Iraq 2003 memoir.

There's an interesting article here about a British EOD guy's tour in Iraq, 2003. Nothing hugely insightful, but some good tales.

 
There's an interesting article here about a British EOD guy's tour in Iraq, 2003. Nothing hugely insightful, but some good tales.

In the small world we live in, although I personally didn't know Simon C or Luke A, ISTR doing some tasks for Simon the previous year in Afghanistan and Luke (and presumably the author) were contemporaries of lads in my Troop.
A neighbour (DWR) seemed to imply it was they who found, or recovered, their bodies although at the time, it was one of 40 CDO RM who told me.
Pretty sombre a few days later when names, faces and connections were known.
RIP
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
That article was absolutely nail on. The only thing I will take issue with was the Spam rations, which were gopping. Ice cream and Krispy Kreme are a f@cking poor excuse for morale, when all you need is a Brit field kitchen and a half decent brew. But the rest... I was almost sat with him on that journey. Even down to the Last Post drifting across the Pan at AAS...

Saddam; my part in his downfall. Indeed.
 
In the small world we live in, although I personally didn't know Simon C or Luke A, ISTR doing some tasks for Simon the previous year in Afghanistan and Luke (and presumably the author) were contemporaries of lads in my Troop.
A neighbour (DWR) seemed to imply it was they who found, or recovered, their bodies although at the time, it was one of 40 CDO RM who told me.
Pretty sombre a few days later when names, faces and connections were known.
RIP
"The bodies of Luke and Simon had been discovered and it was clear that they’d been tortured. "

Do you have any recollections of the event surrounding that statement? I assumed for that to happen they must have been captured alive.
 
"The bodies of Luke and Simon had been discovered and it was clear that they’d been tortured. "

Do you have any recollections of the event surrounding that statement? I assumed for that to happen they must have been captured alive.
I'm pretty sure there are some accounts on the wider internet regarding their capture and fate.
As far as I'm aware they were executed though.
 
"We would wander around the town without helmets and with our rifles slung casually on our backs. When we went to bed, we would tuck them into our sleeping bags. Not because we felt in danger, but to stop the gunmetal freezing in the desert night."

In Basra? In May/June? Granted, I was there July to January but I don't recall the temperature (shown on the airport tower) being less than 12°C. Yes, we shivered a bit in December but only because there was a 15° change in temperature between day and night. (And it rained a lot).
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
"We would wander around the town without helmets and with our rifles slung casually on our backs. When we went to bed, we would tuck them into our sleeping bags. Not because we felt in danger, but to stop the gunmetal freezing in the desert night."

In Basra? In May/June? Granted, I was there July to January but I don't recall the temperature (shown on the airport tower) being less than 12°C. Yes, we shivered a bit in December but only because there was a 15° change in temperature between day and night. (And it rained a lot).
The weather was appalling when we first moved into Theatre, mid Feb. Cold wet and ferking miserable, fog (in the coastal area) and a fair few sandstorms. However, I don’t recall ‘gunmetal freezing’ cold. Although we did the normal thing of sleeping with our IW inside the bag to keep it ‘safe/hands on’ - perhaps the author mis-remembers; understandable after 17 years.
 
The weather was appalling when we first moved into Theatre, mid Feb. Cold wet and ferking miserable, fog (in the coastal area) and a fair few sandstorms. However, I don’t recall ‘gunmetal freezing’ cold. Although we did the normal thing of sleeping with our IW inside the bag to keep it ‘safe/hands on’ - perhaps the author mis-remembers; understandable after 17 years.
Having been in many sandy locations* during the preceding several years I advised members of my Sqn to bring warm clothes and keep their hair.
Did they listen? No, they just got colder than I did! It was those fun anthrax injections that really made it feel miserable.

* Water froze in the Kalahari in July - but that's their winter - like an English summer day otherwise. Most sandy deserts don't retain heat through the night - although the rocky coastline of Oman in Sept acted like a storage heater - uncomfortable!
 
"We would wander around the town without helmets and with our rifles slung casually on our backs. When we went to bed, we would tuck them into our sleeping bags. Not because we felt in danger, but to stop the gunmetal freezing in the desert night."

In Basra? In May/June? Granted, I was there July to January but I don't recall the temperature (shown on the airport tower) being less than 12°C. Yes, we shivered a bit in December but only because there was a 15° change in temperature between day and night. (And it rained a lot).
In 2001 I did Saif Sareea, before we went we were briefed up by various troopies who sole experience of the desert must have been reading the Daily Mails myths about the deserts, including the normal one about it being freezing at night even though it was boiling during the day, so people took some cold weather kit, when we got there, I was playing cards at 2am, drinking warm fosters, in shorts and t shirt sat outside.
Fast forward a year and a bit later and we arrive in Kuwait (February) having all soundly ignored the bollocks advice that it gets cold at night in the desert, everyone promptly froze their tits off, especially those who had experienced Siaf Sareea and had bought their jungle dossbags.
However even though it was ******* cold, our weapons stayed outside of our dossbags.
Ive written before about my whole three days on Sennybridge when the beast from the east rolled in, wet wipes, jerry cans, toothpaste all froze solid but our weapons stayed out of our dossbags, I think matey boy might be bigging it up slightly.
 

DITA

MIA
The weather was appalling when we first moved into Theatre, mid Feb. Cold wet and ferking miserable, fog (in the coastal area) and a fair few sandstorms. However, I don’t recall ‘gunmetal freezing’ cold. Although we did the normal thing of sleeping with our IW inside the bag to keep it ‘safe/hands on’ - perhaps the author mis-remembers; understandable after 17 years.
Jan 2003 I got into theatre. Probably a bit further back than most on here, I ended up in a hangar full of beds in Arif Jan to begin with. We later to locally sourced bunk beds to cram even more folk in to our accommodation.

I ended up volunteering to sleep in the TFAO once we'd got all the money in for two reasons; firstly to keep the office manned (at one point we had $3mil in the safes) for security and secondly as I couldn't be bothered with all the noise in the hangar!

Was chuffed when I got moved up to Camp Coyote (think it was), then up into Um Qasr. Weather wise? I recall getting eaten alive by the mossies in Um Qasr and sleeping with half my body outside my doss bag due to the heat, but that could be equally due to the fact we were in tents, inside hangars... I wasnt shivering as much as I was told I would be at night on stag though...
 
@stacker1
I've slept weapon in sleeping bag more often than not - almost an SOP! and, in the massive tents we were in initially in Kuwait, the amount of dust blown up we couldn't see from one end to the other so the practice continued even there.
 
@stacker1
I've slept weapon in sleeping bag more often than not - almost an SOP! and, in the massive tents we were in initially in Kuwait, the amount of dust blown up we couldn't see from one end to the other so the practice continued even there.
I was taught to sleep with it within a dossbag in training, I eventually realised its actually impracticable and if the enemy ever go close enough to nick your rifle hes also got close enough to stab you in your sleep.
I remember the tents, everyone curled up next to each other like a roman orgy just to keep warm.
 
I was taught to sleep with it within a dossbag in training, I eventually realised its actually impracticable and if the enemy ever go close enough to nick your rifle hes also got close enough to stab you in your sleep.
I remember the tents, everyone curled up next to each other like a roman orgy just to keep warm.
I obviously wasn't in the same tent group as you, fortunately, then again if I were I'd have been trying to sleep with one eye open.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
"The bodies of Luke and Simon had been discovered and it was clear that they’d been tortured. "

Do you have any recollections of the event surrounding that statement? I assumed for that to happen they must have been captured alive.
Given that they were our comrades and that next of kin might find this thread, let's not speculate.
 
@stacker1
I've slept weapon in sleeping bag more often than not - almost an SOP! and, in the massive tents we were in initially in Kuwait, the amount of dust blown up we couldn't see from one end to the other so the practice continued even there.
I had it drummed into me that keeping it in the doss bag meant it was less likely to go walkies ( cheers DS ) and you knew where it was, if suddenly woken, plus if you were sharing a poncho, it wasnt where your mucker was going to roll over on just when you needed it for stag.
 
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I had it drummed into me that keeping it in the doss bag meant it was less likely to go walkies ( cheers DS ) and you knew where it was, if suddenly woken, plus if you were sharing a poncho, it wasnt where your mucker was going to roll over on just when you needed it for stag.
Yep me too, but if you were in the battle field snoozing away when some rounds came down, how fast would you be struggling to get your rifle out of doss bag, then load it, then return fire, where as if it was by your side, (not between you and you mate and loaded if practical) you could grab it faster.
Im convinced that the scenario of weapons going walkies was because of bellend DS thinking they were funny thrashing people after they stole it from them, but like a lot of things in the army doesnt have much practical use.
Its not like people slept with the GPMG in the dossbag.
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
Yep me too, but if you were in the battle field snoozing away when some rounds came down, how fast would you be struggling to get your rifle out of doss bag, then load it, then return fire, where as if it was by your side, (not between you and you mate and loaded if practical) you could grab it faster.
Im convinced that the scenario of weapons going walkies was because of bellend DS thinking they were funny thrashing people after they stole it from them, but like a lot of things in the army doesnt have much practical use.
Its not like people slept with the GPMG in the dossbag.
It was SOP for reasons of 'local' security and good admin; less f@ckwittery in the harbour when your turn on stag, as well as the hasty stand too. Don't recall ever sleeping with the GPMG though.. although we used the Milan crew's and their MILA at night.

eta; we didn't sleep with the Milan crews!
 
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It was SOP for reasons of 'local' security and good admin; less f@ckwittery in the harbour when your turn on stag, as well as the hasty stand too. Don't recall ever sleeping with the GPMG though.. although we used the Milan crew's and their MILA at night.

eta; we didn't sleep with the Milan crews!
Exercises are supposed to replicate real life, nothing to do with good admin. I reckon its SOP because everyone was taught it in training and never questioned it. A bit like cam creme on tech exercises.
It is far easier to prep yourself when your weapon is out side your dossbag than it is when its inside.
 
Questioning the DS as a recruit ?
That works !
 

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