Troops in Line for VCs

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Sep 28, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Officers are thought to have recommended about half a dozen VCs, mainly for the troops of 16 Air Assault Brigade. The airborne forces last received the ultimate award for bravery in such quantity during the disastrous Arnhem operation in September 1944

    So Ian McKay and H Jones's VC's in 1982 were not part of the AB then? Typical lazy reporting :x
  2. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Not quite on topic, but has anyone heard from fallschirmjager recently? From what i gather he deployed out there awhile back, and managed a few posts including some pics, but have not seen a post of his for some time...

    Back on topic, what? you expect accuracy from journos?
  3. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Hmmm. A silly story in my view. Recommendations aren't the same thing as awards and I would suggest that when any awards list is finalised, it will be done in the usual strict fashion. Secondly, while casulties have been relatively heavy and the fighting intense, casualty figures still don't compare with, for example, Longdon where 3 Para lost twenty or so men and had another 50 or 60 wounded in one night. I certainly salute the bravery of 3 Para but we often hear rumours of this or that member of the SAS who is about to be awarded the VC, and they invariably turn out to be false. I will wait for the operational awards list to be published before I start cheering about this.
  4. I think the emphasis is on the "in such quantity" ie I think we can expect more than 2 VCs for 3 Para.
  5. Just heard it on R2. I sincerely hope that all those recommended get exactly what they deserve.
    Unfortuanately, the cynical side of me says that there will only be one VC awarded if any, and a greater proportion will be watered down and thinned out by those who ultimately decide who gets what.
    Without taking anything away from 3 Para Im curious to find out in more detail, what the supporting arms have been up to, 7,9, et al?

    Awards and merits, the biggest prize is to come back alive! '
    God speed to all!

  6. How about making the actions battle honours?
    I hope that those who deserve awards are duly rewarded.
  7. While, as SKJOLD says and I am sure we all agree, our first hope has to be that the deserving are properly recognised and rewarded, political considerations are bound to come into play.

    For instance, Max Hastings in Tuesday's Daily Mail, says the honours are being pushed by 3 PARA's CO to aid retention at tour's end. That would seem a positive political consideration to me.

    Let us hope negative tendencies don't appear, e.g. a government that has seemed keen to down-play the extent of the fighting and thus the naievity of its initial 'without a shot being fired' comments doesn't try to 'cap' awards. I also hope that anyone deserving, whatever may have happened to their e-mails or private comments, doesn't get ignored for political reasons as examples...

    Personally, my hunch is that we can trust the recommendations to be more reflective of what went on than the final list. Let us hope the latter does the former justice and the efforts of the valiant are spared the spin of the moral cowards.
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    In fact, way back in the mists of time, I recall that the Murdoch papers broke the embargo on the Falklands honours list, to report that 6 VC's were to be awarded and named the individuals concerned. A week or so later, the list was published and featured two VC's. Don't raise your expectations too high.
  9. In the current Beharry coverage I read allegations that with VCs it was a case of one for the commissioned, one for the not....

    Not that I am suggesting either recipient didn't deseve it, although the Jones case has aroused its share of controversy while the McKay award I have never seen questioned. The McLaughlin case is one where poltical considerations may have won out over physical actions on the day (cpunk, believe you may be aware of a certain book that deals with that...) plus the perception of some that Para Reg was denied some awards lest it dominate the list too much.

    Ken Connor in his 'Ghost Force' makes some interesting points about awards, alleging 'medal-inflation' in NI compared with the opposite in Oman and giving some glaring examples of proportionately over-awarded officers. But then, as he says, who makes the recommendations?

    All these debates are slightly tawdry. 'Tis to be hope those in Afghanistan are spared as much of the like as possible.
  10. I bet the Crabs get shed loads - they always put in for loads of gongs despite doing a mediocre job. Anyone remeber the Falklands war when they sent in Vulcans to bomb the airfield at Stanley? They missed completely but the pilots all got DFCs - basically for a long distance refuelling exercise!
  11. Not from the photos I saw. I was working in the Land Cell at Northwood at the time and saw the photos taken after that run. Although the line of bombing was almost a right angles to the runway I was assured that this was normal practice (!) (I am merely a pongo and was a very junior one at that at the time so did not see fit to question) - but I can assure you that one bomb did hit its target.

    Are we still crab baiting?

    Sorry, nearly missed this:

    Quite. In that very same job I was able to see most of the citations raised for the Falklands - Army anyway - and I can assure you that the ratio of recommendations to awards was pretty tight. PJHQ now have a 'scale' of awards - Level 1 to whatever for each operational period / theatre and I suspect cpunk is not too far wide of the mark.
  12. actually you are wrong - after the fall of Stanley it was found that the Argies had manufactured the bomb crater on the runway using a bulldozer and some earth in the hope that it would fool the RAF into thinking the mission was a success and they wouldn't return. It worked and the runway was used right up to the surrender.

    Not Crab baiting - just stating the bleedin' obvious - The Crab brass are glory hunters - just wait & see

    Another one - Op Barras (Sierra Leone) - Crab pilots/co pilots get DFC's galore but the RN & Army Lynx pilots got feck all! Work that one out
  13. Mate, I've known men who flew both in the Vulcans and the Victor force on those missions and I suggest you keep your trap shut on that score until you've got your history right and some idea of the difficulty and danger in what was involved there. Start with reading Vulcan 607 by Rowland White.

    If you think hovering 100ft in the the air above a firefight encased among 12 tons of Avtur and rapidly moving machinery and only 2-3mm of aluminium between you and the Taleban is easy, try and scrape 3 GCSEs together and send in your application to OASC.

    EDIT: The runway was hit by a 1000lb bomb, but the Argentinians created 3 additional "fake" craters. The runway was open to C130 traffic, but fast jets (A4s, Super Etendards and Mirages) were unable to operate there for the remainder of the conflict. (See Lawrence Freedman's Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Vol. 2, p.280) Just think about how much harder it would have been on the Task Force if it had to deal with an air threat that could turn around in 1/3 of the time, didn't have to trade ordnance for additional fuel and didn't have about 5mins of loiter time before they had to scuttle back to the Argentine mainland.
  14. I think awarding/recognising bravery is important but it is also a highly difficult and confused matter. To start with someone has to witness the event and then find someone else to corroberate their report. When you write someone up for an award what are you comparing it to? Without knowing the level required for say an MC you can only guess and then because you really want to see your man get an award there is a tendancy to push for a higher one on the off chance that they may get a lower one.

    Personally I think that Beharry's VC was excellent in that it reminded people that you don't have to die to receive one. I think the bench mark for awards is set too high (typically British).