“What are“ special forces "? No one really knows. The concept has become impossible, and it was not entirely clear from the beginning what this is. Let's try to dance from the stove, that is, to solve the problem from the target. There are two goals for the military specialty. contribute to the victory in the war. And the second is "quiet war", that is, ensuring the implementation of special operations in peacetime. "
You know, dear readers, and the author of this comment is right. We too often use the word "special forces", in principle, without understanding the meaning of this concept. I do not want to offend the soldiers and officers of special forces. Moreover, today I want to reconcile many "enemies" and "opponents" from among our readers. Remember the disputes that almost always arise when discussing materials about special units.
These disputes are interesting because ... all the disputants are right and ... wrong. It happens. And it happens only because everyone talks about the personal experience of serving in special forces. About personal! And special forces are different ... Different, not only by their tasks or training. SWAT is different ... in time. This structure is as changeable as the foreign policy and military situation is changeable. Special units are mobile in tasks and in time just as in the place of use. Today these are counterterrorist operations, tomorrow reconnaissance, the day after tomorrow - sabotage. And yesterday - the protection of a particularly important object ...
Special forces units appeared in our army, probably, at the time of the appearance of the army in general. How to name, for example, ambush shelves that were widely used during the time of ancient Russia? How to name the detachment of Colonel Denis Davydov during the Patriotic War 1812 of the year? How to call the assault brigade of the period of the Great Patriotic? And the team of snipers, who acted not only in one part or compound, but on the whole front?
Sometimes such detachments were created temporarily to solve one specific problem, but gradually the army command came to the conclusion that it was rather difficult to prepare soldiers in this way. Such preparation took time. And this is the biggest deficit in modern warfare. I will remind one historical fact about which he once wrote. The assault on Koenigsberg by the Red Army. How long did it take Soviet generals to train soldiers in the assault on this fortified city. It is good that during this period of the war it was already possible to afford such liberties.
Recall how spetsnaz appeared in the Soviet army. Some of the readers may well call themselves the same age as the Soviet and Russian special forces.
The first units of modern special forces appeared about 70 years ago. And they arose not at the whim of a particular commander. It was an urgent need. I am writing specifically about military intelligence units.
It was at that time that the main task before military intelligence was the search and tracking of nuclear weapons the adversary. Everyone was well aware that air defense weapons and other measures were insufficient to neutralize this type of weapon. Even one bomb or a missile with nuclear weapons can cause such damage, which will simply deprive the army of the ability to resist in a particular area, and possibly the front.
It was then that special forces units appeared. These were the special forces of the GRU, located in various garrisons throughout the country. The task of such units was extremely simple - to destroy a specific object of the enemy. Or to deprive the enemy of the opportunity to use nuclear weapons at least for some time, necessary for the application of our strike on the object.
In fact, the SPN GRU companies were reconnaissance and sabotage units that were prepared to conduct sabotage operations on the territory of the enemy or on a specific object. This could be ambushes, raids, the destruction of military infrastructure, sabotage on airfields. The range of tasks is quite wide. The fighters of such companies even knew the commanding composition of objects not only in person, but also many personal data. Then historians helped a lot. The experience of fighting in the period of the Great Patriotic War was simply invaluable. We studied not only the actions of special forces, but also the actions of partisan detachments.
By the way, it was then that respect for special forces was born. Not nationwide. Secrecy was the highest. Respect professionals to professionals. Combat training, training and ability to conduct combat against superior enemy forces hit Soviet officers and generals. Virtually any of the special forces was ready to fight alone. And effectively fight.
It was the time of those readers from SPN, which is now under and for 60 ...
But, by the end of 70, the military intelligence tasks had changed significantly. Probably, it will be more accurate to talk about the expansion of tasks. And the need for total control over objects with weapons of mass destruction has somewhat faded into the background. Just the opportunity to track such objects using other means. Many readers probably remember the notes of the US State Department and our Foreign Ministry to each other. At such an object (everyone knew perfectly well that these were ballistic missile launchers) the mines were ajar centimeters wide ...
This led to the fact that the units of the GRU began to deploy. In place of the mouth, military brigade units began to appear. And this somewhat changed the training of the special forces soldiers themselves. Specialists of various specialties served in the connections. In addition, thanks to Afghanistan, their own helicopter squadrons appeared in the brigades. Even the remaining companies had helicopters assigned to them. 4-6 helicopters to the company.
I can not forget about a legendary company SPN GRU GSH, which showed itself very well in Afghanistan. Just in memory of the guys of 459 orSpN ... Established in December, 1979 of the year on the basis of the Chirchik training regiment SPN 459 or became the first full-time unit of the Special Forces in the 40 army. Worked in Afghanistan from February 1980 to August 1988. For those who were there, I will reveal the secret. This is the same company that you remember under the name "Kabul company". Intelligence, additional exploration and data verification, capture or destruction of the leaders of the Mujahideen, hunting for caravans ... By the way, a film with this name is just based on the actions of these particular guys. While in the 40 Army, the company conducted more than 600 operations in various provinces. More 800 awards ... This is when the number of people in 112 ...
I understand that now readers are waiting for the development of a story about the Caucasus. About the Chechen war. If SPN had such a good experience in database management in Afghanistan, why did numerous failures happen in Chechnya? After all, by this time in the army, special forces had divorced, like cockroaches in a dirty kitchen. Well, we must be honest in this matter.
Alas, but the collapse of the USSR affected the army. Many people remember this moment. When we became "friends" with probable opponents. Yes, how to make friends ... The most combat-ready, most elite units and formations were disbanded. At best, turned into a miserable resemblance of the former. SPN Gru this touched first. “Friends” didn’t want Russia to have such units. A lot of officers then “left” precisely from such formations and units.
So why in Chechnya there were many failures? I'm talking about specific reasons.
The first, and, in my opinion, main reason, idiots commanders. Those who, after watching American films (or Russian ones, like Russian Special Forces), decided that elite fighters are capable of solving any task alone. It is enough to call the unit spetsnaz and all. Success is guaranteed. And do not need motorized infantry, paratroopers, gunners, pilots. Moreover, finding them in the army that Yeltsin’s government created was really difficult.
Because the Special Forces acted like ordinary military units. Forgotten was the experience of Afghanistan. Helicopters were not given. Worked autonomously at a great distance from the main forces. What we proudly called walkie-talkies in the mountains became just rubbish. VHF ranges in the mountains are ineffective. And attempts to install repeaters ended in another sabotage.
But most importantly, again I repeat, people. Even in Soviet times, when people who already had initial military and sports training came to the army, there were quite a few conscripts in the units of the Special Forces. To master such a profession in two years is almost impossible. In 90, the special forces became after three months of the training unit. He paid blood for this "experience" of our military and political "reformers." Big blood ...
What do we have today? Can you call the MTR of Russia heirs of the Soviet special forces? What is the similarity and what is the difference?
Very indicative in this regard is the experience of the conduct of hostilities in Syria. He, by the way, shows the difference of the SSO not only in time but also in space.
We open messages about the operation of the American special forces in Syria or Iraq. And what do we read? During the operation, such and such leaders of bandit groups were destroyed. And also captured such and such territory. In principle, such a message fits into the scenario of the MTR action. Yes, and in the script of the Soviet special forces.
And now we read the message about Russian actions. Officers of the Russian army for reconciliation of the parties organized a meeting of the leaders of such and such formations with representatives of the Assad army. A few more villages stopped fighting. Readers are well aware that the officers of the Russian army are not from motorized rifle units arrived. Serve where it is necessary to serve as military intelligence officers.
It seems to me that this is the fundamental difference between the Soviet-era SPN and the 21 MTR of the century. Moreover, this is the difference between the MTR of Russia and the MTR of Western countries and the USA. Intelligence objectives have not changed as a whole. An example of this was the feat of the Hero of Russia Alexander Prokhorenko. An officer who honestly fulfilled his duty as a soldier. Fulfilled at the cost of his own life. At the price of a feat ... But this is only one side of the coin.
The Caucasian Wars taught us not only that the enemy should be destroyed. They taught us another. Not every enemy is an enemy. In the enemy's camp there are enough people for whom this war is already across the throat. And such people, if given the opportunity, become the most ardent fighters for peace and order. Therefore, Russian officers risk their lives, meeting with leaders of bandit formations, territorial defense, and radical Islamists. There is no need to go far for an example. The leader of one of the Caucasian republics ...
At the end of the article I want to return to the very beginning. To the fact that today I "will reconcile" many readers. As you can see, special units in the army are not "frozen statues." These are constantly evolving, growing "organisms". Something appears. Something disappears as an unnecessary rudiment. Changing goals and objectives. This means that the personal experience of any of those who served in such units does not always correspond to what the fighter encountered at another time. Categorical judgments here is harmful.
Russian MTRs were, are, and will be flesh and blood of the Special Forces of the GRU General Staff of the USSR They just "grew up." Children always grow up. And, paradoxically, they do not always look like parents. There are similarities, but these are other people, other thoughts, another worldview. And then there will be "grandchildren." With their faces ... But all is one family. We are also someone's children and grandchildren. This must always be remembered.