Why the Libyan soldiers didn't respect Soviet military advisers

History 29/01/20 Why the Libyan soldiers didn’t respect Soviet military advisers

According to the cited Russian Internet edition Gazeta.ru (it is, in turn, refers to the veteran organizations of the Ministry of defense), since the early 70-ies of XX century before disintegration of the USSR in the service mission in Libya had approximately 11 thousand Soviet soldiers, 22 of them died.

the Organization of military Affairs in the army of Muammar Gaddafi, in terms of combat training has often caused confusion on the part of the seconded Union officers. But the Libyan commanders prefer to ignore.

“I bought for you”

a Former military translator Popenkov Oleg in an interview with “Krasnaya Zvezda” said that the soldiers of the Libyan army was initially attributed to the military advisers from the Soviet Union as a “purchased service” – this attitude was promoted by the leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi, publicly declared: they say, before we, the Libyans were dependent on foreign experts, and today “I bought for you”. Soviet specialists immediately created the office of the chief military adviser for the organization and coordination of military assistance to the Libyan army. And the Libyan military leadership could not understand, why this structure is needed at all. It happened that Soviet advisers in the streets of Libyan cities have been stopped and searched by the local police. According to Oleg Popenkov, it took 4 years to help establish personal contacts between representatives of the Soviet and Libyan commanders, the situation was to change.

the First head of the group of Soviet military specialists in the armed forces of Libya (1977-1979) major-General Nikolay Taranenko in an interview with “Kommersant-Vlast”, recalled that the Libyans really thought of Soviet officers an appendage to coming in their troops from the Soviet Union the latest technology (many of these types of weapons at that time not even appeared in the Soviet army) – to intervene in the training of a foreign army advisers would not allow. The publicist Larisa Kucherova in his essay “In the sky over Libya” gives the text of the cryptogram Nikolay Taranenko, the contents of which boils down to the fact that the Libyan military personnel refuse to follow the storage and maintenance of purchased Soviet military equipment, fully shifting this responsibility on the Soviet military advisers.

Valentin Heritance headed in Libya, a group of military aviation specialists. In conversation with Larissa Kucerova he cited the example of the attitude of the representatives of the Libyan lower ranks of the army to the recommendations of the Soviet advisers. One of the Libyan aircraft before a combat mission is not properly prepared ejection seat for the pilot. Soviet colleague reminded him about the error and… received from the Libyan leg in the eye, “that did not climb where do not ask.”

most of the soldiers were illiterate

According to Mykola Taranenko, 80% of the soldiers of the army of Muammar Gaddafi were literate, they were very difficult to teach not only the skills of handling weapons, but also military discipline. Major-General recalled that the Libyan officers soldiers are not prepared – it was the diocese of sergeants. And this military training was widely accompanied by the use of brute force: for the slightest fault of the soldiers were severely beaten with batons, and often shot down the line. Soviet specialists were shocked by the attitude of Libyans towards the prisoners and wounded as our own and the enemy. In captivity, they didn’t take, finishing off the captured soldiers of an enemy army. And their wounded and dead were left on the battlefield.

the authors of the book “Russia (USSR) in local wars and military conflicts of the second half of the twentieth century” (Vladimir Zolotarev, Andrey Pochtarev, Anatoly Antennae) mentions that the diverse group of Libyan soldiers were often uncontrollable in combat: soldiers showed an extremely low level of moral-psychological training – was lost, not listened to prikaz, being a prisoner of superstition, relied on “the will of Allah, who will help the faithful”. When in combat they failed, it was blamed Soviet weaponry that is allegedly “not to shoot”.

Military translator Popenkov Oleg in his documentary novel “Test Jamahiriya” wrote: he Muammar Gaddafi was prone to such superstitions. Even he had to convince of the need to better prepare their soldiers for combat. Russian military experts see the attitude of the Libyans to the assistants from the Soviet Union, contemptuously called Gaddafi a Mushroom.

…During the stay of Soviet military advisers to Libya has participated in more than 10 armed conflict with Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Tanzania, Tunisia and at the U.S.-Libyan clash in 1986 (operation “Eldorado Canyon”).

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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