BBC3 - New Series of Our War

- FSTs: the Artillery used to deploy FOO parties commanded by a Capt who had a Cpl Asst (Bdr Ack). The FST design still sees a Capt/SNCO in charge yet OCs frequently get a 2 x man FST, often commanded by relatively junior JNCOs. It is a pragmatic arrangement caused by manning issues....but it is a risk, and Episode 3 showed why.
Weren't FOOs for BG ad Coy level? Spooner and the other lad were at a Plt PB.
 
- we push the PR that we "win" every firefight...do we ****, we win them when AH, Air and Arty arrive. Forget "heriocs": our low level battle skills are poor.
I think that's a slightly unfair analysis of what is going on at the coal face.

I think the standards of the individual infanteers and small unit skills are as good as they ever have been. The lack of sufficient troop numbers in theatre seriously harms our manouvre capability which often leaves C/S's with no other choice than to sit tight, shut the back door and beat them back with stand off weapons.
The alternative for any unit smaller than a Coy group is to further expose your overstretched men by sending them into the long grass to chase their own arrses.

In regards to individual skills and drills, the proof is in the pudding for me because for years now in Helmand it has been almost a daily occurance for small and overstretched Brit Mil C/S's to come under fire from multiple firing points and very much be forced onto the back foot yet still Terry has never administered a KO blow. Lesser troops from some of our NATO partners have been overrun or seriously pulled apart in similar circumstances.
 
In regards to individual skills and drills, the proof is in the pudding for me because for years now in Helmand it has been almost a daily occurance for small and overstretched Brit Mil C/S's to come under fire from multiple firing points and very much be forced onto the back foot yet still Terry has never administered a KO blow. Lesser troops from some of our NATO partners have been overrun or seriously pulled apart in similar circumstances.
Exactly my thoughts. I know one death is too many but for christ sake how many contacts have been survived by, at times, dramatically outnumbered troops?

We're on a hiding to nothing over there as soon as we leave the gates.

I don't care how good your individual skills and drills are, when you're carrying the kinds of weights we do CFT's in you're not going to be the highly mobile and agile force needed to respond effectively to an ambush. In those circumstances if you want to take the fight back to the enemy you need to have the freedom to move and fire (We have neither due to the IED threat and RoE) at the speed of greased weasel shit.

Basically we're too slow and quite rightly too fearful of the IED threat to be effective in that environment. Add that to the fact that as loopintheP pointed out earlier Patrols are basically just thrown into a patch of land and told "Protect that" and we have some serious issues as far as predictability is concerned. You're then just left with the horrible shitty end of the stick of "Go out, get contacted, try and survive" as a patrol mission.

We have the more superior technology and surveillance techniques, we have control of the skies and in sufficient numbers we have proven we can dominate the ground. As we don't have the latter we should not be trying to do so. We should stick to what we can do and carry out raids.

Obviously I accept that the problem in Afghanistan is that ground won is not ground held, however we are not equipped to do it. We are not the large dominant force, NATO/ISAF is and if NATO/ISAF aren't willing to provide the numbers required then we should stick to what we can do, protect our own troops and if necessary pull out all together.

We haven't got poor low level tactics. We've got good troops who can only piss with the dick they've got.
 
S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
One word: Helicopters. Where are they, and why are we relying so heavily on the Americans?

Another word: RoE. Not good enough for a real war, most units are not all out fighting over there, we are only peace keeping and reacting.
 
One word: Helicopters. Where are they, and why are we relying so heavily on the Americans?
I'll add that patrol "go or no go" particulars are often dictated by the availability of certain assets and stand by airframes. So, the already very limited number of boots we can manage to muster are further limited by shortcomings elsewhere. FOB Commanders have had to de-conflict with Commanders from entirely different AO's to ensure their activity doesn't overlap timewise so not to risk going without. It's no way to dominate ground in an insurgency and its a ****ing Micky Mouse way of doing business.

It's one of the many reasons I find programmes like "our war" futile. Instead of having young squaddies blubbing on my TV screen whilst pointing out the obvious, like how very scary a firefight can be or how sad death is, I'd much prefer to have a programme that asked meaningful questions of why "our boys" (who used to have a fantastic COIN record) can only just about manage to keep their heads above water these days. Shaming people into action seems to be the only way.
 
I just wrote a long rambling post about the program.
Thought better of it.

Cut it out.


I might not know where you live.
I might not even know what your names are.

But if I ever ****ing see you in my part of town.

I'll buy you TWO beers.
And if you are not puking by that point.
I'll buy you a kebab and make sure you are.

Then buy you another one to wash it down with.

;-)

Edit: Beer that is. No one in their right mind would want two kebabs. Then again....
 
Apologies for just selecting this bit..........the rest of your post was 100% spot on.

...if we have to get involved ....no more " boots on the ground " en masse

we can seriously **** them now without having to do the bootsonground bit.

Young Officers !! Unlearn this for your childrens sake
 
. We should stick to what we can do and carry out raids
Apologies for just selecting this bit..........the rest of your post was 100% spot on.

...if we have to get involved ....no more " boots on the ground " en masse

we can seriously **** them now without having to do the bootsonground bit.

Young Officers !! Unlearn this for your childrens sake
I was mulling over that 'just do raids' idea last night.

I tried imagining what it would have looked like, if - in Belfast, early '70s - we had had so few troops, that we had to confine ourselves to 'raids' on PIRA No-Go areas?

These 3 shows have eliminated any last doubts I had, about the mission in Afghanistan.

Whatever the Puzzle Palace would have Joe Public believe, no matter that every 1-Star with a career to nurture will tell you "There's a tipping-point coming" , the Job (whatever you take that Job to be) is ultimately un-doable, because for the last decade or so, we Westeners in general, and we Brits in particular, have - through the minimal commitment of resources we have made to the cause, and the arbitrary withdrawal timetable publicised by Barry O - conveyed above all else the message that we are simply not serious.

Then another thought struck me.

In 1961, that ignorant Tory **** Alan Clarke MP, unfairly branded Haig and all the Generals of his generation as "Donkeys", alleging that they committed their men to a fight they did not know how to win, other than by attrition.

The truth is that Haig and his people took into a world war, a tiny Army that was organised, armed and equipped for imperial policing, that had learned the job the effing hard way, and knew the job inside out.

Haig and his people massively expanded the Army, sponsored and learned how to use new technologies, and figured out as fast as they humanly could, from a start point of Zero theoretical or practical training, how to employ mass armies, in complex, large-scale all-arms operations.

Our Generals since the end of the Cold War, and in the last decade in particular, between them seem to have 'achieved' pretty much the exact opposite.

Lately, I've watched our Generals massively reduce the size - and, more important the capability - of our already tiny Army, having previously launched it into 'policing' operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, for which they had no viable plans, only after fielding in GW2, against a 3rd rate Iraqi Army, a Brit force with grossly bloated HQs and battle procedure so sluggish it would've got our Army eaten alive in Normandy, 1944.

Our War documents, in painful detail, what this translates into at the sharp end.

No need to look to 20th C history to find the real 'Donkeys' is there?
 
The Brigadier who lost his son.

I know nothing. I wouldn't have the balls to do what even the privates in that company did.

He seemed like an Officer of the first class.


This might not count for a lot from a civvie, I was against this war.

But, I'd gladly go over there and chop those bastards down.

Easier said than done eh.

No easy way to say it.

I suppose all I am giving is my support.

Pretty easy too, eh?


I haven't said what I wanted to say.

This time, I'll let it stand.


That Lance Sargeant from the Welsh boys... The Scrapper..


I'm shit with words...



The guy that lost comms... You could see he felt pretty bad about it...

And then the black guy (sorry I forgot his name) who carried him on his back.


Cometh the hour cometh the man...



Ok, it was just TV.



But to see that guy signing up for another tour.

****ing balls of steel.


No, I don't have them.


But ****ing respect to him.
Respect to the Officer that got jolly bad luck.
Respect to they guy that carried him.
This is why I love Arsse, no racist bullshit here.


I'm shit with words and didn't say what I wanted to say.
Maybe you can forgive me eh?


Tommy this and Tommy that, and Fuzzy Wuzzys.



Chop me down go ahead, or please try and fill in the blanks.
I'd appreciate it.


I'll shut up now.
Throw my meat to the Lions...


Go on!
 
Excellent post Stonker. Spot on.
 

Skein_Dubh

Old-Salt
The Brigadier who lost his son.
*******Utter drivel"""""""""""""
I'll shut up now.
Throw my meat to the Lions...
Go on!
That's why we have soldiers who do.
 
I was mulling over that 'just do raids' idea last night.

I tried imagining what it would have looked like, if - in Belfast, early '70s - we had had so few troops, that we had to confine ourselves to 'raids' on PIRA No-Go areas?
.............

Agreed. "Just do raids" would not have worked during the troubles in NI.
Neither would it have worked in WW11 or the Falklands War. Ground had to be taken - and held - and the price in blood was worth paying.

What I am talking about is the next time our scum-sucking politicians tell us .........oooh how's about ....Iran about to attain a Nuclear weapons capability. Whether its a downright lie (like last time) or just bad int we don't need need boots on the ground " en masse." Point spy satellite cameras in that direction. Fill the skies with UAV's above suspected locations 24/7. Launch SF raids. Nuke the place if necessary.

Just no more mass boots on the ground to " enable periods of stabilization " for regime change.

**** them. If they want regime change they can bloody well do it themselves in future.
And if they can't do it themselves.....**** them. They don't deserve it.

History will prove our involvement in Afghanistan a complete waste of time.
And far more importantly .....a waste of our soldiers lives
My post is relating to
 
Or we could bomb the fcuk out of selected areas and then put boots on the ground.
 
Or we could bomb the fcuk out of selected areas and then put boots on the ground.

I'll go with the bombing plan and keep the boots at home rather than bogged down in another pointless excursion just to allow the politicians to big themselves up on the world stage.

Alternatively we simply don't get involved. Tell Obama or whoever to shove it and we'll stay at home and mind our own business for a few years. It should also help us avoid making a whole new bunch of enemies who want to blow themselves up on our streets...

Rodney2q
 
Alternatively we simply don't get involved. Tell Obama or whoever to shove it and we'll stay at home and mind our own business for a few years. It should also help us avoid making a whole new bunch of enemies who want to blow themselves up on our streets...

Rodney2q
this would mean we'd need to stop thinking of ourselves as a world power which might be too much of a stretch for some.
 

Barnes

Swinger
Been out a number of years now and never served in Afghan but would be interested in answers to a couple of points from lads in the know. Watching this series and others the impression you get is that the ability to manoeuvre is greatly restricted by weight and the IED threat.

Now I presume the level of PPE is set by Bde and very little room for interpretation is left regardless of task. Interestingly I believe the Israeli IDF devolves this type of thing to Bn and Coy level. Back to my question: if Coy/Pl cmnds were allowed to dictate personal protection levels would it make a difference ie going on a patrol with no ECBA and carrying just ammo and water and other essentials (ECM another issue) in order to be agile and out manoeuvre the en?

Or is the IED threat so bad that being able to move quickly is impossible so that any benefits from reducing protection are lost.

In any case the old adage mobility, firepower or protection pick any two probably still applies?

Regardless of politics, TTPs professionalism or anything else it looks a hugely challenging environment to soldier in and a lot of responsibility at the junior end as normal. Good luck to all serving moments of the forces about to deploy you certainly have my respect.
 
Yes Stonker, spot on, lets go "Over the top" again in the 6 monthly cycle, this time it may work. Stupidity still occurs, just the zero's after the casualty reports have happily dissapeared.
We are very good at what we do, just give us the chance to do it, instead of sending a platoon to do a companys job.
 

The_Snail

ADC
RIP
It's finally made it to BBC1.
 

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