The Sounds of War

first published on April 19, 2017 by

A high definition video of Ukrainian troops engaging Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) fighters in Eastern Ukraine provides not only stunning visuals of night operations, but a rare acoustic snapshot into the combat senses.


In the age of modern technology, the ability to watch incidents unfold around the world has never been easier. The historical record has found its way into the palm of anyone who owns a smartphone. However, capturing and viewing such material on small hand held devices does little in demonstrating the total sensory immersion of combat.

Combat is a total and comprehensive experience on the senses. The sci-fi visually reminiscent tracers of crew served weapons streaking through the darkness are not the only stimulating aspect of this footage as the multi-layered sounds add to the experience. The sheer size of this engagement showcases the auditory confusion of judging incoming and outgoing fire along a static front.

The report of incoming and outgoing small arms in multiple positions creates the hisses, cracks, and pops, while the explosions created by indirect fires visually disorientate before adding another layer to the auditory experience. The excited shouts of soldiers relaying information and barking orders in the dark along with muffled squawks of radio traffic and unit commanders trying to effectively coordinate their troops. The ability to judge and sort through this chaos of sounds is an invaluable skill to combat troops and something rarely presented so vividly to the public.

This competition of weapons systems and men desperately trying to communicate while under fire leave little question as to why most combat vets can’t hear shit.

10% disability rating anyone?


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