Alexander Rzhavin


The most secret Spetsnaz of the GRU: combat divers of the Special Intelligence of the Navy

Chapter 1. Initial Point

1. Military Intelligence
2. Divers, Sabotage, Intelligence
3. Underwater Works' Party for Special Purpose (EPRON)
4. The Company for Special Purpose (RON)
5. Crabb's File
6. Spetsnaz: the GRU and the Navy
7. Animals with Shoulder-Straps

Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known...

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Book of Matthew. 10:26-28.

One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory!

Friedrich Nietzsche

From part 6. Spetsnaz: the GRU and the Navy

Parusniki before parachute jumping. 1976. (Photo from archives of A.Rzhavin).

...And how was it going on with the naval Spetsnaz? Since the middle of 1953, according to directives of the Main Headquarters of the Naval Forces of the USSR, they started to establish completely secret Detached Naval Reconnaissance Points (OMRPs, in the beginning they were named Detached Naval Reconnaissance Divisions) of the Special Intelligence, purposed for special operations of special importance. The Special Intelligence is the most active constituent of military intelligence and paramount tool for executing secret combat tasks during threatened period. It is necessary to note that the Special Intelligence closely co-operated with agents' intelligence.

At the meantime, each OMRP got its legend in order not to irritate Communistic leadership of the country once again and with a view to raise secrecy. Definite numbers of training diving repair-rescue detachments or schools were given to them. Isolation of whole system of Naval Intelligence and steady corporativity of naval scouts also favoured diminishing the leakage of disturbing and biased information about established points of the Special Intelligence.

Already in the second part of 1950s they approved following basic tasks for naval razvedpunkty [Recon-points]:

1. Reconnaissance of location of launching sites of long-range and middle-range missiles on shore depots of nuclear, chemical, and bacteriological weapon, airfields, places of distribution of military ships and of concentration of landing ships, troops and equipment of enemy, as well as exposure of location of super-range radars and their basic tactical and technical facts.

2.To inform of time of departure and composition of aircraft carriers' formations, convoys, groups of landing and combatant ships, including ships equipped for launching guided missiles, from ports and bases of enemy.

3. Pointing aviation and missiles at enemy's objects.

4. Execution of special tasks of headquarters.

5. Before beginning of military operations during peace-time to help agents to penetrate secretly into reconnoitering countries without calling at territorial waters with used vessels of civilian departments or submarines.

6. Execution of special tasks for getting or capturing secret documents, equipment or captives.

Author of the book в полях подсолнечника around Parusnoye. 1976. (Photo from archives of A.Rzhavin).

7. Sabotage for destruction or disabling important objects in bases, ports or on shore of enemy.

8. At the beginning of military operations to help scouts and agents to penetrate into the enemy's rear.

9. Search for and removal of secret documents, apparatus, and equipment from sunken ships and vessels.

10. Training divers for the GRU and diver-scouts for war time reserve.

11. Training agents of war time agents' reserve for agents' intelligence in ways of penetration into enemy's rear with diving equipment;

12. Testing reconnaissance technics, apparatus, special means, equipment and weapon.

At the same time such methods of landing of reconnaissance and saboteurs' groups on enemy's shore were approved:

– from submarines in underwater position;

– from aircrafts with parachutes on water and land;

– from above-water ships or submarines in above-water position:

a) with slow speed, by method of jumping and diving into the water with diver equipment put on;

b) with inflatable rubber boats;

c) swimming with hermetic rubber bags, designed for equipment and weapon.

During peace-time there are card indexes of standard objects for reconnaissance in the units. Possible areas, infrastructure, climate, versions of actions are also explored. Sources of information could be very different. For instance, there was luxurious photo-book about castles of Great Britain in the unit of Spetsnaz in the Baltic Fleet – lords boasted of their real estate, and combat swimmers made use of it...