At my post relating to battles around Soča river in first world war I forgot to add, that some scene for Narnia was shot there, as the nature is extremely picturesque and water emerald clean.
Also Christopher Lee flew over several times in his service years. He visited the Lesce airport a few years ago to parachute from a plane. My home is 3 km from it. Unfortunately we were unaware, so Saruman escaped undisturbed by local elves. :-)
I ask that myself all the time. Through these true stories I hope more people will realise that war is bad stinking **** and no shiny heroes or glorious saints come out of it, because there's usually more behind stories the press tels you.
Originally Posted by Hiro Protagonist
'...because a war is a loss, a war can't be won.' ---clawfinger
True story: there have never, at any time in history, been battles involving either Normandy or Normans.
I currently live in Batajnica, near Belgrade. Batajnica is home to the ultimate badasses of 127. Fighter squadron Knights ( Vitezovi) tasked with defending Belgrade. As the biggest airbase in Serbia, it was a prime target during the NATO aggression in 1999.
The Serbian air force celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. I wanted to do a write up about it, but I never got the time. Anyway, here is the shorter version.
In 1999. the situation in Yugoslavian military was bad. The civil war brought sanctions against Yugoslavia, and as the most expensive component of every military, the air force suffered badly. Most aircraft were running out of resources, and there was a shortage of spare parts. Fuel was scarce, so the pilots didn't get much flight time. Yugoslavia entered the war unprepared.
The only aircraft that was theoretically capable of holding its own against NATO was the MiG-29B operated by the 127. squadron. The much older MiG-21 was not used. Aircraft were cannibalized for spare parts, and the mechanics managed to put together 14 barely operational fighters. Still there was equipment failing in almost every flight.
The high command was acting ignorant. Probably trying to emulate the relative success that the Serbian fighters had against Luftwaffe in 1941. multiple interception missions were ordered.
The MiGs were taking off in pairs, or even solo, to intercept NATO strike packages. The basic idea was to come in low, then rush the NATO aircraft, quickly closing the distance to get a R-73 off. Both the R-73 missile and the MiG-29 were very capable in dogfights, and that is where our pilots had a fighting chance.
However, the NATO fighters were equipped with a much longer range AMRAAMs, had AWACS support, better radars, and a huge numerical superiority. Our pilots were taking off to find that their radar or radar warning receiver broke down.
There was no coordination with ground support. It was chaos. Pilots had a hard time reaching the navigation officers, and if they managed to reach them, they were vectored on to NATO fighters, not strike aircraft. They were flying blind.
PVO was firing on everything, multiple friendly fire incidents were reported. The NATO fighters were hitting them out of nowhere.
Still, pilots volunteered to go. I don't know what goes through the head of a pilot who straps himself in the cockpit of a broken down piece of ****, ready to take off and fight the most powerful military alliance in the world. Comically outgunned, maneuvering to avoid getting hit from all directions and charging the enemy on full after burner, these guys are real knights in every sense of the word.
Pilot Iljo Arizanov was shot down over Kosovo, and he walked for three days, avoiding the KLA patrols to the Priština airport. He was diagnosed with a heart condition.
Zoran Radosavljević died when he was shot down with Slobodan Perić by a US F-15.
The ultimate tale of badassery and sacrifice was that of Colonel Milenko Pavlović. Pavlović was the commander of Batajnica Airbase, and one of the best Serbian pilots.
He was at a command post in the nearby village, when the airbase received orders to scramble a single MiG on to a large group of NATO aircraft over Valjevo. One of the younger pilots was on call. After learning about the order, Pavlović promptly drove to the airbase. He literally pulled his younger colleague out of the cockpit and took of in his place.
His MiG suffered an AC generator failure, and he was hit with two or three missiles over his hometown. Pavlović died.
Here is a pretty good documentary with personal accounts of the pilots involved. It has plausible English subtitles.
Another interesting story. A friend of mine is a pilot so here it goes as he told it to me....:
US lost a stealth F-117 over Belgrade I think. I've heard that those sorties were so arrogant, that they flew in over the same route every night. So the Serbs had a few new missiles which they stationed there. When the pilot opened the bomb doors he created just enough signature for a missile to find him. 'BANG' - minus one F-117....
Well, there are a lot of bullshit stories of the F-117 downing floating around.
The first one says that it got strafed by a MiG. That was propagated by some Russian media shortly after the downing. It got debunked pretty early.
The second bullshit story was told by colonel Zoltan Dani, the commanding officer of the unit that shot it down. He was speaking for years about certain modifications to the radar that they made. Some time ago, he basically said he was trolling.
There was some speculation that it was shot down using optics.
Apparently it was a pretty standard hit. It showed up on radar and they fired the shitty obsolete Neva that got him. The same shitty missile downed an F-16.
There was some talk of a second F-117 that was damaged.
The PVO unit that got it is pretty awesome. They were constantly on the move, and very disciplined with turning their radars on. NATO SEAD packages were all over the place.
Its a shame that the pilot was extracted.
Anyways, it was a pretty big thing in Serbia. Upped the morale quite a bit, and the invisible jokes kept flowing. I saw the aircraft parts in the military museum in Belgrade.
Nefron please do tell invisibility jokes if you remember any. And thanks for clearing that up. I was interested in it, but never spoke with people who really knew.
What? You mean...'stealth technology' is a scam?
Originally Posted by Stickybomb
You mean...weighing down aircraft, with materials that don't appreciably diminish their detectability, is a wasted effort and a money drain???!?
Ninjas don't exist. On land and in the air... If they do, we can find and kill them with shitty technique. :-)