Readers have probably noticed that in some cases I am not at all talking about the participation of Soviet military personnel in hostilities. It is caused not only by the fact that many facts are still unknown. Surprisingly, most of the officers and soldiers of the Soviet Army did not even consider minor skirmishes and attacks on them as war. Those who worked to create an intelligence or counterintelligence system participated in the war, but with the memory of these people, you know, there are always problems. I remember, I do not remember here. Depending on what and where signed.
And those who created the future armies of states believed that an attack was just an episode. No more. What heroism is to protect your house from thugs? Or why the translator who died in the jungle when attacking an enemy is a hero? Just unlucky man. Meeting sometimes with participants of such wars, you understand that none of them even in their thoughts hold reproach to the Soviet Union for their destiny. So it was necessary. Moreover, most veterans are grateful for that (even by today's standards, terrible) business trip.
You recently read about the war in Angola. More precisely, about what and how we, the Soviet people, were there ("A country with a tragic fate. The war in Angola"). It was there that I mentioned another country that was at the same time fighting the colonialists. With Portugal. A country that almost nobody knows today. This country is Mozambique. It is precisely because today for some reason they are silent about Mozambique, I will “go” along the same path as before, in the “Angolan” article.
Just like Angola, until 25 June 1975, Mozambique was a colony of Portugal. But, unlike Angola, a group of national politicians who fought for the liberation of the country from colonial dependence, began to be created in the pre-war period. It was Mozambique that gave Africa the idea of liberation. Although, this is my personal opinion, and it may not coincide with the official science.
Many organizations, most often abroad, “fed” on ideas of liberation. They were out of the country. And, of course, they really needed the support of "rich" countries. From this set of freedom fighters, two were distinguished. The headquarters of FRELIMO was in Algeria. And in Zambia - headquarters KOREMO.
As one of the heroes of the famous film "The Return of the Resident", "The system is opposed ... the system!" KOREMO fell into the zone of the interests of our opponents. FRELIMO turned out to be "Soviet". It was FRELIMO that was practically funded by the USSR from its very inception. Moreover, we trained political and military personnel of this organization.
At the end of the 60s in the south of Tanzania and in Zambia, FRELIMO activists set up partisan camps. From there, partisans made raids into Mozambique. It is not necessary to say that these raids brought success to the partisans. However, the partisans played a role in the gradual loss of control by the Portuguese army at the beginning of the northern and then the central part of Mozambique.
In January, 1969 was killed by the leader of FRELIMO Mondlan. The new chairman was Zamora Machel. He became the main catalyst to intensify the struggle. The guerrilla movement began to grow. By 1973, the partisans practically controlled the entire north and center of the country.
The Portuguese tried to destroy the partisans. A very serious operation called the Gordian Knot was carried out. As often happens in the anti-partisan struggle, the operation brought only temporary victories. And the “revolution of carnations” in April 1974 in Portugal practically became the last “nail to the colonial system” of this country.
Next was an attempt to create a "second Rhodesia" by the whites of Mozambique. Probably worth a bit more detail to tell. Local whites have always been a serious force in Mozambique. Nominally submitting to the authorities of Portugal, they actually had full power in the country. Naturally, after the “revolution carnations”, local landlords decided to completely secede from Portugal and become the legal masters of the country.
Alas, but, paradoxically, those who were a priori enemies prevented this. Portuguese government forces and local, Mozambican armed groups suppressed the rebel planters.
In response, the planters began to export all production from Mozambique and to drive cattle to the Republic of South Africa. The stability of the country was completely lost. Rumors of reprisals against whites were actively spread. On the confiscation of property. On nationalization. It must be admitted that Mozambican whites, unlike Angolans, took everything out. From livestock to motor vehicles.
25 June 1975, the year Mozambique was proclaimed a republic. FRELIMO Chairman Zamora Machel became President. And the first task of the new government was to ensure the country's defense. Speaking in modern language, the new country has become a huge awl, which is stuck in the ass at once to several countries. South Africa in the south and east. Southern Rhodesia. Transit through the port of Maputo ... And the partisans. But not partisans of Mozambique, but partisans from the border countries.
The knot was tied up so that my head was spinning. Rhodesian aviation the beginning of the bombing of Mozambique villages, where, according to their information, partisans could be located. Numerous commando squads were thrown onto the territory of the state. During this period in Mozambique it was possible to meet "geese" from around the world. Including, by the way, and the descendants of Russian emigrants. Moreover, partisan detachments began to form in Mozambique itself, which now fought against the new government.
And it was then that the help of the USSR was needed to create a regular army of Mozambique. It was necessary to urgently reform the FRELIMO guerrilla units into the regular army. The people's liberation forces of Mozambique (FPLM) were to become an army. Machel turned to the USSR ...
The first official group of Soviet military advisers arrived in Maputo in 1976. The task was set very simply. Create Armed Forces of Mozambique. No more and no less. Create ground forces. Create an air force. Create air defense. Create Navy. Create border troops. In addition, it was necessary to create the rear service of the army, the system of conscription and registration of soldiers and officers. Even the system of training troops.
I specifically listed the tasks of the Soviet specialists. And not all. This is done so that readers understand the approximate composition of the specialists who were sent there.
By the way, reading the comments to my publications, I was faced with a completely unexpected reaction of some colleagues from among the “young recruits”. For some reason, they believe that the officers and generals went on business trips against their will. Order - and drove. No, dear colleagues. In the Soviet Union, such a trip had to be earned. Great service. Loyalty, if you will, the party and the government. Yes, and membership in this very party.
Sorry for the retreat, but ... Today they talk about the Communists of the time as ardent supporters of the ideology of the party. But it was different. The party really entered the best. The best in the business. There were ideologues. The older generation remembers zampolitov. Mouth closed, the workplace removed. He unfolded the Lenin's Room on the cloak-tent - a hero. But then, both the commanders and specialists, the best of them, were members of the party.
The party at that time, as well as all the other attributes of ideology, became already an indicator of your competence in your business.
So, after the conclusion of an agreement on military cooperation, Soviet military equipment and weapons began to arrive in Mozambique. And along with this, there went the specialists working with this technique. Mozambican pilots for transport aviation had already been trained in the USSR. Just like the crews of helicopters. And in 1979, the first batch of Soviet MiG-17 airplanes (25 pcs.) Arrived in Nakalu.
At the same time, the Soviet specialists created the first military school of Mozambique. In the city of Nampula. Training center in the city of Nakale. Training center for border troops in the city of Inhambane. Training Center for Junior Aviation Specialists in Beira. Automotive School in Maputo.
Already by 1980, the 4 border brigade, the 5 combined brigade was deployed. Deployed anti-aircraft artillery and anti-aircraft missile battalions. In addition, radio engineering battalions that were completely new to Africa were created to protect the country's capital.
Of course, today we can say that the majority of Soviet officers in Mozambique lived in comfort and with all the comforts. Even the argument for such an opinion cited. In 70, the beginning of 80, There was an order of the USSR Ministry of Defense that military advisers and specialists should not have personal weapons constantly. Why, if the towns are well guarded? In the same order it was categorically forbidden to participate in hostilities.
Now imagine the situation. In the jungle is full of gangsters of various stripes. Commando squads crawl around cities. Even a brief conversation with local police and army men leads to the understanding that they are still the defenders. And second, the service of Soviet officers was not in the offices, but in the units. Had to live in tents and huts. Getting around is also far from always on comfortable jeeps.
For example, tell about one case. The case is tragic. 26 July 1979, four of our military advisers and a translator who worked in the 5 FPLA motorized infantry brigade, were ambushed in the Beira area. The car was set on fire by a grenade launcher. Everybody died ... Counselor of the brigade commander, adviser to the political officer, advisor to the deputy engineer, advisor to the commander of the artillery division and translator. And the adviser to the division commander, thrown out of the UAZ by the blast wave, was coolly finished off from the machine gun. All of them were awarded the Order of the Red Star posthumously.
Therefore, I will reveal another "open secret". Most of the officers who worked in the units had personal weapons at home. Moreover, in the middle of the 80-s, official permission was obtained for storing and using weapons as needed.
Officially for the Soviet officers there was no war in Mozambique. Those who built the intelligence and counterintelligence agencies of the new country do not count. Everything is clear there. The rest sort of went to the resort. Soak up the African sun. Get to know the culture of the local population.
About the bombing, under which we visited, I will not describe. And such things happened regularly. Rhodesian Aviation until the middle of 1980-th year engaged in this constantly. Similarly, I will not talk about gang attacks on cars and posts. Even shelling "from somewhere" I will not describe.
Since 1982, the situation in Mozambique has worsened. The enemy began to act in the suburbs of the capital. The danger has become permanent. It was then that the number of FPLA units that are able to destroy precisely saboteurs suddenly increased. Why did this happen? Affected by the work of our military experts. Yes, and our direct participation in the battles.
You can tell about the shelling of the column in 1984, when several Soviet officers were injured. And about the many hours of battle in the training center of Matalan, not far from Maputo. This center was periodically subjected to mortar attacks. But in February 1988, the commando was attacked. Seven Soviet officers spent the whole night organizing defenses and repelling the attacks of the thugs. Ultimately, the commandos are gone. Losses in the center were minimal. Ours did not suffer.
But there were still Soviet paratroopers. They created a very combat-ready parachute battalion. The battalion, which "drove" through the jungle of all these "super-duper" commandos. They were thrown at the most crucial moments to help the regular army.
Here she is. War, which was not. The war waged by others. The war, which, however, its share of the lives of Soviet officers took. It is easy to forget such wars. This is not the Patriotic War, when even today someone “stumbles” on either a mine or a soldier’s helmet. And even the whole tank in the nearest river. This is the war that was there ... Somewhere there. Once upon a time ... For those who died there, today would be under and for 80. It would be ... And left for 30 and under 40 ...
Soviet military advisers and specialists who died in Mozambique:
BURLAKOV Anatoly Alexandrovich, 1932 year of birth. Russian. Lieutenant Colonel, Specialist with the commander of the infantry battalion of the armed forces of Mozambique. He died of the disease 12 August 1979.
DENISENKO Valery Mikhailovich, 1952 year of birth. Ukrainian. Senior Lieutenant, Specialist Instructor for the Operation of Communication Facilities in the Armed Forces of Mozambique. Killed 26 February 1979
Zaslavets Nikolay Vasilyevich, 1939 year of birth. Ukrainian. Lieutenant Colonel, Advisor to the commander of the motorized infantry brigade of the armed forces of Mozambique. Killed 26 July 1979. Awarded the Order of the Red Star (posthumously).
ZUBENKO Leonid Fedorovich, 1933 year of birth. Russian. Lieutenant colonel, advisor to the political commissar of the motorized infantry brigade of the armed forces of Mozambique. Killed 26 July 1979. Awarded the Order of the Red Star (posthumously).
MARKOV Pavel Vladimirovich, 1938 year of birth. Russian. Major, advisor to the deputy commander of the motorized infantry brigade of the armed forces of Mozambique on the technical side. Killed 26 July 1979. Awarded the Order of the Red Star (posthumously).
STUPAK Roman Afanasyevich, 1942 year of birth. Ukrainian. Major of technical service, specialist at the deputy commander of the mixed artillery division of the armed forces of Mozambique on artillery armament. Died of wounds 20 March 1978
TARAZANOV Nikolai Aleksandrovich, 1939 year of birth. Russian. Major, adviser to the chief of the air defense of the motorized infantry brigade of the armed forces of Mozambique. Killed 26 July 1979. Awarded the Order of the Red Star (posthumously).
CHIZHOV Dmitry Vladimirovich, 1958 year of birth. Russian. Junior Lieutenant, translator (Portuguese). Killed 26 July 1979. Awarded the Order of the Red Star (posthumously).