Death by skis
The Nordic countries have always had an affinity for ski-bound troops, with the winter biathlon sport (which was originally called “military patrol” in the 1924 Winter Olympics) starting from regimental competitions in the Norwegian army in the 18th Century. Perhaps the two best-known uses in military history of ski-equipped light infantry were by the Norwegians in the short 1940 Campaign defending against the German invasion and by Finnish troops in the 1939-40 Winter War against the Soviet juggernaut.
However, I give you this:
The episode depicted is from the of the Soviet-Finnish war in Karelia, in 1921.
(Auto translated) “A detachment of Finnish Red Army soldiers, under the command of Toivo Antikainen, during the repulse of the White Finn attack on Karelia, made a successful campaign along the enemy’s rear, the thunder of his communications, which made a great contribution to the victory over the enemy.”
Sure, it’s propaganda from the Soviet info machine, but it should be noted that Antikainen wrote “Vse na lyzhi!” (Everyone to Skis!) which argued for a greater use of skis by the military.
For what it’s worth, Stalin didn’t put much faith into giving the Red Army skis until after the Finns schooled them hardcore in their use in the Winter War, then after that, the Reds went all in, as the below 1942 film shows.
The Russians still have some ski-mounted troops today, as do most NATO mountain and arctic warfare units– oh yeah, and Finland.