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September 5, 2010 2:08 pm

Bears defacate in woods.

Am I misunderstanding this?

British Forces are supplied by Land Convoys.
Land Convoys are sometimes attacked.
These attacks sometimes destroy vehicles.
The Convoys sometimes leave these vehicles because its dangerous to stand around.
These vehicles are then destroyed from the air.
Sometimes, in the time between the vehicles being destroyed, Johnny Taliban can pilfer some cargo, and sometimes, the cargo isnt destroyed completely.

September 5, 2010 2:16 pm

The NATO 5.56mm isn’t uncommon in Pakistans FATA (where most of the guns & ammo come from), but the most prolific round is the 7.62×39 Soviet. So much so, that a 5.56mm batch to load a large amount of SAW/Minimis would attract attention.


Fifty-freakin’-nine SAWs…

September 5, 2010 4:43 pm

Uh, no. Delayed, yes, as some where ‘lost’ within the system, and got to the troops late (which caused an uproar as “old” vests had to be distributed untill the new ones arrived) but no equipment was lost to the enemy.

As DominicJ correctly states, loss of kit is inevitable, especially when travelling the long route through Pakistan, but c’mon you guys, light machine guns are class V items, meaning secure transport and/or air freight at the least.

13th spitfire
September 5, 2010 4:49 pm

Are you really that surprised though? Whenever we went out on exercises there was always heaps upon heaps of kit lost, granted we never lost our weapons mostly because you were court-martialed (I think, that might have changed now) if you did. I remember switching my SA80 with a mates on an exercise – oh dear that was one pissed of RSM that laid into us. He was actually red.

Anyhow my point being that, troops lose kit in the field, if you just scale up the field and the number of troops then they are bound to loose more kit. Just recall WW2 and WW1 do we even dare to consider how much kit was lost to the Germans then?

Richard Stockley
Richard Stockley
September 5, 2010 5:15 pm

My Grandfather used to tell the tale of being on a river crossing excercise with the DLI during WWII. He was on one of the lead assault boats with a tripod mounted Bren gun.

Unfortunately in the melee the Bren gun went over the side and disappeared to the bottom of a large and very deep river.

Being an imanginative sort he ‘procured’ a Sten gun and handed that into the armoury instead and no-one said a thing. I’d have thought that things would’ve improved in nearly 70 years!

September 5, 2010 7:21 pm

59 minimi at, what, £3-4k a pop? Merely £200k (or three Javelin Missiles)

September 6, 2010 9:51 am

There is a link on ARRSE which notes that the US can’t currently account for nearly 87,000 weapons provided to the Afghan security forces!

The loss is annoying, but ultimately is a reality that when moving cargo by land in convoys, attacks happen and losses occur. Kit being lost and reused by the enemy is as old as time itself.

September 6, 2010 4:26 pm

“Not knowing though, is the point I was making”

I’d bet dollar to doughnut they were marked down as destroyed in transit.

“Serious questions about a coverup” sounds like a tabloid chaser not a MoD statement.

What value is it to the army to hide the fact that 59 light machine guns were captured by the enemy because lack of helicopter transport forced them to be transported via truck?

“the US can’t currently account for nearly 87,000 weapons provided to the Afghan security forces!”
Well thats easy, deserters take their weapon with them.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
September 7, 2010 3:02 am

What concerns me is that the MGs seem to have been transported the same as routine supplies such a food and clothing. Surely high value and/or critical supplies should have been transported in an escorted convoy or airfreighted in?

September 7, 2010 7:55 am

Lord Jim
We’ve lost transport Helicopters, both our own and mercenary transport and all convoys (except the Jinglies to Bastion) are escorted, otherwise they’d be destroyed.

We dont even know if these 59 were from a single incident, which seems unlikely, or from dozens of incidents and 59 is just the total of weapons sent over but no longer in possession.

November 23, 2010 3:10 pm

I have to say sorry in advance for this tongue in the cheek comment: The US Senate raised the question how the Army possibly can have misplaced/ not being able to track 200.000 assault rifles in Iraq? Next : Sunni awakening in Anbar province and all that
– seriously, I am not joking; There is the record