The British military is preparing for its bloodiest year since 1982, when 255 British soldiers were killed in just two months during the Falklands War against Argentina.

Since the War in Afghanistan began in 2001, 224 British soldiers have been killed, more than any other nation other than the United States. The recent death of a member of the Royal Logistics Corps near Sangin brings the number of British fatalities in Afghanistan so far this year to 89.

That's the exact number of British troops who were killed in both the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War COMBINED in 2007. British troops pulled out of Iraq earlier this year. 179 lost their lives in the conflict.

British forces in Afghanistan due for 'bloodiest year since the Falklands'

By Aislinn Laing
01 Nov 2009
The Telegraph

224 British soldiers have been killed so far in Afghanistan. The 89 killed so far in 2009 means this year is the bloodiest year for the British Army since 1982

British forces are likely to suffer the bloodiest year of action since the Falklands War after the death of a soldier in Afghanistan brought the number killed in this year level with the toll in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007.

The death of a member of the Royal Logistics Corps in an explosion near Sangin brings the number of fatalities so far in 2009 to 89 with two months of the year remaining.

The figure is the same as the total number killed in the whole of 2007 in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An operation to secure key areas of the country before national elections earlier this summer, combined with increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs used by the Taliban, means that this year's toll is likely to be greater still.

All of the deaths were in Afghanistan save for that of Private Ryan Wrathall, 21, who died of a gunshot wound at Basra's Contingency Operating Base in Iraq in February.

Six servicemen died in October, including Corporal Thomas Mason, from Fife, who died six weeks after he was injured by an improvised explosive device.

A total of 224 British service personnel have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001, compared to 255 in the two-month war against Argentina 24 years ago.

The number of servicemen and women injured has also been extensive a total of 940 in the four years of combat.

This year, the number of wounded has almost exceeded the casualties of the previous two years put together.

The Daily Telegraph reported last week that senior commanders feared the "very high level of attrition" would make replacing wounded soldiers difficult. Gordon Brown has said he will send an extra 500 soldiers to Helmand.

Col Bob Stewart, former United Nations commander in Bosnia, said the sad milestone should prompt those in Government to examine the mission in Afghanistan and whether it is valid.

British soldiers after victory in the Battle of Goose Green against Argentina in the Falklands War in 1982. During that war, 255 British soldiers were killed in just two months.

"The casualty rate compared to the numbers in Afghanistan is really very high and it has been a particularly bloody year," he said.

"We need to really examine why we are there and what are the implications of us not being there. The ministerial rationale is that we're stopping terrorism on the streets of Britain but where is the evidence that the Taliban actively support international terrorism?

"We are shortly to have 500 more British troops on the ground and that is right because the more you have, the fewer casualties there are. But what we have to ask ourselves is: should any of them be there at all?"