Of course, there are no universal recipes for how to behave in battle in order to accomplish a combat mission and remain alive while there is no way. Every fight is unique and inimitable. In this article, we tried to accumulate the experience of special forces units that were caught up in an unusual situation in combat. Moreover, the experience is both positive and negative.
So, the scene is Afghanistan, 1987, the kishlak of Mazgin. Special Forces soldiers before the battle took the best position in the district. Note 1. The place that seems to be the most advantageous from the point of view of combat can be shot by your enemies in advance. They may not have occupied him solely because they “invited” you there. It is there in the battle that all the bullets will fly to the surprise, and missiles will fall. So in 1987, in the area of the village of Mazgin, Lieutenant Evgeny Baryshev's reconnaissance group was ambushed. His position was comfortable, but pre-set by the Mujahideen. What brought later in battle to the lieutenant a lot of trouble. The same situation occurred in the same year in the area of the village of Surubi, where, during an operation on a perfume-spotted unit, the soldiers of the 334 Special Forces detachment were in an ideal position to fight. It seems that the correct choice of position led to casualties in the detachment - for several hours slangmen smashed him precisely from all the barrels.
Conclusion: when planning ambushes or raids beware of places that seem to you the most convenient. They can be the most dangerous.
In 1987, in the maravara gorge, the fighters of the 334 squad of special forces, during the very first clash, somehow very easily killed the detachment of fighters on the bus for their faith. Residents of a non-peaceful village from afar heard the approach of “armor”. The spirits calmly got up, washed, had breakfast, got on the bus and drove right in the direction where the special forces were waiting in ambush. The bus was squeezed in a ravine and threw grenades. Dushmans lost 18 people. The special forces did not even have wounded. “Everything went like in a movie or in a picture,” the officers recalled. As a result, the fighters had an erroneous idea of the "ease" of war. It then played a cruel joke with them.
Conclusion. Never relax. Especially in ambush or on the mission. Do not underestimate the enemy. If you easily scored some group, much more experienced fighters can come to rescue them (or avenge them). And they can come to you secretly, which is what happened in Maravara.
The special forces suffered heavy losses in the area of the Dorida kishlak. The command received unconfirmed information that there is an American adviser in the village in the perfume group. The officers were eager to take him dead or alive. That was a mistake.
Conclusion. Do not believe "sweet prizes" if they come from an unconfirmed source. This may be a "zamanuha", an invitation to ambush or to be shot.
Before reconnaissance, the battalion commander with a group of officers climbed to one of the heights at the beginning of the gorge, where tasks were set. This was the second mistake. Perfume distinctly "sketched" officers. And they perfectly understood that they had to wait for the “guests”. Then carefully prepared for the meeting.
Conclusion. Remember to disguise well before the operation. Do not give the enemy a reason to prepare for the meeting in advance. Keep everything secret until the very last moment. Do not "shine".
By decision of the battalion commander, communications from different groups worked on the same frequency. This was another tragic mistake, because in the midst of the battle on the air there was complete chaos. Spirits piled on the detachment's detached groups, all the officers simultaneously shouted something different on the air, and nothing could be disassembled. No teams and orders were heard, and this led to unjustified sacrifices.
Conclusion. Think about communication. In battle, communication is the nerve of a unit, its life. No connection - no support in a critical situation. And this is death.
In that battle, proper interaction with the artillery battery at the disposal of the battalion commander was also not organized. And at a critical moment, the “gods of war” were never able to come to the aid of special forces.
Conclusion. Think bad too. Hope, but do not expect that the operation will cost you a little blood. And never neglect the help of the “god of war”. If something went wrong, artillery can pull you out of the most terrible cutter.
Having combed Dorids, the scouts saw that there were no spirits here, and began to leave the settlement. But the spirits were somewhere nearby - whether in the gorge, or in the ravine, or behind the mountain. They secretly "grazed" intelligence officers from afar. One group of Mujahideen sat on the tail of the soldiers when they left the village. Another bypassed the scouts from the flank and blocked their exit from Doridam. The bag slammed shut. It was a classic trap, and it was a success to the Afghans. Lieutenant Kuznetsov, regretting his fighters, remained to cover their departure. Humanly and as a man is very understandable act. And heroic. But ... There was no worthy replacement among the soldiers and sergeants Kuznetsov in the group. Without an officer, a small combat detachment turned into an unorganized group of people. As a result, they all died. Kuznetsov himself shot back to the last bullet. When the ammunition ran out, he blew himself up and the perfume with a grenade. His body was disfigured so that it was difficult to identify.
Conclusion. If the enemy in the village is not, it may be somewhere nearby. If possible, scan all the surroundings. Be especially attentive when departing. Sit on the tail of the group and block it - the favorite tactic of the enemy. Never leave your wards without a commander. The group should have the main to the last, in the most critical situation. This is her chance to escape. If, in a battle, I decided to remain in cover, prepare in advance for myself and all those departing a reliable replacement. You decided to die yourself, but the fighters must be saved. The group is alive while its commander is alive.
Do not touch the head watch ...
If you are secretly waiting for a caravan or a group of the enemy - skip the head patrol whenever possible, even if he suddenly started firing in your direction. Watch may just be stoned. Perfume can shoot and just for prevention. It is only necessary to kill them (or take them prisoner) when they have clearly found you. Fell them out of silent weapons (in Afghanistan, Stechkin's silent pistol was used for this). During an ambush in the village of Mazgin, one of the sappers, who were hiding in an abandoned duvala, at the time of approaching the completely stoned head patrol, simply out of curiosity, stuck his head out of a blown head, in order to glance at the shooting spirits with one eye. This curiosity cost him his life. A bullet fired at him hit him right in the head.
Conclusion. You cannot unmask yourself in an ambush even when they are shooting at you. This may not be a target fire. Control your emotions. The desire to live should be stronger than curiosity.
Do not relax if you have not found the head patrol. Behind him can go intermediate - for safety net. For the first time, scouts of the 334 Special Forces detachment near Kotagai kishlak encountered such a phenomenon in ambush. Later, the militants used intermediate patrols in both the first and second Chechen campaigns.
Do not chase after trophies ...
As you know, trophies are one of the main indicators of the effectiveness of a detachment's actions. Never hurry to get hold of a captured weapon from a dead enemy, if you are not sure that they will not graze him in battle. Maybe their sniper is just waiting for you to crawl to the victim. This is an old trick, valid from the time of the Great Patriotic War, but for some reason many people still buy it. Sometimes after a successful fight, it is simply impossible to take the captured trophies (from a deep gorge, crevices in the mountains, etc.). Then undermine them and quickly take away the legs. Take only weapons samples with you. This is also the result.
Conclusion. Do not chase after trophies. Just take a photo on their background, and then you will show the photo to the authorities. Do not believe - nothing terrible. The main thing is alive. And then you will get the enemy's weapon in another battle.
In Afghanistan, a dubious rule was in effect for a very long time: you couldn’t throw your equipment, even if it was torn up by mines, on the battlefield. The unit commanders were liable for it. Sometimes the evacuation of equipment, already unsuitable for use, took a lot of time, effort, and resulted in casualties. The first to abandon the troubled domestic "cars" and moved to captured off-road vehicles (for which no one was responsible before anyone) the fighters of the 370 squad of special forces working in Helmand province. The thought came from a rich and practically unharmed trophy - 9 Toyota cars loaded with drugs. The ambush was carried out successfully - only one of nine machines was holed. "Toyota" immediately took to his farm fighters maneuverable groups.
They were equipped strictly in Mojahedin. In the bodies of one set large-caliber machine guns, mostly captured DShK. Other machines equipped the machine gun "cliff" and automatic machine-gun grenade launchers. Boards veil bulletproof vests. The crew of each car consisted of the driver, the crew commander, two scouts, a signalman. The detachment was formed from three Toyotas and one Ural-4520 type truck (it was in the Registan desert, and the car was famous for its good maneuverability in the sands). "Urals", in turn, equipped with a machine gun Vladimirov, anti-aircraft installation and mortars "Cornflower". The sides of the truck were also closed with body armor, sandbags were placed on the bottom of the body in case of an explosion on a mine. Crews "Toyota" dressed in clothes of the Mujahideen. The detachment, moving across the desert to the area of kishlak crossings, imitated the movement of a caravan. Toyota was ahead, followed by trucks two or three kilometers away.
As conceived by the scouts, the head patrol of the Mujahideen, expecting to meet the army's military equipment, was to be taken aback when confronted in the desert with their own kind. What happened.
The “long-awaited” meeting took place in the area of the village of Bogat in January 1987. Even before dawn, observers noticed in the night vision devices glimmers of headlights of cars moving towards them. At dawn, a plume of dust appeared on the horizon - a sure sign of a caravan. A convoy of five Simurg cars flew by sail. She had to go about 10 kilometers to the intestinal zone, where they could hide from aviation. Scout cars rushed towards. The meeting took place on a flat area, at the bottom of a dry lake. There were no shelters nearby. Mujahideen noticed a column coming out of the dunes and stopped. Scout cars, increasing speed, began to loop, "showing" that they want to avoid a meeting. By this maneuver, the commander was able to reduce the distance and press the caravan to the ridge of sand dunes, where the Ural was in ambush with the soldiers.
Maneuver a success. The distance was reduced to 700 – 800 meters. The rising sun shone in the back of the group, blinding the Mujahideen. As soon as the cars got up for aiming, the Mujahideen suspected that something was wrong. But they were already covered with a firestorm. Two cars flashed at once, the third one caught fire on departure.
The Mujahideen opened fire from an ASC, several grenade launchers and more than a dozen machine guns. The fire duel was transient. In dushman earned machine gun "Rock". Calculation of DShK was quickly destroyed. Appearing from the flank "Ural", who worked on the spirits of KPVT, introduced an additional panic in their ranks. The Mujahideen began to retreat to the nearest shelters. But it was far from them. Nobody wanted to surrender to captivity, everyone shot to the end and were destroyed. Result: 26 dead Mujahideen, three cars, captured by 2 DShK, 3 RPG, near 30 machines. Group losses: three injured.
In the future, fighting maneuver groups using captured machines successfully continued until the withdrawal of the battalion to the Union.
Conclusion. Make the most of your captured equipment and weapons. This will give you precious seconds, which is enough to accomplish the combat mission and save life for yourself and your subordinates.
Take care of your ammo
In both Afghanistan and Chechnya, in the heat of battle, fighters often spent a significant portion of their wearable ammunition (800 – 1200 ammunition) in the first 15 – 20 minutes of combat. And the fight then dragged on for hours. And the situation became critical - especially if help could not come on time.
Conclusion. In battle, never lupi in white light, like a pretty penny. Bay only on the goal that you see. Take care of your ammunition. Otherwise, you can be alone with a joyful spirit, which, unlike you, has a full bra of cartridges. There are a million such examples. Feverish shooters in this world are enough without you. Do not increase their number.
Higher Order Concepts
In the mountains, there is an unshakable rule: “Who is taller is stronger”. But the practice and life of the last wars suggests that the most important rule that must always be remembered: "There are no rules at war." Ambush does not necessarily do in the mountains. You can attack the enemy from ravines, duvali, crevices, from the dunes, from the riverbed. As the special forces themselves are joking: “You were waiting for us from the sea on ships, and we were skiing from the mountain.” The main thing is creativity, fantasy, the use of the surprise factor. Can this be taught? I do not know…
And another case from real life. In the province of Kunar, the strangers "Stinger" shot down a helicopter carrying a mabutu (infantry). A burning car from two thousand meters began to fall to the ground. “To the crew - to jump!” - the air traffic controller ordered from the ground. “The infantry has no parachutes,” the airborne commander replied after a while. “Remember all of us ...”
... There are things that cannot be taught in any military school or in one article. These are concepts and feelings of a higher order. They either live in your heart or not. This is a personal matter. And in battle, everyone makes his choice - those with a parachute, and those without him.