Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

US forces on horseback fighting Taliban
UPI | 11/15/01 | PAMELA HESS

Posted on 11/16/2001 1:19:58 PM PST by kattracks

WASHINGTON, Nov 15, 2001 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan are taking part in combat operations against the Taliban and have had close scrapes with enemy fire, according to two unclassified dispatches from troops Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz released Nov. 14.

The messages, dated Oct. 25 and Nov. 10, describe scenes of great bravery and danger, and indicate some of the apparently easy battles were more harrowing than they appeared.

A U.S. element was nearly overrun by Taliban troops on Nov. 6 but remained in position to call in air support from U.S. Navy and Air Force planes, ensuring that the Northern Alliance forces were not defeated, according to a Nov. 10 message.

"I have personally witnessed heroism under fire by (two U.S. non-commissioned officers from the Army and Air Force) when we came under fire last night, which was less than 50 meters from me. When I ordered them to call close air support, they did so immediately without flinching even though they were under ... fire," states the Nov. 10 dispatch. "These two examples are typical of the performance of your soldiers and airmen. Truly uncommon valor has been a common virtue amongst these men."

U.S. troops are moving about on horseback with the Afghan fighters, and they describe how the poorly equipped fighters have been squaring off against Taliban tanks, mortars, artillery, personnel carriers and machine guns.

"A tactic which I think became outdated with the introduction of the Gatling gun," quipped the Special Forces soldier in an Oct. 25 message.

The message talks about a Northern Alliance sniper who walked more than 10 miles to get to the fight and "who was proud to show me his artificial right leg from the knee down."

Armed with few bullets and light arms, the opposition has pressed swiftly forward in battles, killing many Taliban and suffering only light casualties themselves.

"We have witnessed the horse cavalry bounding overwatch from spur to spur to attack Taliban strong points -- the last several kilometers under mortar, artillery ... and (sniper) fire. There is little medical care if injured, only a donkey ride to the aid station, which is a dirt hut. I think (the opposition) are doing very well with what they have. They have killed over 125 Taliban ... while losing only eight," said the Oct. 25 message.

U.S. air strikes have made all the difference in the war, the messages suggest, and the Afghan opposition is grateful.

"We couldn't do what we are (doing) without the close air support. ... Everywhere I go the civilians and (opposition) soldiers are always telling me they are glad the USA has

come. ... They all speak of their hopes for a better Afghanistan once the Taliban are gone. Better go. (The local commander) is finishing his phone call with (someone back in the States)."

Wolfowitz said in a speech in Washington Wednesday that the U.S. soldier then joined a cavalry attack.

The Nov. 10 message describes the triumphant, but rag-tag parade into Mazar-i-Sharif in "begged, borrowed and confiscated transportation." Mazar fell to the opposition on Nov. 9.

"While it looked like a rag-tag procession, the morale into Mazar-i-Sharif was a triumphal procession. All locals loudly greeted us and thanked all Americans. Much waving, cheering and clapping even from the women. ... (U.S. Navy/U.S. Air Force did a great job," states the message.

Fewer than 200 U.S. special operations forces are operating inside Afghanistan. Many of them are linked up with "Northern Alliance" groups and have been helping to resupply troops and call in air strikes. Others are set up along the road linking Kabul to Kandahar, attacking Taliban troops as they retreat to their southern stronghold.

Still more Special Forces are poised in Pakistan for raids into Afghanistan.

By PAMELA HESS, Pentagon correspondent

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; mazaresharif; mazarisharif
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-48 last
To: No Truce With Kings
Remember what soldiers from other divisions would say about the First Cav Div patch? The horse they never had The line they never crossed. . .

No one ever said that to me and I had one on both shoulders. ;)

41 posted on 11/16/2001 1:20:57 PM PST by mvscal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Cannoneer No. 4
Here's the "The Last Charge" pic you were trying to post:

42 posted on 11/16/2001 1:20:57 PM PST by BansheeBill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
If you read the article carefully, you'd realize the U.S. troops aren't charging tanks on horseback (THANK GOD!). The Northern Alliance are. Gotta love our guys though. And we do. That's why they have better equipment than the Northern Alliance.
43 posted on 11/16/2001 1:21:01 PM PST by Burr5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Burr5
If it's SF operators, if the indig are doing it, you do it!

When the village chief offered his daughters...... we did our duty.

44 posted on 11/16/2001 1:21:17 PM PST by MindBender26
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: BansheeBill
Tango Mike, Bill. That's a Don Stivers print, "The Last Charge," 11th Cavalry, Ojos Azules, Chihuahua, Mexico during the Mexican Punitive Expedition. On 5 May 1916, six troops of that regiment attacked a Villista band at Ojos Azules, Mexico.

The last mounted cavalry unit in US service to see action was the 26th Cavalry (Phillipine Scouts), a regiment of Filipino troopers with American officers in the Philippines, stationed at Ft Stotsenburg, Luzon. They fought both mounted and dismounted against Jap invasion troops, once attacking Jap tanks December 1941 to February 1942. According to a Bataan survivor interviewed in the Washington Post (10 Apr 1977) starving U.S. and Philippine troops ate all the regiment's horses.

In Italy, 3 ID captured enough German artillery horses to field a Provisional Recon Troop (Mounted)

In Burma, 1944-45, a Texas National Guard Cavalry Regiment of the Mars Task Force stayed in the bush for months supplied by air drops and a large mule train.

Last mounted cavalry unit...129th Cavalry Squadron, activated 1 May 1944 for tactical instruction at Cavalry School; deactivated 6 Feb 1945.

Last mounted (horse or mule) US Army unit...4th FA Bn & 35th QM Pack Co, both deactivated at Ft Carson, CO, 15 Feb 1957.

There are Mounted Color Guards and Demonstration Units of platoon size or less at Forts Riley, Carson and Huachuca. The Old Guard 3rd Infantry keeps a few horses to pull caissons carrying caskets to military funerals at Arlington National Cemetary

Grey's Scouts were a mounted infantry battalion of the Rhodesian Army which was very effective against terrorists in the late 1970's.

Our Green Beanies are carrying on a glorious tradition while making some history of their own. I hope some American T. E. Lawrence writes about it.

45 posted on 11/16/2001 1:21:47 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: kattracks; All

Are there any photos or video of the Afghan horseback ‘charges’ by our troops. That is a picture worth framing.

46 posted on 09/11/2007 8:51:29 PM PDT by BlackjackPershing ("The great object is that every man be armed." Patrick Henry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks

U.S. special forces troops ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on Nov. 12, 2001

47 posted on 09/11/2007 9:03:46 PM PDT by sleddogs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks

And do they play an occasional game of buzkashi on the side.

48 posted on 09/11/2007 9:08:27 PM PDT by Ciexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-48 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson