The Times – Triumph for British forces in Boy’s Own-style Kajaki mission

It was a task of epic proportions, inspiring comparisons with Commando magazine, Mad Max, the battle of Arnhem in 1944 and the relief of the siege of Mafeking in 1900.

The mission was to take 220 tonnes of turbine and other equipment, worth millions of pounds, across 100 miles of some of the most hostile and heavily mined territory in Afghanistan.

At the climax of the Taleban’s fighting season.

Without anyone noticing.

Nato commanders, facing an escalating Taleban insurgency in eastern and southeastern Afghanistan, initially argued that it could not be done until the spring poppy harvest, a traditional low point in the Taleban’s capabilities. But they came under pressure from Washington, which was anxious to secure visible progress before the presidential election to protect funding, according to sources in Kabul.

So it was that they devised Operation Tsuka (Eagle’s Summit) – their biggest military venture since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 to topple the Taleban Government as punishment for shielding Osama bin Laden.