The 342nd Night of Memory-2

Compiled by: Leila Rostami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Note: The 342nd Night of Memory was held on Thursday, December 22, 2022, with the presence of a group of commanders, veterans, and engineering officials of the Ground Force and the 40th Sahib al-Zaman (pbuh) engineering group of the IRGC in the Sourah hall of the Arts Center. In this program, which was conducted by Javad Aini, Generals Javad Azimifar, deputy engineer of the IRGC Ground Force, Ali Akbar Puri Rahim, one of the former commanders of the 40 Sahib al-Zaman٬s engineers, and Abul Qasem Tabatabaei, the head of IRGC Ground Force Engineering, shared their memories.


The second narrator of the program, General Ali Akbar Puri Rahim, one of the former commanders of the 40th Sahib-ul-Zaman (pbuh) Engineering Group, first mentioned martyr Hasan Shatri, introduced him as a pioneer in every sense of the word and a full-fledged engineer and said: he worked hard both during the holy defense and in the field of Jihad and outside the borders of the country, and the Lebanese know him better than us because of the celebrations and ceremonies they got for him.

He went on to say: Now that I saw General Tabatabai here, I remembered a memory from the years of holy defense that I am telling you. There was a bridge called Habarat Bridge or Saddam Bridge and I saw General Tabatabai there. He was in charge of the engineering of the 8th Najaf Division that day. Once General Kazemi summoned me regarding this bridge. Despite the brave, fighting and courageous brother like General Tabatabai, I was surprised that Haj Ahmed asked me to discuss the mission! In any case, I went there with fear and trembling and saw the Tabatabai trench. He said to me: God bless you tonight. I said: What happened?! He said: You will understand, go ahead.

We went. General Kazemi had laid out the plan. At that time, the enemy's 11th Corps was resisting a lot in the 5th Karbala operation. The distance to the camp of the 11th Corps of the enemy was close to us. It was not more than 200 meters, but whenever the army attacked there, they did not fall and resisted. Mines and barbed wire fields were placed around the camp. There were many martyrs near here. The mission that was explained to us was to go and build an embankment so that we could transfer these martyrs back. It was a maneuver planning meeting in which General Iraqizadeh from the Qazvin forces and general Abbasi from the Zanjan army, who were assigned to the 8th division of Najaf, were present. When we went, martyr Haj Ahmad Kazemi told me to sit down.

Talking about the maneuver and how to capture this camp, the friends said: We performed operations and offered martyrs here for 2 nights. We cannot operate until there is an embankment. General Kazemi said to me: "Very well, then Pourrahim, your work is clear." Go build an embankment there so that the troops can come and settle behind it. I told Haj Ahmad: If the engineer is going to go and break the line, we will go. It was like this in the war. We left with 9 bulldozer drivers. We were not seventy meters away from the enemy. That is, it was about 150 to 200 meters away from the camp itself, but there were small embankments and the enemy was harassing behind them. By the time we got to the point of building an embankment, eight of these bulldozer drivers were martyred or injured. Or the device failed and until morning we were only able to hit this embankment near and adjacent to the camp with a bulldozer. Near morning, when the weather was getting brighter and friends wanted to pray, we moved the devices back. On that night, only one bullet came in the headquarters and during the ablution of that driver who was protected by God, and this was an ambassador for the martyrdom of this bulldozer driver, and he was also martyred. That is, from that night, no one was left and everyone became divine and flew away.

The narrator continued his speech and said: Because the engineering forces relied on human power, they operated in various fields and anywhere during the sacred defense years. Our enemy was not only Iraq, 50 countries of the world helped to equip Saddam. That is, we used to see all kinds of Italian, German, Russian, etc. mines in the minefields. It was the same with weapons. Even in the discussion of human forces, we had prisoners from 35 different countries. For example, we had captives from Somalia, Jordan and Egypt. A country was not at war with another country; rather, the world was working behind Saddam and supporting this enemy and this Baathist army.

He continued: We were under embargo, we didn't have equipment or they didn't sell it to us. In the years of holy defense, whatever we got from engineering and war tools was mostly booty. Now, whether in our engineering equipment, in our artillery, or in our armor. The divisions and brigades that were formed in the Corps were basically formed from the enemy's facilities, and the youths of those years moved empty-handed with their own efforts and with the slogan "we can". At the beginning of the war, the IRGC did not have an RPG and Bani Sadr prevented the IRGC from being armed.

The situation had reached such a point that numerous units, brigades and divisions were created and organized and managed the war. Along with these engineering divisions, engineering brigades were also activated in this field. Its example was the 40th Army of Sahib al-Zaman (pbuh), which was launched with the planning of General Saleki and was made up of engineering divisions and numerous combat battalions. This army, like a combat army, fought with fighters and combat battalions and held the line, and in the engineering issue, they had bridge battalions and they fought. The same group built bridges in fourteen places of the country. This army together with General Shatari, who was in charge of Hazrat Hamzah's 53rd engineering, jointly built a bridge on Lake Urmia. Also, in Ahvaz, Mard, Darkhovin and Bostan, he was active and worked in the construction of several bridges and had a very good ability.

The water pump battalions of this division limited the enemy's armored facilities by these pumps and disabled the powerful movement of the enemy. At the beginning of the war, the enemy easily took the Ahvaz-Khorramshahr road, but in 1967, which was almost the end of the war, we again saw that if the enemy wanted to, he would come on the Ahvaz-Khorramshahr road and the Hosseinieh highway and quickly close it, and the enemy's facilities and equipment, both in the air and in the air, The ground argument could quickly overwhelm and stop anywhere; but the fighting friends, especially the engineering friends of the water pump battalion, with the movement and role that they played in different areas and with the water war, the pump that was running in front of the enemy would leave water in front of the enemy and make their armor and mechanical equipment ineffective, and the enemy would rely on his fighting forces. In the fighting forces, our fighting forces were very superior to the opposing forces; because the enemy forces had no motivation to fight and surrendered with one move. Tariq and Rah battalions built roads that no other organization or road Construction Company could handle. With the efforts of General Azimfar, these engineering groups were able to build roads in the country for the first time in the sky-high heights full of snow, sandy areas, areas with unstable natural geography and inappropriate morphology.

The narrator went on to say: I remember a person named Mohammad Shawakhi, who is a veteran of the holy defense, was assigned to build an embankment at a point in Faw, approximately within a hundred meters of the enemy, from where he attacked us every night and many times. When he started hitting the embankment, the enemy fired heavily on the bulldozer, and Shahe Moradi told me: We don't want this embankment. Tell this bulldozer driver to come down. I said: It has already started its work. Martyr Shahmoradi hit the driver and said: Come down. But he was doing his job, and then when the bulldozer driver came down, Shahemoradi said: I don't know, we who consider ourselves warriors, when the enemy shoots down the embankment, we take care not to get shot. How and with what courage does this driver carry out the mission, task and implementation of engineering assigned to him under all the fire and on top of a bulldozer that is four meters high! This was said by someone who himself was a source of courage and bravery, and anyone who saw him would learn courage and courage from him. General Rezaei said at his grave that night and darkness were afraid of martyr Shah Moradi.


To be continued...


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