Vietnam. Grani a war on the faces of two Zippo. Part second.

This is a continuation of the story of two Vietnam Zippo, started here

Zippo 1966 MACV-SOG

Below you can see the body type of awesome logo with the inscription macVsog (letter V form a triangle in the center, under the chin, "Death in a beret"). The abbreviation for hiding one of the most deadly units in the history of U.S. special forces, and the whole world.

MACV mean reduction in interpretation and translation of "The command of the military mission in Vietnam." Abbreviation SOG had official transcript "Group Learning and Observations» (Studies and Observation Group), but the name was coined by the CIA for the blind, in fact it is a "Special Operations Group» (Special Operation Group). As you can see, the emblem engraved by hand and not applied to the plant, as in the case of the Zippo 173d Abn Bde. And it is quite natural. 173rd Airborne Brigade was large and quite openly active military unit, and the existence of groups of SOG, the U.S. government has long denied. And there were reasons. Although the CIA was gathering in SOG recruits new and existing "Green Berets" and "sea lion", tasks SOG-ovtsev fundamentally different from any other specifics of special forces. SOG operated in the rear of the North Vietnamese, but most importantly - where the U.S. official did not conduct any war: in Laos and Cambodia, where there were the Viet Cong, who supplied North Vietnam on the so-called "Ho Chi Minh trail."

MACV-SOG history begins in 1964. The first five teams were named SOG U.S. states: Alaska, Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Kansas. In addition to reconnaissance and sabotage in constant "distribution list» MACV-SOG also included the operation to free the captive Americans detained in any prison camp.

SOG frees prisoners prison NVA. From a teenager on his hands - Robert Howard.

President Nixon presents the award to Robert Howard Congressional Medal of Honor.

Each group consisted of SOG, usually of 8-12 men, but included only three Americans - the commander, his deputy, and a radio operator, and the rest were recruited from the so-called "mountain people" - Vietnamese despised minority of mountain villages. The Highlanders are not recruited into the Vietnamese army, did not even have citizenship, spoke of their tongues, and only two of their tribes were primitive beginnings of writing. However, in the days when "restore order" in Vietnam tried French mountaineers proved excellent warriors. It is from the French word Montangard (Highlander), the Americans called a warrior "Montagnards" or simply Yard. Application Highlanders allows a SOG combat unit, where-the-art military technology combined with ancient techniques of local wars and intelligence. In the process of preparation and after operations on the verge of death, the Americans and Montagnards became practically brothers. For example, one of the most famous commanders SOG, Jerry Shriver, whose radio station "Radio Hanoi" dubbed "mad dog", almost all of the free time spent in the village of his Highlanders, even built a hut there and spent on gifts and shopping for all their wages Montagnards .

The "Idaho"

SOG operative was the one who can be called "a man of war." As a veteran of SOG, Congressional Medal of Honour Jim Fleming, he was "the quintessential warrior-loner, anti-social type, always focused on the task ... He was always ready to fight, constantly training, constantly." These words have been said about it, "Raging psec" Jerry Shriver, the author of the catch phrase, which gives an idea of ​​what the spirit of the operative SOG. When once Shriver radioed air controllers that his group is surrounded by the enemy, "the case - tobacco," "Mad Dog" replied: "No way. I caught them exactly as planned - I surrounded them inside. "

Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver

Each combat mission MACV-SOG was preceded by long and careful preparation: guidance from the commander of the patrol base commander a week before the operation, instructing Americans in the group, with aerial reconnaissance group commander to select the landing site, for aerial photography and explore the local area, then - to develop a plan operations on the basis of intelligence and, finally, the presentation plan operations base commander. Commander of the SOG, sometimes just being a sergeant, such as "Mad Dog" Shriver and there was more freedom and independence in their actions than the much higher-ranking officers of other arms. Not only that, it could be lower in rank than the other members of his group, but in the unit was the "first after God", the captain on the ship. His orders have never been challenged, not even discussed. It is at "zero" (on the atomic number of the code list, the group - 1-0) was responsible for the successful outcome of the operation, and so the group leaders were selected the most experienced and proven fire people, regardless of rank.

Once the plan of the operation begins training. Calculated every step, every situation is expected to bring the action before the unconscious automatism. This is in addition to the fact that the SOG operatives already all the time between the operations carried out in training, practicing skills silent and invisible movement, synchronizing collective action and, of course, firing all weapons. About arms SOG lot to say, I will mention only a few details. First, the captured weapons used as widely as the U.S..

SOG operative at the base. As you can see, in one hand he held - standard American rifle, and another - a captured Chinese "clone" a Kalashnikov.

Second, the detective sometimes turned into a kind of "Christmas tree" hung with guns, knives, grenades and other deadly toys. Thus all solidified so provided in the hand in a matter of seconds: Stores - left, grenades - the right, with the bent cotter, which is easy to remove even the wounded, compass - on the left hand, so as not to tear the rifle arm, determining the direction and so on. Third, the existing weapon ever "argument" and remake themselves as operatives, and by their order. For example, the machine guns were placed special powerful spring to allow the use of tape drive connected with a lot of machine-gun belts, which made a tremendous firepower. The famous combat knife Bowie was also designed specifically for SOG, and, as we know, this is the abbreviation has been selected by, to establish in the 80's of last century edition replica of the famous knives. Apply consistently, instead of stairs, a helicopter rope device with a seat for the evacuation was also invented in the SOG.

Finally, the day of the surgery. When landing patrol commander always leave first helicopter, as well as at the end of the last ever set foot on its side - another feature that is similar to the captain. This principle, in the movie "We Were Soldiers" is designated as the exceptional quality of Mel Gibson's character in the SOG was necessary and natural for any commander. Often the group was dressed in a black uniform and broad hats Vietcong - the usual disguise spies and scouts (scout enemy too often wielded in the form of GI). During the raid on enemy territory a group in complete silence was held for a day, at times, just 500 meters away. Any trace of passage destroyed. During the so-called "sterilization" of each branch of the extensor even accidentally bent fighter. In addition, sometimes a chain possible false trails in case when landing the enemy learned about the group, and will be looking for it. Also used the method of "loop", such behavior tiger back around to the top of his own track, you can find out whether a detachment of the enemy, and to visit him in the rear. Sometimes a minute fighter did just one step, sending arms to the side most likely to appear enemy carefully and looking around, listening and sniffing. Yes, yes, sniffing, do not be surprised. During the Second World War intelligence claimed that the enemy could smell the smell of over fifty meters. It sounds amazing, but is due entirely materialistic: body fluids, explosives and gunpowder, guns, lubrication - it all has a distinct smell, especially growing in hot humid climates, and most importantly - the "bouquet" of these smells individual for opposing armies by differences are used weapons, supplies, locations and even food. In addition, the constant presence of the extreme conditions sharpens instincts and drives a power inaccessible to the common man. Here remembers one of the operatives conduct "mad dog" and his Montagnards during the operation: "He and his Highlanders could sit, leaning against a tree, and doze. Suddenly, he abruptly sat down, exchanging glances with the mountaineers, they shakes his head again and closed her eyes, relaxing. I watched it with wonder - what does it all mean? Suddenly, from somewhere above us appeared anxious bird, and a split second we heard the sound of gunfire in the distance. That is, Shriver and his men were able to hear, assess threats and, accordingly, to make a decision - and all this before I saw disturbed by birds. " Things like a premonition of danger, SOG not ignored because the same intuition was necessary and the development of skills as the ability to shoot or silently communicate using conventional gestures and facial expressions. During stops were looking for places in the hills, thickly overgrown with thorns and vines, the most difficult opponent combing. The territory of the park was reduced to the limit, and each soldier received bedtime sector for firing. Filled in full combat gear, only slightly loosening belts and placing a backpack under my head, surrounded by mines planted very close, at a distance less than one third of the standard so that the enemy could not get around them, surrounding the camp. Morning were associated with aircraft gunner, quickly had breakfast and, of course, spent a full "sterilization". Scenes in Hollywood movies, where the enemy finds a place to halt SWAT butts or wrappers - a tribute to the development of a plot, but in reality this could not be, even though the men in the educational purposes are constantly told of similar cases and their dire consequences.

The basis for joint operations SOG was guerrilla tactics of capture, fire and retreat. When firing the odd numbers in the line takes a step to the right, and even - to the left, so all could fire on the enemy, without interfering with each other. During the retreat of best fighter in short bursts to fire back shop, stepping back, and the torch relay took the next, and so on. Complete with hand grenades and delivered mines receive a steady and long fire barrier. Every two hundred meters to change direction, and even in this situation, a group, if possible, destroyed. Backpacks and dumped, if it was possible, mined - the pursuers could not resist the order to inspect them, and it gave the retreating extra seconds, seconds, each of which added to the pursuing dozens of new ones. Cong staged this psychological attack squad, followed by screams, shots, Knock on wood, as in the persecution of the beast to cause panic, but great preparation fighters made them immune to the effects of such methods. However, the unit often found himself surrounded, and slip out of this trap was extremely difficult. Bodies of the dead operatives not always be transported to the battle, but the men never left the wounded. If someone is seriously injured, the group held a perimeter defense, as close to the landing point, and taking the fight. If evacuation is not possible, a detachment caused the fire itself to cause maximum damage to the enemy. For such actions in the army and navy were awarded top prizes, it is considered the top of heroism. In SOG it was in the nature of things, and no detective was not rewarded for what caused the fire itself.

Group "Dakota." At the top of the picture - the date of the operation, 18 September 1968. Pay attention to the right of the vertical inscription: «Good mission. All safe ».

If SOG soldier remained alive after two dozen raids behind enemy lines, it was seen almost as a miracle. When I see on sites devoted to MACV-SOG, photos meetings veterans amazed that any of these people, many times persistently "death twitch his mustache," returned home. Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver became a legend because survived the four dozen attacks. During the latter, under heavy fire, he attacked the enemy machine-gun nest, and more Shriver never seen again. As often happens in such cases, there is a legend that "Mad Dog" is alive. Such legends were the basis for the plot of Hollywood film about the former Special Forces soldiers, still living as hermits in the jungle somewhere in Laos.

On the front side of the cover Zippo MACV-SOG 1966 engraved:


A kind of brutal variation of the popular saying that "everyone loves their own way, but all die the same." If SOG operatives behind this slogan is obviously not a simple foppery.

On the reverse side of the cover shows:


Perhaps it is a reminder that the MACV-SOG fought in the "gray", "shadow" of Vietnam - Laos and Cambodia, the countries that were not part of the formal war zone, but in fact turned into a rear base Vietcong.

On the back side of the case engraved:


This, again, is not empty boasting. How "the business was good," I will illustrate some of the numbers.

In 1969, the loss ratio in the regular part of the American army was 15:1 - 1 dead GIs - 15 VC.

In the same year, in January and February MACV-SOG lost 15 people and killed almost fifteen hundred enemy soldiers. That is, the ratio of 100:1.

A year earlier, in 1968 in Cambodia, this ratio in MACV-SOG was 108:1.

In 1970, one killed SOG operatives had killed 153 Viet Cong, and this is an absolute record in the history of the U.S. military.

SOG were officially disbanded in 1972, and later the CIA repeatedly sought not only to disown the military operations in areas where the U.S. is not a declared war, but also denied the existence of groups, trained for such tasks. However, in February 2003 the magazine «Time» published "The CIA's Secret Army", which argued that long before the war in Iraq, there were already at work SOG teams in areas populated by Kurds and Shiites, where operatives are helping to organize a guerrilla movement against the regime of Saddam Hussein. As it became known «Time», the CIA also teaches SOG alleged attacks on nuclear facilities of the enemy. In fact, the CIA had already in 2001 recognized the revival (or never cease to exist) of these groups, when captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, was killed by an American, and "the company" has confirmed that he was a member of SOG. Told journalists «Time» Deputy CIA Director of Operations Jim Pavett: "These are people who are every day around the world."

We will never know what wonderful and heroic history remembers this lighter, but from my brief and very incomplete review I hope you will be able to own, at least in part, to present.

So, we - two lighters, past the Vietnam War. First, a soldier 173rd Airborne Brigade, a member of scale battle on the front lines. Velvety caressing hand, the Zippo 1968 marked uniform, one might say, elegant shabby. The second Zippo, released just two years earlier, belonged to a fighter group that conducted covert operations deep behind enemy lines, a group of small but equal in their battle as a major military unit. On Zippo MACV-SOG in 1966 are clearly visible stains left by water, is slowly oxidized paint finish during wet nights on the hill in the midst of the bush, or with careful, step into the moment, moving through enemy territory, or in the hours of infinitely long observation of what- some prison where captured American pilot was hoping to release. У этой Zippo тот же стандартный корпус, но ощущается она совсем иначе: грани слегка царапают кожу и, кажется, готовы порезать руки, когда от нее прикуриваешь. Словно зажигалке передался смертельно опасный характер ее владельца.

Две Zippo, такие похожие, и такие разные, две грани одной войны.

Александр Вангард

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Tags: Vietnam


  1. Jurassic phi (19.06.2009 15:15) ( Reply )

    fire-article turned out!
    Working Friday was rescued

  2. yours_truly (13.02.2010 02:22) ( Reply )

    Author under login solobok?! Long time do not see it! (Even with him and do not know, but his office and always read the article with great interest and insight! Articles about Vietnam Zippo just extraordinary! Wow!

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