By Ewen Southby-Tailyour

'The three Commando Brigade's six month deployment in Helmand Province used to be among the best items of soldiering i've got come across' normal Sir Richard Dannett, leader of basic Staff

In October 2006, the Royal Marine Commandos took up their six month travel of responsibility in war-torn Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan - the hardest and most well-liked conflict quarter in the world. After the tactical retreat in their predecessors, the Paras, the Marines knew they'd need to take a unique method of have any likelihood of luck. so that they took the warfare to the enemy. Roving and competitive, the Commandos compelled the rebel Taliban directly to the again foot. therefore, they have been excited about day-by-day fireplace fights of an depth now not encountered through British troops considering North Korea.

3 Commando Brigade is an exhilarating first-hand account of that dogged, heroic pursuit of the Taliban via the standard Marines, sailors and infantrymen in charge. it's a tale of valour, fortitude, excellent actual and psychological health, and unrivalled professionalism below the main trying out of situations. The account explodes from the 1st web page with Operation Glacier, a photo, no-holds-barred account of a Commando assault on a key Taliban base south of Garmsir - a conflict that ends with the dramatic restoration of a Corporal's physique from along the castle through Apache helicopters. From this commencing salvo the motion by no means shall we up, delivering a startlingly sincere account of the battle in Afghanistan as instructed by way of the junior officials, corporals and marines at the floor.

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Regrettably, Sergeant Willy Whitefield, 1 Troop, misplaced the bar armour preserving his part of his Viking cab, yet worse met them outdoors the bottom while a physique was once discovered, blocking off the company's direction. A civilian contractor, suggested lacking, used to be mendacity within the highway with 3 bullets behind his head and a word from the Taliban. To significant Murchison it used to be vital that he taken care of the incident with care: 'I needed to care for that effectively, helped through the ANA who have been with me, as they have been to be our rear safety for the operation. ' because the mild grew brighter with the technique of sunrise, three Troop, less than moment Lieutenant Duncan legislation, sat in over-watch immediate heights. Corporal Russ Coles, whose WMIK would offer arcs of fireplace over the dam to the north, watched the evening fade: 'The sunlight rose over the sleepy compounds, then indicators of existence began appearing; as sunrise broke a layer of mist included the floor, whereas the northern workforce persisted its circulate alongside the canal to the objective sector. ' Corporal Bailey's WMIK confronted east, whereas extra east nonetheless, on a spur overlooking the river, one other FSG part was once 'observing'. additionally within the area was once Murchison's mortar line and the corporate second-in-command with the most HQ. The task of the WMIKs within the convoy was once to supply a cordon round the Vikings, able to use their heavy guns to supply aid as soon as the marines have been out at the flooring. One WMIK team of 4 cars was once commanded via John Thompson, who was once to win the Conspicuous Gallantry pass so as to add to his point out in Despatches from Iraq. He continually noted his 'waggon' as being 'like the United colors of Benetton', as his traditional gunner, Steve Davis, was once half-Spanish – 'semi-gringo lad, most sensible gunner, marvelous man' – whereas his motive force, Nathan Beagles, used to be a 'black man from the south of London and a little a geezer'. moreover there has been a heavy-weapons expert assigned to him, as not just did they've got the GPMGs, the . 5-calibre, and the Javelins, but additionally the hot grenade desktop weapons. Thompson himself had helped with the Arctic trials of this weapon, so used to be accustomed to it. in this 'day of days', the heavy guns could, now and then, be used opposed to ambitions at a 'nerve-wracking' ten metres. as soon as the useless contractor's physique have been rigorously got rid of, the force to the city of Habibollah Kalay went easily. the lads have been already in a position to see a few indicators of the impression that they had made in the course of their travel; previous on, in the event that they observed ladies and youngsters, they might count on them both to run away – a certain signal Taliban have been within the zone – or need to fireplace a couple of caution pictures to maintain them again, as they did not are looking to chance being between civilians if the enemy introduced an ambush. Now, although, the locals appeared happy that the Taliban's freedom of stream have been constrained, for the youngsters waved on the males as they drove prior. The force into the outer parts of the city halted at 0647 as Juliet corporation, with Corporal John 'Tommo' Thompson's WMIK best, got here lower than hearth at shut variety from the fields and scattered compounds both sides the line.

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