The Lost Platoon
Luke Langley is 22 and he's going to Afghanistan for the second time. The first time Langley went to war in 2009 his platoon held an isolated fort deep in no man's land. 7 Platoon's commander was Lieutenant Mark Evison, a rising star in the Welsh Guards. At the time, British forces were overstretched in one of the most dangerous areas of Helmand.
In his diary Mark wrote: "We are walking on a tightrope... injuries will be sustained which I will not be able to treat and deaths could occur which could have been stopped." 7 Platoon's lifeline was the ability to summon devastating firepower at a few minutes’ notice. This film is about the day that lifeline failed and seventh platoon had to fight along.
In the spring of 2009 the Welsh Guards took over a string of remote bases in southern Helmand. Mark Evison and his platoon were assigned to a fort known as Haji Alem. Evison was delayed by a brief illness, but 7 Platoon went on to Haji Alem without him. Like many British soldiers before them, they recorded their war on video. Few in 7 Platoon had seen combat, most were barely out of their teens.
Haji Alem was four kilometers from the main forward operating base in the area. A few kilometers down the road was the biggest Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. On 7 Platoon's first day at Haji Alem shots were fired from across the canal. In the crossfire the son of a village elder had been hit. It was a fifteen minute flight from Haji Alem to the operating theater Camp Bastion... 30k away.
The next day Mark Evison arrived at Haji Alem to take command of his platoon. 7 Platoon had been at Haji Alem a week when Evison took them on their first major patrol. Their route would take them just a few hundred meters from the fort. The patrol moved down irrigation ditches which carried water to the opium fields.
All the years there and soldiers killed just to get up and leave the country. So many lives wasted for really nothing being accomplished
The only adjective these guys know is the word "Fuckin'." They cannot speak a single sentence without using that word several times in one sentence.
Its so hard to watch a platoon crumble under fire. After losing c.o.. 😶
Mark, i fully agreed with you.
They look heavy there carrying what?
They were really close to their base and moving that slow...
Well that was sad... I honestly don't think those blokes were trained effectively enough to be doing what they were asked to do. A forward base which is right next door to a Taliban training ground and they send people with no combat experience, no heavy weapons, and one satellite radio......
The radio operators radio goes down and then the guy who inherits command starts yammering on the working radio instead of handing it to the radio operator and taking control of his men... They threw one smoke which they couldn't even pop off properly..... You're telling me between the lot of them they had only one possibly faulty smoke??
What an absolute travesty. This just makes me sad that those troops were thrown into that situation without proper training, without backup equipment, without combat experience and thrown straight into one of the most dangerous places in Afghan.
it was Mark Evison mistake to go out to patrol without proper equipment .....may his life could be saved if they had contacted base with working radio ....
Disappointed..yes the US of A the UK and oh yes Canada are all political democracies and yes between the politicians the corporate greed etch. It gets rather unbearable at times, however.. Thank all three nations and their allies that your not speaking German and/ or Japanese right now.. That's if you weren't enslaved by their imperial and Fascist control. You are all complaining right now because you have the freedom to do so.. Thanks to a lot of men and woman who died to give us the right to do so.
The choice of the location - the open fort - could have been avoided in the first place. Normally in a platoon there should be a mix of talent and age (experience) - a few experienced in battle and a few to be blooded so that there is enough collective wisdom in the team to avoid casualty. Did they have enough inputs in the tactics employed by the Taliban - the patrols should move out and move in unwatched by enemy - may be they could have tried moving out in the night time or just after last light or when these guys do their namaz. The boys did quite well - overall and as an infantry officer I appreciate their courage and commitment - I pray to God to bless the departed soul in eternal peace. regards. Muthu
Excellent detail on a single battle. Gets you into the mindset.
It bears mentioning that this is effectively the Fourth Afghan War from the British perspective, and nothing good has come out of any of them, the first one being the worst debacle, which just goes to show how little we learn from the past.
I recall Rudyard Kipling's poem "Arithmetic on the Frontier" had the line:
"Two thousand pounds of education falls to a ten rupee jezail"
After watching this, it seems you could all to easily bring it into the modern age as:
"Two hundred thousand pounds of education falls to a two hundred dollar AK47"
Nothing has changed, it's still a bloody awful waste.
Keep it up lads!
Damn written down my thoughts of Docu of the lads and it goes to Facebook, that did a lot of good egh ? Afghanistan = Viet Nam , It all stinks with bullets coming at you and the enemy has better coverage than you and the enemy has better view of you. Young men buying into the services bulls*it about protecting your country ! When you've seen the biggest portion of a platoon not come back then and when bullets fly you wonder what in the hell am I doing this ?, Where's that SOB that fed me a bunch of s*it ?, I got to get out of here ! ... Sorry Lads, The war machine eats young men and if your lucky it spits you out alive.
I swear watching you & hearing you I was young again my eyes full tears, I felt that quiziness in my gut and scared. You got to live and get through it so you can come home and be old ! ...Hushlizard
Great documentary. Sad to think that there's an hour-long documentary of emotional young lads behind every single death from every war we've ever witnessed. That's probably more minutes than Youtube's entirety!
USA needs wars to keep top military makers in a job so when the pollies retire they can work there..big banks are the only ones who make money, USA taxpayer paid USA companies in Germany during the war compo for any damaged caused by allied bombing..Henry Ford gave Hitler 50 K for his b/day.. readd/load ..War is a racket.. More troops kill themselves each day in USA than the wars have .
Hopefully one day the kids will realise it is a scam and not turn up for the next war.
"Life is fragile, and out here it feels like it can be removed in an instant, it almost makes life even more valuable and shows the fragility that many in the west, I believe, do not understand". Extract from the journal of Lieutenant Mark Evison (RIP).
Well that was fairly intense indeed. I feel sorry for any soldier ( especially those that don't know why they are there) that finds themselves facing what these guys did. Why they'd be on the front line in this amount of trouble without a single battle experienced officer among them is beyond my comprehension. Was it logistics? Is there a shortage of vets?
it's a shame we follow america's blind side military decisions...leading our 'children' to the slaughter bank. it sickens me that a 'happening' like 9/11 justifies out of proportion actions which bear no common sense when one delves into this topic!
These young lads got thrown to the wolves here. I cant imagine why they wouldnt have overhead video surveillance in this day and age, to pinpoint the enemy. Cheap and effective, you can buy them on the internet. No coverage at all in most of that video, they couldnt even see them. A small UAV of which im sure most of us have seen by now, are out there. If i was an infantry member, id buy my own so these circumstances would have turned out a lot different and a lot faster, if they had those as a platform to work from. No direct mission?? That's a killer. Id be ashamed to be the one giving out the missions for these green young men. Not a veteran among them. I find that difficult to fathom. I feel for Mark Evason's family. And his boys. His other family. That was senseless. No backup, poor equipment. Ill thought out, as was that whole mess in my honest opinion.