Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Wholmeal Ghost, Dec 24, 2004.
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Article from todays Telegraph about the Scots Guards in Basra
Looking forward to reading the article over lunch. But like the comments (front page):
it is "Smile, Smile, Shoot, Smile, Smile"
"Come on if you think you're hard enough"
"I feel that society outside of the Army is lost, it is without morals"
Say it as it is
Thats putting it mildly.
What an excellent article. Best one I've read for a long time that seems to sum up so much of what's right with this Army of ours.
Well said RH, and thanks to WG for finding it. Highly recommended, I will have to take a look at the Telegraph's website to see who wrote it.
D Telegraph article was by Sarah Sands.
Accompanying leader piece in the same edition:
Hackle quite rightly said
However, the way they were trained and utilised in the field of battle should be recognised as bullying par excellence. The officers were leading exponents of the 'Now is the time for a useless gesture' sort of action. Wellington appointed a Provost Marshal to organise executions of his troops for a wide range of offences. Within a very short while he had 24 Provost Marshals doing this work. Had the coldiers' treatment and losses been widely known at home, there would have been much more interference from Horse Guards. Other times - other mores.
I rather think that Wellington's treatment of his men kept losses down rather than increased them. Without incredibly strict discipline the Peninsular could have been just as hostile to the British as it was to the French. It was Wellington's policy of paying for supplies from the locals while punishing theft severely that separated his men from the French who were expected to thieve ("forage") for their sustenance as a matter of Napoleonic policy. Bearing in mind that a large number of his men were avoiding the magistrate's wrath back in Britain for various crimes the provosts had their work cut out. The result was that Wellington's army was considerably better nourished than the French and consequently had a better survival rate. Interence from Horse Guards was something Wellington avoided because it lead to the kind of petty beaurocracy that made things much worse, as he seen in earlier British continental campaigns was learned in America.
It is probably quite wrong to suggest, as many do, that Wellington had a callous disregard for his men, indeed he seems to have devoted more time to providing for their welfare than most of his contempories. This may have been because he knew that his manpower was finite in a way Napoleon - who was all grand gesture but little substance - never did.
Why does this seem familiar......?
During the war in Portugal Wellington gave instructions that his troops were to use a scorched earth policy so that there was nothing for French to scavenge. Due to the long l of c from Fraance this was very decisive but the Portugese were not recompensed for the food and food producing centres that were detroyed.
Thanks WMG, I'd missed this. A clever article. Reading some of her old articles, it seems that her son is joining. Good on him and good on her!
ORC - The scorched earth policy in front of the Lines at Torres Vedras was indeed Wellingtons idea and it was disasterous for the Portugese who lived there, it's said that at least 5% of the population perished. However I do think that it is harsh to hold Wellington entirely responsible, the Portugese Junta must accept some responsibilty for the sheer incompetance with which they administered the evacuation. The plan was for all foodstuffs to be removed behind the lines as soon as they were harvested and for the working parts of mills etc. to follow with the population. However, due to enormous levels of graft and sheer incompetance (which didn't exactly fill the peasants with confidence, I suspect) there were still whole villages that were untouched until a very short time before Busaco. Consequently much had to be burned or otherwise destroyed that could have been saved, and many people were left on the wrong side of the Lines and at the mercy of Massena's increasingly desparate Army.
He was talking about the visit from some page 3 girls. Funny as hell. They're all caked in makeup (and airbrished) when you see them in the papers and mags. It's only when you see them in the flesh that you realised they're all tiny halfwits and they're usually quite repulsive too. I remember seeing that Maria Whittaker on a live appearance and she was minging. Just like typical CSE show fodder. And they rarely put out for the lads - they always seem to get swiftly escorted to the offrs mess!
I believe her son is at Sandhurst at the moment - I always cut out her articles and put them in the Squadron lines because they are so well written and actually give the lads credit for the job they do.
I do find that she can be a bit sentimental though, a bit which was missing from quote of her article on this site was going on about the two young infanteers in the back of her vehicle asleep and looking as if they were "dreaming of ice cream and opening their christmas presents from mum". If I know troopers at all, and I like to think I do, I can pretty much guarantee that there were no dreams of Ice Cream going on at that particular moment!
Overall though she makes a good point and shows a different, more educated and thought provoking side to the usual tabloid style of portraying our soldiers. Well done the Telegraph, once again.
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