A couple of years ago in the American newspaper an interesting material was published dedicated to the fortieth anniversary of one small, but dirty war waged by the USA, Algeria, Ethiopia and Somalia. In this war, there is no right, some guilty.
A small explanation: the events being described unfold in the now infamous Gulf of Aden. “Tankist”, aka “bearded captain” - Major Eremenko Nikolay Ignatievich, commander of a separate battalion of 104 TB of the UN dowry mission.
CONFESSION OF THE LIEUTENANT OF THE MARITIME DECK
My name is Michael Fogetti, I am the captain of the Marine Corps (1) of the United States in retirement. I recently saw in a magazine a photograph of a Russian monument from Treptow Park in Berlin. and remembered one of the episodes of his service. My platoon after performing a special operation, received an order to wait for evacuation at a given point, but we could not get to this point.
In the area of the Golden Horn, as always, it was hot in every sense of the word. Locals clearly was not enough one revolution. They needed at least three of them, a couple of civil wars and, in addition, one religious conflict. We completed the task and now hurried to the rendezvous point with the boat, on which we were to arrive at the place of evacuation.
But we were waiting for a surprise. On the outskirts of a small seaside town, we were greeted by fussingly crowded groups of armed men. They looked at us, but did not touch, because a column of five jeeps, bristling with M-16 (2) and M-60 (3) trunks, was a matter of respect. Along the street, cars with traces of shelling and blatant looting periodically came across, but it was these objects that caused the main interest of peyzans, and armed marauders had a clear priority over unarmed ones.
When we noticed several corpses of obvious Europeans near the walls of the houses, I ordered to be on the alert, but without an order not to open fire. At that moment, a white woman with a girl in her arms ran out of a narrow alley, followed by three local niggas (sorry, African-Africans) with laughter. We were not up to political correctness. The woman with the child was instantly dragged into the jeep, and her pursuers were squeezed and unequivocally threatened with a machine gun barrel, but intoxication with impunity and shed blood played a bad joke on the bastards. One of them picked up his G-3 (4) and was clearly prepared to shoot at us, Marine Kolone automatically pressed the gun trigger and then we raced under the ever-increasing firing. It is good that these freaks did not know how to shoot straight. We flew up to the hill on which the city was actually located, and saw the port panorama below, the brightest fragment of which was a steamboat blazing at the pier.
The port has accumulated more than a thousand European civilian specialists and their families. Considering that independence was declared in the adjoining area and at the same time jihad, they all yearned for the speediest evacuation. As mentioned above, the ship, on which they were supposed to evacuate the refugees, blazed merrily on the roadstead, on the outskirts of the city crowds of insurgents concentrated, and from friendly forces there was only my platoon with six machine guns and a sour walking radio (walkie-toki (5)). score).
We had a floating craft ready for a hike and a perfectly camouflaged boat, but only we could fit there. We had no right to abandon women and children to the mercy of fate. I described the situation to the guys and said that I stay here and have no right to order any of them to remain with me, and that the order for our evacuation is in force and the boat is on the move.
But to the credit of my guys, everything remained. I calculated the available forces ... twenty-nine marines, including me, seven demobilized French legionaries and 11 sailors from a sunken steamer, two dozen civilian volunteers. The port during the Second World War was a transshipment base and several dozen stone warehouses surrounded by a solid wall with turrets and other architectural excesses of the last century, as if descended from the pages of Kipling and Bussenar, looked quite solid and suitable for defense.
This complex and served us a new fort Alamo. Plus, in these warehouses were placed warehouses with UN humanitarian aid, there were also old barracks, in which both the water supply and sewage system worked, of course there were not enough toilets for so many people, not to mention the soul, but this is better than nothing. By the way, half of one of the warehouses was crammed with drawers with good whiskey. Apparently one of the UN officials did his little gesheft here. That is, the whole situation, in addition to the military, was normal, and the military situation was as follows ...
More than three thousand insurgents, consisting of a revolutionary guard, irregular formations and a rabble who wanted to rob armed, fortunately only light weapons from 98 (6) and Sturmgeverov (7) mauser to Kalashnikov (8) and Stenov (9), periodically attacked our perimeter. The locals had three old French cannons, from which they managed to sink the unfortunate steamer, but the legionnaires were able to seize the battery and blow up the guns and ammunition.
At the moment we could oppose them: 23 M-16 rifles, 6 machine guns M-60, 30 Chinese Kalashnikovs and five creepy Russian machine guns of the Chinese production, with cartridges of the fiftieth caliber (10). They were in the first place and helped us to keep the enemy at the proper distance, but the cartridges for them ended up at a terrible speed.
The French said that through the 10 - 12 hours, another ship would be suitable, and even accompanied by a patrol, but this clock had to hold on. And the besiegers had one big incentive in the form of warehouses with humanitarian aid and hundreds of white women. All kinds of these products are highly valued here. If they think of attacking simultaneously from the South, and from the West, and from the North, then we will definitely beat off one attack, but the second one may not be enough ammunition. Our radio shlopotala bullet, when we were just approaching the port, and walkie-currents beat almost only a few kilometers. I put master radio sergeant Smithy, our radio god, on an old lighthouse with a sniper. There he smudged something from two radios, but there was not much sense in it yet.
The enemy did not have snipers and this made me very happy. The city was above the port, and from the roofs of some buildings, the territory occupied by us was in full view, but the planning of the city worked in our favor. Five straight streets descended exactly to the wall we were defending and easily shot through turrets, belvederes and bay windows ... And then another attack began. She was from two opposite directions and was quite massive.
The previous failures taught insurgents something, and they kept our machine guns under heavy fire. In five minutes three machine-gunners were wounded, another was killed. At that moment, the enemy struck the central gates of the complex: they tried to knock out the gates with a truck. They almost succeeded. One door was partially knocked out, dozens of armed figures poured into the courtyard. The last reserve of defense - the detachment of Corporal Westheimer - repelled the attack, but lost three people wounded, including one hard. It became clear that the next attack might be the last for us, we had two more gates, and there were enough heavy trucks in the city. We were lucky that the time for namaz came and, taking advantage of the respite and mobilizing the maximum number of civilians, we began to barricade the gate with all available means.
Suddenly, a call from Smithy came to my radio:
- “Sir. I have some incomprehensible challenge and it seems from the Russians. They require a senior. Let me switch to you? ”
- “Why did you decide that this is Russian?”
“They said that solar Siberia causes us, and Siberia, it seems to be in Russia ...”
- “Go ahead,” I said, and I heard English in my earpiece with a slight but clearly Russian accent ...
“Can I find out what United States Marine Corps is doing in the territory entrusted to me?” Was the question.
- “Here is Marine First Lieutenant * Michael Fogetti. Who do I have the honor to do? ”- I in turn asked.
“You have the honor of speaking, Lieutenant, to someone who, the only one in this part of Africa, has Tanksthat can radically change the situation. And my name is Tankist. ”
I had nothing to lose. I described the whole situation, avoiding, of course, the question of our combat “power”. In response, the Russian inquired whether, say, my minor report was a request for help. Considering that the shooting around the perimeter rose with a new force, and it was clearly a massive attack of the besiegers, I remembered the old days of Winston, who once said, “that if Hitler had invaded hell, then he, Churchill, would conclude an alliance against him the devil ... ”, and answered the Russian affirmatively. What followed the next tirade:
- ”Mark enemy positions with red rockets and wait. When tanks appear in your visibility zone, this is what we will be. But I warn you: if at least one shot follows my tanks, all that the local peyzans want to do to you will seem to you to be nirvana compared to what I will do to you. ”
When I asked for clarification on when exactly they would fit into the zone of direct visibility, the Russian officer asked whether I was from Texas, but after receiving a negative answer, he expressed confidence that I know that Africa is more than Texas and I do not take offense at all.
I ordered to mark the clusters of enemy fighters with red missiles, not to lean out and not to shoot at tanks, in case they appear. And then it burst out. He beat at least ten trunks, with a caliber of at least 100 millimeters. Part of the insurgents rushed to escape from the explosions in our direction, and we met them, not saving the last shops and ribbons. And in the gaps between the houses, on all the streets at the same time silhouettes of T-54 (11) tanks, covered with the landing force, appeared.
Fighting vehicles raced like chariots of fire. Both turret machine guns and paratroopers fired. More recently, seemingly formidable, the host of besiegers dispersed like smoke. The paratroopers jumped off the armor, and scattering around the tanks, began to strip the nearby houses. Across the whole front of their offensive, short sub-machine gunfire and deaf blasts of grenades were heard in the premises. From the roof of one of the houses a line suddenly struck, three tanks immediately turned the turret towards the last refuge, the crazy hero of jihad and the building volley immediately turned into a building explosion, deprived the city of one of the architectural excesses.
I caught myself thinking that I would not want to be the target of a Russian tank attack, and even if the whole battalion with support units were with me, for these fast-paced armored monsters with red stars, we would not be a serious obstacle. And the matter was not at all in the firepower of Russian combat vehicles ... I saw through binoculars the faces of Russian tankers sitting on the towers of their tanks: in these faces there was absolute certainty of victory over any enemy. And it is stronger than any caliber.
The Russian commander, my peer, too tall for a tankman, a tanned and bearded captain, introduced himself as an illegible Russian name for my poor ear, shook my hand and pointedly pointed to my tank. We comfortably settled on the tower, when suddenly a Russian officer abruptly pushed me to the side. He jumped up, tearing the machine gun from his shoulder, something struck with a rustling whistle, again and again. The Russian jerked, a trickle of blood crawled across his forehead, but he picked up the machine gun and gave somewhere two short lines, picked up by a clearly-stingy line of the turret machine gun, from a nearby tank.
Then he apologized to me and smiled, and pointed to the customs balcony overlooking the square in front of the port wall. They guessed the body of a man in a dirty burnous, and the barrel of an automatic rifle glistened. I realized that I just saved a life. The black-haired girl (Cuban, as well as part of the tank crews and paratroopers) in a camouflage jumpsuit, in the meantime, tied up my rescuer's head, saying in Spanish that forever signor captain climbs under the bullets, and in an unexpected outburst of my soul I took a copy of my Purple from my inner pocket. Heart (12), with which he never parted, as with the luck talisman, and stretched it to the Russian tankman. In some confusion, he accepted an unexpected gift, then shouted something in Russian into the open hatch of his tank. A minute later, a hand came out, holding a huge plastic holster with a huge pistol. The Russian officer smiled and handed it to me.
And Russian tanks had already turned along the wall, pointing guns at the city. Three cars through the newly opened and unbraked gates entered the port area, and I was on the front armor. Refugees spilled out of the warehouses, women cried and laughed, children jumped and squealed, men in and out of uniform, shouted and whistled. The Russian captain leaned toward me and, shouting over the noise, said: “So, the Marine. The one who never entered the liberated city on a tank did not experience a real celebration of the soul, it’s not for you to land from the sea ”. And slapped me on the shoulder.
Tankers and paratroopers were embraced, some presents and bottles were stretched to them, and a girl of six approached the Russian captain, smiling shyly, handed him a chocolate bar from humanitarian aid. The Russian tanker grabbed her and gently lifted her, she put her arm around his neck, and a feeling of deja vu suddenly came to me.
I remembered how several years ago in a tourist trip around West and East Berlin we were shown a Russian monument in Treptow Park. Our tour guide, an elderly German woman with an irritated face, showed the huge figure of a Russian soldier with a rescued child in her arms, and filtered scornful phrases in bad English. She said that it was all a big communist lie, and that apart from evil and violence the Russians brought nothing to the land of Germany.
As if the veil fell from my eyes. Before me stood a Russian officer with a rescued child in her arms. And it was a reality and, therefore, that German in Berlin was lying, and that Russian soldier from the pedestal, in that reality also saved the child. So maybe our propaganda is lying about the fact that the Russians are sleeping and seeing how to destroy America. No, for a simple first lieutenant of the marines, such high matters are too complicated. I gave up on all this with my hand and clinked glasses with a Russian bottle of whiskey, it is not known how it turned out to be in my hand.
On the same day, we managed to get in touch with the French steamer, going here under the UN auspices, and sailed at two in the morning. Before dawn was loading, the steamer sailed away from the inhospitable shore, when the sun was already high enough. And while the inhospitable shore did not disappear into the haze, the little girl waved a handkerchief left to the Russian tank crews. Master Sergeant Smith, who was a noted philosopher in our country, thoughtfully said:
- “I would never want the Russians to seriously fight us. Let it be unpatriotic, but I feel that they will surely ass us“. And, on reflection, he added: “Well, they drink as cool as we never dreamed ... Suck a bottle of whiskey from the neck and not in one eye ... And yet nobody will believe us, they will say that even Davy Kroket (13) will not come up with this ".
Notes: 1 - US Marine Corps (United States Marine Corps (USMC), US Marines) is an integral part of the US military, and is responsible for providing military protection from the sea. Together with the US Navy, he submits to the United States Naval Department. The number of Marine Corps is estimated at 200 000 people. 2 - M16 - the main machine gun of the NATO countries used in the armed forces of many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and America. 3 - M60 - a single machine gun, developed in the US and adopted by the Army and the US Marine Corps in the 1957 year. 4 - G3 (Gewehr 3 - 3 rifle) - German automatic rifle, developed by Heckler & Koch GmbH on the basis of the Spanish rifle CETME and adopted for use in 1959 by the army of Germany. In 1995, it was replaced by a machine gun caliber 5.56 NATO G36. 5 - Walkie-talkie (Walkie Talkie) - the usual simplex radio stations. 6 - Mauser 98 (Mauser 98) The Gewehr 98 infantry rifles and K98 series carbines were the main weapons of German soldiers in the First and Second World Wars. 7 - Stg-xnumx (Sturmgewehr-44, “Sturmgever”) - German assault rifle model 1943 / 44 (Hugo Schmeisser design) 8 - Kalashnikov rifle sample 1947, AK-47 (GAU Index - 56-A-212) 9 - STEN - The English submachine gun of the Second World War, created in 194, as a cheaper alternative to the American Thompson submachine gun. 10 - In this case meant caliber .50, so according to the NATO classification, the caliber of our DShK 12,7 mm is indicated. 11 - T-54 Medium tank T-54 Adopted by the Soviet Army in the year 1946, mass-produced with the year 1947. Exported and in service in many countries, used in most post-war local conflicts. Together with its improved version, the T-55 became the most massive tank in stories (built before 100 000 machines). Armament 100-mm threaded gun D-10T, coupled with a machine gun SG-43, two 7,62-mm course machine gun SG-43, placed in armored boxes on the nadglasenichnyh shelves, and 12,7-mm anti-aircraft gun DShK 12 - Purple Heart - US military medal. The “Purple Heart” medal can be awarded to any employee of the US Armed Forces who died or were injured as a result of the action of the enemy forces. From 1984, the medal is also awarded to military personnel who have been killed or injured as a result of terrorist actions that did not take place in the course of hostilities. Thus, the criterion for awarding does not include injured or dead as a result of non-combat incidents, self-injuries and “friendly fire”. It should be noted, however, that for various reasons, not all soldiers who received combat wounds were awarded this medal. 13 - Colonel David Stern Crockett, better known as Davy Crockett, is a famous American adventurer, folk hero, traveler, US army officer and politician, nicknamed “The King of Frontier”. He died defending the Alamo fortress during the Texas War of Independence.
PS Archive MO, f. 1236, op. 3712, d.395. l 35-190. ABOUT EREMENKO AND DESCRIBED EVENTS. Documents, several photos, orders and explanatory.