However, this specific, but invariably effective branch of the troops (or rather, the forces of the fleet) did not develop easily. Already at the end of the Northern War, the marines were reorganized for the first time: instead of one regular regiment, several separate battalions were created that had different tasks. Thus, the "Admiralty Battalion" carried guard duty and actually served as a coastal defense. And several other battalions served on ships as boarding and landing teams.
For its three centuries history our marines knew many reorganizations, reductions and even complete liquidations. After Peter, many leaders were captured by the illusion of the “land character” of our country. But every time the reality of war proved the opposite, the marines were recreated anew.
In 1769 – 1774 years, the Russian marines fought in Syria and Lebanon, occupying and holding the Beirut fortress for over a year. In the Mediterranean campaign 1798 – 1800, the marines acted in the squadron of Admiral Ushakov against Napoleon’s troops, showing outstanding effectiveness. A number of islands of the Ionian archipelago (Kitira, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Lefkada) were liberated from the French, the fortress of Corfu was captured, the Neapolitan kingdom was liberated. The Marine Corps under the command of Lieutenant Commander Belly, who was only about 500 people, fought across the Apennine Peninsula from east to west and 3 on June 1799 captured Naples. 16 September 1799, the landing party of Lieutenant Colonel Skipor and Lieutenant Balabin (700 naval soldiers) entered Rome. In March 1807 of the year, during the outbreak of the war with Turkey, a landing force that seized the island of Tenedos landed from the ships of the squadron of Vice-Admiral Senyavin. The island is located twelve miles from the Dardanelles, and its capture provided a near blockade of a strategically important strait.
In the 1812 war, a special role was played by the Guards naval crew, which served as the frontline engineering unit. The same uncle of Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (midshipman Mikhail Nikolayevich Lermontov) served in the crew, from which the poem “Borodino” begins. In the battle of Borodino 26 in August 1812, the sailors-guardsmen, along with the rangers of the Lifeguard regiment of the Life Guards, destroyed the 106-th linear regiment of General Delson's division, under fire of the enemy destroyed the bridge over the Koloch River, which cut off the French to retreat. And when the Russian troops went over to the counteroffensive, bridges were built across the Protva River. For the battle of Kulm, the Guards naval crew was awarded the honorary banner of St. George. Commanded by the French under Kulm, General Vandam surrendered to the captain of rank 2 Kolzakov. During the siege and surrender of the fortress of Danzig, the brigade formed from the 1 and 2 sea regiments distinguished themselves. Together with the main forces the Russian marines entered Paris.
However, after the 1812 war of the year, despite the success of its use in both sea and land operations, the fleet lost its large Marine units for almost 100 years. Neither the Crimean War, nor the defense of Sevastopol could convince the Russian leadership of the need to revive the marines as a separate kind of fleet forces. Contrary to its creator, Peter, the empire became a "land power." And only in World War I, at the end of 1916 - the beginning of 1917, were attempts to form the Baltic and Black Sea divisions of the marines. However, these plans prevented the revolution.
25 April 1940 was born the Soviet marines, when common sense demanded that a special brigade of marines be formed in the Baltic 1. In the years of the Great Patriotic division, the marines appeared on all fronts. The first landing of the Great Patriotic War occurred simultaneously with its beginning, when 22 on June 1941 of the year, the sailors of the Danube Flotilla and border guards cleared the Romanian Danube coast for 75 km from the enemy. In total, during the war years, a 21 marine infantry brigade, about three dozen naval rifle brigades, many individual regiments, battalions and companies were formed. About 500 thousands of sailors fought on the fronts, more than 100 landings were conducted. It was then that our marines again earned combat glory, earning the nickname “Black Death” from the enemy.
But at the end of the 50s, the marines were again abolished. None of the units and formations famous during the war (5 brigades and 2 battalions that became guards, 9 brigades and 6 battalions awarded orders) were retained.
Soon, however, the marines again required. It turned out that even specially trained units of the Ground Forces cannot show satisfactory results in amphibious operations, in which the “dismounted” sailors always achieved success. And with the active participation of the Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral of the Fleet S. G. Gorshkov 7 June 1963, the 336 th guards motorized rifle regiment was reorganized as the 336 th Belostok Separate Marine Regiment (OMP). He was removed from submission to the Ground Forces and transferred to the Baltic Fleet. In December of the same year, the 390-th separate marine regiment appeared in the Pacific Fleet. In the 1966 year, the 61 th motorized rifle regiment of the 131 th motorized rifle division became the 61 th Kirkenes Marine Regiment of the Northern Fleet. And in November, the 1967 regiment of the Black Sea Fleet Marine Corps was formed on the basis of a single battalion of the Belostok regiment, 810. Later, a separate battalion appeared in the Caspian Flotilla, and the Pacific 390-th OMP was deployed to the division. In all the fleets naval engineering battalions appeared, designed for engineering support of naval landings. So Russian Marines was born for the third time.
In 1971, the directive of the commander-in-chief of the Navy in Sevastopol created the legendary 299 marines training center "Saturn". There, officers, sergeants and sailors underwent naval, airborne, lightwater, reconnaissance, engineering, tactical and fire training, studied military topography, organization, tactics and armament of a potential enemy. Most of the center’s teachers were involved in hostilities in the “hot spots of the Cold War,” such as Egypt, Angola, and Syria. The training center did not transmit theoretical knowledge, but real, moreover, the most recent combat experience. And the marines, as one of the elite components of the armed forces, received this experience first.
A new stage in the development of this kind of fleet forces came with the assumption of the post of Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov. In September 1979, the individual regiments were reorganized into separate brigades. Since 1981, the status of brigades has been upgraded to tactical formations, which equated them to divisions. The battalions and divisions of the brigades became separate units capable of acting independently. To solve the new tasks in the European strategic direction, in addition to the 61 brigade in the Northern Fleet, the 175 was formed. The fleet received landing ships and hovercraft. Marines received new weapons, equipment and unique training. She again became the elite of the armed forces, capable of performing the most difficult tasks. She again returned to her innate purpose - she was preparing to defeat the enemy on his territory, and not to fight him off on her own.
In 1989, there was a preparation for signing a treaty on the limitation of armed forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). Since the forces of the fleet did not fall under reduction, four motorized rifle divisions (they became known as coastal defense divisions), one artillery brigade, two artillery regiments, and a separate machine-gun and artillery battalion were transferred to the Navy’s subordination. The fleet and had previously had parts of the coastal defense. They were called the Coastal Missile-Artillery Forces (BRAV), just like the marines, were a separate branch of the fleet forces that had their tasks. These are artillery units and divisions of coastal missile systems, units for the protection and defense of naval bases and objects, anti-sabotage units. After December 1989, the Brav was formally combined with marines, creating a single Coastal troops. Former ground formations and units were also added to them. They had heavy weapons and could conduct a general battle on the coast, to fight with enemy naval assault forces. It must be said that the fight against the landings was always entrusted to the Ground Forces, and, at first glance, little changed from the transfer of divisions to the fleet. But in this way we maintained the defense potential of the reduction. And besides, the former land divisions strengthened the general potential of the fleet forces, including the marines, one of the best-trained components of the armed forces. Motorized rifle divisions and artillery, subordinate to the fleet, could participate in amphibious operations in the second echelon, fixing themselves on the bridgeheads captured by assault forces. With heavy weapons, they could lead the offensive and develop the success of naval operations. Such a reorganization could give a new impetus to the development of the forces of the fleet. If this had not been prevented by unforeseen circumstances ...
14 June 1991 at the Conference on the CFE Treaty in Vienna on the initiative of Gorbachev, the Soviet delegation for some reason decided to take on additional standards for the reduction of conventional weapons. The last president of the USSR, just before the destruction of the country, decided to make a gift to NATO - he included the armament of the Coastal Forces (including the marines) in the overall cuts. Thus, he destroyed all the benefits from the transfer of ground formations and units to the fleet and stopped the development of one of the most successful branches in our history.
After the collapse of the USSR, the new Russian leadership did not pay attention to the marines. The 1992 – 1993 disbanded the 175-I separate brigade of the Northern Fleet MP. From 1993 to 1996, all four coastal defense (DBO) divisions transferred to ground forces were disbanded: 77-i DBO SF, 40-i DBO BSF, 126-I RBU BF. The Black Sea 3-I brigade was reorganized into a regiment. The remaining units of the marines did not formally decline, but in reality there were only a few deployed units. The reduction actually happened, partly due to the lack of draftees, and partly because the officers and ensigns were fired.
About the marines remembered only during the war in Chechnya. Since January, the 1995 of the year (after the unsuccessful New Year's assault on Grozny), separate assault and assault battalions of the Northern Fleet's 61 Brigade, the Baltic Fleet's 336 Brigade, as well as being equipped with the naval personnel and composition of the coastal units (due to the lack of the Baltic Fleet, as well as the personnel of the Baltic Fleet and the composition of the coastal units (in connection with the lack of the Baltic Fleet, as well as the personnel of the Baltic Fleet) all armed forces) 165 th regiment 55 Pacific divisions of the Pacific. From May 1995, a consolidated marine infantry regiment (105) was formed in Chechnya from three MP battalions and an engineering battalion of the Baltic Fleet. The regiment acted on the most difficult directions, leading heavy battles for the mastery of settlements. Having completed his combat missions, he was disbanded. And in the counter-terrorist operation 1999 – 2000, the marines of the Northern and Black Sea fleets, as well as the newly formed 414 th battalion of the MP of the Caspian Flotilla, take part. The Marines proved once again that even in the period of stagnation, it is capable of remaining one of the best-trained and combat-ready units of the armed forces.
In 2008 – 2009, the marines again underwent a reorganization. Formed in the Caspian in 2000, the 77 Brigade, in 2008, again became two separate battalions. The 2007-I separate motorized rifle brigade (Kamchatka) transferred to the fleet in 40, in the 2009 year it was reorganized into the 3 regiment of the marine corps. The 61-I Kirkenes Brigade became a regiment. The 55 Division became the 155 Brigade. Perhaps this reorganization cannot be called a reduction, since the actual total number of personnel of the formations and units has not decreased. But this development was also not very similar.
Only recently began to appear encouraging news, allowing to hope for the restoration of the former power of the Russian marines. Far Eastern Higher Military Command School named after KK Rokossovsky (DVVKU), which trains naval infantry commanders, this year, for the first time after many years, conducted a full-fledged recruitment. More than 300 cadets started training, while the previous sets did not go beyond a few dozen. This year, the 3 th regiment of the marines was again reformed into the 40 brigade. In this, just recently, overland, compound, amphibious training began to be conducted. In the coming years, the fleet will receive amphibious helicopter-borne docking ships "Vladivostok" and "Sevastopol". A new combat vehicle for the Marine Corps is under development (code NIR "BMPP Platform"). Such a machine is really necessary, since the marines have long felt the need for a combat vehicle with good seaworthiness. Designed specifically for marine paratroopers BMP-3F received not ours, but the Indonesian sailors. And our fleet, unfortunately, expects the arrival of a new amphibious vehicle only "in the long term." This is all the more strange that the commander-in-chief of the airborne forces still managed to achieve the adoption of the BMD-4M. But the problem of upgrading the fleet of vehicles and enhancing the firepower of the marines is no less acute.
The other day, the head of the Navy Coastal Forces (the marines still belong to them, although we actually already left the CFE Treaty), Major General Alexander Kolpachenko said that next year the 61-th regiment of the Marine Corps of the Northern Fleet would again be reorganized into a brigade. This is a real gift for the 308-th birthday of the Marine Corps. I would like to hope that these are only the first steps towards the restoration and development of the power of the naval landing forces capable of hitting the enemy on its territory.