Popular Soviet Afghan War Books
The Truth About the Soviet War in Afghanistan
When the Soviet Union shocked the world by sending troops into Afghanistan 40 years ago this December, few Western observers guessed it was more thanks to accident and blunder than a conscious decision to invade. Eager to foment a quick coup that would prop up a flailing fellow Communist government and prevent U. They failed to realize that sending in troops, which they saw as a mere precaution, would be seen inside Afghanistan as taking one side in a burgeoning civil war—and by others as a land grab by a ruthless superpower. His mischaracterization of the Soviet war contained no single scrap of truth, let alone logic. It was issued to justify an Afghanistan policy that risks undermining the very few gains almost two decades of Western-led effort have produced by ignoring lessons from both the Soviet and NATO -led campaigns.
Sunni Mujahideen :. Afghan forces :. Another source puts Soviet dead between 13, and 26, killed total. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen , as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the rural countryside. Between ,  and 2,, civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees,     mostly to Pakistan and Iran. The war derives from a coup when Afghanistan's communist party took power, initiating a series of radical modernization reforms throughout the country. These reforms were deeply unpopular among the more traditional rural population and established power structures.
In early January , 39 Soviet paratroopers were positioned on a cliff overlooking the Gardez-Khost road in southeastern Afghanistan. Their job was to protect the soldiers below, who were trying to open up the dangerous, heavily mined route. All around waited Islamic fundamentalists who had spent the last eight years fighting the Red Army and the government it had installed in Kabul just after Christmas Soon, groups of black-clad mujahedeen, probably from Pakistan, were crawling toward the Soviets from all directions, machine guns blazing. The Soviets fought back valiantly. A helicopter soared in daringly through heavy fog to deliver ammunition. One soldier died while trying to wire together weak spare batteries to make a radio work.