Black and Tans

Discussion in 'Police, PMCs, Security' started by sirbhp, Nov 16, 2010.

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  1. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    Years agO when i were a lad I met two old boys in a pub , one was RAF and was on parade for the first ever remembrance day . He remembered it quite well coz a police horse stepped on his foot and broke it and he had to sTay there in pain... anyway I digress.. his opo had been in the kate and said that after der woar he joined the Black and Tans . He insisted that they were top class soldiers and not riff raf those were cleared out in training he said .

    but in the words of a famous whore he would say that wouldn't he ?

    So were they well trained disciplined troops or a bunch of rabble ??

    ( i use troops in its widest form as they were para millitaries in the true sense )
  2. Waaaaaaaaaah.
  3. The film "Shake Hands with the Devil", dis mirror the experienced of some of my Irish relations.

    I guess, giving the benefit of waaah :))), there were probably good guys and bad guys, but under great stress and very likely under poor supervision.

    I guess similar results might occur even in our modern situation if, one Monday morning, we put arms into the hands of our thousands of Police Support Officers and send them out to solve the knife carrying problem of young males?
  4. There will be loads of variations on a theme. There were WW1 ex-soldiers looking for the next big adventure, as some had volunteered to go Russia to fight. But interspersed with thugs and chancers. Similar to the mercenary recruiting for congo, some good ex-soldiers and some wannabe's.

    As tom above states it would be similar. When i was in the fascists (AKA The Thames Valley Police), Special constabs would fit the mould perfectly. Desperate to wear a uniform and use their muscle behind that protection. It did appear to be a very brutal affair as UK trying to nip the troubles in the bud, but with the internal problems of Irish Politics and the unnravelling of Empire.

    Worthy of serious study before living memory fades and it;s just fable and heresay.
  5. Although it may be hard to find witnesses/participants now just thinking about dates.
  6. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    When you put someone who has just spent three or fours years in the trenches, into a situation like Ireland, what do you expect, the Boy scouts FFS
  7. Very fair comment Bookman :)

    I have not found a "level" study of this; as I guess politics always gets in the way of facts.

    It is also not convenient for research to be encouraged in many quarters as the statistics that come from any study would emphasise the atrocities and deaths measured as islander upon islander.

    My own view is that it will still take many more decades to detach strong feelings to allow proper research into even these early decades of the last century!

    I am sure there will be major reassessment by the Irish of who in the future they see from those times as heroes of a struggle, and those they see as political manipulators, an indeed, in my view those who caused far more harm to fellow Irishmen than any foreigner!

    Amd Jim- I agree with what you said in the last post!
  8. Just a quick reply, the new irish government in 1922 set up The a military history commission which lasted 40 years to collect the memories of the combatants in the anglo irish war. It covered both side and what us surprising is from a large majority of the irish side it would appear there was a retrospective pity for the black and tans and auxillieries (who were far more vicious) along the lines that they thought a lot of them were suffering from shell shock or ptsd as we call it now when they landed in ireland. It is also worth remembering that theguys who said this on the irish side had fought in the trenches.
  9. I have this older book, one of the paperbacks written in the 1960's. Quite interesting, but very basic.

    Attached Files:

  10. Thats interesting Garoid. From reading the politics of Irish soldiers both catholic and protestant who participated in the Trenches etc., their rationale would be interesting to compare to non-combatants.
  11. Many Black and Tans were former commissioned rankers... they found it hard to settle back in to civvy strasse. So all in all you had some very good blokes in there.

    As mentioned above, they were a para-military force with a bent on trench/all out war. Not really COIN/STAB/MACP type ops minded.

    Worth remembering there were TWO para-military forces at this time with the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Black and Tans and the Auxies of the RIC Aux Div. The Tempory Constables Auxies were regarded as worse than the Black and Tans, yet in the mists of time many of their actions have been laid at the Black and Tans door.
  12. squeekingsapper

    squeekingsapper LE Reviewer

    I think choc frog has hit the nail on the head in that the black and tans (in modern history) seemed to pick up the sins of the auxies. That said, the fact that both the tans and the auxies wore similar uniforms (a mix match of black hats and khaki uniforms), I doubt that many of the locals would have drawn any differentiation between the two groups.

    In the depression post of the great war, I think that were a lot of men that volunteered for places like Russia and the black and tans (or indeed auxies) as they were jobs that brought in money for their families, however I question the mentality of an infantryman who had seen time in the trenches, compared to someone who had spent the war in relative safety behind the lines (albeit in uniform), when it came to what we would now refer to as a COIN op.
  13. Worth noting that when the two forces were disbanded many went to other trouble spots.
  14. squeekingsapper

    squeekingsapper LE Reviewer

    Soldiers from every conflict often do. The first winner of the VC was a mercenary.
  15. Actually the majority of ex-soldiers behaved professionally. It was the thugs and chancers, as mentioned earlier, who tended to treat it as one big nasty jolly.