Afghanistan likened to WWI and WWII

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by brummieboy1, Apr 1, 2009.

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  1. I believe he is correct.

    Apart from the 8th (Desert Rats) and the 14th (The Forgotten) Armies, the rest and vast majority of the British Army was only engaged from D Day to VE Day – about 10 months.

    During that time combat rotation was the same as WW1 – one week in the front line, 1 week in support and 1 week in reserve. So, during the 10 month campaign the average time spent in the front line was 14 weeks.

    I understand that is rather less than is currently the case in Afghanistan.
  2. My father would disagree with some of that; he fought his way north through Italy, describing it as a long and brutal slog before D Day.

  3. Surely he is just suggesting support for the troops out there now, I don't think he is purposely trying to upset any of the older generation that fought in WW11
  4. Sorry if I did not make myself clear.

    The 8th fought all the way up Italy having fought in North Africa. I can't remember the duration but it was well more than 10 months. So their time in the front line was very much more than the UK based Army which fought only in N Europe.

    They and the 14th were the exception to the experiences of the vast majority of the British Army.
  5. I do not for one moment believe he is setting out to diminish the older generation who fought in WWs 1 and 2.

    I think he is drawing attention to the fact that currently the British Army is actually experiencing a far greater burden than its forefathers and they had it bad enough.
  6. Personally, I think he is taking the piss, the second WW was a totally different ball game to AFG.

    How can he make such comments, having never served in either conflict?

    Regardless of which theatre served in during WWI or WWII, none compare to AFG, in so many ways its untrue.

    When I say compare, I dont mean AFG is worse, nor better than either previous campaign.
    But WWI and WWII were toally different situations, and totally different manners of warfare to be compared to modern day conflicts.

    This is a complete insult to all those who fought/died or survived all three theatres, and should be ignored on that basis alone.
    Apart from the fact he is a cnut, for trying to make a story out of it.

    Why do we still give print space or news time to cockends who know fook all?
  7. Hmmm.. 4th(Border) and 5th Bns of the KOSB after disembarking from France with 52nd Lowland Division in 1940 remained in the UK training first as Mountain troops then Airborne (Gliders) they had to wait until September of 1944 before being launched into a seaborne assault on Walcheren in Holland - below sea level!
    Peter White in his book "With The Jocks" describes his own (4th) Bn's journey from the day they landed until Germany surrendered - approximately 7 months - during which time his platoon took 100% casualties. And they were not unique.
    Our service personnel undoubtedly face grave danger daily in Afghanistan and do so with great courage though comparing the campaign in Afghanistan to WW2 (let alone WW1) or even the Korean conflict is not quite accurate.
  8. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    WWI: The misery of life in the trenches, with full-scale battles against an entrenched enemy with massive artillery support etc.
    WWII; Mobile warfare and major battles against a highly skilled enemy using air, artillery and armour as well as infantry.
    Korea: Battles of annihilation against an enemy of predominantly light infantry (though later in the war they got heavy artillery) who favoured night-time, mass attack.
    Afghan: Enemy is small numbers of light infantry who lack the resources to over-run or annihilate allied units, but who are skilled at low-level warfare and who can maintain a constant rate of attrition.

    I think the interminable small-scale skirmishes, firefights and IEDs, and a constant trickle of casualties in Afghan may cause a greater psychological strain than the more occassional "big shows" of WWI, WWII and Korea, but looking at the big picture, the enemy in Afghan is less formidable, and less capable of causing mass casualties.
  9. I doubt the OLD and bold from previous wars would have any reason to hold the current generation of Her Majesty's Armed Forces with anything then other then admiration.
    They are doing a magnificent job on the ground only let down by their Political Masters who just waffle their old load of Political twaddle.
    Dear Tone said words to the effect, The The troops will get what they need.
    How many years ago was that and what does Tom risking life and limb on the front line have now ?
    The all important Helicopters so vital to provide swift, effective movement of Troops and stores.
    The Armored wheeled wagons with their Vee shaped hulls developed so many years ago to ward off the worst effects of landmines.
    No these will come , sometime perhaps maybe and perhaps the crabs will get the vital Modern Trash haulers that are needed for this land locked campaign.
    Someone else can speak on the treatment of injured Vets back Home.
  10. Well said Jonwilly, lets not get into a urine contest on behalf of the old and bold who as Jon suggests have no reason to do other than hold the current generation of servicemen and women in the highest regard.

    Isn't there a danger here that we set the hare running on a PC type issue where we all get upset on behalf of a 3rd party who havent even made a complaint, but because we think that they might.

    As for why the Minister made his remarks, thats for him and his conscience. Why dont we just assume he meant to pay our Armed Forces a compliment and leave it that.
  11. A few more helicopters wouldn't go amiss, but the rest of the kit is pretty good. I went most places on Shanks's pony, but the Vikings we occasionally got lifts in were ok.

    V shaped hulls and wheel arches well away from troop carrying compartments are not new inventions, but they do massively degrade the vehicle's offroad capability. Most mines and IEDs are found on well worn routes.

    As for the injured, medical care in Afghanistan is outstanding. There are a number of multiple amputees in Headley Court (another first rate facility - as is Selly Oaks) who surgeons tell us would not have survived their injuries even just a couple of years ago. The response times of the medical immediate response teams and the abilities of the CMTs and RMAs (two of whom with 40Cdo were doing back to back tours in order to pay their way through medical school) were all held in the very highest regard by the troops on the gound.

    A bit off thread, but I just wanted to let folk know that it isn't all doom and gloom. I for one felt a tremendous sense of support, purpose, gratification and achievement during and after my tour that I doubt anything else in my military career will ever come close to replicating.

    I'd go back tomorrow.
  12. Rodgerout
    on the subject of PC

    " The following is the winning entry in an annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term: This year's term was Political Correctness.

    The winner wrote:

    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"

    R. J. Wiedemann LtCol. USMC Ret.

  13. In all honesty grim as it is out there it doesnt begin to compare to the horrors of the industrial mass slaughter seen in many sectors of the western front, you just cannot compare the two and to do so is a injustice to both todays soldier and his forebears
  14. Not to mention the 7th (Galloway) Battalion KOSB, most of whom spent only ten days on operations over the course of the war.

    At Arnhem.

    A battalion went in, 4+72 came out.