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The definitive guide on Medals as at Jan 06


Different wars and fundamentally different tactics but they want to take you on and are willing to risk cas in a big way to overrun foreigners. Pira certainly lost lots of volunteers in the early days and learnt that they couldnt take us on toe to toe. They certainly werent thick and certainly didnt lack balls, I would not have the nads to drive a car bomb into a check point but they certainly knew the quickest way to lose the war was to take us on as in 71-73. Back then we were so stretched that ICPs and cordons didnt happen, no evidence gathering and certainly very little following up as per later 70's and onwards when the emphasis moved to pushing the Police forward and getting the courts working. This will never be the way in the sandpits for many reasons one major one being the majority locals fundamentally dont want us there but they dont want the alternatives so we get some measure of support from local govt but nothing as with NI.
If only the provos had stood and fought we copuld have spared many lives and much time! All those 50 pence a day NI pay I racked up!


goon_bde said:
Ugly -

body counts aren't a useful yardstick.

consider medical advances, force-protection measures and the relative naievity of ops in NI in the earlier days. eg shite body armour, shite helmets, shite ECM, moving people around in soft-skinned vehicles and bomb-me buses...sadly many of the good TTPs in practice today were derived from mistakes and lessons learned in NI.

As for doing 10 tours, IIRC when i first joined tours were 4 months long - and - having done NI - Balkans and Sandpits - there is considerably more stress in a theatre the other side of the world with little or no infra-structure than a CT tour in the UK, and the balkans where semi-decent infra existed but there were cultural differences.

Again, not deriding the NI experiences, nor the sacrifices troops made there, but the austerity and tempo of Afg is considerably worse than NI.

My bold, many tours were emergency 12 weeks or so but this was still only 12 years after it all kicked off and my first CO had joined as a subbie in 69 in time to deploy now consider that in 22 years you could get in 15 plus stints, numerous short overseas deployments and still not get any more than 1 GSM (my original point by the way) Op tempo was certainly nothing new. 6 Month tours are more a reflection of the cost of deployments and the lack of infantry nowadays rather than the ease of tours in NI.
Whilst on a residential tour of two years you were supposed to only be on ops for 4 weeks every 4 months although you could spend 4 weeks on brigade reserve (deployed in another TAOR) and local duties meant patrolling locally (and the camp was bombed). Local training was usually cancelled due to operational emergencies and even leave was withdrawn at the last minute. Pads didnt see much of their families for 2 years and the lads save loads of money!
Then you could always be a specialist and spend all 2 years on 40 minutes notice!
Yes the kit wasnt as good as now but god it was good for its day and getting better, no UORs then!
We fought as good a war as the politicians would fund and stayed inside the law, not much different from now!

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