I would like to share with readers an example of combat experience by describing one ambush that took place in the spring of 1983 in the area of the settlement of Gvarez (Paktia Province).
The involved parachute reconnaissance consisted of 45 people: 30 people from reconnaissance companies, spotter, and with him four people, two snipers, the calculation of AGS. The armament was as follows: two PC, RPK and RPG-16 grenade launchers, one SVD-N rifle, as well as AKS-74 assault rifles, RPG-18 disposable grenade launchers for each, P-159, P-148 grenades, mines .
The personnel had one ammunition for machine guns and machine guns, a dry ration for two days, individual packages, and a water supply.
We went to the ambush area on the armored group. Using the excellent maneuverability of regular BMD, a company outside the roads was advanced along a route that was laid at a sufficient distance from the ambush site. Having traveled about ten kilometers, the company turned around, dismounted, and after a fire attack of artillery imitated the attack of the village of Malihel. According to intelligence, it was up to 20 Mujahideen.
After the enemy fired back, the company, under the cover of two pairs of Mi-24, retreated to armor and began to withdraw at high speed. After five kilometers in the canyon we dismounted, and the vehicle continued to move at the same speed. Due to the dust raised by the caterpillars, the enemy observers could not notice our landing.
Since we had been active in the area of responsibility of the brigade before, this operation could not cause suspicion. The armored group returned to the brigade, and the company, waiting for darkness, began to advance to the ambush area.
Even on the eve of uniforms and equipment were carefully fitted: at night clank weapons heard over a long distance. On automatic straps we replaced steel carabiners with leather hinges, put rubber rings on the shops in the breast pouches to avoid the slightest knock. The route was chosen in advance. They did not move along the peaks, so as not to show up against the sky. The watch of six people went at a distance of direct visibility, with him constantly kept in touch. On the most dangerous sites sent lateral security.
We arrived at the ambush area an hour and a half before dawn. In the area of Gvarezy there was only one section where cars could pass. For an hour, they managed to equip firing positions and disguise themselves. On the back slopes of the mountains put secrets. The area was mined using MOH-50 and a landmine. The company commander set the task to the spotter. It was intended to use artillery only to illuminate the gorge, but barrage fire was prepared if the enemy tried to escape from the ambush or reinforcements were suitable for him.
In the direction from where they waited for the enemy, at a distance of 800 meters, a PC calculation with four submachine gunners was advanced. With them went the company deputy commander. The group occupied the commanding heights from which the road was clearly visible. She was assigned the task: to detect the caravan, determine the composition, strength and timely warn the company, skip its military guard and open fire from personal computers and machine guns when the vehicles approach the ambush site. At such a range, the fire is not effective, but it must make the enemy turn into battle formation, take up defenses and open fire in the direction of the diverting group. When deployed, the enemy should have suffered losses from anti-personnel mines. The land mine was designed to undermine the head machine in the event of continued movement and the moral suppression of the enemy. After the enemy opens fire, a company with a dagger fire should, in the shortest possible time, destroy the guards and seize the vehicles with cargo.
The whole day were watching. On the road followed cars, carts, drove the flocks of sheep. The greatest danger was represented by dogs. They ran around a herd at a great distance, and sometimes it seemed that they were about to find an ambush. But even the wind favored us. By the way, if someone lit a cigarette, no wind would save the dogs.
The day passed quietly. Several groups of 5 – 10 people followed on foot and by car. They behaved quite carelessly, and there was a great temptation to destroy them. But to destroy them is to disrupt our mission.
Toward evening, all movement ceased. It quickly darkened, the sky clouded the clouds, it began to rain. Hours passed, and the caravan was not there. In night sights and binoculars, you could see the target no further than 100 meters. Soon the observer reported on two spirits, following in the direction of the ambush. We freely missed them. Then a group of six appeared, heading in the same direction. Finally, at about three o'clock I heard the engines howl from the side of Gvarez.
Cars went without headlights at low speed. The column entered the gorge. Ahead were two Toyota pickup trucks with Mujahideen, 6 – 8 people each. The first machine was installed 12,7-mm machine gun DShK. Behind them were three heavily laden trucks. It was impossible to consider closing the event, and this circumstance strongly affected our nerves.
On command, the front jeep was blown up, the distraction group opened fire and began launching long-range lighting flares. Because of the low clouds, they were of little use. The enemy dismounted, the explosions began on the mines. Screams, howls, flashes of explosions, indiscriminate fire in different directions. The flames of a burning car lit up spirits that were tossing about. But after 2 – 3 minutes they came to their senses, the fire became dense, concentrated in the direction of the diversion group.
Lighting shells began to burst. The whole company opened fire on the Mujahideen. Two trucks were hit by RPG-16. Fire AGS and PC suppressed the firing points of the spirits. The third truck was trying to turn around, but also flashed. We noticed another jeep. Fire AGS and PC focused on it. Individual firing points snapped at the head and center of the column. Due to the lack of heavy weapons, it turned out to be quite difficult to crush them. Artillery work was impossible because of the crests of the mountains, and mortar firing was excluded because of the long range.
It’s usually in these scraps that you start scolding the designers of our military equipment. Having created a wonderful RPG-16 grenade launcher, they forgot to create fragmentation grenades for him. The spirits were finished from AGS-17 and RPGs, the PC and the sniper worked well. But then I realized that the 82-mm mortar "Tray" at least one, but needed. Yes, it is too heavy for the mountains, it is morally obsolete, but its rate of fire and power are so lacking!
Nevertheless, we managed to knock out a closing jeep. The spirits had no choice but to step aside the village.
Began collecting weapons and documents. All the injured were treated. Cars - and in them the spirits carried rifle ammunition and mines - undermined.
The spooks in this battle lost 30 man and 6 cars. We, in addition to small arms, took 2 shortwave radio stations and pribarallilis Chinese "bras." Only two of us were wounded, and those were easy.
After an accelerated march, we went to the site where we were picked up by the hard worker Mi-8.
And things are ...
From my own experience I would like to speak about equipping our soldiers. In fact, the conversation about the armament and equipment of the army personnel has long been overdue. The uniform and equipment for the army were developed, it seems, by people far from these cases. Cotton outfit was issued for six months. Crawl 200 meters on the belly - and there is no more x / b. The boots are also wonderful: soldiers save money to buy sneakers. A cartridge pouch with a bayonet-knife always goes astray, rubs, crushes, and makes it difficult to walk. The satchel of the paratrooper RD-54 is also not very convenient thing. But new samples of unloading vests are also quite suspicious to me. Designers carried away pockets. Vests for riot police and the tax police are good, but a paratrooper soldier must be dressed more modestly. Brilliant buttons on pockets - why then camouflage vest? The reflection of the metal is visible per kilometer. Extra straps hanging from waistcoats, flaps, etc. - all this is unacceptable.
My rightness is easy to verify. Take a detachment, put them on in armor vests, pull on “Otters” (“Pioneers”, etc.) from above and drive about ten times in the embarkation and disembarkation of the BTR-80, and even steeper - in the BRDM-2. To complete the experiment, try to pull out a wounded man through such a hatch through such equipment. Immediately everything will become clear.
Not once read the controversy about AK-74. In the DRA for 2,5, my AKS-74 Izhevsk plant did not have delays. The machine did not refuse even in the rice fields, spattered with liquid mud. My opinion: AK-74 - reliable car. Ammunition provides target destruction on 200 – 300 meters with a very high degree of reliability, including behind cover. And this is the main distance of our battle. 5,45 mm cartridges can be taken significantly more than 7,62 mm.
There are automatic and disadvantages. Orange shops were produced for a long time - idiocy! In addition, after two or three days of riding on armor from dust, night dew, cartridges were caked and there were delays. Fortunately, this is fixable: take out two or three cartridges and score again.
Bad that the trigger bracket does not recline. In winter, it is difficult to get through with an army glove.
I can not say a single bad word about AKM. As for the AKS-74U, the machine gun is reliable, very convenient when storming buildings, in a battle at short distances. One drawback: when shooting prone dust rises (but here, maybe I am not right: I did little to act with it).
"Ranger" shops - nonsense. Two related shops, especially for 45 cartridges, make you prone to your chest when lying down. Violated the balance of weapons, it becomes cumbersome.
A little bit about the mine war. The main losses we suffered from explosions on mines and land mines. I believe that the army still does not have reliable mine detectors in the troops. The main "technique" - the probe and the dog.
Managed landmines were among the "spirits" a favorite means of struggle and with tanks. High-explosive landmines came across very rarely, contact and controlled by wires were more common. Landmines were installed on narrow sections of roads, on detours. Sometimes land mines gave out roughness in the work of Afghan miners. Once our sappers noticed pieces of wire, insulation on the road, and a few meters found wires of a guided landmine. We found the so-called "sights" - these are poles or pyramids of stones on both sides of the road. When the sapper is at a great distance, this simplest device gives him the ability to quite reliably undermine equipment.
In 1984, a new trap was launched against our sappers. Mine was equipped with an electric detonator, metal grids were installed in the ground, one above the other, between them the ground served as a dielectric. The nets were connected to the detonator. When the circuit probe was closed, an explosion occurred.
It was the case, we also "helped" and native television. In the summer of 1984, we showed a film about the actions of the partisans during the war. They showed how the Germans used dogs to detect mines on the railroad tracks. Then the partisans began to crush the explosives and scatter on a large area. Dogs have become useless. Spirits literally the next day did the same trick!