The death of 9-th company: what was it like in the movies

Heroes 14/02/20 public domainГибель 9th company: what was it like in the movies

the history of the defense strategic heights near the Afghan city of Khost in 1988 he acquired a set of myths after famous movies Fyodor Bondarchuk’s “9 Rota”. Fiction is distorted including the losses among the personnel of the Soviet fighters.

Key height

By the end of 1987, virtually the whole of Afghanistan was under the control of government forces and Soviet troops. Only in Paktia province, the Afghan army blocked by rebels in the town of Khost, lost control over the territory adjacent to the Pakistani border. Opposition groups, encouraged by foreign advisers, has decided to completely reject from Afghanistan captured the area.

the Soviet high command, had the opportunity to provide driven into the trap the government forces only in the air, decided to carry out an operation to release the Host and to regain control over the road connecting this city with the capital of Paktia province – Gardez. The operation under code name “Highway”, which began on 23 November 1987, was involved in the 1st and 3rd parachute battalions 345-th guards separate parachute regiment.

One of the main objectives was the acquisition of five strategically important heights in a remote mountain “Suleymanov mountains”, which controlled the road, the Khost-Gardez. For these purposes, from the 3rd battalion were allocated to the 8th and 9th company. The most fierce battles had to fight for hill 3234, with which the road was visible for a few tens of kilometers.

the Assault began on the morning of 27 December. He was a reconnaissance platoon of the 3rd battalion with supporting fire from the 9th company. Soviet paratroopers were able to knock out desperately shooting-back the enemy from their positions only late in the evening after powerful artillery fire. At the height had made the necessary ENblack work, which allowed to equip the fortifications and emplacements on the approaches to the summit from the South side were installed minefield. To protect the height of the command left only 39 fighters of the 9th company under the command of Lieutenant Victor Gagarin.

Endless battle

the Mujahideen attempted to regain lost ground in 10 days – January 7, 1988. It all started around 3 p.m. with a half-hour artillery bombardment. And then the Marines attacked, according to various estimates, from 200 to 400 rebels, among whom were mercenaries.

There is information that the storming of the height 3234 participated fighters of special forces “black storks”, which along with Afghans included and well-trained mercenaries from other Arab countries. It is believed that one of the leaders of this operation was the then young Saud, Osama bin Laden.

According to the military historian and veteran of the Afghan Victor Dobroselskaya, gunmen fired on a vast territory occupied by Soviet troops, but it was at the height of 3234 was conducted really a massive fire. In the first minutes of the bombardment had killed the radioman, Andrey Fedotov, after which the platoon lost contact with the command.

after Completing the attack, the Mujahideen have got to the top, skillfully hiding behind the terraced ledges. The first attack was repulsed. The paratroopers had only one wounded, the rebels lost up to 40 people. In the next sortie of the rebels managed to destroy one of the machine-gun points. Heroically behaved the commander of the calculation Vyacheslav Aleksandrov, who realizing that their position is sooner or later destroyed, sent two comrades to the main force, and he kept firing to the last. The Sergeant and his gun was riddled with grenade shrapnel.

Mujahideen Attack was repeated every hour: each was fiercer previous, each time the fighters closer and closer crept to the paratroopers. From distant positions along the top hitting artillery with near shot anti-tank grenade launchers.

At 3 a.m. was taken 12th and how was a final assault on the height 3234. The position of our fighters was critical. The Mujahideen came very close in some places the warring parties separated more than 15 metres. The defenders forces were running out, were running out of ammunition. Survivors were ready to call the fire itself.

As he told the Sergeant, defending the height of a platoon of S. Y. Borisov (his words are quoted Yury Lapshin in the book “Afghan diary”), they fired on the “spirits” almost in focus, but two thick trees could not fully cover their positions. As soon as the Mujahideen crept up to a distance of 6-7 meters, they began to throw the Marines with grenades. “There were many wounded, they were, and we could do nothing to help them. We had four,” said Borisov.

it Seemed, for another 10 minutes and the height will be occupied by militants. But this time the defenders broke a unit of 12 men under the command of senior Lieutenant Alexei Smirnov, which not only resisted the attack, but also delivered ammunition. The three-kilometer March-throw has managed our soldiers only because of the dark. Soon reinforcements arrived two more groups of reserve with additional rounds of ammunition. Only in the morning I managed to pay off the attacking intent of the militants.

Counterattack the paratroopers finally decided the outcome of this sverhzaryadnogo fight. The Mujahideen, assessing their strength, have left no further attempts to storm the heights. Picking up the dead and wounded, they retreated. After the fight there was a rumor that the leaders of the militants who stormed the height, for an unsatisfactory result were executed. Soviet soldiers guarded the approaches to the height of 3234 for another 20 days.

life is not like in the movies

unfortunately, many on the battle for hill 3234 judge the film by Fyodor Bondarchuk “9 Rota” (2005). The plot of the film, a group of Marines tasked to defend the height, and not waiting for reinforcements dies almost completely with the exception of one soldier. In fact, as we know it is the help allowed to defend the frontier and save.and a lot of lives.

Today it is well established that of the 39 paratroopers of the 9th company at height 3234, 6 people died, 28 were injured, 9 of them severe (the loss of the Mujahideen is not known). Fully operational until the arrival of reinforcements had only five fighters. Two soldiers, Junior Sergeant Vyacheslav Alexandrov and ordinary Andrey Melnikov, was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

the film was made and other distortions. Events there happen in January 1989, on the eve of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, whereas as in fact it happened in January 1988. The battle in the film ends in the evening and lasts deep into the night. The latter was due to the complexity of filming of the fighting at night.

At the end of the film the surviving soldier utters the following sentence: “We didn’t know that in the fluster of the great army leaving they simply forgot us this far, nobody wants the hill”. In fact, it occurs at an altitude of 3234 from the first to the last minute controlled OKSV command, headed by Lieutenant-General Boris Gromov.

the Veterans of the 9th company also do not agree with the fact that in the movie, the Mujahideen caught rapidly celebrated the New Year Marines by surprise. “Afghans” note that, then, was not drunk, as in those conditions addiction to alcohol could cost the marine life.

But overall, the film “9th Rota” our “Afghans” like. They admit that once again plunged into the atmosphere of military camaraderie that is sometimes lacking in civilian life. The commander of the 9th company of Colonel Alim Mahotsav that in January 1988 he was on vacation, said that a movie must for the younger generation.

the Fate of the appearance of the film very interesting. Tell you what initiated the shooting of the picture about the heroism of the paratroopers was Igor Kardapolov who served in the 9th company (he now works at one of the security firms in Naberezhnye Chelny). He applied this idea to several Regisseram and only Fedor Bondarchuk interested in the proposal of “Afghan”.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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