When it comes to war movies, the fast-paced action blockbusters that have defined American pop culture since the ‘80s have a bad reputation: massive explosions, impossible marksmanship, and nobody ever, ever runs out of ammo. Yes, it’s a hole the genre is finally starting to dig out of with incredible technical expertise on display in more recent Hollywood projects like John Wick and 13 Hours, or in TV miniseries like History Channel's SIX. But if you want proof that this wasn’t always the case, just look back a few decades to the age of “unlimited ammo.”
In late 2009, President Barack Obama announced a surge of troops in Afghanistan. In the first full year of that operation, 2010, of the nearly 500 U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan, more than half were from Helmand province. It was the deadliest year of the war for American troops and also the deadliest in year in the province.
Training can only teach you so much. There are certain things that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived it. Surviving a firefight is one of those things. The tension is high, and adrenaline fuels your every move. Every moment is life and death as grenades fly and bullets whistle past your ears.
In November 2009, President Barack Obama announced that an 30,000 additional U.S. troops would be sent to an Afghanistan. Several thousand Marines from 1st Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment were deployed to opium-rich Helmand province where the Taliban-held stronghold of Marjah was to be the the proving ground for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. On Feb. 13, 2010, Marine and coalition forces launched an all out assault on Marjah. The attack was highly publicized and the city's diehard Taliban defenders had spent the previous month's turning Marjah into a heavily mined and well defended stronghold.