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Cold War medal comes a step nearer

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
250,000 veterans of Arctic convoys and Bomber Command to be honoured - Telegraph

To the eternal shame of all concerned, the 'Arctic Star' has now been confirmed - a victory for special interest whinging and something inherently unfair on other, equally deserving, sub-sections of the fighting forces of WW2 - the Mediterranean convoys for a start.

Without denigrating the contribution of those who served in the Arctic Convoys, this medal, so late in the day and created in the face of a lobbying campaign is just another populist gesture by the type of politician who rushes round the globe looking for things to apologise about and has probably never heard of PQ17.

This decision was made at the time by people who were informed by their war service and, right or wrong, that decision should have stood in my view - though the clasp for Bomber Command is a sensible compromise if 'something must be done'. Creating this piece of bling seventy years on is just ridiculous, though, now the precedent has been set, who knows what trinkets will now be showered upon us in our old age?

(and yes I know there was another thread but this is about the decision being taken by a political creature called Mark Francois, who is clearly a c0ck and deserves a special thread to be told so)
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#2
I note that in the same article they mention Lancastria as another potential group to get a medal. Where will it end.

The Africa Star had 3 clasps, it still causes much upset as to why these clasps were added (especially the 8th. Army one which seemed to ignore all the efforts and sacrifice that had gone on before El Alamein) to that one and yet no specific clasps were added to the other theatre Stars (except Battle of Britain).

Will there be a lobby group for every battle; why no Normandy clasp, why no Chindit clasp, why no Dunkirk clasp, should the crew of HMS Hood (well NOK) get a special clasp? And on and on for if one group is honoured why not all the others?.

So, yes, it is with mounting (no pun intended) dread that the BAOR, NDM lobby will now start to think they too can have a medal too.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
I note that in the same article they mention Lancastria as another potential group to get a medal. Where will it end.

The Africa Star had 3 clasps, it still causes much upset as to why these clasps were added (especially the 8th. Army one which seemed to ignore all the efforts and sacrifice that had gone on before El Alamein) to that one and yet no specific clasps were added to the other theatre Stars (except Battle of Britain).

Will there be a lobby group for every battle; why no Normandy clasp, why no Chindit clasp, why no Dunkirk clasp, should the crew of HMS Hood (well NOK) get a special clasp? And on and on for if one group is honoured why not all the others?.

So, yes, it is with mounting (no pun intended) dread that the BAOR, NDM lobby will now start to think they too can have a medal too.
SOE/Special Forces also have a far better claim than the Arctic Convoys if we go down that route.

In my view, a very respected group of medals has been tampered with and an important precedent, that if it isn't awarded at the time, tough luck, has been broken. This opens a massive pandora's box - at what point and on what basis do we stop reviewing awards and/or creating new ones?

I've never seen anyone ask for a medal and keep their dignity. This decision is a pointless gesture and it could only be made by people with no knowledge of the history and little understanding of the issues involved.
 
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Biscuits_AB

Guest
#4
I only want three clasps for my Cold War medal. Jocks Bar, Geordies Bar and the NATO Sgts Mess STC. I'd also like them before I die. Just so that the truth can be told.
 
P

Prefect

Guest
#6
I note that in the same article they mention Lancastria as another potential group to get a medal. Where will it end.

The Africa Star had 3 clasps, it still causes much upset as to why these clasps were added (especially the 8th. Army one which seemed to ignore all the efforts and sacrifice that had gone on before El Alamein) to that one and yet no specific clasps were added to the other theatre Stars (except Battle of Britain).

Will there be a lobby group for every battle; why no Normandy clasp, why no Chindit clasp, why no Dunkirk clasp, should the crew of HMS Hood (well NOK) get a special clasp? And on and on for if one group is honoured why not all the others?.

So, yes, it is with mounting (no pun intended) dread that the BAOR, NDM lobby will now start to think they too can have a medal too.
I don't get the assumption that the Cold War lobby may benefit. All the interest groups you mention were involved in campaigns or specific battles. Those of us in the Cold War didn't fight anyone, we just waved our mighty SLRs about on the plains of Germany occasionally.

I presume that my 10 years TA service in BAOR reinforcement roles from 1983 would qualify me if such a medal or clasp were granted. But would I want it or feel proud to hold it? Does their claim stand any comparison at all with those of Bomber Command that lost over 55,000 comrades? I seriously doubt that.
 
#8
for the NDM lobby, how does awarding both the Bomber Command clasp and the Arctic Medal support the case for a 'Cold War' Medal? Call me uneducated, but I don't recall, for example, 63,000 troops dying in BAOR/BFG during the 'Cold War', unlike the 55,000 aircrew and 8,000 ground crew who died during the CBO.
 
#10
My cynical head says this is being driven primarily by descendants of the guys who only see it as a bit of bling for the grandchildren. As mentioned above how many of them even heard of PQ17 or could find Murmansk on a map. My old man was MN at one point early in the war and if he had any bits of tin from that period he never mentioned them. That didn't stop an undignified scene after my Mothers funeral regarding all his other bits and pieces allegedly so his sisters grandkids would have something to remember him by. Sheer greed in my opinion but you had to be there to understand the vulture mentality.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
#12
December 31, 1991 – All Soviet Institutions cease operation.

So was that the official end of the cold war?
If so I joined up in Sept 1991 so I get another medal to go with my rubber GSM. Ohhhh I will look sooo swish on parade.
Can I have a 8 wanks in a day medal for when I was in NTH?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
for the NDM lobby, how does awarding both the Bomber Command clasp and the Arctic Medal support the case for a 'Cold War' Medal? Call me uneducated, but I don't recall, for example, 63,000 troops dying in BAOR/BFG during the 'Cold War', unlike the 55,000 aircrew and 8,000 ground crew who died during the CBO.
Please don't take the thread title too literally - there is an element of poetic license. The question per se is whether we should have such retrospective awards or have them so late in the day, particularly for special interest groups with an effective lobbying capability.

On your specific point though, it's worth pointing out that casualty rate alone is not, nor should it be, a deciding factor. The Cold War saw more soldiers killed than the original Telic for example (and far more soldiers died from terrorist action related to Northern Ireland).
 
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bokkatankie

Guest
#16
Perhaps if a few on here had read the Medal review document from the government they would see why the 2 awards are linked to other campaigns (not the fighting type) to have the NDM and so on.

They are, acording to the official communique, the first part of the review that will see other awards being made that were highlighted in the document, one of them was the NDM.

It is also worrying that this appears to give the green light to any lobbying group to demand a "special" medal for some event or other, such as, as mentioned in the article; the Lancastria sinking.
 
P

Prefect

Guest
#17
Please don't take the thread title too literally - there is an element of poetic license. The question per se is whether we should have such retrospective awards or have them so late in the day, particularly for special interest groups with an effective lobbying capability.

On your specific point though, it's worth pointing out that casualty rate alone is not, nor should it be, a deciding factor. The Cold War saw more soldiers killed than the original Telic for example (and far more soldiers died from terrorist action related to Northern Ireland).
If you count Korea and every other war by proxy during the Cold War then the casualty figures are probably horrendous. But garrisoning and reinforcing Germany is a different matter. No doubt many people died in accidents over 5 years in BAOR, I remember seeing a 4 tonner carrying half a dozen coffins being loaded at Harwich for Ex Keystone in 1987, but was the mortality rate from alcohol poisoning, dodgy mayo and chips and bratwurst related salmonella really that bad?

I see the Bomber Command and Arctic convoys claims as very just and long overdue. Service in NI was recognised so why not them? I understand the irony in the thread title but I think it is generally quite simple to draw the line at valid and invalid claims.
 
#18
I have read the medal review report.

I have the utmost respect for the work of the Arctic convoys and Bomber Command. A clasp at most would have been an acceptable compromise. That said, Pandora's Box would have been opened by that in any event.

The Arctic badge was derisory. The Arctic convoys were part of the magnificent maritime effort. Bomber Command made an enormous effort.

However, the path is leading to banana republic bling driven, crass, insensitive, tokenism of the worst kind.

PLEASE GOD STOP THIS STUPIDITY NOW !
 
P

Prefect

Guest
#20
Perhaps if a few on here had read the Medal review document from the government they would see why the 2 awards are linked to other campaigns (not the fighting type) to have the NDM and so on.

They are, acording to the official communique, the first part of the review that will see other awards being made that were highlighted in the document, one of them was the NDM.

It is also worrying that this appears to give the green light to any lobbying group to demand a "special" medal for some event or other, such as, as mentioned in the article; the Lancastria sinking.

The Holmes review says that the NDM campaign is not the same as a Bomber Command or Arctic Convoys type claim and he effectively rules it out of scope saying the case should be reviewed separately. In other words he parks it politely and moves on. It can stay parked forever on that basis.

The NDM campaign certainly seem disallusioned by the report rather than encouraged.
 

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