In a shocking day of carnage on Tuesday, over 3,000 British troops were lost – the largest one day troop loss since World War II.
A solemn Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, offered his condolences to the families of those affected saying initial inquiries pointed to the attack being conducted by a ‘stroke of the pen’. Sir David then dropped a bombshell as he indicated that the losses may have been the result of ‘friendly fire’.
‘It appears that a loaded pen has been incautiously handled by a person in Whitehall untrained in military matters,’ said Sir David. ‘It seems that ink from the pen has leaked onto highly volatile official letterhead and formed a ‘sack 3,000 troops’ message. Regrettably the ink covered letterhead seemed to have found its way to the fax machine with the tragic results we saw yesterday.’
The news that the pen attack was ‘friendly fire’ was a further blow to families coming to terms with having bored ex-servicemen home for an extended period of time. ‘Barry has taken over the kid’s games console to play Call of Duty, and is already talking of launching a drone attack on the neighbours if their cat crosses into the West Bank again,’ said Glenda Styles, whose husband has just returned home to Norwich after a tour of Afghanistan. ‘To find that this misery was caused by your own side is gutting.’
Tuesday’s pen attack followed a number of other ‘stroke of the pen’ attacks on civilian public servants causing many thousands of losses. ‘Just a coincidence,’ said a government spokesman.