Military Review

Write me, mom, to Egypt ... (part 4)

4. In the Academy named after Gamal Abdel Nasser

After the Six Day War, UAR President Gamal Abdel Nasser appealed to the Soviet leadership to open a branch of the Soviet Academy in Cairo to train senior commanders. A group of teachers from various Soviet military academies was sent to Egypt. The core of the group was generals-professors and professors from the Soviet Academy of the General Staff. Translators she manned on the spot. I became one of them. So the Academy was opened to them. G.A. Nasser. We called it a branch of the Soviet Academy of General Staff. K. Voroshilova, because many teachers of this famous military academy worked in it. The participants were Egyptian colonels and brigadier generals.

Academy. Nasser. Graduates and teachers. Xnumx

Working with remarkable military professors and associate professors expanded the linguistic, military and political outlook of translators. The main thing in our work was the interpretation of lectures and seminars, evening consultations and meetings of the Soviet and Egyptian leadership of the Academy.
Simultaneous translation of lectures and consultations took less time than translations from Russian into English of texts of lectures, manuals, which were written by our teachers for students. The editors of the translation bureau edited the translations, after which they fell into the machine bureau. Typists with knowledge of the English language reprinted our creations on film (there were no copiers yet). The printing house printed the necessary number of copies from them and sent them to our “secret room”. All copies were numbered and issued on receipt to students, translators and teachers.

Each of us had a typewriter with a Latin font. Sheets in rough notebooks were numbered, stitched and sealed. Notebooks were also kept in a secret room. Bringing written materials from the walls of the Academy was strictly forbidden.

I was attached as a translator to one of four teachers of operational art, Major General Zababashkin K.V. I had to translate the lectures of Rear Admiral Rodionov A.I. and trainings for teachers

A library was opened at the Academy. The military literature collected there was mainly in English. We constantly read fresh American war magazines and books. The level of language and vocational training of translators was high. Without preparation, each of us could simultaneously translate orally and in writing lectures on any military discipline. We regularly traveled with field teachers and trainees to fieldwork and reconnaissance. In the Academy building we went in plain clothes, went to field classes in Arab military uniform without shoulder straps.

Major General Zababshkin K.V. with graduates

Major General Zababashkin Konstantin Vasilyevich before the war graduated from the Pedagogical Institute, worked as a teacher, then as a school principal. After the beginning of the war, he graduated from the accelerated officer courses. Commanded a battalion regiment. After the war, he studied at the Academy. Mv Frunze and the Academy of the General Staff. Voroshilov. He defended his thesis. For more than ten years he worked at the Academy of General Staff as a teacher.

The general was a professional teacher of higher qualification. It harmoniously combined two entities - civil and military. Moreover, pedagogical training gave him an advantage over his colleagues: he perfectly mastered teaching methods. He possessed a broad knowledge of military doctrines around the world, including Israel. I understood from half a word my listeners.

Sometimes during the translation I experienced difficulties - not so much language, as theoretical. I did not hesitate to confess to him my military-theoretical ignorance. Sometimes I asked him to explain to me some difficult question during the preparation for the next lecture. To translate formally - sentence by sentence - I could not. It would have turned out to be a "kuz'kin mother", like Khrushchev’s translator. I needed to understand the meaning of what was said, and then pass it on to the audience.

With graduates

General Zababashkin enjoyed great prestige among the listeners. After graduating from the Academy, graduates of our group often came to him for consultations, despite the fact that Soviet advisers worked in their units, and sometimes they did not agree with the opinions of which. We talked for hours with them. Zababashkin helped them solve theoretical and practical issues.

Especially informative for me were lectures on operational art. I studied in the classroom with students. It was a real military university for the translator. Not every officer had to study military science and participate in the development of divisional and army operations with such excellent teachers as our generals were.

General Zababashkin explained in detail how a divisional, army operation is planned, reconnaissance, evaluation of the enemy’s terrain is being carried out; how to interact with neighbors, with assigned reserves, with the types and types of troops involved in the operation; how command and staff exercises are conducted on the sandbox before the operation begins.

Write me, mom, to Egypt ... (part 4)
At a seminar lesson at the Academy, Cairo

The general made excursions into the military history, compared military doctrines of various countries of the world, emphasized the advantages of the Soviet military doctrine. Often he referred to the experience of military operations of the Soviet army during the Second World War.

I remember how in detail General Zababashkin talked about the operation of the Soviet army to defeat the Kwantung Army in Manchuria in August 1945, I was interested to learn about it from his mouth: my father fought in Manchuria. After the war, my mother and I came to him in North Korea. We lived there for three years. There I went to the first class of the Soviet school, opened in Pyongyang a year later.

In the field

Often the general talked about the reasons for the defeat of the Egyptian army in the Six Day War. As the experience of the war of Israel with Egypt in 1956 showed, Nasser and his generals should have taken into account the repetition of a similar scenario in 1967, the sudden attack of the enemy. I am not sure that the exercises were conducted or the war games of three Arab countries, in which their strategic leadership bodies would act as trainees and practice their duties if Israeli aggression began; that full-fledged command-and-staff exercises were conducted involving the general staffs of the three Arab allies before the start of the operation, a discussion of all possible options for the actions of the Israeli headquarters according to intelligence reports. It is known that in Israel, command and staff exercises on the interaction of all the armed forces were conducted regularly.

Our generals constantly repeated in lectures about the great importance of strategic and military intelligence. If the Israeli intelligence knew practically everything about the Egyptian army, even to the point when and how the new shift of military pilots comes on duty, the Egyptian intelligence, as they say, did not even know the operational plans of the Israeli command. Moreover, the Israeli General Staff was able to carry out large-scale disinformation of the military and political leadership of Egypt, both before the start of the war and during the offensive operation. Israeli intelligence supplied misinformation about the unpreparedness of the Israeli armed forces for war on three fronts at once - with Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Rear Admiral Rodionov Anatoly Ivanovich on the collapse of the book

The course on sea support of land operations was read by Rear Admiral Anatoly Ivanovich Rodionov. After graduating from the Naval Academy, he served in the city of Russian glory Sevastopol, later in the cold north and in the Far East. During the Stalinist personnel purges of officers, when quite a few commanders who were part of the Tukhachevsky Trotsky bloc were arrested, he was appointed commander of a submarine brigade, that is, a vice admiral. Then he was just 34 year.

During the Great Patriotic War, he was offered to switch to diplomatic work, and he came to Moscow to study at the accelerated courses of the Military Diplomatic Academy. He was taught aristocratic manners at the academy by the legendary military diplomat of the Tsarist school, General A.A. Ignatiev, whose memoir book “Fifty years in the ranks” was almost the only source of information about patriotic Russian white emigration in those years.

The admiral was a man of little talk, even one might say closed. In friendly relations with no one entered. Some explained his dryness in the relationship of belonging to the naval officer caste: the sailors always looked down upon the infantry. Others said that he was engaged in reconnaissance when he worked in the apparatus of the naval attache at the Soviet embassy in Tokyo, and did not keep in the reconnaissance of talkers. By the way, he and his family lived in Tokyo when the Americans threw atomic bombs on Japan. True, he himself, however, never told about the years of his diplomatic service to the Socialist Fatherland.

The personnel officers were not mistaken in choosing A.M. Rodionov. to the diplomatic service. The appearance of the admiral - low growth, a little oriental type of person - could hardly attract the attention of the Japanese to him. The only thing that could betray his foreign origin in Japan was the inability and unwillingness to keep a constant smile on his face and bend his back in a polite Japanese bow. Not to stand out among the local population, not to attract attention for a diplomat, and maybe a scout, an important quality: by the way, for any foreign worker too.

After returning from Japan, the vice-admiral was sent to study at the Academy of the General Staff. After the end of his left in her teaching work. He defended his thesis. He had many publications in military journals.

Rear Admiral Rodionov was also an excellent teacher. Looking at him, it was difficult to guess that in the past he was the commander of a warship, commanded a submarine brigade, served as a military diplomat. Among all our generals, he was probably the most diplomatic person. With translators and colleagues kept officially. With personal requests to me, if addressed, it is rare.

His wife, Anna Nikolaevna, was the exact opposite of her husband. She was a sociable woman and loved to tell interesting stories about herself and the admiral, about meetings with interesting people.

The Rodionovs brought their granddaughter, Anya, to Cairo. She was the same age with our daughter. The children went to the Soviet school at the embassy together and played together in the courtyard outside the hotel.

First grade to school at Soviet embassy

Once, the admiral asked me to go with him to a meeting with his long-time friend A.V. Tsybulsky, a scientist from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

“He comes tomorrow night from Alexandria to Cairo and will be waiting for me at the Continental Hotel.” I already ordered the car.
- This is right in the center - at the Opera Square. I am pleased to go with you, - I agreed.
- I think you will be pleased to talk to him too. He is an orientalist. Head of the department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences. He and I lived on the same floor in a Moscow hotel in 1944. I studied at the Military Diplomatic Academy, and he waited for a new appointment after returning from Turkey, where he worked in the Trade Representation for several years. Do you know the singer Vertinsky?
“No,” I said.

The admiral intrigued me in the name of Vertinsky. I heard something about him.

- So Vertinsky then lived with us on the same floor. He has just returned to his homeland after many years of wandering around the white light.

Generals and admirals were not allowed to walk the streets of Cairo alone. Someone had to accompany them. Probably, the Soviet embassy established such a rule. Anyway, I accompanied the generals more than once on their trips during off-duty hours.

By the evening of the next day we arrived at the Continental Hotel. Professor Vladimir Vasilyevich Tsybulsky met us in the lobby and invited us to our room.

I listened with interest to the conversation of two veterans, their memories of mutual friends.

In front of me sat a very energetic and cheerful person, youthfully thin, smart and smart. He spoke quickly, with jokes, jokes. He arrived in Egypt at the head of a group of scientists from academic institutions. Among them were famous orientalists.

He told us with humor how the young belly dancer sat down on his knees at the reception at the mayor of Alexandria on the day before yesterday.

“The cameras clicked, and the next day my photo appeared in Alexandrian newspapers with a dancer on her lap. What do you think, he turned to me, would I get into such frivolity in Moscow?
- This is how to look. When she sat on your lap, did you put a coin in her bra? - I said jokingly.
“No,” said the professor.
“You can be punished for that.” However, if the staff of the Soviet consulate did not warn you about this, then there is nothing to punish. Everyone here knows that the dancer will definitely sit on her knees for the main guest, and that she should be thanked for it. And in Turkey, in such situations have not happened?
- Then it was a completely different time - pre-war and military. Not until the dancers were.
We laughed.
“You, as I understand it,” Tsybulsky spoke to me, “an Arabic translator ...”
- There is no English. We have very few Arabists.
- Do you speak Arabian?
“He is our only translator who speaks besides English in Arabic with the service personnel,” the admiral praised me.
- Anatoly Ivanovich exaggerates. I speak a little dialect. I can tell jokes and use foul language. They taught Arab sergeants and traders. If you do not bargain with them and do not joke, the prices almost do not reduce.
- Have you studied Islam, Arab history here?
- Little.
- Write?
- Collecting materials for the dissertation on Somerset Maugham.
- About Maugham in Egypt? To tell at the Institute, they will laugh for a long time, young man. You know the country, customs, language. We have some famous Orientalists, for the first time in the Arab world sailed on a boat with me.
- In Moscow, I tried to enter graduate school. At Moscow State University they told me that the military is not being taken. The Military-Political Academy said that they only have military specialties.
- That's good. God himself will order you to write a dissertation on the East.
- Never thought about that. I ended up filfak.
- So what. Think up, come to me at the Institute. Here are your coordinates.

He wrote the number of his Moscow phone on a piece of paper and handed it to me, and to the admiral, the presents: a record of Vertinsky's songs, a bottle of Stolichnaya and a loaf of rye bread. (In 1971 I searched for the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow and came to Prof. V. Tsybulsky. He helped me to enroll in the correspondence postgraduate school of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences).

- All Moscow knows what you are missing in Egypt. I guess?
- I wish herring was salty, - I joked.
“They didn't tell me about it.” Poor intelligence works.

We said goodbye.

When I returned to my hotel, the admiral handed me a record by Vertinsky and Stolichnaya. Bread left for yourself.

- You have a player. Listen up He was a wonderful singer and a surprisingly kind and interesting person who had seen a lot in life. Let us go with Anna Nikolaevna to you, listen to his songs. He sang to us more than once in the company. And I do not drink vodka. Let Lyudmila make a quick snack.

Indeed, I liked Vertinsky's songs. Not even like it. I loved them for life. They became for me a voice from the life of the first wave of Russian immigrants unfamiliar to me.

Every time I listen to Vertinsky's songs, I remember that meeting with V. Tsybulsky. in Cairo, which changed my fate, I remember those extraordinary people with whom fate drove me at different times in Egypt.

“Stolichnaya” we drank along with Rodionov, inviting them to visit on 7 November, the day of the Great October Revolution.

On Suekom Channel with General Zababshkin

In March, 1969 Nasser ordered the start of a “war of attrition” - the shelling of the Israeli positions in the Suez Canal zone. Thus, the Egyptian leadership hoped to raise the spirit of its people, to demonstrate the fruits of two years of work to restore the Egyptian armed forces. The decision was made without the consent of the Soviet side.

In response, the Israeli aviation began to deliver sensitive air strikes on the Egyptian military and civilian facilities of the country. The six-day war continued. Israelis bombed cities, schools, hospitals, factories.

Some historians believe that the “war of attrition” was a serious mistake of the Egyptian leadership. Instead of admitting a mistake and abandoning the "war of attrition" to sit at the negotiating table with Israel, Nasser secretly flew to Moscow. He asked to send modern anti-aircraft missile systems.

The negotiations were hard. First, since there was no time for training Egyptian missilemen, it was necessary to send not a group of advisers, but an entire Soviet air defense division with its combat equipment. Secondly, it was necessary in essence to make a decision on the direct participation of Soviet troops in the war of Egypt with Israel. How will this be treated in the USA and in Europe? Thirdly, Egypt did not have money, therefore, almost all expenses for transportation, provision of the division with all the necessary things had to be borne by the Soviet side.

The Soviet leadership agreed to secretly send a Soviet division to Egypt. The Egyptian side had to build all the necessary facilities to house anti-aircraft missile systems, shelter and housing; conduct counterintelligence activities, guard combat positions and ensure the safety of Soviet personnel.

The arrival of the air defense division in Egypt and the reliable cover of the Arab country from the Israeli bombardment "had a sobering effect not only on Israelis, but also on the Americans," the former Soviet ambassador, Vinogradov, V.M. According to Israeli data, the division numbered 10-14 thousands of military personnel, was armed with SAM-4 and SAM-66 missiles, airplanes. (Howard M. Sachar. History of Israel. From Rise of Zionism to our Time. 2nd ed. NY: Alfreda A. Knopf, 2000, p. 694).

It seemed to Brezhnev that on the diplomatic front, the Soviet leadership had an immediate opportunity to conduct political negotiations with the United States on a Middle East settlement. However, neither Brezhnev nor the American presidents managed to resolve the conflict, starting with Kennedy and ending with O. Obama. And today, forty years later, this so-called “settlement” is still a big question.

We, counselors and translators, learned about the arrival of the Soviet division from Egyptian newspapers. As soon as the division was stationed in the planned districts, the government newspaper Al-Ahram published on the first page a map showing the location of the combat and technical divisions of the Soviet air defense division in the Suez Canal zone.

Our authorities were in shock: so much effort was spent on secrecy, and suddenly Egypt notifies the whole world that Nasser had at his disposal (or hired) an entire army of air defense. Our authorities were indignant and turned to the Minister of War for clarification. He apologized. It was justified that someone without his permission reported this information to the newspaper. Who - and did not know.

No matter how it was there, the world learned that the Soviet Union had sent an air defense division to Egypt to conduct an air war with Israel. In the USSR it was forbidden to write and talk about this division. The newspaper Pravda even published an article about the “new provocation of the West against the USSR”. The author of the article claimed that Moscow did not send any air defense divisions to Egypt.

VS Logachev, deputy head of the political department of the anti-aircraft missile brigade, recalled how he got 50 copies of a newspaper with this article and thought for a long time how to proceed: whether to distribute the “most truthful newspaper in the world” to subordinates and undermine Pravda’s authority , or burn all 50 copies of it on the fire. He chose the second option. (VS Logachev. It is impossible to forget. In the book: The “secret” stamp has been withdrawn. M. 1997. C. 146).

On duty Logachev VS was obliged to inspire subordinates that the "international duty" is the duty of the Soviet military, and it must be fulfilled. But when he took out soldiers and officers on an excursion to the city, they saw with their own eyes that Egyptian cities sparkled with neon advertising at night, that people were sitting quietly in a cafe, that young boys and girls walked on the streets. It was very difficult for Soviet political workers to explain to subordinates why the Arabs themselves did not fulfill their “sacred duty” to protect their homeland, why they shifted this “duty” to the Russian guys. Why did the Egyptian stores after the war were full of groceries and consumer goods, while in the Soviet Union stores were empty, there were only queues around?

We also discussed these tricky questions more than once in a narrow circle of friends. Why the Soviet leadership throws Russian guys in many hot spots of the planet? Why is it afraid to tell the truth about its decisions to the Soviet people? Why does it not think about the distant consequences of their decisions in the sphere of international relations? Why did Soviet officers and soldiers, fighting and dying in foreign countries, not even have the right to call themselves "war veterans"? Why should we hide our participation in the hot spots of the planet from the Soviet people? Why have we been deprived of the right to tell the Soviet people about heroes who have laid down their heads on the far reaches of their homeland?

I remember that with the beginning of this strange war, Israeli pilots bombed factories erected by the USSR, schools and hospitals, rushing over Cairo at low altitude, causing panic among the citizens. People ran around. Traders threw their shops with goods. Cars stopped. Passengers sought shelter near the houses.

On one of these days, a wife and a neighbor went to the store in the morning. Here is what she told me:
- Suddenly there was a terrible loud roar of a jet plane. He walked at low altitude, almost above the houses. The bus stopped. Frightened passengers scattered in search of shelter. We rushed to the hotel. On the streets of chaos. Cars thrown anywhere. The plane turned around and again flew at a low altitude above the street, above us. If I had a machine gun in my hands at that moment, I would have opened the fire on him without hesitation, there was such hatred.
- And he is armored.
- So what? When they came to the hotel, terrible explosions were heard in the distance. It turned out that they bombed the hospital and the school, do you imagine it?
- Yes, I know, already broadcast on the radio.
-We were terribly scared, our children were still at school. Anxiously and impatiently awaited the bus with the children. We were very happy when they returned alive and unharmed.

The Egyptian troops stationed on the Suez Canal were subjected to especially devastating blows. One of the translators with whom we served in the squadron TU-16 on Cairo-West, was wounded and contused during the bombing of the headquarters of the division, located near Cairo. The bomb hit the dugout with a direct hit, in which Soviet advisers held a meeting. Several senior officers died on the spot. Killed by a colonel from Simferopol, with whom we lived on the same street. He arrived in Egypt a month ago and waited for his wife to come. She flew to Cairo the day after his death.

My friend was lucky. He survived. A fragment of his cheek was cut across his mouth. We saw him at the hospital. It was creepy to watch. Tears in the eyes and ever-smiling mouth.

- Send to the Union and commissured. I have no civil specialty. He graduated from the Suvorov and General Military.
- You will teach English.
- I finished the courses. So they won't take me to school either.

I do not know what happened to his fate. The photo album preserved photos. On them he is still healthy and happy, with his wife and son. Once we walked together families in the park in Heliopolis.

I remember another case. Cadets of the Military Institute with Arabic were sent to Egypt to practice. One cadet got into the air defense division. Division Israelis bombed, poured napalm. Dozens of Egyptian soldiers burned like torches, screaming madly and running across the desert. All this happened in front of a young boy. Together with the adviser, he returned to Cairo for the weekend and did not go to the division. Disappeared. Went through Cairo all day long and returned to the hotel only to spend the night. The authorities wanted to judge him for desertion. Put in a hospital. Doctors recognized: insanity. The cadet is a commissioner.

Celebrate New Year 1970. Dokki Hotel, Cairo

In September, 1970 - in the midst of another political crisis caused by a Palestinian uprising in Jordan, called “Black September” - Nasser died. He died, presumably, not by his death. Then, in 1970, there was a rumor that the Israeli secret services managed to recruit the masseur Nasser.

This version of the assassination of Nasser is cited in his book by Soviet journalist Agaryshev A.A. "Gamal Abdel Nasser" (M .: Young Guard, 1979.): "The President of Egypt, according to the Arab press, was killed by the hand of his massage therapist al-Utefi, a former Israeli intelligence agent. During the massage, he rubbed a special ointment, which gradually leads to heart paralysis. Al-Uteyfi received ointment from the Israeli special services. ”

However, I have not found confirmation of this version in any biography of Nasser written by English or American authors.

Then, in September, almost all Arab leaders flew to Cairo, to an urgently convened conference of the League of Arab States. They were looking for ways out of the political crisis created in Jordan artificially by the efforts of many secret services, which we may someday find out from Wikliks publications.

I have seen Nasser several times. Near only once in 1964 at the Cairo railway station during the arrival of the Soviet delegation from N.S. Khrushchev led. The courageous face of Nasser, his image imprinted on my memory for life. I liked to listen to his long and emotional speeches like Fidel Castro, although I am far from all, I confess honestly, understood in Arabic. But he carefully read his speeches in English translation in "Ejipshian Gazette".

Nasser never dissembled and told people the truth and about the successes and failures. So no one before Nasser and after him spoke to the Arabs. The people believed Nasser, believed in the victory of the ideals of democracy and Arab socialism. His speech was not only the Egyptians. Japanese transistors spread his ideas throughout the Arab East.

Nasser managed to do the impossible - to change not only the consciousness of the Egyptians, but the entire Arab superethnos and the entire Muslim world. During his lifetime, his dreams of the unity of all Arab peoples, of turning the Muslim world into a major geopolitical player, began to come true.

28 September 1970 Nasser is gone. He was just 52 of the year.

That day we were in the service in the morning and learned about this sad event at work. An order was received from the Chief Advisor: on mourning days, all members of the Soviet colony were ordered not to go out onto the streets from hotels.

And on the same day, millions of Egyptians took to the streets of the capital.

My wife also went to work at the Military Technical Institute in the morning by bus of Czechoslovak specialists. The institute was located near the presidential palace on the other side of the city.

At noon, the Czechs left home by a service bus, forgetting about two Soviet women. Women were forced to ride the city bus. He did not come. More than an hour they stood at the bus stop.

An endless crowd moved slowly along the streets and sidewalks. The men in black halobeans wept, the women with flowing hair were wailing. The crowd roared. Rare passenger cars struggled through the crowd.

I have already returned to the hotel. When the wife did not appear at home at the usual time, I began to worry. I tried to call the Czechoslovak office, the Czechs did not take the call.

I was really scared: did it happen? What to do, where to look for a wife now, I did not know. It was clear that she was no longer at work. Three hours I could not find a place.

Suddenly I saw: at the entrance of the hotel a small machine stopped, the door opened, and I saw my wife. She talked about something with the driver. I ran to meet her.
- What happened?
- Horror! You can not even imagine what is happening in the city. Upside down buses and cars. Shooting shops. We experienced such horror.

A crowd gathered. We could be torn to pieces. Suddenly, lo and behold! Some random Armenian stopped and saved us. He made us bend over, hide our European faces. The guys tried to shake the car. My friend and I snuggled into the backseat. Thank God, the Armenian managed to escape from captivity. We drove slowly. All the streets are crowded with a roaring mob. The driver brought us to the hotel. They say angels do not exist, but it appeared! So that we would do without our guardian angel, I do not know. And flatly refused money, having learned that we are Russians. There are good people in the world!

In the days of the funeral, crowds of Egyptians from all over the country moved to Cairo. Delegations of friendly countries arrived in Cairo. A Soviet governmental delegation headed by A.N. Kosygin. On the day of the funeral, the helicopter in which Nasser’s coffin was located rose into the sky, made several circles over the city and landed in front of the building where the Revolutionary Leadership Council was once located. The coffin with the body of Nasser was carefully installed on an artillery gun carriage. The procession slowly moved to the openwork white mosque. The sad words of prayer spread over the country. Then volleys of guns struck. Nasser's comrades lowered the coffin with his body into a niche in the mosque. Egypt wept. That day simple Arabs cried in other countries.

With the head of the library of the Academy. Nasser

Had Nasser lived on 10-20 for years longer, the World Socialist system did not break up, and the Middle Eastern world would be completely different today.
Nasser was an excellent diplomat, a clever political player, an innate leader, a head taller than many world leaders of that time. In his 34 of the year, he came from a family of small servants, led a group of democratically-minded nationalists in officer uniform and managed to remove the corrupt king and the ruling elite, managed to expel the English invaders from Egypt, to nationalize the Suez Canal, the most important geopolitical object of the modern world. He managed to lay the foundations of the Egyptian heavy industry, make an agrarian revolution, supply the population with electricity, tame the Nile, open the doors of schools and hospitals for ordinary people, create a new democratic state of socialist orientation, and bring Egypt to the power that determines the course of events in the Middle East. On everything that he did not do, lies a glimpse of his passionate and brilliant nature.

According to the plans of Nasser and his associates, Egypt had to go through a long and difficult path of profound transformations, which were to involve the masses in the construction of a new democratic life and affect, modernize all spheres of life, including the spiritual. That was the essence, the spring of the Egyptian revolution. But on her way, internal forces constantly exhibited various obstacles, external forces laid out entire minefields. Thousands of hired enemies day and night only thought about how to disrupt the course of revolutionary-democratic reforms.

The locomotive of upgrades was moving slower than Nasser and his supporters assumed. His move was also slowed down by hidden passive protests, and the sabotage of reforms by the Egyptian landowners, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the stubborn resistance of the national bourgeoisie and the reactionary circles of Muslim theocracy. They tried with all their might to preserve class peace in their state.

The name Nasser will remain in the history of the twentieth century forever. His feat will never be forgotten by the Arab peoples. That is why on the day of the funeral of Nasser the whole Arab East wept, as we Soviet people wept when Stalin died!

Arab peoples with an inner sense understood that the brightest epoch in the revival of Arab nationalism was leaving with Nasser, that one of the corrupt activists who would return to power the degrading ruling class of oppressors of the masses would take the place of defender of their rights and freedoms.

And the people were not mistaken.

Nasserism is an integral philosophical concept of the progressive development of not only Egypt, but the entire Arab superethnos. The ultimate goal of development at this historical period is the unification of all Arab peoples and the transformation of the Muslim world into a major geopolitical player in the international arena. The years of Nasser’s reign were an important milestone in the history of the entire Arab East.

On Cairo street with a monkey

It would seem that Nasser should have known much more about the people he trusted, with whom he consulted. Meanwhile, in 1967, the very same officers with whom he removed King Farouk from power, let him down. They deceived him, exaggerating the readiness of the Egyptian armed forces several times.

The Vice-Presidents were Anwar Sadat (1919-1981) and Ali Sabri (1920-1991). Sadat became president after Nasser.

I remember that on the morning of 14 in May of 1971, we opened Egyptian newspapers and saw in them a message about the arrest of Ali Sabri, a major political figure of Nasser’s associate, a supporter of Egypt’s socialist orientation. We did not immediately understand that last night Anwar Sadat carried out a coup d'etat. The dream of the reactionary circles of Egypt came true. They managed to unite, rally around Sadat, prepare and carry out this coup.

A few months later, the trial of Ali Sabri and his associates took place. The court sentenced him to death for treason. Sadat replaced his execution with a life sentence (pardoned in 1981).

Moscow was silent.

We, Soviet officers, were forced to pretend that nothing much happened in the country. We fulfilled our international duty and did not interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

However, if we ponder over those events since May 1971, we already served not the Egyptian people, as under Nasser, and would continue to serve if Ali Sabri became president, but the reactionary top, the bourgeois circles of Egypt, the anti-people regime led by Sadat. In 1971, Sadat turned down all socialist reforms initiated by President Nasser, dissolved the Arab Socialist Union.
Moscow was silent.

At the end of August 1971, our family returned to the USSR.

In April, an American diplomat, Henry Kissinger, a native of a German-Jewish family, arrived in Egypt for talks in Egypt, and in June, Anwar Sadat summoned the Soviet ambassador, Vinogradov, V.M. and rudely, without explaining the reasons, announced to him in irritated form that Egypt was refusing the services of Soviet military personnel, and demanded that all Soviet advisers and the air defense division be immediately sent out of the country.

Provocations against the Soviet military, and even the Minister of Defense, AA Grechko, when he flew to Cairo, began earlier. In June, they intensified. That's what veterans say: the planned departure of the Soviet IL-18 with 63 soldiers and 5 officers. The military "drove all our soldiers and officers into the building, surrounded them with armed Egyptian soldiers, and even drove several APCs, took all the property from our children, ... kept them locked up for a whole day, did not drink or eat, and even a visit the toilet was restricted ... (After the intervention of the Soviet ambassador - Yu.G.) somewhere around 9 hours of the evening, a team of Arab officers and soldiers came in to return all the confiscated property to our children, let them out of the building, which was so stuffy that became very bad and allowed to land in sa ter ... The Arab side has apologized, calling the incident a misunderstanding, carried out by individuals. "- wrote Ivanov VB in his memoirs in the collection "Egyptian contrasts" published by veterans of the Israeli-Arab war in the 1990-s (S. 211).

Moscow was silent.

So the Egyptian leadership, led by the new President Anwar Sadat, thanked the Soviet soldiers, the Russian people for helping the country's leadership to rebuild the armed forces after the defeat in the Six-Day War and to protect Egypt from Israeli bombardment.
Anwar Sadat bears full responsibility for the stupidly lost war with Israel in 1973. I remember at the Academy Soviet teachers repeated the classes to the audience: the war must begin with air strikes against enemy airfields, first of all destroy enemy aircraft and air defense assets, gain superiority in the air. Soviet teachers taught that success should be developed in depth as far as possible. Immediately land assault forces to capture the mountain passes of Giddi and Mitla.

6 October 1973 The Egyptian army brilliantly forced the Suez Canal, as Soviet advisers taught them about this difficult and dangerous task. It remained to develop the success achieved through the passes to the borders of Israel. However, Sadat stopped the army in the area covered by its air defenses. There were heavy battles at Sinai. What was he hoping for after the start of this military operation?

On the night of October 17, Israeli sappers managed to break through to the canal at the junction of the Second and Third Armies and build a pontoon bridge across the Suez Canal. One Israeli division crossed over to the Egyptian side and began to move south.

The agreement on the separation of troops on the Sinai Peninsula was signed on Egyptian territory - on the 101-m kilometer of the Cairo-Suez road. On October 22, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution No. 338. It envisaged an immediate ceasefire and all hostilities with the stopping of the troops in their positions. Israel did not let up, and the Soviet leadership again had to intervene. L.I. Brezhnev ordered several divisions of the Soviet airborne troops to be put into combat readiness. In the US, an alarm was declared in the nuclear forces. Again, due to the fault of Israel and the Arab states, the world was on the verge of a new world war, as in 1967.

The will of the Egyptian leadership was again broken by the combined efforts of the Zionists of the West and Israel. Between 1973 and 1978 Sadat negotiated with the United States and Israel. The mediators were Kissinger and Nixon, and then, after Watergate, Ford. Negotiations continued with President Carter and his adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. 18 September 1978. Anwar Sadat’s negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Begin concluded with the signing of the Camp David Agreement. Sadat recognized the State of Israel. From this year, Egypt began to receive multi-billion dollar assistance from the United States.

Sadat tried to persuade Moscow to restructure the debts. Moscow refused. Sadat severed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Egypt and the USSR unilaterally.

Many documents are still hidden in the Soviet and foreign archives. However, even without them, it is obvious that the Soviet leadership pursued inadequate policies for decades in relation to China and some other socialist states, a number of Arab and African states.

It has spent tens of billions of dollars in helping and supporting anti-colonial, anti-racist movements and pro-socialist regimes, many of whom have forgotten about plans to build Arab and African socialism as soon as the Soviet feeder closed for them.

What our generals never talked about in their lectures was the presence of atomic weapons from the Israeli generals. Perhaps Nasser knew about the Israeli atomic bomb. Did Moscow know about it? If she knew, why was she silent? Did Moscow and Cairo know that in Tel Aviv, before the start of the Six Day War, the option of using an atomic bomb in the event of an Arab invasion of Israeli territory was discussed? If you knew, then why did the Soviet leadership not try to warn Nasser about the danger of that trap, which was delivered to him in 1967, and to Sadat at the beginning of 1970.

Why did the Soviet leadership come the second time to the same rake, continuing to prepare Sadat for a new war with Israel? Was such a policy beneficial to the USSR or the West? Did the Soviet intelligence not know what forces rush to power in Egypt? Didn't know the plans of Anwar Sadat? And if you knew why the Soviet leadership did not take radical decisions to change its policy in the region after the Six Day War?

Did the rupture of the diplomatic relations of the USSR with Israel contribute to the settlement of relations between the Arab countries and Israel? Why wasn’t the unpleasant “debriefing” made by the Soviet leadership after a series of failures in the Middle East? Did the lesson learned in Egypt and Syria be taken into account when it made the decision to bring Soviet troops into Afghanistan, seven years after the shameful withdrawal of Soviet troops at the request of Sadat from Egypt? Why did it continue to provide military assistance to Sadat after he unilaterally severed military-technical cooperation with the USSR? ...

Finishing the memories, I would like to briefly describe how fate developed, the career of some translators with whom I had to serve in Cairo. For many of us, working with military advisers, specialists, and teachers has become a stepping stone for moving to a higher level of creative work.

Some of those who remained in the army, went to editorial or teaching work, and the colonels resigned. Military Arabists, who worked in Arab countries and mastered the spoken Arabic language, became the first generation of Soviet Arabists, who learned in practice the realities of culture that developed in the Middle East after the collapse of colonialism.

Some of those who chose to resign from the army returned to their previous activities. Some of them defended their candidate and even doctoral dissertations, worked in the field of education and science, wrote and published books and articles. Several people had reached high positions in state and party bodies, right up to the apparatus of the CPSU Central Committee.

I have not heard of any of our translators who would join the ranks of dissidents or betray their homeland. All served her faithfully, as befits a Russian person, to the end ...

There are questions, questions and questions. And today they do not give rest to the Russian officers, who defended their Russian homeland on its distant frontiers, but who could not defend it in the USSR itself ...
Articles from this series:
Write me, mom, to Egypt...
Write me, mom, to Egypt ... (part 2)
Write me, mom, to Egypt ... (part 3)
Write me, mom, to Egypt ... (part 4)
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  1. omsbon
    omsbon 25 July 2013 15: 50
    Moscow was silent, Moscow was silent....

    The inadequacy of the corn lover and the short-sightedness of Brezhnev, led to billions of financial losses and a deterioration in the image of the Soviet Union. It's a shame!
  2. RoTTor
    RoTTor 25 July 2013 17: 57
    The author, with all his life-long hatred for Israel, black and white, writes that the Egyptians actually were. Obviously, only Khrushchev could bet on this ...

    The author was clearly lucky with the service: interesting, financially profitable, at that time he looked at such regions that 99.9% of Soviet people showed only in films, and lived in conditions incompatible with those in which officers in the Union lived in taiga and desert garrisons, moreover, for one salary, unlike everyone who was lucky to serve abroad.

    Simultaneously with me, aviation officers from the "third world" countries studied at our special faculty, including many Egyptian senior officers and a couple of generals. Mubarak and the senior Assad in a group of Syrians also studied there in academic courses.

    We laughed at the many frightening badges in their beautiful form and the fact that despite all the lost wars, they wore multi-row order pads, but could not explain why they were awarded.

    Before each other on the territory, all Arabs portrayed faithful Muslims in front of their elders, they went to the city in civilian clothes and wandered around taverns and girls like complete atheists.