During the Cold War, USSR decided to attack Afghanistan. After all, that’s what all big countries do, isn’t it?
It was something to do with Afghanistan not supporting Communism. Anyway, the Russians did fairly well until they came up against Ahmed Shah Masud. This guy was holed up in a part of the Afghan mountains which is shaped like a horseshoe – U
Picture this: the Afghanis were along the arms of the horseshoe, with a village on the inside of the curvy part. The Russians had to fly, walk or drive between the arms of the horseshoe to get to the village, all the while being shot at from both sides.
The Russians flew gunships, drove tanks, etc to try and take the village. The Afghanis threw petrol bombs and fired from ancient guns. One of the petrol bombs actually landed inside a gunship and blew it up mid-air!
After great losses to both sides, the Russian army limped away. They had suffered $5 billion US in equipment losses throughout the campaign. Since the only major setback was at the horseshoe mountains, just think of the damage Ahmed Shah Masud and his people inflicted!
On that note, the “coalition of the willing” came away very lightly, didn’t they?