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Pocket artillery and other big guns: these Soviet special forces had access to all the small arms in the Russian arsenal, and found good uses for them.

I have written extensively (11/20/10.1/20, 3/20, 4/20) about the Spetsnaz units that fought in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Reading my ramblings might give you the fake impression that Spetsnaz did all the fighting. Though a fair amount of heavy combat load did fall on Spetsnaz detachments' shoulders, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Every division, regiment, brigade, battalion, wing, squadron or battery of 40th Army took part in that war. Now, the methods, tactics and results varied, but that does not take away from the ferocity, determination and bravery displayed by the Soviet soldiers, who fought the enemy in Afghanistan.

Granted, the Spetsnaz had the training, equipment and other means that made them largely successful against Mujahedeen and their tactics. But many of the VDV (Airborne), Border Guard and Motorized Infantry units had their own claim to fame in the way of brilliantly planned and executed operations against enemy detachments.

The majority of large-scale divisional or regimental level army operations were geared toward clearing an entire area of the enemy. The results achieved by such operations often were temporary, because it was impossible to conceal a large army detachment before and during deployment. It is not a secret for anyone that hills in Afghanistan have eyes. Any movement by the Soviet forces was immediately reported to the Mujahedeen group in the area.

So, except for the rare occasions when the Muj decided to stand and fight, the enemy simply moved out of the area, regrouped and returned right after we Soviets departed. Hence, the covert tactics employed by the small Spetsnaz units during insertions.

However, missions conducted by smaller formations to annihilate enemy groups often had stunning success. I witnessed one of these brilliantly executed missions during my time served as a member of Spetsnaz unit in Afghanistan in 1985-87.

At the time my unit was quartered at the Separate Motorized Infantry Regiment home base in Badakhshan Province. The area, at the far northeast corner of Afghanistan, is surrounded by the formidable Hindu Kush Mountains in all directions. It's the world s chief source of lapis lazuli, but our concern was the several large Mujahedeen groups operating there. One particular detachment was becoming more than a nuisance. It would operate around two roads the Soviets used lo re-supply several bases in the area, including ours.

The Muj unit; would constantly attack convoys by mining the road or staging an ambush. The situation worsened dramatically as the enemy grew stronger and started lo launch weekly attacks that led to heavier casualties among Soviet transport battalions.

We knew a good deal about this particular Muj unit. We knew it was about 250-300 fighters strong: we knew the leader and presumed home base. However, the size of the unit dictated that a covert assault by the small Spetsnaz unit would not succeed and a larger scale operation would be necessary. Several were launched with no success.

Every time, the enemy was gone before we could even gel close. This state of affairs was becoming extremely annoying until one day the reeon battalion commander came up with pretty good plan.

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Since the regular infantry units had no direct contact with the informant network or the Afghan Intelligence Service (KhAD) as Spetsnaz did, it almost had no way to gather reliable intelligence on the enemy. They had to rely on the intelligence that came directly from command staff of 40th Army in Kabul.

As often happened, by the time the information got to the regiment, the operational situation in the field had changed. However, every regiment staff had its own intelligence office and reconnaissance halation. Their efforts were limited as well, and the recon battalions were often relegated to scout an area of upcoming operations, provide security for the convoys and limited ambush activities.

This time, the recon battalion decided to lake a proactive and leading role. This particular unit often acted as our reinforcements. Whenever we knew that the force we were about to engage was sizable, we would have these guys and their armor nearby. And if the situation dictated so, they were quick to lend us a hand and-as it often happened, to keep our butts from a major ass-kicking.

This time we would switch the roles. This captain and his battalion would take a lead in directly engaging an enemy unit, and we would provide security and block any possible enemy retreat.

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As there was no reliable intelligence information that he could act upon, this battalion commander decided to create his own. He was going to bail the enemy. Not just any enemy, but the particular unit that in our opinion was slotted for punishment.

His plan was pretty ambitious and involved a theatrical production almost of epic Hollywood movie production proportions, The time was right for another large-scale regimental operation to clear the southern part of the province of Mujahedeen.

So, this captain convinced the regimental command to move the area of operation slightly to imitate a direct assault on some other enemy detachment. This would empty the regiment's home base, leaving a skeleton crew to run and guard the garrison. This would make any transport in or out of base particularly vulnerable, as no security detail could be detached in case of an ambush.

Hoping that the Muj would take the bait and would not miss an opportunity to attack our convoys unpunished, his battalion would then intercept the Mujahedeen detachment on the march.

My unit's role was to recon the area, determine the enemy's possible deployment and retreat route, then take a position on a dominating hill to block the rebels' retreat. Everything in this plan depended on a carefully crafted illusion and complete secrecy. As far as the regiment was concerned, the preparations were being made for a regular regimental operation in the south.

Meantime, all the necessary approvals were received from the high command and it was on. It took a week of preparations for the regiment to check weaponry and armor, communication and unit interaction. Everything appeared as if the regiment was about to embark on a big operation. The "X"day came and the regiment slowly started to pull out. It look almost the entire day. The regimental column looked like a snake slithering through valleys of Badakhshan.

Meanwhile, the recon battalion, using the routine resupply convoy as cover, covertly advanced to a fire base that was near the designated area. The next day we were inserted in our position by helos. Two more activities had to happen to complete the deception. First, on the night of the regiment's deployment, the area of the feint operation was pounded with howitzer artillery and multiple missile launching systems to "announce" that a large army was about to move into the urea.

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Second, the regimental motor pool, started to form a convoy within the garrison the next day, making it look like it was ripe for the picking. The trap was set.

At about 0500 hours, we spotted a large enemy detachment moving in the direction of the main road using the Afghan superhighway, the dried-up riverbed. The riverbeds often had no water in them. Water flowed only in the spring when mountain snow was melting and during the rainy season. Then, violent currents would create ravines. When these were dry, they could conceal any size unit, including vehicles and armor.

These riverbeds were used for unit deployment both by us and the Mujahedeen. This time was no exception. A band of 200-250 fighters was moving with haste, without any particular worry about being seen. We could even hear them talking loudly. After all, the entire Russian regiment was somewhere else. Surely nothing would spoil their plans of attacking "Suravi's" column about to depart from the emptied garrison.

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By the time our observers reported enemy detachment movement, strength and direction to the recon battalion, they had already advanced to the engagement area

Here is where I have to describe the terrain a little more, as it played u crucial role in the events that were about to unfold.

The dried riverbed that Muj were using ran into a larger riverbed that ran directly to the road. II was clear that the enemy was taking this natural superhighway all the way to their objective. However, there was another smaller and shallower riverbed that ran almost parallel to the one they'd chosen. The two beds came close together right before they ran into the larger ravine.

The recon battalion took a position in the second, smaller riverbed, spread out evenly across a 120-15!) meter front. The distance between .he two riverbeds at the battalion's positions was 25 meters to 40 meters al its widest.

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Now then, let me lay out a force disposition for that day. By reading this one may think a whole battalion against 250 rebels not a big deal. Well, the regular infantry battalion had roughly 500 personnel in it. This included armor crews, mortar/artillery and other auxiliary weapons crews and other rear-echelon personnel with battalion command staff The recon battalions had a smaller structure to begin with, lacking mortars and artillery and other arms that are part of a regular detachment.

On the top of that casualties, disease and attrition meant the number of personnel in an average infantry fighting battalion was 120-150 soldiers, with company size educed to 30-4.s and platoons staffed with 12-15.

So that day the recon battalion had 125 able bodies. With us to their far left, it made 152 in all.

The size of the enemy detachment was unexpected, but we had the element of surprise and prepared positions working in our favor.

My unit was still on the dominating hill at the point where the Muj riverbed made an almost 90[degree] bend. Observing and reporting, we lei the rebels pass, and when they were no longer visible, we left a reinforced observation post at our hill and relocated the unit's main force to a smaller hill adjacent to the riverbed.

Now we were facing down the riverbed. If the enemy ran. they would have no other way lo go but right al our positions. Anticipating a possible Muj retreat and not wanting to take any chances, we deployed both of our AOS-17 automatic grenade launchers facing the only direction from which the enemy would come.

What happened next makes this engagement stand out as an example of quick thinking, ability to make the right decision and full knowledge of your armament and Its utilization.

As the Muj approached, the battalion commander relayed an order lo make weapons and grenades ready. The instructions were simple: on the command, everyone was to throw three hand grenades rapid succession into the adjacent riverbed.

..."Grantham! Ogon'!" (With grenades! Fire!)-- screamed the battalion CO as the Muj unit stretched right in front of battalion's positions. At the same lime he threw his first RGD-5 hand grenade. 124 more followed closely behind. Then again and again. A total of 375 grenades were thrown within a five-second rime spent. I am sure it wits hard to hear anything after 375 explosions went off.

However, from the huge dust and sand cloud that now engulfed both riverbeds, after a moment of silence one could now hear a cacophony of sounds coming from where the Muj unit used to be. The sounds, ranging from moans to hysterical screams, grew louder and louder, suggesting a scene of devastation.

To seize momentum, the CO ordered "Vperyod"' (Forward!). Considering the closeness between the positions, it could only mean one thing- hand-to-hand combat!

The entire battalion exploded in one unintelligible roar. The air fillet! up with every possible obscenity that the Russian language has to offer. There was no order to attach bayonets, nor was there time to do it. Everyone pulled out what he had. Pistols, knives, bayonets or AK rifles gripped for heavy buttstock action.

At the adjacent river bed it was a scene of complete and utter devastation and carnage. Strewn among bodies and body parts were the Muj who survived. Some were crawl-Tig on all fours, some were kneeling with their arms raised high in surrender or some prolonged prayer, others just sat there all in shock.

There were those who came to rather quickly and tried to put up a fight, but they were overmatched by the Soviet infantry Funny now, but most of the overmatching force were 18-, 19- or 20 year old kids. Then there were those toward the end of the column who saw things clearly and with a swift 180" move took off running. Some had guns, some discarded anything that would hinder their getaway. Our soldiers gave chase. Then some more enemy fighters took off in (he same direction and yet more of our guys gave chase, making this affair look like a layer cake.

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NSV 12.7mm (.50 Cal.) Heavy Machine Gun
Caliber: 12.7mm
Cartridge: 12.7x107
Weight w/o ammo 25Kg
load:
Weight w/cartridge
belt on 6T7 mount: 41kg
Weight w/cartridge
belt
on universal mount 92.5kg
6U6:
Length: 1560mm
Length on mount 1900nm
6T7:
Height on mount 380mrr
6T7:
Muzzle velocity: 845 m/
 sec
Rate of fire: 700 - 800
 rds/min
Effective rate of 80 -100 rds
fire: /min
Sighting range: 2000m
Thickness of a
penetrated armor
plate
at a range of 16mm
500m:
Cartridge belt 50 rounds
capacity:


To us on the hill, the whole thing was somewhat an enigma. We heard the initial explosions or what sounded to us as concentrated mortar cannonade or one prolonged explosion. After it died out, we could hear sporadic gunfire, short bursts, single shots, nothing I had one would expect to hear from the area where 400 men were fighting.

Then we got the first radio reports, and the picture slowly started, to come into focus. Our unit was also advised that a group of enemy fighters now was headed our way.

The 30 or so fighters in what appeared to be a rear guard did manage to put some distance between them and the fight, and were running safely now, or so they thought. They were running right into our guns.

Our observers spotted them first and immediately reported to us down below. Soon we saw a group of rebels running, stopping to look back and sprinting again. Once they dosed the distance to 300-350 meters from us, our acting CO. addressing the AGS-17 grenade launcher crews, ordered "Ogon'!" (hire!). Having pre-ranged the entire section of the riverbed visible to us, their job was easy.

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One AGS purposely overshot its target by 10-15 meters with its first burst to cut oft" the enemy. All four high-explosive VOG 17 fragmentation grenades from the second launcher plopped right into the center of mass of the rebel group.

Two more bursts from each AGS-17 followed to finish the "job". Our snipers scanned the area where now enemy bodies laid. A few single shots and there was no more movement reported. It was over.

Needless to say the enemy unit had ceased to exist. The results of this operation were staggering. More than 120 enemy combatants were dead at the site of the initial engagement, including their warlord and unit commander, who was gunned down by the PKM machine gunner while hiding in one the washed out shallow caves.

More than 30 were killed at our positions, with another 40 or so chased down by our infantry troops in the stretch leading away from the fight. Trophies included 22 prisoners captured, more than 200 various firearms, scores of mines, grenade launchers, hand grenades, explosives, a recoilless gun, medications and other weapons, as well as maps and other valuable documents.

Neither the battalion nor our unit suffered any KIA, only several lightly wounded.

The reason I've told this story is that I don't believe there was another example in the entire Soviet-Afghan Campaign when grenades and oilier heavy weapons played such a pivotal role in achieving total victory over a superior enemy force.

Big Guns

The RPK and PKM weren't the only support, weapons Spetsnaz units had at their disposal. When the situation dictated, Spetsnaz employed the 12.7mm NSV heavy machine gun. II was a large weapon that carried a heavy punch. Yet it was light enough and easy lo disassemble and reassemble that a crew of three could carry it into the mountains.

The tripod-mounted .50 cal. NSV machine gun was mainly used to suppress the enemy's heavy weaponry and destroy his transports. Our unit used it quite extensively, mainly on stronghold assault raids and on search-and-destroy missions.

When we knew our initial action would arouse a large Mujahedeen detachment nearby and they would attempt to storm our positions in force, this formidable weapon would keep the enemy at bay and at distance until we were extracted. It would stop any vehicle the Muj would use trying to deploy their reinforcements.

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The NSV-12.7mm heavy machine gun was developed by a team of designers Nikitin, Sokolov and Volkov (Hence the abbreviation NSV) and adopted for service in 1972 with designation NSV 12.7mm Large Caliber Machine gun (Nikitin-Sokolov-Volkov, 12.7mm, code name "Utes", Index 6Pl l). It replaced the aging 12,7mm DSh-KM machine gun in Soviet Armed Forces service, and in turn has been replaced with a modernized version called the Kord.

The machine gun is gas-operated with long piston travel and equipped with a gas system regulator. In an effort to make the moving internal parts cycle smoothly, the bolt carrier was placed on guide rollers and the return mechanism had a piston buffer spring.

The barrel is removable. The locking of the barrel is achieved with a skew of the bolt to the left. The firing mechanism is assembled in a separate housing and has only full automatic lire, actuated either by an electric or manual trigger. It fires from the rear sear that is locked by the thumb safety.

The weapon is fed from a metal cartridge belt from either side. The use of its versatile tripod made the NSV-S-12 7 (Mounted version) more maneuverable. The 617 tripod mount developed by Stepanov and Baryshev is intended to engage ground targets, while the 6U6 mount developed under the guidance of Purtsen with the OP80 collimating sight is intended for air defense applications

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The NSV features a skeletonized stock, pistol grip side rail intended for mounting the SPP optical: NSPU-3M (IPN51) or NSPU-5 (1PN83) night scopes

The NSV-12.7 is noted for its relatively light weight easy operation, low dispersion shot pattern and possible to fire from prone position.

The production of the NSV and NSV-S ma guns was launched at the "Metallist" Plant situated in the city of Uralsk in what is now Kazakhstan, but its mounts were produced at the "Molot" Plant in the city of Vyatskie Polyany in Russia.

The sighting range for the NSV is an impressive meters. It was also was equipped with the specifically designed SPP optical sight with 3-6X variable power had a typical Soviet scale reticle. This sight allowed use of the gun as a sniper rifle, firing single shots or short or three-round) bursts. In fact, there were confirmed of individual enemy combatants at ranges of 1600' meters with this fine aim.

As I've stated before, usually the NSV machine gun was carried by three soldiers while dismantled. One carried a barrel, one the receiver and a third the tripod. My unit, however, was an exception. We had a warrant officer with the lovely name "Voyna" ("War" in Russian) who carried the assembled gun with a belt of ammo in it minus the tripod by himself. Always smiling, Additional ammo in bells of 50 rounds usually would be distributed among the entire group.

There were four rounds used in the NSV machine gun: regular ball, armor piercing/incendiary/tracer--BZ1-44 (purple tip), armor piercing/incendiary--B-32 (black/red lip) and incendiary immediate action MDZ (whole bullet was red).

The Spetsnaz gunners mainly preferred using the MDZ rounds Sometimes the entire belt would be loaded with it. On impact it creates an incendiary explosion, When the MDZ bullet struck a human or pack animal target, it caused immediate death. It wasn't a tracer that would give away your firing position, yet the lire could be effectively corrected by the incendiary explosions.

It is hard to imagine a Spetsnaz unit without several under-barrel grenade launchers. In Afghanistan the40mm Granatomyot Pdstvolniy GP-25 (Under-barrel Grenade Launcher) "Kostyor" (Campfire) was used by all detachments of the Soviet 40th Army. Light and easy to use, this indispensable weapon can be installed in seconds on either the AKM rifle using a bayonet lug or on the AK74 gun using an accessory lug.

It fired the VOG-25 high-explosive 40inm grenade or the VOG-25P high-explosive bouncing grenade. It was issued with its own pouch, where it tit while broken down into two parts. The pouch also held a rubber stock pad and cleaning rod with brush and a 10-VOG grenade pouch, usually loaded with five VOG-25s and five VOG-25Ps. You could not have enough VOG grenades on any missions. So, if you were the "grenadier," you carried extras.

The Soviet Army started to issue the GP-25 launchers to the Spetsnaz in the early 80s. Only the most experienced soldiers got them, usually three or four per group.

When used by an experienced operator, the GP easily destroyed enemy personnel covered by hills, fences, inside buildintrs. trenches and fortifications, making it an especially valuable addition to the overall tire strength of a unit fighting in the mountains.

The operator armed with a GP-25 fired it using a lobbing method or an arc trajectory from behind cover. This prevented the enemy from targeting or directly engaging the unit's grenadiers. There were several ways to fire it: by the book--with buttstock against a shoulder, mortar style--with buttstock resting on the ground and most popular "Rambo" style with stock between operator's arm and side of his body.

Though the lobbing of grenades was preferred, one can also fire a "line drive"' at specific targets. When fighting in wooded area or "green zone," another improvised method was also employed when the GP gunner would shoot a VOG-25 round at the tree canopy above an enemy position. This would cause a VOG grenade lo detonate in the air, resulting in greater shrapnel dispersion.

Another fine weapon that deserves a mention is the belt-fed 30mm Avtomatichcskiy Granatomyot Stankoviy AGS-17 (Automatic Grenade Launcher Mounted) "Plamya" (Flame). It was a standard fire support weapon for all Spetsnaz units. In the beginning, each Spetsnaz detachment or a battalion size would have a grenadier company armed with the AGS.

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Later, those companies were disbanded and each regular company gained a grenadier-flame thrower platoon with two grenadier squads (three AGS-17 crews per squad) and a flame thrower squad armed with shoulder-fired-rocket propelled flame thrower RFC) "Shmel"" (Bumblebee).

The concentrated fire from the AGS-17 often helped small Spetsnaz units deliver a complete defeat to superior- Mujahedeen detachments. Every Spetsnaz soldier was trained to run the AGS-17 grenade launcher. Since 1986, every Spetsnaz group deploying on an autonomous mission had to have AGS-17 or NSV machine gun as their fire support weapon.

It was issued with the specially designed SAG-17 tripod and a drum magazine that housed a grenade belt. The AGS fired from a 29-round belt loaded with high-explosive VOG-17 fragmentation grenades. Detached from its mount, the AGS-17 was carried by the crew of three or four. One was carrying the launcher itself, the second the tripod and the others, the grenade belts.

The standard 29-grcnade belt was usually separated into two parts and attached to the RD packs Additional rounds were spread out among the rest of the group, who carried the belts on or in their packs or just simply draped over shoulders. The total number of VOG-17 grenades varied from 58 to 87, depending on the type and duration of a mission.

Though the AGS-17 was issued with belt drums or cans, they were seldom in use by the Spetsnaz because of excessive noise when transported.

My unit often operated as a smaller group and having both the AGS-17s and NSVs. often would take both weapons into the mountains. Sometimes we would also "borrow" an additional AGS crew or two from our gracious hosts, the infantry.

Some of the Spetsnaz APCs were also equipped with AGS-17s. It would be installed coaxially with 14.5mm KV'PT and 7.62mm PKT machine guns on the turret. Standard grenade load for the APC-mounted AGS was 195 rounds.

Pocket Artillery

As an additional firepower utilized by the Spetsnaz was the "pocket artillery" also known as hand grenades. Offensive and defensive fragmentation grenades were a mandatory part of the Spetsnaz combat load. Depending on the type of mission, every Spetsnaz soldier had on him three or four and at times up to 10 hand grenades.

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Usually at least one or two were carried with fuzes already installed, which was dictated by the combat experience, but was in direct violation of safety regulations.

In the mountains and in the wooded areas, use of grenades in the fight was often at the apex of engagement. The Mujahedeen would always try to close distance and force a close-contact fight. The proper use of hand grenades would often tilt the firefight into a Spetsnaz unit's favor.

We used several grenade types and models in Afghanistan. The offensive fragmentation RGD-5 grenade had a shrapnel dispersion radius of 50 meters, while the defensive fragmentation F-l grenade had a shrapnel dispersion radius of 200 meters. Both used the unified UZRGM fuze with differently shaped spoons.

Newer RGN (offensive) and RGO (defensive) grenades with impact actuated fuzes saw limited use in Afghanistan. Though very effective and liked by the troops, these grenades were taken out of service due to several malfunctions.

Spetsnaz did not discriminate against captured grenades of foreign origin. Soldiers would gladly use Austrian "Ar-ges" 69s or Chinese M 56s and others that were used by the Mujahedeen. No need lo waste a perfectly good grenade. I always say.

The insurgents were not the only ones using homemade explosive devices. Spetsnaz had a trick or two of its own. One such device was the "Shiza" or ShZ. Shtunnovoy Zary-ad (breach charge) that was widely used during assaults on strongholds and cave complexes. Basically it was a .33-liter aluminum soda can filled with plastic explosive that was detonated by the regular UZRGM grenade fuze. These homemade high explosive charges carried a wallop.

Shoulder-fired

There were other heavy weapons that saw action with Spetsnaz in Afganistan. A variety of shoulder-deployed weapons such as RPG-18 "Mukha" (Fly), RPG-22 "Netto" anti-tank self-propelled grenades (Ruchnaya Protivotankovaya Granata), RPO "Shmel'" flame thrower, RPG-I6 "Udar" (Punch) and RPG-7, RPG-7D and its Chinese version Type 67 (captured) anti-tank grenade launchers (Ruchnoy Protivotankobiy Granato-myot).

Early on in the campaign, the Soviet High Command Material Supply Staff figured the Mujahedeen did not possess any tanks and ignored the anti-personnel capabilities of rocket propelled grenades, especially against an enemy protected by trenches, pillboxes, caves, etc. So no weapons of this type were included into the Spetsnaz arsenal. However, the mistake was realized rather quickly and a variety of shoulder-held grenades and launchers were made available for use by the Spetsnaz.

Some of the RPGs were effectively used to destroy Muj transports, to eliminate enemy combatants hiding in the buildings and for breaching courtyard walls (duvals).

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One of the most widely used launchers was the RPG-16 that was standard issue for Soviet airborne troops. Accuracy up lo 800 meters was achieved thanks to the exceptional ballistics of its anti-rank grenade PG 16, optical sight and standard bipod.

RPG-7. RPG-7D (paratrooper model) and its captured Chinese copy the Type 67 also saw service with So-viet Spetsnaz.

The grenade load for any of the RPGs was 5-10 grenades, and was carried by the grenadier, his second and rest of the group in standard RPG carrying cases as well as attached to the packs.

Though lacking an effective range of the RPG launchers, the disposable RPG-18 and RPG-22 anti-tank self-propelled grenades were also widely utilized by the Spetsnaz in Afghanistan. Both were used for enemy transport and personnel elimination, as well as destruction of fortifications. These disposable weapons proved to be highly effective in "urban" (and I am using the word loosely) areas and in the mountains.

Light weight and ease of operation made the RPG-18 and -22 more efficient than the standard RPG-7 or -16, especially during a close contact fight.

These weapons were often in short supply, greatly to the anger of Spetsnaz contingents. the weapons I've described here weren't the only means to deliver a defeat to the Mujahedeen. Spetsnaz skillfully used antipersonnel and anti-vehicle mines. Every unit operated with air or artillery cover that could be guided on the enemy in seconds. Signal flares, smoke signals, variety of radio com equipment were all part of everyday life of the Spetsnaz soldier.

It is hard to describe all of the guns and weapons that soldiers fighting in Afghanistan came in contact with. There were numerous captured weapons. Some were of more familiar type like Soviet, Yugoslavian or Chinese origin and some more exotic like M16AI, or FAL or G3 and of course ever present Lee-Enfield rifles. Some of the captured guns even being used by the Soviet soldiers, but this is a different story for some other time.

Today my day often starts with watching the news. And I find myself staring into the TV hungrily trying to catch a glimpse of any news from Afghanistan. As if I am trying to see a part of my youth left in those mountains. And every time there is news about our men and women fighting over there I get very a familiar feeling: the feeling I had when my brother and bunch of my friends went there before me in the early 80s.

Funny how the history repeats itself, its just spinning and spinning in some kind of perverted spiral. Just like that, here we are spilling blood in the same mud or sand or rocks.

One day this war will be over. And I hope for me too
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Title Annotation:Guns of the SPETSNAZ Part V
Author:Vorobiev, Marco
Publication:Shotgun News
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Sep 20, 2011
Words:5067
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