Large Guards' regiment?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by claymore, Aug 15, 2004.

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  1. From today's Sunday Times:

    THE Ministry of Defence is considering plans to merge the five regiments of Foot Guards as part of a far-reaching overhaul of the army announced last month by Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary.

    Major-General Sebastian Roberts, who is in overall command of the guards, has written to senior officers asking for their opinion on the suggested merger. The original proposal came from General Sir Mike Jackson, chief of the defence staff.

    The proposal to merge the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards into one “super-regiment” would be one of the biggest shake-ups in the 400-year history of the elite units.

    Their uniforms of scarlet tunics and bearskins and appearance at state occasions make them one of the most internationally recognisable symbols of Britain.

    The guards see themselves as serving the monarchy personally and the royal family is said to have a uniquely close relationship with the regiments. The Queen is colonel-in-chief of all five regiments, while three have another member of the royal family as colonel.

    Each of the regiments has its own cap badge and motto and has formed its own distinctive regional identity as well as winning battle honours from their service in conflicts around the world.

    In his letter, Roberts asks his colleagues to assess the implications of any merger for “the monarchy and the fabric of the nation”, and writes that the new five battalion-unit would be known as a “large/large regiment”.

    Roberts tells his officers: “The chief . . . has written to urge us to consider the large/large regiment.”

    “What is the level of support for a move to a five-battalion Foot Guards regiment?” he adds.

    Roberts says the guards’ “regimental identity” and individual cap badges could be difficult to maintain, even if retained nominally, because troops would be moved round frequently within the larger unit.

    One possibility would be for all five regiments to move into a new “super-garrison” from the separate barracks they now occupy.

    Roberts also questions the problems of future recruitment if the regiments were merged, although he accepts that there are no plans to cut numbers.

    The guards are some of the oldest units in the army. The Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards were all founded in the 17th century, while the other two date from the early 20th century. The regiments’ battle honours cover every major conflict of the past few centuries, including Waterloo and the Gulf.

    Nicholas Soames, the Tory defence spokesman and a former hussars officer, said the plan needed to be treated with particular sensitivity.

    “I have nothing against the search for greater stability but these are the Queen’s household troops, part of the household division, which has ceremonial duties, and so any interference needs to be extremely carefully and throroughly thought out,” he said.

    Consultation on the future of the army began after plans were announced in July for fundamental changes to the infantry as part of the government’s defence review.

    Hoon said the reforms were meant to “take account of the changed demands of modern warfare, in which technology plays a more important role than manpower”.

    A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: “I am aware of Major-General Roberts’s letter. He has set out several options, one is that nothing changes at all and one is that they all merge into one regiment, but there are several other options in between.

    “No decisions have been taken.”
  2. I really wonder who in the MOD hates the Army sooooo much that our traditions are under attack almost daily. I would prefer that our senior officers were able to concentrate their energies on the problems, rather than face attacks from the faceless spin doctors and spineless civil servants that seem intent on destroying our history.

    Hoon is not bright enough to dream this up on his own. This is just the start. There is an obvious agenda to destroy all our traditions and turn us into a typical, new labour, "one size fits all" joke like the Canadians.

    Dangerous this, the public will not buy it.

    This is the beginning of the end for the Household division.
  3. Col Collins has been let loose in the Mail on Sunday - now he is a free man, he can vent his spleen as he sees fit, to the benefit of all of us who have to keep the lip zipped!
  4. On the other hand, why should the Woodentops be exempt from changes foisted on everyone else? Perhaps an assault on sacred cows will provide the spark which triggers real opposition to cutbacks. And what about the Maroon Machine? Sorry, obviously exempt from tampering because of PoD's patronage. Silly me. :D
  5. The contempt from this administration for tradition is obvious, enshrined in Mandy's outburst about the Coldstream Guards being a bunch of "chinless wonders doing (strange) things with flags." Just because he has had enough b@lls banged against his own chin and does even stranger things with other "poles", doesn't mean he should unsheath the claws. Bitch! :twisted:

    We will soon be in a New Labour Utopia where the New Age begun on May 2nd 1997 and anything predating this, especially if it involves concepts such as loyalty to anything other than the Great Helmsman, is threatening and should be discarded!
  6. FBW

    FBW Old-Salt

    the guards dont work as btns any more anyway they work as companys so how do they except this to work :?
  7. Read into the Mail on Sundays article and Col Collins article.

    He envisages this as a step towards an integrated EU Army. Seems to be going that way.

    However its the sheer arrogance of the Government to do this without mentioning the truth, no change there I hear you say!
  8. Why doesn't Blair just stick the UK in a great big jiffy bag and post us to fcuking Belgium.

    The guards are part of British heritage, to merge them would be a farce and very very American...... why not issue them with patent leather boots and replace the bearskins with a kind of gay glengarry with a great big puffy cloth badge on.

    Who is pulling Jacksons strings?

    Is his pension and career continuance worth every scrap of his moral values?

    :evil: :evil: :evil:
  9. Found this in Telegraph archived reports 8O

    THE idea of a pan-European economic and political union with its own
    defence force was conceived by SS officers according to documents released
    today to the Public Record Office in Kew.

    Maj Gen Ellersiek and Brig Mueller, Hitler's chief of staff during the
    Battle of the Bulge, came up with the idea as a means of keeping Nazism
    alive following the expected Allied victory in the Second World War.

    By March 1946, Ellersiek was in charge of an underground political party
    called Organisation Suddeutschland. It believed in the establishment of a
    fully-armed United Europe, Ellersiek told a British intelligence official
    masquerading as a Foreign Office representative.

    "What was important was that Britain should realise that if Europe was to
    survive, we should all think 'as Europeans'," the ex-SS man was quoted as
    saying. The party's manifesto called for "a pan-Europe as a balance between
    Russia and the USA". Although the European nations would remain
    "independent", finance and defence matters would be decided centrally.

    "The good which was in Nazism still lives in the German heart," Ellersiek
    said. His party offered "a new revolution for Germany which will set the
    pattern for Europe". This revolution is to be the work of the new elite,
    the German prototype of the future rulers of Europe . . . which has emerged
    purified from Nazism and the trials of war."

    The British official noted that German generals seemed likely to be in
    charge. "Germany must lead this New Europe with the cooperation of
    Britain," he quoted Ellersiek as saying, adding his own view that: "So
    little else of Britain is mentioned that it is evident she is to be the
    junior partner."

    The proposed European force has echoes of the current attempts to form
    European Rapid Reaction Force, controlled by Gen Rainer Schuwirth of
    Germany. Gen Sir Charles Guthrie, Britain's Chief of the Defence Staff, has
    implicitly criticised the Germans for not backing their promised
    contributions with cash, leaving much of the manpower and equipment to be
    provided by the UK.
  10. Very clear now that the Guards, PoW, Kings and Scots Divs are all being pushed into the Large/Large regiment concept each consisting of 5 Bns. Makes things very easy for the civil servants and pen pushers to administer and finance (principal aim of MOD) but makes generation of fighting spirit, regimental loyalty and recruiting much more difficult.

    Remember speaking to a Guards officer months back reference Guards forming one regiment of 5 Bns. He described it as 'inevitable' in the current political climate. Think now he must have been privy to something the rest of us were kept in the dark over.
  11. There's an article in today's Washington Post from which you can estimate the benefits of amalgamation into the EU:

    It seems there's a journalist, Hans-Martin Tillack, of "Stern," who's devoted a lot of time to investigating, and writing about, EU corruption.

    He had visitors Friday morning.

    "Six Belgian policemen politely filed in..., handed him a search warrant and went to work.

    "For the next 10 hours, they combed through his apartment and his separate office, seizing his computer hard drives, his bank records, his Filofax organizer, four cell phones, 18 boxes of files and a copy of 'Spaceship Brussels,' his expose of fraud and waste inside the European Union. When Tillack complained, he recalled, one of the officers shrugged. In Burma, the policeman told him, 'journalists get treated much worse.'"

    "For E.U. Critics, A Cautionary Tale," by Glenn Frankel. 15 August 2004

    Now they are doing this to newspapermen who dare to speak unwanted truths. Tomorrow it could be you.
  12. msr

    msr LE

    That if you challenge orthodoxy you will be labelled as a heretic and cast into the wilderness?

  13. Yes let the heretics be cast into the wilderness!

    Never thought of the regimental system as "orthodoxy". Maybe I am not free-thinking enough. Why ditch a system that has its faults but has by and large got it right for the last 300 years and continues to do so?
  14. Have just re-read what I wrote.

    Realise the answer to my question is that the regimental system is being all but abolished to save money because the Chancellor won't give the MOD anymore due to cost over-runs in defence procurement and elsewhere!
  15. As Claymore said.why should the Guards be shielded from the cuts? They in fact do not even have the defence of being a formation practised in the 'Light' Role. The traditions that they hold dear are no more than those of other Regiments we ALL took an oath.