Never in the field of human conflict ................

..never in the field of human conflict has the truth been re written for so many by so few

The ex information minister was down at the Diwaniyah last night. He's nearly finished his biog and already has some publishers lined up. He was in LA all last week looking at a few film offers.

Still a bit sensitive about people accusing him of twisting the truth. Then he started telling me about Tom Cruise's latest project . This allegedly involves an american Battle of Britain hero.

Unfortunately there is a real role model for the hero, but his relatives will not be happy with the film portrayal. Interesting to see if any Pole, Czech, Rhodesian, South African Oz or Kiwi pilots feature in this.

But having seen U591 on DVD recently I recall how the Soviets and Nazi frequently rewrote history to suit their needs. Of course this is not happening here and its just a legitimate business venture.

PS: Business here in Bagdhad is also legitimate. Those foreign enterprises seeking to do business here currently refelect the mulitple cultures and languages of all of the USA. ( Now I have to drive past Basra before my GSM works :cry: )
americans won battle of britain arrse .guess crab air will be depictied as bunch of chinless tache wearing cowrdly incomptents
saved by brave yanks .
Lookforwrd to the bit when the brave yanks accidently spray the little boats coming back from dunkirk.
well according to my old grandaddy the blue on blues stopped around june 1940 when the frenchies ran up the old bed sheet flag of surrender, but started to make a re-appearnce in the western desert around mid 1942 when the yanks turned up!
and who says traditions dont last? :lol:
quite horrible ones we took out glen miller arty plans went tits up and whole battalions got shelled .
italy a airborne attack over flew a fleet and got wiped out the gunners lost it totally and were still shooting the planes and survors in the water . crab air toasted a mine sweeping flottila .home guard shoot a few people at vcps and possible a couple of our own pilots after bailing out
and the blenhiem fighter /bomber was shoot at by everyone cos it looked german all hushed up though
...oh...sounds bad, it seems like in all those cases it was put down to Poor training and/or nervous tension.

Doeas this mean the blue on blue is an inevitable part of war and can never be cut down on?

I mean we can train and train but if people are nervous it will probably still happen. (although shooting the Iraqi police for an hour is taking the point a little TOO far!)

Yes, but they weren't in the open. Some of the Iraqi policetook cover at a hospital so the Spams had to try to destroy that first.
Regrettably there were quite a few 'blue-on-blue' in World War 2. Library and Internet facilities a trifle limited where I am, but a few from memory are:

Several Brit on Brit including:

Two Submarines, HMS Oxley and Triton in the early part of the war. One sank the other (Can't remember which). One sub was in the wrong patrol area.

Warminster Fire Power Demo in about 1942. Canadian Spitfire pilot straffed a long line of targets. Unfortunately they were the spectators. Dozens of casualties including a Divisional Commander killed. Future FM Templar took a bullet in the arm I think.

RAF Lancaster crew set off to Bomb Germany but set the compass on a reciprocal bearing. Arrived over target more or less when expected and unloaded bombs.....on Dublin.

1944, two RN Minesweepers, HMS Brittomart and Hussar attacked by squadron of RAF Typhoons. The leader identified the ships and tried to call off the attack only to be ordered to go ahead by his superior.

Only Spam one I know of was just after D Day when they managed to bomb their own forward positions. Amongst the killed was their Director of Training, Lt Gen Leslie Macnair, on a visit to evaluate the realism of training back in the US. The senior US officer killed in the war.

Present track record tends to indicate there were probably more!
RAF Fighter Command's first VC was earned partly against the Home Guard - the chap got it for attacking a bunch of Me110s and shooting 2 down despite his Hurricane already being on fire. Unfortunately for him, after taking to silk he was shot in the arrse by a party of Home Guardsmen encouraged by a gunner officer who lost it and thought he was the advanced guard of a German airborne assault.

Oh yeah, and my granddad was wounded in a hangar, in the Air Training Corps, when their weps instructor demonstrated making a Thompson safe. To finish with he announced that "I can now throw it in the air, pull the trigger, or bang it on the floor, and all I'll get is the exercise!" and banged it on the concrete floor. Bang! off went the .45 round he'd left up the spout, into granddad's leg.

Perhaps one of the most significant blue/blues was at the climax of the Gallipoli campaign, in the offensive from Suvla when some men under their Lt Col got onto the top of the plateau whose name I've forgotten - (edited) IT WAS KILID BAHR - before the navy put 10x 12" shells into them. Nobody ever got onto the hill - the key of the Turkish position - again.

Mr Happy

The yanks used to call the American Army Air Force (USAF didn't exist then) the American Luftwaffe as they received more than the Germans as they advanced across Europe. Not surprising as the boche had all but been wiped out by then but still.....

Partly Mad Bad Pattons fault of course as he just advanced his troops faster than the air force could keep up. I recall several battalions getting almost wiped out from the arrival of USAF over the FEBA bombing yesterdays German positions.

By 1945 as the US was clearing Bavaria etc they'd turn up at a town and if it wasn't surrendering call in a B17/29 (or whatever) mission for the following morning and then bypass onto the next one, often the town would surrender the following AM just to the arrival of 00's of US bombs... Unlucky they call that.

Don't forget, there were several FF incidents in the Falklands, Hereford took out the SBS guy, there was H Jones too of course (well both sides were using 7.62 and he was shot in the back.....).
ther was a saying dueing ww 2 so i have been told,

when the brit's bomb the germany's duck.
when the german's bomb the brit's duck.
when the the american's bomb every body duck's.

funny thing is this was a germany saying.


useless bit of triv-famous aviatrix Amy Johnson was a ferry pilot in WW2 and got lost in cloud-on descending over the Thames estuary she found herself in a "no fly zone" and was shot down by British AA guns.

Also I believe the first aircraft shot down by the RAF in WW2 was one of ours-it happens-just more to the yanks than us

Mr Happy

The first two US casualties in Vietnam were an SNCO and Pl Cmdr I believe who went out to check the perimeter and were shot by one of the guards who skipped the whole "stop who goes there" and just opened up.

It happens to the yanks more if I recall but I have three reasons for it.

Britfor has trained for years on peace keeping/NI duties and each soldier expects to be up in front of a judge if there is anything questionable. The US conversely still appears to be training to stop the Russians in a NATO war.

The US training is less good than the Brits, this we all know and don't need to expand upon. Half the officers are just there to get their college credits and out anyway.

Disclipline and Americans do not fit in the same sentence. Which is why jumped up actors become politicians. And why politicians become thieves.

At the heart of it I blame the French for losing the colonies in the first place.
Mr Happy
As a former NCO, SNCO and company grade officer of the US Army, I regret that I have to agree with you on the points above.

I believe another cause is the "they don't shoot" factor.

S.L.A. Marshall, the American military writer, said in several of his books, especially "Night Drop" (US airborne ops in Normandy), that as many as 75% of the troops didn't fire their weapons.

This of course didn't set well with the powers that be, and getting the boys "to pull the trigger" became a great crusade in US Army.

When I enlisted in 1969, they still had a program called "Quick Kill", which taught you to hit the target before you had time to think about it. The program died but only because it became bad to use the "K" word. The sentiment lived on.

The whole point of weapons training was to get them to fire, at anything, just fire. I don't think it's changed much to this day.

Unfortunately, the whole premise is flawed. Many of Marshall's conclusions have been discounted these days. He is thought to have been a subjective listener, only hearing that which supported his own theories. I'm sure some will disagree with that.

A reading of literature written by actual participants in the WW2 fighting seems contradict him also. The Donald Burgett books (Currahee, Cross Roads, The Road to Arnhem) depict a different story, and Burgett was in one of the units that Marshall cited as non-firers.

Also see: The Men of Company K by Leinbaugh & Campbell, the story of a draftee rifle company in WW2 written by their platoons leaders from interviews after the war; and Roll Me Over by Raymond Gantt.

OK, enough of that. The point is there's a problem in the US regarding fire discipline.

Hopefully there may be a change coming. The head of training, US Army has noticed that the USMC doesn't have as many of these problems and thinks the Army should follow their lead. That must have been hard! But it's a good start.

I myself was fortunate. I joined those guys who wear the small green hats familiar to you. Our Group ops & training officer (S-3) was a man who had served on exchange with the SAS. Our weapons training was based on yours. We were taught target discrimination. Shooting a "friendly" pop-up in the jungle lane resulted in penalties. How far can you low-crawl down a jungle stream bed?

Now, if we could just get those jets jocks to something similar.
An informative and well worded post Winger which does indeed explain a hell of a lot.

Not a lot to add really except (as the "dig" is mandatory :D ), I wonder how much more the "friends of sinn fein/ira" would have whined if our fire discipline in NI was as good as theirs is everywhere else?
actually the green jackets were the first british units to come under friendly fire as there green not red jackets were mistaken for french on several occasions . Nothing they didnt deserve :lol:
"I wonder how much more the "friends of sinn fein/ira" would have whined if our fire discipline in NI was as good as theirs is everywhere else?"
I don't know - could they whine any more than they have? Reading the US news, you would thought the streets were running in blood then.

You've probably heard this before but I know more people who are unsympathetic to "the lads" than the opposite. I do live in an area a little more on the Pacifist than on the Oppressed Irish Ancestor side. I believe that's a very regional (NE) thing here.

There is one (from the olde country), though, who occasionally comes into my "local" and attempts to infer he may have been in one of those initialed groups. He told me recently that "the lads" had "settled" every one of the Paras who were there that day.

It was no use trying to explain to him that such a circumstance would have really shortened the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

When I worked in the UK (mid-70's), one of my co-workers was an ex-Para who, after several beers, told me that he had been there on the day and seen civilians with handguns. That was as far as he would go. He was a good, honest man and a friend.

I think it was a very good thing that US troops were not used for peace-keeping ops in NI as suggested by Senator Ted Kennedy at about that time. Talk about not getting the idea! I believe he was trying to provoke open warfare there.

Didn't your guys have to explain the whole international border concept to some of that clan recently? They are both a symptom and a cause.

I don't want to tell you folks how to run your business (since I've always found you to much better at it than me) so I'll shut up now. On my mark - three, two one, ma...
Ted kennedy always remeber from when I was little him on tv doing
on a fact finding mission in northern ireland . Film on him leaning out of window to shouting at squaddie to go home .Broad northern irish reply I am home bleep bleep bleep . Evidently UDR soldier .
Most americand dont care or understand about NI ,but the ones who do are so loud and annoying they seem to be more of them :lol:
Vietnam War joke that did the rounds a few years ago.

Commanding Officer to Adjutant:

"I've got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that Hanoi Jane Fonda is coming here next week, and we have to look after her."

"What's the good news?"

"Teddy Kennedy is driving her to the airport!"

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