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Black Watch to spearhead assault
The Scotsman ^ | March 20, 2003 | GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN

Posted on 03/19/2003 5:54:16 PM PST by MadIvan

THEIR battle honours read like a history of Britain’s glorious military past; Waterloo, Balaclava, Sebastopol, the Somme, Arras, Ypres, Crete, El Alamein.

Wherever Scotland’s Black Watch have been called to serve, they have distinguished themselves with a bravery that has inspired fear in enemies and respect among all those who have served alongside them.

Now the Black Watch is preparing to take its place at the forefront of another great military campaign.

As part of the legendary 7th Armoured Brigade - the Desert Rats - and under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mike Riddell-Webster, they will play a key role in the events which will unfold over the coming days.

For weeks, they have been preparing for this moment at their temporary home in northern Kuwait, a mere 25 kilometres from the Iraqi border.

Camped out in a vast area of desert, they have grown used to the suffocating heat, the dust storms and the privations of life far away from the comforts of home.

Above their heads has been the constant sound of whirring helicopters and jets tearing across the sky. The desert has been alive with the noise of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and all the other vehicles that make up the formidable battle group stretched out facing the Iraqi border.

As the 1,100 troops and 50 Warrior armoured vehicles prepare to engage, they know they could have done no more to get ready.

In front of them is an Iraqi army dug in to defensive positions which they must overrun quickly if they are to achieve their objectives. Those inside the armoured vehicles are under no illusions about what they are taking on. The Iraqi army may not be as well-equipped and trained to such a peak of readiness as the British and US forces, their morale might not be as high, but they have the advantage of numbers and few among the Black Watch believe all their number will return home alive.

Not everyone who will go into battle wearing the red hackle of the Black Watch believes theirs is a just cause. The debate among the troops has been earnest and impassioned: some have railed against the politicians who have sent them to a foreign country to fight against people with whom they have no quarrel. Some, making the last call home to loved ones, fear for the Iraqi children as they would for their own.

Others have looked forward with enthusiasm to the moment the bombs begin to fall, standing outside their tents over the last few evenings in the hope of seeing the first flashes of explosions out in the darkness beyond the lights of the oilfields of Kuwait.

They display mixed emotions, from nervousness to bluff confidence. Others have no words at all.

Yet whatever their emotions, all understand they are professional soldiers who have chosen this path. When they joined the Black Watch, they knew at times they could be asked to do things they might find disturbing, even distressing, in the regiment’s name.

Formed in 1725 when six companies of Highlanders were raised to keep watch on the Highlands, they took their name An Freiceadan Dubh - the Black Watch - from the dark tartan they wore. When they fought for the first time in battle in 1743 at Fontenoy in Flanders, the enemy reported that "the Highland furies ... rushed in more violently than sea in a storm".

Renamed in 1749 as the 42nd Regiment, at Waterloo they were singled out by the Duke of Wellington for their bravery at Quatre Bras. In the Crimea, they fought at Alma, Balaclava and Sebastopol.

In India, members of the regiment won eight Victoria Crosses in just 15 months.

In 1861 the name The Black Watch was formally approved by Queen Victoria and the regiment went on to serve around the empire.

During the First World War, they fought at Marne, Aisne and Ypres, Givenchy, Neuve Chappell and Festubert. At Loos, one general who saw their dead lying so thick that it was difficult to place a foot between them confessed his amazement "when I thought of the unconquerable, irresistible spirit which the men must possess to have enabled them to continue their advance after such losses".

Now, more than 80 years later, they will be called upon to display that same rare bravery again.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: blackwatch; blair; bush; iraq; saddam; scotland; uk; us; war
Saddam, these gentlemen would like to have a word with you. It will be the last thing you ever hear.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 03/19/2003 5:54:17 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: TigerLikesRooster; AZLadyhawke; Southflanknorthpawsis; meema; headsonpikes; TEXOKIE; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 03/19/2003 5:55:14 PM PST by MadIvan (Learn the power of the Dark Side, www.thedarkside.net)
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To: MadIvan
Hell YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! Sorry, I'm having a "heritage moment".
3 posted on 03/19/2003 5:59:50 PM PST by Helix ("My biggest mistake was hiring that SOB Ramsey Clark"- LBJ)
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To: MadIvan

THE CHARGE OF TWO COMPANIES OF THE BLACK WATCH AT MAGERSFONTEIN From: H. W. Wilson, With the Flag to Pretoria, 1902

4 posted on 03/19/2003 5:59:51 PM PST by paul in cape
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To: MadIvan
"Others have no words at all."

Thems the ones the Iraqi's had best watch out for.

Messing with a pissed off Scotsman is hazardous to your health....

5 posted on 03/19/2003 5:59:57 PM PST by yooper
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To: MadIvan
Wherever Scotland?s Black Watch have been called to serve, they have distinguished themselves with a bravery that has inspired fear in enemies and respect among all those who have served alongside them.

Now the Black Watch is preparing to take its place at the forefront of another great military campaign.

As part of the legendary 7th Armoured Brigade - the Desert Rats - and under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mike Riddell-Webster, they will play a key role in the events which will unfold over the coming days.

For weeks, they have been preparing for this moment at their temporary home in northern Kuwait, a mere 25 kilometres from the Iraqi border.

Countdown Ongoing:....TICK,.....TICK,......TICK,......TICK,.......TICKING

6 posted on 03/19/2003 6:00:03 PM PST by maestro
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To: yooper
I'm married to one,,tell me about it sigh
7 posted on 03/19/2003 6:04:42 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: cajungirl
My husband is married to one.
8 posted on 03/19/2003 6:15:08 PM PST by Pinetop
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To: MadIvan
We're attacking with Scotsmen? Surely that's against the Geneva convention!
9 posted on 03/19/2003 6:16:31 PM PST by rageaholic
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To: MadIvan
If Star Wars were set in Glasgow... Darth Vader would referred to as 'Auld Helmet Heid' or in moments of stress 'That Dome-Heided Basturd'.

Chewbacca would look roughly the same except he'd only be about 5ft tall, from Blackhill and called Shug. He'd have the same amount of body hair but would also have tattoos, would permanently smell of drink and sport a Rangers top.

Obi-Wan Kenobi would invariably be referred to as Chief or Big Yin by his cohorts. People trying to start a fight with him would address him as Wanky-Nobby.

Although proficient in over 3500 languages C3P0 would still be unable to understand anything anyone from the East End of Glasgow said. He would regularly get beaten up for being a 'greetin-faced poof fae Milngavie'.

The Millenium Falcon would have static strips, tinted windscreens and extra-flared exhaust ports. It would have a Daily Record I Love Scotland sticker in the back window and a saltire bumper sticker.

The best way to destroy the Death Star would not turn out to be a desperate all out attack. Two easy ways would be - alter its orbit so it passed through Bridgeton and tell the locals it was full of kafflicks, or - leave it unattended in Easterhouse.

Lines from the film as they would be uttered in the vernacular:-

Han Solo
"I've got a real bad feeling about this"
"Ah'm shitin' ma sel' here boy"

"Bring 'em on! I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around."
"Come right ahead then c**ts! Fight the f**ing lot o ye!"

"There's no mystical energy field which controls my destiny."
The Force?!! D'youse think ah came doon wi the rain?!"

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
"Nae messin aboot wi the god squad and auld rubbish, wee man. Get yersel' a decent shooter"

Darth Vader trying to shoot down Luke Skywalker:
"The Force is strong in this one"
"Stop shooglin' ya wee b*stad!"

Princess Leia: "You're a little short for a Stormtrooper aren't you?"
"Ah didny think they took short-erses in the polis?"

"This bucket of bolts is never going to get us past that blockade."
"Wuv goat NAE chance in this pile o' sh*te"

Admiral Motti:
"Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader."
"You think you're that hard, Vader so ye do. Well we're no feart ae you!"

Obi Wan:
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force."
"F*** me! whit wiz aw that?"

Luke to the Emperor:
"Your overconfidence is your weakness."
"Oh ye bloody think so?, i'll make you feel the f***ing force pal!!"

DH Lawrence once wrote: "The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. And it has never yet melted."

He wasn't talking about Quakers, or Germans, or Italians, or what all. He was talking about the Scots-Irish. Lean, mean-spirited men who settled the borders beyond the appalachians. A yankee came down south in the (18)30's, and was appalled to see a jury seated in which only six men had both eyes. The others had had them gouged out in fist-fights.

Low-land Scots founded universities, and developed marvelous engineering techniques- I do not know, but I suspect, that most of the Black Watch are High-landers, as were the progenitors of our "Hard/Isolate/Stoic et. cet. Americans." to whom DH was referring.

Right now lots and lots of these men are cocked, locked, and ready to rock. They are coming to town, and they are bringing Hell with them.

10 posted on 03/19/2003 6:19:07 PM PST by fourdeuce82d
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To: MadIvan
My dad fought in the First Infantry Division (the Big Red One) in the North Africa campaign. Sixty years later, when he talks of his experience the British Desert Rats, he speaks in tones more normally reserved for the Saints.
11 posted on 03/19/2003 6:26:11 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: MadIvan
Wha Saw the 42nd?
The pipes, they call ya on to serve.
Their piercing cry, it'll steel your nerve.
To sing they remind of loves and lives
and sadly mourn ere ya ta die.
We'll nae forget should ye ta pass
but come home safe, after kicking saddam's ass.
12 posted on 03/19/2003 6:26:48 PM PST by pipecorp
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To: fourdeuce82d
Tell me about those scot-Irish,,,my dad was one and he was no panty waist,,the south is full of those guys.
13 posted on 03/19/2003 6:28:15 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: MadIvan
The Ladies From Hell are at it again!

14 posted on 03/19/2003 6:29:31 PM PST by wimpycat ('Nemo me impune lacessit')
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To: MadIvan

15 posted on 03/19/2003 6:30:11 PM PST by Consort
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To: MadIvan
No matter what comes next, we will never forget the British and how they marched through the gates of hell standing tall shoulder to shoulder with us.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget this night, and how the British marched with us against the axis of evil.

16 posted on 03/19/2003 6:32:13 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: cajungirl
Amen cajungirl!
17 posted on 03/19/2003 6:33:55 PM PST by Travis McGee (--------------------------- WAR SOLVED HITLER! -------------------------)
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To: fourdeuce82d
That was damn fine post and the best transcript of genuine Glaswegian dialect I've ever seen. You must have lived there, or spent a good deal of time working with the Scottish roughnecks in the oil fields of the Eastern Province. You're also right on the mark regarding the Scots Irish Celts being the soul of the American character.
18 posted on 03/19/2003 6:35:14 PM PST by katana
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To: MadIvan
God Bless the Black Watch! It's enough to make me wish I were Scottish!
19 posted on 03/19/2003 6:36:58 PM PST by pankot
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To: fourdeuce82d
ROFLMAO!
20 posted on 03/19/2003 6:39:34 PM PST by pankot
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To: MadIvan
I am so proud. My mom's family came from the highlands of Scotland. I am proud to wear the Black Watch tartan!!
21 posted on 03/19/2003 6:58:33 PM PST by CyberAnt ( -> -> -> Oswego!!)
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To: MadIvan
Scots on my Dad's side of the family.

Surely the Black Watch is an 'irresistable force'.

Saddamned is no 'immovable object'.

22 posted on 03/19/2003 7:04:02 PM PST by LibKill (The UN is of less use than dog doo in the gutter.)
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To: katana
"...must have lived there, or spent a good deal of time working with the Scottish roughnecks in the oil fields of the Eastern Province."

Sorry to say...I filched it off a "Wee" site of Scottish Humor...*grin*

I'm a Kraut-head by blood. I wasn't born in texas, but I got here as soon as I could...so I could hang out with a them thar' lean, mean, eyegougers. Good Folks.

God Bless all our boys. Hell, may He even bless all the Non-Republican Guard/Non-Mukhabarat/young draftee Iraqiis who don't know any better, or have a choice, and the civvies.

That leaves the @$$holes. I hesitate to say it...but I suspect even God's blessing will not suffice to protect them.

23 posted on 03/19/2003 7:14:35 PM PST by fourdeuce82d
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To: MadIvan

The Black Watch (Am Freiceadan Dubh) so named to distinguish it from regular troops who wore red uniforms (Saoghdearan Dearg - red soldiers). Six independant companies were raised in 1725. The Black Watch became the 43rd Regiment in May 1740 and mustered in a field (now marked by this memorial) between the Tay Bridge and Aberfeldy. Originally only enlisting Highlanders, both officers and privates who favoured the Hanoverian cause. Memorial beside the bridge north of Aberfeldy.

Godspeed to these brave troops!

24 posted on 03/19/2003 7:23:57 PM PST by MikalM
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To: pipecorp
Discipline and tradition are a powerful combination.
25 posted on 03/19/2003 7:32:15 PM PST by mathurine
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To: fourdeuce82d
LOL! (It's all true, mostly, folks.)

But since WHEN, 4deuce, are there a buncha Keelies inna Black Watch?

(Yeah, I know, since my teuchter ancestors were all cleared for sheep.) :-D

My dad served with the 79th Camerons, and he knows a lot of jokes that begin, "See you, there was this captain inna Black Watch . . . "

26 posted on 03/19/2003 7:38:47 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . .)
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To: MikalM
Funny story about the Black Watch monument in Aberfeldy (that's the picture you posted.)

My husband and I (two American tourists) were standing there admiring the monument and General Wade's bridge, when two vans came screeching up and stopped at the curb. About two dozen teenagers came piling out of the vans and started running around the monument. After a moment there were screeches of dismay.

We asked what was the matter. It was a Scavenger Hunt for some local youth club, and they were supposed to bring back the inscription on the north side of the monument. The shrieks of dismay were because the monument is all done in Gaelic.

"Well, you're in luck," said I. And an American tourist proceeded to translate the monument for all these Scottish kids. (Who says studying Scottish Gaelic for 3 years in college is no earthly use? You may meet a bunch of Scottish teenagers on a scavenger hunt.)

27 posted on 03/19/2003 7:48:16 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Hey -- it could POSSIBLY happen!)
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To: katana
My divemaster was an Aberdonian who had been a diver on the offshore oil rigs (that, by heaven, is a MAN's job.) Once you could get the hang of the accent, he was a pretty funny guy. Good dive instructor too.

George MacDonald Fraser (of "Flashman" and "Private MacAuslan" fame) has written a book about the Border families and the heritage they brought to America. It's called The Steel Bonnets and it's well worth a read.

My knowledge of Glasgow dialect is gleaned from Fraser's Macauslan books and two ladies in our Scottish Country Dancing Society. I never spent any time there other than going through the airport.

28 posted on 03/19/2003 7:58:01 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . see yon teuchter, but. . . . .)
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To: cajungirl
"Tell me about those scot-Irish,,,my dad was one and he was no panty waist,,the south is full of those guys"
My family was one of those who ended up in the hills of East TN after being "asked" to leave Scotland.
I met one of their officers at the Army War College years ago. Amazing guy. If they are all like that, I truly pitty the Iraqi army. They are going to get their a$$es handed to them by some hard drinking, butt kicking guys.
29 posted on 03/19/2003 8:35:53 PM PST by Volunteer (Just so you know, I am ashamed the Dixie Chicks make records in Nashville.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

Flashman, at your service!

30 posted on 03/19/2003 8:36:18 PM PST by APBaer
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To: MadIvan
I could not be prouder that Scotland is at the tip of the spear. I served at Plattsburgh AFB with a seargant named Campbell, we used to call out "Remember the Black Watch" every time we saw each other.
31 posted on 03/19/2003 11:18:41 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (A proud member of the American Street)
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To: MadIvan
The Campbells are comming....Huzzah, Huzzah!
32 posted on 03/19/2003 11:23:35 PM PST by cartoonistx
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To: APBaer
Uh-uh. I stay as far away from Flashy as I possibly can. Like a large explosion, he's interesting to observe from afar, but dangerous to stand next to. :-D

I'm not a big Tom Brown fan either, more of a Stalky-M'Turk-Beetle type person.


33 posted on 03/20/2003 5:50:36 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . see yon teuchter, but. . . . .)
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To: MadIvan; RaceBannon
A Our Brit Allies are with us bump!!!
34 posted on 03/20/2003 2:38:53 PM PST by Dutchy
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To: MadIvan
Ivan, do you happen to know of the U.S. Lieutenant General [4 stars] who is the U.S. 5th Corps Commander? Somehow, I expect that The Scots Dragoons and Black Watch troopies do.

Like the battalion from the Black Watch, the 7th Brigade's Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have been doing this sort of thing for some 300 years now, and have it pretty well down to a science.

*click *here*, then click *here*


35 posted on 03/21/2003 11:03:53 AM PST by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: Pinetop
My husband is married to one.

As is mine.

36 posted on 03/21/2003 11:06:04 AM PST by FourPeas
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