The Corner

A Military Man Remembered, Brit Ed.

From the London Telegraph :

In 1972 [Brigadier David ] Nicholls was in Oman with the lead platoon of A Company, Northern Frontier Regiment, when it was caught in open ground by insurgents fighting the Sultan’s Armed Forces. Corporal Mahmood, next to Nicholls, was cut down by a burst of machine-gun fire as the rest of the platoon threw themselves down on the floor of the wadi, which “was as hard as a billiard table”.

Realising that the rim of the wadi would be essential to winning the fight, he zigzagged across the 300 yards to its edge, shouting in Arabic for his men to follow. But on gaining the ridge he looked back to see that his troops were far too concerned with recovering Mahmood’s body.

Armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and hand grenades, he fought a one-man battle among the rocks, distracting about 20 guerrillas from attacking his exposed company, and denying the enemy use of the ridge for some two hours while the company commander called down artillery and mortar fire. Under this cover the company slowly advanced to join him.

A subsequent search of caves in the wadi led to the recovery of large quantities of ammunition which were being smuggled to the insurgents. Helicopters flew out six wounded government troops, and Nicholls descended from the mountains on foot with the remainder the had a swim off the coast before returning to headquarters.

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