Flak Trooper
A platoon of convicts
Faction SovietLogoThumb Soviet Union
Unit Type Infantry
Designation Anti Air/Anti Tank
Prerequisites Unknown
Production Building Barracks
Secondary Ability Switch Magnetic Mines/Flak Cannon
File:AbilitySovietFlakTrooper.png File:AbilitySovietFlakTrooper2.png
Melee Anti-Tank/Anti-Air
Cost $300
Production Time 0:05
Heroic Upgrade Ranged Mines
Dev. Status RA3 Original Unit
Country of Origin  Soviet Union
Trained at  Gulag camps across the USSR
Key Features  » Tesla fetters
 » "Misznay" Flak Cannon
 » "Schardin" Magnetic mines
 » Light body armour
 » Gulag chains with stone (ceremonial... apparently)

"The Allied troops have good discipline, although they do not have the uplifted mission of the destiny of the Motherland, and only have one goal – to fight and die in strange lands. Our troops, despite having the destiny of our great Motherland as their mission, do not have this discipline and thus suffer defeat."

"Shouldn’t we learn this lesson from our enemy, as our ancestors learned from their enemies in the past and overcame their enemies? I think that we should."

- Josef Stalin, Order 227

Tactical AnalysisEdit

  • Clouds of Death: Convicts given "freedom" in exchange for having to do "community service", Flak Troopers carry "Misznay" Flak Cannons into battle. They serve as the Union's anti aircraft infantry, and perform decently in this role.
  • A Little Flak?: Flak Troopers can also be used to engage units on the ground, although their Flak Cannons are horribly ineffective against such targets. Apart from that, Flak Troopers don't wear much in the way of body armour, and are quite vulnerable to anti infantry weaponry as a result.
  • Mind your Mines: Flak Troopers also carry a large supply of "Schardin" magnetic mines, which are highly effective against tanks, if useless against everything else. However, Flak Troopers must close distance with their target to use their magnetic mines, and in the process risk being run over.
  • Disk Thrower: Experienced troopers are able to throw their mines a (short) distance thanks to their overly developed arm muscles, which means mines can detonate on impact with vehicles instead of having a timed fuse. They can also engage infantry with the mines by throwing them like frisbees, thus dealing substantial damage and knocking them over.

Operational HistoryEdit

Though the exact figure is known only to the Soviet government, it is known that the Soviet Union has a great many incarcerated. From petty criminals and lazy workers who fail to meet their quotas to protesters who disagree with the Party government and capitalistic traitors who seek to consort with the West, countless people from all walks of life (not including those in the upper echelons of the Party, of course) have all been tried by the Soviet judicial system and found guilty. While some people have committed crimes severe enough to warrant the death penalty, most are fortunate enough to get off with a prison sentence.

Of course, even when one is in prison, they are still expected to contribute to the greater good of the Union. Thus, convicts are employed as forced labour, to perform tasks such as constructing a new factory, operating Smelters, or mining ores from the ground. Whatever the work, it is almost always highly unpleasant in nature, and conditions are almost always extremely poor or even life threatening. Though nowhere near the level it was during the Stalin era, there are still a shockingly high proportion (by Allied standards) of severe injuries and deaths (whether from malnourishment, overexertion or suicide).

There is a way out, though, for those who find themselves serving time in a Soviet labour camp, or even those who have been sentenced to capital punishment, and this alternative comes in the form of military service in one of the Soviet Union's convict battalions. The terms: one to three months of service, with a commutation of sentence should one accomplish extremely heroic deeds in combat or suffer a injury while fighting. Anyone who is physically fit can sign up, and indeed many do.

The conditions are no better than in the labour camps, of course, and are arguably even worse. Convict battalions are assigned the most unpleasant, unwanted, and dangerous tasks in the entire Soviet military; during Stalin's time, their duties included mine-clearing (by running through the minefield), reconnaissance by fire (into heavily defended enemy territory), serving as (sacrificial) rearguards, and even acting as decoys (with dark, visible clothing to draw attention). Fortunately, conditions are better now, but even then they are still highly unpleasant.

For example, take Flak Troopers, who have to carry heavy flak cannons and also have mine laying duties (in theory). Though nowhere near as bad as having to run through a minefield or act as a decoy for the enemy, being a Flak Trooper is still a highly undesirable job. The Misznay Flak Cannon is a monstrously heavy weapon, weighing close to 50 kilograms on its own. The tremendous weight of the cannon makes carrying it a backbreaking task, and the design makes it impossible to carry ergonomically. Worse still, the recoil of the weapon can dislocate one's shoulder (not having a dislocated shoulder is considered extremely unusual for a Flak Trooper). Because of this, most Flak Troopers consider running up to a tank to throw their magnetic mines at it to be a better alternative than having to use the Misznay, even though doing so exposes one to a great deal of enemy fire and the possibility of being crushed by the tank.

Even so, though the conditions are horrific and the chance of death on the battlefield is great, many people still volunteer for military service in a convict battalion; this goes to show just how many people are willing to do anything, to take any route, any course of action, that offers them a way out of the Soviet penal system.

Post-War Operational History Edit

Enemy armour upgrades and designs decreased the effectiveness of Flak shells, so the mass-produced Flak Cannons have thus proven less effective. However, rumours claims that this is just a lie and the true reason is that the new Flak shells are worse then the old ones to cut down the production costs. Flak Troopers will have to rely even more on their cheap magnetic mines when confronting enemy armour, but they are still nonetheless most effective against thin-skinned things that fly in the sky.

As Flak Trooper uniforms are handed down criminal to criminal, the ones being used today are the same used years ago. Thus, the colours have started to fade. This problem is seen as one of the least pressing issues of the Union.

Just the Stats Edit

Flak Trooper
Volatile (75 Cannon, Crush Only)
Cost 250
Build Time 0:04
Health 100
Speed 50
Armour Type Infantry
Flak Cannon (AA)
Inaccurate(25), Splash(30)
Range 345
Damage 17
Suppression 5
DPS 17
Flak Cannon (Surface)
Pinning, Fragmenting
Range 220
Damage 4
Suppression 5
Magnetic Mine
Vehicles and Walls Only
Range 20
Damage 50
Suppression 0
DPS 50
Soviet Union Red Army

Italics designate Paradox-Exclusive units and structures.

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