The first English-language book to examine the crucial part air power played in the Soviet-Afghan War.
The Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan was fought as much in the air as on the ground. From the high-level bombing raids that blasted rebel-heldmountain valleys, to the Mi-24 helicopter gunships and Su-25 jets that accompaniedevery substantial army operation, Soviet control of the air was a crucial battlefield asset. Vital to every aspect of its operations, Mi-8 helicopters ferried supplies to remote mountain-top observation points and took the bodies of fallen soldiers on their last journey home in An12 'Black Tulips'.
But this was not a wholly one-sided conflict. Even before the Afghan rebels began to acquire man-portable surface-to-air missiles such as the controversial US 'Stinger,' they aggressively and imaginatively adapted. They learnt new techniques of camouflage and deception, set up ambushes against low-level attacks, and even launched daring raids on airbases to destroy aircraft on the ground.
Featuring information previously unknown in the West, such as the Soviets' combat-testing of Yak-38 'Forger' naval jump jets, Soviet-expert Mark Galeotti examines the rebel, Kabul government and the Soviet operation in Afghanistan, drawing deeply on Western and Russian sources, and including after-action analyses from the Soviet military. Using maps, battlescenes and detailed 'Bird's Eye Views', he paints a comprehensive picture of the air war and describes how, arguably, it was Soviet air power that made the difference between defeatfor Moscow and the subsequent stalemate that they decided to disengage from.
Read an extract of Afghanistan 1979–88
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION Flying in an Afghan summer CHRONOLOGY ATTACKER'S CAPABILITIES The Soviet Air Force in Afghanistan Close air support Bombing Airlift Supporting the war The DRA Air Force DEFENDER'S CAPABILITIES Countering Soviet air power Deception, evasion and camouflage Anti-aircraft artillery MANPADS Mines and ambushes Raids CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES A decade in Afghanistan 1. Invasion, 1979–80 2. Reluctant escalation, 1980–84 3. Chernenko's war, 1984–86 4. The 'bleeding wound', 1986–88 5. Withdrawal, 1988–89 THE CAMPAIGN Jets and helicopters fight a guerrilla war 1. Invasion, 1979–80 2. Reluctant escalation, 1980–84 Operation Rhombus and the Yak-38 3. Chernenko's war, 1984–86 Operation Trap: The end of 'Chernenko's war' 4. The 'bleeding wound', 1986–88 The Stinger Operation Highway, 1987–88 5.Withdrawal, 1988–89 Operation Air-Bridge, January–February 1989 AFTERMATH AND ANALYSIS FURTHER READING GLOSSARY INDEX
Feb 14 2023
Includes around 60 photos and at least 14 pages of colour illustrations