Whinging Tim Collins - Ex-Serving Knob

#1
Papers this morning nearly had me throwing up over the Regimental table. Poor old Collins whinging about the terrible stories told about him when he was in Iraq and how he reduced a fat US Majot to tears etc etc etc.
Shut up and retire with some dignity you whinging, sanctimoious pain. perhaps if you had treated your officers and seniors in a better manner when you were CO 1R Irish you might get a little more sympathy.
 
#2
Reading between the lines, I suspect you don't like the man. Of course, I might be wrong, but could this be colouring your judgement?

Don
 
#3
Now that you mention it - I think you are right. Thank you for guiding me towards a more enlightened self awareness. Now i see the knob in a totally different light.
 
#5
You might find that the overall impression of the man relates more to his style of 'leadership' as CO and the dreadful manner by which he dealt with his officers and seniors which has resulted in the above response. Personally I wish him well but i am glad he now no longer has any responsibilities within a military command.
 
#6
The fact the man (and before that, his good lady) chose to air their dirty linen in the Daily Mail says it all really. Presumably, all the real newspapers told him where to go.
 
#7
"We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.
"There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
"Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.
"If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves.
"It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow.
"The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam. He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.
"It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts, I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
"The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.
"If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.
[Regarding the use by Saddam of chemical or biological weapons] "It is not a question of if, it's a question of when. We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself. If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.
"As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.
"Our business now is north."
Speech given by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins, 20 March 2003, Kuwait, near the Iraqi border.


Enough Said.
 
#8
Having worked with the 'gent' in question I would raise no question of his influence but to publicly salute someone of his 'unquestionable' ability would be too much of those of who have spoke, and in whom I shared the experience of Telic 1, to believe.
 
#9
Empire,

Have a look at that speech a little more carefully - he claimed that he made it up as he went along...

IMO I think he is a self-publicist... I'm sure he didn't leave out of some sense of being let down by the top brass, he probably had an inkling that his 'fame' had a limited shelf life.

More Colonel Stewart than Colonel Cook.
 
#10
[He did make it up as he went along - amongst his many talents as a leader and a soldier was an uncanny ability to adapt his briefing style to any audience and any occasion. This was a man who was reading using Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a template for restoring stability in the Bn's 1st AO whilst the USMC was blithely insisting that we flood the local economy with greenbacks. Do not underestimate the intellect or the talent of this man.

To all those who want to 'air' the real Tim Collins because they worked with him on TELIC or the fireman's strike or a 2 week RAAT task in 1945.....go easy and remember he was the reason that Bn went on TELIC, and his profile put an otherwise anonymous line infantry unit into a global spotlight after the ignomany of BARRAS. He had his faults, but mediocrity was never one of them. As someone who was on the end of his rabid-like bollockings as a subaltern (and very occasionally as a field officer) I can only say that it is those who couldn't or wouldn't understand the man and his motivation that are now bleating loudest about everything from his style of leadership to his dress sense. A more humane man and charismatic leader, the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment will probably not see for a long time, if ever.

Finally, to all those who want to jump on the bandwagon and offer third hand evidence of the Tim Collins legend..remember, people in glass houses....give yourself a mediocrity check lads!!
 
#12
mraverage said:
[He did make it up as he went along - amongst his many talents as a leader and a soldier was an uncanny ability to adapt his briefing style to any audience and any occasion. This was a man who was reading using Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as a template for restoring stability in the Bn's 1st AO whilst the USMC was blithely insisting that we flood the local economy with greenbacks. Do not underestimate the intellect or the talent of this man.

To all those who want to 'air' the real Tim Collins because they worked with him on TELIC or the fireman's strike or a 2 week RAAT task in 1945.....go easy and remember he was the reason that Bn went on TELIC, and his profile put an otherwise anonymous line infantry unit into a global spotlight after the ignomany of BARRAS. He had his faults, but mediocrity was never one of them. As someone who was on the end of his rabid-like bollockings as a subaltern (and very occasionally as a field officer) I can only say that it is those who couldn't or wouldn't understand the man and his motivation that are now bleating loudest about everything from his style of leadership to his dress sense. A more humane man and charismatic leader, the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment will probably not see for a long time, if ever.

Finally, to all those who want to jump on the bandwagon and offer third hand evidence of the Tim Collins legend..remember, people in glass houses....give yourself a mediocrity check lads!!
I agree for what it is worth. The Army is full of individuals who resent other peoples success. We are very good at knocking people - better we all aspire to succeed and learn lessons from those who have. If they have bad points - don't make the same mistakes. In this way we will all be better for the experience.
 

CGS

War Hero
Moderator
#13
Balkanexpress said:
The Army is full of individuals who resent other peoples success. We are very good at knocking people
How very true...

Seemingly people would rather hide here in anonymity, making bold and cutting judgements regarding another’s methods, than write an article, say, in the Army Doctrine and Training News
 
#14
Col Tim Collins? Don’t know the man personally, but I would be happy to shake his hand.

mraverage, as has been said before, solid post.

In my 22 years I have had the pleasure to serve under some very good officers, some average officers and unfortunately, some? mmm... that well known phrase 'who the f*** spawned that' in all honestly fitted perfectly although happily they were in the minority.

I must admit while most were extremely competent, only 2 were, really leaders that you would want to follow in battle. Col Collins would have been the third.

Don’t knock the man, the army needs robust leaders, especially in times of conflict, more so than those who can lead only from a 'pam' or by quoting the latest 'in' words.

We, the army are here to win, not come second and to do that we need to 'take it forward and get in the face of the enemy' however at the same time not lower ourselves to the deeds and actions of those undeserved to be called humanity.

Contentious views? Maybe... but then I do respect the man.
 
#15
I must admit to being slightly confused - I thought anonymity was quite an important aspect of ARRSE; additionally expressing one's opinion is still allowed - if there aren't to be discussions about someone the thread should be locked and removed.

It is interesting to see the difference in the levels of vitriol between this thread and the one about a certain serving 2 star - who has been vilified quite a lot.

My views about TC are based on what I have observed of him, that is all... mainly when he was CO 1 R IRISH and just after. I am impressed that this man has developed such deeply ingrained loyalty in so many people and it is a credit to all of you who have shown such loyalty when it would be easy to join in the anti-TC stuff; but it does not mean that those who do not like him or the way in which he has treated people have to go along with your point of view. Clearly a talented operational officer who may not have been best suited for conventional units or best served by his masters.

Discussion and debate are important to get a balance in life - and mediocrity? yes I probably am mediocre mr average, I probably shalln't find myself quoted in newspapers for stirring speeches to the troops or in order to sell my autobiography.
 
#16
I have read with interest remarks made by those who I think I am correct in assuming have actually served with him, and those remarks have been very critical, but vague. I am not trolling for an argument, but I would really appreciate if some in the know could elaborate on this treatment of his seniors etc that seems to have caused such resentment, and then at least the rest of us could understand why there exists such different opinions of the man.
 
#17
Point is did he do a good job at leading his battalion in combat?
If the answer is yes, and only those who served with him and his brigade commander can answer that, then he was an effective commander.

I don't think for one minute Collins's stirring speech to his Bn (vaguely reminiscent of Sir Colin Campbell's address to the 93rd Highlanders prior to their winning immortal glory as The Thin Red Line at Balaklava) was intended as a precursor to his autobiography (I doubt very much if he had even contemplated writing it at that moment).

I think, sitting safe at home, long retired, Collins sounds like he was an excellent commander and did a fine job. I also believe he has been treated appalingly by the establishment, more so since he had the temerity to state his case. How many of us had the moral courage to do that?

He will, in all probability, eventually become a member of parliament, at least I hope so. It's certainly about time that someone speaks out authoratatively on the politically motivated ditherings of certain of our General Staff.
 

CGS

War Hero
Moderator
#18
barbs said:
I must admit to being slightly confused - I thought anonymity was quite an important aspect of ARRSE; additionally expressing one's opinion is still allowed - if there aren't to be discussions about someone the thread should be locked and removed.
Now Barbs, if you are having a pop or are concerned regarding any moderation, be careful not to read too much into any comment! I post things to be read on face value, such as a comment about the general 'knock someone successful' tendency of too many people in the army.

Of course ARRSE depends upon anonymity, and of course debate and opinion is the life-blood of this site. However, on occasion, criticism is levelled without debate, analysis or thought (no, I’m not pointing my finger at anyone here as an issue per-se!) and this can look like whinging or 'knocking success'.

As for any question regarding the locking or removal of any thread, well I shall be the judge! In this case I intend to keep the thread open. If said Col puts his head above the parapet and takes the devil's sovereign, then he deserves debate (and a sharp tongue of criticism if necessary), as do those actions which he highlights!
 

CGS

War Hero
Moderator
#20
Lol

You never know, he may be an anonymous user of this organ!
 

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