Article The cold war - Soviet Army

Old Soviet / Russian monument with a T-34 turret at an old German bunker at the Hillersleben / Altmark training area




Difficult to see on the picture below, but the arour was all cut out and the turret roof and sides were nothing more than sheet metal.

Conscripted in the air force when I was 17. Normally it was 18 but I volunteered to go earlier (I didn't like school...). During basic training they asked if people had moral issues with nuclear weapons. I didn't, so I ended up on the air force base of which the government neither confirms of denies the presence of such weapons. Was at the security / base guard for 16 months which was a nice time. Young, got some money and with other young people. to go to disco's, pubs and swimming in a local lake during the summer. Back then there were always exercises in which the WarPac attacked, the aircraft of our base did their conventional missions above Germany and we on the ground did our thing with guarding and securing the base and weapons againsts ground attacks/infiltration. The first couple of days were always conventional and at the end of second day the base was always hit by a WarPac nuclear weapon and we did all the work in simulated fall out conditions. I believe in 1989 an unmanned Soviet MiG-23 flew from Poland over the Netherlands and crashed in Belgium. When it happened it was not clear at our base were or when the pilot ejected. Due to the special nature of our base we had alarm and all the platoons went on alert and had to sweep the complete base (including woods, shelter areas, everything) to check the pilot was not on our base. Later in turned out the pilot ejected shortly after take off in Poland.

After that I volunteered for another years and was transferred to the only USAFE/RNLAF base and worked a radar operator together with the HAWK SAM system and 40L70 guns. Here the same until the Berlin wall fell. Exercises in which we had to defend the base against WarPac air attacks with the HAWK and 40L70 . Nice place to be, the base was like little America with all the typical American cars, BBQ, flags, and a PX store were you could find food items and soft drinks which were rare in the Netherlands during that time. Also, we could go to the 4th of July celebration at the base which was also for us as Dutch guys great fun. Then I got the opportunity to transfer to the army and go to the Leopard MBT, which was great! A 55.000 kg tank with a 120mm gun., so a nice ''toy'' to play with. Did two deployments to Bosnia, one with the Leopard 2A4 and one with the Leopard 2A5. Later on when working on the staff I went to Afghanistan and Mali. I try to post some photos in the various forums with some background info and I hope someone likes them?


Map of military bases with nuclear weapons in Hungary in 1977. Red symbolises Soviet units, green Hungarian army units. Courtesy László Becz.

SS-1C Scud-B missile with Soviet 22 Brigade, stationed at Dombovar, south-west Hungary c 1975-76. (Soviet designation 9P117M (MAZ-543) launcher with 8K14 rocket as part of a 9K72 missile complex "Elbrus".)
Photo: Stanislas Karpenko
A nice thread, I hope there will be more about the Soviet air force. (Y)

Similar threads