21 June, 2011

The Raid

The Taliban consider Mazdurak a safe haven. No coalition forces have set foot inside, and C Company is going in to stir up the hornets’ nest in order to discover the Taliban’s real strength.

As dawn breaks, the platoon has assembled for the raid into the village and is ready to go.

Sleepy Mazdurak - it's not often the Taliban are caught unawares!

Sleepy Mazdurak

The Taliban rouse themselves, one group scampering to the rooftop of this large building

Taliban rouse themselves

First section takes fire crossing paddy field. As well as taking fire from the town a couple of PKM-armed Taliban pop up right in front of them

First section takes fire crossing paddy field

The Taliban commanders show their contempt for the rules of warfare

Taliban commanders

Second section advances using the cover of one of the outlying houses - but trouble brews over the British radio as they hear that Colour Sergeant Siskey has been seriously wounded and the platoon becomes despondent.

Second section advances using cover

Taliban reinforcements arrives from Khvolehabad across the wadi

Taliban reinforcements from across the wadi

A covert lone Taliban approaches with potted IED

Potted IED

The Taliban prepare to repulse the British assault on the village

Taliban prepare to repulse assault

Two of the remaining upright members of first section charge across the open ground towards the large compound, leaving their mates safely behind the berm at the paddy field

Crazy advance

A torrent of fire has immediate effect on the British unit providing a base of fire for the raid - all four members of this fireteam and a sniper go down

Torrent of fire has immediate effect

A long and drawn out two-man assault clears out the compound

Assault clears out compound

Having taken some serious losses, the British are defeated by a close score of 14-12, despite discovering the strenght of the Taliban and establishing a foothold in Mazdurak.

Lesson for the Day: Overwatch is useful and a two-pronged attack has got to be mutually supporting from the off


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