Falklands Questions

#1
Gents some niggling questions that have been bothering me, please help scratch that itch.

What reason did Belgium give for refusing to sell us ammunition during the Falklands War? What was done to source the ammunition? What happening after the War in relation to Belgium?

many thanks in advance
 
#2
I was only 14 at the time but remember that now you mention it. Didn't we get it from India or somewhere there in the end? Not sure what the repurcussions were though.

Not surprising though - spent some time living in Brussels and the French Belgians are the most gutless, self serving, selfish and unpleasant people I have ever met.
 
#3
They make nice bread though.
 
#4
That's what the Foreign Legion says:

Tiens, voila du boudin, voila du boudin,
Voila du boudin
Pour les Alsaciens, les Suisses et les Lorrains
Pour les Belges, il n'y en a plus,
Ce sont des tireurs au Cul;
Pour les Belges, il n'y en a plus,
Ce sont des tireurs au cul.

(modern translation)

Hang on, here's your bergen,
here's your bergen,
For the men of Alsace, for the men of Lorraine and for the Swiss,
But not for the Belgians,
They're a bunch of REMFs,
Not for the Belgians,
They're a bunch of REMFs.

(it sounds better in French)

NB. edited for pedantry - le boudin = lit. "black pudding". Nickname given to the sausage-shaped roll of kit carried by Legionnaires in the 19th century.
 
#5
No direct link to the Falklands but this Link gives a good idea why everyone hates belguim.

Belgium distanced itself from its western allies during the Gulf war. Mr. Vandenbroucke vetoed sending Belgian soldiers to the Gulf. When in September 1990 the British army asked to sell them some of its ammunition stocks to prevent their troops from running out of ammunition in the Arabian desert, the Belgian government (with the present Nato secretary-general as its vice-premier) refused stating that Belgium "gave absolute priority to a diplomatic solution" to the Gulf conflict.
 
#6
Its because theyre basically French.
 
#7
FN had a big contract supplying the argies which is why they had more fire power than us SLR armed types. (i did pick up a nice one but it is sadly at the bottom of Southampton Water now) dunno if that is anything to do with it but it may have had a bearing. not that I was aware of this anyway or that it made a haporth of difference in the long run.
After all who puts mayonnaise on their chips anyway?

Im with Douglas adams on this one...
 
#8
What ammo?

And as for the 7.62 the Argies used it was crap. I think lockally produced, baddly stored and of very low quality.

Why did we need ammo from Belgum we only put a div in the field.
 
#9
If memory serves our held stocks were allocated to NATO and to take them south meant replacing the NATO stuff. Was a similar issue with AIM9L sidewinder missiles for the Harriers - we took our NATO war stocks south and the US provided replacements for the NATO commitment.
 
#10
I know they had FN rifles
Wasnt aware we needed stocks from les Belges that were to go south.
As I remember there was only a very few weeks from the head shed saying make it so to all things enroute. If belgium was ever asked for a resupply it would have been to replenish stocks in the UK.
and as for offdogs comment if the term storage can apply to cases left open to the weather and bird cr@p then I would agree. never tried firing it though. to start with too nervous of boobytraps at the end why would I want to?
 
#11
I don't recall the belgies acting up during the Gulf. As for their allegiance to one customer over another, FN had a policy of making sure that everybody in a war had loads of their products - it was better for business!

In the Gulf they vetoed the release of NATO war stocks. this was for the reason referred to above and the Royal Ordnance factories went into overdrive and a variety of ammo was sourced elsewhere. Ironically the war was done and dusted before the surge capacity kicked in, the overseas procurements in the main had arrived and the real main effort became repackeaging the stuff that had been lifted forward for backloading!!
 
#12
oldbooty said:
I know they had FN rifles
Wasnt aware we needed stocks from les Belges that were to go south.
As I remember there was only a very few weeks from the head shed saying make it so to all things enroute. If belgium was ever asked for a resupply it would have been to replenish stocks in the UK.
and as for offdogs comment if the term storage can apply to cases left open to the weather and bird cr@p then I would agree. never tried firing it though. to start with too nervous of boobytraps at the end why would I want to?
We got 1000s and I mean 1000s of rds following the war, about 83. it was for training only. It was still in the original boxes, 20 rds in carboard, 200 in plastic linner and 1000 wooden boxes. The screws holding the boxes were rusted so the only way to get at the linners was to drop the wooed box on its corner. The rds were stuk to the cardboard and group sixe was 12 inches and more. The only time I had splite cases and the LMG would not work on auto with them. Complete and uter wast of a range day.
 
#14
offog said:
oldbooty said:
I know they had FN rifles
Wasnt aware we needed stocks from les Belges that were to go south.
As I remember there was only a very few weeks from the head shed saying make it so to all things enroute. If belgium was ever asked for a resupply it would have been to replenish stocks in the UK.
and as for offdogs comment if the term storage can apply to cases left open to the weather and bird cr@p then I would agree. never tried firing it though. to start with too nervous of boobytraps at the end why would I want to?
We got 1000s and I mean 1000s of rds following the war, about 83. it was for training only. It was still in the original boxes, 20 rds in carboard, 200 in plastic linner and 1000 wooden boxes. The screws holding the boxes were rusted so the only way to get at the linners was to drop the wooed box on its corner. The rds were stuk to the cardboard and group sixe was 12 inches and more. The only time I had splite cases and the LMG would not work on auto with them. Complete and uter wast of a range day.
I am assuming that your talking about captured Argy stuff here?

Back to the original question - is it a urban myth? It seems to be bandied about enough if it is
 
#16
Not sure about the Falklands but it certainly happened with Gulf in '91 when UK needed more 155mm than it had in stock. When the last Duke of Rutland died (bear with me, it is relevant), his obituary included the story that at the same time as the Brit/Belgian ammo argument was going on, he was approached by the Belgian ambassador who wanted to borrow a painting for four for some exhibition of Belgian painters - apparently the ancestral seat has/had fine collection - response from His Grace was short and sharp "Your Excellency, No ammunition, no paintings, yours Rutland."
 
#17
I was at CAD Kineton at the start of the Falklands War and outloaded tonnes of Radway Green 7.62mm Ball and Ball/Tracer Ammo for down south. Later in the year we recieved a shed load of newish German DAG manufactured ammo, which was used in '91 for the Gulf

The Argi FN FAL's were as old as our SLR's and were manufactured under licence by FN as were our L1A1's Unlike ours they were fully automatic and came in 3 versions. Folding Stock for Commandos. Standard Stock, and Heavy Barrelled with Bi-Pod (Thier idea of an LMG) They also had FN 7.62mm GPMG's, .50" HMG's and a variety of other small arms.

Anybody remember the Indian manufactured 'Curry Powder' 9mm & 7.62mm? that was under powered....
 
#18
Remember dodgy 9 mm Indian ammo.--Had brand new folding stock FN(for short while)Brand new bergens,belt orders,US para helmets etc,were lined up in parade order at FI school.Thought I,d have a good scrounge around and tour the site.Got back about 1 hr later and all kit looted.I still had FN gat,and we were informed that we could hand in weapons with attached tie- on tag to be stored in chacon.This was duly done(I saw m3 ?grease guns,FNs,--all sorts)Told if we could get,or had licence,could keep non auto shooters/failing that,armourer(for small fee,could de-activate,for souvenir)REALITY---After all weapons were handed in,it was decided that no weapons could be taken by individuals,as souvenirs.Some time later,remember seeing paperwork,seeking location of said chacon,last seen on Port Stanley jetty!Probably still stowed at some obscure mod location with gats still inside.--or sold on Ebay by bigger remf than me.
 
#19
IIRC the main ammo problem in 1991 was arty, some 155mm but mainly 203mm, because UK had no (or virtually no, perhaps a couple of dozen rpg - the guns had no conventional role in Germany but WE included a few rds for local defence) war stocks of 203mm HE.

After FI all the captured eqpt was offered up, a long list was circulated to HQs. About the only useful items were the radar controlled 30mm AA, which eventually equipped an Aux RAF sqn, IIRC a few 'specials' grabbed some of the exotic silenced wpns.
 
#20
203mm (8" How) was mainly a BAOR Nuclear Platform (There I've said it) We had plenty of both 155mm & 203mm HE Rounds in Germany, but it was NATO Stock. That being the main reason for having them in the first place. A lot of 155mm was released for use from UK Training Stocks, but very little 8" was held in the UK and we could not convince NATO that we could replace it.
 

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