The influence of German communists on the disparate socialist revolutionary groups of South America is significantly overestimated by the majority of the populace at large, and by some in the intelligence community, but one fact is true – without the introduction of powered armor into the hands of the Shining Path, National Liberation Action, and the National Liberation Army by German communist operatives in the late 60s, it is likely that these guerrilla elements would have been exterminated by US and CS military operations.
The power armor technology is assumed to be the brainchild of Duke Eaglevane, although if this is true, given his enmity for communism, it’s difficult to theorize how such a powerful tool could have fallen into the hands of his enemies. Some are quick to point out that communist groups in other parts of the world have no access to this advanced weaponry, implying that the Duke is somehow controlling the flow even through the hands of his groups opposed to him. The concept goes that the Duke is introducing this technology to occupy North American governments and allow him free reign in his area of interest.
Experts in the field of robotics, cybernetics, and military exoskeletons consider the powered armor deployed by South American communist groups to be a failure of concept due to the use of titanium alloys rather than higher grade armor, rechargeable batteries instead of nuclear power supply, lack of flight capabilities, substandard electronics, and reliance on conventional projectile weaponry instead of beam technology. Ubiquitous are jokes about the communist reliance on trucks carrying gas generators to charge their armored forces.
What this majority of “experts” is failing to take into account is a truth staring them in the face – no other group has managed to yet deploy a single suit of powered armor into the field while it is confirmed that at least 8000 of these “inferior” suits are in action in the hands of the communists. The US Defender prototype has so far cost 163 million US dollars in development and has yet to see any field test. By contrast, it is estimated that the suits in use by the communist forces are produced for somewhere in the range of 80,000 US.
As one analyst put it “Everyone else is trying to invent King Tigers while the communist have their T-34s on the board already.”
In the final analysis these “cheap commie death traps” overpower any squad of standard infantryman and a small group of suits (often known as a wing or lance) is able to perform admirably in anti-tank operations. Their use as an offensive weapon is limited due to their reliance on batteries, but since the communists are attacking local targets and defending their own gains, this limitation does not hinder them to any large extent in their current combat doctrine.
Burlington Industries is the first private enterprise trying to “split the difference”, designing and producing a “mid-range” powered armor suit that is not as overengineered and overcosted as most North American and European designs while still being considerably more powerful than the communist versions. Their first prototype “the Crusader” was set to be field tested in southeast Africa, but the ship carrying this precious cargo was lost in the Straits of Malacca due to sabotage or piracy or both.