Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy


This seriesfirst aired in 2011, marks a decade of fighting in Afghanistan with a unique insight into the war told through films shot by the soldiers themselves. The BBC was given unprecedented access by the Ministry of Defence to thousands of hours of footage shot on helmet cameras and personal video cameras by soldiers. With the raw honesty of first person stories of life on the front line, the series offers a gripping and poignant insight into every side of the young soldiers’ experience, the average age is 21, from fear to boredom, grief to bravery, the camaraderie of the platoon and the return home.
Episode 1 Ambushed – Focuses on a close knit group of friends from 3 Platoon, 1st Battalion Royal Anglian’s tour of Helmand Province in 2007 and a Taliban ambush. Led by Lieutenant Bjorn Rose, the nervousness of the patrols around base camp in the remote town of Now Zad is caught on camera by Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Sergeant Simon Panter. For most of them it was their first experience of war. This episode explores the effects of the death of a soldier, 19 year old Private Chris Gray, on his family and friends and how it connects to the bigger story of the British Armed Forces involvement in Afghanistan over the last ten years.
Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy – Follows the plight of the first troops sent to Helmand Province in 2006 and shows how, three years later, Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs had changed the war. A small platoon entered the town of Sangin in 2006 equipped to stay for a few days but ended up staying months, under heavy bombardment. As they struggle to survive, a supply drop off lands behind enemy lines by mistake. 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. They lost of one their mates, 23 year old Guardsman Jamie Janes, who stood on a landmine during a patrol. The film shows how Jamie Janes’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 Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Episode 3 Caught in the Crossfire – Follows the transition from bloody conflict to the fight for “hearts and minds” as civilians and the military are caught in the crossfire. The episode starts in 2009 and tells the story of 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales regiment as it comes to terms with new rules of fighting brought in to protect civilians. Private Mike McCabe is filmed being shot in the leg during a Taliban ambush. By 2010the Scots Guards find themselves fighting a very different war, a battle for hearts and minds. They struggle to train a local force, the Afghan National Police, who fight in a reckless and dangerous way. The risks are hammered home when Guardsman Daniel Clarke films a three year old girl who has been seriously injured by a rocket propelled grenade fired by the ANP. The Scots Guards tour ends in tragedy when six members of the ANP are massacred in their sleep.