2/10/2005 7:33pm, #11
An SAS patrol. The trooper on the right is wearing a coat made out of bedding blankets.
2/10/2005 7:35pm, #12
2/10/2005 7:37pm, #13
Same theatre, different nationality. A Royal Marines patrol. Many British soldiers had to buy their own desert boots as they were available to buy to the general public, but were not available to quartermasters departments.
2/10/2005 7:43pm, #14
It's not just equipment. The British Army is also short of....british soldiers. This is a rifle platoon of the 1st Battalion Royal Scots. A large proportion of this battalion is made up of Fijians. They're apparently excellent guys - but we're committing more and more forces to foreign adventures when we don't have enough actual soldiers to do it.
2/10/2005 7:45pm, #15
So the whole idea that the British military is so by-the-book strict that it's almost
funny is just a myth?It's hard to fight when you're in a gazebo -- Mitch Hedberg
2/10/2005 8:01pm, #16
Well - yes. We are very good at tradition and pageantry. Don't forget, our army has been around in one form or another since about 1650, and individual regiments can be traced back to much older tribes.
Yes, our cavalry still ride horses as well as tanks, and our officers do drink port and we do have an alarmingly large number of (musical) bands.
But in terms of flat out regulation discipline, I think the United States over took us some time just after Vietnam, and the split has widened ever since. If you can find any (US) marines that have attended the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone (south-west England) they will tell you of the totally different culture between CTC and your Parris Island. There are quite a few such guys, but they might be difficult to identify as the sign that you have been to CTC is a green beret, which has a totally different meaning in the US.
I think the difference is essentially that the British Army has become much more tribal, with every battalion doing basically its own thing. Until a few years ago, even basic training wasn't standard throughout the army. A recruit joining the Black Watch might recieve TOTALLY different training to one joining the Royal Green Jackets (even though they are both infantry regiments that have to fulfill the same roules.
2/10/2005 8:31pm, #17
The Ladies From HellOriginally Posted by Beneath Contempt
They destroyed Napoleons' cavalry at Waterloo with fuckin' bayonets and also fought with Rogers' Rangers in the French Indian War and died shoulder to shoulder with them in one of their bloodiest campaigns.
They are the regiment that the Germans called "The Ladies From Hell".
This is a regiment with nearly four centuries of battle honors that have brought distinct credit not only upon Scotland but to the United Kingdom.
This is a regiment that has been told it will be disbanded upon return home.
This is a regiment that flew the "Lion Rampant" and, amidst Pipes and Drums Blood and Thunder, they fuckin' went.
Can you imagine? Being told your beloved regiment is being disbanded? Then being sent to fight? THAT is the definition of a soldier. No refusals and they did their duty.
I'm going to pour myself a couple of shots of Johnnie Walker and have a toast to The Black Watch right now.
Anyone care to join me?
TO THE BLACK WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"We spoke to them in the only language they understood: the machine gun"
2/10/2005 9:10pm, #18
It is a shame that the Black Watch is going - but the reality is that it isn't as bad as it has been made out to be.
The Black Watch (and several other Scottish Regiments) will cease to be a regiment in its own right, but will continue to be distinct battalion in what will be known as "The Royal Regiment of Scotland". It will be something like "2nd Battalion (The Black Watch) The Royal Regiment of Scotland" and will retain all its traditions, dress, battle honours and colours.
It is sad, but this sort of thing happens with great regularity in the British Army - as the Regimental system of infantry is extremely expensive and uneconomic to maintain. The Rifle Brigade (which had honours coming out of its ears, having fought with distinction in every major campaign from your Independence to Korea; and is generally credited with having invented the concept of modern camouflaged uniforms) was slimmed down into The Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets. A few years passed, the new regiments fight campaigns under their new identities - and life goes on.