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PIRA attacks in BAOR / BFG

Wasn't South Armagh involved latterly in the mainland ops? They being the only part of the Provos who had not been compromised by British intelligence at that stage. The big bombs in London in the 90s were manufactured there if I am not mistaken.
I believe the bombs were manufactured and taken to the uk seperately from the bomb team as an added security measure. I seem to recall this had been done earlier in the 70s when the Price sisters were involved. I am not sure, but I think he late Dolours Price mentions it her interview during the recent film 'I Dolours' - its grim, but an incredible insight into theworkings of PIRA.
 
As a teen in the 70s/80s living near RMAS and at school near Aldershot the PIRA attacks were a very unfortunate but accepted way of life*.
On a particular occasion (probably Sand's death) I recall a sudden change in the Bikini State and armed VCPs being established in Aldershot. IIRC they were manned by youngish blokes with no mags fitted. However they were pretty serious and pulled us (three 17 year olds) out of our car in a robust manner.

*I did start to think they were following me about however. Iater in life I was at Waterloo when a device went off in a bin and then shortly afterwards my office was targeted. The resulting detonation occurred 26 mins after we'd left, having walked passed the van containing the device. It was and still is the largest largest terrorist explosion on the mainland.
 
Technically it began as early as '72 in some respects. Frank Kitson was given his own PPW and a police armed guard for a short time on his return from NI. Also armed soldiers were also deployed at a UK civil hospital to guard the survivor of the 'honeytrap' shooting of four off duty sergeants in 1973 - three died.
Yes he was an utter pain when he was Director of Infantry at Warminster and a priority IRA target. He would go walkabouts in the back of a horse box and shake his minders. Not an easy man apparently, who incidentally put the black mark on my dads career - not that I hold that against him!!!!
 

SJF

Swinger
I believe it was called 'The English Department', part of GHQ Dublin and 'Southern Command'. But it was also responsible for operations outside the UK. It was, I believe, the only ASU specifically ordered to abandon its weapons after the comp,etion of an operation. Very much looking forward to your book on this much neglected aspect of the Troubles.

Thanks and hope you enjoy the book when it finally comes out. Hope to have the physical version up for preorder next week. Yes the European campaign has been very much overlooked (and whitewashed out of SF/IRA history for obvious reasons too because of the many ****-ups) so hope this will go some way to correcting the situation.

The England Department was coordinated by the South but European operations used slightly different if sometimes overlapping personnel. Those effectively giving the orders were Northerners: in the 70s and late 80s Owen Coogan, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and Dessie Grew. In the 90s Sean Hughes and Slab Murphy, who ran South Armagh. Docklands bomb etc as mentioned were all organised and mixed by the SA Brigade and transported via Stranraer and driven down to London.
 
Was nearly always the singlies got spammed in my experiences both home and abroad, maybe apart from exercises or operations. The pads were happy walking around with an important clipboard, stealing a few beans here and there on camp.

Hameln alone had at least 10 separate Pads Patches, each one had a 24 hour Armed Guard of varying sizes, on 24 hour rotation, when we were on BIKINI RED. Pretty much everything in the Garrison stopped for guarding in those circumstances.

But it’s good to extend the myths that it’s always the poor downtrodden singlies ^~
 
Thanks and hope you enjoy the book when it finally comes out. Hope to have the physical version up for preorder next week. Yes the European campaign has been very much overlooked (and whitewashed out of SF/IRA history for obvious reasons too because of the many ****-ups) so hope this will go some way to correcting the situation.

The England Department was coordinated by the South but European operations used slightly different if sometimes overlapping personnel. Those effectively giving the orders were Northerners: in the 70s and late 80s Owen Coogan, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and Dessie Grew. In the 90s Sean Hughes and Slab Murphy, who ran South Armagh. Docklands bomb etc as mentioned were all organised and mixed by the SA Brigade and transported via Stranraer and driven down to London.
You are absolutly correct about the influence of the Northerners which generally was imposed after the mid 70s reorganization. I am working on defining the overall PIRA structure c. 69-90 as I believe it will help to evaluate our strategic and possibly our tactical response. Fascinating stuff.
 
late Dolours Price mentions it her interview during the recent film 'I Dolours' - its grim, but an incredible insight into theworkings of PIRA.

'Una Devlin' you mean? :)
 
But it’s good to extend the myths that it’s always the poor downtrodden singlies ^~
But the pads nicked all the beans! :-D
 
Yes he was an utter pain when he was Director of Infantry at Warminster and a priority IRA target. He would go walkabouts in the back of a horse box and shake his minders. Not an easy man apparently, who incidentally put the black mark on my dads career - not that I hold that against him!!!!
He was the inspecting officer at one of my last School parades back in the early 80s when he was CinC UKLF (TL-DR - forces school, does ceremonial/has Colours; end of year is a full-dress parade with General Officer from one of the three services).

I'd read his book ("Bunch of Five") in the school library, so I knew who he was and what he'd done. I just remember this bloke with a very piercing gaze...
 

SJF

Swinger
How effective were the German police in combating the PIRA campaign against BAOR ?

I think they did a good job to be honest. The BKA (with the help of RUC and BSSO/MI5) pretty quickly identified where they might attack, who they were looking for and how they might catch them (they developed software that tracked suspect looking car rentals for example as the ASUs rented vehicles all the time – a couple of times the BKA nearly got them too. That forced the IRA to concentrate on buying / nicking cars instead) The BKA found weapons dumps and staked them out, preventing the unit from coming back to retrieve Semtex and weapons. The German police did some pretty clever and sneaky stuff, which I am not allowed to reveal but they basically forced the IRA into changing their plans constantly. But due to resource limitations, they couldn’t be everywhere at once, so sadly attacks like at Wildenrath, Unna, Hannover etc, couldn’t be prevented - but that is the nature of terrorism unfortunately. As the IRA themselves said “you have to be lucky every time, we only have to be lucky once.”



As a side note though: although the Germans worked really closely with RMP & RAFP and BSSO, there was a lot more that London knew about what the ASUs were up to, that wasn’t passed down along the chain to the Germans, which would have helped them prevent certain events from happening. Complicated issue.
 
I think they did a good job to be honest. The BKA (with the help of RUC and BSSO/MI5) pretty quickly identified where they might attack, who they were looking for and how they might catch them (they developed software that tracked suspect looking car rentals for example as the ASUs rented vehicles all the time – a couple of times the BKA nearly got them too. That forced the IRA to concentrate on buying / nicking cars instead) The BKA found weapons dumps and staked them out, preventing the unit from coming back to retrieve Semtex and weapons. The German police did some pretty clever and sneaky stuff, which I am not allowed to reveal but they basically forced the IRA into changing their plans constantly. But due to resource limitations, they couldn’t be everywhere at once, so sadly attacks like at Wildenrath, Unna, Hannover etc, couldn’t be prevented - but that is the nature of terrorism unfortunately. As the IRA themselves said “you have to be lucky every time, we only have to be lucky once.”



As a side note though: although the Germans worked really closely with RMP & RAFP and BSSO, there was a lot more that London knew about what the ASUs were up to, that wasn’t passed down along the chain to the Germans, which would have helped them prevent certain events from happening. Complicated issue.
Can't protect moles/informants if every bit of info is acted on.

Horrible decisions to make.
 
I believe the bombs were manufactured and taken to the uk seperately from the bomb team as an added security measure. I seem to recall this had been done earlier in the 70s when the Price sisters were involved. I am not sure, but I think he late Dolours Price mentions it her interview during the recent film 'I Dolours' - its grim, but an incredible insight into theworkings of PIRA.
Between 71 and 76 I had basically left, but later I recall doing inbound at Waterloo in mid nineties and one of my pulls was a Reverend. Took his declaration opened the bag and literally dozens of mechanical timers, that they used to use in the TPUs and araldite a contact to. not only that but I mean they were a throw back then. So I asked him what he was going to do with them. His excuse was so bad I can’t remember precisely, but a tap on CT’s door and they sort of had a quiet chat. I found priests quite productive from time to time. So essentially it is easy to import the components
 
He was the inspecting officer at one of my last School parades back in the early 80s when he was CinC UKLF (TL-DR - forces school, does ceremonial/has Colours; end of year is a full-dress parade with General Officer from one of the three services).

I'd read his book ("Bunch of Five") in the school library, so I knew who he was and what he'd done. I just remember this bloke with a very piercing gaze...
He did one of his trips north in 1983 when he hammered the TA and dropped in with us at SID Glencorse, when I was a depot Pl Cmdr. He was a nasty Black Mafia type, not high on social skills and very nifty with a stiletto. His fame and glory all came from nasty IS operations where he lurked in the shadows and conducted dark ops. His ADC at the time was a charmer who went onto become a Major General, surprisingly he was not from Winchester but one of the posh Scottish schools over the Earn!
 
As a side note though: although the Germans worked really closely with RMP & RAFP and BSSO, there was a lot more that London knew about what the ASUs were up to, that wasn’t passed down along the chain to the Germans, which would have helped them prevent certain events from happening. Complicated issue.

Indeed so. Our EU trade associations gave the co-operation a political spin, in a " we can assist further, however on the trade negotiations front, what's in it for us? " Rather crudely phrased I know. I seem to remember that our fishing industry pulled a coup against the odds at the time. There's always a price tag in the mix.
 
He did one of his trips north in 1983 when he hammered the TA and dropped in with us at SID Glencorse, when I was a depot Pl Cmdr. He was a nasty Black Mafia type, not high on social skills and very nifty with a stiletto. His fame and glory all came from nasty IS operations where he lurked in the shadows and conducted dark ops.
Did anybody like him ? He seemed to me to be the sort of chap who relished ruling by fear..
 
Did anybody like him ? He seemed to me to be the sort of chap who relished ruling by fear..
Don't think so, although there were a lot of Green Jackets floating around at that time in the senior echelons. He was late RB, which is surprising as most of them were polished chaps.
Kitson got an MC for work against The Mau Mau and here is the citation for his second:
Bar to the Military Cross.
Captain (temporary Major) Frank Edward Kitson, M.C. (362061), The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own).
For exceptional skill and leadership as a Company Commander during jungle operations. By his devotion to duty he attained the virtual elimination of two communist party branches in a difficult area.

 
Between 71 and 76 I had basically left, but later I recall doing inbound at Waterloo in mid nineties and one of my pulls was a Reverend. Took his declaration opened the bag and literally dozens of mechanical timers, that they used to use in the TPUs and araldite a contact to. not only that but I mean they were a throw back then. So I asked him what he was going to do with them. His excuse was so bad I can’t remember precisely, but a tap on CT’s door and they sort of had a quiet chat. I found priests quite productive from time to time. So essentially it is easy to import the components
I think he was interviewed on one of the NI Spotlight programs fairly recently. Just for interest, there is a new BBC NI archive available online where you can view newsreel from the Troubles era Rewind
 

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