Beruit 1983

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Phil306, Apr 8, 2005.

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  1. A mate of mine was RMP CP out there at that time. Two or three days after the Marines were blown up, the locals had another go at a hotel where several hundred other US Marines were operating from. He had been part of a CP team who had visited there with some high ranking Brit dignatory. Seeing the truck refusing to stop at a checkpoint outside the hotel, my mate and his oppo filled the drivers cab with lead and stopped it a short distance before the hotel. The driver was brown bread and didn't get the chance to detonate the truck. It was later found to have contained a large home made explosive device.

    The Americans wanted to give both RMP medals, but the Brit Government said that they couldn't have them.

    They ended up getting a signed commendation each from the US President at that time. I believe that it may have been Jimmy Carter.
  2. Am I the only one that can't think of a good reason why they shouldn't have gotten the gongs? WTF was that all about?
  3. It's seen as bad form by the British Govt to say that the troops in Beruit are just helping out with a little 'peace keeping' and in the same breath say that two have been awarded medals by the US Govt. People might have thought that it was dangerous out there.
  4. On the up side, Beirut is staging a comeback as the Levantine riviera, so hopefully the contribution of your fallen comrades was not entirely in vain.
  5. It was the attitude of the Brit Government/Army at the time, it would appear mate. My mucker wasn't that bothered about it as he hadn't done anything other than his job as far as he saw it. He was employed on the Brit Embassy there at the time and had been visiting the hotel with his boss, so it was right place right time sort of. Lucky for a lot of American Marines that they were there though or that would have been a real morale booster for the opposition.

    Attitudes are different today. He and his oppo might have been allowed to recieve something nowadays, other than a piece of paper in recognition, bearing in mind that both of them ran at the truck, so did put themselves into the 'firing line' so to speak.

    I've met a few of his mates through him and to be honest, they aren't the type to let that sort of issue bother them. Quiet professionalism I believe they call it.

    If you are reading this, nice one you big Irish C*nt! I've not forgotten you.
  6. Actually, at the time, the US didn't see it as combat service either. It took George Bush Sr to sign an order, retroactively giving the Marines/Sailors who fought there, comabt duty status. Many Marines who were wounded, etc didn't get their Purple Hearts, etc, for several years later...
  7. US gongs were only recently handed out as a matter of course to desrving Britis. During the First Gulf there were a lot of US awards that were not accepted by our PTB - except at the higher echelons or if you were ina US HQ. Even if you were allowed to accept one, you had to write to the Central Chancery of Knighthoods or some other faggoty organisation to crave HM's pleasure that you might wear foreign bit of tin; and promising that gaudy yankee medal would not diminish your desire to crush, kill and destroy her enemies in a loyal, steadfast and soldier-like this still the case now that we have been going to war as a matter of course with the septics since 1991.

    I've got one by the way and it looks like the highest form of honour from a Ruritanian principality!! Cool...
  8. I seem to remember Al Haig making some comment about Lord Carrington being "a duplicitous b*stard", and the 16/5th Lancers Squadron who were in Beirut referring to themselves as "Her Majety's Own Duplicitous Bastards" as a result....

    ISTR that the French and the US installed their troops in big hotels in downtown Beirut, but got seen as "partisan" rather than even-handed (both got hit hard by truck bombs).

    The Italians kept the even-handed tag, and by demonstrating some impressively fast NGS from a cruiser they had off the coast, made sure that the locals didn't hassle them. (In contrast, the big battleship the USN had there needed a call for fire support to go all the way to the Pentagon before it could be authorised; the Italians just called up the ship, which let go with 6")

    And the British found a flea-bitten old fort, slapped up the RPG screens, put out the dragon's teeth, suffered the absence of air conditioning, and likewise stayed sensible and safe. In Ferrets.....