Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (2023)

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (1)

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, made famous by the documentary "Restrepo" and the book "War," has returned to Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan as a platoon sergeant with B Company of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)

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Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (2)

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, made famous by the documentary "Restrepo" and the book "War," has returned to Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan as a platoon sergeant with B Company of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)

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Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (3)

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, made famous by the documentary "Restrepo" and the book "War," has returned to Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan as a platoon sergeant with B Company of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)

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(Video) Firefight at Outpost Restrepo

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (4)

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, center, meets with two members of his platoon team, Spc. Steven Schwigert, left, and Pfc. Kevin Amick, at Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan. (Martin Kuz/Stars and Stripes)

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Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (5)

Outpost Restrepo in the Korengal Valley of Kunar province, Afghanistan in 2008. (Courtesy photo/Outpost Films)

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (6)

Specialist Misha Pemble-Belkin, left, and Ross Murphy of Battle Company, 173rd U.S. Airborne Brigade share a laugh at Outpost Restrepo in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in 2008. (Courtesy photo/Tim Hetherington)

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (7)

Spec. Misha Pemble-Belkin, left, and fellow soldiers from Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade are shown here during a firefight at now-defunct Outpost Restrepo in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley in 2008. (Courtesty photo/Tim Hetherington)

(Video) Intense Firefight in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (8)

Outpost Restrepo, focus of the documentary "Restrepo" by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, Kunar province in 2008. (Courtesy photo/Tim Hetherington)

Unintended star of ‘Restrepo’ returns to Afghanistan (9)

"Restrepo" filmmakers Sebastian Junger, left, and Tim Hetherington at Outpost Restrepo in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, Kunar Province in 2007. (Courtesy photo/Tim Hetherington)

This story has been corrected

ASMAR, Afghanistan -- Sebastian Junger’s best-selling book “War” reconstructs in visceral detail a day in 2007 when Taliban insurgents ambushed a U.S. platoon in the Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan. In one scene, then-Pvt. Misha Pemble-Belkin runs through sheets of gunfire to aid Spc. Carl Vandenberge, who is bleeding out after a bullet has severed the brachial artery in his left arm.

Pemble-Belkin starts stuffing the wound with Kerlix bandages until he’s knuckle-deep in Vandenberge’s huge arm. Vandenberge is soaked with blood from his boots to his collar, and soon Pemble-Belkin is, too. When he cuts the sleeve off Vandenberge’s uniform, two or three more cups of blood spill out.

“You could see it in his face that he’s slowly dying,” Pemble-Belkin said.

Pemble-Belkin’s actions saved Vandenberge’s life. More than once during the platoon's 15-month tour in Kunar province, however, death poached his comrades.

The first was Pfc. Juan Restrepo, 20. His surname supplied the title of last year’s Oscar-nominated documentary, co-directed by Junger, that parallels “War” in recounting the unit’s Sisyphean slog up and down the walls of the Korengal.

“Restrepo” balances footage of firefights and post-deployment interviews with the soldiers, who named an observation post for their fallen friend, a medic. Describing the privations of war, Pemble-Belkin, his sleepy brown eyes holding steady on the camera and his voice a gentle whir, emerges as the film’s conscience.

Audiences might have assumed he forever exiled himself from Afghanistan’s untamed borderlands after his tour ended in 2008. Instead, as one year away turned into a second, time pried open his desire to return.

“I wanted to come back to Kunar,” he said as the last orange embers in the July evening sky darkened above Combat Outpost Monti in Asmar. “I know the terrain, I know how the enemy fights, I know how to react to them. I know how to survive.”

Asmar huddles beside the Kunar River less than 10 miles from Pakistan in a narrow valley trapped by the Hindu Kush mountains. Granite peaks topping 6,000 feet surround the base like enormous shark fins.

Pemble-Belkin, 25, arrived here in April as a sergeant and team leader with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. His rank and role have changed since he left the Korengal, 30 miles to the southwest, as a private and radio operator with 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

“You’ve got a lot more responsibility, a lot more weight on your shoulders when you’re in charge of soldiers,” he said. “If you mess up or if one of them messes up when you’re outside the wire, they might take a round.”

(Video) 11 days and a Wake Up

At 6-foot-1, with scythe-long arms and a shaved, marble-round head, Pemble-Belkin appears taller in person than on-screen, and his scarecrow frame of three years ago has thickened with muscle across his chest and shoulders.

Likewise, from his perspective, the country to which he deployed again looks different.

“It feels like the war is being won,” he said. “All they show on the news back home are people dying. Yes, people are still dying, but at the same time, the fighting has died down.”

His belief that progress has occurred helps explain his support for the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. As he put it, “I think this country is ready to deal with its own [expletive].”

His reaction to the Army's exit from the Korengal last year hews to a similar logic.

"Some guys were upset about it; I wasn't," Pemble-Belkin said. "We could have lost more guys there if we didn't pull out."

The amount and intensity of combat his unit endured over 15 months in the Korengal might be unequaled in the annals of the Afghanistan war.

Three years later, while enemy contact in the Kunar River Valley is less sustained by comparison, the Taliban-led insurgency continues to roil the province. More than 10 soldiers in Pemble-Belkin’s Company B platoon have been wounded over the first third of its tour, though none on his team.

“It isn’t like it was last time with firefights — the attacks here are usually from farther out,” he said. “But there are a lot of mortars and rockets, so you’ve got to be ready.”

No small number of troops in Kunar and across eastern Afghanistan revere “Restrepo” and “War” as totems of their own experience. Pemble-Belkin’s team has learned the benefits of being led by a man who appeared in the film and book.

“He can tell you exactly what to expect before a mission because he knows this area so well,” said Spc. Steven Schwigert, 24, of Detroit. “He’s always teaching us something — about the terrain, how (insurgents) maneuver.”

Schwigert and Pfc. Kevin Amick first met Pemble-Belkin last year at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, the company’s U.S. base. “I was like, ‘Hey, is that the guy from ‘Restrepo?’ ” said Amick, 21, of Baltimore.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but he’s the same as in the movie — cool, calm and collected,” Amick added. “Even when we’re getting shot at, he doesn’t flip out.”

Those attributes were manifest to Junger during the eight months he spent reporting and filming in Kunar.

“He was very calm, competent and never complained,” Junger said in an email. “He is completely un-macho but also very brave and a very good soldier. Other soldiers like him for the same reasons that civilians do.”

After his first tour, Pemble-Belkin went home to Hillsboro, Ore., outside Portland, where his parents moved from Detroit when he was a toddler.

He had re-enlisted in Afghanistan and planned to stay with his friends in the 173rd Airborne. But with about half the unit leaving the Army after the punishing hitch in Kunar, he moved to Fort Polk, La., to join the 509th Airborne to train soldiers heading to Afghanistan.

In spring 2009, he packed a duffel bag and rode his motorcycle 2,400 miles from Oregon to Louisiana. He shivered through the Sierra Nevada in Northern California before thawing in the neon oasis of Las Vegas, then burned across the high desert of Arizona and New Mexico and the scrubland of Texas. The country’s vastness offered an antidote to the captivity of the Korengal.

“We had limited computer access, we had limited telephone access,” Pemble-Belkin said. “You got to the point where you thought the valley was the only thing in the world.”

In a sense, he hauled that rugged, restive gulch with him to Fort Polk, playing the part of Taliban insurgent while leading training exercises. After more than a year of simulating scenarios of a war in which he had fought, he craved a second tour.

(Video) Soldiers In Korengal Valley, Afghanistan (2008 - 2010)

“I got tired of seeing units come through and then deploying. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything anymore,” he said. “I’d rather be back here, where the fight is, instead of sitting back there.”

Pemble-Belkin received permission to join a company deploying to Kunar. He wound up with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii early last year, not long after “Restrepo” won the best documentary award at the Sundance Film Festival.

As buzz for the movie amplified, he attended promotional screenings with co-directors Junger and Tim Hetherington. Sharing his experiences with audiences proved cathartic.

Memories of friends claimed by the Korengal had trailed him home, triggering sporadic “night terrors” that jarred him awake. On other occasions, his wife, Amanda DeVos, found him sleeping under a makeshift fighting position he built from furniture and blankets in the middle of the night.

“Seeing the movie and talking about it actually helped me,” Pemble-Belkin said. “It kind of gave me a chance to work through things.”

If “Restrepo” has raised his visibility within the military, he passes mostly unrecognized through the civilian world — except in Hollywood, as he discovered in February when he accompanied Junger and Hetherington to the Oscars.

At the Vanity Fair after-party — “Restrepo” lost to “Inside Job” — the likes of Justin Timberlake, Josh Brolin and Kevin Spacey sought out Pemble-Belkin to discuss the film. Tom Hanks knifed through a crowd to reach him.

“I know who you are,” Hanks said. “I just want to say thank you.”

The two men had talked for several minutes when the actor remarked on the soldier’s composure. “You don’t seem nervous at all,” Hanks said.

“Why would I be?” Pemble-Belkin replied. “You’re just a person like me. I’m about to deploy to Afghanistan two months from now. I’m a little more nervous about that.”

The thrill of walking the red carpet at the Oscars gave way to mourning only weeks later when Hetherington, a veteran war photojournalist, was killed while covering the revolution in Libya. “It was shocking,” Pemble-Belkin said. “But the one thing you can say is that he died doing what he loved.”

His decision to sign up for a second tour, as much as Hetherington’s willingness to travel again and again to violent corners of the world, might baffle those unexposed to war. Junger, for one, is unsurprised.

“I think he returned because he missed the urgency and sense of importance of being in a combat environment,” said Junger, who remains in contact with Pemble-Belkin. “I think you can miss those things and still have a ‘sensitive’ side.”

So the erstwhile private known to his platoon mates in the Korengal as Butters — short for Peanut Butter, a nickname derived from the initials of his last name — is back in Afghanistan as Sgt. Pemble-Belkin.

“He provides confidence to his guys because he knows how to survive,” said Capt. Michael Kolton, 28, of Fairfax Station, Va., who commands Company B out of Combat Outpost Monti. “Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I think he saves lives in that platoon.”

Other soldiers sometimes tease Pemble-Belkin about his big-screen fame, calling him a “war hero,” a term strangers have used in earnest when they meet him. He resists the praise. For him, the legacy of “Restrepo” belongs to the soldier whose name inspired its title, his friend stolen by the Korengal.

“What matters about the movie is that he’ll never be forgotten,” Pemble-Belkin said. “I wish it could be that way for every single soldier who’s been lost.”


Twitter: @martinkuz

CorrectionThe 173rd Airborne Brigade was incorrectly identified in an earlier version of this article.

(Video) For the 25



How many soldiers died at Restrepo? ›

Before the credits roll, text is displayed that reads: "In April 2010, the United States withdrew from the Korengal Valley. Nearly 50 American soldiers died fighting there."

Was Restrepo real footage? ›

As it happens, Restrepo is a nonpartisan documentary, a stripped-down look at the soldiers Junger and Hetherington followed as their unit — Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne — took and built the position it held, at no small cost, for the better part of a year.

What happened to the soldiers in Restrepo? ›

Juan Sebastián Restrepo (October 7, 1986 – July 22, 2007) was a Colombian American soldier and medic. Restrepo was killed in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, of neck wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.
Juan Sebastián Restrepo
AwardsBronze Star Medal
7 more rows

Is Restrepo accurate? ›

That being said, I think Restrepo was a very accurate portrayal of war and being a soldier in Afghanistan. I don't know how you could get any more real than that. A journalist goes into the Korengal Valley and lives with a platoon for a year and captures the platoon's everyday life on film. It is an incredible film.

Which country had the most soldiers killed? ›

The Soviet Union suffered the highest number of fatalities of any single nation, with estimates mostly falling between 22 and 27 million deaths.

Who has the most kills in Afghanistan? ›

However, subsequent research showed that U.S. Army sniper Adelbert Waldron actually held the record, with 109 confirmed kills. Mawhinney's documented total was found to be 103 confirmed kills, with an additional 216 "probable kills". A third Marine Corps sniper, Eric R. England, had 98 confirmed kills.

What is the meaning of Restrepo? ›

restrepo [m] SV. relapse. 2. General.

What was the purpose of Restrepo? ›

The goal of the deployment was to clear the Korengal Valley of insurgency and gain the trust of the local populace.

Is Korengal and Restrepo the same? ›

Whereas Restrepo had been intended to make the viewer feel what it was like to be in combat, Junger's aim with Korengal was to delve deeper into the experience and emotions of those in combat and deconstruct what war does to the individual soldier.

What happened to Bergdahl? ›

Other sources said Bergdahl walked off base after his shift or that he was grabbed from a latrine. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Defense attributed his disappearance to "walking off his base in eastern Afghanistan with three Afghan counterparts and was believed to have been taken prisoner".

What happened to all the Afghan soldiers? ›

Following the escape of President Ashraf Ghani and the fall of Kabul, remaining ANA soldiers either deserted their posts or surrendered to the Taliban. Some ANA remnants reportedly joined the anti-Taliban National Resistance Front of Afghanistan in the Panjshir Valley (see Republican insurgency in Afghanistan).

How many years did Bergdahl get? ›

Bowe Bergdahl, the controversial soldier who abandoned his combat outpost in Afghanistan eight years ago and was swiftly captured by the Taliban, was punished Friday with a demotion and a dishonorable discharge. He received no prison time. The military judge presiding over the trial, Col.

What is the most historically accurate war movie? ›

16 Most Historically Accurate War Movies
  • 8 Dunkirk.
  • 7 Generation Kill.
  • 6 Lone Survivor.
  • 5 Black Hawk Down.
  • 4 Full Metal Jacket.
  • 3 Jarhead.
  • 2 Saving Private Ryan.
  • 1 We Were Soldiers.
Jan 4, 2023

How many innocent lives were lost in Afghanistan? ›

About 243,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan/Pakistan warzone since 2001. More than 70,000 of those killed have been civilians.

Who were the soldiers of Restrepo? ›

From May 2007 to June 2008, the men of 2nd Platoon, Battle Company of the 173rd Army Airborne Brigade held the remote Outpost Restrepo, named after PFC Juan Restrepo, the platoon medic who had been killed in action.

What war killed the most Americans? ›

The American Civil War is the conflict with the largest number of American military fatalities in history. In fact, the Civil War's death toll is comparable to all other major wars combined, the deadliest of which were the World Wars, which have a combined death toll of more than 520,000 American fatalities.

Which war killed the most US citizens? ›

The campaign that resulted in the most US military deaths was the Battle of Normandy (June 6 to August 25, 1944) in which 29,204 soldiers were killed fighting against Nazi Germany.

Which country has the fiercest soldiers? ›

  • Russia. #1 in Strong military. #36 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • United States. #2 in Strong military. #4 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • China. #3 in Strong military. ...
  • Israel. #4 in Strong military. ...
  • South Korea. #5 in Strong military. ...
  • Iran. #6 in Strong military. ...
  • United Kingdom. #7 in Strong military. ...
  • Ukraine. #8 in Strong military.

What branch has the best snipers? ›

The USMC Scout Sniper School is widely regarded in the military as the finest sniper training program. The Marines offer a tremendous program that trains eligible sniper candidates in all branches of the armed services.

Which Navy SEAL has the most kills? ›

He has over 150 confirmed kills and was awarded the Silver Star, three Bronze Star Medals with "V" devices for valor, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" device, as well as numerous other unit and personal awards.
Chris Kyle
UnitSEAL Team 3
15 more rows

What is the most badass military unit? ›

Say it again: American Special Operations Forces. There's a lot that's not known about this group and that's intentional. But everyone knows that these forces are among the most elite and best trained in the world.

What nationality is the last name Restrepo? ›

Asturian-Leonese: habitational name from Restrepo in Asturias (Spain).

Why is the base named Restrepo? ›

The viewer is dropped into war, with a hard jolt, and resides, along with 15 soldiers from Second Platoon of Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in a remote and raw outpost called Restrepo, so named after one member of the platoon who is killed early in their rotation.

What does the name Guantanamo mean? ›

The city was founded in 1797 in the area of a farm named Santa Catalina. The toponym "Guantánamo" means, in Taíno language, "land between the rivers".

What was our purpose in Afghanistan? ›

The purpose of our mission, is what the President said it was: To prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven or sanctuary for al- Qaeda, and to make sure al-Qaeda is not there in Afghanistan, and, therefore, a destabilizing force in the region.

What did Taliban do to captured US soldiers? ›

A US soldier captured by the Taliban for five years has pleaded guilty at a military court in North Carolina to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl now faces the possibility of life imprisonment.

Why did Army go to Afghanistan? ›

NATO Allies went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, to ensure that the country would not again become a safe haven for international terrorists to attack NATO member countries. Over the last two decades, there have been no terrorist attacks on Allied soil from Afghanistan.

What was Afghanistan called before it became Afghanistan? ›

In the Middle Ages, up to the 18th century, the region was known as Khorāsān. Several important centers of Khorāsān are thus located in modern Afghanistan, such as Balkh, Herat, Ghazni and Kabul.

What was the nickname for Afghanistan? ›

Empire after empire, nation after nation have failed to pacify what is today the modern territory of Afghanistan, giving the region the nickname “Graveyard of Empires, ” even if sometimes those empires won some initial battles and made inroads into the region.

What was ancient Afghanistan called? ›

In ancient times, Afghanistan was known as Ariana or Bactria. Bactria was inhabited from roughly 2000 B.C. to 1000 B.C. by fire-worshiping agricultural tribes.

Did Bergdahl get back pay? ›

“When Bergdahl deserted his post, he turned his back on all US service members, knowingly jeopardized the lives of the soldiers he abandoned and of those who searched for him, and betrayed the trust of the American people.

How many times did Bergdahl escape? ›

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl tried to escape 12 times from his captors in Afghanistan who regularly beat him and kept him chained to a bed or in a cage, according to an account released by his attorney. His health deteriorated during his five- year captivity where he was provided little food and was constantly sick.

Is there a movie about Bowe Bergdahl? ›

Bergdahl. The only doc to access Bowe Bergdahl's story.

Why didn t Afghan army fight? ›

The researchers highlight three other explanations: (a) the corrupt Afghan government, (b) the removal of US air support, and (c) the fact that while it was young men doing the fighting, it was women and older men who would most benefit from the fighting.

Why did Afghan army collapse so quickly? ›

Afghan forces fell apart because of low morale, internal distrust and the loss of U.S. airstrikes, according to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

How big is Taliban army? ›

The Taliban created the first iteration of the emirate's armed forces in 1997 after taking over Afghanistan following the end of the Afghan Civil War which raged between 1992 and 1996.
Afghan Armed Forces.
Armed Forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Active personnel110,000–150,000 (2022)
Related articles
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How many Taliban died in battle of kamdesh? ›

150 killed

How many survived the Battle of Kamdesh? ›

Of the 53 U.S. soldiers who fought in the Battle of Kamdesh at Outpost Keating, 45 survived, 8 lost their lives, and 27 were wounded. An additional 4 Afghan allied fighters also died. For their heroism, 2 Medals of Honor, 9 Silver Stars and 21 Bronze Stars were awarded.

Was Bowe Bergdahl dishonorably discharged? ›

in 2014, the Obama administration engineered a prisoner swap in exchange for his release. The judge, Army Colonel Jeffery Nance, also gave Bergdahl a dishonorable discharge, reduced his rank to private and said he must forfeit his pay of $1,000 per month for 10 months and would receive no medical benefits.

What is the most unrealistic war movie? ›

At the same time, even fictional war movies like John Rambo bear similar issues that defy all notions of realism.
  • American Sniper. ...
  • The Hurt Locker (2008) ...
  • Zero Dark Thirty (2012) ...
  • Black Hawk Down (2001) ...
  • 12 Strong (2018) ...
  • John Rambo (2008) ...
  • Lone Survivor (2013) ...
  • The Rock (1996)
Dec 1, 2021

What is technically the longest war in history? ›

The 335 Year War (as it is now known) was a bloodless conflict between the Netherlands and the tiny Isles of Scilly which began as far back as 1651 during the English Civil War.

What was the bloodiest war in human history in terms of lives lost? ›

World War II

The war pitted the Allies and the Axis power in the deadliest war in history, and was responsible for the deaths of over 70 million people.

What is the deadliest event in human history? ›

Table ranking "History's Most Deadly Events": Influenza pandemic (1918-19) 20-40 million deaths; black death/plague (1348-50), 20-25 million deaths, AIDS pandemic (through 2000) 21.8 million deaths, World War II (1937-45), 15.9 million deaths, and World War I (1914-18) 9.2 million deaths.

How many female soldiers died in Afghanistan? ›

The number includes two women who were killed during the chaotic retreat and evacuation of Americans and Afghans from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. Most Americans, and even members of the media, are not aware that 152 brave servicewomen died in the War on Terrorism.

Who was the first American killed in Afghanistan? ›

Nathan Ross Chapman (April 23, 1970 – January 4, 2002) was a United States Army Sergeant First Class with the 1st Special Forces Group. He was the first American soldier to be killed by enemy action in the war in Afghanistan. Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, U.S.

How many Americans died in Restrepo? ›

Before the credits roll, text is displayed that reads: "In April 2010, the United States withdrew from the Korengal Valley. Nearly 50 American soldiers died fighting there."

Who were the most feared soldiers in Vietnam? ›

Tiger Force (Recon) 1-327th was a highly decorated small unit in Vietnam, and paid for its reputation with heavy casualties. In October 1968, Tiger Force's parent battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by President Lyndon B.

Who are the ghost soldiers in Afghanistan? ›

"Ghost" soldiers were nonexistent troops or personnel manufactured by corrupt officials to pocket their salary. The Taliban easily took over major cities before marching into Kabul in August, often without much of a fight.

How many US soldiers died in the Korengal Valley? ›

In the span of just over five years, 54 American soldiers lost their lives in the “Valley of Death,” with four Medals of Honor awarded for engagements that occurred there.

What is the deadliest outpost in Afghanistan? ›

6 Reasons why the Korengal Valley was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. Nestled between high mountains on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan, the Korengal Valley has been one of the hardest fought over patches of ground in the War on Terror.

How many Afghanistan soldiers have been killed? ›

The United States Department of Defense lists 2,462 servicemembers as having died in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Of these, 1,926 were due to hostile action and 536 non-hostile.

How many draftees died in Vietnam? ›

VOLUNTEERS: 25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII). Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.

What war killed the most American soldiers? ›

The American Civil War is the conflict with the largest number of American military fatalities in history. In fact, the Civil War's death toll is comparable to all other major wars combined, the deadliest of which were the World Wars, which have a combined death toll of more than 520,000 American fatalities.

What was the worst battle in Afghanistan? ›

Battle of Kamdesh, a 2009 battle 20 miles from Wanat, the bloodiest battle for U.S. forces since the Battle of Wanat. An assault by 300 Taliban fighters resulted in eight Americans killed and 22 wounded, and prompt withdrawal from nearly destroyed base.

How many Soldiers lost their legs in Afghanistan? ›

According to the Department of Defense, as of January 2018, more than 1,500 service members lost limbs in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Thanks to advances in modern medicine and the availability of sturdier prosthetics, Soldiers who are able to redeploy after amputation have a number of possible options.

Why did Captain Broward get relieved? ›

Broward humiliated his men by agreeing to compensate the family for the fraudulent death, and he also shot Sergeant Michael Scusa's dog for biting an elder. These controversies led to Broward being relieved of command, and he was replaced by Captain Stoney Portis.

What is the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan? ›

Bagram Air Base was formerly the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, staffed by the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force, along with rotating units of the U.S. and coalition forces. It was expanded and modernized by the Americans.
Camp Vance
In use2016
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How many Taliban died in The Outpost? ›

The attack on COP Keating resulted in 8 Americans killed and 27 wounded while the Taliban suffered an estimated 150 killed. As a result of the battle, COP Keating was partially overrun and nearly destroyed.

How many tanks did the US lose in Afghanistan? ›

A total of 23 M1A1s were damaged or destroyed during the war. Of the nine Abrams tanks destroyed, seven were destroyed by friendly fire and two intentionally destroyed to prevent capture by the Iraqi Army.

How many Russian soldiers died in Afghanistan? ›

Over 15,000 Soviet troops were killed in Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989. In the war, the Soviet Army also lost hundreds of aircraft, and billions worth of other military machines. Around two million Afghan men, women and children died in the war.

How many British soldiers killed in Afghanistan? ›

454 fatalities

What was the bloodiest battle in Vietnam? ›

Hue was the single bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War.

For an entire month, U.S. Marines and soldiers, along with ARVN troops, waged battles throughout the city, often going house to house to remove Hue from North Vietnamese control. It was the first time Marines had engaged in urban combat since the Korean War.

What was the bloodiest day in Vietnam? ›

The deadliest day of the Vietnam War for the U.S. was 31 January at the start of the Tet Offensive when 246 Americans were killed in action.

How many US generals died in Vietnam? ›

Nearly a dozen general officers and one admiral were killed while supporting military operations in Vietnam.


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