Why history matters in armed forces' future

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Dec 16, 2004.

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  1. Opinion from a former WO2 about the strengths of the regimental system of the British Army.

    source: http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=1433532004
     
  2. Telegraph Defence Correspondent article at this address: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/12/16/narmy16.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/12/16/ixhome.html

     
  3. The US Army has no such cohesion and regimental affilation, they move troops around at will and need and it, IMHO, is a travesty. Maybe this is what coined the term "an Army of ONE"

    Shame on TCH :twisted: not every thing Spam is pork :!:
     
  4. The saying goes,

    Forgive them, they do not know what they do.

    They know what they are doing and it it is unforgivable and in my view they are a bunch of cretins.

    I shall not forget and one hopes the voters don't either :evil:
     
  5. Thanks for that, ctauch :D
     
  6. Excellent post hackle.
    i once read that both the iron duke and montgomery in their time warned the govenment of the day Don't mess with the infantry.
    john
     
  7. I believe the Mayor or Warminster uttered, very much the same sentiments in a television interview.
     
  8. The majority of voters won't forget...

    Principly because they neither know nor care, any football tonight? When's Eastenders on?
     
  9. We can write what we want,
    We can say what we want,
    We can tell them until our voices are hoarse,

    But this bunch of charlatans will not listen to the voice of reason,
    They are driving this purely for fiscal reasons,
    And one day, they will have to answer for all thier lies and spin,

    I also hope that no lives or battles are lost because of this decision, and if they are, then they must be held accountable :evil:
     
  10. Biscuits Brown has it right. The electorate won't forget, as they're priorities lie elsewhere. Eastenders, Coronation st, and poxy pop idol are the priorities.

    Heres a thought though, I understand it would be completely un-gentleman like, but why hasn't anyone senior, whos still in an influential position within the services, go public and down right condemn TCH to the papers. Make it as public as possible. We've just seen three weeks of full on coverage with Blunkett, but just the odd headline of TCH and what he intends to do!

    Excuse me if I'm showing some sense of naievity(sp?), but I just don't see anyone with influence causing a $hitstorm for TCH.

    remember:

     
  11. We are still recruiting the same lads from the same areas to do the same job. I don't think that the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are a worse unit for having been merged many many times compared to the Green Howards or Cheshires who haven't been... This set of mergers will be the same, bloody painful for the short term but unfortunately we will just have to make it work. The Highlanders for instance had a very bad merger - if the same is repeated now we will just be punishing ourselves.
     
  12. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    From todays Grauniad. This informs the "thinking" of our Dear Leader and TCH.

    Behind the Black Watch

    History demands that Scotland's regiments merge

    Ewen Macaskill
    Thursday December 16, 2004
    The Guardian

    Old soldiers, and serving ones, have been campaigning hard in Scotland to save Scottish regiments from merger. An announcement is expected from Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, today.
    The campaign has been vigorously supported by much of the media in Scotland, recalling regimental histories going back to the 18th century. Typical is the columnist Magnus Linklater: "Merely reciting their names: Black Watch, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Royal Scots, King's Own Scottish Borderers, is enough to stiffen the sinews, to summon up the whiff of cordite at Waterloo, or the thin red line at Balaclava. You cannot divorce emotion from the memories of great battles fought, or lives bravely sacrificed."

    Most Scots are brought up on such stories of martial tradition, of Scottish regiments, especially the Highlanders, in the thick of bloody battles. But there is an alternative history, though one heard less often. It is more likely to be raised among what remains of the Highlanders than by those in Edinburgh and Glasgow prone to misjudged nostalgia.

    I first heard this alternative history from Derick Thomson, the Gaelic poet and professor of Celtic studies, who spoke with bitterness of the Highland regiments as "cannon fodder". The regiments were raised in the 18th century, mainly as a way of helping to pacify the Highlands. The threat posed by the clans was removed by recruiting regiments and putting them in the front line - the Black Watch suffered 50% casualties at the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758 - or sending them to disease-ridden places such as the West Indies.

    School textbooks lauded the bravery of the Highlanders in General James Wolfe's battle for Quebec in 1759. Less often recorded is Wolfe's disdain for his own soldiers. Reflecting the British government view, he wrote: "They are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country and no great mischief if they fall." And fall they did, in large numbers, the deaths of so many men contributing, along with the Clearances, to the depopulation of the Highlands that persists until this day.

    The historian Tom Devine, in The Scottish Empire 1600-1815, notes that estimates of the number of Highlanders fighting in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars ranged from 37,000 to 48,000 men. "This is quite an extraordinary figure, given that the population of the Highlands was around 250,000 to 300,000 during the second half of the 18th century."

    The regiments can rightly take pride in the part they played in the first and second world wars, and in post-war engagements. But the motives behind raising these regiments and the way they were cynically deployed should temper the views of those who oppose merger on grounds of regimental tradition. Unlike Linklater, my sinews do not stiffen in recollection at generations of Highlanders who ended up as cannon fodder
     
  13. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    From todays Grauniad. This informs the "thinking" of our Dear Leader and TCH.

    Behind the Black Watch

    History demands that Scotland's regiments merge

    Ewen Macaskill
    Thursday December 16, 2004
    The Guardian

    Old soldiers, and serving ones, have been campaigning hard in Scotland to save Scottish regiments from merger. An announcement is expected from Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, today.
    The campaign has been vigorously supported by much of the media in Scotland, recalling regimental histories going back to the 18th century. Typical is the columnist Magnus Linklater: "Merely reciting their names: Black Watch, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Royal Scots, King's Own Scottish Borderers, is enough to stiffen the sinews, to summon up the whiff of cordite at Waterloo, or the thin red line at Balaclava. You cannot divorce emotion from the memories of great battles fought, or lives bravely sacrificed."

    Most Scots are brought up on such stories of martial tradition, of Scottish regiments, especially the Highlanders, in the thick of bloody battles. But there is an alternative history, though one heard less often. It is more likely to be raised among what remains of the Highlanders than by those in Edinburgh and Glasgow prone to misjudged nostalgia.

    I first heard this alternative history from Derick Thomson, the Gaelic poet and professor of Celtic studies, who spoke with bitterness of the Highland regiments as "cannon fodder". The regiments were raised in the 18th century, mainly as a way of helping to pacify the Highlands. The threat posed by the clans was removed by recruiting regiments and putting them in the front line - the Black Watch suffered 50% casualties at the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758 - or sending them to disease-ridden places such as the West Indies.

    School textbooks lauded the bravery of the Highlanders in General James Wolfe's battle for Quebec in 1759. Less often recorded is Wolfe's disdain for his own soldiers. Reflecting the British government view, he wrote: "They are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country and no great mischief if they fall." And fall they did, in large numbers, the deaths of so many men contributing, along with the Clearances, to the depopulation of the Highlands that persists until this day.

    The historian Tom Devine, in The Scottish Empire 1600-1815, notes that estimates of the number of Highlanders fighting in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars ranged from 37,000 to 48,000 men. "This is quite an extraordinary figure, given that the population of the Highlands was around 250,000 to 300,000 during the second half of the 18th century."

    The regiments can rightly take pride in the part they played in the first and second world wars, and in post-war engagements. But the motives behind raising these regiments and the way they were cynically deployed should temper the views of those who oppose merger on grounds of regimental tradition. Unlike Linklater, my sinews do not stiffen in recollection at generations of Highlanders who ended up as cannon fodder
     
  14. Why can't journos get facts right, especially for anything involving guns?

    Waterloo - 1815. Introduction of cordite in service - about 1895...

    /removes anorak
     
  15. I did have a long and reasoned reply typed up for this, but concluded that it would only ever be read on here and in the main agreed with.

    If the idiot who wrote the article ever read my response to his half hearted attempt at historical analysis through pc glasses he would probably conclude that i was misguided and blinded by my upbringing.

    It is patently obvious that the author of the article neither understands Scottish history (apart from the right on oppression of the poor wee highlander bit), nor the Highland regiments (the big bad meanies).

    Sir, if you do read these responses, here's my tuppence worth - go f*ck yourself you arrogant pr*ck, or better yet - go visit some regimental museums, where you will find that most regimental history is displayed warts and all. :evil: