Skip to comments.How Royal Anglians killed 1,000 Taliban
Posted on 11/15/2007 8:19:44 PM PST by PotatoHeadMick
The intensity of combat in Afghanistan has been laid bare as one Army regiment revealed that it had fired one million rounds, killed 1,028 Taliban and lost nine men in a six-month tour of duty.
At times, fighting saw 1Bn of the Royal Anglians having to "winkle out the Taliban at the point of a bayonet", said Lt Col Stuart Carver, the commanding officer, at the battalion's medal ceremony.
At times the fighting was on a par with that experienced in the Second World War and the casualty rate was similar, with nine men killed and a further 135 wounded.
In a moving speech given by a former commander of the Anglians, Major Gen John Sutherell said they had completed the "most demanding tour" ever asked of the regiment.
"In spite of the heat and privations you have taken on a hard and fanatical enemy on their own grounds and driven them back. The fighting has been remorseless in its intensity and often at very close quarters.
"You have shown courage, endurance and professional skill and comradeship of a very high order.
"But you have also shown the intelligent restraint and humanity to discern between those who have been trying to kill you and the people we are in Afghanistan to help."
The conflict had not come "without costs" but the battalion should be "incredibly proud" of itself.
The general, who also served in the SAS, said: "You are truly comrades in arms, a band of brothers and you have our deepest gratitude, respect and admiration."
After he finished a woman from the crowd of almost 2,000 family and friends shouted "three cheers for our boys". She was met with a rapturous response.
Lt Col Carver said his men had fought conventional trench warfare, engaging a well-trained enemy from, at times, 15 feet away.
"There was some pretty fierce fighting in conditions you would sometimes see in World War Two, clearing buildings and trenches."
The enemy was highly trained and well equipped, although others were poorly trained fanatics.
"The good ones are extremely good, religiously motivated and will stay and fight until the last," Lt Col Carver said. "Sometimes they had to be winkled out of buildings at the point of a bayonet."
He said the Taliban mounted more than 350 attacks on his troops.
"By the end of the Anglian tour, three quarters of shop fronts had been restored to Sangin, which had previously been a ghost town. A school for 500 boys and girls had opened and the population had electricity. The security threat had also dropped to 'Northern Ireland levels'."
Despite the heroism of the tour, one third of the battalion received no recognition for the fighting they experienced.
Although General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, had indicated that a "Southern Afghanistan" clasp would be added to the Afghanistan campaign medal, it appears the MoD is dragging its feet over the issue.
The entire back row of three on parade at Pirbright Barracks, Surrey, did not get a medal as they had already received one during the "benign" Anglian tour of 2002.
Yesterday, the soldiers called for a recognition of the fighting they had experienced.
"It is chronically unfair that this has not been the case," said one soldier.
I love British-speak. But, a question: do they still use bayonets or is this just a figure of speech? Perhaps they do when the fighting is in such close quarters.
IIRC, a couple of years back a British Captain did in fact when the lads were low on ammunition order fix bayonets and lead a bayonet charge. Earned the VC for it he did; not postumelusly either I might add.
*We* still issue bayonets, I’m sure the British do too.
They’re a lot less effective on those bullpup L85 rifles they use, though. The L85 is a massive disaster of a rifle, and it uses a cast bayonet mount. Not a great thing.
On the other hand, if it’s what you have you kind of have to use it.
OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Armys first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago.
The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down.
Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara.
The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.
After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.
Thank you for the helpful information. In this day when we hear so much about the high-tech weaponry, it’s interesting to read that what used to work, still does. Thanks again.
Wikipedia makes mention of that on their Bayonet page:
“Bayonets were used as a direct attack weapon by Argyll and Sutherland Highlander troops from the British Army in the second conflict in Iraq. When two landrovers of Highlander troops were ambushed by soldiers loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the Highlander troops fixed bayonets to their rifles and charged the militiamen.”
And now enter the 91st/93rd (Princess’ Louise’s Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders):
Through war, disease, capture and further amalgamation with the First Battalion, the 93rd has lived on. Today “The Thin Red Line” still stands firm in our ever changing world.
A&S Highlanders in Iraq:
“Outnumbered British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago. The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down.
Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara. The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills. When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway Ñ and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured.
An Army spokesman said: “This was an intense engagement.” The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions. “
The Brits have always favored bayonets more than US forces - we tend to prefer knives (often dismounted bayonets), sharpened entrenching tools, or swords depending on the era.
“The intensity of combat in Afghanistan has been laid bare as one Army regiment revealed that it had fired one million rounds, killed 1,028 Taliban and lost nine men in a six-month tour of duty.”
Superior Western Culture Ping!
A lot of bunker clearing takes place with fixed bayonets, I’ve just been told. Aside from using the fixed bayonet as a probe, the thing gives anyone trying to grab your muzzle a nasty surprise.
Fix bayonets, prepare charge...
Tough men those.
What?? What?? What’s that about Royal Anglicans? Does the Archbishop of Canterbury know about this?
Good show !...Those Brits are tough and they sure do use bayonets..They are however still slow to issue medals and commendations, been that way since WW II and maybe before..Curious why they are slow with the medals...good men
the brits have done an outstanding job in afghanistan.
“At times the fighting was on a par with that experienced in the Second World War and the casualty rate was similar, with nine men killed and a further 135 wounded.
Will it was a Battalion. That is what 500 men?
Thank you, Royal Anglians!
Well, a fast visit to the outfits web site would answer all sorts of questions.
BTW 300 to 1000 troops, depending on mission, attached support units, etc.