Military Review

War, which was not. Mozambique

War, which was not. Mozambique

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).
Photos used:
V. Zavadsky

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  1. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 23 December 2016 07: 33
    Thank you for continuing the topic. Already more than 40 years have passed since those events
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 23 December 2016 07: 37
    Soviet military advisers and specialists who died in Mozambique:
    ... and the list goes on .. Let’s remember .. we must not forget .. There is such a memorable day on February 15, the day of the warrior-internationalist .. You’ll go to lay flowers at the monuments, remember them ..
  3. Schultz
    Schultz 23 December 2016 09: 21
    Eternal memory to the heroes, and thanks to the author for the article and the expectation of a continuation on African battles (Ethiopia, Somalia ...). On our behalf, for many years we have been seeking recognition of our naval fighters as "participants in hostilities" and we receive the same answer: "... since 1945, our Navy has not participated in hostilities."
    1. brelok
      brelok 24 December 2016 05: 45
      my father alas did not live
  4. ZNGRU
    ZNGRU 23 December 2016 10: 53
    And the mercantile question - what exactly did the Union have raped from this next unknown war?
    1. Kenneth
      Kenneth 23 December 2016 12: 24
      It is known that. We will write off their debts soon.
      1. Out
        Out 15 June 2017 19: 10
        Quote: Kenneth
        It is known that. We will write off their debts soon.

        But not to the people, as always, damn at least make free water ....
    2. domokl
      domokl 23 December 2016 12: 34
      Even today, for most truly Russian people, all nationalities living in Russia, there are things that cannot be measured in money. Not everything in this world is sold and bought. And the soldiers (of all ranks) are blood from the blood of their people. And today in Syria they perish not at all for huge money ...
      1. Kenneth
        Kenneth 23 December 2016 12: 52
        The soldiers in Syria, by the way, are not free. And they are dying for the fact that Qatar does not allow its gas pipeline to the detriment of Gazprom. Are you just naive
      2. veteran66
        veteran66 23 December 2016 15: 10
        Quote: domokl
        And today in Syria they perish not at all for huge money ...

        personally for myself, yes, not for huge, but on the scale of the country's economy, just huge. Energy carriers .... When will this stamp of "gratuitous aid" be abandoned? If you do not take money for equipment and weapons, this does not mean - for nothing. States, when introducing troops or supplying weapons, always pursue their own goals, which are based on geopolitics, and, ultimately, on economic benefits. Another thing is that the USSR often used this aid, hiding behind the mask of internationalism, to its own detriment.
    3. avva2012
      avva2012 24 December 2016 19: 22
      It is a pity that the cons were canceled. Within that, the site is turning. A person cannot even think that everything Europeans are proud of is laid in the robbery of the colonies. USSR, tried to hit the enemy’s feed base. This, to say nothing of those minerals that came to us, and not to them.
  5. Kenneth
    Kenneth 23 December 2016 12: 21
    And you can recall that China and I brought in a planned economy; we spent a lot of money and local blacks live much worse than with the Portuguese.
    1. domokl
      domokl 23 December 2016 12: 37
      Damn, what kind of people are you? You measure everything in kopeks ... You can use it, I donate the cost of one cartridge for AK-45 cents ... Well, what kind of money do we spend on training soldiers in peacetime .. and in the village of Gadyukino my grandfather Vasya did not spend gas ... And the children they don’t get red caviar in orphanages ...
      1. Kenneth
        Kenneth 23 December 2016 12: 49
        Yes, these are we people. Helped the nigers to drive the whites. Spent a sea of ​​their money which was not enough for their citizens. And now these niggas when they do not kill each other and do not look for food in the garbage dumps remember us with a kind word. But they have on the coat of arms of AKM
        1. iouris
          iouris 23 December 2016 13: 55
          Your money is not spent. The point is different: the USSR as a super corporation "retired", "donated" its achievements and resources to "progressive mankind", which is busy with the expansion of overconsumption. One can only hope that, thanks to these military specialists, Russia has influence in Angola, Mozambique and Africa as a whole, and progressive processes are underway in this important region of the world.
          1. Kenneth
            Kenneth 23 December 2016 14: 30
            I actually pay a lot of taxes. So my money too. As for influence, this is a slightly different category. Modern influence does not depend on the mediocre money of the USSR. It depends on the economic power of Russia. And with this just not very.
      2. veteran66
        veteran66 23 December 2016 15: 46
        Quote: domokl
        but in the village of Gadyukino, Vasya’s grandfather didn’t have gas ... And the children of red caviar receive less in orphanages ...

        Do you think this is good?
  6. iouris
    iouris 23 December 2016 13: 43
    The nationality of the military at that time did not matter, all were Soviet. Young people today are hard to understand. Taking this opportunity, I also want to remember the active participant in the events in question, subsequently Colonel VDV Sidorenko Alexander Vladimirovich, born in 1954 which is no longer with us.
    1. Kenneth
      Kenneth 23 December 2016 14: 33
      My neighbor fought in Angola. I did not hear enthusiasm about this from him. But with great respect, he talks about the Cubans.
      1. veteran66
        veteran66 23 December 2016 15: 16
        Quote: Kenneth
        But with great respect, he talks about the Cubans.

        That's right, the kubashi fought there bravely and skillfully (especially against the background of the local population, to which even Che Guevara spat) and were not embarrassed by their presence, and ours had to rush between fulfilling their military duty and instructions (so as not to light up) to rush about. This I did not reproach to our soldiers and officers, but about the methods of our ideological leadership, which seemed to say that it was doing a good deed, but at the same time carefully hiding it. Therefore, there is doubt, but was it good?
  7. Captain Pushkin
    Captain Pushkin 23 December 2016 22: 36
    Quote: domokl
    You can use, I give the cost of one cartridge to AK-45 cents ...

    When the selling price of the cartridge 7,62x39 was approved, the manufacturers asked for 6 kopecks, and they were given 5.
    Then one of the representatives of the manufacturers brought a cartridge of 7,62x39 and a brick to the meeting of the commission.
    I asked those present what is more difficult to produce and what is more expensive to manufacture a brick or cartridge?
    Naturally, no one argued that the cartridge is more complicated and expensive. When he said that a brick costs 6 kopecks, the question of the price of the cartridge disappeared - 6 kopecks were approved.
    But I wouldn't be surprised if these cartridges were shipped abroad for 45 cents. And all other military equipment with the same coefficient or even higher. For example, the Malyutka ATGM was less than 150 rubles at cost, and $ 3000 was exported.
    So, when they say that the Union supposedly drove everything over the hill for nothing and had huge losses from military supplies, to put it mildly, this is not entirely true.
    1. Cat man null
      Cat man null 23 December 2016 22: 45
      Quote: Captain Pushkin
      So, when they say that the Union supposedly drove everything over the hill for nothing and had huge losses from military supplies, to put it mildly, this is not entirely true

      Question (that is, first a couple of statements, and then a question):
      - as I understand it, the Union mainly supplied weapons, um ... to friendly regimes
      - as a rule, these clients were penniless, and they were given a targeted loan, for which weapons were immediately "purchased", and the debt remained "hanging"

      Quiz question:

      - Was it not this "money for weapons" that was sold profitably that the Russian Federation wrote off (and is writing off) to our numerous "former friends"?
      - another question: were there any supplies of weapons for "real" money in the Soviet Union? At least someday, anyone?
      1. Parsec
        Parsec 23 December 2016 23: 17
        Quote: Cat Man Null
        and there were generally supplies of weapons for "real" money in the Union? At least someday, anyone?

        Repeatedly, at a differentiated price.
        1. Cat man null
          Cat man null 23 December 2016 23: 35
          Quote: Parsec
          Repeatedly, at a differentiated price

          - um ...
          - Well, okay, you comforted me ... it’s only curious who they were selling to?
          - "differentiated price" is FIVE good
  8. Dimont
    Dimont 24 December 2016 17: 26
    Quote: Cat Man Null
    and there were generally supplies of weapons for "real" money in the Union? At least someday, anyone?
    Repeatedly, at a differentiated price.

    In general, the Union supplied weapons on credit. Which he later wrote off. And Russia continues to write off loans. In this case, we can say they delivered for nothing
  9. Igor K-grad
    Igor K-grad 24 December 2016 19: 23
    It would be interesting to know what were the real losses of our specialists and soldiers in Angola and Mozambique. I had a chance to talk to one of our military experts who had served in Angola for several years. He told me the number of aircraft with Soviet crews shot down over Angola during his service. As a result, it turned out not a funny figure of 8 people, but something more than 100. Or were they also carefully written off as "non-combat losses"? However, much more Cubans died.
    1. domokl
      domokl 25 December 2016 19: 38
      Naturally, there were more losses ... This is clear to everyone. Just in the war no one ever calls their real losses. If you touched specifically Angola, then, for example, the Marines participated and ... did not participate. simply because they were deployed on ships. Aeroflot pilots who actually served in the Soviet Army were also not taken into account in losses .. And our scouts were not there at all ... that is. there couldn’t be anything at all ... By the way, there are always no more casualties ... Such is the mudflow ...
  10. Dr. Hub
    Dr. Hub 4 May 2017 04: 25
    Regarding volunteerism and the best ... Father in 1976 graduated from KVVKUHZ. As one of the best graduates, it was proposed to choose 2 places of service (Africa (I do not know exactly where) and East Germany). The fact that real wars were going on in Africa, no one knew our soldiers were dying. Father chose the GDR, according to him, due to poor heat tolerance. Although, in principle, he had nothing against the service in Africa.
    He wrote everything to the point that he agreed with the author, they didn’t drive anyone to Africa by force, if people went, then with a desire and understanding of what it means. And the slobs were not exactly sent there, the business trip had to be earned (it was besides that exotic, but still prestigious and honorable). At that time, ideology and mentality were different, people believed in what they were doing and knew why.
  11. Pissarro
    Pissarro 5 August 2017 13: 56
    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.

    These were not rumors, but facts. The Portuguese did indeed deal with the white Portuguese. After the revolution, the carnations were criminally inactive. They accused the whites of not allowing themselves to be killed by the negroes, and that they saved their property by driving herds and vehicles to South Africa is hardly worth it.