ski troops

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Soviet NKL-26 Aerosani
Snow of course has always proved a challenge to military vehicles, and various armies have come up with some unique concepts for dealing with it. One of the most visually interesting was the Russian NKL-26 Aerosani; a lightweight plywood box with ten-millimeter armour plate on the front and armed with a 7.62mm DT machine gun in a top mounted ring. It was powered by an M-11G aircraft engine, and could reportedly reach speeds up to 25–35 km/h in deep snow, where most other vehicles couldn’t move at all. Each NKL-26 was operated by two crewmen, and could carry four ski troops riding outside the vehicle on its skis.

A Norwegian soldier from the Den Norske Legion on the Leningrad Front in early 1942. From the beginning, constant patroling had to be carried out in no-man’s-land to gauge the enemy intentions. The Norwegians were first put into the frontlines opposite the ruined town of Kiskino, with the Neva River and the outline of the city of Leningrad in the distance, and unlike some other European volunteers in this sector, the Norwegians didn’t mind the extremely cold weather which was much the same as it was back home in Norway.