Army Veterans Facing murder charges over Bloody Sunday within two weeks

Since Mike and twentyfirst got up a head of steam, again.
Facts conveniently set aside, in favour of distortions
The whole thing was a failure of politics. And Soldiers then being used as a stop gap for policing. Not the environment to be putting troops like Paras or Marines into. Who are excellent at what they are trained for. But not in an aid to the civil power role. The people who should be in the dock,are the people who put them there.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
The whole thing was a failure of politics. And Soldiers then being used as a stop gap for policing. Not the environment to be putting troops like Paras or Marines into. Who are excellent at what they are trained for. But not in an aid to the civil power role. The people who should be in the dock,are the people who put them there.
I agree with you, and that was the point of my post a few pages back.

Most British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, served with discipline, tact, courage, resilience, fortitude and as I mentioned good humour, and they did their duty with honour to their Queen and their country.

But certain units did not (in the early days some of the the Scottish regiments had a bad reputation for sectarianism but a lid was quickly put on that) and one regiment in particular stank up the place like a great, foul, steaming turd with a red beret on top.

I disagree, however, that it was a matter of training. You mention the Royal Marines, not widely regarded as a bunch of shrinking violets, but on the whole they did not have a reputation for wilful brutality or murder. The one major incident involving the Marines I recall was the breakup of Joe McDonnell's funeral, which pissed off the Provos but hey, pissing off the Provos was their job.

The fact remains, and I don't give a flying feck how many red X's are hung on my posts, the Paras in the early 1970s were composed of people who would have been better suited locked up behind the walls of Rampton High Security Hospital than patrolling the streets of British cities with loaded weapons in their hands.

And I agree further with you, and again the point I made earlier, the fault did not lie with the psychopaths and thugs that were in that regiment, the fault lies 100% with the senior officers who knew damn well what sort of men they had allowed into their ranks and who either turned a blind eye, or more probably encouraged them.

The problem did not lie with one lance corporal, the rot went much higher than that.

And at that point, having repeated what I said at the start, I feel I have come full circle and will leave this topic now.
 
Whilst this show trial trundles on.Can we spare a thought for the 11 Royal Marine Bandsman who died as a result of the IRA bomb at Deal Barracks on the 22nd September 1989?
The IRA admitted planting the bomb.No one has been brought to justice for it.
Local MP Charlie Elphicke has called on the Northern Ireland Secretary to launch a full inquiry.
 
I agree with you, and that was the point of my post a few pages back.

Most British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, served with discipline, tact, courage, resilience, fortitude and as I mentioned good humour, and they did their duty with honour to their Queen and their country.

But certain units did not (in the early days some of the the Scottish regiments had a bad reputation for sectarianism but a lid was quickly put on that) and one regiment in particular stank up the place like a great, foul, steaming turd with a red beret on top.

I disagree, however, that it was a matter of training. You mention the Royal Marines, not widely regarded as a bunch of shrinking violets, but on the whole they did not have a reputation for wilful brutality or murder. The one major incident involving the Marines I recall was the breakup of Joe McDonnell's funeral, which pissed off the Provos but hey, pissing off the Provos was their job.

The fact remains, and I don't give a flying feck how many red X's are hung on my posts, the Paras in the early 1970s were composed of people who would have been better suited locked up behind the walls of Rampton High Security Hospital than patrolling the streets of British cities with loaded weapons in their hands.

And I agree further with you, and again the point I made earlier, the fault did not lie with the psychopaths and thugs that were in that regiment, the fault lies 100% with the senior officers who knew damn well what sort of men they had allowed into their ranks and who either turned a blind eye, or more probably encouraged them.

The problem did not lie with one lance corporal, the rot went much higher than that.

And at that point, having repeated what I said at the start, I feel I have come full circle and will leave this topic now.
I gave an 'info' because you set out your stall with some relevant observations on the root causes of the problem. These are too broad and deep to explore sufficiently on this site, but I would hazard placing some of them on view for anyome who wishes to delve into the matter:

On politics - the lack of oversight of devolved government performance in NI led to the deploymemt of the Army by the then Home Secretary Jim Garocher whose insights into Irish affairs was limited to him being the son of an Irish Catholic.
On Army v Police control over civil affairs: See the Palastine Gendarmarie and the RIC Auxiliaries & 'tans' 1921; pre-mandate Palestine 1939-45; the Palestine Mandate 1946-48.
On troop deployment: consider the limitations imposed by Nato and other committments
On Comcon : consider the conflicting dynamics of the Army's dual accountability 1969-72 to the MOD (administrative accountability) and to Stormont (operational accountability).
On training ;: limitations of unit committmemts and short warning,orders (partly cased by deployment constraints and force committmemts - see above). See also Post Tour reports re lack of IS equipment for training and outdated/incompatible tactics/absence of doctrine.
On the law : consider unlawful arrangements for investigations of Army actions 1970-72; limitations of exiting systems (See particularly Evelegh, 1977 'Peacekeeping in a Democratic Society).
On process : the closed and hierarchical nature of Army reporting and records (necessary for operational security) together kwith the limitations of communication systems in urban areas - especially during the early years.

It isn't a comprehensive list, nor an exclusive one. Your comtributions are insightful so try to remain in the loop.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
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Whilst this show trial trundles on.Can we spare a thought for the 11 Royal Marine Bandsman who died as a result of the IRA bomb at Deal Barracks on the 22nd September 1989?
The IRA admitted planting the bomb.No one has been brought to justice for it.
Local MP Charlie Elphicke has called on the Northern Ireland Secretary to launch a full inquiry.
They had one guy but let him go because of the fuck up of the Get Out of Jail letters from Tony Blair!
 
Whilst this show trial trundles on.Can we spare a thought for the 11 Royal Marine Bandsman who died as a result of the IRA bomb at Deal Barracks on the 22nd September 1989?
The IRA admitted planting the bomb.No one has been brought to justice for it.
Local MP Charlie Elphicke has called on the Northern Ireland Secretary to launch a full inquiry.
Does anyone know how many terrorists were convicted of murdering British soldiers during the Cyprus and Malay emergencies. I can't find any info on this. The lack of such comvictions, should that be the case, suggests the phenomena might be an endemic aspect of counterinsurgency conflict.
ETA if so, our expectations about a conflict closer to home might be higher merely because of the proximity.
 
Whilst this show trial trundles on.Can we spare a thought for the 11 Royal Marine Bandsman who died as a result of the IRA bomb at Deal Barracks on the 22nd September 1989?
The IRA admitted planting the bomb.No one has been brought to justice for it.
Local MP Charlie Elphicke has called on the Northern Ireland Secretary to launch a full inquiry.
Absolutely.
My lot were at Howe Barracks, Canterbury at the time, just up the road. We found out later that we had been recced, but the big, hard, brave Provo's decided to hit an even softer target than us. The battalion was stood to, and told to get ready to go down to Deal to help with the rescue. In the end, we stayed put. Even by their low standards , that was a shitty one by the Provo's.
Not a good day.
 
The whole thing was a failure of politics. And Soldiers then being used as a stop gap for policing. Not the environment to be putting troops like Paras or Marines into. Who are excellent at what they are trained for. But not in an aid to the civil power role. The people who should be in the dock,are the people who put them there.
Cite for me, please, one or two examples to explain why you've included Marines in that post.

Genuinely interested: seeking to ensure I'm not overlooking things of which I am thus far oblivious.
 
Cite for me, please, one or two examples to explain why you've included Marines in that post.

Genuinely interested: seeking to ensure I'm not overlooking things of which I am thus far oblivious.
I alluded to the RM as a unit with an ethos similar to the Parachute Regiment. As a premier warfighting unit for the country. Calm down. :rolleyes: :rofl:
 
I alluded to the RM as a unit with an ethos similar to the Parachute Regiment. As a premier warfighting unit for the country. Calm down. :rolleyes: :rofl:
An elite unit whose primary and most-valued personal trait is characterised as "Cheerfulness in the face of adversity", which is worth bearing in mind when comparing them to others.
 
No I wouldn't. Because a 'substantial majority of Catholics' didn't support violent Republicanism. In the last General Election before the PIRA Ceasefire (1992) PSF got 10% of the vote, that is how little support they actually had.

Edited to add: and that was the time period where the PSF electoral fraud was at its peak.
The Catholics were around the 40% of the population mark in the early 90s. deduct the brats from that total and the 10% of the total population of supporting Sinn Fein is getting closer to a majority
 
The Catholics were around the 40% of the population mark in the early 90s. deduct the brats from that total and the 10% of the total population of supporting Sinn Fein is getting closer to a majority
2011 Census puts the NI population at 48% Protestant and 45% Catholic. Balance of power held by 'others' ;)
 
An elite unit whose primary and most-valued personal trait is characterised as "Cheerfulness in the face of adversity", which is worth bearing in mind when comparing them to others.
The attached page from an RM Cdo PTR from a 1971 tour supports this view in some respect with the CO's assessment of NI - I suspect with one eye on the normal operational role of the unit. See paragraph 13 'Lessons Learnt'
RM Cdo PTR page.jpg
 
On a different tack, I watched with interest the BBC programme The Funeral Murders over the weekend, which was most instructive, not least towards its end, where an interviewee took the conversation to "battle of the narratives", and was dismissive of the Army's line on the nature of employ of the murdered R Signals Cpls Wood and Howes, preferring instead to believe the poor hapless souls were special forces of some sort . . . . . .
 
On a different tack, I watched with interest the BBC programme The Funeral Murders over the weekend, which was most instructive, not least towards its end, where an interviewee took the conversation to "battle of the narratives", and was dismissive of the Army's line on the nature of employ of the murdered R Signals Cpls Wood and Howes, preferring instead to believe the poor hapless souls were special forces of some sort . . . . . .
Hartnett's book 'Charlie One' claims that the two Cpls were Signals Corps attached to the JCU (formerly the Det), but were not Spec Forces trained. I have also read that one of them, can't remember who, was a driver in the Falklands for Peter de la Billiere who was Garrison Commander in 1984. Non of which justifies in any way what happened to them.
 
Hartnett's book 'Charlie One' claims that the two Cpls were Signals Corps attached to the JCU (formerly the Det), but were not Spec Forces trained. I have also read that one of them, can't remember who, was a driver in the Falklands for Peter de la Billiere who was Garrison Commander in 1984. Non of which justifies in any way what happened to them.
The commonly understood story - among those serving at the time (and I have strong links with many R Signal officers of my generation), aligns with policy changes instituted in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and maintained AIUI until ENDEX for Op BANNER.

It is that their task was maintenance of the comms infrastructure used by JCU, which was distributed around various places/bases: one was handing over to the other, and (unaware of funeral taking place in Andersonstown) hence decided to pay a visit to Andytown, with the tragic consequences with which the world is familiar.

That one of the two men fired from his Browning 9mm only a single shot in the air in an effort to disperse the crowd, (ascribed in the programme by an ex-RUC copper to self-restraint of a high order) was identified from the Heli Tele footage as being down to the weapon shedding its magazine outside the car when it was fired.

As a result, a number of things (probably not a complete list):

1. Weapon handling training standards for 9mm pistol were tightened​
2. Booking in-and-out drills for civilianised patrol vehicles (CPVs) were standardised and mandated across the province​
3. As part of 2 above, OOB and threat briefings were mandated before departure, and routes, ETA & ETR logged​
Looking at it now, it seems almost incredible, but prior to the Wood/Howes murders, travel in civilian vehicles in operational areas was commonly managed with little more than (and sometimes, not even) an entry noting time of departure in a company Ops Log.
 
The commonly understood story - among those serving at the time (and I have strong links with many R Signal officers of my generation), aligns with policy changes instituted in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and maintained AIUI until ENDEX for Op BANNER.

It is that their task was maintenance of the comms infrastructure used by JCU, which was distributed around various places/bases: one was handing over to the other, and (unaware of funeral taking place in Andersonstown) hence decided to pay a visit to Andytown, with the tragic consequences with which the world is familiar.

That one of the two men fired from his Browning 9mm only a single shot in the air in an effort to disperse the crowd, (ascribed in the programme by an ex-RUC copper to self-restraint of a high order) was identified from the Heli Tele footage as being down to the weapon shedding its magazine outside the car when it was fired.

As a result, a number of things (probably not a complete list):

1. Weapon handling training standards for 9mm pistol were tightened​
2. Booking in-and-out drills for civilianised patrol vehicles (CPVs) were standardised and mandated across the province​
3. As part of 2 above, OOB and threat briefings were mandated before departure, and routes, ETA & ETR logged​
Looking at it now, it seems almost incredible, but prior to the Wood/Howes murders, travel in civilian vehicles in operational areas was commonly managed with little more than (and sometimes, not even) an entry noting time of departure in a company Ops Log.
I would agree completely with the that as it fits the little I know of the issue - like most others I watched it from afar on the box. As for the weapon handling and SOPs I guess it sounds incredible to infantry bods, but perhaps it was not a high priority by support arms. Tragic indeed.
 
I would agree completely with the that as it fits the little I know of the issue - like most others I watched it from afar on the box. As for the weapon handling and SOPs I guess it sounds incredible to infantry bods, but perhaps it was not a high priority by support arms. Tragic indeed.
Although we received pistol training prior to deploying, it wasn't as intense as some of us thought it should have been, a bit ad hoc to be honest. I saw blokes have pistols given to them in Boz and to a lesser degree, Iraq with virtually no training. Mag in there, cock it like this, safety here. Got it? Good. Disappear.
 
The attached page from an RM Cdo PTR from a 1971 tour supports this view in some respect with the CO's assessment of NI - I suspect with one eye on the normal operational role of the unit. See paragraph 13 'Lessons Learnt'View attachment 418584
Iirc using NI as a training ground for a future war in European cities has come up several times around this site.
 

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