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Soviet Afghanistan War Tactics
Soviet Afghanistan War
Red Army Afghanistan Ops
© 2009
272 pages; 15 chapters and 1 appendix
Soviet Afghanistan War is one of the best books available concerning Red
Army operations in Afghanistan
during the 1980s. The book discusses, in
great detail, the
mission and procedures of Red Army tactical level
units and weapons
. Soviet small unit tactics including ambushes and
raids are included along with many maps, charts, and actual combat
examples. There is also an accurate and comprehensive discussion of the
Soviet 40th Army Headquarters. Probably the most exciting part of the book
includes the
chapters on soviet desant forces and their tactics. The
key to
understanding the Red Army in the Afghanistan War is
comprehending its tactics
. For some reason, the Soviet 40th Army
focused on tactics
, instead of the operational art, and as a result, did not
properly pursue operations against enemy bases and lines of
communications. Thus,
in the Soviet Afghanistan War, the 40th Army
foundered on its own tactics.
Review Table of Contents
“The event occurred in Farah Province. While approaching the foot of the Lor Koh mountains, they discovered truck
tracks leading into a mountain canyon. An attempt to enter the canyon on a BMP did not succeed. During the entry into
the canyon, the BMP hit a mine. The reconnaissance company then attempted to enter the canyon on foot. They had
gone about 200 to 300 meters when one of the reconnaissance groups discovered a large cache of supplies and food on
the left side of the road. There was not a single local person anywhere near by. The company continued to move into the
canyon where it took a sharp turn to the right. As they entered the turn, a heavy machine gun opened up on the scouts.
Three scouts were wounded and sheltered behind a large boulder. Attempts to evacuate the wounded failed since the
machine gun fire covered all approaches to the boulder. Only the approach of night allowed the scouts to reach their
comrades. By then all three were dead. They recovered the dead and the reconnaissance company left the canyon and
blocked the entrance to the canyon.
By the next morning, the Soviets had assembled the separate reconnaissance battalion and a motorized rifle battalion
outside the canyon. They launched an attempt to take the canyon by advancing along the roads. However, the subunit
troops were only able to reach the bend in the canyon. They were stopped by the fire from the machine gun, which was
protected by a stone trench. Oddly, this attack was attempted without artillery support and the
Soviets made no attempt
to use maneuver and to cover the advance with fire.”
Excerpt from Soviet Afghanistan War
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