The Art of War III.
This is coolbert:
Continuing with extracts from the Victor Suvorov ArtofWar [?] web site:
"Professionals Of The War - - Caravans". By Sergey Shumskikh
[Sergey was a lieutenant in a Soviet Spetsnaz unit? Patrolling along the border between Pakistan and Afghan. Ambushing caravans [pack animals], carrying war munitions to the Afghan guerrilla fighters.]
"Our main task was not allowing caravans, from Pakistan territory, with ammunition and weapon to the country. Our company was considered the best at that war based on captured weapon, number of killed 'dukhs' and own casualties"
Afghan fighters were referred to by the Soviet troops as:
"dushman’s" [meaning of dushman unknown] or "dukhs", ["dukhs"=ghosts or spirits in Russian]
Question - "Did you use trophies yourselves?" [trophies in this sense means equipment captured from the enemy]
Answer - "We had right to have only what we needed for the war. For example, very comfortable Italian boots, and Chines[e] breasts – [breasts=ammunition pouches?] it was easier to carry more ammunition in them. We got also 'dukhs' clothes, American mortars."
"Actually I didn’t see anything better then Soviet weapon but those mortars [American mortars]. They were much lighter then ours, the mines ["rounds", mortar "bombs"] for them were packed without any grease, we didn’t need to wipe them dry, as we had to do ours."
With the exception of American mortars, this Soviet Spetsnaz commander rates all foreign small arms and military munitions as inferior to the Soviet variety. Very interesting! With regard to the mortars, the American brand would be lighter in weight, rifled, made of superior alloys, etc. And firing a mortar "bomb" NOT requiring a anti-corrosive coating [cosmoline like?]! Both the Soviet mortar and "bomb" require "cleaning" ["wipe them dry"] before using!
NOW, the "superiority" of the American mortar would be something that Soviet military planners and general officers of the Red Army staff would find to be meaningless. To the Soviets, the "advantages" of the American mortar would be considered to be rather hindrances and even drawbacks!!??
Yes, the American mortar is lighter in weight. Yes, the American mortar is rifled and more accurate. Yes, the American mortar is more finely made with better metallurgy. AND, yes, the American mortar bombs do not require cleaning before use. All this is true, yes! BUT!!
The Soviet style cast-iron, smooth-bore mortar firing a cast-iron mortar "bomb" can be manufactured cheaper, easier, quicker, and in MUCH greater numbers. YOU CAN PROLIFERATE THE BATTLEFIELD WITH SUCH WEAPONS. Also, a cast-iron mortar "bomb", albeit one that requires "cleaning" - - "when a cast iron bomb bursts it shatters into very small splinters, which form a dense fragment pattern. - - Suvorov"
And if the Soviet soldier has a greater ordeal in carrying a heavier mortar and requires more time to "clean" [degrease] the mortar "bombs" he fires, well, that is the lot of the soldier! Perform your mission and don't complain!