Operation Magistral questions
I'm wondering if someone could clarify for me where Operation Magistral was executed during the Soviet-Afghan war. The Wikipedia article on Magistral, as well as an entry in The Bear Went Over the Mountain, both make mention of Satukandav pass, 30 km east of Gardez as being a heavily defended mujaheddin area targeted by Soviet artillery in the beginning stages of the operation. However, they also point out that the intent of Magsitral was to open the road between Khost and Gardez (KG road). I know for certain there are two roads that connect Khost and Gardez and I'm trying to figure out which one Magistral centered on, if not both.
Hill 3234, the battle on which the movie 9th Company is loosely based, took place near the 'B' marker on the attached map. The road that passes nearby is what I assume to be the KG road mentioned in Magistral articles, as it is the most direct route. But the Satukandav pass, stated as being 30km east of Gardez, would put it near the 'A' marker, indicating that pass is the KG route that was being cleared.
I am in Afghanistan now and in a unique position to look at some of these battlefields, and I'd like to clear this up. Thanks in advance
I don't know if it's a good idea to be playing tourist in that part of Afghanistan.
According to maps of operation all fighting was done along one road S-E one, most of it in Muj controlled fortified area called "Srana". On your map it would be a rough circle with B marker on it's left and right end of the circle would be where road makes northbound then south-east turn. It was commandeered by independent warlord Jalaladdin, when talks about letting convoys through failed, things got ballistic, after second talks failed also, area was taken by Soviet and ANA (for PC purposes) troops. There's no mention of a 2-nd road, BUT "Srana" area in combat reports addressed as "Area south of Satukandav pass" hope it helps
some aftermath docu on operation
Thanks for the info... As I read more into the matter, i'm starting to think the description of the pass is probably referring to the same road, passing by 'A'.
I found this picture, allegedly of the hill, the geography of which seems to match the area I was looking at.
Also, here is a good read for more general information:
and some photos :
1)View from Hill 3234 to SE (road to Khost)
2) map by I.P Babenko (artillery spotter )
3) hill 3234 on map
4) 3D model with photo texture (from left - Eagle's Nest, Hill 3234)
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