In the meantime, columns of vehicles with part property and personal belongings of the families of military personnel of our laboratory came to us daily. We placed all this in two hangars provided to us by pilots for this purpose.
I was closely involved in the interaction with the Black Sea Fleet. Communication with the AASS we kept with the General Staff of the Navy through the switchboard of our Main Command and Rubin. After several approvals of details, we agreed that the fleet will send us directly to the coast of the BDK (large landing ship), into the holds of which we will load all our junk. It was an acceptable solution. The runway of the airfield was cut straight into the sea. Nearby was the unfinished "Gorbachev pier".
The fact is that Raisa Maksimovna built not far from our airdrome (in Myuser, if my memory serves me) her next summer cottage (at the end of the 80s). Gorbachev didn’t like something there, the construction was abandoned, but the huge pier for the Gorbachev couple was at 95% ready and went 50 meters into the depths of the Black Sea. This pier was very close to us.
We walked over to it, we were convinced that, if necessary, the cars would be able to get on the pier and go straight to the womb of the BDK.
I reported all of this to the officers of the General Staff of the Navy, with whom I negotiated. They agreed with such proposals for our evacuation, and informed me (and to our Glavka, of course) that in 3 days a convoy (!!!) will arrive to us from Sevastopol as part of the BDK (I don’t remember, unfortunately, its name ) and accompanying security vessels. We agreed on frequencies, call signs, contact time and other details of the operation. I will not hide, I was very proud that I managed to coordinate all this. It remains to implement in practice.
At first everything went well. The pilots granted me the right to use VHF radio at my communications center, and I waited for the arrival of the promised convoy. As I remember, it was agreed even contact time - 8.00.
On the appointed day, from 7.00 in the morning I was already at the communications center. It was embarrassing that the ships on the horizon could not be seen, but you never knew ... From the morning on 8.00, I repeatedly tried to call the VHF seamen on the line. No one answered me either on the main or on the spare frequency. An hour later, I stopped these fruitless attempts and went to the headquarters of the school. After long negotiations and clarification of the situation, I was tied up with the operational duty officer of the Black Sea Fleet, some captain of the 1 rank. From a conversation with him, it turned out that the convoy had not yet left Sevastopol for us, and will be released the next night. Everything else is valid. This "accuracy" of the sailors was somewhat different from the maritime traditions described in the books. Well, yes - "the first step is the hardest." Another 2 day picture was repeated. I went to 7.00 to a communications center and from 8.00 to 9.00 I announced the broadcast with my cries, appealing to the conscience of the sailors, and waiting in vain for an answer. Then he followed to Zas and learned about the next transfer. The weather, by the way, was excellent, and I never learned the reasons for the permanent transfer of the convoy's exit.
On 4, the first day of waiting, when I went out of my hangar to 7.30, I was shocked by the sight of the huge BDK and the second vessel, one kilometer from the shore, like a sentry guard, next to it. Rejoicing that the fleet, at last kept his word, I trotted to the communication center and exactly in 8.00 I got in touch. As it turned out, the senior naval commander (captain of the 1 rank), who led this unprecedented transition, was sternly tuned. For a start, he told me off that the convoy with 6.00 was on the raid, but I wasn’t connected.
I reminded him of the agreed dates of his arrival and the time of contact and I asked about the reasons for such a nervous conversation.
- “All my air defense calculations are on alert in readiness №1 !!!. People fall down from exhaustion !!! ”-“ Kapraz ”replied to me in a harsh voice.
I, pretty surprised at such quick fatigue of the air defense forces of the fleet, tried to calm the capra by the fact that the Georgians are not here aviation and there is no reason to fear much raids on his convoy.
After this short skirmish, we turned to the business part of the negotiations. When I voiced my (repeatedly agreed with the General Staff of the Navy) proposals for organizing our evacuation (via the beach, or through the “Gorbachev pier”), the company announced that this was unacceptable for them:
“I have no maps of the depths of this region. There may be too small. I have the authority to pick you up either from the piers of Sukhumi or from Sochi! ”He told me an amazing news.
I was greatly surprised at the lack of the required cards, but did not voice it. Instead, we had to tell the sea wolf that we cannot get to either Sukhumi or Sochi, due to the fact that Abkhazia was “cut off” from them by the Georgian army. And we are separated from these ports by the most real front lines, with trenches, minefields and other attributes of war. Kapraz, for some reason, could not believe it, insistently suggesting that I should be evacuated from the berths of Sochi or Sukhumi.
I, in turn, pressed at the evacuation sites agreed with the General Staff of the Navy:
“Well, let's arrange loading from the“ Gorbachev pier ”. He is in the sea meters on 50 issued, if not more. There, the depths should be normal for the BDK! ”- I again suggested a gap.
“For this, I must get permission from the fleet chief navigator!” The convoy commander answered me.
It only remained to be surprised why they had not received such permission before. Agreed to contact 14.00 again
Send out All permission was not ...
The last time we had a conversation in the evening in 20.00.
Kapraz again told me about the calculations of his air defense, "which were wallowing with fatigue," and proposed evacuation from Sochi or Sukhumi. Having received my categorical refusal and repeated explanations of the reasons for the impossibility of such a loading option, he stated that "he cannot keep people ready in the twenty-four-hour number XXNX and decreases to Sevastopol." I wished him a happy journey, and we parted forever.
The next morning there were no ships on the roadstead.
For me, this visit has always remained a “mystery of the sea soul”. Why did they burn so much diesel fuel for the empty Sevastopol-Gudauta-Sevastopol junction, and the whole convoy remained a mystery.
Already in Moscow, when the whole epic was successfully completed, I asked our chief of the operations department of the Main Command, who personally dealt with the coordination of all problems with the Navy, about the reasons for the marvelous behavior of the sailors. Our "noper" frowned face and gave a long abusive tirade, the meaning of which was reduced to the fact that the more he with the cranks with the letter "m" will never bind.
Wings of the Motherland
After this fiasco with the sailors, our leadership reported on it to Pasha-Mercedes. He said everything he thought about the naval commanders, and gave the command to the Ivanovo regiment of the military transport aviation to evacuate our unit.
Pilots and transported all of our farm. During the week, the X-NUMX-2 “boards” of the IL-3 and the AH-76 landed on the airfield every day. We loaded our property and belongings in them, and they transported them to Chkalovsk. From there, with their own transport, everything was carried to one of our parts near Podolsk.
On the IL-76, I had even had a chance to fly a couple of times before, but for the first time I saw the famous “Antey” (AN-22) near at that time. The huge four-motor car shook its power and size.
Having entered her womb for the first time, we froze in admiration: “This is the barn !!!”, said someone in delight.
“Yes, barn! Now the sheep will be driven into it! ”- the pilot from the crew of Antey answered angrily. As it turned out later, the pilots didn’t like to compare their handsome aircraft with the “barn”. And they always reacted harshly to him.
Air transportation took place without any incidents. The property was loaded onto a plane, driving into it directly by truck. There they were unloaded. Then the crew securely fastened things, furniture and drawers with special nets and - on the road.
Some of the local airfield attendants tried to fly with us. I remember how a fat ensign from OBATO came to us. Weighed it, probably - kilograms of 200, if not more. I have never seen such immense fat men again. He confidedly told us that even before our arrival, he had taken all of his property from Abkhazia to Russia, including all of his personal pig-headed (almost “pigs” in 20).
“What did I have for my pigs — the enemy should have been left ?!” he angrily asked us a rhetorical question. After that, he offered, “taking into account mutual interest,” to ship a couple of his cars under the guise of our property.
As a result - was severely sent far away and for a long time. Then such a “business” could not even enter our heads. Still, we were people of Soviet education and training. To sell our conscience, even for good money, we have not yet been taught.
I flew to the AN-22, on one of the last sides. I remember the fact that they flew out in the evening, and sat down in Chkalovsky already at night. We, the man 7 senior officers and three women, the captain placed in gerkabine. It is quite small in Anthea and is located between the cockpit and the cargo hold.
The rest (25 man of officers, warrant officers and soldiers) flew in the cargo hold on the benches next to their belongings.
In the pressurized cabin there was an 2 porthole, which allowed us to observe both the crew and the compartment. During a rather long flight (hours of 5, if not more), we were entertained by seeing through these windows.
Just before the landing, I saw that several officers and ensigns gathered in a heap and drank. There was no big trouble in this, the flight came to an end, and the “dose” of alcohol was modest - a couple of bottles of healthy men on the 7-8. At the time of landing, I "scored" a place at the porthole, which opened the view into the cockpit. It was interesting “from the back” to watch their work at night when a huge airplane landed. They coped with it brilliantly, and we gently landed at the airport near Moscow.
What was our amazement when we saw that several people from those who drank while landing, decently "wilted", and two ensigns simply could not stand on their feet. Apparently, the effect of such a powerful effect of alcohol was influenced by the difference in pressure at the height and near the surface of the earth. Mysoev "tumbled" in haste and gave the command to immerse the bodies of the ensigns in the bus that met us.
The Abkhaz epic safely ended.
So ended that memorable trip. In general, we coped with the task. The entire part was evacuated without loss, incidents and serious injuries to military personnel and their families. Removed all weapon, property and personal belongings of officers and ensigns (including furniture, refrigerators and pianos, who had them). I think that in the conflicts that followed the Abkhaz war, it was not often possible to do this.
In the premises of our unit the paratroopers remained to carry their service. They continued to be subjected to fierce shelling from the Georgians. There were cases of injuries and even deaths among paratroopers from these attacks.
I don’t know exact loss figures, but their number went to dozens of dead and wounded Russian soldiers. Sometimes it was even shown on Russian television.
So we are very lucky that everyone was alive and well there.
None of our servicemen committed special feats or heroic deeds there. Just carried the daily service and fulfilled their duties. On the other hand, no one has committed the meanness, looting, robbery and other “charms” that war is so rich with. And this is very good.
Now about the benefits, longevity and other "preferences" for the participants of this entire epic. At first, by order of the Minister of Defense, all participants were counted one day of service in the combat zone for one and a half. And paid a half salary during their stay there. Then, four months later, an order came from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to recount one day in three. Of course, we were very happy about this. The corresponding records of personnel officers made in the personal affairs of all the participants of the Abkhaz events.
But the joy was short-lived — six months later — a piece of paper came from the Ministry of Defense that our part was excluded from the preferential list. Of course, there was no justification for this. "Forgive" us, as usual.
Interestingly, I went to this war without having any housing (which, however, has long been a good tradition for the Russian officers). We rented a room in a communal flat, for considerable (for us) money. Had something happened to me, my wife and daughter would have only had to write letters to different authorities and live “at the station”.
But this is all - "little things in life", which continued.
PS All the names of the characters are changed to avoid misunderstandings and offenses. And as they say in Hollywood films: "all coincidences with real events are random."