German officer describes fierce fighting via video conference

Wednesday, January 5 2011

Soldiers are still facing unthinkable challenges in Afghanistan as the war continues to roar on.

German Army Major General Hans Werner Fritz recently described a day of fierce fighting and violence in a video conference with American army colonels as they discussed progress in northern Afghanistan, reports CNN.

Fritz's recollections of a particular day in October, when a suicide bomber killed a German paratrooper and wounded many more, showed that soldiers of different nations can develop strong bonds, even if they are from two former enemies - Germany and the United States.

When the suicide bomber struck, U.S. medical evacuation helicopters responded to the call, despite the heavy fireight in the air. The American Blackhawks loaded the wounded Germans, recovered the body of the fallen paratrooper, and took off for safety.

"And they came back - under fire," explained Fritz in the interactive chat, according to CNN. "They recovered the soldier and they said that 'We are taking home a fallen hero.'"

At the end of July 2009, 4,050 German troops were in Afghanistan fighting for NATO's mission, according to the Guardian. The United Kingdom had 9,000 soldiers as part of NATO and France sent 3,160.