Heroes 08/12/19 As Alexander Lebed fought in Afghanistan
the famous Alexander Lebed? Prominent politician of the 90s- popular, charismatic and the opposition. During his government career he had visited the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and the Governor, and also to take third place in the presidential election. Party putsch, first surrounded the White house, and then sided with Boris Yeltsin and defending it. General, directly influenced the settlement of the armed conflict in Transnistria.
All these chapters from the life of Alexander Lebed are well known, detailed written about them in his biography. Much less is said about another stage — the war in Afghanistan. But part of it may become a stepping stone with which the General began his journey to the elite.
At the right time in the right place
1981, the war in Afghanistan has been going for two years. At this time, captain Swan released another, the second company of cadets of the Ryazan higher airborne command school. The new appointment he has received: a proper office upstairs were not, and always be responsible for the company did not want military officer during the training several times, wrote a report on the transfer to the new location.
In the end, the 31-year-old Swan was in limbo was out of state, almost as the unemployed, although regularly every day he went into the service. For him, it was a very unpleasant experience. “The feeling is that you’re eager, eager, was necessary and useful, you could someone’s fate and then…” — he wrote years later in his book “the Power of shame…”.
In November, the patience is still promising, but not such a young officer burst. After another inconclusive conversation with the personnel officer of the school captain himself called his superiors and accidentally hit napravlena on Afghanistan, Colonel Kamolov. He with ease encouraged him to go “combatom to the South,” Swan more easily agreed, without even asking where it is sent.
two hours later, he was already in the draft order for the appointment of the commander of the 1st battalion of the 345-th separate parachute regiment. Later it turns out that to Swan for this position was represented by three people, but they all refused. HR officers need to urgently close the position, and the Swan with his zeal and experience proved to be very helpful.
on the 9th of November, the captain departed to Fergana, where was stationed a part of the 345-th regiment. Then his path lay in Bagram, to a new place of service.
the First difficulty
In his memoirs, Swan confesses that he was determined, on arriving in Afghanistan. But all the plans when it came to the reception battalion, “collapsed like a house of cards”. Difficulties were several. First, the unit was scattered around the perimeter of the Bagram airfield for as much as 18 kilometers. Many men just didn’t know each other, and therefore of no military unity was not the question. Second, after the “intellectual” relationship with students to build a dialogue with local soldiers, sometimes “banditisme”, was not easy. Finally, it was not necessary even to speak about any arrangement of people living in the trenches, slightly covered with earth, ate not understand anything, but still suffered from lice.
“I took the first thing to solve these issues, as if the soldier lives in an intelligible way, and the service is human, but if like a pig…” said Swan. But it was slow going due to lack of funding.
fortunately, after some time entrusted to the captain of the division was ordered to transfer its position to the special security battalion. A little later, Lebed was ordered to prepare his battalion for combat actions.
“for the First time since the entry of the battalion in Afghanistan, I assembled it and here it begins!” — he recalled. Bullying, lack of discipline and physical fitness — less, we have had to fight the captain. Everything else he needed to break spontaneously formed among the soldiers against him as a demagogue and even CIT.
However, it was found that resolved the problem just. One day, unable to bear the arrogance of one of the “innovators” as Swan called the most brash fighters, the officer’s outfit in the jaw, however, and his associates. The method was effective – fighting among staff stopped.
“the Whole evening after that conversation I felt guilty. All my life I rejected the scuffle as a way of raising… and suddenly my long-standing theory so ugly meets the practice — surprised Swan. — Psychological atmosphere in the battalion suddenly changed. The battalion was recognized as only a normal, and was advised strictly to obey and not to offend”.
Immediately after this the captain reported to the regiment commander, the readiness to commence combat nailing. It took 10 days.
Through sweat and tears
These a week and a half may have been the most difficult for soldiers during the service. The rise of the alarm at 4 am, a five-kilometer March, shooting, digging trenches. Returned to the base closer to midnight, but Swan was not allowed to go to sleep until it is fueled and serviced equipment. With it personnel usually ruled by three hours and a half. And the next day all over again.
of Course, physically it was hard. But it is extremely effective from the point of view of implementation of future combat missions: without exception, all the soldiers have gained or regained lost skills of handling equipment and weapons, and the team as a whole has become a single entity. Together to overcome the difficulties tempered and brought together all the platoons and companies, forced them to friends.
“my Transition and restructuring from command of the cadets to the command of combat troops was quite difficult. But at the end of December, the battalion conducted the first combat operation to search villages, although low-scoring is from lack of experience,” summed up 1981 informed the battalion commander.
the scale of the ruble
Time to lose, of course, had no experience was to gain in battle. And began with large-scale operations in the Bagram valley in which the 345-th separate parachute regiment was given the role one of the main strike force. He had to scour an area of over 200 square kilometers and located there to eliminate the spooks. It looked like this: some district ocasla by Soviet troops; next was a chain of Afghan government troops, who examined all the villages; followed by a second chain was ours. However, as he wrote Swan, the scope of the operation “Ring” was denominated, the result turned out a penny.
From the Bagram valley, the battalion returned unsatisfied. But time and emotions were not: almost immediately the unit began to conduct small-scale, lasting up to two days of tactical operations.
“it was a Tedious business. I flew in the Bagram valley, as plywood over Paris. Most of the operations were unsuccessful,” said Swan. Fighters everywhere met mines and ambushes, but even so the service was monotonous. True, the streets were empty: after returning to the regiment, the battalion was always waiting for a new task.
it was January and most of February. From 25 February, the regiment participated in Nicrbsi operation, during which the 1st battalion 345-took, perhaps, one of the most difficult battles of all time. He was tasked to clear the spooks of 19.5 kilometer Negribkova of the gorge is flat, long, sometimes impassable. The soldiers headed Swan had repeatedly engage in battle with an invisible enemy, survive a Blizzard, to hold the night under fire with a dead radio. Although all ended well, without the dead.
the General was the commander of a rule — keep records of the losses in the battalion. “With a clear conscience I can say that I did everything I could to save people,” he said. The loss, of course, was, but they were smaller than could be.
a service was going on. PRdoskocil March. The commander and his battalion were given as quiet days, mainly due to the bad weather and curious.
“Who is destined to be hanged, he did not sink”
In early April, a Swan with his men went to another operation, it was necessary to disperse the “spirits” in the area, located three kilometers from the permanent deployment of the regiment. It was planned to spend it quietly on foot. The captain was instructed to prepare a reinforced company of “armor” and to ensure the withdrawal of troops.
it turned out that Lebed and his soldiers to join the battle, still had the group went to the location of the enemy, was ambushed. However, came to the rescue to help the military servicemen arrived to the moment when the battle is almost over: the roar of the engines of the BTR pragmatic spooked the spooks. This adventure could have ended: as the firing stopped, we need to think how to transport the injured to the hospital, but at the moment when the column began to unfold, one of the vehicles caught outside of the caterpillar’s face.
Swan was standing ten meters from the explosion. “Found himself sitting on a dirty field with a strong pain in both legs below the knee. The tops of the boots were in deep Metin from clods of clay. I automatically held him on the hands, looking for holes from shrapnel. But… the holes weren’t”, — the battalion commander described his feelings. Except for the rink and caterpillars from the APC, without loss.
But by evening the pain nadkostnitsej the captain intensified, was unbearable. She is not helped nor ointment, nor the help of local doctors. Not saved and the doctors at the hospital. “I continued to perform a duty, went that is called, on teeth, with relief restorative that they can find, shoes until it stops — nothing helped”, — complained the officer.
Then there was vacation, Fergana and Ryazan hospitals where nothing could be done. Just figuring that the problem in the lymphadenitis. From him unexpectedly helped a bucket of boiling water aloe, which Swan did his mother. For three days, “procedures” — poacherednogo dipping the feet in a container — the pain was gone and did not return.
return to the “madhouse”
In Afghanistan, Lebed returned in mid-may. And then it turned out that the 1st battalion of 345-th separate parachute regiment “broke”: “one company, headed by the Deputy commander of the battalion was in the Anab and was the reserve of the commander of the regiment; the other, under the leadership of chief of staff, following an order of extension of protection zone airfield was defended by a strong point under Mechadrake. Another company without platoon was assigned to the third battalion.”
Swan was at a loss. Where to go, couldn’t answer even the Deputy regiment commander for the rear. The answer was only the commander of the regiment, who was appointed captain as his Deputy. Is a position left for him, and once to Bagram from Anawi returned two of his company.
This period Swan unashamedly calls a madhouse. “During the three weeks that I was acting Deputy, I was mentally tired. People in the regiment remained too little, and introductory fell like a horn of plenty,” — he complained. One of them came from the top – it was necessary to conduct a series of ostentatious occupations to increase training of subordinates. And in the end the combat is mired “in the classroom”. In the confusion, June 13, he was prematurely promoted to the rank of major.
Then, in the second half of June, the officer had, by his own admission, a few insignificant as the results of and loss operations. And already on 10 July the Swan went home in the status of “academician”. He entered the Military Academy named M. V. Frunze, a statement that is filed before the shipment to Afghanistan of the personnel officer, who was glad that was attached to a colleague.
Ahead he had another 20 years full of promise and hope.
© Russian Seven
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