5th parachute brigade, Indonesia 1945, 1946.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by blurp, Jan 1, 2006.

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  1. I wonder if anyone can help me here. I have an elderly relative in his late eighties who was in 13th Lancs batallion 5th parachute brigade. He has never talked about the war as I suspect he had a rather unpleasant time. However , he has recently told me that a mutiny of sorts ( more collective indiscipline) occured whilst on policing operations with japanese troops in Indonesia in 1946 after 5th P. brigade had been transferred east for a possible invasion of Japan. He states that the mutiny was concerned with :

    a: having to work with their former enemies, ie the Japanese.
    b: Having regular inspection and drills under insanitary conditions (bear in mind they had just been through Normandy and the Ardennes and the Rhine crossing As part of 6th Airborne).

    I think at the time he had a Brevet rank and states that whilst he had sympathy for the mutineers, he did not take part in it because he would rather not be hung as he would have been marked as a ring leader. His query is: WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE WHO TOOK PART IN THE COLLECTIVE INDISCIPLINE. He states that no one found out. They simply disappeared. Whilst he suspects that they were merely transferred and disciplined, it nags on his mind, especially as some of them were new recruits who had been drafted in to replace prior casualties and disease cases.

    Can anyone help provide details of this incident or further information / sources?
    Moderater: If this is not the right place, can you leave a nessage here and I will ref . the correct thread.
     
  2. I read about this somewhere, but I don't have the source to hand. I feel its unlikely that the "mutineers" suffered any hushed-up capital punishment or the like, as this would have been a fairly well-known incident by now.

    P.s. Perhaps your relative can help me with a bit of historical research: can you ask him when was the first time he or his unit were issued with the (then) new Lee Enfield No5 (aka "jungle carbine"), and if this was in Europe with 6th AB Div, or later in the Far East?
     
  3. Will ask. Reply early next week after seen him.
     
  4. Last para of this page is what you're after:

    http://britains-smallwars.com/RRGP/Java.htm

    Why not put your relative in touch with the organisers of this website? They seem to be an association of old boys devoted to recording the verbal histories of our veterans, particulary those who served in the 1,001 "minor" ops that the mainstream historians ignore. Maybe your chap can be persuaded to commit all his witheld memories to record? Its a tragedy and a loss to history when these chaps pass on and all their experiences are lost forever...
     
  5. I've heard snippets of about this incident from an old 13th Bn bloke. He was demobbed before they went out to the Far East. He also mentioned something about the Bn's Officers being shipped home and the blokes serving under Officers from another regiment. Whatever happened, they must have been pretty pissed off to take such drastic action. The birth of the 'TLF' perhaps?
     
  6. I think a lot of them had just had enough and wanted to go home and resented a return to what they considered to be unworkable peacetime discipline. :) Thanks 4(T) for those sources. Have printed them off and will give them to him. I suspect he will be relieved to hear that the "mutineers" were not dishonoured. Asked him about the Jungle carbine. The answer is probably not a great deal of help I am afraid. He states that when his unit was returned to Antwerp after the Germans attacked in the Ardennes, there was a hurried issue of weapons. He thinks that these were as he puts it, "the same rifles we always had." This would be around Christmas 1945 (they were a bit miffed because they had been promised 2 weeks leave). He was then wounded in a subsequent action breaking legs and pelvis. He was returned direct to unit later from hospital and only issued a pistol. He states that some of the infantry sections may have been issued a new weapon when he got there but cannot confirm this as he was on mortars. Hope this is of some use to you.

    p.s. RTU would have been at RAffles college in Singapore.
     
  7. My father was part of this mutiny. A lot of information seems to be starting to surface this year. Although he's said little about this subject we do know the incident was sparked by a new and inexperienced CO. As far as our dad knows all were cleared of the charge and sent back to their original regiments (the ones they joined up to). We would like to know more as unfortunately our Dad now has a very poor memory.





     
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The discipline issues spread through India and several servicemen were jailed for 10 years. The new Labour Govt was pressured to pardon them by the trade unions etc. I don't think many did more than a couple of years at the scrubs!
    I found a book at my local library years ago, I read it with another which dealt with the Irish regiments similar problems post WW1 in India!

    Some mornings its hardly worth chewing through the straps! Sent from my Blackberry!
     
  9. I'm guessing that would have been 'Mutiny For The Cause'. As far as I can recall, the regiment was the Connaught Rangers and the grounds for the mutiny was said to be the activities of the Black and Tans in Ireland. The ring-leader was executed by firing squad.
     
  10. Private James Daly, ISTR, the last British Soldier executed by firing squad.
     
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I believe that you are right, no prizes though, I had both books out from our excellent local library back when I commuted at odd shift patterns so 30 mins in the library before the journey was easy. Good old late turn, I really enjoyed that eassy shift!
    The Post WW2 disturbances were made quite a fuss off after the war with left wing press and Fabians etc agitating for Union representation in the forces. It seems that Manny Shinwell arranged their release. I believe most of the iimprisoned were hostilities only RAF personnel fed up with being shafted by their seniors and the air ministry and wanted sending home not spending another year policing the empire!
    It also covered thee Para troubles, remember that most of these persons were waritime conscripts but of reasonably good education and many being denied the vote (21 years then) felt they were denied the chance to have their say. The food and conditions allied with an attempt at a return to peacetime discipline standards whilst still on ops in appalling conditions in near jungle led to the Paras refusal to soldier on. Apart from that I cant remember much more about it!
    It does to remember that the PM at the time, Clement Attlee had held a commission in WW1 and served in the front lines knew a lot about serving and discipline. His cabinet of Labour Ministers were less so and wanted to weild their new found power (typical politicians).