D Day royal snafu another blow to Brown

It’s bound to be taken as another sign of Gordon Brown’s lack of political nous that the normally impeccable diplomatic machine got snagged over something as obvious and appropriate as the Queen’s presence at the D Day commemorations on Saturday. It should never have been on to allow Sarzoky to grandstand with Obama at Omaha Beach with only Gordon tagging along. How amazing that it took Obama to sort out an invitation for Charles in the end. To bend over backwards to be fair to Sarkozy, he may have taken his cue from the low level British approach to the event. At first the MOD didn’t want to fork out the money to subsidise the dwindling body of veterans to make what will be for some a last pilgrimage for the 65th anniversary, when huge ceremonies had already been held for the 40th, 50th and 60th. Poor Gordon, it was he who ordered an MOD about turn to support the veterans but as usual he fumbled the follow through. BTW, nobody is talking about the Canadians who deserve to be remembered equally for their great contribution to the invasion.

  • fin

    A bit harsh Brian, even the article you linked to explains what happened, it was going to be low key, than Obama said he was going to the American one, so “President Sarkozy said that he would also go along. So did Gordon Brown.”

    “It should never have been on to allow Sarzoky to grandstand with Obama at Omaha Beach”

    Why not Brian its one of the American landing points, the Brits landed elsewhere,

    and so you and the media are now tied up in knots because if Charles is going to a Franco-American event, who is going to represent America at the 2 Franco-British events, Obama? or is Charles now been snubbed by the USA, pesky colonials

  • Katinka

    The Queen is a WW2 veteran, and is also Queen of Canada. If anyone should be there, it is her. This is an unbelievable cock-up, I question if Brown is in command of anything other than his own ego….arranging something like this commoration is not rocket science, and he is not our head of state. Good for Obama, but Sarkosy just fancies himself as another Napoleon.

  • fin

    Katinka its obvious you’ve not followed the links, however that aside, are you on drugs

    “The Queen is a WW2 veteran”
    She lived in Windsor castle and was a mechanic in the ATS, how the Fu*k do you arrive at that statement, its an insult to the poor buggers who are been remembered at this event

  • Driftwood

    Also from The Indy:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/why-truth-is-a-casualty-of-war-in-the-battle-of-obama-beach-1694529.html

    The whole thing stinks of poltical oneupmanship and showboating on the backs of those who actually took part in D-Day and after.
    Just finishing Antony Beevors book, quite simply stunning.

  • fin

    Driftwood, one of those rare times when you and I agree, although I’d say its more the media having a pop at Brown, the real sh*t thing is the effort it takes to fund the remaining veterans to travel to the event, they’re all in their 80’s and 90’s now, it would be that much of a commitment to say that any of them +1 carer who wants to travel for any future commemeration is going to be publicly funded.

  • oracle

    What’s the halabaloo over, it’s not as if the D-Day landings were decisive in the ending the war.

    The D-Day invasion only took place because the Germans were already defeated by the Russians and the planning only took place after intelligence reports confirmed that the Red Army would push all the way to Biscay.
    So basically the invasion only happened to stop a Soviet land grab. there was only 5,000 killed at Omaha beach and while that figure may shock you the Russians suffered the equivilant of TWO omaha beaches EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE ENTIRE WAR, FROM THE START TO THE FINISH

  • Driftwood

    oracle
    Stalin had been pushing for a Western invasion since early 1943. That would have been disastrous for the Allies. Red Army losses were shockingly high, but Stalin, like Hitler, had little regard for casualties.
    Eisenhower was deeply concerned, and the USA was in no danger. The numbers concerned are not the issue. It was a deeply important event in military and historical terms.

  • oracle

    Driftwood,

    Stalin pushed for a western invasion precisely because the Russians were losing people in millions.
    Eisenhower was concerned about what???
    If the USA/Britain were so concerned why did they not let the Russians have access to ultra and end the War two years early???

  • Driftwood

    Eisenhower was deeply concerned about casualties among his troops.

    Ultra is a red herring. Britain lost a lot of men on the Arctic convoys supplying the Russians with American hardware.

  • oracle

    Driftwood,

    I would never EVER cast any doubt on the men of the merchant navy during the war, their courage would never be in doubt in anybodys mind.

    But if Britain and America did not arm the Russians we would be typing in GERMAN of that there is no doubt.
    The weaponary was of no use to Britain for it had not the manpower to use it and more importantly had not the generals with the expertise or the stomach for command.
    Montgomery was without doubt the most disgraceful gutless commander in the entire war.

    It is now widely accepted that discussians were held by Americans on how to remove him either by political pressure or “involuntary redundancy” but Ike decided to wait until after D-Day but after the near disaster of the failed break-out from Cannes under Montgomery Ike was in danger of being removed himself, fortunately for both the end of Germany came swiftly….. but mainly because of the Russians

  • OC

    She lived in Windsor castle and was a mechanic in the ATS, how the Fu*k do you arrive at that statement, its an insult to the poor buggers who are been remembered at this event

    Posted by fin on Jun 03, 2009 @ 09:54 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/world/europe/28queen.html?_r=1&ref=europe

    “The queen, who is 83, is the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II. As Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, she volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.”

    I’m sure that there are/were men who held similar billets, and never even heard a small-arms shot fired in anger that are considered WWII vets.

    Such vitriol!

    Unlike the IRA who had a plan to attack American troops stationed in NI!

  • fin

    But if Britain and America did not arm the Russians we would be typing in GERMAN

    and then war almost broke out again because there was a possibility that we might all end up typing in RUSSIAN, this time the Germans where to be with the Yanks and Brits.

    Ita a funny old world.

  • … the failed break-out from Cannes …

    Nice one, oracle! Though why anyone would want to break out of Cannes is a mystery – the beaches, the night-life, the millionaires and their yachts.

    A heck of a long way from Omaha beach (or even Normandy) though.

  • fin

    OC, and Churchill had a plan to hand over the North, whats your point,

  • Driftwood

    oracle
    Presumably you refer to the CAEN breakout. Monty’s role here was certainly under scrutiny
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_Marshal_Montgomery#Normandy
    Even though he faced the toughest of the Waffen SS Panzer Divisions.

    His success in the desert with the 8th Army is not a matter of dispute.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Sure, Driftwood — but Monty’s lack of success in Sicily and Northern Europe begs the question *why* was Monty successful in Africa. A few things to think about…

    1) Rommel had lost his best intelligence source in theater

    2) Rommel was in a position where he had to attack a prepared defensive position.

    3) Rommel was under-supplied and under-equipped.

    Where Monty was on the offense, as opposed to fighting a Civil War style “defensive offense” — pick a good piece of ground where you enemy has to come to you and smash him as he crosses open territory to come to you, he wasn’t all that and a tin of biscuits. In Sicily, he was a plodder. In Normandy he was a plodder. In Operation Market Garden, he grand-standed, ignored the facts on the ground (discounting the Dutch resistance was one thing, but when British reconnaissance showed tanks in the area of the British landing zone, someone should have reconsidered…) and assumed he was going to win — pushing XXX Corps down a single road was more than a little optimistic, given the time-table he was playing with.

  • OC

    14.OC, and Churchill had a plan to hand over the North, whats your point,

    Posted by fin on Jun 03, 2009 @ 01:52 PM

    My point is, your disrespectful tone vis-à-vis Elizabeth Windsor’s WWII service is better reserved for those who aided, or planned to aid, the Nazis.

  • Driftwood

    Dread Cthulhu
    The Wiki page probably fairly details his strengths and weaknesses. The Americans were exasperated with him. Though Patton was seen as a loose cannon also. By the end of the war he was basically sidelined, but the British didn’t have the huge resources of the USA.
    The Normandy invasion was still a hell of a gamble, despite the enormous planning and effort. Market Garden was ill conceived and, as you say,over optimistic.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Driftwood: “The Wiki page probably fairly details his strengths and weaknesses. The Americans were exasperated with him. Though Patton was seen as a loose cannon also.”

    Patton was an ideal general and a hell of a man, perhaps a genius, but he definitely was at least half a bubble off of plumb. Believed in reincarnation and was vocal about it, theatrical as hell and able to think outside the box. His biggest problem was that he impolitic and pre-maturely right about armor doctrine and a little strange in the head. He did see any order worth obeying was worth exceeding — his “reconnaissance in force” around Siciliy, for example.

    Driftwood: “The Normandy invasion was still a hell of a gamble, despite the enormous planning and effort. ”

    It was, despite some opinions to the contrary, crucial to victory. Without the second front on the ground — the war in Italy having ground down and the air campaign having minimal effect on German production — there were some ugly possibilities — the Diebner bomb, for example.

    If D-Day had failed, that might have led to a seperate peace on either the British (out of manpower) or Russian (just in disgust) part. Historically, I seem to recall references to overtures between the Russians and Germans about that time.

  • oracle

    Horseman, Driftwood

    please accept my embarrassed apology my fingers to quick for my brain… yes Caen not cannes, jaysus that would have been some lenght of front alright lol.

  • fin

    OC, amazing a thread on the D-Day landings and you managed to get the IRA mentioned by post 11, but I feel worse for biting, I wasn’t concentrating and missed the troll.

    Regarding who did or did not help the Nazi’s I’d suggest my old friend George Orwell for contempory facts in his collected eassys, here’s a clue who sold Hitler lots of raw materials to build his war machine?

    And now begone, go troll elsewhere.

  • OC

    And now begone, go troll elsewhere.

    Posted by fin on Jun 03, 2009 @ 04:03 PM

    Make yourself useful and go spit on Michael Collins’ grave.

  • fin

    Oh, someones tired

  • OC

    Obviously, ya got nuthin’.

  • fin

    “Make yourself useful and go spit on Michael Collins’ grave.”

    How could I possibly win against your rappier wit and insightfulness on this subject

    Have you not got the underneath of a bridge to get back to

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘My point is, your disrespectful tone vis-à-vis Elizabeth Windsor’s WWII service is better reserved for those who aided, or planned to aid, the Nazis.’

    OC someone called Liz Windsor a WWII ‘veteran’…as I once heard in a movie,

    “thats like saying Col Mustard and Gen Patton are both military men !”

  • OC

    RS: So, I suppose that if all that an IRA man did was cook for the real gunmen in 1920s, then they aren’t really good enough to be an IRA veteran of the War for Irish Independance. Nice!

    From “on His Blindness” by John Milton, quo he:

    “They also serve who only stand and waite.”

    General Dwight D. Eisenhower never fired a shot in anger. So, I guess that he wouldn’t qualify as a WWII vet, either.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘IRA man did was cook for the real gunmen in 1920s,’

    I didn’t know the IRA employed chefs !!!!!

    So are you saying all those all guys you see wheeled out every year with their berets and medals, they are called veterans, so are you saying they were all working back in England peeling spuds?

    Im sure your well aware of the connotations the word ‘veteran’ springs to mind, particularly where D-day is concerned and to lump Liz Windsor in with those brave souls who got sand in their boots is a little much wouldn’t you agree?

    ‘They also serve who only stand and waite.’

    You saying Liz Windsor has a disability?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Republicanstones: “OC someone called Liz Windsor a WWII ‘veteran’…as I once heard in a movie,

    “thats like saying Col Mustard and Gen Patton are both military men !” ”

    Well, let’s see…

    Was she in the service at the time of the war? Yes, she did, serving as a junior officer.

    Did she serve “in theater?
    Given the London Blitz, the little blitz, the buzzbombs, et al and ad nauseum, she served in theater and was under enemy fire from time to time — admittedly, it wasn’t always well aimed or dreadfully effective enemy fire, but enemy fire just the same. I dare say her service was more laudable and useful than most of the zampolits on the Eastern Front, whose primary occupation was shooting their own men.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RepulicanStones: “I didn’t know the IRA employed chefs !!!!”

    Nor, apparently, do you know the difference between a cook and a chef…

    RepublicanStones: “So are you saying all those all guys you see wheeled out every year with their berets and medals, they are called veterans,”

    They have the lack of wit to call themselves “soldiers,” a title to which they have no legitimate claim, anymore than the dullest UDA gunman.

  • fin

    The Royal family are very brave, they have more medals than anyone else at military ceremonies, they sacraficed so much for England, among other things their family surname.

    RS, women are cooks, men are chefs

  • OC

    Dread Cthulhu:

    Better watch carefully, otherwise RS & Fin will include every leipreachán and bean sí in any upcoming census or border poll.

    RS: And what did your Da or Grandpa doing during WWII, shine lights from the Sperrin Mountains in order to guide German bombers to Belfast harbour?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    fin: “women are cooks, men are chefs”

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! Wrong, but thank you for playing. The difference between a cook and a chef is not a matter of gender, but a matter of what they do, what they make and how they make it… i.e. it is a matter of skill and expertise, not genetic.

    OC: “Better watch carefully, otherwise RS & Fin will include every leipreachán and bean sí in any upcoming census or border poll.”

    Feh… I’d taken that as a given.

  • fin

    OC you appear to write Irish with a Cleft Palate,

    RS, Grandad, said to thank your Grandad for the guiding light during the war, said he couldn’t have dropped those bombs on the harbour without his help, its a bloody difficult thing to do from 10,000 feet, its not as easy as just shoving them in the boot of the car and driving there

    haha submit word :car

  • fin

    i.e. it is a matter of skill and expertise, not genetic.

    Thats what I said Dread

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Nor, apparently, do you know the difference between a cook and a chef…’

    Apologies, but I do know a peadant when I see one !

    “RepublicanStones: “So are you saying all those all guys you see wheeled out every year with their berets and medals, they are called veterans,”

    They have the lack of wit to call themselves “soldiers,” a title to which they have no legitimate claim, anymore than the dullest UDA gunman.”

    Why snip my sentences like that ? Here is what I actaully wrote…

    “So are you saying all those all guys you see wheeled out every year with their berets and medals, they are called veterans, so are you saying they were all working back in England peeling spuds?”

    OC

    “RS: And what did your Da or Grandpa doing during WWII, shine lights from the Sperrin Mountains in order to guide German bombers to Belfast harbour?”

    Wow a little touchy about the royal family aren’t you OC, are you related to them? If not I fail to see why you felt it necessary to post the above hilarious statement, I do apologise if your of royal stock, I had no idea i was talking about your family !

  • OC

    I have a very talented cleft palate. I write with it, and the lasses always have a special use for my disability. I can also write with other parts of my anatomy.

    And I see that your lack of brains hasn’t held you back much, or has it?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Because, RS, I didn’t need to go that far — your obvious error was so early in the sentence that anything you said after it didn’t matter a wit… or, in the case at hand, half of one.

    Your obvious dislike of the Windsors aside, she is entitled to be called a veteran. She served in the military in a theater of war, your sad efforts at wit notwithstanding.

    As I stated, her service was at least useful, as opposed that of Russian zampolits and NKVD, who were far more dangerous to their own men, in a craven sort of way — back-shooting does seem to come so naturally to some.

  • OC

    RS: This has nothing to do with royality, although an ancestor was held at the Tower of London before being hung, and his head removed and exposed.

    Fin Berk slagged a legitimate WWII veteran in the most vulgar manner that he could muster.

    I took him to task for it. He should man-up and apologise.

    I’m not holding my cleft palate.

  • fin

    “As I stated, her service was at least useful, as opposed that of Russian zampolits and NKVD, who were far more dangerous to their own men, in a craven sort of way—back-shooting does seem to come so naturally to some.”

    indeed dread, shot at dawn, whoops different war different army, although sinking the French fleet was hardly pleasant or brave.

    now now OC don’t be a total dirkhead, I did saw the royal family must be very brave on account of all their medals

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Because, RS, I didn’t need to go that far—your obvious error was so early in the sentence that anything you said after it didn’t matter a wit… or, in the case at hand, half of one.’

    Afraid not dear boy as you seem to have missed the naunce of my first point !
    Equating Liz Windsor with the guys who stormed the beaches is indeed just like saying Col mustard and Gen Patton are both military men.

    ‘Your obvious dislike of the Windsors aside, she is entitled to be called a veteran.’

    I don’t dislike the windsors, infact i think Charles to be a decent old sod with good intentions, Phillip im not so fond off given his attitude to different races and the one scallywag youngster Harry is a riot !
    It is the idea of royalty which i take exception to. You may think she is entitled to be called a veteran, but again i refer you to Col Mustard.

    ‘your sad efforts at wit notwithstanding.’

    Correct me if im wrong but isn’t it an offcial D-Day commemoration? Not an all encompassing WW2 ceremony, was she on the beaches? You are actually aware there is a term ‘D-Day Veteran’ are you not? So if you’re happy for to be put in the same bracket as the guys with sandy boots thats fine, but im sure a few of us can tell the difference even if you can’t. The only thing sad is the fact you completely missed the ‘wit’ and proceeded down a path of pedantry, well done !

  • OC

    How many WWII medals did Louis Mountbatten have? What medals did Thomas McMahon have?

  • RepublicanStones

    Did you ever hear the Benny Hill joke OC?

  • fin

    the Queen and Charlie have more medals than Louis had, whats your point OC, who had more need of a tub of Brasso?

  • Driftwood

    maybe off topic?
    My Uncle went ashore on the third wave of infantry, KOSB’s. By then von Rundstedt had mobilised the panzer divisions. He was killed in the fierce fighting in the Bocage.
    An awful lot of Irishmen died during that offensive, many more than during the ‘troubles’. As British army they weren’t labelled as such.
    Does it really matter about the royal family or contemporary local politics?
    None of us here have, or will, experience what they went through. The few survivors left will care very little for politicians of any sort. Hard not to admire them,and those who were killed, whatever your political background.

  • OC

    I guess my point, Fin, is that respect for others’ cultural touchpoints must be a two way street, otherwise you’re just a one-way… well, you know the rest.

    And I’ll bite, RS: do tell!

    Submit word = “service”

  • fin

    er, no Dirk, read your own posts, you want others to respect your cultural touchpoints while you piss on theirs, have a look at the point in the thread where you told me to ‘to on Michael Collin’s grave’

    while slinging sh*t around you carefully avoided responding to any fact surrounding the support of Nazis in your ‘culture’ but toddle along in true Jim Alister fashion that every war Britain fought was true and noble and ever British person rightous and brave,

    submit word is ‘don’t feed the troll’

  • Harry Flashman

    “Regarding who did or did not help the Nazi’s I’d suggest my old friend George Orwell for contempory facts in his collected eassys, here’s a clue who sold Hitler lots of raw materials to build his war machine?”

    Oh that’s an easy one; Josef Stalin.

    As to the other twaddle, no one said the Queen was a veteran of D-Day, believe it or not the British weren’t sending barely trained 18 year old female lorry drivers in to storm Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, but she is the only head of state who is a veteran of the Second World War, this is a fact no matter how much you may sneer.

    Furthermore her much maligned husband was also an extremely courageous fighter against the Nazis, his Uncle was also a veteran, much good it did him when the Nazis’ erstwhile enemies were looking for a bunch of pensioners and children to slaughter. The Queen’s son also fought the Argentine fascist junta and her grandson has fought the Taliban. So any detractors against that family’s record of military service can now give us their family’s four generation history of making war against fascists and Nazis, no doubt it will be impressive.

    The head of state of the US is attending the ceremony as is the head of state of France, it is therefore plain bad manners not to invite the head of state of Canada and Britain who provided more than half of the men who landed in Normandy.

    It’s actually quite simple really but that never stops the begrudgers does it?

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh dear typo, I meant of course the the Nazis’ erstwhile allies.

    Remember Gerry Fitt was sailing in convoys to support Russia, braving the Arctic oceans and Nazi U-Boats while the leadership of the IRA was rather more fond of sailing in the U-Boats along with the Nazis.

  • OC

    have a look at the point in the thread where you told me to ‘to on Michael Collin’s grave’

    Posted by fin on Jun 04, 2009 @ 01:11 AM

    My point there was to give you an opportunity to ingratiate yourself with IRA fellow-travellers.

    My people didn’t assassinate George Washington, even after he crushed their Whiskey Rebellion.

    I suppose that it was Crown agents that murdered Michael Collins.

    Sure, SF/IRA were agents of the Crown even back in the 1920s, what was I thinking.

    As for respecting others, I think that you’ll find that in my posts I unequivocally condemned the murderers of that poor fellow in Coleraine, and that I support some kind of ILA. From what I’ve been reading on Slugger, the same can’t be said for Sinn Féin.

    And if denigrating a WWII veteran’s service, who also just happens to be the symbolic leader of those in Ireland who happen to be of the British persuasion, isn’t trolling, then nothing is.

  • Brian Walker

    Driftwood,
    Thanks for a comment on the button. Two little local footnotes about the period. Monty was famous by this time in Derry and it was known he was cool to his mother who lived in Moville. People who saw her going to church in Derry shook hands with her in sympathy. One of my contemporaries, from the Fountain,(old version) was the posthumous son of a para killed in Arnhem. They named him Bernard Law Montgomery Wright. Clearly in the family, there were no criticism of “Market Garden”. My father, not a D-Day veteran but 8th Army in the western desert was never a Monty fan – too bombastic. This view was by no means exceptional at the time.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Harry Flashman: “It’s actually quite simple really but that never stops the begrudgers does it? ”

    If they could stop, they wouldn’t be begrudgers, would they?

    RS: “Correct me if im wrong but isn’t it an offcial D-Day commemoration? Not an all encompassing WW2 ceremony, was she on the beaches? You are actually aware there is a term ‘D-Day Veteran’ are you not?”

    What part of “head of state” eludes you?

    Besides, not to belabor the obvious, but I think Gordo has other fires to put out…

  • RepublicanStones

    What makes you think ‘head of state’ eludes me?

  • Driftwood

    Brian: From a review of ‘The forgotten voices of D-Day’ by Roderick Bailey:

    What chiefly stays in the mind, however, is the dreadful moment of stepping out into the bullets. Here, Roderick Bailey’s account, based on scores of oral histories taken from British troops, is incomparable. The voices speak with utter immediacy of fear, determination, bewilderment, indifference, and unmistakable courage. Among the mayhem, however, the least martial comments stand out, like the caustic reaction of Bill Millin, piper to Lord Lovat, when asked to play the pipes under a hail of mortars and machine-gun fire, as commandos went ashore on Sword beach:
    The whole thing was ridiculous, so I thought I might as well be ridiculous too. I said, ‘What tune would you like, sir?’ and he said ‘Well, play The Road to the Isles.’ I said, ‘Would you like me to march up and down?’ and he said, ‘That’ll be lovely.’ So the whole thing was ridiculous in that the bodies lying in the water were going back and forward with the tide, and I started off piping.

  • Brian MacAodh

    My Grandfather, who fought in the 83rd Infantry Division and got a purple heart in the ardennes, said that he and his comrades serving under Patton had a saying about him.

    They press used to call him General “Blood and Guts” Patton….the soldiers would say “Yes, his guts, our blood.”

    If the Queen is a WW II vet, so is anyone who survived the blitz. It is a disgrace that she was not originally coming. Who does Sarkozy think she is?

  • Brian MacAodh

    *Who does Sarkozy think he is*

  • fin

    Brian, Sarkozy wasn’t going to go, only when Obama said he wanted to go (good idea for a new president) did Sarkozy say that he’d go, then the media whipped the less intelligent into a frenzy so Charles said he’d go, believe it or not the Queens diary is arranged more than a few weeks in advance.

    Incidently is anyone who lived in Dublin when the Germans bombed it a veteran

  • Driftwood

    *Who does Sarkozy think he is*

    De Gaulle.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘*Who does Sarkozy think he is*

    De Gaulle.’

    Indeed albeit with the dimensions of a certain Corsican. But as some on here might asay bout Sarkozy…

    De Gaulle of him not to invite her Majesty !

  • Driftwood

    Do you think he ever says
    ‘Not tonight Carla’?

  • OC

    Incidently is anyone who lived in Dublin when the Germans bombed it a veteran

    Posted by fin on Jun 04, 2009 @ 08:45 PM

    Sure. If they were enlisted in an Allied military service whilst in Dublin. I wonder how many that might be?