Pissing off the Black Watch

From Holden:

Both senior officers and ordinary soldiers in the UK’s Black Watch battle group are not happy with Blair’s decision to send them to an area where American tactics have enraged the populace:

Senior officers with the Black Watch battle group sent north to replace American soldiers believe that the Government agreed to send them there without properly understanding the risks the troops face.

They said the United States marines they were replacing had suffered more than 200 casualties, including nine dead, since July.

“We expect every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey,” a high-ranking officer said in an e-mail home this week.

“I hope the Government knows what it has got itself into. I am not sure it fully understands the risks.”

Sources close to the Black Watch said that that view was representative of most of the regiment’s senior officers.


The concerns of the senior officers were reflected in comments yesterday from ordinary soldiers who were flown north while the first convoy of armoured vehicles travelled by road.

Speaking at Basra before boarding an aircraft, 19-year-old Pte Manny Lynch, from Fife, admitted that he was nervous.

He said: “We have heard a lot about the triangle of death, which makes everyone nervous because it seems much worse up there than it has been down here.

“We have controlled the situation down here while the Americans seem to have ruined it up there.”