Kunar battalion (# of military unit 93992) of the 66th separate infantry brigade of Dzhelalabad division moved to Novobad bridge across Kunar river on 15th May of 1983.
The task: companies # 8 and 9 were supposed to occupy commanding heights and blockade Nova ravine, the 7th company blockades Gandzhgal and Borugey ravines, where a special group of mine-layers would be installing sensors LRealiyaі. A battalion of Ltsarandoyі (Afghan forces) was given to Soviet units under indispensable condition that Afghan groups would be moving in advance of Soviet soldiers.
Immediately after passage across the river Afghan soldiers refused to move forward and politic officer of Soviet battalion made a decision to move ahead of them. Soldiers of both Soviet and Afghan battalions mixed and some Soviet-Afghan groups were organised. In particular, seven Ltsarandoyі soldiers Lmergedі with the 2nd platoon of the 7th company (the head of platoon lieutenant Demtchenko), which was leaded, in fact, by the political officer lieutenant S. Amosov, who was taking care of recently arrived lieutenant Demtchenko.
The 7th company was supposed to break up on platoons and to be located on three knolls - 1st platoon on the right side, the 3rd, leaded by the commander of the company - captain A., in the heart of the ravine, the 2nd platoon on the left wing, the closest position to the Pakistan border, which was just three kilometres away.
Towards the dawn of the 16th of May units had to take starting positions. But some of them - while approaching the prospective positions, were fired upon by the rebellions (Afghan partisans sometimes were called rebellions as their movement was against the Afghan revolution), who occupied the knolls already. So we had to talk about information leak via Afghan officers again (which was the source, among the number of such tragedies, of destruction of Soviet soldiers in Maravar ravine two years later).
In this particular case two platoons of the 9th company and the group of the commander of the 7th company, based on his words, which was leaded by him on the top of Lhisі knoll were fired upon and had urgently to look for new positions. The company commander had to withdraw to kishlak. Practically all other eyewitnesses stated that company commander did it leaded by selfish ends, hoping to get something there. One way or another, having pulled the 3rd platoon in kishlak, the commander of company allowed suddenly appeared enemies to block him and begin an unplanned combat.
The commander of the battalion, mayor CZ., having no full information about the real situation and receiving a radio message from the commander of the 7th company describing the situation, amassed all available artillery and helicopters fire on the kishlak and its approaches.
Meanwhile almost all groups of other companies of the battalion had fire contact with enemies, located on dominated hills. The Soviet-Afghan group of lieutenant S. Amosov, which was combating already and reporting about destruction of 20 Ldukhsі asked for help, having heard about situation began to help the group of company commander. Let-s remind, the Amosov-s group had taken the left wing position and controlled the way in Gandzhgal ravine to the Pakistan border. At the same time the 1st platoon of lieutenant R., having left his positions on the right wing, began to come down to the kishlak, preventing the Ldukhs-і attempts to surround the blocked platoon simultaneously missing Amosov-s hill and its approaches from range of vision.
In an hour Amosov-s group was attacked by huge - up to 200 rebellions - modzhakhed-s forces. At the first minutes of the combat the radio was destroyed by bullets. The platoon lost the possibility to report about the situation and ask for help. The picture of the began combat could be seen by the 1st platoon but as we know it had moved from its position downhill. The armoured group of the 7th company, which was supposed to cover Amosov-s group from the rear, moved to kishlak too. All attention was amassed on company commander-s group. At the same time soldiers of the 9th company were killing, left without a cover of artillery and helicopters, as well as people of Amosov-s group.
Having seen impossibility to stay on exposed, from all sides, to enemies fire hill, Amosov and Demchenko decided to come downhill leading the wounded soldiers to the ravine, besides, towards that time company commander group was released from kishlak and was withdrawing, together with the 1st platoon, to its regular position.
Three our soldiers and two Ltsarandoysі stayed on the top of the hill in order to cover withdrawing group. They repulsed the first attack and got few minutes of respite. That time wasn-t even enough to bandage wounds (their comrades found later dressing packets near their, mutilated by bullets and stones, bodies). The second attack began and all of them were killed. At the same time the group of Pakistan special forces about one hundred in number, outflanked the knoll on the left side and moved along the dry river-bed hiding on the terrace at hill-s foot. It was enough for them to spend only one hour for the march from their training centre, located near the border, to Gandzhgal.
Amosov and his people were withdrawing in line. They didn-t have time to come even to the middle of the hill when were exposed to fire from above by Ldukhsі who demolished the covering group. They managed to move for another ten metres but were doomed to. Having let Russian group to approach at distance of 50 metres, Pakistan soldiers rose above their shelters and fired to our group. Everything was over for half a minute. They approached to our soldiers, finished wounded ones, took weapon, ammunition, took their shoes off and taking off the uniform from Ltsarandoyі left the place.
All that happened in range of vision of armoured group, located still near the kishlak. They even tried to fire with automatic grenade launchers, but the distance was too far. The surrounding and liquidation of Soviet- Afghan group was done very fast and clear that proves the presence of Pakistan special forces group LBlack storkі. Our groups met them even in Pandzhsher, place pretty far away of Pakistan border. Many rifles shells with Pakistan marks were found on the place of combat as well as uniform beret of LBlack storksі
Only one sergeant, from the 2nd platoon of the 7th company, survived, wounded in the very beginning of the combat and put behind stones by his comrades where he was lying for few hours. When our groups approached the place of combat they found lieutenant Amosov in small stria with a machine gun in his hands. His body was riddled with bullets. Dead lieutenant Demtchenko and some soldiers had grenades in their hands. Considering the position of private Gadzhiev they found out he-d blown up a grenade under himself.
Having considering the reasons of the tragedy few versions of what happened were issued. Those versions defamed memory of killed warriors. By that commanders of the battalion and the 7th company just underlined their unscrupulous methods. But all killed warriors, who took the general thrust, aimed to a battalion, still are heroes, in memory of their comrades.
We didn't set ourselves as an object consideration of the reasons of the tragedy and all its details. We just want you to know about that heroic episode of Afghan war. And we remember names of lost Soviet warriors.
Печатный альманах "Искусство Войны" принимает подписку на 2009-й год.
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