COs KIA, Captured, Since WWII?

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Ref the recent Welsh Guards CO KIA in Afghan:
How many other unit COs or OCs have been casualties in British post-WWII wars?

I can only think of the below.

KIA - CO of Royal Ulster Rifles, "Happy Valley" rearguad battle north of Seoul, Jan 1951 (Hand-to-hand combat during breakout through burning village)
KIA - CO of 8th Hussars squadron, "Happy Valley" rearguard battle north of Seoul, Jan 1951 (Unknown: Probably killed on foot after tank KOed. Last words over radio to his echelon were, 'It's bloody rough.")

KIA - CO of Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Imjin River, April, 1951 (Machine gunned with rearguard during retreat down a four-mile enfilade)
WIA - CO of Belgian Battalion (attached to UK 29th Bde) Imjin River, April, 1951 (Standing next to Centurions that was brewed up with a phosphorous grenade as it covered British withdrawal)
Captured - CO of Glosters, Imjin River, April 1951 (Taken during attempted breakout from Hill 235)

KIA - CO of 2 Para, Goose Green, 1982. (Attacking MG post)

...others?
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
BiPolar:

There is a thread devoted specifically for what you suggest on the main page.

This is a historical query. No disrespect is intended toward any unit commanders who died a soldiers' death.
 
#5
perhaps in the light on all the airbus crashes you can start a similar thread too

You have shown no compassion for the two deaths, let alone pay any respect to them, yet you even acknowledge the thread paying tributes :x
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Calm down. I posted respects on the above-stated thread, followed by the query posted above...that post has since been deleted by mods as that thread was PURELY devoted to paying respects. Fair enough - hence this posting here.

You might consider this thread to be paying respect to other (mostly forgotten) unit commanders killed leading their men.
 
#8
C'mon Bipolar, Andy_S has a valid point apart from the CO who fell at goose green and the CO from current events I wasnt aware of others CO's that had been killed in action, I dont believe this is a morbid thread or detracts away from rememberance of those who have died.
 
#15
Yes, fairplay to Andy S...let's see where he's going with this. It is a legitimate Mil Hist topic. Obviously it looks odd today of all days but then again every thought needs a trigger.

Interestingly "Fred" Carne of the Glosters and H Jones both received the VC. The Manchurian Candidate is often believed to have been based on Colonel Carne's experiences as a PW with the Chinese. He spent a year or so in solitary confinement...
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
RE: Col David Blair:
Ah, did not know that. I thought, though, that Warrenpoint was Parachute Regt...?

RE: Carne and Jones' VCs
Good point. And both awards were (are?) controversial: Carne's for not leading his men out of the trap; Jones' for acting like a section, rather than a battalion commander.

Personally, I would see these VCs as being rewards for the two units involved in what are (arguably) the two greatest battalion battles fought by the British Army since WWII: The Glosters being a defiant, against-the-odds defence that animated a nation (though almost forgotten today); the Paras' being a fierce, against-the-odds attack that won British forces the moral ascendency for the rest of the war.

RE: What do you hope to get/where are you going with this?
Frankly, nothing but information/nowhere. It is simply a question I wanted to know an answer to. One might legitimately believe - and could statistically prove - that a battalion commander is a pretty safe role in action, but as noted above, even battalion commanders are in the line of fire. Regardless of that, days after a battalion commander died in action, it is worth recalling these other leaders, their actions and their units.

This thread really begs the question: Who is/was the senior British officer killed due to enemy action, post WWII? Mountbatten springs to mind, and if memory serves me correct (which it frequently does not), a senior officer was assassinated by terrorists in Malaya...?

RE: Carne/Manchurian Candidate
Carne was indeed kept in solitary for 18 months (think about that for a moment...though as a VERY taciturn man and an ascetic, he was perhaps better suited to withstand that than most men) and claimed to have been brainwashed with drugs. However, he was never a traitor. I understand the 'Manchurian Candidate' was based on George Blake, the M16 officer in the Seoul Embassy, who was captured by the Norks in 1950, and 'turned' in the Chinese camps. He is still living in Moscow.
 
#18
Andy_S said:
RE: Carne and Jones' VCs
Good point. And both awards were (are?) controversial: Carne's for not leading his men out of the trap; Jones' for acting like a section, rather than a battalion commander.
Controversial?? :frustrated:

The Glosters orders were to hold the road to Solma-ri and "as long as there was a Gloster still on his feet Fred Carne was determined to do just that."
On the night 22nd/23rd April, 1951, Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's battalion, 1 Glosters, was heavily attacked and the enemy on the Imjin River were repulsed, having suffered heavy casualties. On 23rd, 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was heavily and incessantly engaged by vastly superior numbers of enemy, who repeatedly launched mass attacks, but were stopped at close quarters.
During the 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was completely cut off from the rest of the Brigade, but remained a fighting entity, in face of almost continual onslaughts from an enemy who were determined, at all costs and regardless of casualties, to over-run it. Throughout, Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's manner remained coolness itself, and on the wireless, the only communication he still had with Brigade, he repeatedly assured the Brigade Commander that all was well with his Battalion, that they could hold on and that everyone was in good heart.
Throughout the entire engagement, Lieutenant-Colonel Came, showing a complete disregard for his own safety, moved among the whole Battalion under very heavy mortar and machine-gun fire, inspiring the utmost confidence and the will to resist, amongst his troops.
On two separate occasions, armed with a rifle and grenades, he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy and saved important situations.
Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's example of courage, coolness and leadership was felt not only in his own Battalion, but throughout the whole Brigade.
He fully realized that his flanks had been turned, but he also knew that the abandonment of his position would clear the way for the enemy to make a major break-through and this would have endangered the Corps.
When at last it was apparent that his Battalion would not be relieved and on orders from higher authority, he organized his Battalion into small, officer-led parties, who then broke out, whilst he himself in charge of a small party fought his way out, but was captured within 24 hours.
Lieutenant-Colonel Carne showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of our Army.
He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the normal limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever-increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water.—London Gazette, 27th October, 1953.
He had already won a DSO earlier in Korea, he was a great infantry soldier and despite being Cornish by birth, was latterly a true Gloucestershire man.
 
#19
Andy_S said:
RE: Carne and Jones' VCs
Good point. And both awards were (are?) controversial: Carne's for not leading his men out of the trap; Jones' for acting like a section, rather than a battalion commander.
Controversial?? :frustrated:

The Glosters orders were to hold the road to Solma-ri and "as long as there was a Gloster still on his feet Fred Carne was determined to do just that."
On the night 22nd/23rd April, 1951, Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's battalion, 1 Glosters, was heavily attacked and the enemy on the Imjin River were repulsed, having suffered heavy casualties. On 23rd, 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was heavily and incessantly engaged by vastly superior numbers of enemy, who repeatedly launched mass attacks, but were stopped at close quarters.
During the 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was completely cut off from the rest of the Brigade, but remained a fighting entity, in face of almost continual onslaughts from an enemy who were determined, at all costs and regardless of casualties, to over-run it. Throughout, Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's manner remained coolness itself, and on the wireless, the only communication he still had with Brigade, he repeatedly assured the Brigade Commander that all was well with his Battalion, that they could hold on and that everyone was in good heart.
Throughout the entire engagement, Lieutenant-Colonel Came, showing a complete disregard for his own safety, moved among the whole Battalion under very heavy mortar and machine-gun fire, inspiring the utmost confidence and the will to resist, amongst his troops.
On two separate occasions, armed with a rifle and grenades, he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy and saved important situations.
Lieutenant-Colonel Carne's example of courage, coolness and leadership was felt not only in his own Battalion, but throughout the whole Brigade.
He fully realized that his flanks had been turned, but he also knew that the abandonment of his position would clear the way for the enemy to make a major break-through and this would have endangered the Corps.
When at last it was apparent that his Battalion would not be relieved and on orders from higher authority, he organized his Battalion into small, officer-led parties, who then broke out, whilst he himself in charge of a small party fought his way out, but was captured within 24 hours.
Lieutenant-Colonel Carne showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of our Army.
He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the normal limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever-increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water.—London Gazette, 27th October, 1953.
He had already won a DSO earlier in Korea, he was a great infantry soldier and despite being Cornish by birth, was latterly a true Gloucestershire man.
 
#20
Golly, I must feel strongly about this, I posted that twice! Perhaps I could take this opportunity to remember Philip Curtis VC (post.) who also won an Imjin VC.
 

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