Book: SOLDIER OF THE QUEEN by Bernard O'Mahoney
A tough young Brit's story about serving in Northern Ireland. Beaten as a boy by an alcoholic, violent father, hated the Catholic religion, but never denied he was of Catholic origin. Amazing the amount of violence he did as a youth, bashing in peoples' heads with bricks, mugging people, theft. Organizing riots at discos and luring out bouncers to beat them to a pulp.Multiple arrests and he was about to go away to prison when he enlisted in an Irish regiment. At the time the MOD was not sending Irish regiments to Norhern Ireland. So he was in Germany... One night a guy has a little much to drink in the club, comes in covered in blood, randomly beat and crippled for life a guy in his rack... With a tank "spanner."
MOD changes the Irish Regiment policy, policy, away he and all these other Ireland Dodgers go.
Really,a great book, gives a different slant. He talks about the "Army Barmy" types.... The officer serving "in the cavalry" to please his dad so he can inherit the family fortune... One guy joined the Royal Inskilling Tank Regiment because the black uniforms reminded him of his heroes... The German Panzertruppen of WW2. The careful changeover plans with another regimant with the Wessex helos (h-34s) which were planned to come in, drop off the replacements, take off to ensure the LZ was fully secure, then come back and pick the Inskillings up... As soon as the Helos land the Inskillings are pushing the Fusiliers out of the way to get their asses on the helos.
He then, on finishing with the Army, made the odd choice as a British-born Irish Catholic to return to Ireland and enlist in the Protestant Ulster Defense Regiment to date a girl "greenfinch" soldier... Which ended disastrously as both sides were after him, after that.
Worth reading for any fan of the British Army. Also it explains... They may not have guns... But they sure have one
hell of a lot of violence in English society. It will surprise you.
Last edited by Griff Murphey; 05-26-2012 at 05:44.
The very high crime rate in the U.K. especially assaults is no secret, on this side of the pond we have a distorted perception of British culture mostly fostered by movies and a certain amount of Anglophilia.
I was talking to a Welsh friend a few years ago after I had checked the world crime stats and was a bit surprised to see that among industrial countries the U.K. was at the top of the list. When broken up as two countries Scotland was number 1 and the U.,K. as a unit was second or third. A lot of it comes from a hard drinking culture in which men spend a lot of time away from home usually with other men in places where liquor is consumed in large quantities. Our Welsh friend, a lady, said that this male culture was one reason she had little interest in marrying a British man. She's been married more than once and her husbands were Americans. She said there's a good reason for that.
The U.S. has about twice the number of total crimes reported as the U.K. but it has almost six times as many people, which equates to a much higher overall crime rate for the U.K. 2006, the last year for which I could find records showed the following stats for the U.S. and U.K.:
2.8% of Brits were victims of assaults compared to 1.2% of Americans.
.9% of Brit women were rape victims compared to .4% of American women
70% of Brits said they felt save walking in their neighborhood at night compared to 82% of Americans.