How The British Army Lost The Nationalists Of Northern Ireland….

Huw Bennett, one of the most astute academic observers of the British Army’s tactics and strategy during the Troubles, concludes in this study of military policy in NI, that by the mid-1970’s the army had lost the Catholic community, handing the Provisional IRA the wherewithal to fight a long war:

By March 1972, the army largely believed Catholics in the Province were troublemakers. Those who complained about the army were simply liars controlled by the IRA. Soldiers could do no wrong; those who made obvious errors by hurting or killing the innocent were forced to do so by devious Republican tricks. This article begins by exploring how these convictions came to dominate in Headquarters (HQ) Northern Ireland, and what the army tried to do about a suspected smear campaign against soldiers.’

You can read the full article here.

3 responses to “How The British Army Lost The Nationalists Of Northern Ireland….

  1. You stick with this belief, that the BA were almost ‘unaware’ participants in this conflict, and (therefore) were manipulated by elements of Unionist party and government.
    An alternative suggestion, of 50 years provenance, is that the army were at all times knowing participants and drivers, and that they truly represented a UK establishment (in the traditional meaning) in dealing with and controlling an unruly population.
    You only have to look at the ‘peace walls’ and access gates of West Belfast to see the strategy that drove them and that they successfully implemented.

    It was not, fundamentally, the Unionist government that launched us into this conflict, but the BA. All governments are to some degree coalitions of interest and power. The Army has had ‘too much’ power for a long time. The organisation comprises several strands of morality; firstly, predominantly, the idiot thugs, who know nothing, but will act on demand. 70%?
    Then the concerned, intelligent, young men and women who want to defend the nation, and are a bit naive. 20% ?. Then the top of the organisation, apparatchiks who are either slippery and emollient, working their way through the bureaucracy (10%), or ruthless and ideologically committed psychopaths, who are the real drivers in the organisation. Men like Kitson.

    Adjust %es anyway you like, the key message remains the same.

    And of course, these psychopaths, won.

  2. Broken Elbow, you find something illuminating in this? Good for you. I find it illuminating too. There is much here that cast light on the group-think of a parcel of colonial cunts.

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