British to adopt the tactics that beat Rommel

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mr_C_Hinecap, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. I've had a quick seearch and didn't see this on here and thought it was more worthy than the B of B debate. From the Telegraph today:

    The soldiers of the Queen's Royal Hussars will today board a fleet of stripped-down Land Rovers, festooned with weapons and equipment, bound for the depths of the Iraqi desert.

    Their mission is to adopt tactics pioneered by the Long Range Desert Group, the forerunners of the SAS, more than six decades ago in the campaign against Rommel in North Africa. They will leave Camp Abu Naji, the only permanent base in Maysan province near the local capital of Amarah, and head into the remote region near the border with Iran.

    Rather than staying in a fixed spot well known to enemy fighters in the most violent of all the Iraqi provinces under British control, they will live, camp and fight on the move. Roaming through the sparsely populated areas of Maysan, an area as large as Northern Ireland, they will travel without heavy armour that would become bogged down in the sand dunes and sleep under the stars.

    Resupply will come from air drops or transport aircraft landing on temporary runways. Lt Col David Labouchere, the regiment's commander, said that when they needed to act they would "surge" from the wilderness.

    "Maysan is and will always be a problem child," he said. "These people are a little like Texans - armed and against anyone who is not one of them. They do not like foreigners and we are a foreign tribe in their midst."

    The men are stoical about the prospect of living in gruelling desert conditions. One captain said: "Those who have been on desert training exercise are less keen. They know that after six days, you realise this is not so special after all. But it is good not to be a fixed target any more. Being here is very wearing on the nerves."

    The Army stresses that this redeployment is not linked to constant mortar and rocket attacks on the old base of Camp Abu Naji. There, troops have endured a sustained attack, shredding nerves and marking their time with blood and lost limbs.

    At least 281 mortars and rockets have hit the camp since the Hussars arrived in April. In the early months of the British presence, attacks were limited to one or two rounds a night. Now the Shia militiamen loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr, the fiercely anti-western cleric, have taken to firing barrages. One night in May, 54 mortar rounds detonated one after another.

    On Tuesday, while the troops worked to pack up the camp, 17 more 122mm mortar shells came in, causing such fires that the camp ran out of fire-suppressant foam. The exact number of injured has not been made public.

    Today the Union flag that has fluttered over the camp since the British arrived in April 2003 will be taken down and the base handed over to the local Iraqi authorities.

    Brig James Everard, the commander of British forces in south-eastern Iraq, stressed that responsibility for security in Maysan province would not be transferred to Iraqi control.

    The adoption of tactics from an older era of British desert warfare would allow proper control of the border area for the first time, he said. America has frequently alleged that weapons and volunteers are being brought in by Iran. One of the first tasks of the Queen's Royal Hussars will be to discover whether this is true.

    I hope this pays off - nice to see a less fixed approach to the threat out there - good call whoever made it I think!
  2. It's nothing new though, every Maysan Battle group has deployed out to the sticks in the east. It doesn't do alot apart from get the guys out of camp, most of the nomads out in the desert don't care what goes on in the Province's capital. The main reason the Camp Abu Naji gets hit every night is because we lost our footprint on the ground when we handed over Cimic House in 2004. Having a personal experience of Abu Naji in 2004 and then again 2005/06 having to rely on the IPS to go and secure firing points in town post attack was just a good way for the insurgents to get all their kit back via the quickest means.
    Lets face it Al Amarah was never a good place to live even under SH so a few Brits stuck inside the wire is not going to make the slightest bit of difference.......
  3. Its the QDG acting as part of the QRH BG that are carrying out that role .
    Its hardly the desert either , however there is an awful lot of
    UXO from the IRAN/IRAQ war days .
  4. Sorry, but sitting in a nice camp is not my idea of peace enforcement. Why sit there and present a nice target? Lets get out there and start mixing it up. At present, we're no better than how the Yanks fought Vietnam (less the village burning and mass atrocities)
  5. I know mate, I'm one of the feckers who ends up going round blowing it all up........ 2 PARA were lucky not to get a minestrike out in the East whilst providing mentoring to the Border Guards, they all came back with stories of reversing back down their tracks...........
    What I mean is that it is not going to stop the Indirect Fire Attacks on CAN, the only way you can do that is by getting US air assests back above the town and let them take their chances with a slightly more robust ROE!!!

    Good luck to your guys out there, and if you speak to any of them remind them to carry minestrike kits in their vehicles please!
  6. Did the LRDG have the Telegraph announce each time it left on a mission?
  7. My bold. Quality!! :D

  8. slipper - I'd see something like this as more far reaching that stopping indirect fire on the base. It is placing a roving patrol at range that doesn't have the limits of range operating from a fixed base brings with it. You can therefore cover a greater area with a less predictable patrol pattern than before. Anything that means covering more with less predictability for the enemy has to be a move in the right direction. It denies then greater areas.
  9. I would agree if it was anywhere but Iraq and particular Maysan, close off the old smuggling routes in the east and they will bring it up the water ways, the IDF's on CAN are the main threat to the BG at the moment, and if we were to start to patrol the town again it would switch back to IED's, the G2 we were getting earlier this year is that unlike other areas in MND(SE) most of the IED's in Maysan were produced locally rather that other sources to the east, if you catch my drift.
    I doubt that any long range or deep patrols into the sticks will deny the "Enemy" anything other than there will be a Platoon less to hit in camp. Still it will maintain morale and prevent cabin fever setting in, and the boys will get a better nights kip in the desert........ and they can do a bit of hearts and minds.
  10. SOP, these days surely?
  11. Only if we are on a bit of a recruiting drive!

    Shame half the teenage population would not have a clue who Rommel was, not enough time in the modern school timetable to learn where we come from and why we are the way we are.

    They should issue Commando pocket books in school, that would sort em out!
  12. Mobile agressive patroling is better then being a static sitting target.
    Best of
  13. "These people are a little like Texans - armed and against anyone who is not one of them. They do not like foreigners and we are a foreign tribe in their midst."

    What is this crap!

    We don't have a problem w/ foreigners just Yankees and Illegals :D
  14. And what proportion of today's youth reads The Telegraph?

    Short Answer- those who have received a date for AIB, RCB and OASC.
  15. Has anyone thought about the fatigue effect this is going to have on the lads. Say "they are all soldiers at the end of the day" if you wish but i have been on both sides of the wire. & i preferred air conditioned TDA, cooked food, Internet access and good welfare phones with The mortars. Alot more fun than sitting in a shell scrape in the soaring heat in the middle of the "Desert" were fcuk all happens away from the city. I think maybe rotating that into the Battlegroups plan to stay in CAN but do LR/Patrols out of it for a week or so then back in.

    Slipper Sapper hits the nail on the head with the CImic House Comment!