British Army Review

#1
As I had afew minutes to spare I cast my eye across this usually tedious publication to discover that its Editorial dislikes ARRSE and BAFF, seeing both as unecceassry and proposing that personnel should write to BAR to air opinions and grievances. Now I may be naive and old fashioned, but boy whover writes for them really needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
If BAR was the organ it apparently wants to be (and not some boring regurgitation of old battles and or supposedly new and dynamic tactics/ methodologies) then it might be more widely read and better accepted. As it is it remains an intellectual masterpiece enjoyed mostly by its editorial staff, contributors old and retired officers (and those stuck in Generals outer offices!).
 
#6
It was tedious when I was serving and its tedious now! The odd good article and the remainder either run of the mill or worse.
 
#7
I think 'they' fail to understand that should you expose yourself (or possibly your unpopular opinions) in the pages of BAR you may perceive yourself to come under 'their' control. The writer was very sniffy about BAFF; possibly he perceives a shift in control.
 
#8
seeing both as unecceassry and proposing that personnel should write to BAR to air opinions and grievances
Wonder what CGS thinks?

Did BAR miss the media furore over the fact that his troops stood up and let their support of him be known through these august pages? Did BAR then miss the rapidly snowballing effect as the vociferous support was spread far and wide?

I know CGS didn't.

Perhaps BAR should ask themselves just why BAFF and Arrse came to be?

Or maybe they'd like to pop in and justify their views more lucidly?
 
#9
PartTimePongo said:
seeing both as unecceassry and proposing that personnel should write to BAR to air opinions and grievances
Wonder what CGS thinks?

Did BAR miss the media furore over the fact that his troops stood up and let their support of him be known through these august pages? Did BAR then miss the rapidly snowballing effect as the vociferous support was spread far and wide?

I know CGS didn't.

Perhaps BAR should ask themselves just why BAFF and Arrse came to be?

Or maybe they'd like to pop in and justify their views more lucidly?
Market forces at work here - if BAFF and ARRSE are seen as unecessary by the great majority of us then - they will disappear! Bet they don't though.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
I raised this in the BAFF Forum when the last BAR came out. On the one hand, the editorial seemed to demand that theirs was the only forum for considering things of deep interest to the Army, yet on the other hand its 'stop press' section referred to an event already six weeks old when the magazine went to press, let alone when it was issued. In the modern world, a biannual magazine just does not cut the mustard as a vehicle for reasoned debate.

Great book reviews though!
 
#11
Then maybe they should launch an online edition like Navy News?

Incidentally, their assistant editor is in RR at the moment seeking opinion and ideas , not busy lambasting "unofficial forums"
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
I must be one of the few that used to read and enjoy the BAR....but it's publication schedule is the main problem......it just isn't agile enough to debate hot issues. That said, it has a niche which it should celebrate and do more with.

The same can be said of Soldier which is of course monthly - I look forward to reading an Editorial in their May edition on the rights and wrongs of cheque book journalism..... :roll: . ....sad to read here on Arrse that Soldier is not held up as the touchstone of truth that it once was - ( ' well I read it in Soldier - so it must be true ! ') ...... seem to be quite a few here on Arrse who think it now toes the Party line a little too much.

FWIW, the editor's view of Arrse is that most of the stuff that appears here is ' Like reading lavatory walls ' :lol:


Anyone for Forces Samizdat ?

> ' Tommy's Times - Tells It Like It Is ! ' -

> Page 3 featuring 'Women You Fancy That You Shouldn't '

> Sports editor ( Sgt) Kelly Holmes MBE

> Political editor (Major) Patrick Mercer MP

> Transport correspondent (Cpl, RLC(V) ) The Earl Attlee


Lee Shaver

( B.A Journalism, Mumbai College of Correspondence (failed) )
 
#13
Proud to say that during 35 years 9 months Service, I never read the BAR, which I have heard described as: ".... the most boring, 'up itself' publication in Britain. Who pays for it ?".

I'm glad it (BAR) dislikes this web-site.

I'll wager that, if he had time, CGS would browse this site and clearly he would 'sift the sh*t' faster than the rest of us.

I'll also wager that the same gentleman would address certain issues raised herein, especially those relating to the most junior members of the Army.

(I cannot remember the 'name' of the poster - in my opinion a staff officer - who berated me for 'reminding' senior officers that their primary responsibilty is to the private soldiers. No doubt he, or maybe she, will have another swipe).
 
#14
I would like to write a piece for BAR, but haven't the time, not the access to source data that would be required (The farce of ROCC(V)).

Anyway anything remotely critical of the orthodox would have me labelled as a heretic and burned at the stake, or at least smouldered in the Adjt's office.

If they wanted a better distribution, why not post the whole lot as a correctly formatted pdf (i.e. not two columns) on armynet, or even, gasp, the MOD website?

But lay off the TA, eh?

"...submissions written by a current company commander in Iraq could be considered as more relevant ... than one written by a TA major running Benbecula artillery range." p.62

"..in the world of training, albeit TA..." p.73

"...at least it might keep TA Members of Parliament quiet." p.121

msr
 
#15
When I started tis thread I was actually upset that BAR were being so critical of both this site and BAFF. Of course in my haste i forgot thatthey are simply bound to angered by "our" temerity to not consider that BAR is the only official organ that can express a view. I know that these pages are not solely contributed to by accredited / genuine individual servicemen and women, however that in itself does not either lessen the value of their comment nor necessarily weaken their arguments. I do agree that BAR has its place, as an academic and very occasioanlly generally interesting publication, however gven its bi-annual publication it will always be at least 6-8 weeks behind the curve. ARSSE thrives on up to the minute debate. For instance would BAR ever discuss the pros and cons of military press freedom - unlikely?!
 
#16
Goatman I used to enjoy reading BAR, up it's own arrse or not, and I still buy Soldier Magazine.

Soldier Mag is very on message though it probably thinks that it is neutral.

BAR I no longer read for two reasons,

1 I have to pay for it myself. I am a Territorial serving in a CVHQ, my HQ gets copies but I visit there very infrequently. I did ask the Editor if I could pay the postage to have a copy sent to me but he insisted that I would have to pay the full cost.

2 Several years ago I met the then Editor. He was an awfully nice chap but he made several comments about the mobilisation of the first TA unit to be mobilised as a unit for service in FRY that made me wince (I'm sure he would not have made them had he known I was a Territorial). I think he would have been happier as one of those RO1 chaps with a comfy job somewhere in BAOR complaining about the good old days of the cold war.

Incidentally John Atlee is a major in the REME, not the RLC. True he was a Cpl Recce Mech and indeed thought it the best job in the Army, but sadly for his Lordship he was commissioned. He is a very good friend in parliament of the Army and of the soldiery, would that we had more elected members with his concerns.
 
#17
Many a shiitty night in an ops room spent reading BAR and i have to agree that it is mostly tosh.

It seems to be only written for a very particular readship i.e - those that contribute and some extremely boring officers (you know the sort, the ones that think studying in great depth and writing an essay on WW1 staff issues will teach YOs how to lead a platoon in operations in iraq/afghanistan).

As already noted not very pro TA and most certainly not pro R.Irish HS in its day. Lets ignore a 9 (at one stage) Battalion strong permanent operational posting. Not even a peep IIRC.

I do remember one article series that i liked. The Sydney Jary MC stuff- but anything that he comes out with is guaranteed gold.

If BAR doesn't like ARRSE then in my book we know that it's doing something right.
 
#18
mushroom said:
Incidentally John Atlee is a major in the REME, not the RLC. True he was a Cpl Recce Mech and indeed thought it the best job in the Army, but sadly for his Lordship he was commissioned. He is a very good friend in parliament of the Army and of the soldiery, would that we had more elected members with his concerns.
Well, he could have renounced his peerage and kept his JNCO rank!

As you say, however, we should be glad he didn't.

I hadn't previously picked up on the anti-TA bias of BAR, but it is in keeping with the rather old-fashioned academic/historical snobbery of that organ. Soldier magazine - which persists with the dreadful 'plucky Terrier' moniker - isn't a huge amount better.

To my mind, as soon as you start complaining that people should use your services you have lost the plot. Its effectively a market - if your product isn't attracting customers, then you need to address your product, not harangue the customer base. The basic concept is broadly fine - the editorial delivery is stuck in the 1960s, dare I say it, as a result of the vintage of the editorial team. I'm not quite sure who holds the budget, but if it were me, I'd ask for an overhaul.
 
#19
I had the privilege of working with Lord Atlee some years ago, the man is a true gent and was an absolute pleasure to work with. Took the time to get to know even the most junior personnel and had no delusions of grandeur.

As for the BAR - I am always slightly surprised at the turgid nature of the publication, given that the Naval Review tends to be more current and has a tendency to publish some very challenging articles. Perhaps a shift to a bi monthly publication which is shorter, but more current may change attitudes slightly?
 
#20
mushroom said:
Incidentally John Atlee is a Major in the REME, not the RLC. True he was a Cpl Recce Mech and indeed thought it the best job in the Army, but sadly for his Lordship he was commissioned. He is a very good friend in parliament of the Army and of the soldiery, would that we had more elected members with his concerns.
I know John; he is a gentleman and does a good job of representing our interests in the Lords.

Litotes
 

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