Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

Armoured cars, tanks and guns etc etc.
...came to take away our sons...
Excuse my ignorance, I spent all my career playing in the sand so this is my first time looking into all this. Absolutely fascinating, you guys have brought it to life perfectly, I hadn't realised how bad it was. Are my eyes playing tricks on me or is that an MBT in the background?

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It always seemed a bit like a forgotten war,even when it was still going.
When I was at school in the early 80's,N.I.was taught about in social studies by mostly lefty teachers.So you can probably work out who they said the bad guys were.
My son didn't learn about it at all,although he did ask me about it,as did my nephew.
 
...came to take away our sons...

It always seemed a bit like a forgotten war,even when it was still going.
When I was at school in the early 80's,N.I.was taught about in social studies by mostly lefty teachers.So you can probably work out who they said the bad guys were.
My son didn't learn about it at all,although he did ask me about it,as did my nephew.
Absolutely, I grew up mid 80s and 90s and my knowledge was restricted to brick throwing on the news and bins been taken away here. I went over to Belfast for the first time last month and was surprised how much stuff is still about. The drive from city airport into the city was adorned with union flags most the way and every taxi driver a war hero!
 
It's your eyesight old boy - it's a CENT AVRE - Operation Motorman?
Lets not forget the 165mm short barrelled demolition gun on it just to scare the sh*t out of the Boggies!

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Yes 'Operation motorman' in Bogside to remove some longstanding manned barricades, but as I remember the tanks were painted white for that op. I spent a long time in the province but never saw 'cowboy stuff' like that GPMG fellow wearing Belted rounds about his body.
As I recall from the Television News broadcasts, they were Matt Green with Royal Engineers emblazoned on their Bazooka Plates (side armour). Also, the turrets were reversed and the demolition gun was covered with tarpaulin for the Op. They were landed by LSL.

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Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
No, it is a Phil Coulter song - non political, a lament for a city that had gone.
'The Town I Loved So Well'.
None political?
"But when I returned oh my eyes how they burned To see how a town could be brought to its knees By the armoured cars and the bombed out bars And the gas that hangs on to every breeze Now the army's installed by the old gasyard wall And the damned barbed wire gets higher and higher With their tanks and their guns Oh my God, what have they done To the town I loved so well."
Hmmm
And I was indeed referring to the whiney republican one.
"Armored cars and tanks and guns Came to take away our sons But every man must stand behind The men behind the wire"
 
None political?
"But when I returned oh my eyes how they burned To see how a town could be brought to its knees By the armoured cars and the bombed out bars And the gas that hangs on to every breeze Now the army's installed by the old gasyard wall And the damned barbed wire gets higher and higher With their tanks and their guns Oh my God, what have they done To the town I loved so well."
Hmmm
And I was indeed referring to the whiney republican one.
"Armored cars and tanks and guns Came to take away our sons But every man must stand behind The men behind the wire"
You think he blames bombed bars (and closed shirt factories) on the Army ?
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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Reviews Editor
The whole song depicts the awful conditions of Bogside during the early seventies! awful conditions for the residents and the army.
There were huge parts of Belfast and Londonderry that should have been pulled down and rebuilt in the 60s/70s as they were little more than slums. Not the fault of the residents it was all they had, but it was no coincidence that the majority of "The Troubles" occurred in those places and not in the leafy middle class parts of the two cities.

N Ireland cities, like many urban parts of the UK, suffered from lack of funding for decades. The changes that have come about since the GFA and increased spending on urban communities have been mentioned often by Banner vets who have visited in the past few years. IMO people are proud of their communities now and although the sectarian tensions are still there, I doubt people want to see their streets and houses disappear in smoke again!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There were huge parts of Belfast and Londonderry that should have been pulled down and rebuilt in the 60s/70s as they were little more than slums. Not the fault of the residents it was all they had, but it was no coincidence that the majority of "The Troubles" occurred in those places and not in the leafy middle class parts of the two cities.
I recall my first day in Ballymurphy and the lad in our brick from Leeds reckoned it was fairly posh compared to where he was raised.
Even the Beechmounts were quite modern, whole swathes of the North side of the city however were still back to back red brick
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
There were huge parts of Belfast and Londonderry that should have been pulled down and rebuilt in the 60s/70s as they were little more than slums. Not the fault of the residents it was all they had, but it was no coincidence that the majority of "The Troubles" occurred in those places and not in the leafy middle class parts of the two cities.

N Ireland cities, like many urban parts of the UK, suffered from lack of funding for decades. The changes that have come about since the GFA and increased spending on urban communities have been mentioned often by Banner vets who have visited in the past few years. IMO people are proud of their communities now and although the sectarian tensions are still there, I doubt people want to see their streets and houses disappear in smoke again!
I agree entirely with that. Had the politicians, both British and Northern Irish at that time been strong enough, and had the Will and the finance, what you see now in NI, the expenditure should have happened in the mid 1960s.
I should think Op Banner with its costs in many billions, and all the police expenditure and time, UK explosions etc, the deaths and injuries on both sides, all of it cost Westminster far more than decent housing and decent places to work. However the bigotry at the time from both sides didn't help in anyway to go ahead with anything, other than violence and death. 1969---2007, is a time in history that should be remembered by Nationalists, Protestants and Westminster, for what a terrible mistake in history it was.
 
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