"Butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers"?

cedenullis

Swinger
From today's DT letters page, an interesting claim from a former serviceman describing an incident which he claims took place in Northern Ireland. "I once took my platoon to support a unit in a dangerous area. We arrived to find the butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers". Try as I might to rack my aging brain, I cannot remember such an incident but others may. His letter, by the way, is about the unfairness of the treatment of former soldiers who served in Northernn Ireland.

Any thoughts?.....apart from the obvious!
 

ACAB

LE
The report from David Mitchell, obviously a Walt!!!
 
From today's DT letters page, an interesting claim from a former serviceman describing an incident which he claims took place in Northern Ireland. "I once took my platoon to support a unit in a dangerous area. We arrived to find the butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers". Try as I might to rack my aging brain, I cannot remember such an incident but others may. His letter, by the way, is about the unfairness of the treatment of former soldiers who served in Northernn Ireland.

Any thoughts?.....apart from the obvious!
Not 30, but on the way there - Warrenpoint with 18 KIA:

 

load_fin

War Hero
He doesn't actually say it was in NI, just that it took him back to his own army days, so could be korea or ww2.
Not many WW2 officers left, or Korean veterans either for that matter. Maybe from one of the "end of empire" campaigns in the middle and far east?

Another thought - he doesn't say the dead were British soldiers; maybe a local unit?.

In fact, he doesn't even say he was in the British Army, maybe South African, Rhodesian, Australian? They all fought less-than-civilised adversaries.
 
From today's DT letters page, an interesting claim from a former serviceman describing an incident which he claims took place in Northern Ireland. "I once took my platoon to support a unit in a dangerous area. We arrived to find the butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers". Try as I might to rack my aging brain, I cannot remember such an incident but others may. His letter, by the way, is about the unfairness of the treatment of former soldiers who served in Northernn Ireland.

Any thoughts?.....apart from the obvious!
If 30 British soldiers had been killed in a single incident in NI, then it would have made headline news around the world.
 
From today's DT letters page, an interesting claim from a former serviceman describing an incident which he claims took place in Northern Ireland. "I once took my platoon to support a unit in a dangerous area. We arrived to find the butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers". Try as I might to rack my aging brain, I cannot remember such an incident but others may. His letter, by the way, is about the unfairness of the treatment of former soldiers who served in Northernn Ireland.

Any thoughts?.....apart from the obvious!
Palestine late 1940's?

Cyprus up raising?

Suez/Egypt?

Aden?

Malaya?

Oman?

I have not read the article so just speculating.
 

Winnet

Old-Salt
From today's DT letters page, an interesting claim from a former serviceman describing an incident which he claims took place in Northern Ireland. "I once took my platoon to support a unit in a dangerous area. We arrived to find the butchered bodies of about 30 soldiers". Try as I might to rack my aging brain, I cannot remember such an incident but others may. His letter, by the way, is about the unfairness of the treatment of former soldiers who served in Northernn Ireland.

Any thoughts?.....apart from the obvious!
There could well be a fellow in Nottingham who would probably help you with this.... I couldn't possibly say anymore.
 
As holyphuc suggests, the letter doesn't say that the incident was in NI. I think he's trying to make the point that if troops see their mates killed in unpleasant ways, they may not always be quite as disciplined in the immediate aftermath of the event as lawyers several decades later think they should be.

I wonder if he might be a veteran - one of the few left - who served in the Netherlands East Indies in 45-46. There were a couple of incidents where local nationalist extremists killed British and Indian soldiers and butchered the corpses as a means of intimidation. It tended not to work, since we just sent Gurkhas or Sikh units to find the perpetrators and report on the numbers of dead at the end of proceedings.

They tried this with the Japanese troops who we'd had to impress into service to help police the place while we waited for the Dutch to come back. But only once, since the Japanese forces, upon discovering the mutilated bodies of their comrades, became 'literally fighting mad' (a line from a War Office report on the incident), and killed at least 2000 [sic] inhabitants of the town in which their mates had been murdered.¹

Which I believe is the Japanese for 'Don't **** with us'. The nationalists took the hint...


¹They eventually stopped killing everything in sight when asked politely [literally] to desist by the CO of a Gurkha battalion which turned up on the scene purely coincidentally. The Emperor had given orders that his men were to assist in policing the NEI and that instructions from British officers were to be obeyed - this meant that the Japanese CO did so immediately, as to refuse would be to disobey the Emperor and to bring disgrace upon all who did so.
 
Could be Aden 1967 in crater where a number of soldiers from 1 RNF and 1 A&SH were ambushed and killed by the Arab National Police. A number of soldiers from the RCT returning from a range day in a bedford RL were ambushed as they were passing the Police lines. There was stand off for a few days until Mad Mitch and the Argyles went into retake Crater with bayonets fixed and pipes playing.

I think there were over 30 dead. The dead bodies of the soldiers from patrols ambushed were abandoned when the British withdraw. After the bodies were retrieved after Mad Mitch's reoccupation there was allegations that some of the bodies had been mutilated by the locals.
 
Could be Aden 1967 in crater where a number of soldiers from 1 RNF and 1 A&SH were ambushed and killed by the Arab National Police. A number of soldiers from the RCT returning from a range day in a bedford RL were ambushed as they were passing the Police lines. There was stand off for a few days until Mad Mitch and the Argyles went into retake Crater with bayonets fixed and pipes playing.

I think there were over 30 dead. The dead bodies of the soldiers from patrols ambushed were abandoned when the British withdraw. After the bodies were retrieved after Mad Mitch's reoccupation there was allegations that some of the bodies had been mutilated by the locals.
Well it certainly wasn't NI, in no case did a British patrol ever just arrive on the scene and find 30 butchered colleagues.

The Arab Police mutiny? Perhaps, over 30 dead yes, but only 17 soldiers and I doubt any routine patrol simply arrived and stumbled upon the bodies, the whole Crater District was a full on battle field for days and no one was casually patrolling around unaware of what was going on.
 
As holyphuc suggests, the letter doesn't say that the incident was in NI. I think he's trying to make the point that if troops see their mates killed in unpleasant ways, they may not always be quite as disciplined in the immediate aftermath of the event as lawyers several decades later think they should be.

I wonder if he might be a veteran - one of the few left - who served in the Netherlands East Indies in 45-46. There were a couple of incidents where local nationalist extremists killed British and Indian soldiers and butchered the corpses as a means of intimidation. It tended not to work, since we just sent Gurkhas or Sikh units to find the perpetrators and report on the numbers of dead at the end of proceedings.

They tried this with the Japanese troops who we'd had to impress into service to help police the place while we waited for the Dutch to come back. But only once, since the Japanese forces, upon discovering the mutilated bodies of their comrades, became 'literally fighting mad' (a line from a War Office report on the incident), and killed at least 2000 [sic] inhabitants of the town in which their mates had been murdered.¹

Which I believe is the Japanese for 'Don't **** with us'. The nationalists took the hint...


¹They eventually stopped killing everything in sight when asked politely [literally] to desist by the CO of a Gurkha battalion which turned up on the scene purely coincidentally. The Emperor had given orders that his men were to assist in policing the NEI and that instructions from British officers were to be obeyed - this meant that the Japanese CO did so immediately, as to refuse would be to disobey the Emperor and to bring disgrace upon all who did so.
I read somewhere that after Korea the occupation of Indonesia was the costliest post-WWII operation in terms of killed in action, albeit mostly Indian troops.

There were atrocities certainly but then the Brits were there to hand over the Indonesians to their former colonial masters who the Indonesians felt they had made rather clear weren't welcome back. To do so by using Japanese troops until such times as the Dutch could stop swigging their gin and get around to actually coming back was regarded as doubly outrageous.

So you can kinda see why the locals might have been a bit pissed off with the red-faced English gentlemen and their colonial levies telling them to get back in their places and wait for their Dutch bosses to come to reclaim their rightful position.

The Brits of course miscalculated awfully and assumed that the lazy, shy Javanese with their beguiling smiles would never fight for their freedom and a good whack across the knuckles with a rattan cane would teach the uppity natives a lesson. In Surabaya those natives rose up and in the next few weeks armed with very little gave the British and Indian troops a good run for their money in brutal house-to-house fighting.

Of course being massively outgunned the Indonesians lost eventually, but the Brits got the hint and promptly packed their bags and got the feck out, not least because Nehru was having a freak out about Indian troops being used to suppress fellow Asian nationalists. The last thing Atlee wanted was for the Indian army to start getting awkward ideas from the Indonesians about how to achieve Indian independence a lot quicker and more effectively than London was prepared to concede.
 

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