The detachment included the destroyer "Resourceful", a large landing ship "Donetsk miner" with a battalion of marine corps of 350 people on board (with the marines followed the technique - 20 tanks T-54 and 18 BTR-60P), support vessel from the Baltic fleet and a tanker from the Black Sea Fleet. The detachment was commanded by the commander of the 71st brigade of landing ships of the Baltic Fleet, captain 2nd rank Alexei Pankov. The appearance of Soviet ships off the coast of distant Guinea was not an accident or a one-time visit - our sailors had to begin regular combat duty off the coast of this distant African state. This was requested by the Guinean authorities themselves, alarmed by the recent Portuguese armed invasion with an attempt to overthrow President Ahmed Sekou Toure.
The former French colony of Guinea, which since the beginning of the twentieth century was a member of the great federation of French West Africa, gained political independence on October 2 of the year 1958. In support of independence, the majority of Guineans who rejected the Constitution of the V Republic expressed themselves in a referendum, after which the metropolis decided to grant independence to its colony. Like most other French colonies, Guinea was a backward agrarian country with archaic agriculture. Only after World War I did the first banana and coffee plantations begin to appear in Guinea, the products of which were exported. However, Guinea was distinguished from a number of other West African colonies of France, such as Mali, Chad, Niger or Upper Volta, which had access to the sea, which nevertheless gave a definite chance for the economic development of the country.
The first president of Guinea was elected Ahmed Sekou Toure - 36-year-old local politician, a native of the peasant family of the people Malinki. Sekou Toure was born in 1922 year in the town of Farana. Despite its simple origins, he was something to be proud of - Ahmed Samori Tour's dear grandfather in 1884-1898. was the leader of the anti-French Guinean resistance under the banner of Islam. Ahmed followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather. After studying two years in a pedagogical lyceum, at 15, he flew out of him for participating in protest actions and was forced to get a job as a postman.
Who knew then that already twenty years later this romantic-minded lad would become the president of an independent state. Sekou Toure was involved in trade union activities and in 1946, in 24, he was already vice-president of the African Democratic Union, and in 1948, he became general secretary of the Guinean section of the General Confederation of Labor of France. In 1950, he headed the WTF Trade Union Coordinating Committee in French West Africa, and in 1956 - the General Confederation of Labor in Black Africa. In the same year, 1956, Sekou Toure was elected mayor of the city of Conakry. When Guinea became an independent republic in 1958, it became its first president.
According to his political convictions, Sekou Toure was a typical African nationalist, only of a leftist sense. This predetermined the course of Guinea for the period of his presidency. Since Guinea refused to support the Constitution of the V Republic and became the first French colony in Africa to gain independence, it caused an extremely negative attitude on the part of the French leadership. Paris initiated an economic blockade of the young state, hoping in this way to put pressure on recalcitrant Guineans. However, Sekou Toure was not taken aback and made a very correct choice in that situation - he immediately began to focus on cooperation with the Soviet Union and began socialist transformations in the republic. In Moscow, this turn of affairs rejoiced and began to provide Guinea with all-round assistance in industrialization and training specialists for the economy, science and defense.
In 1960, the USSR began to help the Republic of Guinea to build a modern airfield in Conakry, which was designed to receive heavy aircraft. In addition, training of officers for the Navy of the Republic of Guinea began in 1961 in the naval educational institutions of the Soviet Union. However, in the very same 1961 in the relations between the USSR and Guinea a “black band” ran through and the Guinean authorities even expelled the Soviet ambassador from the country. But Soviet aid continued to flow into Guinea, albeit in smaller quantities. Sekou Toure, guided by the interests of Guinea, tried to maneuver between the USSR and the USA, gaining maximum benefit and receiving bonuses from two powers at once. In the 1962 year, during the Caribbean crisis, Sekou Toure banned the Soviet Union from using that same airfield in Conakry. But as you know, trusting the West is not respecting yourself.
In 1965, Guinean intelligence agencies uncovered an anti-government conspiracy, behind which stood France. As it turned out, in Côte d'Ivoire, a West African country closely connected with France, the Front for National Liberation of Guinea was even created to overthrow Sékou Touré. After this news, the Guinean authorities abruptly changed their attitude towards France and its West African satellites - Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal. Sekou Toure again turned towards Moscow and the Soviet authorities did not refuse him assistance. Moreover, the USSR was interested in the development of fishing off the coast of West Africa. To protect the positions of the Soviet fishing fleet in the region and began to send ships of the Soviet Navy.
Another reason for the growing interest in Guinea was its proximity to Portuguese Guinea (future Guinea-Bissau), where at the beginning of the 1960-s a guerrilla war against the colonial administration began. The Soviet Union supported the rebel movements in the Portuguese colonies — Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique. The leader of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) Amilcar Cabral (pictured) enjoyed the support of Sekou Toure. The bases and headquarters of the PAIGC were located on the territory of Guinea, which the Portuguese authorities did not like very much as they tried to suppress the insurgency. In the end, the Portuguese command came to the conclusion that it was necessary to eliminate Sékou Touré as the main patron of the insurgents from the PAIGC. It was decided to organize a special expedition to Guinea to overthrow and destroy Sekou Toure, as well as destroy the bases and leaders of the PAIGC. The expeditionary detachment included 220 military personnel of the Portuguese Navy — special forces of the Marine Corps and Navy attack units, and about 200 Guinean opposition members trained by Portuguese instructors.
The commander of the expeditionary detachment was appointed 33-year-old captain Guilherme Almor di Alpoin Kalvan (1937-2014) - commander of the naval special forces of the Portuguese Navy DF8, who trained the Portuguese marines according to the British method and conducted many special operations in Portuguese Guinea. There was nothing surprising in the fact that the command entrusted the command of the operation to this particular person, a professional, and even a staunch Salazarist.
The operation also involved Marcelino da Mata (born 1940) - a native of the African ashes living in Portuguese Guinea. From 1960, yes, Mata served in the Portuguese army, where he made a fairly quick career, moving from ground forces to a commando unit and soon becoming the commander of the Comandos Africanos group - the “African special forces” of the Portuguese army. Marcelino da Mata (in the photo), despite his African origin, considered himself a patriot of Portugal and advocated the unity of all Portuguese-speaking nations.
On the night of 21 on 22 on November 1970, the expeditionary force of Kalwana and da Mats landed on the coast of Guinea near the capital of the country Conakry. The landing took place from four ships, including one large landing ship. The commandos destroyed several ships belonging to the PAIGC and burned down the summer residence of President Sekou Toure. But in this residence the head of state was absent. The Portuguese were unlucky and during the seizure of the headquarters of the PAIGC, Amilcar Cabral, whom the commandos wanted to grab, was also not in place. But the special forces released 26 Portuguese soldiers, who were held captive by the PAIGC. Unable to find Sekou Toure and Cabral, the Portuguese commandos retreated to the ships and left Guinea. 8 December 1970 The UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Portugal for invading Guinea.
President Sekou Toure himself used the invasion of Portuguese commandos to tighten the country's political regime and persecute political opponents. Large-scale cleansing took place in the army, police, and government. For example, the Minister of Finance of the country Osman Balde was hanged, who was accused of spying for Portugal. Executed by the verdict of the court 29 government and army officials, then the number of executed increased even more.
Frightened by a possible repetition of such invasions, Sekou Toure appealed to the Soviet Union for help. Since 1971, the Soviet ships began to be on duty at the coast of Guinea. The duty Soviet detachment consisted of a destroyer or a large anti-submarine ship, a landing ship and a tanker. Soviet specialists began to equip the port of Conakry with navigation equipment. Sekou Toure, although he denied Moscow the creation of a permanent naval base in the Conakry area, allowed the use of the airfield of the Guinean capital, which allowed it to make regular flights between Guinea and Cuba. For the needs of the PAIGC of the USSR, he supplied three combat boats of the 199 project.
However, the Portuguese authorities did not abandon the idea of reprisals against the leader of PAIGC, Amilcar Cabral. With the help of traitors in his entourage, they organized on January 20, 1973, the abduction of the party leader, who was returning with his wife from a ceremonial reception at the Polish embassy in Conakry. Cabral was killed, and then seized and tried to take a number of other PAIGC leaders, including Aristides de Pereira, into Portuguese Guinea.
However, the Guinean authorities were able to quickly respond to what was happening and imposed a state of emergency in Conakry. The conspirators, led by Inosensio Cani, attempted to go to sea on the very boats that the USSR once presented the PAIGC, asking for help from the Portuguese fleet. The Governor-General of Portuguese Guinea, Antonio de Spinola, gave orders to Portuguese Navy ships to go out to meet the boats. In response, the President of Guinea, Sekou Toure, asked for help from the Soviet ambassador to Conakry A. Ratanov, who immediately sent to the sea the destroyer "Experienced" under the command of captain 2-rank Yuri Ilinykh.
The Soviet destroyer could not get into the sea without the permission of the command of the USSR Navy, but his commander Yuriy Ilinykh assumed great responsibility and in 0 and 50 mines the ship took to sea, taking aboard a platoon of Guinean soldiers. Around the 2 hours of the night, two boats were detected by the ship's radar system, and on the morning of 5, soldiers of the Guinean platoon landed on the boats. The conspirators were captured and transferred to the "Experienced" destroyer, and the boats in tow followed the destroyer to the port of Conakry.
After this stories Guinea began to pay special attention to the development of its own fleet, boats and ships for the needs of which were transferred to the USSR and China. However, throughout the first half of the 1970's. The Soviet ships, changing, continued duty on the coast of Guinea. Invariably present on duty and the battalion of marines, reinforced by a company of amphibious tanks and anti-aircraft platoon. From 1970 to 1977 years, Soviet ships entered the Guinean ports of 98 once. In addition, the Soviet Union continued to assist Guinea in training specialists for the country's Navy. Thus, in the Poti training center of the USSR Navy, 1961 specialist for torpedo and patrol boats and 1977 weapons repair specialists were trained from 122 to 6 for years. The officers of the Guinean Navy were trained at the Baku Higher Naval School.
Guinea was also transferred to the SKR-91 Ave. 264, which became the flagship of the Guinean naval forces under the new name Lamine Saoji Kaba. For the preparation of Guinean military sailors who were to serve on the flagship, Soviet officers and midshipmen — the ship’s commander, his assistant, navigator, mechanic, commander of the X-2-3, electricians, engineer, foreman and foreman and boatman — were left on the ship for some time. They trained Guinean specialists before 1980.
In 1984, Sekou Toure died, and soon a military coup occurred in the country and Colonel Lansana Conte came to power. Despite the fact that in the past he spent a whole year studying in the USSR on an accelerated training program for officer personnel, Conte was reoriented to the West. Soviet-Guinean cooperation slowed down, although until the end of the 1980's. our ships continued to enter the ports of Guinea.