Confrontations and Hostilities
World War I
WARS 1914: The first truly global conflict was World War I, where more than 70,000,000 personnel were mobilised. It was intended to be "The War To End All Wars".
WW I, involved all the world's great powers, which were
assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centred around
the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia) and the
Central Powers (originally centred around the Triple Alliance
of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy).
On 28th July, the conflict opened with the Austro-Hungarian
invasion of Serbia, followed by the German invasion of Belgium,
Luxembourg and France; and a Russian attack against Germany.
After the German march on Paris was brought to a halt, the
Western Front settled into a static battle of trying to wear-down the opposition with trench lines that changed little until
In the East, the Russian army successfully fought against the
Austro-Hungarian forces but was forced back by the German army.
Additional fronts opened after the Ottoman Empire joined the
war in 1914.
Then Italy and Bulgaria in 1915 and Romania in 1916. The
Russian Empire collapsed in 1917, and Russia left the war
after the October Communist Revolution later that year.
The Communists did a deal with the Germans and released
1,000,000 prisoners of war, of which the majority went straight into the German lines. Briton's one time Allies the white Russians lost control to the Red Russians; who were then seen as the enemy.
After a 1918 German offensive along the western Front, United
States forces entered the trenches and the Allies drove back
the German armies in a series of successful offensives.
Germany, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries at
this point, agreed to a cease-fire on the 11th November 1918,
which later became known as Armistice Day.
The war had ended in victory of the Allies. By the war's end,
four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-
Hungarian and Ottoman empires—had been militarily and
politically defeated and ceased to exist as before.
The successor states of the former two lost a great amount of
territory, while the latter two were dismantled entirely. The
map of central Europe was re-drawn into several smaller states.
The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing
another such conflict. The European nationalism spawned by the
war and the break up of empires, the repercussions of Germany's
defeat and problems with the Treaty of Versailles are generally
agreed to be factors contributing to World War II.
"If I should die, think only this of me; That there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England."
"When you go home tell them; for your tomorrow we gave our today."
The value to be free of tyranny is priceless; there are so many good people who have fought and died for freedom. But there are many others waiting in the wings to take their place on the list of honour. As the Great Winston Churchill said: "Long live the cause for Freedom".
Freedom will march on well into the future because. “The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls, ideological fanaticism, martial laws, or secret police. Over time, and across the whole Earth, freedom will prevail, it will surely prove it's way, is the only way.”
WARS 1920: During Britain's administration of the trouble torn Palestine and trans Jordan after World War I some semblance of order was maintained before the creation of a Jewish homeland.
In 1948, the Royal Marines covered the withdrawal of the British Forces from Patestine. More than 509 service personnel along with 141 police and 21 civilians were killed. There were also over 500 British wounded.
WARS 1939: In World War II the Fascist, Adolf Hitler wanted control of Europe and the Countries of the wider world that were close by. Another Fascist, Benito Mussolini was dreaming of making Italy a "New Roman Empire".
China was brutally putting down internal dissent. Japan had ambitions and was determined to rule the whole of Asia with an iron fist.
Britain's Empire was huge but it was spread out too far and wide to be effective against any one of these powerful nations. It was the Nazi German Forces who led and ignited these four huge powers into aggressive action in 1939.
WAR ENDS 1945
By the end of six years of horrific warfare in 1945, 4 empires were crushed and 70 million people had been killed world wide. The British Forces involved were 5,896,000 out of those 357,116 were killed and over 370,000 were wounded.
On 9th May 1945, the entire world rejoiced that the Second World War was finally over. Victory celebrations took place in Moscow, London, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, Prague, many other cities and towns across Europe in every country that was affected by this terrible conflict.
When Berlin Fell
Berlin saw one of the bloodiest battles in history. Both the
Soviet Union and her Western allies wanted to take Berlin, which
was more than a city; it was the symbol of Germany and what it
had stood for.
Two days after Hitler killed himself in his bunker underneath
the Reichskanzlei, the fighting finally stopped in Berlin; a
city then in ruins from air bombardment and the shelling of
The battle for Berlin had been fierce; tens of thousands were
killed on both sides before the guns fell silent, the last days
of the bitter struggle had been hard. The Reichstag building
was where the Red Army's banner of victory was hoisted.
When the last defenders of Berlin left their posts, with their
arms raised, their faces full of fear. A fear well justified.
After the atrocities committed by the SS and at least some parts
of the German army in the Soviet Union, Russian soldiers now
wanted and took their revenge.
The whole question of capturing Berlin was almost sacred to the
Red Army; because Russia, the Soviet Union, had suffered the
most. Thousands of civilians were rounded up and deported, many
thousands of women and girls expected to be and were raped.
Everybody tried to escape from Berlin and surrender to the
Western powers. The idea was really to escape out of Berlin,
trying to break through the Soviet lines and reach other German
troops on the outside and reach the River Elbe; where the
British and American and Canadian troops were arriving.
The 'beast's lair'
After the fall of Berlin, the war was not over; some units of
the German army continued fighting for nearly another week, and
some deserters were even shot a day after the unconditional
surrender was signed by the militarists.
The occupation of the German capital by Soviet troops was a
highly symbolic juncture. The whole question of capturing Berlin
was almost sacred to the Red Army; partly because it was the
symbol, it was known as the lair of the fascist beast, and
because Russia, the Soviet Union, had suffered so much.
The Russians felt it was theirs by right and they were terrified
the Americans would get there first. It was the importance of
Berlin as a symbol of German militarism that made West Germany
choose the relatively small and little known university town of
Bonn as its capital after the war.
In the surrounding countryside thousands upon thousands of
prisoners were released. Typical of the British when they met
British officers who had been P.O.W. a very formal handshake and
grinning greeted the reception.
A great surging mass of prisoners mostly Polish, French and
Belgian, grabbed the arms from the Germans and made prisoners of
them. When they came across Germans who had a sadistic streak,
and had shown it, they were treated rough and even vengeful.
Everywhere began to break out into riotous life. Freed prisoners
and forced workers of many nationalities began to pour into
Berlin from the surrounding countryside, on foot, on bikes, in
carts, and in commandeered German cars.
Their sole intention was to make merry at the expense of their
former masters. Looting, rape and arson were a vicious
accompaniment to much of this revelling. The riotous mobs of
liberated forced workers and ex-prisoners, raged through the
British Prisoners of War officers had warned their men when
liberation came; there was to be no looting, no rape, no
rioting, nor even drunkenness. They were to stand steady to help
the Army in its task if they should need them.
Often terrified German civilians approached the British, with
requests for protection for their lives and their property.
German girls, and women, married and single, turned up either
shyly or boldly and offered their bodies in return for
protection against the wild mobs.
Villainy and viciousness got the upper hand for a while. Fires
could be seen burning. Shouting and yelling and screaming of
drink-and-freedom-crazed mobs of the ex-oppressed could be heard
sounding like the wild beasts.
The liberating troops, still fighting the pockets of resistance
knew all about the theft, arson, rape and even murder going on
in the city and surrounding countryside, but could do nothing
about it that time and moment.
Sixty years after its fall, Berlin is once more Germany's
political centre; now a rebuilt city where the past cannot and
will never be forgotten. But, memories of the incidents are
gradually fading though time.
Major William Martin
WARS 1946: Memories of World War II were starting to fade as countries started to rebuild their lives. Trust was fading and a Cold War was starting to build-up between East and West. Countries were now clasping the land they had captured from the Germans for their own control.
WARS 1948: Malaya, the troubles were known as the Malyan-Emergency. In 1948 peace in Malaya was threatened by Chinese communists who wanted to seize part of the country and set up their own government.
In 1950 to 1952 these terrorists, trained by the British to fight the Japanese during World War II, now attacked trains and ambushed planters and workers on the rubber plantations to achieve their aim. British Forces, including the Royal Marine Commandos, were engaged in anti-terrorist operations during the whole Malayan-Emergency.
These terrorists were defeated by the skilful use of jungle patrols and by building defended villages in order to protect the civilian population. The patrols laid ambushes and carried out search operations to destroy terrorist food and weapons caches.
Success depended on good intelligence and communications to direct patrols operating deep in the jungle for days on end. These tactics paid off and by 1960 the terrorist threat in Malaya was effectively brought to an end.
The conflict lasted for twelve years, over 40,000 troops from Britain, Australia and New Zealand were involved 30,000 plus were British. Some 519 British and Commonwealth personnel were killed with over 2,000 wounded.
WARS 1949: China, The Yangize Incident. The frigate H.M.S. Amethyst steamed up the Yangtze River to relieve the guard ship H.M.S. Consort to evacuate the British citizens caught up in the Communist advance that was sweeping through all of China.
H.M.S. Amethyst made a dash for freedom with the loss of 46 lives and over 50 other sailors and marines were wounded.
WARS 1950: Korea. After World War II the Korean peninsula was politically devided in two at the 38th Parrallel.
Then in June 1950 North Korea invaded the South. The United States of America and the United Nations went to their aid while China came out on the side of North Korea.
The Royal Marines fought alongside the US Marines. An Armistice in July 1953 saw the creation of a demilitartised buffer zone between the two sides. Nearly two million combatents had died the British Forces involved were 63,000 with 1,109 killed and a further 2,672 were wounded.
WARS 1951: Egypt, The Canal Zone Emergency. Colonel Nasser took control of Egypt. The Egyptian government tore up a 1936 treaty and ordered its police and army to start harassing British troops based in Egypt.
It escalated into three years of serious terrorist activity against British Personnel. The British Forces involved were 70,000 where 181 were killed and over 300 were maimed or wounded.
WARS 1952: Kenya, the Mau Mau Uprising. Kenya was a British Colony where the Kenyan tribes revolted against British rule.
Although the revolt was put down successfully, it hastened Kenya's independency and encouraged other African countries to rebel against colonial rule. The British Forces involved were 10,000 where 12 were killed and over 50 were wounded.
Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund's Donations
WARS 1955: Cyprus, The Cyprus Emergency. The Greek Cypriot Leader Arcbishop Makarios and Clonel George Grivas tried to force the incorporation of British Controlled Cyprus into Greece by terrorist activity and bombings.
After four years it ended with Cyprus becoming independent. The British Forces involved were 37,000 with 371 being killed and over 500 being wounded or maimed for life.
WARS 1956: Suez Canal. The Suez Canal opened in 1869 to link the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to allow access to the Indian Ocean for crucial military and economical reasons. When President Nassar nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956.
British Prime Minister Anthoney Eden, decided on a military solution along with France and Israel. Militarily the invasion from 29th October to the 22nd December 1956, was a success, from the 45,000 involved there were 16 British killed and 96 wounded.
But politically it was a disaster for Britain and they had to withdraw to make way for a United Nations peacekeeping force.
WARS 1962~1966: Brunei, TNKU Rebel Uprising. When the new state of Malaysia was formed in 1962, it was immediately opposed by Indonesia which did not want Sarawak, Brunei or Sabah, all in the north of Borneo, to join the new nation.
A revolt inspired by the Indonesians, against the Sultan of Brunei was put down by British forces, during which members of 42 Commando Royal Marines carried out a daring raid to rescue the Governor of Limbang, Brunei, and his staff who were taken hostage and were to be executed at dawn of the next morning if their demands were not met.
All of the hostages were freed with the loss of 6 Commandos killed in action. Total British Forces used in Brunei was Approximately 4,000.
WARS 1962: Indonesian-Confrontation. Attempts by Indonesia to destabalise British-backed Malaysia led to Britain's most secret war ever.
Operations against Indonesians in Borneo were mounted from a series of patrol bases built along the border, mainly on high ground, and supported by helicopters and artillery. From these bases, patrols left to ambush and counter-attack the indonesians. British expert jungle warfare tactics meant that losses were light.
Confrontation was eventually ended by an action taken by 42 Commando Royal Marines, 5 days march into Indonesia from the Sarawak Border of the Lundu district. The British strategy proved so effective that by 1966 the Confrontation was over.
British Forces involved 15,000 those killed 62 with 127 wounded.
WARS 1962: The Dhofar Rebellion. This was a tribal insurgency against British supported Sultan of Muscat & Oman. It ended after 13 years with defeat for the rebels but led to a reformed, modernised Oman. British Forces involved 500 with 24 being killed and another 55 wounded.
WARS 1963: The Aden Emergency. After 150 good years of British Rule, Harold Wilson's Government messed-up saying in their wisdom: "I'm Backing Britain" while all of the time they were doing the opposite by cutting back.
Things turned for the worse where they no-longer wanted British rule. They rebelled in minor ways at first, then as their confidence grew they became more powerful and the British had to depart fighting from the beaches in 1967.
British Forces involved were over 30,000 with 68 being killed and over 300 maimed or ingured.
WARS 1969: OPERATION BANNER was the longest military conflict fought by the British and it lasted for 38 years from 1969 to 2007. Troops were sent to Northern Ireland to restore law and order after three days of sectarian rioting at the Battle of the Bogside in Derry in August 1969.
At first they were welcomed by the Nationalists and Loyalists alike as peace-keepers. But as troubles spread and got worse
they were increasingly targeted by the Irish Republican paramilitary groups including the IRA.
At the height of the Troubles more than 21,000 British Armed Forces were deployed in Northern Ireland. Over the course of the whole conflict the UK Force involved was over 300,000 military personnel with 763 British military personnel being killed and 6,100 injured. More than 1,800 civilians lost their lives, the
numbers of civilians injured are not known.
WARS 1982: Falkland Islands War. When Agrentina invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean on 2nd April 1982. Margaret Thatcher's Government dispatched a naval taskforce to reclaim the territory; and succeeded.
After an amphibious landing British troops marched huge distances and fought heroically against entrenched positions to win victory.
By the time of the Argentine surrender on June 14th of the same year the war had claimed 258 british lives and another 777 military personnel were wounded.
WARS 1990: Gulf War I. Operation Desert Storm, launched in responce to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq's Saddam Hussein, began with an aerial bombardment using smart bombs guided in by beacons placed by the SBS from January 17th 1991,
followed-up with a devastating ground assault.
Coalition forces stopped their advance short of the capital, Baghdad, when Iraq accepted set UN conditions. Sixteen British soldiers died in the ground assault, nine by US friendly fire, and 47 of our forces died in the campaign, with over 4,000 wounded.
Bosnia-Hercegovina The Fragmented Country
WARS 1992: Bosnia-Herzegovina. The death in 1980 of communist leader President Tito led to the weakening of the Yugoslav federation. When Croatia and Bosnia declared independence in the early 1990's Serbian minorities in the two countries were opposed.
We can't but help remember the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, a
conflict that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War
II. The conflict began in April 1992 as part of the break-up of
About 100,000 people were killed and nearly half the population
were forced from their homes in four years of fighting. The 1995
Dayton Agreement that eventually secured peace after the civil
war drew up two separate political systems under one state
These are Republika Srpska; the Serbian entity; and the
Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina; made up of Bosniaks (Bosnian
Muslims) and Croats. The Federation is also then broken down
into 10 separate cantons or counties.
The country has three separate flags, three separate anthems,
and even two separate alphabets. The state anthem is only a
melody; no-one can agree on the words. A tearful Asja Rasavac
said. "One cannot even describe the feeling. It's not hatred.
It's not anger. It's just endless sadness."
For three years and eight months in the early 1990s, Sarajevo
was a city under siege. The mainly Muslim population took cover,
as Serb gunners barraged the city from the hills surrounding it.
The worst single atrocity during the war was at Srebrenica, in
eastern Bosnia, in July 1995. Bosnian Serb forces, led by Gen
Ratko Mladic, overran what should have been a UN safe haven.
About 8,000 Muslim men and boys were taken away and killed.
It is now an independent state, but under international
administration. Its three main ethnic groups are Bosniaks
(Bosnian Muslims), Croats and Serbs. The war left Bosnia's
infrastructure and economy in tatters.
Around two million people; about half the population; were
displaced. International administration, backed at first by Nato
forces and later by a smaller European Union-led peacekeeping
force, has helped the country consolidate stability.
In a bid to encourage Bosnia to resolve its ethnic divisions and
eventually qualify for EU membership, EU foreign ministers gave
the go-ahead in late 2005 for talks on a Stabilisation and
Association Agreement with the country.
War broke out in 1992 raging-on until 1995, when a
peace deal was signed. But afterwards British troops continued suffering casualties while on peacekeeping duties. British forces involved were over 2,400 they had 55 killed and over 100 wounded.
WARS 1999: Kosovo. Serbian repression of ethnic Albanians in their Kosovo province led to armed resistance which intensified in 1998. Serbian forces responded with brutal offensives which resulted in 850,000 refugees fleeing the country.
Efforts to install a peacekeeping force failed and Nato had to bomb Serbian forces into some kind of submission. But the struggle is still ongoing and peace is very fragile. Over 19,000 British forces were involved with 17 being killed and over 50 being wounded.
WARS 2000: Sierra Leone. Operation Palliser saw British Forces successfully go to the aid of the government and the British and UN civilians in Sierra Leone. Rebel activity had escalated and was threatening the capital of Freetown. British Forces involved were 200 where one was killed and less than 10 were wounded.
www.special forces roll of honour.com
Mums of Marines in Action
WARS 2001: Afghanistan. The United States of America, with support from the British Military, launched "Operation Enduring Freedom" on the 7th October 2001.
It was strongly believed that weapons of mass destruction were ready to be launched against Isreal and that Al-Qaeda was operating freely, it was also in responce to the 11th September
terrorist attacks on the United States of America.
The aim was to find Osama Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders and to remove the Taliban regime which supported them. An initial aerial bombardment in support of ground forces of the Afghanistan Northern Alliance, followed by the insertion of American, British and Canadian infantry, who succeeded in
removing the Taliban from power.
WARS 2003: Gulf War II. Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched on March 19th 2003, with a huge aerial bombardment and then the invasion, of Iraq by a multi-national force led by troops from America and Britain.
The main reason was fears Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that threatened the US and Britain's allies in the region. The other intention was a change of regime, Saddam Hussein's brutal reign had led to appalling human rights abuses, mass murders and support for Palestinian suiside bombers.
Britain suffered 33 military casualties from the start of the assault to the end of the major battles. But the unrest which followed the initial victory led to regular violence against the coalition forces.
When the Americans took up the challenge of Iraq the defeated Taliban in Afghanistan slowlly and methodiocally slipped back across the border and retained many of their former strong-holds.
Returning To Afgahnistan
On returning from Iraq the US troops found a much more organised and determined believer who now had suicide bombers as an additional weapon. Some afghans who lost relatives to friendly fire willingly volunteered to die for their cause.
But since 2006 the Taliban has been behind an increasingly deadly insurgency. Britain's Operation Herrick has seen UK forces deployed in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand Province.
The Taliban tactic of planting more and more improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has caused hundreds of deaths and many more ingured, with a lot of personnel maimed for the rest of their life.
Up to April 2009, when Britain formally ended combat operation our military had suffered 179 deaths and 5,500 wounded in Iraq.
WARS 2010: It has been 65 years since the capitulation of Nazi Germany, and many who witnessed these events are no longer with us. But we – their descendants – are here, and we must honour the memory of our forefathers and recall their heroism at a time of desperate suffering.
We will always remember those of every nationality who gave their lives for our freedom – whether Russian, British, American, French or German.
For Russian people, celebrating this day transcends geographical and political borders, beyond the boundaries of Russia and the former Soviet Union.
We live in different places and have different lifestyles – but no matter where we find ourselves, 9th May should always remain as important as any holy day. On this day, we must express our gratitude and bow our heads in respect to those brave soldiers who fought and contributed to the greatest victory the World has ever witnessed.
We must also remember a veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable 'To My Queen And Country' for an amount "up to and including my life."
That is Honour, many fought for our freedom never to return to the lands they desired so much to come back too!
The outlook is unclear, in the time ahead that lies before us, we have to choose our future prospects wisely if they are to meet the expectations of those who will succeed us.
The next Link below will be: "Royal Navy"
"Pirates Trilogy" $20