Weapons 13/01/20 Mortar “Broom”: a Soviet superweapon Kulibina against “spooks”

the Soviet military equipment of the 60-70-ies was one of the best in the world. However, as shown by the fighting in real field conditions of Afghanistan, the existing constructive solutions proved insufficient. To defeat the Mujahideen who took refuge in the mountains, Soviet soldiers had to invent a completely unique means.

“Broom” Broom

a Native of Minsk Alexander Broom since 1987, has served in the 56th guards separate air assault brigade. This division guarded the road Kabul – Gardez in Paktia province. Enemy “shuravi” in these areas was the field commander of the Haqqani Jalaluddin, uvarovskiy the Pashtun population as a scholar of Islam (later he was Governor of Paktia province).

Spooks usually buried in shelters, where the firing on the Soviet cars. Especially often Russian shelling near the riverbed of a dried up river, where the rebels were hiding. Several bursts of gunfire and volleys on the next column of Soviet and Afghan militants in a hurry to escape, running up the secret path. The persecution of Mujahideen was usually fruitless. Another favorite tactic of the fighters of Haqqani was to sit down somewhere on the rocks. Against such an enemy is better suited mounted fire. But while the Soviet mortar is placed a stationary firing point, spooks was already time to leave. But if the mortar position was prepared in advance – it could be destroyed by lurking in ambush by Afghans even before the passage of the column. “Grady” was ineffective, as their shells simply whistled over the heads of the Mujahideen, not harm them.

As he wrote Gennadiy Korzh in the book “the Afghan files,” the political officer Alexander Metla seen the shortcomings of military equipment in the support columns. And he invented a way out of the situation. Broom mounted on the framethe anti-aircraft installation “Shilka” 2Б9М mortar Vasilek – proven weapon, which not once rescued “shuravi” in the most severe conditions. Various modifications of military equipment by that time it was actively used by the soldiers of the “limited contingent”. Russian mortars mounted on trucks-armored vehicles MT-LB that was not originally envisaged by the designers. Alexander Broom, went even further. It is suggested to equip a mortar the body of a conventional truck “Ural”. Homemade carriage was protected by a bulletproof shield, and the body of the truck has strengthened armor. Self-propelled mortar was named in honor of the inventor – “Broom”. Its design allows to fire around the perimeter of the area.

the Storm of spooks

As recalled Alexander Metla, in the first battle with the use of self-propelled mortar paratroopers fired at the enemy more than a hundred minutes Afghans suffered heavy losses – at least 60 people were killed – and since then did not venture to appear on the site. Soviet columns could move without fear of attack. After the first installation the team has mounted several similar mortars. Design appreciated even General Boris Gromov, commander 40th army.

Subsequently, the inventor has created a more powerful version of your weapon, called “Broom-2”. He was shot not by mines and aircraft missiles. The installation was placed on the tower of the armored reconnaissance and patrol cars, put everything on the same body of “Ural”. The shock suffered by the Mujahideen, probably comparable to the experiences of the Germans, for the first time confronted with “Katyusha”. It is not surprising that the Afghans had been anxious to destroy the “Broom-2”.

More to prove themselves “Afghan Kulibin” did not, as the war was coming to an end. In the spring of 1988, Gorbachev and Najibullah agreed to a gradual withdrawal of the Soviet troops, which was confirmed by the agreements signed in Geneva. In may 1988, the Russians began to leave. Alexander Broom lingered in the “hot spot” until July. He was wounded twice, and once in the fight with “Broom”. Then Board the “Ural” got a grenade thrown by 12-year-old Afghan. For his achievements the inventor of the self-propelled mortar was awarded the order of red Star and medal. Note that in the 90 years, the veterans of Afghanistan used a setup similar to “Broom”, in local conflicts on the territory of the former USSR, for example, in Transnistria.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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