The Naval Infantry captured Valencia before the Allies even knew it, and used it as a base to bring in armoured support and further Red Army reinforcements.
Meanwhile, they moved inland, smashing everything in their path, until their momentum was slowed with air attacks and the entire front became a stalemate with the Soviet Union controlling much of the provinces of Castellón and Valencia. It was only when a large number of American armed forces deployed to Spain several months later that Spain was completely freed.