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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tanks are not afraid of the waltz: the legendary Kantemirovskaya division celebrates anniversary

June 26, 4-th guards order of Lenin red banner Kantemirovskaya tank division named after Yury Andropov celebrates its 75th anniversary. On the eve of the journalist “MK” visited the Union, talked with the soldiers and saw how their daily life is, battle studies and preparation for the holiday, which is traditionally celebrated as the Day of open doors.

photo: Sergey Kislyakov

Dancing tank.

Kantemir division was formed in 1942. First at Voronezh was created by the 17th tank corps, distinguished themselves in the fighting for Stalingrad, and then in 1943 — the 4th guards tank corps, which for special merits and the liberation of the village Kantemirovka was named Kantemir. The corps participated in the battles of Kursk, crossed the Dnieper and the Elbe, and in 1945 was reformed into the 4th Kantemirovskaya tank division and stationed in Naro-Fominsk.

Programmers a lot, and the tank — no

I had already been to the Kantemir division. The last time a few years ago, when her base was going to create a tank brigade. I remember how nervous and tense then communicated with us journalists, the commanders who disagreed with the decision serdyukovskaya of staff about the reduction. Now this is different — confident, friendly faces, jokes, quiet working environment.

While on a concrete platform four of the crew were preparing for the rehearsal of the waltz of the tank — and it needs to become one of the most spectacular elements of the festive open Day, I approached the group of soldiers that are near the parade ground ready to show their equipment thoroughly examined her, rubbing the armor and to Shine, like my dress shoes, rubbed something similar to black Shoe Polish car wheels.

The guys said that profits in part from Voronezh, where during basic training spent the first 5 months.

— Why so long? — I asked.

— What do you want? — surprised one of the drivers. See, it’s — ZIL-135LM, it — installation “Hurricane”. Shoots to 35 km. Technique is complex, and the driver should not only sit, but also to be able in case something and repair. On the technical side we have to be prepared on all hundred.

I asked the guys about the conditions of their life. They then excitedly began to tell me that here they like more than the island:

There was a “statutory” part, you can’t even just areas to walk. Went, accompanied by senior. And then you can freely leave the barracks in their spare time to go to the tea, exercise on the Playground.

In this moment past us were just young people in striking shape.

— It — contractors — explained fighters. — Some regulations are currently renting out.

I tried to talk one of the guys. They found Sergeant Ali Hasan. From Kursk. He plans to sign a contract, but not here, and already at home.

Not regretted that have gone into the army?

— Not at all. I graduated from College with a degree in “programmer”.

— You’re a programmer and want to serve? — didn’t believe me. — You have such a prestigious specialty!

Programmers a lot, and tankers — no. And then the army has more opportunities, various benefits. Besides, I like to serve. I’m going to get a higher education and the rank of officer. Will go on zaochku, I will learn and to serve.

— And here in the part you remember the most? Both good and bad.

— May 9 parade on red square. It was very cool and solemnly. We have long prepared. Now after the parade, prepare equipment for the summer training period.

— Okay, so the bad won’t say anything?

— So nothing wrong there. Here we have delegations often come different. From Argentina recently had. Looked, how we live, how we serve, what the Russian army. To us on the floor went to the barracks — or rather, in the forecastle, we live there for 5 people — all considered…

And what did he say?

Say, I liked it.

— Argentines-that — okay. Most importantly — do you like…

Music of Vivaldi…

Then they heard the noise of engines, and all who were there with video and still cameras rushed to the area where they had a rehearsal of “tank waltz”.

The spectacle, of course, was fantastic: four powerful tanks T-80U the strains of that waltz, which is occasionally not in the beat of the muffled roar of motors, whirled the pairs on the runway. The machine is gathered, then again went home, rotated towers, raised and lowered the barrels of guns… They were spinning so close to each other that it seemed that someone will hook your partner’s side. But no, papiha each other by clouds of white smoke, tanks safely returned to their original dance positions, and tankers, a satisfied smile, poured out.

And in the meantime we went for a tank headmistress, where the same military equipment together with the crew was dancing, and learning to fight.

Tank the headmistress is a vast field, which hosted several training places, each performed various combat missions. About them I told the soldiers, carrying out in this day to command the HSE the role of observers.

Here at each training location is someone senior, sergeants — began to fill me in on the intricacies of combat training guys. — Crews shoot everyone in his place. There — he pointed to the other end of the field, shoot the IFV, there is the “Grad”, howitzers… And there, you see, is throwing grenades. There is a tank, and at the command “fire!”, “the enemy on the right” or “left” the crew opens the hatch, fires his gun and throws two grenades. Everything is done on time and on estimate. Another exercise — loading tank gun shots. Then there is target shooting. The line of movement of tanks — 700 m. they are Shooting here at the range 1600-1900 m.

The guys told me that the main tank that is in service division, is a T-80U. They talk about him with great respect:

T — 80 better than T-72, though, because if any problems with the engine, the T-80 to replace it — it’s two hours of work. A 72-m while the entire rear of the tank will not understand, will not do anything. I think the day the machine is out of order. Then in T-72 diesel engine, and T-80’s gas turbine engine. It can be filled with different fuels: aviation kerosene and diesel fuel — almost all suitable. Even 92-m gasoline to fill the can, and it will go.

…At this point, the tower appeared major semen Nikolaev — the head of the firing in the area — and turning to my companions, warned: “When the second the music starts, get ready!”

— As here, too, music?! — I was surprised, still being under impression of tank waltz. And really from the KP sounded loud melody.

The guys laughed.

— This tune command for the crew to load ammunition into the tank. See: the driver takes the shells, the gunner puts them in the cab, and the commander sets in the tray. And that’s all the time.

— To run there’s probably not too fast, and the shell will drop and…

— Drop, of course, possible, but nothing will happen. He exploded, the desired impact force more than 300 kg.

Then played the second tune.

Is the signal “fight!”, — said the observers. — The crew sits in places, starts tank runs the system and report to the tower: “ready For battle! Supercharger enabled”. The supercharger is needed to the crew of “not listening” because when fired, the powder gases are collected in the cabin, and he is responsible for ventilation.

If pressed, the contract would not be signed

The last command from the tower crew in the cockpit hears through headphones. And this is not the melody. The head of the firing says: “Armor: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, route the test exercises forward!” At this point, tanks start at the same time.

— Once they cross a certain line, it starts shooting me private Konstantin Abramenkov, whom I already met on the tower. — First, there, where there are large earthworks, three shots on tank targets. They are at a distance of 1800 m. Following a moving target, is at a distance of 900 m. It simulates a recoilless gun in the car. It fired from a tank gun. The third target at a distance of 600-700 m is an RPG. Then at the end of exercise off “the cloud” — a grenade ZD-6, is a smokescreen. It is, if it is in battle, we need to retreat, that tank could make the maneuver, and the enemy did not see him.

— Konstantin, you all well know, you conscript?

— No, I’m a contractor. Served 7 months.

Seven months and already a contractor? Not too early?

— No. I like it here. By profession I am a driver. Sit in a tank at the controls, and the commander and gunner had shot.

— And why today with a bandage on the tower?

We are changing every day. Yesterday we then went and shot today — following platoon.

You say you like it. And wages, too?

— Nothing… In a month with allowances will reach about 30 thousand.

— Do you come from?

— From the Bryansk region.

— Why remain in the army, why not go home?

— I’m interested in all this technology. Always something new study.

— You have a civilian profession is?

— Is. The auto mechanic. Technical College graduated.

— This profession is promising, “citizen” is good for the money.

Well, I signed a contract for 3 years. If at the end you change your mind, so it is possible to return home. And while I was happy with everything: the feed, clothe, pay…

— Too much pressure the commanders that you signed a contract?

— (Laughs.) Yes you are… I wanted. No one not pressuring me. And if pressed, I would not have signed.

With army — rest of my life

All observers followed the shooting, was in the hands of statements, which clearly recorded all the data: load time artillery rounds, landing in a tank crew, time 1-shot, total time shooting… after all the exercises, the crews gathered in front of the tower, where they were informed who to assess what worked today.

— And if the crew receives an “f”, what awaits him? I asked observers.

— They put the next day in the first place, so they have more time to practice.

— The punishment for the losers there?

— For that same person to punish if he tried, and he failed? He just allocate more time for training.

But this time the extra time none of the shooters of the crews of the T-80U is not needed. Two of them received a rating of five, two — four. And, of course, I couldn’t resist not to talk with one of the standouts.

— The tank commander Sergeant Konstantin Stepanov, 28 years old, clearly had a strong young man in a tank helmet. — I’ve been here 11 year.

— What took you so long?

— Like. I’m still in school wanted to serve in the army.

— You are a contractor and every three years the contract extend?

Yes. But now I have a contract for 5 years. And next I want to conclude by 10.

— Where do you live here?

— I office accommodation was given. Live with family. I have two sons. The youngest is 2.5 years old and goes to kindergarten. Senior graduated from the 1st class. His wife works as a teacher at the school.

— You have so many years in this part, I felt during this time some changes?

Yes. Very large: we now have new weapons, uniforms. It used to be much worse. In the last 4 years, a new Minister, we very much felt improvement. The pay was higher.

— That’s how much you get?

— Somewhere 41 thousand.

— You’ve caught a time when the division wanted to make the team?

Yes. It was in 2009. Before that was a division — three tank regiments, one motorized rifle regiment, artillery. After a decline in 2009 left as many people as now only one in our regiment. Said, all is done to increase mobility. Reduced officers. Wanted to put sergeants they commanded platoons. Not very we were then served…

— Why not? Part of the smaller, quieter…

— Less was combat training. Much. Now that’s intense training. Day and night, we each week prior to the Friday shoot. On Friday an accepted technique, Sunday — closed. And then shot three times in the year. Mostly was a solid tactical-shooting training. Ran, jumped, but without performing the firings.

— Saved money?

Yes. All saved, saved… many of the officers then fired. Now most of them returned. Contract servicemen was also removed. Left only to sergeants. I’ve had friends contract workers who wanted to continue in the service, but they all fired. Dismissed sometimes 15-20 people a day. Gained only conscripts.

After 2012, everything changed. And before that was hard. The atmosphere was oppressive. Yes, the form issued with the shoulder strap on the belly! For us, it’s generally as an insult — the shoulder straps should be on his shoulders. It was hard at the time: the unknown. Unclear get you tomorrow or I will leave. Yes, even the supply of weapons was not. Now, more than 70% — this updated weapons: is either refurbished or new equipment.

— Listen, I’ve already asked many people and almost all suspiciously happy with their service.

— Well, what? It’s the truth. Because many remain to serve under contract. Earlier, when he was Minister Serdyukov, I in 2010 I wanted to go to the Omsk tank school. Collected documents, sent and set just wasn’t there. I then offered to go to the motorists. Refused. I’m calling for the tanker.

Now, just a month ago, my friend the driver went to study in Omsk, so there is now one place competition 5 people. People went into the army. I want to serve. When bad, this does not happen. Now the atmosphere in the army is different.

— Well, you-that’s not old — 28 years old, and still a Sergeant. Not going to continue to grow?

Now there is such a program: if you have higher education, then pass a 6-month course and receive Lieutenant shoulder straps. I intend this program to use it. To go to College. I will study in absentia and will receive the rank of officer.

— So, with the army in any case are not going to leave?

— No. All. Specifically to retirement. Now for the rest of my life…

See photo essay on the topic:

Combat training in the 4th guards tank Kantemirovskaya order of Lenin red banner division

23 photos


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