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War is a battlefield and often, men are merely men who find themselves in untenable situations where they live or die because someone, somewhere, ordered them to do something. 

Warfare or War Fair? That is the question. We used to say that all is fair in love and war. Apparently, in these woke days, it's only fair if you ask your enemy to be nice and ( if he or she isn't ) you are likely to be stripped of your medals and stripped of your reputation. Being mean in war is just no longer the done thing. Winning is no longer an option in this new woke world. In fact, working for the good of your country will only land you in the shit.  

Decorated war veteran Ben Roberts-Smith has lost his defamation case against an Australian newspaper company. The decision comes after 309 days of waiting for the elite veteran, and his journalist accusers, after 41 witnesses and more than $25 million in legal fees.

Ben Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour, when he stormed machine guns that had pinned down his men in the battle of Tizak in late 2010.

Multiple soldiers testified that many in the SAS backed Ben Roberts-Smith was among the best in their band of brothers.

We are trying to teach our children what is right and wrong, yet our governments are dispelling any illusion ..... because they want to kill critical thinking and old fashioned initiative. 

Who the hell would sign up to serve to defend their country these days?

Yes, it was a civil case. But the message is clear: serve your country at your peril.  Be prepared to be judged by someone who has never served in the theatre of war. 

A few days ago, we wrote about the Dunkirk evacuation. What was important in that situation was the men of the Calais Garrison. How they saved hundreds of thousands of lives by risking their own. We have written about Breaker Morant. We have written about the bravery of nurses and considered how war is not a time to be fair. It is WAR. The rules change. 

I am not talking genocide. ..... but where do we draw the line? In war, people die. But let me take you on a voyage: from the plains of South Africa to the shores of Dunkirk. Sadly, not in that order because I already wrote the article before the ruling. So let's do it backwards : the order does not matter. The message is the same. 

The Dunkirk evacuation, also known as Operation Dynamo, is widely celebrated as a remarkable feat of courage and resilience during World War II. As the German army closed in on the Allied forces, a massive evacuation was organised to rescue the hundreds of thousands of stranded soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.

While the miraculous rescue from the beaches is often highlighted, too many of us forget the poor bastards in the Calais Garrison.
Their bravery is without question. However, was their sacrifice voluntary or ordered? 

Let's be honest. They stayed and fought, knowing that they were cannon fodder to buy time. Was that War Fair? Or Warfare?

During the Dunkirk evacuation, Captain Ervine-Andrews (above) led a remarkable ten-hour rearguard, while heavily outnumbered, to buy more time for the British troops. Hence, our lead photo. 

These men did this knowing that once the British had left, they would have no choice but to surrender and become prisoners of war.

The bigger question here is the saying that all is fair in love and war.

The Battle of Dunkirk may have been one of the most decisive moments in World War Two history. In a miraculous escape from nearly complete destruction, the British Expeditionary Force managed to flee the grasp of the German Panzers and live to see another day. Many view the evacuation and its aftermath as the turning point for the war as a whole, while others, at a minimum, cannot deny the simple fact that had the Germans continued their attack, the British would not have been so lucky by any stretch.

  1. Situated just a few miles from Dunkirk, the Calais Garrison served as a vital strategic stronghold for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) during the early stages of the war. Holding this coastal fortress was crucial for the defense of the English Channel and protecting the evacuation routes for the troops in Dunkirk. The Calais Garrison, comprising a mixture of British, French, and Belgian forces, had the responsibility of holding their positions and creating a diversionary operation to distract the Germans and buy time for the Dunkirk evacuation.

    1. By May 1940, the Calais Garrison found themselves heavily outnumbered and outgunned. Despite the odds, they held their ground, engaging the German forces in fierce combat. The garrison put up a determined defense, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and significantly impeding their progress towards Dunkirk. 

    2. Cut off from supplies and reinforcements, they endured relentless bombardment and continuous attacks. The situation became increasingly desperate, with dwindling resources and mounting casualties. Yet, the soldiers of the Calais Garrison fought, holding on for as long as they could to provide a critical distraction that allowed the Dunkirk evacuation to proceed.

    3. Knowing that their chances of survival were slim, the Commanding Officer made the decision to surrender on May 26, 1940, after four days of intense fighting. The surviving members of the garrison, numbering around 3,500, were taken as prisoners of war. 

    4. Despite their significant role in the Dunkirk evacuation, the contribution of the Calais Garrison often goes unnoticed. 

The Calais Garrison played a critical but often overlooked role in the Dunkirk rescue mission. Their stand diverted German attention and allowed for the successful evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers. 

But there is also this question: 

During the defense of the Calais Garrison, the soldiers did not have the option to choose whether to stay or leave. They were given orders to hold their positions and create a diversionary operation to distract the advancing German forces. 

The soldiers in the Calais Garrison were following orders and fulfilling their duty as part of the Allied war effort.

Out of the approximately 3,500 soldiers in the Calais Garrison, many did not survive the defense and subsequent surrender.  It is estimated that around 900 to 1,200 soldiers managed to escape capture or death during the events at Calais. The majority of the garrison became prisoners of war.

Which brings me to this.

The question of whether soldiers should have to follow orders. 

I have little doubt that the blokes at the Calais Garrison would have made any other decision than to stay and fight so that their mates could get back home to regroup and fight another day. 

This brings me back to the Boer War and, believe it or not, modern Australia. 

Harry "Breaker" Morant was an Australian soldier who served during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) in South Africa. He was involved in controversial events that led to his subsequent trial and execution. The case of Breaker Morant remains a subject of debate and discussion, raising questions about the accountability of soldiers for their actions in wartime.

During the Boer War, Morant was part of an irregular unit known as the Bushveldt Carbineers. It is alleged that Morant and other members of the unit committed acts such as summary executions and reprisals against Boer prisoners and civilians. These actions were carried out in response to the guerrilla tactics employed by the Boers.

After the war, Morant and two other soldiers, Peter Handcock and George Witton, were court-martialed and charged with the murder of Boer prisoners and a German missionary. The trial and subsequent execution of Morant and Handcock got a hell of a lot of attention and controversy.

The case of Breaker Morant raises important questions about the accountability of soldiers for their actions during war.

Supporters of Morant argue that he and his comrades were following orders and engaging in acts that were seen as necessary for the success of their military campaign. They argue that Morant was essentially a scapegoat for the wider policy of "no prisoners" adopted by the British forces during the war.

Much like the boys in the Calais Garrison. Follow Orders. Do as You are told. 

On the other hand, critics argue that Morant and his comrades committed acts that violated the laws of war and the principles of humanity. They argue that soldiers should be held accountable for their actions, even if they were following orders, particularly if those actions involved the mistreatment or killing of prisoners or non-combatants.

Which makes me wonder why the Australian government and media is continuing with its persecution and prosecution of soldiers, under orders, whereby their senior officers are seemingly immune from scrutiny. 

If men were ordered to stay and fight until the death, then why can't the families of those brave soldiers at Calais sue the British government?

Of course, it becomes ridiculous, doesn't it? 

The rules of engagement (ROE) are guidelines and directives that outline the circumstances and limitations under which military personnel are authorized to use force during armed conflict or other military operations. 

  1. Military personnel have the right to use force in self-defense or the defense of their comrades when faced with a threat of imminent harm or violence.

    1. The use of force should be proportionate to the threat faced. The level of force used should be necessary and not excessive, considering the circumstances.

    2. Military personnel must distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. Directly targeting civilians is prohibited, and efforts must be made to minimize harm to non-combatants and civilian infrastructure.

    3. There is usually a requirement to positively identify the target as a legitimate military target before engaging. This helps prevent mistaken targeting of non-combatants or friendly forces.

    4. Rules of engagement often outline specific guidelines for the use of certain weapons or tactics. For example, restrictions may be placed on the use of certain types of weaponry or methods that have a high risk of causing excessive collateral damage.

    5. Rules of engagement may emphasize the use of non-lethal measures and de-escalation techniques whenever possible to minimize casualties and reduce the intensity of conflicts.

    6. The treatment and handling of captured enemy combatants, prisoners of war, and detainees must adhere to international humanitarian law and relevant conventions.

    7. Rules of engagement often include provisions for reporting incidents, actions taken, and the review or investigation of incidents to ensure compliance with the rules.

Now, come on. 

Who on earth is going to stand in Afghanistan or any other hell hole war zone and quickly whip out their laws of engagement manual?  

It is absolute rubbish. 

We have to think of the people who put their hands up to fight for us and follow orders and - when they get back home - are charged with who knows what because they missed a bit in the rule book? 

When those boys did what they did in the Calais Garrison, they were making it up as they were going along.

Following orders. 

ORDERS.

Many died. Many taken prisoner. 

To imagine that they would come home and be faced with a court martial or removal of medals for what they did in WAR? 

PLEASE. 

Enough!.

Leave our Veterans alone to grieve their lost mates and look at the officers who gave them the orders. Not the men that simply did what they were ORDERED to do. 

After all, the boys in the Calais Garrison were ordered to stay and fight. Thank God they did. Yet, today, men in Australian military are told to stay and fight and come back to be stripped of medals because they didn't fight fair.

Since when was War fair? It is about winning and losing. And right now, being fair is losing. War Fair? No. It is Warfare. Or have we become a Circus Funfare  where nothing is fun and nothing is fair? 

  

 

Further Reading

https://patriotrealm.com/index.php/2669-on-the-27th-of-february-1902-breaker-morant-was-executed-by-firing-squad-shoot-straight-you-bastards

 

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