Operation Medusa “We are not doing f***ing peacekeeping

#1
This should go into the 'All new Afghan fighting' thread and probably will but its by a freind of the forces and everyone should have a quick glance.

Amid the thud of artillery, soldiers stormed into a Taleban stronghold
By Tim Albone
Our correspondent reports from the front line where Canadians have been facing fierce resistance

EXPLOSIONS rocked the ground and shook the mudwalled compounds of Pashmul yesterday as Canadian troops penetrated deep into territory that for months has been in the grip of Taleban insurgents.

Dawn on the twelfth day of Operation Medusa, Nato’s largest offensive in Afghanistan, was broken by the thud of artillery and the sound of Apache helicopters going into battle.

Throughout the day soldiers on foot combed the area for rebels. Heavy gates to walled compounds were blown open, a warren of Taleban tunnels and bunkers were destroyed by explosives and grenades were thrown into wells and fired through doors.

At times the ground shook and the noise was overpowering. “We are not doing f***ing peacekeeping operations here, we are doing combat operations,” Lieutenant-Colonel Omer H. Lavoie, 40, the commanding officer of the Canadian forces, told The Times, the only British paper to visit the frontline during the fiercest battle since the Taleban was overthrown five years ago.

Finally, after almost two weeks of aerial assaults and a barrage of heavy artillery, his troops seemed to be making progress. But it is gruelling, dangerous work. At least 20 Nato troops have been killed in the battle, and as of Tuesday, Nato claimed to be in control of only 65 per cent of the Panjawyi area, which includes the villages of Pashmul.

Captain Max Shields, 27, with the 22nd Regiment, said: “It is outstanding terrain to defend. There is very heavy vegetation, ditches, canals and mud buildings.”

The fields, which provide the Taleban with a ready supply of melons 8O , pomegranate and marijuana, also provide ideal cover. The marijuana bushes grow up to six feet high and provide ideal camouflage. To make matters worse the mud-walled compounds are impenetrable to bullets; only bombs dropped from the air can penetrate them.

During Operation Medusa, despite the high body count, many Taleban have got away and it is feared that they could be heading to Helmand province, where more than 4,000 British troops are based.

During the Soviet invasion the area of Pashmul was never conquered, despite the the Russians pouring thousands of troops, from some of their best regiments, into the area surrounding Pashmul. “This is an eye-opener,” said Captain Jordan Schaub, 26, the second in command of Alpha company, PPCLI. “You train for this but we didn’t expect such a tempo. Seeing is believing.”

Corporal Miguel Dulac, 22, said: “I speak to a lot of American soldiers and they say this is worse than Iraq. Here they stay and fight.”


Article in full

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2356878_2,00.html

Good work Tim Albone
 
#3
Pillager said:
4,000

Yes but a modern rifle man has 4 times the fire power of one during the second world war. so that should actually be 16,000 troops in real terms!
Steady on, your feeding New Liebours spin machine there - we'll be seeing that line coming out the MOD before nightfall friday.

And lets not forget that what multiplies the firepower of Tommy Atkins does the same for Johnny Afghan - AK's and RPG's are a potent combination.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
6 foot marijuana bushes? hmm, i suggest the tactic of burning them out! Set fire to the vegetation and watch the taleban shoot each other or attempt to fly away from the scary purple dragons....
 
#5
The Taleban know the area, have the advantage of use of the terrain for ambushes, have the advantage of no rules of engagement, many of them are on their home turf and have the reputation of being tough fighters.

Yet still we continue to kill them in large numbers.

If they are tough... what does that make our lads and allies out their?

One can only admire them and feel humbled.
 
#6
Is it just me or is this sudden use of the body count statistics sort of worrying?
 
#7
Steven said:
Is it just me or is this sudden use of the body count statistics sort of worrying?
'Its not just you Steven' says Armchair placing another severed head on a stake.
 
#8
Body counts are a necessary evil, how else are troops expected to win any wager for the most confirmed kills if they ain't counting.

Besides which, killing Taleban is doing Gods work and should be applauded.
 
#9
Pillager said:
4,000

Yes but a modern rifle man has 4 times the fire power of one during the second world war. so that should actually be 16,000 troops in real terms!
You had your abacus out to work that out? You must be a Civil Servant!
 
#10
chrisg46 said:
6 foot marijuana bushes? hmm, i suggest the tactic of burning them out! Set fire to the vegetation and watch the taleban shoot each other or attempt to fly away from the scary purple dragons....
Nah. They'll just get the munchies and attack the melons and pomegranates :)
 
#11
Now if only the modern rifleman can be in 4 places at the same time Pillager would have resolved all the overstretch problems of the army.
 
#12
Speedy said:
chrisg46 said:
6 foot marijuana bushes? hmm, i suggest the tactic of burning them out! Set fire to the vegetation and watch the taleban shoot each other or attempt to fly away from the scary purple dragons....
Nah. They'll just get the munchies and attack the melons and pomegranates :)
"Dude, there's like, infidels, over there..."

"Pass the mars bars. Allah Akbhar"
 
#14
chrisg46 said:
6 foot marijuana bushes? hmm, i suggest the tactic of burning them out! Set fire to the vegetation and watch the taleban shoot each other or attempt to fly away from the scary purple dragons....
Actually it would be more like

Terry Taleban: "f*ck man, is your rifle really really heavy or is it just me"

Tommy Taleban: "F*ck yeh, my arms are sooo heavy I can't lift them up. I feel really really hungry- I could eat. . . like 15 bags of crisps"

Terry Taleban: "f*ck this fightin, let's just look at the sky cos it's sooo pretty"
 
#15
Yet again it is the English speaking nations (plus the Dutch) doing all of the hard fighting. The Canadians appear to be doing quite well on Op Medusa, thats if whats being put in the media is accurate. I'm pleased to see that the Poles are going to come on board next year.
 
#16
Pillager said:
4,000

Yes but a modern rifle man has 4 times the fire power of one during the second world war. so that should actually be 16,000 troops in real terms!
The modern tribesman - RPG in hand, AK on his back - probably has 4 times the firepower oh his WW2 equivalent as well. If we could only go back in time and fight last centuries wars then everything would be fine.
 
#17
One_of_the_strange said:
The modern tribesman - RPG in hand, AK on his back - probably has 4 times the firepower oh his WW2 equivalent as well. If we could only go back in time and fight last centuries wars then everything would be fine.
I wonder how Hilaire Belloc would see it nowadays - delete "Maxim Gun" - insert "body armour" or "A10 warthog", perhaps: any thoughts anyone?

The Modern Traveller
Blood thought he knew the native mind;
He said you must be firm, but kind.
A mutiny resulted.
I shall never forget the way
That Blood stood upon this awful day
Preserved us all from death.
He stood upon a little mound
Cast his lethargic eyes around,
And said beneath his breath:
'Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim Gun, and they have not.'

Hilaire Belloc (1896)
 
#18
Which ever way it's viewed, this conflict is beginning to look more and more a repeat of Vietnam. The Americans have been very careful not to get sucked in but I do see it happening for us. The point about the body count is quite disturbing, when has that ever been a measure of a sucessful British operation?
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#19
Bravo2nothing said:
Which ever way it's viewed, this conflict is beginning to look more and more a repeat of Vietnam. The Americans have been very careful not to get sucked in but I do see it happening for us. The point about the body count is quite disturbing, when has that ever been a measure of a sucessful British operation?
WW1, WW2, Cyprus, Borneo, Palestine, Falklands war, NI, Sierra Leone etc (almost everywhere).

Not FRY though becauise they were peace keeping ops. NI was fed more piecemeal by the nature of the conflict and not celebrated in the same way.
 
#20
Bravo2nothing said:
Which ever way it's viewed, this conflict is beginning to look more and more a repeat of Vietnam.
I am not altogether sure I agree; at least on the basis that nothing is ever as bad (or as good) as it is first reported.

The commanders on the ground seem to be confident that - GIVEN SUFFICIENT TROOPS - they can create conditions in which reconstruction can take place - GIVEN SUFFICIENT RESOURCES AND COMMITMENT.

Serious reservations do seem to be justified, on the evidence that:

a. Nobody's rushing to send extra troops any time now (the Brit Commander was quoted a couple of days ago as saying 'we've got a 6 mth window' - which gives him till March but even the Poles (who are not "extra" troops, and will only - maybe - relieve other as yet un-named troops to join the fighting) ain't due 'til Feb.

b. The window was wide open in the Spring - but Bliar and co. didn't send anything meaningful to begin the reconstruction. I doubt that that will change. :x
 

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