The Butchers Bill in recent conflicts.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Issi, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. I've just been reading 'The Falklands War' by Martin Middlebrook, and came across these statistics in the final chapter.

    'Operation Corporate had cost the lives of 255 members of the British Forces........Comparing these deaths with other conflicts in which Britain has been involved since the Second World War, they are not as high as Korea (537 deaths), Malaya (525 deaths) and Northern Ireland (352 deaths up to the end of the Falklands war but the Falklands deaths are more than were suffered in any of the Palestine, Cyprus, Indonesia, Aden or Oman conflicts.
    The number of men wounded in the Falklands was 777.'

    I was quite surprised at the numbers in Korea, although there's never much written about that war, I expected to find that there would have been many more casualties.

    Interesting book by the way.
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  2. Comparisons seem a bit pointless given the differences in the intensity of the conflicts listed.
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  3. Intensity, duration, and numbers committed to combat might be more relevant.
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  4. Middlebrook needs to check his figures - British Army deaths in NI were almost 700 by the end of 1982.

    And don't forget that the 1000+ casualties during the Falklands War occurred in a matter of weeks, not the periods of years that other campaigns have lasted.

    Just out of curiosity - does anyone know how many personnel (all three servcies) were in the Task Force during Op Corporate? I have never seen any figures for the number of troops etc sent south.

  5. I believe around 8500, but not checked

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  6. Interesting thread and thanks to the OP for posting it but I've got to ask Issi where on earth is he getting his stats since some of them are blatently wrong . Absolutely no offence meant to the veterans of the Falklands War or any other conflict but these figures don't add up

    Palestine 1945-47 I was under the impression that after the ceasefire by the Irgun ended with the second world war something like 347 British military personel were killed policing Palestine

    All the figures I've seen for Korea such as the Max Hastings book give a figure close to 700 but figures are widely conflicted Wikipedia states 1,078 dead where as this website

    Roll of Honour: The Korean War 1950 to 1953

    states 1,139

    The figures might conflict with those confirmed KIA which would account for 537 and doesn't count those missing presumed dead , died of wounds later , died in captivity and killed in accidents

    Likewise Northern Ireland . To date 502 British servicemen from mainland Britain have been killed by terrorist activity

    CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths

    but I remember reading , can't where that another 289 military personel died in non terrorist activity like accidents etc in the province . Add almost 200 UDR and that makes up a lot of servicemen .

  7. Farrer-Hockley wrote a very good book on the Korean war. I think it was called 'The edge of the sword' He was Adjutant of the Glos Regt at the time of the war. A very good read!
    The impact of the Op Corporate casualties were that they were over such a very short period. While places like Malaya went on for some 12 years or so.
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  8. Everyone forgets about the Cyprus Emergency. 371 killed in under 5 years, 1955 to 1959. That said, its nothing compared to the decades of misery endured by all Cypriots.
  9. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

  10. Again no offence to Afghan veterans since I've never seen a two way firing range but can you give us a link to that source Chris . I remember seeing a documentary on D Day where it is stated that some British infantry battalions had casaulties of 150 % ie the whole battalion was killed wounded or captured and 50 per cent of their replacements suffered the same fate during the battle of Normandy
  11. I concur! The book by FH describes korean the conflict from a participants viewpoint, and also his capture and subsequent treatment by the Chinese - as well as his escape. I met FH in Hohne back in the 60's - I say met him, I was standing to attention on parade as he inspected the sqn / regt whichever and he glanced at me as he went by.
  12. Another good book in regards to Korea ' Fortune Favours the Brave The Hook Korea 1953' author A.J. Barker published by Leo Cooper ISBN o 85052 108 4.

    Written from the perspective of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment.
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  13. I think that this is just another example of Bollocks being put around about Afghan and Iraq.
    It seemed to start around the time of Telic 4, when people started making comparisons with the amount of ammunition expended by 1 PWRR in Al Amara and the Korean War. Since then there have been a spate of utterly spurious claims comparing modern conflicts with what went before.

    The worst that I have seen is in the book Operation Snake Bite, in which the author states that 52 x operations to re take MSQ (Herrick-7) was the biggest undertaken by the Army since D- day in 1944.

    I would add that I spent a good deal of T-4 and H-8 crapping myself and don’t blame it all on the D&V, but to propagate these myths does none of us any favours.
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  14. The heaviest casualty rate in the current Afghan campaign that I'm aware of was C Coy 2 PARA operating out of FOB Gib circa 2008. They sustained a casualty rate of 1 in 3. As bad as that may sound, I believe only three were KIA's. No doubt survival rate would have been lower if it wasn't for modern equipment and a slick CASEVAC chain, something not available to the troops in Normandy who were sustaining 1 in 3 casualty rates and worse as a regular occurrence.

    It's tempting to measure the intensity of particular actions by the amount of casualties sustained. However I'll echo the sentiment that it's hopeless to make accurate comparisons between different campaigns spanning generations.