26 October 2016

British troops launched a 'proper angry' bayonet charge

From We Are The Mighty, an article by Blake Stilwell, a traveler and writer with expertise in television & film, international relations, public relations, and the Middle East; he is a veteran USAF combat cameraman whose civilian work includes ABC News, NBC News, HBO, and the White House; he is based in Los Angeles, California, but is often found elsewhere; about the Brits, charging:

In May of 2004, about twenty British troops were on the move fifteen miles south of al-Amara, near the major city of Basra, in Iraq. They were on the way to assist another unit that was under fire when their convoy was hit by a surprise of its own.
Shia militias averaged five attacks per day in Basra when the UK troops arrived. British soldiers tried to arrest Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for supporting the violence, the locals were not happy about it, and an unpredictable level of violence broke out. British troops were frequently under assault, with an estimated three hundred ambushes within three months.
“We were constantly under attack,” Sergeant Brian Wood told the BBC. “If mortars weren’t coming into our base, then we were dragged out into the city to help other units under fire.” Wood and other troops from the First Battalion of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment were on their way to aid some Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who were being attacked by a hundred militiamen from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army when their vehicle struck an IED. Mortars, rockets, and machine guns peppered the unarmored vehicles.
Rather than drive through the ambush, the vehicles took so much punishment they had to stop on the road. The troops inside dismounted, established a perimeter, and had to call in some help of their own. Ammunition soon ran low. The decision was made: the British troops fixed bayonets.
They ran across six hundred feet of open ground toward the entrenched enemy. Once on top of the Mahdi fighters, the British bayoneted twenty of the militia. Fierce hand-to-hand combat followed for five hours. The Queen’s men suffered only three injuries.
“We were pumped up on adrenaline and proper angry,” Private Anthony Rushforth told The Sun, a London, England newspaper. “It’’s only afterwards you think, ‘Jesus, I actually did that’.’ ””
Jihadi propaganda at the time told young fighters that Western armies would run from ambushes and never engage in close combat. They were wrong. Irregular, unexpected combat tactics overwhelmed a numerically superior enemy with the advantage in surprise and firepower.

Rico says only the Brits...

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