New BBC NI programme - 21 Feb @ 2100

@JCC why the dislike? Don’t you do irony? For your info I was 5 UDR before I joined the regulars so feel more than competent to take the piss.
I apologise and withdraw I feel a bit protective towards them considering the slagging they get. Some extraordinarily brave people and some piss artists - a mixture like any other Regt. or Corp.
Did you watch it?
If so, will you withdraw (preferably say sorry for) that lazy generalised slur against the likes of Lt Col Brooker (32 years) and Irene Kerrigan (25 years) continous service respectively, while living in border areas.
Clear you don't fall within General Dannatt's definition - on the film - of a 'thinking soldier'
Better still Stonker, stroll into the Legion in Castlederg - which lost 14 UDR* members in / from a town with a 3000 population - and tell the survivors present they served in the Usually Drunk Regiment
* including the first to be murdered by the IRA, in August 1971, Winston Donnell

UDR woman bereaved by Castlederg attack to talk
Was that before or after the No Go Areas and Op MOTORMAN that did away with them?

There were shedloads of laws being flouted even after MOTORMAN - hence the unlicensed shebeens in Andytown, known as the PDF Club and the LESA, tolerated by the Army, pending the restoration of Police authority in the area. I don't think they were still functioning in 1979.
Stonker, please decode PDF and LESA for this youngster
There was no plan for Phase IV, irrespective of your views on our Frank.

When it was twigged that a plan was required, as I read it, Brit Army defaulted to COIN, assuming NI and COIN to be both (a) the same thing, and (b) appropriate to the situation (or, perhaps, the expedient most appropriate to the resources made available at the time by the gunmint under B'liar :) )
Really? No plan for Phase IV? Pity I spent a good deal of time writing the ******* thing, such as it was, in Feb 2003.

For reference, please see my OJAR 02/03, written up by an RM (SBS) 2* who was deffo not 'establishment'. It makes it quite clear we had a Phase IV plan. Demanded at the last moment - yes, implemented? Well....
He has, and it's one to which I subscribe wholeheartedly., for the good of the Armed Forces, and ultimately the Nation.

He's all the more credible, IMHO, for having been there, done that, got the T-shirt..

Or are we old soldiers and mere civvies s'posed to just swallow - out of (unrequited) institutional loyalty - the shoite spouted by ambitious little men from a diminished, and diminishing, MoD?
Nope, but neither should we swallow shite from those who have an agenda...


Book Reviewer
The Aden operation placed you guys in an invidious situation. UK Government tells the Aden locals 'We're leaving: on such'n'such a date - Ta-Daah!! You'll be independent, and we'll be offski"

From that announcement on, all bets were off. The only UK strategic goal was 'Get Out Of Aden', while the locals were all (literally) up in arms, to take control once the Brits had buggered off, to the extent that Brit troops couldn't even trust the Police they were nominally supporting.

That's a dog's breakfast.
As I remember we fought three factions of opposition and then the police joined in the fray, I can't recall the casualty figure but I believe 37 soldiers died there, and remain there in a place called 'Happy Valley' for some reason?
I was told it was "Legal". "League" doesn't scan.

As for PDF, not a clue.

Perhaps People's Democratic Front (of Judea)?
Catholic Ex-servicemens Association was renamed League of Ex-servicemens Association circa 1973 although not all branches accepted the name change.
The branch I particularly recall was the Rodney's LESA off the Falls, an unpleasant area but you could get a buckshee pint when you searched it.
As I remember we fought three factions of opposition and then the police joined in the fray, I can't recall the casualty figure but I believe 37 soldiers died there, and remain there in a place called 'Happy Valley' for some reason?
This link is in an ARRSE thread 'Aden 1967', it's worth a look for some information on the police mutiny in Aden, some good input from guys who were there.
"As The Sun Goes Down" - Aden, The SAA & Armed Police Mutinies of June 1967 (***RECOMMENDED)


Book Reviewer
No. It isn't.

It is one thing (as in Malaya/NI) to be defending a legitimate, mandated government from an attempt to overthrow it.

It is quite another (as in Iraq) to be interposed between indigenous militias vying for supremacy in a country whose government is only regarded as legit by the foreigners who installed it, and yet another (as in Helmand) to inflict - as a matter of course - a Bloody Sunday on innocent civilians every other time a patrol made contact, in pursuit of objectives never satisfactorily crystallised by our government, nominally in support of a Kabul-based regime, installed by The West, that was not recognised, much less trusted, by most of the people living out in the sticks.

If that's what COIN is all about, then I'm Hertz Van Rental the famous Dutch artist, and you're Pope Pius III.
As an aside: In the book 'First in last out' by a Lt Col Cross (British Army) . While Col Cross was Military attache to Laos 1968/70? The Russian Ambassador said to him "When the British leave a Colony they leave an infrastructure,in some cases railways, a seat of Government, a Judiciary, schools and a medical system. When the French, the Germans and the Belgians leave theirs, they just leave the desert that they found; that is why this war is in Vietnam is being fought today" or similar words. I know 'withdrawal' it's not so clear cut as that, but perhaps there's a little truth in it.
As I remember we fought three factions of opposition and then the police joined in the fray, I can't recall the casualty figure but I believe 37 soldiers died there, and remain there in a place called 'Happy Valley' for some reason?
Indeed - but the mess the Army found itself in in Aden was entirely down to political misjudgements made in Downing Street. By contrast, senior commanders were actively complicit in making many/most of the bad decisions that led to Brit troops being the filling in the twin sh1t sandwiches of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I think we learned too much, or at least learned the wrong lessons and assumed that an NI model was how to do COIN rather than working out which parts of the model were inherently NI specific (arguably most of it).

Many of our early COIN failures in Iraq were from attempting to fit the problem to an NI derived solution rather than acknowledging that the problem facing us was unique, as with all COIN, and treating it accordingly. COIN techniques don't template well which is why the doctrine is so poor.
This might be true, but in reality there would have been very few at RD on TELIC or HERRICK who had experienced 1980s and 1990s NI pre-ceasefire at a command level so whilst we might have considered that we were an Army with deep experience in COIN, the reality is that we had much less than we thought. Our "NI experience" seemed to manifest itself in wearing berets in Basra whilst our naive US cousins wore helmets in Baghdad.

In my experience, there was a little appetite for extracting and applying lessons learned from the 70s, 80s and 90s in the early 2000s, with the result that much of the tacit knowledge developed over 30 years was largely lost.
Come on we all know they were Uncle Dermotts Rangers/Untimely Death Regiment/Upside Down Regiment - to the stupid.
Without whom the Regular Army would have spent considerably more time on 6-month tours 'in Province".

I still think of some of the isolated farmers / PT UDR that we used to visit on STP patrols and wonder what became of them post-ceasefire. Brave men and women.

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