Underground War in Afghanistan

(Writer : Подполковник запаса А.Бек.)
The magazine "Soldier of Fortune» №11 / 1997

Before my second trip to Afghanistan in 1986, "Grandfather" Starinov * [* Dr. Ilya G. old — born in 1900, a veteran of four wars, the famous spy, "grandfather" Russian special forces] showed me the Yugoslav magazine article about the war in the underground Vietnam. Immediately flashed an idea: why, something similar exists in Afghanistan! The fact is that even, perhaps, from the time of Alexander the Great Afghans digging underground tunnels, culverts, or, as they are called, kyarizes. In this hot, sun-baked country can survive only due to groundwater. And so on from generation to generation farmers are digging wells, sometimes to a depth of 50 meters, putting them among themselves by underground tunnels. Almost every village has around extensively branched network of qanats on which the life-giving moisture seeps, merging into thin rivulets here and there for hundreds of meters come to the surface to give life to the gardens and vineyards.

Before the use of explosives was supposed to roar loudly into the well to the surface requirement of everyone who's there — taking care not to shlopotat in response to machine gun fire
But kyarizes at all times and in all the wars served as a safe haven from the more powerful enemy. From the start of operations in Afghanistan Russian army also faced with the problem of "underground guerrillas." However, our engineers in response to not stand on ceremony, to the point and not to the place of using explosives and gasoline, leaving a large crater on the ground blown wells. Water, of course, ceased to come to the fields, and farmers are left without food, and of course went to the Mujahideen.
On agents' data, spooks constantly improved system of underground utilities. But at our disposal, it was not enough as-specific schemes or underground structures. In general, otherwise it could not be. After all, scattered groups of self-defense, often fighting not only with us, and among themselves, built these passages and hiding who they like and strictly kept them secret from opponents and from "friends."
My job in Afghanistan was to create a school for the preparation of special units of the Ministry of State Security of the DRA. The school was located in the area of operational regiment of the 5th control MGB DRA in Paghman province, 14 kilometers north-west of Kabul. A large apple orchard, where we settled, was riddled with a network of unexplored karizes. This led me to the idea to include in the curriculum of Afghan special forces theme "underground war."

So looks schematically organization "stereo effect." The main charge is on the days of the well, the locking hanging in the mine. Place between them in the explosion is in the zone of excess pressure fatal. The explosion of TNT on the day or simply the well itself does not effect it has: the blast wave just goes up
In the first set, we had only 28 students. They are all — the brave warriors of the Mujahideen, with the experience of fighting from 2-to-6 years including against Russian Army. One of my students even took a six-month training course in Pakistan under the control of Western instructors. But even these hardened fighters were eager to climb into the ground. I am even more so, because the forest any booby traps or strike a dagger from the corner afraid of snakes, scorpions and other mischief, which swarming with at least some Afghan well.
Our "lessons" consisted of a 2-parts: a short theoretical training and field training with the introduction of agents.
In the field we started with engineering approaches to exploration wells and putting up with the 2-groups cover. Before applying, students will have an explosive roar loudly into the well (with all precautions so as not to shlopotat shot from below) the requirement to the surface to anyone who is there. Then he should throw two grenades RGD-5 type — missile F-1 under the ground is not as effective. After that was supposed to repeat the order for voluntary surrender and warned that kariz at this point would be undermined.
The depth of the well was determined by the sound of falling or thrown a stone, or with the solar "Bunny", directed downwards mirror. If detected neprosmatrivaemye zone on the rope of a suitable length threw the grenade. And only then lowered to the detonating cord explosive charge.

"Quadraphonic effect" of 4 charges in the base of its own is no different from the "Stereophonic", but it works better in the case of an extensive system of underground drainage galleries subject to the availability of the second prolazit or well
As the charge is usually used in the abundance of the available trophies Italian anti-vehicle mines types of TS-2, TS-5 or 6, 1. As the mine reached the bottom, on the other segment of the detonating cord length of 3-4 meters dipped second charge weighing 800 grams. Both are connected together at the top of the cord, and it was attached to the fuse UZRGM from ordinary hand grenade. To this building is not the case fell through in well, it simply pressed down stone or cling to the peg hammered.
Coached the calculation of 2 persons for preparation of undermining the 20-meter pit took about 3 minutes. After that, it was pretty ring pull and release the clamp grenade fuse — and four seconds later an explosion was heard. Demoman, which was quite a jump from the charge of 5-6 meters and only had to dodge facing stones, both from the volcano emitted from the well.

The simpler, the better. Ordinary fuse from a hand grenade, mounted in such a Makarov worked reliably and precisely electronic fuses and other refinements
The trick to undermine such a method was the fact that the top charge exploded on the second bit of the lower and earlier tightly clog the gas well. Behind him explode lower charge. His shock wave reflected from the upper clouds of gas, rushed back downstairs and into the side passages and tunnels. Place between with 2 charge is in the area of the deadly excess pressure: this technique we called the "stereo effect".
At one point, we almost have experienced for themselves the impact of such "Stereophonic" when at school blowing a 10-ke meters from the blast knocked us and issued a traffic jam in a disguised prolazit kariz. We were not bad, if I plug it was beneath us! In prolazit discover and undermine the well
descends already two exactly the same twin bombs — all four charges. We connect on top detonating cord and undermine again a grenade fuse. The effect is magnificent — he immediately gets the name "kvadrofonii."
Then, in each well of a smoke bomb flies. They are not poisonous and are only necessary in order to find the moment when it's time to drop the hunt group. Ventilation in the karizes excellent, and as only smoke is that the rest of the warmer the air, it becomes a signal across the bottom that it is already possible to breathe without a respirator.

Bomb ring pulls and releases the bracket grenade fuse — and four seconds from the ground there was an explosion. It only remains to dodge the stones flying out of the well, as from a volcano
Descend into the kariz of three or four. Two are for the exploration front, one or two of the likely impact of the cover in the back. By the foot of the first scout tied longish strong rope for pulling out of the trophy or the spy, if it suddenly hurt or destroy. Armed with a search party knife, blades, hand grenades, pistols and machine guns. By tsevyu machine primatyvali flashlight. Munitions — with tracer bullets. In addition, we were the first to use in confined spaces and underground mines signal. They could throw a hand grenade, simply pulling the pin. But a cool effect is achieved when the alarm mines tied 3-6 in one bundle, and later "fired" from them, holding in his hand in front of him. Catchy sheaf of fire, strshny howl for 9 seconds, and then another nine seconds — the fountain of "tracers", hovering at 15-20 meters and randomly bouncing off the walls. I can not think of options to a "mental weapon" kept even trained fighters. Usually, all toppled face down and covered his head with hands unconsciously, though "tracers" unsafe, unless entering the eye or the collar.
My first group of students of the school had special forces soon enough in practice to apply the acquired knowledge. It so happened that the Russian convoy of cars, vozivshih gravel for construction, late in the evening landed in an ambush in the center of the province of Paghman. 19 unarmed fighter and one warrant officer, who had by himself for only a gun with 2 cages, were missing. At night the paratroopers of the 103rd Division, planted with a helicopter on top of the mountains and blocked the area. Afternoon began an operation to sweep the countryside. The commander of the 40th Army, said: "Who would find them alive or dead — will receive a hero!"
Scenting prey, quickly dashed off to search for their own bronehodah Russian spetsnaz, before the three day or dormant in our garden. But buried corpses were tortured to death by soldiers a few hours later found a "green", in other words Afghans operative regiment MGB DRA.
Themselves as mujahideen through the land failed. Received a team to blow kyarizes. Afghan Advisor shelf Stae raised "in the gun" of my students. They took to the operation almost all the "tutorials" which existed in the school. Half an hour later Pagmane explosions thundered. Sappers CA acted on their own circuit, laying down wells TNT crates. My students — because we did the other day.
On agents' data and surveys of local residents, almost a month later, clearing the kyarizes, more than 250 Mujahideen found a ruin under the ground during that operation in Paghman.


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