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Military service

Article about: I did two tours in Northern Ireland during the early 1970's when things were really hairy. On my first tour in 1971/72 our Battery came under attack by bomb, bullet or riots on more than 400

  1. #11

    Default Re: Military service

    I did two tours in Northern Ireland during the early 1970's when things were really hairy. On my first tour in 1971/72 our Battery came under attack by bomb, bullet or riots on more than 400 occasions in a four month period. We also had the distinction to be the first unit to dare enter the Rossnareen estate on foot patrol.

    At the end of that tour it was said by a serving army officer that our unit had come under the longest sustained period of attack that any unit in the British army had witnessed since the end of WW11. I know it sounds like bullsh**t. But I had the misfortune to be there at the time, so I for one would not argue with the sentiment expressed by the officer.

    I kept detailed diaries of both my tours in a couple of large notebooks. I wrote these up into a book back in 2008. They are due to be published early next year by ' Helion Publications.' The title is... 'Belfast Diaries, The writings of a Gunner in Northern Ireland.'

    I know there are other books out there on the troubles. But to the best of my knowledge this is the ONLY book that gives a detailed day by day account of a tour of duty in the province. Very few people have any idea of how bad it really was over there - except those of us who served there. And by and large our war has been forgotten, just like us!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Military service

    It's always the way that those that weren't ther forget, or because nothing was in the media, then nothing happened!
    I was in a relatively quiet area of Iraq,compared to Baghdad or Basra....whenever we got mortared, I had the chance to ring home and say, " if you hear anything, we are all ok".... None of it made the news back people back here think we had an easy time of it....we didn't fight in any huge battles, and as with most operations post books will be written by learned historians about us!
    You've done a great thing writing down your experiences.....I'll be looking out for your book mate, the Troubles is one area of modern military history I would like to learn more about

  3. #13

    Default Re: Military service

    @Harry The Mole.

    Keep us up to speed on a publishing date mate, I, for one will be getting a copy.

    Regards etc
    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  4. #14

    Default Re: Military service

    US Army '84-'88 M1/A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank Armour Specialist. I remember hard work, mud, wet, green eggs, and cold. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat...

  5. #15

    Default Re: Military service

    U.S. Navy 1995-2000 as hospital corpsman. 2 1/2years at Balboa Naval Hospital S.D.(shore duty,life was good) 2 1/2 years with 1st batt. 11th Marines (arty) !st Mar Div. What I remember most was with the Marines on deployment (11th MEU) to persian gulf and how frickn hot it was in Saudi (109 in the shade), flying in the back of CH-53, riding in the hovercraft, shooting the 155mm howitzer,50 cal, and 240 gulf,2-3 weeks in field no shower, and getting diverted from our last port of call in Bali to East Timore in 99 and sitting off shore for 80 days while order was restored there not to mention the brutal atrocities that were going on there. Literally heads on sticks and barbaric rape and defilement of female victims, horrendous.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Military service

    Hi Ian,

    I've changed my avatar. This is the picture which will be used on the front of the book. I was at the publishers in June with all my photo's and other junk which I saved. The timetable is... September/October, start of publicity drive. Later in the year there will be copies handed out to the media for review. And then early next year there will be a proper book launch. My daughter has done a twitter account to help with the publicity as well.

    My diaries and other stuff were left untouched and unread until about 2007. I decided to write them up for two reasons. The first was to keep myself busy while I was undergoing some rather nasty treatment for a year. And the second was that I got rather pi**ed off when I was selling Poppies for the RBL. People tried to make snide remarks at times about; 'Not much happening in Ireland, and not many squaddies got killed.'

    When you tried to tell them the death-rate in the first four years exceeded those lost in ten years of fighting in Afghanistan they didn't believe you!

  7. #17

    Default Re: Military service

    Looking forward for the book! Is that the M69 style flak jacket youre wearing in your avatar?

  8. #18

    Default Re: Military service

    Dont think you get a medal for NI anymore!! I think that 1 stopped a few years a go..It peaceful now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,Ive been to both of those lovely places...NI as a young Private (Infantry) & Afghan as a Sargeant in somewhat different role!!!Both of these places were & are very dodgy in their own rights..I think IMO that both conflicts can not be compared..Kill rates may differ but!! But both have their hardships,NI the good old Drumitee bogs,rain,very heavy bergans,riots,petrol bombs, Then Afghan,heat,fire fights,weeks out in the desert/green zone,compo,...Then you could throw in Bosnia & Iraq..then you end up with a right messed up soldier!! Heavy burdens on troops these days,...thank god Im out of it now...Only my opinon guys..Cheers Terry.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Military service

    Quote by Poromies View Post
    Looking forward for the book! Is that the M69 style flak jacket youre wearing in your avatar?
    I wouldn't know one Flak Jacket from another to be honest! But I do recall that while training for our second tour in Ireland we were taken on to Salisbury Plain and given a demo of all the different weapons we could expect to be used against us.

    A Flak Jacket was placed on a cross next to a wall, and then different weapons were fired at it. It all seemed a bit stupid to me. We knew they were no-good anyway. The test only served to comfirm it.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Military service

    Flak jackets are not designet to stop bullets, only shrapnel. I wonder why they showed you that the flak jackets would not stop bullets?

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