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Weapons 12/02/20 Work with “paddle”: life hacking snipers on the Soviet Afghan war

unlike the famous sniper of the great Patriotic war, about their colleagues who fought in Afghanistan, remember infrequently. Here was not such a big personal “accounts”, but snipers are able to quickly detect and accurately to hit lurking enemies, were mandatory participants of operations against the Mujahideen.

the Confrontation rifles

At the time of entry of a Limited contingent in Afghanistan at the disposal of the Soviet Army had much better weapons than a Mosin rifle. In 1963 the arms were adopted Dragunov sniper rifle equipped with a 4x optical sight PSO-1, which the soldiers called “paddle”. And in 1967 appeared the sniper cartridge 7N1, provides the best accuracy. By the way, that in Afghanistan was a record firing range of the SVD. According to several sources, in 1985 the sniper Vladimir Ilyin struck the leader of the Mujahideen at a distance of 1350 metres. It happened in Pangshura gorge, where Sergeant Ilyin served in the 345 guards airborne regiment.

as for enemy snipers, they are mainly kept in the hands of the legendary “Borax” – the British Lee Enfield rifle model 1895. Contrary to popular belief, to penetrate the armor of Soviet armored vehicles of the rifle, of course, could not. However, even with such imperfect weapons snipers-the Mujahideen have become a constant “headache” for troops of the 40th army. It is noteworthy that this danger, the Soviet high command initially didn’t see coming.

“At Bagram away sniper shot major our land. In parts of the biggest losses from snipers. And we brought a sniper rifle. Will fight”, – wrote in his diary on 31 January 1980 the Soviet military adviser in the DRA Valery Ablazov.

Trethe feasting admiring eyes on them to the candidates at the snipers were specific: one hundred percent vision, and, oddly enough, calm, melancholic character.

Snipers in the war on “spirits”

In the memoirs of veterans of the Afghan war often mentions that the snipers were covering the other soldiers while conducting operations in the villages. Mandatory be included in the composition of special forces units of 8-10 people.

In Afghanistan, apparently, almost no classical single sniper duels, known as the Second world war. In the power of a good knowledge of the terrain conditions the Afghans with the “Boers” were difficult targets. They often hid in caves, and on the hillside wrapped in burlap “spirit” was hard to distinguish from stone.

“Maybe he sits close to, and hell will see it, and if you imagine that he is not alone? To remove this sniper can only by accident, when the hammering of the machine where they were, raking the mountains around yourself,” said the veteran of Afghanistan Vitaly Krivenko.

in addition, in Afghanistan there was no traditional front line, and the first shots usually do not the Soviet and enemy snipers, for example, during the attacks on the columns. In the fight snipers often do not track each other, and shoot all available targets.

life hacks snipers-“Afghans”

the Specific site conditions and lack of training caused many of the Soviet snipers, literally, in practice, to develop their own ways of dealing with spooks. Corporal reserve Alex Potter told me about the tactics of his colleague sniper Vladimir Tine

“he’s had a lot of unexpected techniques, allows you to outwit the enemy, trap him, in time to take on the fly. When presented the opportunity, Vladimir “hunt” with someone in a pair: the observed and corrected fire, and he was the fire.”

In the art of disguise “shuravi” is not inferior to the Afghans. Soviet snipers used clothes, sewn from canvas bags and scrap materials. Noticing inCalista landscape of a pile of rubble, the sniper and the observer took refuge there, were laid over with stones and merging with the terrain. After each shot it was necessary to change the situation. When shooting in addition to the amendments to the wind had to take into account even such details as the degree of programisti air on the top or slope.

to improve the accuracy of hitting the target, the arrow tried not to breathe, choosing, when you press the trigger between heartbeats. Even little things affect the swing of the barrel.

a Very serious problem was the lack of reflective bits on sight. The glare from the lens could give away a sniper position for a couple of kilometers. To solve this problem, the snipers burned rubber and framed under glass black smoke to soot him.

an Important role in accurate shot played not only the rifle, but the cartridge, which it was equipped. Experienced shooters conducted “inspection” of ammunition in several stages: first, check that the muzzle of a cartridge case tight around the bullet. Then rolled the cartridges on a flat sloping surface of the shell should be perfectly round and easy to roll. Professionals not only watched her sinking, but was listening to it while not “pounding”.

ammunition is related to another trick: the SVD was a repeating rifle, and the supply of ammunition from the store, it could be damaged. So when it was necessary to make only one, but very accurate shot, the rifle is charged by pulling the bolt and putting a cartridge directly into the chamber.

But what difficulties arose with the determination to kill the person whose eyes the sniper saw the sights. As recognized by the soldiers-internationalists, it was enough to remember those killed and brutally tortured by spooks friends.

A practical experience of handling with a sniper rifle Dragunov in Afghanistan was included in the textbook “Training snipers”, published in 1987.

fallen heroes

there are several instances of the heroic death of soldiers, snipers on specialinasti. In 1997, the title of Hero of Russia was posthumously awarded Muhidin Hajiyev, sniper 7th infantry company “Abadabadango battalion.” He died may 16, 1983 in the gorge Ganjgal Kunar province, blew himself up with a grenade in the crowd of enemies.

Don came back from Afghanistan and sniper 154 separate brigade of special purpose GRU Alexander Mokrov, multiple party battles with the rebels. In Nangarhar province in March 1984, he distinguished himself by killing an enemy with an accurate shot rocket launcher. The reward is a Red Star – was discharged Mokrov posthumously. Marksman drowned in those days rollover BMP in the Kabul river.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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