Wednesday, February 27, 2008

British Casualty Toll Described in Herald Article

An article published in today's Herald newspaper paints an over view of British casualties in both wars and draws particular attention to the high level of losses experienced in Afghanistan. The under or un-reported incidence of disabling injuries is a part of the casualty burden that is still often unappreciated.

The frightening intensity of combat in Helmand was exposed last year when the Royal Anglians revealed that they had fired one million rounds, killed 1,028 Taliban and lost nine of their own men in a six-month tour of duty.

The 650-strong regiment sustained a further 135 wounded or seriously injured in the fighting in the Sangin Valley, having to "winkle out the Taliban at the point of a bayonet", according to Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Carver, its commanding officer.

By the end of the tour, the Anglians had lost almost 22% of their manpower to enemy action, over twice the "going rate" for battle casualties.

One officer who spoke to The Herald said: "The real story lies in the number of wounded with life-threatening injuries. It's more than half of those listed as sustaining battlefield wounds. At least 50 men have had limbs amputated, lost the use of arms or legs or lost eyes since 2003."