News Round-Up – July 14th 2018

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II RAF Royal Air Force London

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General Defence News

Britain’s ’70-year holiday from history is over’, says Defence head
(Telegraph.co.uk)

MoD property deal ‘could cost taxpayer up to £5bn’
(The Guardian)

Schrödinger’s Strike: Who Hit These Buildings in Raqqa, Syria?
(bellingcat)

Boeing Increases Footprint in UK
(Aviation International News)

Ministry of Defence explains why towns across Somerset and Wiltshire are covered in smoke
(Somerset Live)

UK Ministry of Defence looks to replace its Biometric Data Capture System
(Biometric Update)


British Army News

Afghanistan: UK to send 440 more non-combat troops
(BBC News)

The future of the British Army in Europe
(The Defense Post)

British Troops Make Final Preparations For South Sudan Deployment
(Forces Network)

UK army ‘fallen behind Russia and China’ – defence chief
(Daily Star)

I spent my career in the British Army and I know the dangers of privatising the battlefield
(The Independent)

Secret Documents Reveal Thatcher Government Tried To Silence British Sikhs
(HuffPost UK)


Royal Air Force News

RAF Celebrates 100 Years with Spectacular Flyover in London
(The Aviationist)

RAF looks at UAV swarms
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Waddington to operate Protector, with best of British air power on show at Air Tattoo
(GOV.UK)

Britain set to spend 650million dollars buying 200 state of the art air-to-air missiles from the US
(Daily Mail)

Airbus To Support RAF Pumas
(Aviation International News)

IBM Wins Contract for RAF ACCS
(Aviation International News)

RAF recieves 20th Atlas transport aircraft
(GOV.UK)


Royal Navy & Marines News

US Navy Hopes for Commonality – Or at Least Interoperability – With Frigates in Australia, Canada, UK
(USNI News)

British Royal Navy re-dedicates HMS Northumberland to service
(Naval Technology)

Plymouth is united behind Royal Navy shipbuilding campaign
(Plymouth Herald)

WW1 British sailor laid to rest on Arras battlefield
(Centenary News)

Gibraltar First Stop For HMS Argyll On Deployment To The Far East
(Forces Network)

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

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News Round-up – May 13th 2018

Boeing P-8 Poseidon UK united kingdom royal air force

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General Defence News

UK MoD lacks funding to buy all equipment it says it needs, parliament finds
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Star Wars style weapons just years away from being used by Brit soldiers and RAF fighter pilots
(Scottish Daily Record)

Hundreds Watch RAF Take Top Boxing Honours Over Army In Cyprus
(Forces Network)

Marshall wins landmark deal for UK in Bangladesh
(Business Weekly)

Royal wedding preparations underway as military personnel seen rehearsing their duties
(Sunday Express)


British Army News

Former SAS commander Lieutenant-General Mark Carleton-Smith is new Army chief
(Sky News)

Veterans hounded over the Troubles deaths will no longer receive amnesty 
(The Sun)

British army instructor posts video of crying recruit and could now face court-martial
(American Military News)

British Army Brass Band makes Major return
(4barsrest.com)

British army to tackle African elephant poachers who fund their Islamic extremism
(Daily Mail)

Ted Heath ordered cover-up of SAS training for undercover Army unit, new book claims
(Belfast Telegraph)


Royal Air Force News

UK parliament launches inquiry into RAF strikes on Mosul and Raqqa
(Middle East Eye)

RAF jets obliterate ISIS complex in huge terror raid
(Daily Star)

First images released of what RAF’s new fleet of Poseidon aircraft will look like
(Press and Journal)

UK and Norway plan anti-submarine co-operation
(IHS Jane’s 360)

RAF, RSAF observe Cerberus Strike
(Air Force Link)

Body of RAF serviceman to be repatriated
(Oxford Mail)

RAF grounds its Vigilant T1 training gliders over safety fears
(The Times)


Royal Navy & Marines News

UK Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Set for US Visit, F-35B Trials
(USNI News)

Give £1bn navy contract to UK firms, Corbyn urges
(Insider.co.uk)

Royal Navy Recognizes 14 Sailors for Bravery
(The Maritime Executive)

Royal Navy acquires first autonomous robot minesweeper
(TechSource)

Royal Navy concludes Information Warrior 2018
(Shephard Media)

The Royal Throwdown: Royal Marines vs US Marine Corps
(Forces Network)

The Home Of Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Turns 50
(Forces Network)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

Wartime Wheels 2018 at Caldicot Castle

Held on May 6th – 7th, Wartime Wheels 2018 was the second year of the event at Caldicot Castle which replaced the previous and popular Fortress Wales events. Blessed with glorious weather, the event dwarfed last year in terms of displays and attendance.

All photos were taken on May 6th 2018
Photos: Tony Wilkins


 

The first V.C. of the Tank Corps

Born out of the blood and mud of the trench warfare that had cut Europe in half, the tanks and their crews became a key part of every major offensive after their surprise debut on September 15th 1916. As such, many tank crews found themselves thrown in to the thickest of the fighting and suffered for it. The Tank Corps would end the war with four Victoria Crosses awarded to men who had served within its ranks. All four VCs were awarded posthumously.

British Army WW1 World War One Mark I tank

The first man to receive the award was Captain Clement Robertson. Born in to a military family, Robertson’s father was serving in the Royal Artillery and stationed in South Africa when he was born on December 15th 1890. Having studied engineering in Dublin, he went to work in Egypt before joining the Army upon the outbreak of war in 1914. In February 1917, he joined the Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps which was the precursor to the Tank Corps.

In the beginning of October 1917, acting-Captain Robertson was tasked with helping capture the high ground over the Reutel Valley in western Belgium. September had seen extremely heavy fighting in the region under the blanket of the Third Battle of Ypres. The British had achieved success against the Germans on the Menin Ridge Road between September 20th-26th 1917 and again in Polygon Wood immediately after prompting the German 4th Army to launch a counter attack. Between September 30th and October 4th, the Germans made several calculated counterattacks often many hours after the British had attacked to gather as much intelligence on the enemy and organise effective artillery support.

It was during this campaign that Robertson would become the first soldier in the still-infant Tank Corps to receive the Victoria Cross but at the cost of his life.

His citation reads:

Captain Clement Robertson Victoria Cross VC Tank CorpsFrom 30 September to 4 October this officer worked without a break under heavy fire preparing a route for his tanks to go into action against Reutel. He finished late on the night of October 3rd, and at once led his tanks up to the starting point for the attack. He brought them safely up by 3 A.M. on 4 October, and at 6 A.M. led them into action.

The ground was very bad and heavily broken by shell fire and the road demolished for 500 yards. Captain Robertson, knowing the risk of the tanks missing the way, continued to lead them on foot. In addition to the heavy shell fire, intense machine-gun and rifle fire was directed at the tanks. Although knowing that his action would almost inevitably cost him his life, Captain Robertson deliberately continued to lead the tanks when well ahead of our own infantry, guiding them carefully and patiently towards their objective.

Just as they reached the road he was killed by a bullet through the head; but his objective had been reached, and the tanks in consequence were enabled to fight a very successful action. By his very gallant devotion Captain Robertson deliberately sacrificed his life to make certain the success of his tanks.

At the time of his death he was 26 years old and had not married. Consequently, his Victoria Cross was instead presented to his mother, Frances Robertson, in a ceremony held at the Royal Barracks, Dublin, on March 27th 1918. The exact location of his remains are unclear but he is believed to have been buried at the Oxford Road Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery located less than two miles from Ypres.

January 18th 1813 – First Battle of Frenchtown

With Great Britain embroiled in war with Napoleon’s France, the Royal Navy enforced a blockade aimed at choking France’s economy and neutral ships were not exempt from interception. This especially angered the United States who declared the blockade illegal and were increasingly concerned with American citizens finding themselves press-ganged into manning the blockade. Both American and British forces in Canada found themselves engaged in brief skirmishes such as one between between HMS Leopard and the USS Chesapeake in 1807 after the Leopard tried to board the American ship to search for British deserters.

On June 18th 1812, the 4th President of the United States, James Madison Jr, bowed to pressure from those in Congress who wanted war with Britain and signed the declaration. While it would last until February 18th 1815, the war is still remembered as the War of 1812. With the majority of British forces committed to fighting Napoleon in mainland Europe, the British had little choice but to initially adopt a defensive strategy against the Americans until they could bolster their numbers with troops from Europe and the enlistment of local native American tribes to carry out a guerrilla-style campaign against American troops.

On August 16th 1812, British Major General Henry Proctor succeeded in forcing the American contingent at Fort Detroit to surrender. This was a major concern for the Americans and so President Madison assigned General William Henry Harrison the task of retaking Fort Detroit during a winter offensive. Harrison split his army into two contingents. The first he commanded personally and marched his men to Upper Sandusky in modern-day Ohio.

The second contingent was led by Brigadier General James Winchester and consisted of 2,000 untrained regulars and volunteers mostly from Kentucky. As his men marched they were met by citizens of nearby Frenchtown which at that time was under occupation by a small British force from the Essex Militia and a native force from the Potawatomi tribe. Disobeying his orders to wait for Harrison and his men, Winchester ordered Lieutenant Colonel William Lewis to lead over 600 American troops to attack the British and their allies at their base across the frozen River Raisin.

Lewis attacked on January 18th and a brisk battle took place before the Americans forced the British and the Potawatomi to retreat. A Canadian militia group counterattacked later in the day but were unable to force Winchester back across the frozen river. During their retreat, the Potawatomi troops fell upon the settlement at Sandy Creek and destroyed it killing two of its inhabitants in the process.

Winchester was pleased with his victory although Harrison was concerned that his force was still outnumbered by British forces in the region. Upon hearing that Frenchtown had been taken, British Brigadier General Henry Procter marched 597 men from the 41st Regiment of Foot and Royal Newfoundland Fencibles along with around 800 native troops from the occupied Fort Detroit. Supported by Canadian artillery, Proctor’s men recaptured Frenchtown after a pitched battle on January 22nd.

The next day, a number of the captured American soldiers were massacred by native troops including a number of wounded soldiers who were burned to death inside the buildings where they were being kept. The native Americans then marched the survivors to Fort Malden in Ontario. Any American who couldn’t keep up was killed at the side of the road. The exact number of prisoners killed is not known but it is believed to be up to 100.

 

News Round-Up – September 27th 2017

british army combat

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General Defence News

US-led Exercise Formidable Shield begins offshore Scotland
(Naval Technology)

Trump’s new UK ambassador wrongly accuses Britain of spending ‘minimum’ on its military
(The Independent)

MoD sells off ships, planes and vehicles to meet £20billion hole in defence budget
(Daily Star)

Shocking rise in number of monkeys used for experiments at Ministry of Defence’s top secret warfare lab
(Mirror)

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m
(The Register)

Prince Harry kicks off Invictus Games in Toronto
(insideTORONTO.com)

Ministry of Defence bracing for a no-deal Brexit to protect Armed Forces
(Mirror)

Two planes collide in mid air at Duxford Battle of Britain air show
(Essex Live)


British Army News

Former sergeant major who applied for 400 jobs still struggles to find work
(Telegraph)

The British Army is trying to give its tanks ‘shields’
(Scout)

Battle over plans for new £3bn contract for new Army vehicle
(Telegraph)

‘When will this nightmare end?’ War vet tells of shock at fourth inquiry into suspicious death of Iraqi civilian
(Telegraph)

Army grounds £1bn drone fleet after two crash
(Telegraph)


Royal Air Force News

What happened to Corrie McKeague? Bury St Edmunds RAF gunner is still missing one year later
(The Sun)

Shamed historian ordered to pay widow of RAF hero £12500 for stealing treasured Dambusters log book
(Scottish Daily Record)

Dozens of ex-RAF workers ‘suffering life threatening illness and terminal cancers after being exposed to deadly chemicals
(The Sun)

Lucky thirteen take to the skies! Dramatic sight over wartime fighter station as Spitfires and bombers
(Daily Mail)

British pilot of Maltese descent Graham Muscat brings T2 Hawk to Malta for the first time
(Malta Independent Online)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ultra Electronics wins £37m contract with BAE Systems
(Digital Look)

HMS Ocean has arrived in the Caribbean in mammoth relief effort
(Plymouth Herald)

The Royal Navy and Freedom of Navigation Operations
(CIMSEC)

New Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship to support the Aircraft Carriers arrives in UK
(Royal Navy)

Watch Royal Navy bomb squad carry out explosion on busy Cornwall beach
(Cornwall Live)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

News Round-Up – September 2nd 2017

British army afghanistan

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

PM calls for closer defence ties with Japan following North Korea threat
(Forces Network)

Bahrain to get ex-RAF C-130Js
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Miami murders: Court orders release of MoD and PSNI security files
(BBC News)


British Army News

UK special forces to join Trump’s Afghanistan troop surge
(Press TV)

Dramatic footage shows moment British Army paratrooper jumps from dizzying heights
(Evening Standard)

British Army Gurkha ‘super-tracker’ hunting poachers in Gabon to save last remaining elephants
(Telegraph)

Army bomb team disposes of historic hand grenade in Dublin
(Newstalk 106-108fm)

Photograph capturing the spirit of the British Army nominated for National Award
(Forces Network)

Family members who had relatives killed by British Army during Troubles stage sit-in protest at Museum of Free Derry
(Derry Now)


Royal Air Force News

RAF’s close combat unit opens to women for the first time
(BBC News)

RAF Typhoons and Tornados take out ISIS jihadis travelling in a truck in Iraq
(Daily Mail)

RAF fighters reinforce NATO Baltic air policing in Estonia
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Wreckage of WWII RAF plane that helped drive the Nazis from Norway is found by cable-laying boat at the bottom of the North Sea 70 years after it vanished without trace
(Daily Mail)

The RAF Photographic Competition 2017, in pictures
(Telegraph)

New home to save RAF Museum of Firefighting in Lincolnshire
(Lincolnshire Live)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ministry of Defence names head of Trident nuclear submarine programme
(NW Evening Mail)

Royal Navy sends just one (casualty) ship to showpiece sea and air event
(Telegraph)

“Lessons have been learned”: Royal Navy’s second aircraft carrier prepares for big day
(The Courier)

The Royal Navy’s next ‘frigate’ is not a frigate
(War Is Boring)

Ocean life inspires new Royal Navy submarine concepts
(The Engineer)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.