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Where are almost half of British soldiers on active service posted?

Germany, with 22500 Tommies. Compare that to 7100 in Iraq and 5800 in Afghanistan. There are 8500 in Ulster, 1200 in the Falklands, 800 in the Balkans and a fortunate 3000 in Cyprus. More here.

The same item carries the results of a poll on attitudes to the military, which I think are quite cheering, although also disclosing a percentage of people with odd views:

80% also agree that "The UK Armed Forces make a positive contribution to the UK", with just 3% disagreeing.

84% agree with the statement "The UK needs a strong Armed Forces", with just 4% disagreeing.
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Anonymous newmania said... 11:24 am

Odd,why do we have so many defending us from nothing then (ie in Germany) with them being askedto do too much an`all  



Blogger Croydonian said... 11:33 am

I think it might have something to do with availability of MoD housing and so forth.  



Anonymous Mr R said... 11:35 am

N - merry Xams, hope the inbreds are looking after you! The reason so many are in Germany is that that is where most of the bases are left to house the troops. The MOD under Gordon & Tony have sold off many of the large sites in the UK so people can build ugly small houses on them.  



Blogger istanbultory said... 3:25 pm

Cyprus is not quite the dream posting it might seem. Those bases are frighteningly close to Lebanon and Syria. Obvious AQ/assorted Jihadis terror target. And slap bang in the middle of the whole Greek/Turkish Cypriot nastiness. The locals on both side of the communal divide are prone to all kinds of unpleasantness generally.
Horrific summers. Dreary winters....  



Anonymous nick drew said... 5:10 pm

Not only that, Mr R, but the Germans paid for them, the standard is excellent (where in UK will you find a proper vomitorium, eh?). Also the local entertainment finds much favour with the soldiery.

And Celle is the most beautiful small town in Europe.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 5:42 pm

Mr Drew
I have been informed that you are a soldier, therefore you should know that wherever the British army resides a vomitorium is never far away (however informal) and if Mr R is doing the cooking probably a fucking necessity.  



Anonymous nick drew said... 6:03 pm

All in the past (the soldiering, not the vomiting). Haven't had the good fortune to try a Mr R recipe, but having consumed a great deal of compo (even 'menu E, Irish Stew') in my time, I'm probably proof against even that.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:22 pm

MREs, as consumed by Uncle Sam's boys and girls in uniform are supposed to take some beating for sheer awfulness - the official meaning 'Meals Ready to Eat' is ignored in favour of 'Meals Rejected by Ethiopians'.

James C was telling a tale the other day about a Gurkha regiment where an officer's batman was cooking for the officer and himself while out in the field and sensibly enough going through his own rations before starting on those of his superior. The chap had worked with many officers who never worked out that this was his modus operandus, so he was impressed that he was rumbled in under a week.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 6:23 pm

My fav was "fruit pudding"
for any of those of you who haven't had the pleasure it was the best fruitcake ever made, now consigned to the bin. )+:  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 6:26 pm

Mr Croydon
the only thing the british army will not steal from the americans is their food.
I used to sport a very nice goretex jacket some GI foolishly left unattended (+:  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:29 pm

Does everyone know the tale about the Red Army and its 'catering'? If not, apparently it was followed by field stills when moving westwards after 1941, but not field kitchens - they were expected to forage / steal.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:34 pm

Meanwhile, in among the children playing over at Guido's is what looks very much like a Verity impersonator.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 6:36 pm

mr c so were most armies

heres something off topic and unpalatable , but here i go

its also reccomended that you shave your arsehole(if required) before spending more than a few days in the field and take vaseline with you , not so you can "turk" somebody but rather to avoid "chaffing" and sweat rash.  



Anonymous peter hithcens said... 6:41 pm

I did wonder
Verity is (unlike me) a fan of Israel , and no it isnt me spoofing her, although I did spoof granny basher JHL (+:  



Blogger istanbultory said... 6:43 pm

Yet another Verity impersonator...
For his part, Mr Hitchens has commendably engaged in close combat with the enemy at Guido's...  



Anonymous nick drew said... 6:44 pm

Yes, Peter but wot about the Oatmeal Block (as compared to Fruit Pud, not shaving yr arse) - used to go down a treat & could be crumbled into the Apricot Flakes to form the basis of a fine dessert...

also the teabags, as I recall, could be guaranteed to fetch off the most evil blackening from the underside of a mess-tin (something to do with the bromide).

On the subject of officers / ORs: a fellow subaltern of mine broke his ankle and attended mil hospital in his pyjamas (which bore no sign or rank). In the queue for crutches, he was handed a pair and asked name/rank/number to sign for them. On declaring his rank, he was handed two pieces of velcro-backed padding to put around the upper-arm rings, thus converting them from Crutches-Soldiers to Crutches-Officers.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 6:58 pm

Mr Drew
I think rumours the of bromide were much exaggerated.

what was that meat pudding called, "macedonian beef"?
that used to make me laugh, the average squaddie looking at that description for the first time and thinking ...
"what?"
and the "bacon roll" was spam, the curry tasted just the same as m&s tinned curry.
I secretly enjoyed all of it  



Anonymous nick drew said... 7:07 pm

Even the Biscuits-Plain? (that could be used as firelighters in extremis). Sausage-in-beans was the business - ah, how it all comes back (takes one pace backwards to vomitorium).

C - yes, Soviet soldiers would carry an empty sack over their blanket-rolls with which to carry off scavenged scoff.

Following even closer behind them than the field-stills were the Kommissar units to 'encourage' them forward. Encouragement accounted for 10% of their WWII dead, apparently. Oh - and execution is a Company-level punishment in wartime in the Red Army!

(What did Nietzsche say about the bracing moral climate of wartime?! Perhaps it was the arse-shaving he had in mind, though.)  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 7:14 pm

Grandpa "Hitchens" proudly looted and shagged himself across Norway , Italy and Germany during the back end of ww2.
Norway was his favourite.  



Anonymous flamingstratman said... 1:27 pm

It´s good to have the British Forces still with us over here in Germany as they provide us with a brilliant radio network (BFBS) to which sounds many of us grew up. I was in Celle during my "Bundeswehr" time and no - it´s not the most beautiful small town in Europe and Sennelager isn´t a landscape I´d fall in love with :)
I´ve been to Cyprus a few years ago and saw by chance some of the garrisons there. Looked brilliant.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:02 pm

Nice to see you here Werner, and to get the inside track.  



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