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Britannia rules the waves

Or in this case, the Shatt Al Arab waterway. The ever flexible and innovative Royal Marines have taken to small fast boats to show it dominates even the waterways right around Basra, at one point helping out an astonished local fishermen who was having engine troubles.

This and other tactics show a couple centuries of colonial experience are serving the British military well, illustrating the way to ‘hearts and minds’ is a mixture of well armed ferocity when challenged and common helpfulness otherwise. Keeping the focus on the fact this is an anti-Ba’athist war, not a war against Iraq, UK forces in Basra are reacting cleverly to propaganda targets of opportunity, as reported in the Washington Times:

In another incident, when an Iraqi colonel was fatally shot in his vehicle, British troops found a thick wad of local currency. Instead of handing it in to officers, the troops decided to dole the cash out to wide-eyed local youngsters, a monetary variant of candy handouts.

Nice one!

Update: British mechanised forces are now reported as fighting Fedayeen irregulars 7 km inside Basra!

9 comments to Britannia rules the waves

  • Aaron Aardvark

    Yes, I like that touch. No hint of squeemish political correctness for the brit soldiers… they shot the baathist fucker dead and then gave his stolen money to passers-by. Outstanding.

  • Jeffersonian

    I see the distribution of the money as restitution, actually. And no one is better on the water than the British. It’s in your blood, chaps.

  • I’ve constantly been telling Continental Europeans here that what they really resent is how easily the Coalition will win this war, though they say the opposite.

  • Jacob

    “…Continental Europeans here that what they really resent is how easily the Coalition will win this war, though they say the opposite.”
    It is not only that they say the opposite it is that they WISH the opposite.

  • G Cooper

    And I’m *still* waiting for the apologies to start: all those doe-eyed teenagers and raddled Marxist lecturers who were bleating about the “millions of Iraqi dead”.

    What’s the betting that they’ll be resorting to exactly the same clapped-out Pilgerisms the next time there’s a crisis?

    To quote their theme song: when will they ever learn?

  • Fine form indeed!
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the “doe-eyed teenagers and raddled Marxist lecturers” to apologize. It will be years before the former overcome their indoctrinations and the latter doesn’t know what the word means.

    Judicious Asininity

  • Fred Boness

    There are no life jackets? If the U.S. Coast Guard, also operating in those waters, spots them without an approved personal flotation device for each person on board those guys are going to get ticketed and fined.

  • It doesn’t suprise me a bit. It’s been twenty years or more since I worked with them but I doubt the British services have changed much. They ran a small army with troops that enlisted for a longer period than ours did. They were used to getting by with less and yet being held to very high standards indeed. I was impressed by the fact that everyone in a British unit knew how to do everyone else’s job.

  • mad dog barker

    I like our lads. They have one really useful quality which they are exhibiting to great effect in this war…

    … they gernerally seem to be able to identify the correct target. Which sort of goes to show that having a bank account the size of a planet does not actually fo all that far when push comes to shove.