The Deputy Minister of Defense Dmitry Sukhorukov, seven years after Margelov, commanded the winged infantry to persuade the Airborne Forces.
“There will be another war,” he said then, “your experience is needed by the troops, think about the people ...”
HERE IS A MOTHER!
After the school, Shpak for four years commanded a platoon of cadets and another three - a company. Desperate to ask the troops, he decided to go to the headquarters of the Airborne Forces, as a result of becoming a combat officer of the training division. And having made the battalion the best, he earned the right to the academy very in time - a year later it would be too late. He had time. And then he showed himself so during his studies that he was immediately distributed by the regimental commander. This was the decision of the then Airborne Troops commander Vasily Margelov, who often moved bright officers through the steps of his career ladder.
Their first meeting took place when Uncle Vasya checked the officers of the fire training school, and Shpak, who was engaged in shooting, was specially placed next to the commander. When he, without lowering the pistol, made three shots in seconds, Margelov called the lieutenant a dude, but when he saw three knocked out dozens, he immediately rewarded his watch. And two years later, being company, Shpak impressed the commander again. He carried out exercises with a company of cadets, and suddenly - with a bare torso and a cigarette in his mouth - his dacha was nearby - the commander approached. Next - the head of the rear of the school.
“Well, Andrew,” Margelov says to him, “pull up on the crossbar.”
He could not. Then, turning to Shpak, uncle Vasya, not knowing that he was engaged in gymnastics, provocatively offered to twist the "sun" on the crossbar. And Captain Shpak, stepping confidently towards the crossbar, wrote out the startling lace commander.
- Here is a company! - did not hide emotions Margelov. - That's what I understand ...
ONE PARISHED-DESIGN BEDROOM
Pavel Grachev was long reproached with the romping promise to subdue Grozny with one landing regiment. Meanwhile, Kabul in December 1979-th was taken that way. One parachute regiment. The regiment of George Shpak.
First, regiment commanders and the command of the Vitebsk airborne division were called to Moscow. They studied the maps and flew to Afghanistan under the guise of tourists. A few days went to Kabul, exploring the area of upcoming action. And in November, the 1979-nd raised them in alarm. It was about ten in the evening. Barely having come from the service and having only had time to take off his boots, Shpak again hurried to the regiment. And he flew away for a year and a half, not even having time to say goodbye to his family.
Arriving in Kabul, camped at the airport. And after three days they received a command to storm. And the amphibious "behi" rushed to the brigade of the Afghan army and the local General Staff. Suddenness left no chance to the enemy. Afghans were driven into the barracks, not allowed to the parks with equipment. Soon the resistance, and the column fired and even knocked down one BMD, was crushed. Successfully passed and the capture of the General Staff. Blocking the building, occupied the defense. On fire from small weapons responded with fire fighting vehicles.
After the operation, the division was promised to be sent home, but was detained in Afghanistan for a long ten years.
IN THE AFGHANIAN MOUNTAINS
Situations not covered by the military regulations began on the very first way out into the mountains. Most of the way to the province Chakvardak, where the regiment Shpak was sent to establish a new order, took place on mountain roads. Ambush and two-meter snow only initially seemed the main obstacle. When we met the first ravine, a ten-meter pit on a narrow mountain road, a cliff was to the right, a 100-meter cliff to the left, it was fit to despair. Militants specifically let water on the roads, washing away such dips.
Three days covered the pit with stones. But will clutch survive fighting vehicles? Here is a test that you will not forget. The BMD went well, and the tank ... Crossing over, the tank captain leads the T-62 to the stones. It passes about five meters, and the clutch slowly begins to crumble into the abyss. The tank goes deeper, now the barrel sticks out over the road. All ... But an experienced tanker, without gas, slowly scrubbing the caterpillars on the crumbling stones, still crawls out.
Then for three more days the masonry was restored, the forest was cut down, and logs were laid. And passed!
It was necessary to reach everything already in the course of military operations. The main thing Shpak demanded from his officers was not to pay for the Afghan roller coaster with soldiers' lives. After each combat operation carefully summarized experience. In order to fight, for example, with ambushes on mountain roads, Shpak thought up to rush one company and send it on horseback on foot to cover the armored group going below. Movement on mountain roads is only a caterpillar into a caterpillar, and only after engineering intelligence. If the fire from the rock, the column is closed - the machine fits tightly to the car, and in the interval between the rock and the column, you can walk like a trench. Trunks in the direction of the enemy and fire on "Zelenka". Learned to climb the mountains with the help of ropes with knots. The fact that you don’t have much to wear in boots in the mountains understood right away. Without waiting for the problem to be solved at the top, Shpak decided it himself. They slaughtered the pigs in the regimental subsidiary farm in Belarus and bought sneakers and wool socks with the money. So that the units were more manageable and not to lose anyone to the wounded in the heat of battle - the platoons began to break into fighting twos and triples. Wound one - the second makes it. In short, many tactical ideas of the colonel Shpak, who commanded the famous 350 regiment, were then used for a long time not only in Afghanistan, but also in Chechnya.
For Afghanistan, Shpak was presented to the Hero's Star, but “Heroes” at that time were given only posthumously. Therefore, the Order of the Red Banner became the memory of Afghan roads and lost friends. The most expensive reward.
WITH DEATH IN DISPUTE
Made by dushman under asphalt, the ravine during the stopping of the column turned out to be right under his car. And when, at the resumption of movement, the commander of the "forty" Shpak dived into a deep hole, he only miraculously did not fall out of it, managing to hold onto the handle of the open hatch.
The machine crawled up the tracks in liquid mud. Everybody groaned.
- Shut up! - Shpak stopped the panic. - Who will give a voice, I shoot without warning.
Silence. Dark, can not see anything. It only feels like dirt is slowly creeping inside.
“Turn off the engine,” he commands the mechanic.
He does not find the button for a long time, but in the end, he still muffles the engine.
“Try to open the hatch,” Shpak says to the signalers.
Luke manages to slightly open, but it is impossible to get into it.
People gathered around the inverted car argue loudly, not finding a solution.
“Pull down the GAZ-66 with the winch, hook on the track and turn the car over,” commanded Shpak.
It does not work - the cable is torn.
- Then dig a trench and scoop out buckets of dirt, - Shpak finds another solution.
Happened! Five hours later, in one of the hatches, it was already possible to pull the crazed fighters. Shpak under the unwritten command laws left the emergency vehicle last.
And after returning from the war, he learned that he was rushed to bury ...
When, having barely arrived from Afghanistan, he went to Kaunas to visit an old friend of the rear of the 7 division, he led him to a banquet hall with a covered man at the fifty table.
- Will friends come? - asked Shpak.
“No,” a friend replied, setting him down at one end of the table and sitting down at the other. - We will only be two.
It turns out that when news of his death came from Afghanistan, he invited fifty colleagues, it was at this table that he commemorated him.
FROM KAUNAS TO TURKESTAN
The service of the deputy commander of the 7 airborne division in Kaunas was remembered for the large-scale West-81 exercises and work with the command of the force Vladislav Achalov.
Then there were three years of command of the 76 th (Pskov) division. Having established a system of socialist competition, in which those who achieved objectively better performance grew faster than others, Shpak appointed those who wanted and knew how to work, regardless of age, rank, and career status. Fortunately, the commander of the airborne forces, Dmitry Sukhorukov, who knew him even from Afghanistan, supported the young divisional commander in all undertakings. As a result, the division soon became the best.
After the General Staff Academy, Shpak, the deputy commander of 14, and then the commander of the 6 army, with headquarters in Petrozavodsk. The scale of the inherited farm was impressive: 1500 km along the front, 500 - in depth. Managing such a colossus, it was necessary to spend a week in a month in each division. At that time, they almost did not see him at home, but the new service taught to think like a state. And the new appointments were not long in coming: at first he was appointed chief of staff of the Turkestan Military District, and then transferred to a similar position in the Volga Military District.
EXPERIENCE PAID BY BLOOD
Flying on the district troops, Shpak got acquainted with the commanders, heads of regions and republics, studied the situation on the ground. There was a massive redeployment to the district of parts from near and far abroad. Behind problems on their placement and arrangement somehow invisibly relegated to the background combat training. And although her organization was not part of the direct responsibilities of the NSh district, at the end of 1994, she also forced him to forget about all other matters.
The first Chechnya fell on the head. At the beginning of December, the 81 th Motor Rifle Regiment arrived in Mozdok. Well aware that the personnel are not ready for war, Shpak with the district commander and a group of officers flew to Mozdok. For more than ten days, Shpak personally taught soldiers to shoot from an armored troop-carrier, equip ribbons, go on the attack and hold defenses. There was no time to understand why the soldiers were not taught even basic things.
On New Year's Eve, a group of officers from the military air defense district was asked to go home Having learned how the 81 th regiment and the 131 brigade, entering the city with marching columns, landed in a stone bag and suffered catastrophic losses, Shpak did not find a place for himself. Then he did not know yet what kind of loss awaits him ahead. 29 March 1995, his son Oleg died. Lieutenant paratrooper. The commander of the parachute platoon.
He and his wife had no children for a long time. Then Oleg was born, two years later - daughter Elena.
Military guests, military conversations - Oleg knew from childhood what he would be. Only paratrooper. While studying at the Academy of the General Staff - the son was then a student of the ninth and tenth grades - they every morning ran three kilometers together, worked on bars and a horizontal bar. And when Oleg entered the Ryazan Airborne School, he had no physical training problems that most cadets are experiencing. But there were other problems.
“It’s hard for me, dad,” Oleg once confessed, “they don’t like me because I’m a general’s son.”
“Well done son, what you said,” answered the father.
Having come to Oleg in the company, Shpak asked the personnel to sit down in front of the cadets. Introduced himself: Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Georgy Shpak. And he told how he studied in this school, how hard physical exertion was given, how difficult the friendship was, but if they even fought first-year students, then by the fourth year they became like brothers. Then he told how he commanded a platoon and a company in the school, how they took Kabul, how they were the first to fight in the mountains. And how difficult it was for the family that changed the garrison behind the garrison.
“And now, comrades cadets,” said the 47-year-old lieutenant-general, taking off his tunic and going to the crossbar, “I will show you three exercises.” Who will be able to repeat, today will go on vacation for ten days, with the head of the school I will decide the question - the word of the general.
The company exploded with delight.
When Shpak showed the level of the candidate master of sports in gymnastics on the horizontal bar and parallel bars, and then walked about ten meters in the arms of the barracks, the company subsided. One daredevil tried to portray something on the uneven bars, but fell under the laughter of his comrades.
- Here, my friends, what normal peasants should do. And now imagine how I was the commander of a platoon and company, - Shpak summed up, shook the company company’s hand and left.
Oleg had no more problems with his friends. A real gymnastic mania began at the school - cadets of all courses began to train the exercises shown by the army commander.
Shpak very closely followed the officer’s becoming of his son, constantly inquired about his service with the regimental commander, gave Oleg advice.
In January, 1995, when Oleg was lying in the hospital with a sick knee and an ulcer, his battalion began to be trained in Chechnya. Leaving a receipt for voluntary refusal of treatment, Oleg left the hospital to go along with everyone.
“I didn’t doubt that you would do that,” said Georgy Shpak, saying goodbye to his son.
Within an hour, he instructed Oleg how to be in a war: do not hesitate to walk in a bulletproof vest and helmet, walk along unfamiliar roads only after mine reconnaissance, a caterpillar into a caterpillar, and in order to immediately grow into the situation - ask everything about his son-in-law - also Oleg, whose battalion in Chechnya, the battalion changed his son.
15 March Georgiy Shpak flew in to check the district units that fought in Chechnya. When I drove to my son, whose company’s stronghold was located south of Komsomolsk, Oleg, as his father had punished, met him in a bullet-proof vest and helmet. The first thing Shpak meticulously examined son's stronghold. The width, depth, location of the fire weapons, dug-out with logs in three rolls - everything was clever in the military, which Oleg greatly pleased him with. Then he asked for a son for three days, and they traveled throughout Chechnya all his business trip.
Two weeks later, Oleg died.
Arriving in Chechnya and sorting out the circumstances of the death of his son, Shpak expressed many strong words to the officers, because of the lack of professionalism that his son had died. But Oleg was no longer to return ...
He himself was brought back to life by Sukhorukov’s words about a new war and possible losses. As a result, in December of 1996, Lieutenant General Georgy Shpak accepted the post of Commander of the Airborne Forces.
AND AGAIN WAR
The discouraged raid of paratroopers from Bosnia to Pristina in June of 1999 was probably remembered by many. However, behind the scenes was the fact that this sensational march was made possible by the political foresight of the commander of the Airborne Forces, Colonel-General Georgy Shpak, who began preparations for the operation a week before the political decision. About the same thing happened two months later. Having learned about the invasion of militants in Dagestan, Shpak immediately with his decision led “to battle” a temporary paratrooper battalion under the Caspian. And when, despite the abundance of motorized rifle units in the region, this particular battalion of Novorossiysk paratroopers was sent to meet the militants, they, having made a march on Botlikh, were several hours ahead of Basayev and Khattab, not allowing the militants to transfer the war to Dagestan.
After becoming commander, Shpak intensified his military training and, even before the appearance of units of constant readiness, he created in each parachute regiment the so-called first-stage battalions — units ready for combat use at any time. Well, when the war began, the quality training of the regimental tactical groups, which were going down to Chechnya, immediately became a priority task for the airborne forces.
16 once he was in a combat zone himself.
In September, 1999 was on the way to Khasavyurt, where the Airborne Forces grouped at that time, was intercepted by the commander: the militants were preparing an attack on him. But on persuasion to go to Khasavyurt, at least in a day, he refused. The postponement of the arrival of the commander due to the threat of attack, he said, would inevitably have undermined the fighting spirit of the troops. But he came to raise it!
And when, in the midst of the battles near Botlikh, the generals from the command of the North Caucasian Military District strongly pressed the commander of the 7 airborne division, General Yuri Krivosheev, forcing him to take the slides occupied by the militants faster, Shpak, on the contrary, assured him that he would not allow offense, he demanded that people be protected and Do not rush to carry out bad orders.
- Demand aviation and artillery support, ”he directed Krivosheev from his office, and the airborne command operators at that time plotted the latest changes in the combat situation.
Often Shpak helped his officers in the development of military operations. Like, for example, when blocking Gudermes, when they, with the commander of the assault regiment Colonel Yuri Am, invented to lure the militants by imitating an attack on the outskirts of the city and deliver a massive artillery strike on them.
The great merit of Shpak, in the opinion of the officers, is that after the Dagestani events he managed to convince the defense minister that the use of his troops by a single group led by his landing commander would not only reduce casualties, but also make the combat use of airborne units particularly effective.
The death of the 6 Company of the Pskov paratroopers fell on the heart of the commander. Shpak was not afraid and did not avoid meeting the relatives of the victims. On the contrary, he could have tried to support them. He, who lost his son to the general, probably, as anyone understood and close their grief. The paratroopers do not die, he told them, - they fly away and do not return. As Oleg had never returned ...
Paralysis only in combat
In the middle of November, the reconnaissance team of the 1999-th separate airborne brigade did not return 31 from the raid near Kharachoy. A day later, on the TV channels, a story passed, transmitted by the militants to one of the foreign news agencies. Two fighters told how the separatists shot their recon group. It was the only case in the war when the paratroopers were captured. They told under torture - Shpak understood right away, considering that the salvation of children was a matter of honor.
Without disclosing the details of the operation, let us say only that within two months both of the released paratroopers were in his office. So he once again showed to the ill-wishers of the troops the exclusivity of the Airborne Forces: he does not drop his troops.
Having retired from the army upon reaching the age limit, Georgy Shpak became a deputy of the State Duma, and then the governor of the landing force itself - the Ryazan Region. At the same time, his landing mentality manifested itself not only in the geography of the governorate, but above all in its work. Not sparing either himself or his subordinates, he confidently began to raise the area. While remaining simple and affordable: while his predecessor vacated official housing, he lived not for four months in an apartment according to his rank, but in a modest mother-in-law flat in the military town of Dyagilevo. And every morning, the pilots and their families watched in amazement as the 60-year-old governor performed the traditional morning jog as he left the old DOS. A paratrooper ... Well, what else is there to add?
Over the four years of Shpak Governorate in the Ryazan Region, many houses, schools, hospitals, and sports grounds have been built. But the best of all about his work will probably be the numbers. When in the 2004 year he accepted the region, its consolidated budget was 8 billion rubles, and when he left, this figure reached 28 billion. This is the economic breakthrough that the region made under the leadership of the “governor-general” Georgiy Shpak.
And yet the main mark on storiesAccording to the officers of the Airborne Forces, George Shpak left, commanding his native troops. The fact is that since the middle of the 1990-ies, various projects for reducing the Airborne Forces continually arose in the General Staff - from transferring a number of airborne divisions to the military districts to eliminating the Airborne Forces as an independent branch of the military. Well, the General Staff did not want to admit that the paratroopers created once as an auxiliary branch of the troops became the de facto main force of the Soviet and then the Russian army. It got to the point that the representatives of the districts had already arrived at the airborne units to receive the assets, but in the end all the decisions that “reduced” the landing forces were canceled at the last moment. Therefore, to the question of the main merit before the history of seven years of command of the Airborne Forces and four years of George Shpak who commanded the Ryazan Region, the paratroopers, without hesitation, answered with one capacious phrase: retained the Airborne Forces.
The commander of the Airborne Forces Hero of Russia, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov:
“I consider George Ivanovich Shpak to be my teacher. To this day, I am grateful to him for the fact that in the distant 1984 year, being the commander of the 76 division, he believed in me, having advanced as the commander of the 1 battalion of the 104 th parachute regiment. I am grateful for the constant monitoring of my professional growth, and for the fact that when I was a regiment commander, I entrusted my son who graduated from our school to me - this is our place in the Airborne Forces, it is worth a lot. Unfortunately, the war that began after my departure to a new duty station tragically cut short the life of Oleg Shpak.
With all my heart congratulating George Ivanovich on the 70 anniversary, I wish him good health and all the best. ”
Chairman of the Union of Russian Paratroopers, Hero of the Soviet Union Valery Vostrotin:
“Back in school I paid attention to the commander of a neighboring company, captain Shpak Georgy Ivanovich. Besides the fact that he was a good company officer, there was something of a hussar in him that set him apart from the other officers of the school.
When I started serving as an officer, I heard a lot of good reviews about Georgiy Ivanovich, but I met him in Afghanistan almost immediately after the assault on Amin’s palace was completed. The battle had just ended, and an armored troop-carrier drove up to us, from which Colonel Shpak came out. The vigorous, smart and confident and his subordinate commander of the 350 regiment, able to rally people around him, evoked respect and a sense of reliability.
Georgy Ivanovich all his service remained so. Especially in the 90-s, when he managed to save the Airborne Forces as a separate branch of troops at the cost of incredible efforts. And now he does not lose touch with the Airborne Forces, helping veterans. ”
The commander of the 36 th combined arms army Hero of Russia, Major General Mikhail Teplinsky:
“Georgy Shpak left a milestone in history, retaining the Airborne Forces in the era of the general reduction of the army. I would also note the fact that, being the commander of the Airborne Forces, he prioritized officers with combat experience to higher positions. And unconditional respect is deserved also by the fact that, being the Chief of Staff of the Military Military District, Shpak did not consider it worthy to hide his only son from the war ”.