Army Veterans Facing murder charges over Bloody Sunday within two weeks

To add to the confusion in Nov(?) 77 on of out bricks (38 Bty) came under fire from a Gordons Sangar and returned 3 rounds fire. No casualties but the bbc reported it next day as an incident in which 27 rounds were fired with no known casualties.
I wonder how that was written up.
as being each others fault?
 
The chaps in funny-coloured berets get into a punch-up with locals and in the course of doing so mislay a GPMG.

Oops!

As the reporter says effectively gifting to the Provies a weapon that can fire 1,000 rounds a minute is a rather serious matter.
Not even close to what actually happened. A team from a KOSB patrol was jumped by a crowd in what was almost certainly an orchestrated attack. It was their weapons and ECM which were taken.

The Paras weren't involved that night until the follow up to that incident. The shots were fired when a soldier who had been knocked to the ground was being dragged away by the crowd.
 
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KOSB, Stonker, I recall a Bn of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers took over from us October 1979.
FYI a copy of a daily NIREP to 39 Bde from 1 KOSB c. Apr 1972 - a primary source of data for HQNI. There were around 45+ Ops Rooms operating in Belfast at this time, all feeding data into the system. Not infallable by any stretch, but it was what it was.:
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Good heavens Kinch... that brings back memories.... I'm embarrassed to confess I was the 'gunman on the roof' in Iveagh Street (serial 499)... we were attempting to beat the touts to get at an ASU in the area...it worked!
Strange seeing the late Tony Ball mentioned in serial 502, he was awarded a MC for his superb work on that tour, Jake Shields was an excellent operator too. XXV.
 
Good heavens Kinch... that brings back memories.... I'm embarrassed to confess I was the 'gunman on the roof' in Iveagh Street (serial 499)... we were attempting to beat the touts to get at an ASU in the area...it worked!
Strange seeing the late Tony Ball mentioned in serial 502, he was awarded a MC for his superb work on that tour, Jake Shields was an excellent operator too. XXV.
I believe JAB went on to accomplish other things too - sad demise in Oman.
 
Good heavens Kinch... that brings back memories.... I'm embarrassed to confess I was the 'gunman on the roof' in Iveagh Street (serial 499)... we were attempting to beat the touts to get at an ASU in the area...it worked!
Strange seeing the late Tony Ball mentioned in serial 502, he was awarded a MC for his superb work on that tour, Jake Shields was an excellent operator too. XXV.
I'm curious about 499 and 502 now :)

In 499, how the feck did you get on the rooftop? I'm trying to picture a 4-man patrol casually sauntering along with a full set of window cleaning ladders slung about their persons.

In 502 I'm partly wanting to congratulate the officer for getting a hit (even if t was a ricochet) on a moving body, with a Browning. I'm equally impressed with the Sgt, who presumably persuaded the little shit he grappled with to shoot himself with his own handgun. Or mebbe I'm misreading.
 
I'm curious about 499 and 502 now :)

In 499, how the feck did you get on the rooftop? I'm trying to picture a 4-man patrol casually sauntering along with a full set of window cleaning ladders slung about their persons.

In 502 I'm partly wanting to congratulate the officer for getting a hit (even if t was a ricochet) on a moving body, with a Browning. I'm equally impressed with the Sgt, who presumably persuaded the little shit he grappled with to shoot himself with his own handgun. Or mebbe I'm misreading.

499 - The Iveagh was a tight little area almost impossible to get into without being dicked, we (forerunners of COP - called Squirrels back in the day) hit on a plan to get into the street, where a source we had questioned earlier on in the evening said an ASU was hiding out, over some roof tops after creating a diversion. We found the 'players' exactly where the source indicated, dressed as women!

502 was a fast moving operation conducted with great skill and elan by the Squirrel platoon commander the late LT Tony Ball and his team... a running battle in Wild West style.

We were very pleased that night as the Bn rolled up practically every ASU in our TAOR - it came at the end of our tour and bittersweet as we had just lost two lads to a sniper (Bryson).

Having just read the book, 'An Army of Tribes', I was rather puzzled by the author's claim that the Army had poor Int during that period... not so.... we had regular conferences with SB, good patrol debriefs and sharing of information, we knew who was who and, mostly, where they were. We did what we were tasked to do... dominate the area. The downside, IMHO, was the length of tour... had the roulemont tours been 9 months with the COP of the relieving unit coming in at the 6 month mark there would have been more continuity and a better maintenance of momentum.

They were strange and exciting days!
 
Having just read the book, 'An Army of Tribes', I was rather puzzled by the author's claim that the Army had poor Int during that period...
Well, I've not read the book, but the synopsis indicates the author holds the view that Battalions - for good or ill - enjoyed substantial freedom of action for much of BANNER, and that it took some time before things got joined up, which pretty much tallies with my own impressions from 1975 on.

Likewise, prior to the 1974(?) ceasefire, or more properly prior to Gerry's post-1976 reorganization of PIRA, the 'RA was built of localised teams and hadn't been particularly watertight.

To my mind, then, it doesn't follow that because a good unit with sharp leadership* had a clear intelligence picture of what was happening on its patch, that every unit was equally blessed, nor - in a pre-digital age when Int Cells relied on handwritten card indexes - does it follow that the wider Army had any effective means to knit together the int pictures of single Bns into a coherent tapestry.

It was 1979 before I noticed anything like that, which - although I was in the Province in 75, 76 and 78 - proves feckall, given that I was a mere subaltern Pl Comd on those tours.
= = = = =
*ETA: and - in addition - the wit (a) to avoid antagonising/alienating locals who might be won over, and (b) to foster strong and trusting relationships with local RUC/SB (these in no particular priority order. Both could be game-changers)
 
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operation conducted with great skill and elan by the Squirrel platoon commander the late LT Tony Ball and his team... a running battle in Wild West style.
The Coy Watch Keeper Diary and the 39 Bde logs say he shot the wrong people - mistaken ID of two innocent brothers who were on their way to work. This was the incident claimed by 'Simon Cursey' as an MRF shooting in his appalling bullshat book used as background to John Wares 2013 documentary. It was of course a 'plain clothes' 3 man KOSB patrol using the admin car and led by Sunray Squirrels CS 37

ETA JABs guys had been out until c. 0130hrs, buthe couldn't sleep and was sitting in the Ops Room at Henry Taggert when a call came in at 0700hrs from an RUC officer on his way to work who thought he had spotted Jim Bryson. JAB woke his driver and JS and the three, all in civies, went out on the hunt. Bryson was believed to have killed LCpl Sime a few weeks earlier and was thus much sought after. Interestingly JAB had actually arrested Bryson on the first day of the tour (28 Dec 71) but he had subsequently escaped.

ETA the whole,incident was somewhat overshadowed by the shooting of Joe McCann by the Paras later on the same day.
 
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The Coy Watch Keeper Diary and the 39 Bde logs say he shot the wrong people - mistaken ID of two innocent brothers who were on their way to work. This was the incident claimed by 'Simon Cursey' as an MRF shooting in his appalling bullshat book used as background to John Wares 2013 documentary. It was of course a 'plain clothes' 3 man KOSB patrol using the admin car and led by Sunray Squirrels CS 37

ETA JABs guys had been out until c. 0130hrs, buthe couldn't sleep and was sitting in the Ops Room at Henry Taggert when a call came in at 0700hrs from an RUC officer on his way to work who thought he had spotted Jim Bryson. JAB woke his driver and JS and the three, all in civies, went out on the hunt. Bryson was believed to have killed LCpl Sime a few weeks earlier and was thus much sought after. Interestingly JAB had actually arrested Bryson on the first day of the tour (28 Dec 71) but he had subsequently escaped.

ETA the whole,incident was somewhat overshadowed by the shooting of Joe McCann by the Paras later on the same day.

Spot on Kinch.
 
Well, I've not read the book, but the synopsis indicates the author holds the view that Battalions - for good or ill - enjoyed substantial freedom of action for much of BANNER, and that it took some time before things got joined up, which pretty much tallies with my own impressions from 1975 on.

Likewise, prior to the 1974(?) ceasefire, or more properly prior to Gerry's post-1976 reorganization of PIRA, the 'RA was built of localised teams and hadn't been particularly watertight.

To my mind, then, it doesn't follow that because a good unit with sharp leadership* had a clear intelligence picture of what was happening on its patch, that every unit was equally blessed, nor - in a pre-digital age when Int Cells relied on handwritten card indexes - does it follow that the wider Army had any effective means to knit together the int pictures of single Bns into a coherent tapestry.

It was 1979 before I noticed anything like that, which - although I was in the Province in 75, 76 and 78 - proves feckall, given that I was a mere subaltern Pl Comd on those tours.
= = = = =
*ETA: and - in addition - the wit (a) to avoid antagonising/alienating locals who might be won over, and (b) to foster strong and trusting relationships with local RUC/SB (these in no particular priority order. Both could be game-changers)
Good observations Stonk and on the money... looking back at the enormity of the task and the tools at our disposal we WERE rather parochial - though lucky, despite Edward Burke's (author of the book) slightly scathing assertions to the contrary, all of our Company Commanders had cut their teeth in the Malayan 'Emergency' and the majority of WOs/SNCOs and a goodly leavening of CPls had cut theirs in Aden and Borneo.
 
. . . one of whom was carrying a 9mm pistol. Or did someone imagine that entry into the NIREP?
According to the armys records and the patrols own reports, the person alleged to have been carrying the Starr pistol escaped into a crowd having outrun a former paratrooper and member of the SAS (JAB) If you are correct, then he also did so despite having a 9mm bullet stuck in his backside. Neither of the two who were shot was ever charged with an offence.
 
According to the armys records and the patrols own reports, the person alleged to have been carrying the Starr pistol escaped into a crowd having outrun a former paratrooper and member of the SAS (JAB) If you are correct, then he also did so despite having a 9mm bullet stuck in his backside. Neither of the two who were shot was ever charged with an offence.
Fear is often a good spur!
Must confess we did have a chuckle at the time!
 
Lot 655, 16 December 2003 | Dix Noonan Webb
A Good Series of Awards to Members of the S.A.S.
The extremely rare Northern Ireland M.B.E., M.C. group of four awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. “Tony” Ball, C.O. of The Sultan of Oman’s Special Force, late King’s Own Scottish Borderers, the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service Regiment

The Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Military), type 2, the reverse of the crown suspension inscribed ‘J.A.B.’; Military Cross, E.II.R., the reverse officially dated ‘1973’ and additionally inscribed ‘Capt. J. A. Ball (489891) K.O.S.B.’; General Service 1962, 3 clasps, Borneo, South Arabia, Northern Ireland, with M.I.D. oak leaf (23854005 Tpr. J. A. Ball, S.A.S.); U.N. Cyprus, privately named on the reverse, mounted as worn, very fine or better (4) £12,000-15,000
Footnote
Ex Sotheby’s, 2 July 1987 (Lot 520) and Dix Noonan Webb, 25 March 1997 (Lot 601).

M.B.E. London Gazette 15 April 1980: ‘In recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland during the period 1 August 1979 to 31 October 1979.’

M.C. London Gazette 20 February 1973: ‘In recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland during the period 1 May 1972 to 31 July 1972.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 30 September 1975: ‘In recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland during the period 1 February 1975 to 30 April 1975.’

Julian Anthony “Tony” Ball served as a Trooper in the S.A.S. in Borneo and subsequently for one tour in Northern Ireland. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in 1970, he won the Military Cross with them in Northern Ireland, while serving with the Reconnaissance Platoon - according to various cuttings sold with the Lot, the M.C. was awarded in respect of a series of incidents with gunmen on the streets of Belfast.

Ball was subsequently selected to serve with 14 Intelligence Company in 1974, and, now a Captain, commanded 3 Brigade Detachment of that Company in Northern Ireland, with Lieutenant Robert Nairac (later awarded the posthumous George Cross) as his second in command. His work as commander of the small undercover S.A.S. team, stationed at Castledillon, is both controversial and shrouded in mystery. Several recent publications and television programmes have exposed details of various “dirty tricks” operations allegedly carried out by Ball and Nairac, not least the assassination of a prominent I.R.A. commander in January 1975 : apparently they drove over the border, awaited his return to his farmhouse, and then burst in and emptied the contents of their pistols into him. The same source also alleges that on another occasion Ball “snatched” an I.R.A. man at gunpoint in the Republic, and brought him back to the North for trial.

Whatever the truth behind this period of Ball’s career in Northern Ireland, he was awarded a ‘mention’ and the M.B.E.

Resigning his commission in the British Army in 1980 to take up an appointment as Commanding Officer of the Sultan of Oman’s Special Force, in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, Ball was killed in Oman on 2 May 1981, when his Range Rover overturned en-route to Thumrait, an Air Force Base in Dhofar. For these tragically short-lived services, Ball won entitlement to the Omani Peace Medal with an actice service clasp for ‘Dhofar’.

On his death a fellow officer wrote of “Tony” Ball:

‘These words are obviously one man’s opinion of a fellow officer and soldier. Tony was a slim, thin faced individual who had an excess of nervous energy. He constantly smoked Capstan Plain cigarettes and this was almost his trademark. He was awarded his M.C. with, I think, the K.O.S.B. while working in Ulster as a Battalion officer. I first met Tony when I joined 22 S.A.S. and he was on the staff of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (C.R.W.) Wing. We worked together training personnel for the Army Surveillance Organisation which operated under cover in Ulster. He had an affinity with this sort of work. When Harold Wilson directed 22 S.A.S. to send personnel to Ulster in 1976, Tony commanded the first small element. This was a particularly trying time for the S.A.S. because of the animosity from the Regular Army, who saw Ulster as their domain, and the lack of support from people within the S.A.S. Group itself, elements of which were petrified that we would start shooting everything and everybody. During this first tour, Tony lived in a small room in Bess Brook Mill (The Submarine) with another officer who will tell of being kept awake by Tony’s regular nightmares. The success of this small group first deployed by 22 S.A.S. was directly attributable to Tony Ball’s direct and aggressive leadership. He was not afraid of authority and would frequently bend the rules if he thought it necessary.

Tony returned to Ulster later to work in the headquarters at Lisburn where he was responsible for co-ordinating the operations of the numerous police, military and government surveillance organisations working there. As you can imagine, there was a great deal of information coming in about terrorist organisations and this had to be converted into intelligence so that “executive” elements could be suitably targeted. The recent S.A.S. success against the I.R.A. in Loughall was an example of this type of co-ordination. Tony did not feel he had a future in the British Army, he always felt that his N.C.O. background was held against him, and so he left and joined the Sultan’s Special Forces. He had just started making his mark there when he met his death. He was driving Andrew Nightingale, the stand-in C.O., to the airport and they took a bend too fast or had a puncture and the Range Rover rolled killing them both. I do not think Tony was totally happy within himself and this was conveyed in his hyperactive, almost nervous, dispositions, nevertheless he was a good man to work with and could always be relied upon in a tight situation. A man to go to war with!’

The lot is sold with a number of copied photographs and newspaper cuttings, together with a letter from the 2 I.C. Sultan’s Special Force, who served with Ball in the S.A.S.
 
No it did not, but context is everything.

People will often say "The troops went in to help the Catholics, what thanks did we get from them?" without ever asking what it was that caused the Catholic population which had welcomed them with tea and biscuits to turn against the Army.

The troops were welcomed, they were seen as neutral protectors against a violently oppressive state and loyalist population. But the Army, more specifically the high command, lost the plot and allowed themselves to become the discredited Stormont regime's private security enforcers. This came to a head with the curfew of the Falls.

The timing of the curfew is often forgotten; it came only a week after the IRA had successfully defended the Short Strand from a loyalist mob bent on repeating their performance the previous summer. This caused shockwaves through Stormont, how dare the uppity Fenians fight back? Why didn't they just allow protestant mobs to burn their homes down like they always did?

The Unionists demanded that the Army go in and get those guns off the Kaffliks, and instead of the Army telling the Orangemen to go boil their heads they decided they would do a Crater District and go in all boots and butts and put some manners on the fuzzy-wuzzies. Note, they felt no need to go in and disarm any protestant communities. The curfew marked the Army down as being hand in glove with the Stormont regime. The IRA's stock rose, and weapons and volunteers started to flood in.

Then again when internment was launched, who did the Army scoop? Yup, the Fenians again, nary a Prod got his collar felt, and as if this wasn't enough the Army tortured, oops sorry, inhumanely treated, their new guests like they were back in Kenya and not actually in a part of the UK.

And of course following the internment raids, who decided to shoot a load of civilians including a priest, a 44yo mother of eight (whose daughter was married to a British soldier) and a D-Day veteran who lost a hand fighting for King and Country? Go on, guess who shot all those civvies? I'll give you a clue, they wear funny coloured berets.

And then when the people of Derry decide to protest internment, what happens?

And you wonder why the Army wasn't getting tea and biccies any more?
"The timing of the curfew is often forgotten; it came only a week after the IRA had successfully defended the Short Strand from a loyalist mob bent on repeating their performance the previous summer. This caused shockwaves through Stormont, how dare the uppity Fenians fight back? Why didn't they just allow protestant mobs to burn their homes down like they always did?"

Republican revisionism at it's finest again.

"Then again when internment was launched, who did the Army scoop? Yup, the Fenians again, nary a Prod got his collar felt, and as if this wasn't enough the Army tortured, oops sorry, inhumanely treated, their new guests like they were back in Kenya and not actually in a part of the UK."

Plenty of Prods were interned, including my next door neighbour.. conveniently now living across the street, from where the IRA murdered 2 Protestants, from the Chapel in the Short Strand you were talking about.
 
Really?

"The policy of internment lasted until December 1975 and during that time 1,981 people were interned;[5] 1,874 were nationalist, while 107 were loyalist. The first loyalist internees were detained in February 1973. "

Op Demetrius was August 1971
107 is still plenty weighed against the original claim of none.
 

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