Going old school with this MG 42 machinegun, who earned the nickname 'Hitler's buzzsaw' during the second world war. The MG 42 is famous for many reasons, one if them is its high rate of fire, with up to 1,500 rounds per minute. This particular machinegun is modified to take NATO rounds instead of the original rounds, a so called MG 42/59. It's a rare weapon and the guys here are not used to it, so I'll be taking care if this baby from now on. I have experience with the MG 3 from back home, wich is basicly a newer version of the MG 42.
I know many of my followers are gear whores, so here's a treat for you... a pocket dump. These are the items I carry on me at all times as a minimum, even in our safe house at the village. I got my Glock 19 pistol. The watch is a Suunto Core All Black. I carry two knives, a Benchmade Nimravus fixed blade knife and a Maxpedition Ferox folding knife. The gloves are Mechanix M-Pact and I got a Arc'teryx LEAF beanie, wich was a Christmas present from my former employer. The flashlight is Fenix PD32 and I have a SOF Tactical Tourniquet. I carry my passport and money in a Tasmanian Tiger Military Wallet and I got a Huawei FastLink, wich is a device that gives me WiFi basicly everywhere, even out here at the front. And last, but not least, I got my dog tag, wich was a birthday present from my girl right before I left for Kurdistan, with a special message engraved on it. I'm getting a lot of questions on DM about how people can join the Peshmerga. For me, I joined with the help of a very good friend who is well conected. He did this as a personal favour, I don't expect him to help others and my unit isn't really interested in taking in foreigners anyway. They did an exception for me because of who my friend is and because of my background. There are several groups on Facebook that are recruiting westerners into the Peshmerga today, tho. I know who they are, but I would genereally not recomend any westerners to come here as a volunteer. You will not get paid, you might have to spend a fortune on transport, gear and weapons, life is hard and primitive here and you might have to face criminal charges and have your money seized by your government. Not to mention the obvious, the fact that you may not go home in one piece, or go home at all. I would recommend you guys to stick to, or join your country's armed forces and be patience. This war won't be over for many years, and even if the Islamic State is wiped out, new groups and organizations like them will rise. This may sound strange comming from one who left his job in the military to fight as a volunteer, but I had my reasons.
My buddy with a knife he took from one of the Islamic State fighters we killed this morning.
From the battle yesterday. A 82 mm mortar shell hitting less than 10 meters away from the building I was on the roof of, injuring one of our guys downstairs. I haven't postet much from the frontline because I'm usually there at night, when there's activity. There is a large, open field with tall grass, as seen in this video, between our line of defence and the villages controlled by the Islamic State. This forces the enemy to carry out their attacks in the cover of darkness, and usually in bad weather, since this reduces the effectiveness of our air support. But once in a while, they grow a pair and attack during daylight, like yesterday. The attack started in the middle of the night, with a more intense mortar shelling than I have ever experienced before, on both the villages we controll and the frontline itself. Those of us who where in the villages at that time, quickly manned our positions at the front, in case of an attack. After beeing shelled untill dawn, a large number of Islamic State fighters opened fire from a relatively short distance, on our guys in the trenches. It turned out they had used the night to crawl into positions in the tall grass. Unfortunately, one Peshmerga fighter was martyred by sniper fire. The attack was repelled after a short while and we had them running back to their villages under machinegun fire. They also managed to get two suicide bombers over the large ditch that runs along the frontline to keep their vehicles from breaking through our defence, by using a ladder. Both of them was shot dead just a few meters away from our trenches, right before they where about to blow themselves up. We will hold this line, no matter what they throw at us.
Journalists taking selfies with the two would-be suicide bombers we killed two days ago
Kirkuk a while ago, with some dead Islamic State fighters beeing dragged through the streets, but this was strongly condemned by most kurds and I don't imagine it will happen again. So, what happened on thursday, was this... after the battle was over, some camera crews and journalists from local TV stations showed up to report about the incident. When they where done and about to leave, two of them decided to take some selfies with the bodies. I found the situation absurd and decided to document it. Personally, I found their actions tasteless, but then again, who am I to judge? I haven't lived under the threat of the Islamic State taking over my home, cut of my head and sell my wife and daughters at the slave marked in Mosul for almost a year now. Yes, they may have acted respectless, but I can't condemn them considering their situation. Also, I am proud to say that this was the worst thing that happened to those bodies, and that my brothers in the Peshmerga are acting accordingly to international law and what's morally right, even though we lost one of our own that day.
Old school and new school Peshmerga. These guys have seen it all
Happy Liberation Day and Veterans Day to my norwegian followers. This is the flag I used to wear on my uniform. I used to wear it with pride and I was willing to die for this flag and everything it represents, even on foreign soil and even though Norway isn't my country of birth. And I still am, if the opportunity would arise. The reason I have been reluctant to reveal my background, isn't so much because of personal security, but because I know this will create some drama back home. I know my former employer, the Norwegian Armed Forces. won't be happy about this, but to be honest, I don't care anymore. I wouldn't have gone to the media like I just did, if they had the decency to answere my lawyers calls and not treat me as if I had joined a terrorist group. This is my way of getting some answeres. I'm also dissapointed that the command of my former unit have told my old colleagues, friends, to break of all contact with me, wich they have. And I know for a fact that certain people in the Norwegian Armed Forces have labeled me as a mercenary. These people should look up that word in the dictonary. I left a well paid job to volunteer here for free, I have spent $13,000 of my savings doing so so far, the Army is holding back $8-9,000 they owe me because I'm with the Peshmerga and I have no insurance at all... if I get injured, I will have to pay for the medical treatment myself. I don't know if this is a view shared by many or just a few, but that someone thinks I'm doing this for personal gains, is hurtfull. Doesn't matter much right now, though. It's Veterans Day and I'm going to spoil myself with the last can of Wild Tiger I got left and a book I got from one of the guys from the norwegian newspaper I met up with in Erbil.