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  • Bear-skin Afghanistan

    This three part series has just finished a rerun on the British ITV1 TV channel. It follows the Grenadier Guards as they serve in both London and Afghanistan.

    http://www.your-tv-guide.com/news/20...ing-queen.html

    As someone who fully supports our fight against both Terror and 'forces' like the Taliban, and who has always taken a keen interest in our armed forces, it offered a unique insight into both ceremony and war.

    It also however highlighted the cost we pay in the fight.

    In part three a young Guardsman (aged about 18) is in London bemoaning the fact he is on ceremonial duties and not in final preparation for the regiments tour of duty in Afghanistan. It then shows his joy at being able to go and fight with his regiment after all. Six weeks later he was killed in action and film was shown of his flag draped coffin arriving back in the UK.

    The most moving part though was his mother reading aloud the letter he had written in case of his death, in which he mentions his pride at serving in the Grenadiers, his love for his family and his hope that they remember him with pride as a son and soldier of the Queen. Along with his parents i was moved to tears aswell.

    This is just to say that amongst the sometimes jingoistic talk in many threads about us waging war on terror, we should never forget the true price we pay. Watch the series if you can.

    Regards

    Gaz

  • #2
    An 18 year old in the Grenadier Guards?

    Once upon a time, the Guards Battalions in were composed of long service volunteers that had served with other battalions first. The only 18 year olds might be Ensigns assigned to the unit. The same method might well break down in a War, but I don't see where young soldiers that have not served a tour or two with the Line Regiments should be accepted into the Grenadier Guards.

    Of course it is only the Grenadiers and not one of the better battalions like the Scots or Irish Guards....LOL!

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      I can hardly stand funerals

      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      This is just to say that amongst the sometimes jingoistic talk in many threads about us waging war on terror, we should never forget the true price we pay.
      I live not too far from one of the US' largest military cemetary in Calverton, NY. Over the last few years I'd see honor guards either on their way to, or returning from a drop. Once I shocked the hell out of my wife when I turned the car around an followed the honor out to a drop. From time time to time I'd even see bereavement officers paying a call. That happened on my mother-in-law's street a couple of years ago. The man in question was a sergeant in the airborne whom I had never met. It was while returning from his funeral that I discovered that I could not attend another drop without having done something constructive. To that end I re-upped. Yeah the wife is pissed, and I miss my kids, and the battalion CO is a prick, but on balance, I think that it was the right thing to do. Just being a by-stander is not good enough, not when so much needs doing, and so many are paying so high a price.
      I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
        Once upon a time, the Guards Battalions in were composed of long service volunteers that had served with other battalions first. The only 18 year olds might be Ensigns assigned to the unit. The same method might well break down in a War, but I don't see where young soldiers that have not served a tour or two with the Line Regiments should be accepted into the Grenadier Guards.

        Of course it is only the Grenadiers and not one of the better battalions like the Scots or Irish Guards....LOL!

        Pruitt
        Ballantine's have a battalion??? I thought it should at least be an Army size or bigger unit.


        HP
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
          Once upon a time, the Guards Battalions in were composed of long service volunteers that had served with other battalions first. The only 18 year olds might be Ensigns assigned to the unit. The same method might well break down in a War, but I don't see where young soldiers that have not served a tour or two with the Line Regiments should be accepted into the Grenadier Guards.

          Of course it is only the Grenadiers and not one of the better battalions like the Scots or Irish Guards....LOL!
          Pruitt
          The Grenadier Guards are the senior regiment.

          The reason is simple, Our forces don't have that many of it's members hanging around after they've done a tour. The army is no longer a life long employer. Add to that other regiments are going to be loathe to let go their most experienced personnel.
          Winnie says
          ---------------------------------
          "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

          It was an Accident."
          Herr Flick.

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          • #6
            As a (reserve) Grenadier Guards officer I feel I cannot remain silent
            In most European armies the Grenadier Guards are both the crack and the senior regiment for historical and still valid reasons.
            In the eighteenth century grenadiers were stalwart men able and trained to hurl grenades into the enemy ranks of musket equipped troops, creating havoc. Almost any fool can be taught to fire a musket, but it requires strong, brave and cool men to work with grenades, hence the elite aspect of grenadiers.
            Guards are protecting their sovereign both on and off the battlefield and of course you do not want your Head of State being surrounded by classless buffoons or brainless weaklings. Elite men is what you want.
            The combination of 'Grenadier' 'Guards' thus was a combination difficult to beat both in terms of style and fighting prowess. The elite regiments thus formed have continued to attract men of that distinction through the centuries up to the present day.
            BoRG

            You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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            • #7
              Because the human cost of wars is never paid by those who declare them and support them so fanatically, the wastage of young lives will continue.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MountainMan View Post
                Because the human cost of wars is never paid by those who declare them and support them so fanatically, the wastage of young lives will continue.
                What you say is 'wastage' I consider an untold cost paid for by soldiers who did their duty. Shame on using such a word. Is your real name John Kerry?
                "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                • #9
                  Trailboss,

                  In my mind "wastage" represents the total damage down to young soldiers. This includes physical, mental damage and death as well. I understand what MM said and have no problem with it. When political leaders (almost never young people) have to do the fighting in wars, we will see a lot more peace.

                  I would not mind arming Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al and sending them to Iraq or Afghanistan.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MountainMan View Post
                    Because the human cost of wars is never paid by those who declare them and support them so fanatically, the wastage of young lives will continue.
                    Originally posted by trailboss49
                    What you say is 'wastage' I consider an untold cost paid for by soldiers who did their duty. Shame on using such a word. Is your real name John Kerry?
                    Regardless of the terminology used, be it "wastage" (originally a WW1 term used by staff officers to describe the regular occurance of casualties outside of major offensive operations) or "untold cost," the result is the same: strechers, hospitals, prosthetics, body bags, funerals, mothers in tears, etc. If I may put it in the cold analytical jargon of the business world, the question here is does the potential upside gain compensate the actual downside loss? In my opinion it does not. This administration failed to conduct a basic cost/benefit analysis of what invading Iraq and deposing her government would mean to the American people, the US Armed Forces, or American strategic interests in general. Back in the spring of '03 not one of principle characters of the Bush Administration who advocated invading Iraq made mention of the possibility of a deteriorating situation, such as the type evident today. They simply gave no thought to it. Such utter lack of contigency planning, qualifying as gross incomptence, clearly constitutes one of the greatest failures in the history of US foreign policy, and should be rewarded harshly.

                    When talk of invading Iraq started turning serious in the late summer/early fall of 2002, I was reminded of this quip by a famous statesman:

                    For great nations there are no small wars.
                    This thing in Iraq can only end in one of three ways for the United States:

                    1) The US retreats from Iraq, which will condemn Iraq to fracture, outright civil war, and some measure of both al Qaeda and Iranian domination, combined with a loss of prestige and national honor for the US, combined with the sacrifice of many US interests, both in the Middle East and elsewhere, the necessity of prosecuting other wars in order to protect vital US interests overseas, combined with a reemergence of a most undesirable leftist element that will gain in credibility an inverse proportion of what Geo W Bush has cost the US, or

                    2) In order to win in Iraq, the US will have to inflict a genocidal level of casualties on the people of Iraq, a policy that will not only cost the US the remainder of her allies and internaitonal goodwill, but will likely lead to other, even more bloody and expensive wars, most likely against the likes of Iran, and possibly others, and the US will continue fighting until her national vitality is all but consumed.

                    3) The US leadership, and most importantly, the US and world body politic, finally get wise that things in Iraq cannot be allowed to get any worse, so a concerted, long-term effort is launched to pacify and stabilize Iraq, drawing inspiration from the British intervention in Malaya in the 1950's, but on a much larger scale. The time, treasure, and blood needed to effect such a sweeping policy are currently beyond the American (and European, for that matter) people's gnat-like attention span, and certainly Geo W Bush has nowhere near the credibility to pull off such a transformation, so new leadership, the kind that the US has not enjoyed since the pre-TV days will be needed.

                    This is the legacy that the Bush administration has bequeathed us. For that I am not at all grateful.
                    Last edited by slick_miester; 26 Sep 07, 11:36. Reason: I just wanted to add one more thing.
                    I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                      Once upon a time, the Guards Battalions in were composed of long service volunteers that had served with other battalions first. The only 18 year olds might be Ensigns assigned to the unit. The same method might well break down in a War, but I don't see where young soldiers that have not served a tour or two with the Line Regiments should be accepted into the Grenadier Guards.

                      Of course it is only the Grenadiers and not one of the better battalions like the Scots or Irish Guards....LOL!

                      Pruitt
                      Never heard such rubbish. We are talking about the modern British army here.
                      "Gentlemen, you are now on a two way firing range!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Post some threads before you call my work rubbish!

                        Paul,

                        Read up on the history of the British Army a bit before you call my post "rubbish". The only "personal opinion" I have in it is my opinion that the Scots Guards and Irish Guards are better units. "That is my story, and I am sticking to it".

                        If you lose all the traditions in the "modern British Army", why should the Grenadiers even be called a "Guards battalion"? You can always turn them into the modern equivalent of the "Beefeaters Guards" at the Tower of London.

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          Paul,

                          Read up on the history of the British Army a bit before you call my post "rubbish". The only "personal opinion" I have in it is my opinion that the Scots Guards and Irish Guards are better units. "That is my story, and I am sticking to it".

                          If you lose all the traditions in the "modern British Army", why should the Grenadiers even be called a "Guards battalion"? You can always turn them into the modern equivalent of the "Beefeaters Guards" at the Tower of London.

                          Pruitt
                          Ease up Pruitt, i think ive worked out where Private saunders is coming from here , i think he is saying that the old class system of deciding who is or isnt allowed to join a particular regiment does not apply in the historical sense to the MODERN British armed forces...Thats my take on what he wrote, he'll probably post something that completely contradicts that but, he is a new member , and we NEED new members!

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                          • #14
                            Darren,

                            You can disagree with me any time you want and I will respect that. I have no problems with anyone disagreeing. If you want to show me I am wrong, no problem. Show me the error of my ways.

                            Call my posts rubbish and then show me why they are.

                            If Private Saunders thinks the Modern British Army is better than the old service, let him prove it so. Next thing you know they will let in people that cry when the Iranis take away their i-pods (Royal Navy).

                            I like new members, but if you want to talk the talk, show you can walk the walk.

                            Pruitt
                            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Erm... gents... Paul is NOT a new member!

                              Because he has chosen not to post much at all in the past, does not make him so.

                              Carry on...

                              On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                              ACG History Today

                              BoRG

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