Into the Viper's Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War
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Recounts the dramatic three-day battle for the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala that started on 7 December 2007. With a pre-battle population of fifteen to twenty thousand, Musa Qala was the only significant town held by the Taliban at that time. Attacking against two thousand Taliban fighters, who were heavily dug in after occupying the town for more than nine months, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was spearheaded by Task Force 1 Fury: 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 82nd Airborne Division.
For the ISAF Musa Qala was a target of immense importance; the Taliban had to be driven out and the town secured. With months of occupation to get ready, the Taliban were prepared to stand and fight. What resulted was one of the biggest and most terrible battles of the war.
Afghan shura speeches—and I was like, ‘Oh, oh, he’s good.’ He was very good.” Salaam spoke the words the coalition wanted and was prepared to repeat his message to everyone—he was driven around from village to village to tell the people to back the government. Mennes saw a lot of him later. “I used to walk into his little court with everyone on the floor, sitting around smoking cigarettes and drinking tea on pillows. They had a little stove, and people were feeding his cat.” They struck up a
later be awarded a Military Cross, an award for gallantry, for leading a six-man team that charged 200 yards to assault a Taliban trench and captured a prisoner after coming under fire from heavy machine guns. On the eastern side of Musa Qala, Chris Bell’s Warrior company of the Scots Guards, now codenamed the “Desert Devils” on the Taliban radio, kept up a similar routine of camping in hidden positions—often in old Russian trenches—and then moving to the edge of Musa Qala to engage in daily
Lord, please give me wisdom, strength, courage and happiness and carry the Sadler family through the coming days. The Desert West of Musa Qala Wadi, 5 December, 0740 Hours The “Greyhound” buses came out of the desert, carrying the militia that was supposed to be going to protect Mullah Salaam. They were escorted by some Czech Special Forces. Waiting for them was Lieutenant David Warwick, a young officer from the King’s Royal Hussars. The men who poured out of the buses looked nothing like
been a way to save Jonno. But he knew, deep down, there was nothing. It was just sad and unlucky. The soldiers were waiting for a chopper to bring a bomb-disposal team in to clear the minefield so Jonno’s body could be taken away safely and the Afghan truck recovered or blown up. But the helicopters never came. Emergency Landing Zone beneath Roshan Tower, with Alpha Company, Task Force 1 Fury, 1100 Hours The paratroopers wanted the chopper in fast. They feared the injured Brasher could die
salvo of highly accurate Dushka rounds. Some in HQ shared the suspicion the rounds were tipped with explosives. Fera’s team had to run the mortars and artillery, talk to the Apache helicopters, and talk to the fast jet bombers on station. It had gotten busier now than at any time. Fera gave Bravo the British guns for their missions. They were slower to get fired up because the mission requests had to go through more channels. Alpha Company, defending Roshan, was given Red Leg, the American 105