OminousSpudd

The Lord of the Nords joined Oct 18, 2011

Avid supporter of a fully recovered and effective Russian Federation, professional public media shredder, aircraft enthusiast, harsh critic of today's "scientific" community or its lack thereof, and also a gaming enthusiast of sorts.

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
MAKS 2015 MAKS 2015 MAKS 2015
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest Blog: Ulus-Kert: An Airborne Company's Last Stand (excerpt)

0 comments by OminousSpudd on Aug 11th, 2015

By Sergeant Michael D. Wilmoth, US Army Reserve, and Lieutenant Colonel Peter G. Tsouras, US Army Reserve, Retired.

Day 1, 29 February 2000

Early on 29 February, a 104th GPR airborne company encountered a significant Chechen force on the road leading southeast out of Ulus-Kert. Russian paratroopers engaged the Chechen fighters for control of Hill 705.6. The Russian company, significantly stressed during the fight, gained control of the hill and pushed the Chechen force southeast into the small gorge below. The company was most likely heavily supported by artillery and helicopters, as was the usual Russian operation in this war.

The 104th GPR commander ordered 2d Airborne Battalion elements to block the saddle between hills 776 and 787, which was the next possible path over the mountains for the Chechens. The 2d Airborne Battalion headquarters was already in place on Hill 776. The 2d Airborne Battalion element was to be in place by 1400. In the early morning, 6th Company, including the third platoon, 4th Company, and two reconnaissance groups, probably from the regimental reconnaissance platoon, started on foot toward the saddle.5

6th Company, with the other elements, minus the company’s third platoon, arrived by late morning, ahead of schedule. The company commander established a linear defense in the saddle between the hills, fronted by a minefield facing west toward the gorge. The defense focused on the Chechen forces’ expected direction of escape. No access routes through the minefield were prepared nor were platoon positions sited to be mutually supportive.6 After establishing company positions, troops began their afternoon meal, leaving their positions and congregating in the open.7

The Chechen force clearly had a better grasp of the situation. The fighters had been listening to 104th GPR communications and used this advantage and good ground reconnaissance to locate 104th GPR subunits and to set ambushes. At 1230, a 6th Company reconnaissance patrol encountered approximately 20 fighters just outside company defensive positions. That the Chechens could approach that close without detection shows that the Russians had conducted no deep reconnaissance of the approaches to the saddle.

The Chechens, armed with automatic weapons, grenade launchers and mortars, reacted quickly, seizing the initiative. The small force was probably followed by a combat element, which would have been consistent with Soviet-style reconnaissance doctrine that places great value on immediately seizing the initiative in any engagement by having a strong combat element close behind the advance reconnaissance element.8 Chechen reconnaissance elements also worked their way around the Russian position in the saddle and attacked from the rear where there were no defenses.9 With Chechens in the rear and no escape routes through their own minefield, 6th Company pulled back and dug in on Hill 776. Their retreat was so precipitous that they abandoned mess kits still full of food.10

Chechen fighters, laying down constant fire on 6th Company, received reinforcements as the main body arrived. The force encircled 6th Company and sent waves of fighters into the attack.11 By the end of the first day, 6th Company had suffered 31 dead—a 33 percent killed in action (KIA) rate.12 6th Company had barely survived three basic errors: failure to establish an all-around defense; failure to aggressively conduct reconnaisance of the enemy’s expected approach route, especially given the Chechen reputation for tactical skill, reconnaisance and working around the flanks; and failure to heed warnings about the Chechen force’s approach.13

For some reason, 6th Company did not anticipate with sufficient seriousness and energy the danger it had been assigned to forestall. It seems likely that weak command at the company level was compounded by a lack of timely supervision by the adjacent battalion headquarters.

Day 2, 1 March 2000

Early in the morning on Hill 1410, a reinforcement group of two VDV SPETSNAZ platoons, one Vympel SPETSNAZ group and two airborne companies departed on foot for the saddle. The group encountered several ambushes while traversing terrain as steep as 70 degrees. At approximately 0330, one VDV SPETSNAZ platoon broke through to Hill 787 but was forced to dig in because of stiff Chechen opposition.

The 1st Company was also sent to reinforce 6th Company. While attempting to cross the Abazolgul River northeast of Ulus-Kert, the unit encountered a Chechen ambush force of up to 60 men. Despite repeated attempts to fight through the Chechen ambush, the 1st Company was forced to dig in on the river’s bank. At 0300, during a brief lull, 2d Airborne Battalion deputy commander Major Aleksandr Dostovalov, with 4th Company’s third platoon, broke through to the encircled company. While relief forces were being held back by ambushes, waves of Chechen fighters continued to assault 6th Company on Hill 776.14 When Romanov’s legs were blown off by a mortar round, the battalion commander took over.

While some reports question the lack of artillery and combat air support, others indicate that both where present throughout the four-day engagement. In his report to defense minister Igor Sergeyev, Shpak states that 2d Airborne Battalion “was supported by a self-propelled artillery battalion of the 104th Parachute Regiment and by army aviation.”15 The presence of an artillery forward team with 6th Company, which included a battery commander, indicates that artillery support was at least adequate. While Shpak’s statement and other reports make it certain that VDV artillery was employed throughout the engagement, it is unclear how effective it was at reducing Chechen numbers. Also unanswered is whether additional artillery assets were employed to support 6th Company.

Press reports also cite use of “Grads”—122-millimeter BM-21 multiple-rocket launchers that VDV units do not have.16 Accounts of other engagements in the southern mountains show that the Russians employed available artillery from a number of units in coordination with army aviation helicopters. These accounts stress that artillery continued to fire when helicopters disappeared with daylight. Only one Russian helicopter in the Chechen theater had night capability. This supports Shpak’s statement that 6th Company received no aviation support at night. Helicopter support was further limited by foggy conditions during the fighting.17

The Chechens continued heavy attacks on Hill 776 from all directions throughout the early morning. Paratrooper officers showed an unhesitating willingness to sacrifice themselves, a trait the Germans had frequently noted in the grandfathers of the men on the hill. Dostovalov, already wounded, attacked a group of Chechens trying to carry off a wounded soldier and dispatched them with a grenade. Junior soldiers were equally valiant. After Private Aleksandr Lebedev ran out of ammunition, he threw himself and his last live grenade into a group of Chechens who had wanted him to surrender.

At approximately 0500, the Chechens breached 6th Company defenses. Cumulative casualties and odds of at least 10 to one were too much for the dwindling Russian force. As Chechens overran Hill 776, fighting became hand-to-hand, and Chechens began shooting wounded Russians. The already wounded battalion commander took over the radio from the wounded Romanov and called in artillery fire on his own position, shouting into the radio, “I call artillery on myself!”18 The Chechens suffered grievously from the artillery, and at 0610, communications with the battalion commander were lost.

As the second day of fighting closed, 6th Company counted another 26 paratroopers killed and many wounded. Counting the 31 men who had fallen the day before, 6th Company had suffered a KIA rate of almost two-thirds—57 out of 90 men.19 Chechen casualties also continued to mount. Repeated human-wave attacks are costly, especially when the defenders are supported by artillery and aviation.

The Chechens had been throwing themselves at Hill 776 to keep open a path for the rest of their force. This movement was interrupted by the arrival of the relief force from Hill 1410. Major Andrey Lobanov, commanding a 45th VDV Reconnaisance Regiment SPETSNAZ group, was with this force. He noted that hundreds of pack animals had already passed by. The Russians moved into the saddle and found 6th Company’s abandoned positions and soon encountered a large Chechen group. The Russians retreated to Hill 787 from which they could cover the saddle.

The Russians intercepted the Chechen commander’s desperate orders: “Do not engage in battle. Force your way forward.”20 With the remnants of 6th Company still holding out on Hill 776 and new Russian forces on neighboring Hill 787, the Chechen escape route was dangerously constricted. The Russians sent a reconnaissance platoon into the saddle to find a better position. Instead, it found an ambush by Arab volunteers, covering an attempt by the main Chechen convoy to escape. Having suffered five wounded, the Russians committed another company, hoping to stop the Chechen escape attempt.21

Day 3, 2 March 2000

Late in the morning, the 1st Company broke through Chechen forces and reached the battle area. However, it could not relieve 6th Company, which was still under close attack. One officer and 32 men were still alive. Deputy company commander Captain Roman Sokolov had arrived in Chechnya barely 13 days before. Wounded in the hand, he organized the survivors’ final defense. He placed the six most junior soldiers in the care of Sergeant Andrey Proshev and ordered them to escape. Then, as the Chechens pressed the attack, Sokolov called artillery fire down on his position as a desperate attempt to fend off the enemy. Another 16 paratroopers on Hill 776 were killed in the continuing fighting.22

(continued here)

The Saker notes: The closer to the frontlines, the better the officers. In this case, these are VDV officers, so while this is heroic for sure, this is also “normal” in the sense of “being the norm”. And, again, all this was taking place in a completely ruined and demoralized country. Can you imagine what these guys are capable of today, when they get all the training they need, all the men they need, all the support they need and, most importantly, the complete support of the Russian society? That was just one company, 100+ men. There are now 50’000+ of them.

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Start a group Groups
2011 Mod of the Year Awards

2011 Mod of the Year Awards

Event with 142 members, must apply to join

Welcome one and all the to 10th annual Mod of the Year awards, celebrating all that is great about our beloved modding community, the developers, the...

2012 Mod of the Year Awards

2012 Mod of the Year Awards

Event with 132 members, open to all members

Welcome one and all the to 11th annual Mod of the Year awards, celebrating all that is great about our beloved modding community, the developers, the...

2013 Mod of the Year Awards

2013 Mod of the Year Awards

Event with 100 members, open to all members

Welcome to the 12th Annual Mod of the Year Awards, a celebration of the years finest mods chosen by you and us.

2014 Mod of the Year Awards

2014 Mod of the Year Awards

Event with 69 members, open to all members

Welcome to the 13th Annual Mod of the Year Awards. An epic celebration of modding for developers and players, with the years finest chosen by you and us.

Age of Fans

Age of Fans

Fans & Clans with 573 members, open to all members

For all fans of Age of Empires & Age of Mythology!

Aircraft Lovers Group

Aircraft Lovers Group

Hobbies & Interests with 1,346 members, open to all members

This group is open to everyone who likes any kind of aircraft

Artillery Lovers Group

Artillery Lovers Group

Hobbies & Interests with 421 members, open to all members

Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to...

Assassin's Guild

Assassin's Guild

Hobbies & Interests with 548 members, open to all members

This Group is dedicated to the Assassin's Creed franchise. Everything you need to know about Assassin's Creed is here, including content and news for...

Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 184)
Cookiestealer
Cookiestealer Jul 16 2015 says:

Just want to thank for that you seeking some truth, mate.

+3 votes     reply to comment
OminousSpudd Creator
OminousSpudd Jun 4 2015 says:

Oh Bellingcat, you piece of Western paid trash.

7mei.nl
Russia-insider.com

+3 votes   reply to comment
Orange_Tomato
Orange_Tomato Jun 4 2015 replied:

Lel, just came here out of intereset to see whether you would jump on to the conspiratard/RT Bellingcat hate-bandwagon.

>success.gif

P.S.: they used error level analysis just as tangential point of discussion once - Russian trolls start losing their ****

+1 vote     reply to comment
OminousSpudd Creator
OminousSpudd Jun 4 2015 replied:

Doesn't matter, NATO head of staff have quoted it as a reputable source. Bellingcat can't afford to be caught lying.

Photos of Eliot Higgins with the Atlantic Council in Kiev and you call me a conspiratard? Look at his twitter feed. Impartial citizen journalist my ***.

By the way, is that all you've got? Ad hominem? There is smoking gun proof staring you in the face that you're being lied to on an epic and widespread scale and all you can do is attack the messenger. Either get stuffed, or change your outlook on this situation.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Orange_Tomato
Orange_Tomato Jun 4 2015 replied:

>all you can do is attack the messenger.

Wow, great audacity man. Debate 101: post an article attacking the messenger, then accuse the opponent of attacking the messenger. Great, 5/5. Your sudden obsession with journalistic integrity is so incredibely laughable when all the media sources you read are paid for by an oppressive, authoritarian, warmongering and corrupt goverment that crushes "freethinkers" like you at home.

>Doesn't matter, NATO head of staff have quoted it as a reputable source. Bellingcat can't afford to be caught lying.

After all the Russian fakes he has exposed, we wouldn't be listening to the Russian goverment at all with that logic. Despite that suddenly a certain sector of the internet loses their **** and completely denounces him and all his work, despite all the other points, even in the same one article still standing.

> There is smoking gun proof staring you in the face that you're being lied to on an epic and widespread scale

You must be talking about RT and other "impartial and independent" Russian state media, that have presented 5 different versions of the MH17 tragedy, deliberately obfuscating the truth, despite knowing they did it, and using disgusting media tactics to spread their lies.

P.S. Higgins was affiliated with the Atlantic Council for a few articles, that's all. And all the other points in that clean, journalistically not smearing article ("british nerd", "unconnected loner") article are moot and worthless.

+2 votes     reply to comment
OminousSpudd Creator
OminousSpudd Jun 5 2015 replied:

Cool story bro. I think I phased out at about the second paragraph, or was it the first? Yeah, definitely the first.

1st option it is then. Top notch old chap, absolutely spiffin.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Orange_Tomato
Orange_Tomato Jun 5 2015 replied:

Ok, stay ignorant bro. Having nothing to say except repeating ****** propaganda must be hard.

#freethinker #USAISVOL #RUSSIAISCOOL

+1 vote     reply to comment
OminousSpudd Creator
OminousSpudd Jun 5 2015 replied:

...hashtags? :/

+3 votes   reply to comment
OminousSpudd Creator
OminousSpudd May 13 2015 says:

I saw this in an RT video's comment section. Usually it's just full of trolls, but this was a gem to be shared.

"The United States government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an eagle to a condom because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.
A condom stands up to inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of dicks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed."

+6 votes   reply to comment
Col_Amr
Col_Amr May 9 2015 says:

The F-16 is not what?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Level
Avatar
Avatar
Offline Since
Sep 2, 2015
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
Gender
Male
Member Watch
Track this member
Accolades
2011 Mod of the Year Awards 2012 Mod of the Year Awards 2013 Mod of the Year Awards 2014 Mod of the Year Awards Desura Developer Banter Indie DB IndieRoyale Mod DB
Statistics
Activity Points
5,914
Rank
146 of 523,974
Watchers
15 members
Time Online
4 days
Comments
2,655
Site Visits
9,920
Profile Visitors
30,614 (16 today)
Contact
Private Message
Send Now
Email
Members Only
Gumwars850
Gumwars850 friends since Feb 6, 2013
BioDestroyer
BioDestroyer friends since Nov 1, 2014
Frosty98B
Frosty98B friends since Jan 31, 2015
Kark-Jocke
Kark-Jocke friends since Jul 27, 2012
Alexei_Stukov
Alexei_Stukov friends since Apr 29, 2012
ℱℓσℊℊℯɾ
ℱℓσℊℊℯɾ friends since Sep 2, 2013
INtense!
INtense! friends since Nov 8, 2013
feillyne
feillyne friends since Dec 29, 2011
Turkish007
Turkish007 friends since Jun 18, 2013
sgtsev3n
sgtsev3n friends since May 4, 2015