April 07, 2003

Black Watch Defeats Iraq

I just had to post this piece from the Scotsman, for obvious reasons.

The Black Watch regiment was formed by the Campbells and other loyal clans in 1725. They fought at Ticonderoga. For their ferocity in the First World War, the Germans dubbed the Highland Regiments the "Ladies from Hell".

They may not wear the kilt when they attack, but they still play the pipes ... and they still kick butt ... Cruachan!

GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN with the Black Watch in Basra

THE Iraqis were hiding in a bunker at the side of the road when the tanks first spotted them. There were four of them, waiting at a crossroads in the Al Hadi area of Basra, slotting another rocket-propelled grenade into their launcher to fire at the advancing British troops.

The request to engage came over the commanding officer?s radio. A moment?s pause, and then the reply crackled back: "You are now clear to engage the bunker with four men with HESH and co-ax."

High explosive shells and chain gun - that?s what the jargon meant, and nothing could stand in their way. Inside the bunker, the militia had only a few seconds left. The sound of a dull explosion rolled across the city. Over the radio, the Challenger crew reported the kill. "The target was engaged and the job was done."

On the other side of the bridge over the Shatt al-Basra canal, Lieutenant William Colquhoun had unpacked his bagpipes and sat on the turret of his Warrior waiting for the order to advance. As the sun attempted to poke through smoke rolling lazily across desolate marshland stretching away on either side of the bridge, wading birds were picking their way among the long grasses.

As he began to play, the sound of Scotland the Brave drifted across the bridge towards the city, competing with the clatter of rotor blades as four Cobra helicopters raced in to join the attack.

For more on the Black Watch, see the Regimental web site.

Posted by campbell at April 7, 2003 11:50 PM | TrackBack
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