This was and is the way to operate.Any thoughts?(Sorry no link but you might have seen the the very heartening programme featuring star personalities from the Army and Special Branch-well adjusted,calm and very proud of doing things we might go bleating to our grief counsellor about) Not afraid to get their hands very dirty 8)
But could they have got away with it with a journlist hanging around
and pte fuckwit e mailing a video back to his mates of what he got up too
? sometimes we dont need to know how a job is done just that its done.
Yes it was an interesting and revealing programme although I knew most of what went on.
My father (The RSM) served in the area 1950/52.
Search and destroy, bodies and heads taken, shoot to kill, no prisoners taken. A bit away from hearts and minds!
And in the main- I believe- with an army of national service troops?

I think it fair to say it was with him til his death 11 years ago.
He was a hard man and it was a campaign where both sides "dealt harshly"-
(His words) with the other.

He was always worried about out of context stories concerning the actions of the participants.

He always thought it a "dirty war" a "brutal war".

No mention of the shoot to kill issue in the programme- or did I miss that bit?
Nobody at the time raised an eyebrow but over the years it has surfaced
a couple of times.

Actions at the time discussed many years later are always difficult to view or judge dispassionately athough this did seem a very factual account.
My dad was a sapper in Malaya he still tells us his stories from then. He was especially shocked at the use of kids by the communists, a particular trick apparently was to sew a grenade into the jacket of a little kid so that if the kid was searched and the jacket opened the pin was pulled.

From his accounts it was a savage experience.
Oh how I wish we could have used the same tatics in NI, bring terror to the terrorist, fight fire with fire. Only a pipe dream, or was taht a pipe bomb?

I smiled at the thought of that womam diving into her flowerbeds and chucking her grenades stached in her flowerbasket, begs the question, who was guarding who?

Got to say that the two caught in the ambush done well in getting out although very badly wounded.
The shoot to kill bit came from concept of free fire zones. Our side knew where they were and opened fire without any hesitation on anyone/thing they saw that was not positioned as ours. Very few blue on blue. Another thing that might be considered dodgy today was use of Remington pump shotguns firing No. 5 shot. Idea was that a blast of pellets would get past branches etc that might divert anything from a LE or FN rifle. Any sort of wound very soon went rotten in the jungle where they had no drugs or first aid.
Technology was fairly well up. Radio sets were 'given' to the terrs after being modified to transmit when on. Signal used by bombers that dropped bloody big bombs. The food denial and forced re-housing programme worked well.
We lived off our own version of rations. Dried chicken in one pocket, dried fish in another with curry powder or fish paste. Was not too bad even when mixed up on the trot and eaten cold. The CT was a fairly good opponent on even terms but trying to fight in the jungle was what screwed them.


Kit Reviewer
firestarter said:
This was and is the way to operate.Any thoughts?

Bearing in mind that this was the only communist insurgency successfully defeated in the post war period, (I believe,) then it is definitely the way forward.
The water in which Mao claimed the revolutionary fish were to swim was effectively removed.

Woody does bring up a good point though, no armchair Cdos to sit & critisize from the safety of the House.
However the population at home, having just gone through a heavy period of history, probably had a very different attitude to that which Grauniad-reading, bleeding-heart Amnesty supporters exhibit today.

The general feeling of the public actually supported the troops on the ground.

Then people knew what the army was and did, and were quite rightly proud of the sldrs, due possibly to the much wider 'footprint' of the forces across the nation's awareness. Maybe the head shed now need to raise the profile of the army in day-to-day life.

I think it was in part due to the widely held belief that one earnt respect, rather than expecting a benevolent nanny state to ensure life was a cosseted, cotton wool wrapped existence free from all forms of danger.
"I think it was in part due to the widely held belief that one earnt respect, rather than expecting a benevolent nanny state to ensure life was a cosseted, cotton wool wrapped existence free from all forms of danger."

And THAT is what is wrong with the whole of Western Society today: most people expect someone else to carry the can for their actions.

The conflicts in Malaya, Borneo & Kenya were fought by those who had faith in their own judgement & the balls to use all means necessary for a successful conclusion.

Who the Hell do the Media think they are, passing comment on how those in peril of their lives act?

If these liberal jerks had been around at the time, then we would have LOST.
I agree with Oddbod although it is interesting that at the time some British Commanders felt that they were having to operate under too many restrictions. What would they make of it today?

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