“I was serving with the Swedish peace keeping forces, a part of UNIFIL, in south Lebanon in the early 90s. This was during the middle of one of the biggest Israeli operations into south Lebanon for decades. They were fighting the Hizbollah guerrilla, but at the time they shot at everything that moved, including white vehicles with UN letters on, resulting in up to 300.000 civilians fleeing from their homes.
My company of 135 men was stationed in the middle of the AO and we were locked down in our camp going up and down our shelters when we took a number of firing close grenades that dropped down around the camp. No supplies with water, food etc could come so we were getting short of everything after about a week.
One night I was alone in our TOC, tactical operation centre, my mission was to keep up the radio contact with other units, keep track of shoot reports etc. The TOC was in a closed room with no windows except for a tiny one with a plastic glass.
Around 2 am there was this huge blast in the pitch black night that shook the building and made the plastic window bulge. This was the first time I got scared for a few moments, what the hell happened, was it a bomb that blew the whole camp away.?
Soon guys from around the camp started calling the TOC asking what happened, I had absolutely no idea while trying to reach the duty officer for advice. It was also on my duty to call for Shelter over the speakers if needed, should I make the call or not?
After a few confusing moments/minutes I called up our watch tower to ask the guard there what happened and he/we realised after a while that it was in fact an Israeli jet fighter that passed our camp on a really low altitude while crossing the sound barrier and causing a huge sound bang right over our heads, just to scare the shit out of us, and he sure did!
So, in the end, everyone was ok and very much awake the rest of the night.”
– Sgt 1stClass Engdahl, Swedish Combat Engineers. Lebanon.
This interview was conducted by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.