This soldier relives an intense hand to hand combat battle to the death with a terrorist combatant in Fallujah. The United States military is trained for some hand to hand situations but they can’t rely on the fight going their way all the time, and this soldier realized that quickly. In a situation like this, anything can be used as a weapon: armor plate, helmet or what this soldier used, a Gerber tool.
As this terrorist quickly learned, it’s going to take a lot more than a few lucky punches to take out an American soldier. Quick thinking helped saved this soldiers life, and a nice assist with the Gerber knife.
During Operation Phantom Fury, Sgt. Bellavia comes face to face with an insurgent where neither of them had availability to a gun because they were in such tight quarters.
Bellavia says that in the midst of the fight, both men were hitting each other as hard as they could and doing anything necessary to win the fight and survive.
During the fight, Bellavia gets the upper hand by placing his forearm on the insurgents neck and applying pressure. However, the insurgent manages to get a hold of his gun and hit Bellavia in the face with it. To keep the upper hand, he stuck his finger in the insurgent’s eye in an effort to end him.
Bellavia heard another man upstairs calling for the insurgent, so he placed his hand over the insurgent’s mouth to keep him quiet. He then took out one of the plates in his body armor and started hitting him with it, but the man continues to fight back and bite him. In a last-ditch effort to end the fight as soon as possible, Bellavia takes out his Gerber knife and stabs the insurgent until he dies.
Operation Phantom Fury, also known as the Second Battle of Fallujah is regarded as the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War and one of the most bloody battles since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968. In total, 107 coalition forces and 613 coalition forces were wounded. The battle lasted from November 7 to December 23, 2004.
6,500 Marines and 1,500 American soldiers, as well as several thousand British troops, were gathered together to take part in the Second Battle of Fallujah. Insurgent casualties are estimated between 1,200 and 1,500 during the operation. An additional 1,500 insurgents were captured.
The First Battle of Fallujah took place the month after four Blackwater USA private military contractors were killed by insurgents in March 2004. The Second Battle of Fallujah was conducted when insurgent strength in the city of Fallujah substantially grew.