have a place in Valhalla. And the bastards who didn't get them the support they needed have places in hell.
Hungry and frequently at the point of exhaustion, they were forced to somehow fend off 360-degree attacks from the Taliban, with little protection beyond a series of low mud walls.
They used up a quarter of all the British Army’s Afghan ammunition for that entire year.
Yet today their heroism remains little known, not least because the Ministry of Defence has never permitted the full story of what happened there ten years ago this month to be told.
It has taken a Channel 4 documentary team to piece together fragments of testimony from survivors who have now left the Army, to reveal in devastating detail how close the 88 officers and men came to being massacred.
They lost three men and saw 12 badly wounded before a ragged ceasefire was brokered by tribal elders, allowing them to evacuate their Helmand hell-hole. As with Rorke’s Drift, the final, devastating assault somehow never came.
'never came' because they'd killed to many of the enemy that the elders didn't want to see the rest taking dirt naps.
To make matters worse, the village was
often too dangerous for helicopter support, and reinforcements –
although it is still not entirely clear why – simply never came.
Yet while Rorke’s Drift has been immortalised in film and resulted in 11 Victoria Crosses, Musa Qala has been reduced to a controversial footnote in the history of the Afghan conflict.
It does not serve
Whitehall well for details of such a poorly resourced mission to be revealed.
And that gets even better:
‘Theirs is a story of extraordinary courage that has never been told in full. These ex-soldiers who fought at Musa Qala have come forward. They want the truth to be heard.’
Serving soldiers have been banned from participating and the Government has refused access to factual information.
Gee, I wonder why.
In February this year the Taliban recaptured the dusty little town from Afghan army forces.