A story about Soviet Army paratroopers in Afghanistan
Every so often on Netflix streaming video, I catch a movie I’d never heard of before. Usually Netflix gives you suggestions based on what you’ve seen and rated; some absolutely suck and the comments reflect that, so I go there first and see what others are saying before I waste my time on crap.
Placed in my suggested movies was one called “9th Company“, which was about a bunch of recruits being processed into the Soviet Army, who eventually end up being sent to the Soviet Paratroops (The 345th Guards Airborne Regiment).
It was subtitled in English, with everything spoken in Russian, which I normally I can’t live with (subtitles, that is), but eventually got used to it because the action was so good.
Now, Hollywood seldom gets anything involving the military right, so I have to assume this movie from Russia is stretching it a bit as well, but it was damn good anyway, I thought.
I’ve only ever known one guy who was ever in the Soviet Army, and he had a few stories to tell about Afghanistan including one about kicking barrels of powdered mustard gas he called “Dusty Mustard” out of helicopters onto the Mujahideen below. Some of my former Seabee folk know who I mean, but I’m brain-farting his name.
Well, there was chemical weapons use in this movie, but after one firefight where several of the guys’ comrades are killed by the locals they basically radioed in an airstrike and leveled the nearby village. No doubt the Soviets were ruthless, not being overly concerned with political correctness, and more than one person I’ve served with has mentioned making “glass” out of the whole country at one point or another. So I can feel that.
The events loosely depicted in the movie take place in 1987, during a Soviet operation near the end called Operation Magistral, more specifically the Battle for Hill 3234 which occurred in November 1987. The events linked above in Wikipedia make good reading by themselves, as we’ve had similar battles of our own.
If you don’t have Netflix, you can see the movie on Hulu (with commercials) here.