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A Testimony to Courage: The Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment (Anglais) Relié – 15 mars 2001


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Descriptions du produit

A Testimony to Courage A Testimony to Courage vividly describes the threat under which not just the soldiers but their families also had to live, and records the murders of some of the 197 members killed as a result of terrorist attack. It addresses how the Regiment became mainly Protestant as a result of the loss of Nationalist support and recruits, and the constant criticism of the Irish Government and Nationalist pol... Full description


Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 340 pages
  • Editeur : Pen & Sword Books Ltd (15 mars 2001)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0850528194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850528190
  • Dimensions du produit: 4,4 x 18,4 x 26 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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As a regular soldier in the British army, my own association with the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) amounted to 6 years. As a corporal in the RAPC, my first experience came in 1972 when I became responsible for the pay of the full-time soldiers of 3, 4 and 5 UDR. On promotion I was then posted to 3 UDR in Ballykinler as Pay Sergeant. Ordinarily, in those days, a battalion of the size of 3 UDR (approx. 500 all ranks) would have had a small RAPC team comprising; Paymaster (Major or Captain), WO2, Sergeant and 3 or 4 corporals. On this occasion, however, I was ‘it’ and the author of this book was Bn Adjutant. In 1982, on promotion to WO2, I was posted to 11 UDR for another tour of 2 years - the post of ‘Pay Sergeant’ having been upgraded in the meantime.

The biggest problem the UDR ever had was that each of the 11 battalions was commanded by second-rate officers of whom it was frequently said; “but for the UDR they would never have been promoted to Lt Colonel.” Second-choice coupled with a two year operational tour of duty showed many were not up to the mark. Such was their own personal disregard for the UDR most (if not all) reverted to their own parent regiment once their command was over - and that never happened elsewhere!

Nowadays, my work involves considerable research, research and yet more research into the intricacies of maritime history. As such, I am able to recognise works where such attention to detail falls short of the mark and commend those who fulfil the required obligations. In this instance, there is no doubt Potter has undertaken considerable and far-reaching investigations into a regiment which remained the largest in the British army from 1970-1992. Sadly, however, he has ‘glossed over’ certain unsavoury incidents and avoided others altogether.
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As seen through the rosiest of spectacles. 16 avril 2015
Par Ned Middleton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
As a regular soldier in the British army, my own association with the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) amounted to 6 years. As a corporal in the RAPC, my first experience came in 1972 when I became responsible for the pay of the full-time soldiers of 3, 4 and 5 UDR. On promotion I was then posted to 3 UDR in Ballykinler as Pay Sergeant. Ordinarily, in those days, a battalion of the size of 3 UDR (approx. 500 all ranks) would have had a small RAPC team comprising; Paymaster (Major or Captain), WO2, Sergeant and 3 or 4 corporals. On this occasion, however, I was ‘it’ and the author of this book was Bn Adjutant. In 1982, on promotion to WO2, I was posted to 11 UDR for another tour of 2 years - the post of ‘Pay Sergeant’ having been upgraded in the meantime.

The biggest problem the UDR ever had was that each of the 11 battalions was commanded by second-rate officers of whom it was frequently said; “but for the UDR they would never have been promoted to Lt Colonel.” Second-choice coupled with a two year operational tour of duty showed many were not up to the mark. Such was their own personal disregard for the UDR most (if not all) reverted to their own parent regiment once their command was over - and that never happened elsewhere!

Nowadays, my work involves considerable research, research and yet more research into the intricacies of maritime history. As such, I am able to recognise works where such attention to detail falls short of the mark and commend those who fulfil the required obligations. In this instance, there is no doubt Potter has undertaken considerable and far-reaching investigations into a regiment which remained the largest in the British army from 1970-1992. Sadly, however, he has ‘glossed over’ certain unsavoury incidents and avoided others altogether. Indeed he even commends certain officers by name when he knows they really should have faced a court-martial!

On the one hand, therefore, for those who want to know something about the UDR in terms of its organisation (11 battalions, ‘Administrative’ Headquarters (not a command HQ!), male and female members, full-time cadre, part-time members, individual locations etc), many of the highs and lows and, of course, those who were killed - these are all explained in excellent fashion. In so doing I recognise the effort which has gone into the work and, ordinarily would award a full 5 Star rating.

From my own personal experience, however, I can say without fear of contradiction, that the inherent dishonesty that was part and parcel of the UDR is not mentioned. I fully realise some of the more unsavoury incidents will not sit well with former members - but any ‘supposed’ history of a British army regiment must always include that which we have come to describe as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and, in this sanitised work the ‘Ugly’ is skilfully avoided altogether.

Whereas many regular soldiers drew parallels with ‘Dad’s Army’ throughout the regiment’s existence, it must be said had it not been for the UDR all regular soldiers would have had to complete far more tours in Northern Ireland than they did... For all the invaluable, hard and dangerous work undertaken by ordinary citizens in the most difficult conditions imaginable, it is very wrong to suggest the UDR was ‘always’ as good, loyal, proper and efficient as is depicted through the rosiest of spectacles used throughout this book. It is precisely because a certain number of individuals were permitted to ‘feast off the fat of the conflict’ by incompetent senior officers (including those brigadiers who still claim to have commanded the regiment when they did no such thing!) that all the aforementioned dangerous and difficult work undertaken by the vast majority of those honest Part-Time soldiers becomes all the more valuable.

Not even the great Winston Churchill was a saint and, from my perspective at least, it is easy to see why the MOD does not accept this book as the official history of the Ulster Defence Regiment. Sadly too much is missing for it to be recognised as even an unofficial history.

NM
British army major (retired)
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