I dont want to spoil a condolences thread, so.....

#1
.......58_Pattern

I was at a Somme commeration yesterday and its sad but true that 90 years later we suffer casualties in the same way
Just what do You mean by this??????

Do You mean that we are losing men because of the incompetence of generals?????

Or do You mean that our tactics on the ground are wrong???



Please elucidate because at the moment Your diatribe soundslike so much arrse
 
#2
I dont think the last post was about tactics or Generals. I feel it was a statement of feeling about losing troops in Combat, Seeing the death toll start to rise at an alarming rate (but i could be wrong)
 
#3
So he is equating losing over 20,000 in a day with our losses over the last few days??? A tenuous link and not something that could be held up to the light.

Personally, I think he is using the deaths to make a cheap, petty political point which - considering it was on the thread it was - is somewhat contemptuous
 
#4
Sven said:
So he is equating losing over 20,000 in a day with our losses over the last few days??? A tenuous link and not something that could be held up to the light.

Personally, I think he is using the deaths to make a cheap, petty political point which - considering it was on the thread it was - is somewhat contemptuous
Lets wait and see what the guy has to say I agree it was wrong to put it on the condolences thread, however i think you might be over reacting
 
#5
I'm largely in agreement with Sven on this one (whilst conceding that 58_Pattern may not have made his point particularly well).

A comparison of British losses today with those on the Somme is clearly unworkable, both numerically and historically. For that matter, what not mention the Second World War, or Korea, or Suez, or Northern Ireland?

I believe that Sven is taking issue with what he views as the attempt (whether intended or not we do not know) to equate the two conflicts. The 'war is pointless' brigade often attempt to do this, getting all weepy about something and some people (namely soldiers) about which they actually know little and care even less.
 
#6
I did not see 58 Pattern's remark in the condolences thread but I suspect he was paying his respects, felt strongly about the sad, tragic deaths of our fellow servicemen and compared it to the Somme.

A polite PM from SVEN to 58 Pattern clearing up any misunderstandings IMO is all that was necessary. I don't however think it suitable to start a thread condemning a man who was paying his respects. A bit unfair and hurtful jumping down someones throat like that.
 
#7
Reading the quote in the spirit of the rest 58_Pattern's original post I would have said he's simply expressing his deep sorrow at our fallen. The reference to the Somme being perhaps contextual to the vulnerability of our troops in these Godforsaken places and was cited as a comparative over other conflicts possibly because as he attended a commemorative event yesterday? That's often the trouble with the written word - the intended inflection can have many interpretations.
 
#8
doomandgloom said:
A polite PM from SVEN to 58 Pattern clearing up any misunderstandings IMO is all that was necessary. I don't however think it suitable to start a thread condemning a man who was paying his respects. A bit unfair and hurtful jumping down someones throat like that.

Agreed doom! :)
 
#9
Sorry Sven. Having searched through the threads for what had riled you and reading 58 Pattern's post in its entirety, I think you might be extrapolating too much from what he said and both taking offence and detecting political bias where none seemed to be intended. He reads to me like he is simply an ex-soldier simply sympathetic to the current situation.
 
#10
Perhaps he was meaning that as WW1 was supposedly the war to end wars then it is a terrible shame that now 90 years later we are still losing our finest in battle
 
#11
Surely 58_Pattern should be invited onto this thread if only to clear the air?
 
#13
We are dying!

I say we because I believe every soldier hurts and therefore dies a bit when each nirep comes through confirming another death!

We are dying! :(
 
#14
Sven said:
Personally, I think he is using the deaths to make a cheap, petty political point which - considering it was on the thread it was - is somewhat contemptuous
And what point would that be then?

Ditto Doom.
 
#15
July 1 1916 Total numbers in the British army =2.6 million

Total deaths at the Somme - 19,240 or 7.39% of the army.

Sept 3 2006 Total number in the British army =102,440

Deaths in question = 14 or 0.0136% of the army.

Only another 7683 to go until we get to the casualty figures of ONE DAY in 1916.
 
#16
Sven...in 1945 my old man liberated Belsen. In 1995 and 1996 I was dealing with Omarska. I chatted with my dad about it and we both agreed that there was something wrong with "us all" if every fifty years or so we forgot about the last time and had another outbreak of total inhumanity.

Yes it is silly to compare the scale of the Somme to that of either Helmand or Iraq. I don't think you would get away with alleging incompetence on the part of the generals in any of those cases - particularly not the Somme. You could argue about the tactics until the clauswitzes came home but on some parts of the battlefield they worked - on others they did not. The C2 was a much larger factor and the decision cycle too consequently than either the plan or the tactics.

It is a sad thing that "the war to end all wars" has been followed, like bizarre WWF billings, by bigger and "better" smack-downs - up to the mother of Battles in 1991 and beyond that even. Yet we are still sending the boys out to do a job - however it seems as though we are fundamentally missing out on one of the principles of war in this last batch of conflicts - "Selection and maintenance of the aim".

If you couple to that the lack of assets, particularly tactical air and support helos, then you have a potential recipe for disaster. The Toms and Tomasinas are doing brilliantly well on the ground but every time they take the pitcher to the well, the level seems to have fallen with nobody making a big enough effort to refill.

I have no time for "Stop the War" movements - they all want a stop and then what? What I would like to see is a "Win the war" movement. for pity's sake if the Afghan or Iraq situation is important enough to intervene militarily then there have to be sacrifices in our national life - so funds and materiel can be diverted to the "war effort". I'm not saying pull up railings or hand in aluminium saucepans but maybe we can all do with a little less disposable income if we are serious about the war.

If we aren't and there is a genuine anti-war (not anti-army) feeling in the country, then I would not expect a government which nailed its colours to the mast in such a fashion to continue long in power. They will not do that however, they will continue to gamble with service people's lives and big up themselves about it in their memoirs.
 
#17
We chose this trade, we are good at this trade and when one of us passes, we think of them; I do!

We all die at some stage but it should be old age not anything else that takes us to our graves. God knows, the money isn't great - but our country and our mates are, that's why we are soldiers!
 
#18
gallowglass said:
I'm largely in agreement with Sven on this one (whilst conceding that 58_Pattern may not have made his point particularly well).

A comparison of British losses today with those on the Somme is clearly unworkable, both numerically and historically. For that matter, what not mention the Second World War, or Korea, or Suez, or Northern Ireland?

I think you all need to take a serious step back and stop trying to turn a mans sorrow and condolences at the loss of our Troops into a political issue.

Regardless of which battle or war, regardless of numbers killed or age, EVERY British Soldier killed is a huge loss and the point that was being made is that 90 years later, we are still losing men and women in combat. Thank god were not experiencing the same death toll now as we did a Somme!!! However it doesnt make it any better that we are suffering casualties on a smaller scale.

Its always the families that suffer anyway and whether its 1 dead or 100,00 dead, the loss and grieving for them remains exactly the same.

Dont turn 58_Patterns comments into something they are clearly not.

Spenny
 
#19
Sven...in 1945 my old man liberated Belsen. In 1995 and 1996 I was dealing with Omarska. I chatted with my dad about it and we both agreed that there was something wrong with "us all" if every fifty years or so we forgot about the last time and had another outbreak of total inhumanity.
Cuddles as you know, my Dad was there, and I talked to him about my own experiences in the aftermath of genocide and we reached the same conclusion.

I remember vividly, watching a news report from Bosnia, and the sheer rage and tears of frustration from an Infantry Section Commander who later became one of our SPSI's, as they surveyed the aftermath of the latest atrocity, he said something like "Jesus Christ this is 1993, not 1943"

Why do we never learn?

And I understood perfectly what 58_pattern was getting at , which is why his comments were allowed to stand.
 
#20
PTP - I do recall we share this same paternal experience...

I think there is little point in making spurious historiocal connections or comparisons - beyond the emotional or empathic level. We all feel that lump or get something in our eye when we see Remembrance Sunday parades, a war cemetary or sadly these days the news.

"Stop the War" campaigners aside, I think most people who post on this site would be only too happy to fight for the extinction of the heroin trade - but it is not a brigade (plus even) task! It is when the boys and girls are doing more and more with less and less that people come all over political. Sadly as the boys and girls cope with less, heroically in many cases, the Treasury feels less inclined to give them enough, let alone more.

To widen the political aspect, every government I can remember has reduced the British military effective budget. The single biggest driver for the defence spend isn't equipment or pay. Slashing troops of the ORBAT, or even removing "dysfunctional" battalions doesn't change the price of defence much. so it isn't Tony bashing or even john Major bashing that is required. It is a pretty clear, hard look at what we want to achieve in defence in general and Afghanistan in particular, say, before we decide that we can only "afford" a certain commitment or manning level or equipment item!
 

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