The Battle for Bomb Alley

Published on 25th May 2017 by

Four four years British servicemen fought an ongoing war with Taliban fighters in the Sangin region of Afghanistan, the most violent part of the country. Over a four year period up to 2010 some 106 British men lost their lives in the region including Staff-Sergeant Olaf Schmidt who won the George Cross there. In 2010 British forces withdrew from the region and handed over the area to US marines. 

The Battle for Bomb Alley is a 2011 Panorama documentary by Ben Anderson who had previously spent time with the British forces in the region in 2007. He returns to the region to follow Lima Company, a unit of the US Marines, as they dodge improvised bombs and fight with enemy combatants as they try to reclaim territory which was previously occupied by British. The film was aired as the war entered its tenth year and with little progress having been made in Sangin, leaving people to question whether the loss of 106 British lives was really worth it.


Ben Anderson made numerous trips to Afghanistan to produce content for BBC Panorama, HBO, and Channel 4 Dispatches, and in 2012 published the gritty and brutally honest book No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story Of The Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan, a book which tells the true but grim story of the war on the front line. It is available in paperback, hardback, or kindle editions.

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