specially trained combined-arms, artillery, and engineer units and other units designed for action in mountainous terrain. They include climbing and pack sub-units. In some armies (France and Italy) the mountain forces are called alpine forces or mountain infantry (the Federal Republic of Germany and others); in the USSR until the mid-1950’s they were called mountain rifle troops.
Mountain forces are recruited primarily from the residents of mountainous regions and receive special mountain uniforms and gear. The infantry of mountain forces may have lightened weapons, and artillery subunits and units have mountain artillery and infantry mortars of lightened design adapted for transportation in packs on the mountains. The service elements of mountain forces have animal-drawn and motor vehicle transportation and pack animals (mules, donkeys, and horses). Where the mountainous terrain offers especially difficult conditions mountain forces are supplied by helicopters and transport aviation, which drop ammunition, food, and other supplies by parachute. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) the Soviet mountain forces operating in mountainous terrain (the Caucasus and Carpathians) exhibited excellent fighting qualities.
REFERENCESBiiazi, . N. Deistviia v gorakh.Moscow, 1947.
Organizatsiia i vooruzhenie armii i flotov kapitalisticheskikh gosudarstv,2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.