The Last stand at Majar al-Kabir

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Jun 26, 2003.

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    I'm sat here, and it is hard to read the words on the screen.

    "Exemplo Ducemus"
  2. Tragic... :(
  3. It would appear from all the various reports coming out that some of the locals (who were already pretty tense) didn't approve of the robustness of the Paras searching for gernades etc.

    It also appears that improvements are not happening quickly enough for the population in general.

    Sounds like a lot of factors came together here.
  4. Prodigal, it sounds like (and I say 'sounds like' only through the lack of hard evidence at this time) that the PARAs have been up to thier old tricks again, going in heavy when a more sensitive approach was necessary and then leaving the rest of the world to deal with the mess they have left behind.  

    If thier actions can be in anyway deemed attributable to the carnage which led to the deaths of those lads, who held out in what resembles a re run of the Alamo, then the CO of the PARAs over there should be sacked, along with any other 'irresponsible' b*stard who left 6 lightly armed support troops alone in a situation like that reported.

    And before the 'maroon machine wannabes/friends of the PARA Regt'  jump in (pardon the pun), to tell me how 'professional' the PARAs are......don't bother, I've served with them on a number of 'long' occasions.  I know exactly what they are like and at all ranks.  I sat in a lecture theatre in South Cerney, just before the deployment to Sierra Leonne, listening to the then CO of the PARA Bn involved, state 'For you non-PARA Regt who are coming with us, if you are not coming to kill the enemies of the're not coming!'  F*cking clown!

    When will these f*ckers learn, such attitudes are not suited to 'peace keeping'?

    The track record of the PARAs for ignoring local sensitivities and winding up situations is well recorded.  In fact they consider such activities as a Battalion sport.

    They should have been removed from theatre at the earliest opportunity after the 'war' had ended.

    I doubt we'll ever find out exactly what happened as the witnesses on one side are all dead.

    I'd like to hope that my suspicions are wrong, but as soon as 'PARAs' are mentioned, then in my experience, there is always another side any story which may unfold.

    I first met HJ in '97.  Spent a good few nights hanging off the Mess Bar with him.  He was a very popular man with a great sense of humour, coloured by his 'mock cockney' accent.   I found him to be a thoroughly decent human being.  

    My condolences to his and the other lads families, friends and colleagues.    

    I can't even try to imagine how they felt, fighting to the last bullet.

    You're right Pongo  


    Pardon the late entry, but it has been reported on Sky news that the RMP were advised to run by the Iraqi Police, as it was their only chance of survival.  HJ is believed to have said that they would stand their ground.  You ballsy bastards, all of you.  This is the stuff of legends.
  5. I wonder if, perhaps, we (the British Army) have been making some dangerous assumptions.............we have always been justifiably proud of how 'we' operated in foreign countries as a military force, using subtelty and flexibility to work with the indigenous population to achieve our ends.

    I wonder if maybe this generation of soldiers (and officers) need to relearn this lesson? I think it's outstanding what Brit Mil's achieved in Basra wrt hearts and minds.....................but there are other factors here, Muslim sensibilities being one of them, which appear not to have been given their due emphasis.

    I know the CO 1 Para, and he is an educated, clever and sensible man. I wonder where the communication broke down........

    Is communication with the local population perhaps an issue here? Have we not communicated with them in an effective enough manner? Have higher command politics stymied good intentions on the ground?
  6. Ma Sonic said 1Para should have been removed from theatre at the earliest opportunity after the 'war' had ended.

    I too am surprised they are still there. They were lead troops into Kos along with 2 RGJ and 1 R Irish. Paras were out there for five minutes having been involved in several unfortunate incidents. 2 RGJ did the full 7 months and did a superb job re hearts and minds despite the best efforts of the French.
  7. I agree- Paras have their place, and it is nowhere near any sort of situation where tact is required.  I too know Para officers out there, and as in any organisation they vary widely in competence.  However, I believe (from what I have seen of them on other ops- especially NI) that they have a discipline problem.  Other inf regiments wouldn't get into the same situation as their junior commanders wouldn't feel the same peer pressure to 'act hard'.  Why do you think they are kept away from public order situations in NI?

    Anyway, the most important point is that the RMP lads did themselves proud.  Whatever the reasons for them being isolated, it seems they upheld the best traditions of their Corps and the Army.  
  8. This dreadful incident also brought something to my mind, I don't know about the rest of you................that the RMP men were seen as soldiers first and as policemen second by their murderers.............this perception is surely going to stick in Iraq, in which case, should Brit Mil start viewing them in the same light? ie, from now on they are going to need to be more closely supported, surely?

    Which, of course, begs the question - the British Forces are already overstretched..............more troops out there asap........where are they going to come from?
  9. Regs to TA, Regs to TA...more troops please

    Where's my sunscreen?
  10. You don't suppose the crowd confused beret colours do you?

    From the Telegraph article, and various other sources this morning, it looks like Simon told the Iraqi Police to get out , because they would have undoubtedly been killed by the mob , "Greater love hath no man"

    From what those who knew him are saying, it seems just like him to do that. I can imagine him organising his defence, wisecracking from Zulu, and assuring his section that they would be relieved, just keep their heads down, and remember their drills. He kept that defence going for 2 hours outnumbered 250 to 1

    Christ, everytime I read the stuff coming out, and think about what the hell it must have been like, running out of water and ammunition,and finally fighting hand to hand, dying hard.

    I'm choked with emotion

    Even the Iraqis, will will remember their bravery, that is the Arab way.

    There is only one medal suitable.

    I would very much like to see the Queen present it, I want Hoon and Blair nowhere near it.

    As Ma says, it is the stuff of legend.

    The media talk about heroes, but they mean the likes of Beckham and other media superstars. How the fcuk are they heroes? Simon and his section, have reminded the British Public, just what the definition of a hero is

    But where the hell was the support? At the very least, re-issue Mobiles to troops on patrol as back up comms, assuming they have coverage.

    More on this story will emerge, and whilst I don't want to contribute to Para-Bashing, it does seem that whenever they are around, local sensitivites go for a Burton.

    Hopefully, the truth will out this week, and SOP's will be changed.
  11. HJ and his section are hero's in my eyes, they stood there ground and fought to the last bullet, these guys all deserve bravery awards, the phrase Last man standing comes to mind.  HJ and the Boys, May god bless you.  To the families, your Loved ones died as hero's. god bless.  Fellow RMP.  By the way where the fcuk was there support..............
  12. HLS

    HLS Old-Salt

    Firstly I would like to convey my condolences to the families and friends of the men who died and it is obvious that people posting on this site knew some of the individuals involved personally.

    This incident is still very fresh in peoples minds and none of us really know all the facts yet. Rumour and guesswork will only add to the uncertianty, I therefore feel that an element of caution should prevail.  

    I can already see this topic moving from one of regret, sorrow and admiration for the men involved to one of pointing the finger at actions or in-actions of the units involved.

    I served in 1 Para (13 yrs ago) and know all to well how the Para's are perceived by other units, some of the comments made regarding whether they should still be in Iraq I agree with, others I do not.

    Before we get carried away and end up in a inter-unit slanging match I would advise that we all pull our necks
    in and await the findings of any investigation.
  13. I'm starting to wonder if the British forces should not reintroduce their previous peace keeping policy when Iraq was a part of the empire.

    That policy being - riot or murder British soldiers / subjects and have you town/house burnt around your ears.

    Currently it would get my vote. :mad:
  14. Well done "Ma Sonic" from the comfort of your armchair slagging down the Parachute Regiment yet again when details on this bloody awful incident are far from clear. Para Wanabee! 16 Close Med Sp Regt 16 Air Assault Bde just got back to the UK. Worked with both 1 and 3 Para during the operations and found them very focused and only really felt safe when they were around. Came in close contact with the lads of 156 but knew none of the lads invoved at Al Majir. The Paras approach to stabilising the Bde AOR was well thought out and conducted maintaining a very good relationship with all locals that they came in contact with. Within 24hrs of the end of the war fighting phase they had local mayors and other VIP,s from each town/village in for cental briefs and got the schools and hospitals up and running along with a rudimentary police force. Throughout these low level ops we were aware that the Fedayeen and others had not gone away and we were being targeted for future attacks, these have unfortunately now started. This is not Northern Ireland and very often 5-10 guys are on patrol in a town 20kms away from base with no back-up and poor coms. The ex Iraqi military and irregulars are amongst the population in great numbers and all of us were up for grabs. Had we followed the US style of policing we would be fighting major actions on a daily basis, and it is this policy right or wrong that put 6 brave 156 lads in a town with no credible support or back-up comms. No one as yet knows exactly what when on that day but all of us feel deeply for the lads and their families.