New BBC NI programme - 21 Feb @ 2100

I no longer have my orders as they were at SECRET. However, there was a clear intent and a more specific mission that contributed to the creation of a stable GIRoA.

Can you show me the mission statement for BANNER?



Not what you asked. You asked if we had a primacy of political purpose, which is the question I was answering. Whether the Afghan campaign was ever winnable is a separate discussion that isn't just about doctrine.




I fear the problem isn't my sanity, but your ability to read my posts without grossly over interpreting them and assume I'm saying something that I haven't written.

The HERRICK mission was certainly secret.

So secret that nobody could or can now tell what it was.
 
@Caecilius and @Stonker

The "Mission statement" or any other command bollox of the day had little to do with this programme. This was a programme which very deliberately kept the officer cadre out of it. This was a programme about a handful of very junior soldiers recalling their time, as very young men, in a confusing situation. If you want to go off on a typical Arrse tangent please open a new thread and leave this as a discussion of the programme. Please!

I thought the programme was excellent and the guys were very open and clear about how they felt and how they got on with the job. I just wonder how the director(s) got the guys to slip in the use of LSD and wacky baccy at the end. I bet it was not offered freely but was the result of a direct, off camera, question. Nonetheless this was a very good programme and I think that the Greenfinch came over very well.
A timely and appropriate reminder to focus on the OP which I must admit to being occasionally guilty of ignoring. I watched a small part of the program and though I will catch up with it in due course, one of the difficulties I always find with such collections, be they documentary or written oral histories, is the problem of reconciling the often very different experiences of different tours and indeed different TAORs. I guess this just adds to the overall complexity that was faced on the ground both by the junior level implementation and indeed the senior tactical and operational commanders and policy makers.

A dedicated thread, perhaps subdivided to examine the various aspects of Op Banner would be great, but my own experience of this has been that anytime anything touchy is mentioned (even though it is all in the public domain) the thread clams up. It is on the other hand, despite my bias of having great interest in the topic, something to which Arrse and the Arrseretti are uniquely placed to make a meaningful contribution.
 

Auld-Yin

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A timely and appropriate reminder to focus on the OP which I must admit to being occasionally guilty of ignoring. I watched a small part of the program and though I will catch up with it in due course, one of the difficulties I always find with such collections, be they documentary or written oral histories, is the problem of reconciling the often very different experiences of different tours and indeed different TAORs. I guess this just adds to the overall complexity that was faced on the ground both by the junior level implementation and indeed the senior tactical and operational commanders and policy makers.

A dedicated thread, perhaps subdivided to examine the various aspects of Op Banner would be great, but my own experience of this has been that anytime anything touchy is mentioned (even though it is all in the public domain) the thread clams up. It is on the other hand, despite my bias of having great interest in the topic, something to which Arrse and the Arrseretti are uniquely placed to make a meaningful contribution.
I agree about the input to an Op Banner thread but with the way this government has shown it's disdain for protecting soldiers who served on Op Banner I doubt we will get much meaningful input!
 

Goatman

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I can think of at least one Arrser of the Telic/Herrick generation who won't give it a moment of their time.

Learn from the experience of previous generations?

What good could become of that?
Part of the problem on TELIC was the insistence that many of the lessons from N.I could be drawn on. I was there during the 'soft hat' days - which did not last long.

Once the insurgency got into full gear (trained professional soldiers of Saddam's Republican Guard etc accessing modern explosives and weapons), it was a very different kind of war.

Then along comes concurrent op, HERRICK.

And the buzz phrase in HQ Land was ' beware of looking at Afghanistan through the Telic-scope'

The British Army has a long established and time-hallowed default position of preparing itself to fight the last war. I suspect little has changed.
 
Part of the problem on TELIC was the insistence that many of the lessons from N.I could be drawn on
That might have been true - if the TELIC generation had any recollection of of MOTORMAN and the fighting that ensued.

However, such was the age demographic, that only the oldest of soldiers (Dannet, maybe, just) in the Army had been there, done that, building an intelligence network from scratch as they did so. Anyone with NI experience who served on TELIC would have done their time there looong after that: many COs would have done their first NI tour not long before the GFA.
 
That might have been true - if the TELIC generation had any recollection of of MOTORMAN and the fighting that ensued.

However, such was the age demographic, that only the oldest of soldiers (Dannet, maybe, just) in the Army had been there, done that, building an intelligence network from scratch as they did so. Anyone with NI experience who served on TELIC would have done their time there looong after that: many COs would have done their first NI tour not long before the GFA.
Ulster in comparison is a spatially small area and the conflict was confined for the most part, particularly in the early 70s, to the nationalist enclaves. In 1972 there were over 10,000 shooting incidents - works out around 30 per day. The intensity was quite extraordinary.
 
Ulster in comparison is a spatially small area and the conflict was confined for the most part, particularly in the early 70s, to the nationalist enclaves. In 1972 there were over 10,000 shooting incidents - works out around 30 per day. The intensity was quite extraordinary.
But with much more significant numbers of troops and helicopters
 
But with much more significant numbers of troops and helicopters
True, but the contacts weren't far & wide with a lot of troops involved. You could extrapolate figs from the deployment to actual units involved in dust up get more comparable figs with the later campaigns.
Still a bit a moot point imho, the intensity of Telic. Herrick far far above anything on Banner.
 
True, but the contacts weren't far & wide with a lot of troops involved. You could extrapolate figs from the deployment to actual units involved in dust up get more comparable figs with the later campaigns.
Still a bit a moot point imho, the intensity of Telic. Herrick far far above anything on Banner.
Undoubtedly correct, though I think a different type of conflict (Telic/Herrick) with far greater firepower and in some ways a more doctrinaire savvy Army with definitive SOPS - a lot of Banner was evolutionary and/or reactionary to the circumstances of the time. Your point about units actually involved in contacts is an interesting one and worth developing without minimizing the role of the substantial number based in less active TAORs - they did, after all, regularly provide individuals, platoons and whole companies to augment others in the so called 'hard areas'.

But in all of the history of conflict, it was never a competition. IMHO the modern Army is smarter, fitter and better prepared than the cold warriors ever were - perhaps because precisely of that experience. Lessons, I guess, are always there to be learnt.
 
True, but the contacts weren't far & wide with a lot of troops involved. You could extrapolate figs from the deployment to actual units involved in dust up get more comparable figs with the later campaigns.
Still a bit a moot point imho, the intensity of Telic. Herrick far far above anything on Banner.
It was indeed but the question I ask myself is could that have been overcome by more (and more mobile) infantry ?

Very very quick google
NI - 14,200 km2 - 1.8m civpop
Helmand - 58,600 km2 - 880,000 civpop

Now that is oversimplification of the issues but compare the numbers of infantry and helis deployed

Undoubtedly correct, though I think a different type of conflict (Telic/Herrick) with far greater firepower and in some ways a more doctrinaire savvy Army with definitive SOPS - a lot of Banner was evolutionary and/or reactionary to the circumstances of the time. Your point about units actually involved in contacts is an interesting one and worth developing without minimizing the role of the substantial number based in less active TAORs - they did, after all, regularly provide individuals, platoons and whole companies to augment others in the so called 'hard areas'.

But in all of the history of conflict, it was never a competition. IMHO the modern Army is smarter, fitter and better prepared than the cold warriors ever were - perhaps because precisely of that experience. Lessons, I guess, are always there to be learnt.
Imho
“evolutionary and/or reactionary” applies to all
 
True, but the contacts weren't far & wide with a lot of troops involved. You could extrapolate figs from the deployment to actual units involved in dust up get more comparable figs with the later campaigns.
Still a bit a moot point imho, the intensity of Telic. Herrick far far above anything on Banner.
I agree - I did Banner and my son did Herrick and what he saw bears no comparison to what I saw.
However them over the water spoke a 'version' of the Queen's english and were a ferry ride from the mainland, so it was HMGs vested interest to keep them bottled up and to swamp the ground with troops to keep them under control.
 
It was indeed but the question I ask myself is could that have been overcome by more (and more mobile) infantry ?

Very very quick google
NI - 14,200 km2 - 1.8m civpop
Helmand - 58,600 km2 - 880,000 civpop

Now that is oversimplification of the issues but compare the numbers of infantry and helis deployed



Imho
“evolutionary and/or reactionary” applies to all
Can't disagree, though I would say the 'reaction' was always a bit quicker than the 'evolution'......and that was sometimes a problem either way.
 
I agree - I did Banner and my son did Herrick and what he saw bears no comparison to what I saw.
However them over the water spoke a 'version' of the Queen's english and were a ferry ride from the mainland, so it was HMGs vested interest to keep them bottled up and to swamp the ground with troops to keep them under control.
I found an interesting comment made by one of the 'civil advisers' attached to an infantry unit during banner - it kind of underpins what you say. I hasten to add, this is a quote, not a sentiment and it is perhaps a bit of a tongue in cheek reference to Kipling:

“The wogs here are white and clad by Burtons and C&A….and unlike those of Kipling’s day ‘they’ as well as us can now call in extremis on the services of a Gatling Gun.”
 

overopensights

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I agree - I did Banner and my son did Herrick and what he saw bears no comparison to what I saw.
However them over the water spoke a 'version' of the Queen's english and were a ferry ride from the mainland, so it was HMGs vested interest to keep them bottled up and to swamp the ground with troops to keep them under control.
At the height of Banner there were 22 Inf Bns involved and two Bde Hqs, but as for comparing one 'punch up' with the other it is difficult because of the intensity of Herrick compared with a 30 year effort of Banner; however on Banner I saw more bodies over a period of forty eight hours than I ever saw before or since, while other times were just plain routine.
 
At the height of Banner there were 22 Inf Bns involved and two Bde Hqs, but as for comparing one 'punch up' with the other it is difficult because of the intensity of Herrick compared with a 30 year effort of Banner; however on Banner I saw more bodies over a period of forty eight hours than I ever saw before or since, while other times were just plain routine.
On the Bde HQs, three at the height, but a total of 7 different Brigade HQs used during Banner - the better known 3, 8 and 39, plus 5, 16, 19 and 24 who all did tours.
 

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