Our War – The Invisible Enemy – episode two
With unique soldier shot footage, the second film in the series marking a decade of war in Afghanistan follows the plight of the first troops sent to Helmand Province in 2006 and how, three years later, Improvised Explosive Devices had changed the war.
A small platoon entered the town of Sangin in 2006, equipped to stay for a few days, but they ended up staying months, under heavy bombardment. As they struggle to survive, a supply drop-off lands behind enemy lines by mistake. Finally, the troops emerge traumatised and underweight. Sergeant Trevor Coult says: “I was a broken man – lots of gruesome stuff had taken place. No tablet can take that memory away.”
Later in 2009, Captain Alex Rawlins films his men from 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards under threat from the increasing number of IEDs in Helmand Province. Alex captures the events around the death of one of the platoon’s young comrades, Private Jamie Janes.
The film reveals how Jamie’s death became a turning point in the British public’s awareness of the human cost of IEDs and how a misspelled letter turned into a political storm for the then-PM Gordon Brown.
Tuesday 14 June
9.00-10.00pm BBC THREE