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This is a question War

Pooflake says: Tell us your stories of conflict. From the pettiest row that got out of hand, through full blown battles involving mass brawls and destruction to your real war / army stories.

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 11:55)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Street violence & the world's worst have-a-go hero
One night I was strolling home with a friend after a night out. Up ahead there was a couple having a blazing row in the street; we were going to have to pass them, so I was watching them carefully.

Just as we reached them, the argument appeared to reach a new level, and the bloke suddenly reached behind and whipped out what I assumed was a knife, and was bringing it around towards the woman's face.

Then, to my utter amazement, I find that I've tackled the knife-wielding maniac, and I'm pinning him against the wall by the wrists. He looks totally shocked; I suppose I look fiercer than I really am, especially from about 10cm away. In reality I'm a soft southern bastard who couldn't fight a cold, of course.

We stare at each other for a moment, then both our eyes flick up to the knife. Which, I'm sure you've worked out already, wasn't a knife at all. In fact, what he was holding was a piece of paper, which he was intending to wave accusingly in his partner's face.

So, now I'm stuck. There's really no well-defined protocol for having aggressively attacked a total stranger for what could have been no more than literary criticism. I release his arms, and we gradually back off, with muttered apologies and careful, watchful reassurances. Eventually both groups could go on their way. The last thing I heard as they wandered off was the woman, saying to the man, "See! Now look how you've embarrassed me in front of those people!"
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 13:48, 5 replies)
As a callow youth I collected glasses in a nightclub. Think late eighties, all expensive imported bottled beers, Miami-Vice style pastel colours and neon lights in the shape of saxophones on the walls, very swish. Oh, and in Wigan. Yeah.

The door staff looked like clones, stamped out of a mould labelled "six four, nineteen stone, none of it fat, mid-twenties, buzz cut, big grin". They all wore white tuxedos to stand out in the crowd and were all jovial rugby playing lads.

Now, rather tragically, there was a bloke who used to turn up to the club dressed in a white tuxedo too. He was about five foot eight, probably about nine stone when he was damp, in his forties with thinning hair and Mike Read-style glasses. He'd stand by the dancefloor with a tonic water but never chat anyone up or dance, and the poor fella didn't seem to have any friends.

One night a punter was leaning over the bar harassing one of the barmaids, pointing and shouting obscenities about didn't she know who he was and he WOULD get what he wanted, etc. etc. Tragic little fella was standing behind him, and tapped him on the shoulder to attract his attention. The punter glanced round, spun on the spot and delivered a punch that would have taken tragic fella's head off... if it had connected. As it was, he just kind of leaned back slightly and swatted it on its way like it was an irritating mosquito, and then in the space of no more than a second hit the guy in the face AT LEAST a dozen times. It was almost funny - he looked like he'd been speeded up like the end of a Benny Hill show. I could hear the sound of the impacts over the music and it sounded like a drum roll. Mouthy punter literaly had absolutely no idea what had hit him and crumpled to the ground. I have literally never seen anyone move that fast. If the Matrix had come out in 1986 I'd have been able to use it as a reference - as it was I'd just never seen anything like it.

Two of the clones came over, one took the shoulders and the other took the legs and they got him out of there. Tragic fella got himself another tonic water and went back to the edge of the dancefloor.

In conversation with one of the clones later I learned that tragic fella was not, in fact tragic at all, and was, in fact, also one of the door staff, hence the outfit. Bearing in mind that the man I was talking to spent his free time carrying a rugby ball at a sprint into oncoming mountains of muscle intent on doing him injury, I was impressed when he described the little bloke as the hardest man he'd ever met. Vegetarian teetotal non-smoking Buddhist, apparently. Quite the conflict resolver, as well - apparently I'd witnessed something very very rare, as he hardly ever had to actually hit anyone.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 13:15, 6 replies)
I have a war story that involves me in a very, very small way,
and is one of the most humbling experiences I think I've ever had.

A very good friend of mine is a corporal in the army. He's done a couple of tours of Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry. He loves his job, and is the very definition of a professional soldier. If you were to talk to him about it, you'd think that the army was just one big drinking session with your mates in various hot countries around the world. I've heard it said that the lads who get into the serious shit over there are the ones that don't really ever mention it...

So, last november, my friend comes to me with a request. It's remembrance day and his unit are laying a wreath for one of their friends that was killed in action. But the picture they have for the middle of the wreath is a shit quality and they don't have any means to print a better quality version out. He knows I work with Photoshop, and so he asks me if I could redraw the picture for them. No problem. He sent the file over and I redraw it at a higher resolution. The picture is the insignia for the Brigade Recon Force. It took me about 20 minutes to do. I sent it back. It was literally the very least I could do.

A couple of days later, and I received loads of messages from my mate, and the other lads in the unit saying how grateful they were to me for redrawing it and how much it meant to them that I'd (a civvie, no less) taken the time to do it for them. It took me 20 minutes.

I don't really understand my own feelings on the subject if I'm honest. To receive all these messages thanking me for a job that took 20 minutes from guys who go and fight - and die - so that I don't have to fills me with a variety of conflicting feelings that I find hard to process. Pride, guilt, sobriety, thankfulness... And for something I (re)drew in my bedroom to be placed on the Cenotaph as part of memorial day... It just forced me to see, in very, very sharp focus, just how very fucking privileged I am. Its an experience I wish everyone not already in the armed forces could have. Especially that little cunt Charlie Gilmour.

Here's the wreath:


The soldier's name was Jo Woodgate. I never knew him, but I am privileged to have played a very, very minor part in keeping his memory alive. His death was in all of the newspapers owing to him being a close friend of Prince Harry (The Household Cavs are his regiment).

He was, by all accounts, an amazing guy. My friend says he was the best human being he ever met. If you have a minute, you should read about him and think for a second about what people like him do, and have done throughout the years, in order to give us the lives we lead.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 12:27, 10 replies)
Combined Cadet Farce...
At school, we had to join the CCF (Combined Cadet Forces), we had no choice, it was obligatory for the first three years. Actually we did have one choice - Army, RAF or Navy.

School law followed the following principles: Army = hard & cool; RAF = cop-out wimps & Navy = gay. Of the 100, 13yr old boys singing up to the class of 1987, 70 went into the army, 20 into the RAF and 10 - the majority of whom have since come out - into the navy. I plumped for the RAF.

The school took this very seriously, the entirety of Wednesday afternoons were given over to square-bashing, boot shining and endless meetings in the 'RAF hut' - where we were taught to identify planes, how to correctly iron our trousers and how the Battle of Britain was won.

Every month, someone from the real armed forces would visit - and we did some pretty cool things. Once, they brought a life raft that you'd find attached to a Chinook. We had do dive in the pool, swim to the life raft, inflate it, climb in and row to the other side of the pool within 30 seconds. We were drilled on this endlessly - so much so, that if my BA flight to NYC ever crashes into the sea, I know I will survive.

But the biggest and best thing about the RAF was the annual training flight. We'd all pile in a coach off to Brize Norton, where after hours of safety training - which included the vital parachute simulation, where we'd leap off a desk, pull an imaginary cord and shout 'Jump Jump Sir!' in response to a mad RAFer screaming 'Jump Jump Cadet!'

And then it was time to fly. The first time I went I was shaking with excitement. I'd heard all the rumours. They let you take control! They do a loop-the-loop with you! They do barrel rolls! Even the site of the puny Chipmunk we'd be flying didn't dampen my enthusiasm. Topgun was blowing up at the time and my head was filled with Welcome to the Danger Zone, Iceman & Maverick. I couldn't fucking wait to blast some commie scum out of the sky.

First up was poor old Fitzsimmons. He'd cried on the coach journey. He cried during the training. And he continued to wimper as he was strapped into the huge parachute rucksack and had the old-fashioned, leather oxygen mask clamped too tightly to his face. The mask covered everything but his eyes and a shock of fire-red hair. The weight of the parachute forced him into a stoop and he waddled across the tarmac to the plane.

We watched as they taxied and took off on his maiden flight. Sure enough, the instructor, showing off as always, performed a gravity-defying loop and then buzzed the runway at less than 50ft. Shortly afterwards - much sooner than we expected - they came back to land. The top flipped open and out staggered Fitzsimmons, who was led by the hand back to base.

Once inside, he had a frenzied fit, clawing like crazy at his mask. The instructor calmly unfastened the clips from the back of Fitzsimmons' head - only to leap away in disgust, swearing like buggery. The entire mask was filled with vomit. It spilled out over the sides and flooded the floor through the disconnected oxygen tube. This was of course the funniest thing we'd ever seen.

Fitzsimmons was ordered to wash up and go away. He sat on the floor shaking like a leaf, all ginger hair and green complexion - not a good mix. And then it was MY turn.

Parachute on. New mask fitted. I almost ran to the plane. I climbed up, sat behind the instructor and we took off. It was beautiful. The glass canopy allowed me a 365 degree view of the world. Even more so when the instructor looped-the-loop - I could understand why Fitzsimmons lost it. He then proceed to climb almost vertically, explaining that we were going to the stall the plane as the fuel ran away from the engine. That was terrifying. Then, the fucker turned into a nose dive and bump-started the engine. The rush was immense.

'Cadet! Would you like control?' 'Yes Sir!' 'Cadet I am handing you control, do you have control?' 'Yes Sir! I have control'. And with that I took the joystick between my legs and began to fly. Keeping my eye on the attitude indicator, I kept the plane level, banked a bit and basically flew. It was piss easy.

Then I noticed the red button. On the top of the joystick was a lid. I flipped it and the most inviting big, round red button was under my thumb. I pushed it. Nothing. I pushed it again, this time holding it down - but again, nothing. They must have disconnected the gun I thought. Shame. The instructor came on the line. 'Cadet! We're going to land. I'm going in fast with some hard banking. Are you ready?' 'Yes Sir, proceed.'

We came tearing down towards base. I couldn't help myself. I grabbed the stick and mashed down on the button.

'PEW! PEW! PEW! DADADADADADADADA! BOOSH! BRRRRRR! DADADADADADADA!' I screamed my gun and bomb noises at imaginary enemies.

'Too close for missiles! I'm switching to guns! 'I'll just brake and he'll fly right past me! ICEMAN! This is Maverick!' I blithered, channeling Tom Cruise before he was gay. All the time smashing down the big red button.

'Cadet! Stop that now!' bellowed the instructor. 'You're right in my fucking ear!' I calmed down and we landed. After exiting the plane I sadly walked across the runway back to base. When I came in, the entire room was pissing themselves and about 10 uniformed, real RAF people were slowly and cynically clapping me.

Turns out the red button wasn't a gun. It wasn't even a bomb-release switch. It was a one-way distress radio frequency that connected directly to the base's traffic control tower. But at least I didn't throw up.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 13:14, 16 replies)
Military Wayne Sleep
Short version:- Boom! I’m okay.
Long Version
It was Christmas, New Year 1995/96 and I found myself, along with my fellows in Radio Troop (Royal Signals), in Sarajevo. It was a ceasefire apparantely but the noise ,and various bits and pieces in the air, seemed to suggest otherwise.

Our initial place of stay had been Zetra Stadium , it had originally been the Ice rink that Torvill and Dean had got their gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, but now it was a bit broken and burnt. It was to be only temporary as a site had been selected as the IFOR Headquarters and the new place would need tidying up, and a certain level of infrastructure implemented.
We needed space to put our radio masts so we would have an Antenna field. Thankfully just outside of Hotel Terme there was a house/office which had a largish piece of grass where we could start planting all our masts and bits of radio kit. here) It was going to be a busy little place as there needed to be half a dozen masts going up, plus the RLC chaps wanted to get in on the act and put up razor wire and other local defence stuff.

Now, in order to put up a telescopic mast you first have to put down and secure the base plate, then hammer in 3 steel stakes around the base plate (distance of around 3-4 metres) to secure the lines onto before the mast is put upright.
Me and my mate Dave were beavering away on ours and I was trying to hammer in one of the steel stakes, it really did not want to go in the ground, whilst Dave was having far more success with his.
This is the bit I remember quite clearly. I was getting narked off with the stake when I turned to Dave and said “Dave, wouldn’t it be funny if I was trying to hammer this fucking thing through a landmine! Ha Ha Ha!”


Not me. I looked up to see one of the RLC chaps hop, stagger and then fall over not 20 metres away from us. A small amount of smoke was rising nearby from the ground. Two things happened at once, suddenly half a dozen chaps rushed to the casualty and started first-aid, and Dave and I turned our heads to each other (but kept our feet very still) and said “Fuuuuuccckkkkkk……”

Now, we were only 6-7 metres from the concrete road which doesn’t seem far but now it does. Our Det Commander casually saunters over the road towards us and stops himself before stepping on the grass “Oi! Dave! Spango! You’re on a minefield. Now you’ve got 2 choices, you can either use your knives (we weren’t issued bayonets) and probe yourself out for the rest of the night (Frankie Howard OOOoooo!) or you can just leg it!”
Dave, who I should mention is over 6 foot and has got long legs, turned to me with a smile and said “Spango, did I mention I used to do triple jump at school? Cheerio, Mucka!” And off he goes triple jumping his way out of the minefield and onto the concrete.

Leaving me.
I’m short, I have short legs and I’m Welsh (does this make any difference? You decide). I might as well just roll my way out of the minefield. My Det Commander sees my indecision “Maybe you should use your knife, Spango…”. Bugger that, I think, I’m outta here. So I went for it, I tried to take long strides and think high thoughts and finally (it seemed like a long time) I found myself on the concrete.

I’d like to think that as I skipped my way over the minefield that I had all the grace (and especially height off the ground and length of stride) of a military Wayne Sleep. But I don’t think that image does either of us any favours.

Footnote: The chap that triggered the mine got lucky, I’d stepped on a PMA3 but the thing misfired. He lost a bit of his foot and had blast damage up the front of him. Luckily his rifle had been slung across his chest as it took most of the blast heading towards his face. His rifle had to be binned.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:28, 10 replies)
Killer Bovines
Like all of us who had a normal 70's childhood, I was raised with Commando & Warlord comics (used to read them with a bowl of Frosties most mornings) and an entire unit of Action Men (all had gripping hands and could go into battle with a scorpion tank, an artillery piece and a gyrocopter for support)

As I grew up, these were replaced by airfix soldiers (I always though the Africa Korp was the coolest) and I became addicted to wargaming, with SPI games bought from Games Centre, and a subbuteo field was turned upside down for extra realism with my model army

By my twenties, therefore, I was hankering to do it for real and after an initial foray into the OTC at University, I joined a TA unit

I suppose every Regiment thinks they are hardcore, but it can't be denied (especially after a few G&T's) that this one had high training standards (by that I mean distances marched, and weights carried). Add to that lots of unusual extras like learning morse code, 'resistance to interrogation' courses, and doing everything in teams of four made it extra sexy. Frankly, we all saw Bravo 2-0 as kindred spirits

However, the story I relate shows that sometimes 'hardness' is just skin deep

During one particular weekend, we were on 'patrols' in a team of four moving tactically through some part of the Cornwall countryside (I know it was Cornwall because it would not stop raining).

Now, essential to the plot, I must tell you about one particular army routine (called SOPs or 'standard Operating Procedures), called an 'obstacle crossing'. An example of its application would be crossing a road when enemy might see you. It starts with everyone lying in a semi circle with their weapons pointing outwards in an arc, then crossing one by one, and ending up in a similar fashion (but facing the other way obviously) as the last one crosses. It's kind of SOP thats says 'yep, perfect place for an ambush, let's be ready'

So, here we are, soaked, no sleep the night before and it's about 3am now. We are looking very 'war-like' as you would expect, all gear, guns and faces streaked with cam (just lurve using the lingo). After emerging from a wooded area that we had 'advanced' through quietly for 2km, we come to a stone wall about waist height. It is completely apparent there is no enemy anywhere (I say this because it was basically a navigation exercise, and even the directing staff would not be stupid enough to go out in this rain), but the boss decides we have to do an obstacle crossing.

We dutifully get down in an arc with weapons ready (it's amazing how much noise mud can make) and the first man crosses over. In a moment begins a rumbling sound. In my sleepy state, I could have sworn the ground was shaking too but, even if I imagined that, the sound is unmistakeable. We then hear 'Christ, get over here quick!' from the bloke who first crossed. SOP goes out the window (he's practically shouting it) and the three of us bundle over the wall

The rumbling is still getting louder and through the rain & darkness I can see the edge of the hill ripple. It was seriously weird, like the ground was moving in waves towards us. I remember my pulse beginning to race wondering what the fuck was going on, squinting in the rain, trying to work out what I could see. Instinctively we all lowered our weapons ready to shoot (fat lot of good that would have done as we had about 20 blanks each).

There we were, hard soldiers, standing in an arc, guns at the ready, fingers on the the triggers, safety off ready for some kind of showdown. I kid you not, SEAL TEAM 6 could not have looked cooler

About 30 seconds later we are surrounded by about 100 cows, standing silently, staring at us. They must have heard our footsteps and thought 'Great, we're going to get fed'. I know what the they were thinking as they were all salivating bucket loads (bit like the two aliens from The Simpsons). Yes, we special forces soldiers were surrounded and outnumbered by cows. Having that many cows looking at you like they want to eat you is actually rather unnerving (especially when you are so tired to begin with) and every one of us was jerking our gun from left to right, breathing is gasps

The standoff was broken however, when one of group said "Hang on, aren't cows herbivores?!"

We fell about laughing

I seriously wish we had cameras. Every time I see the aliens on The Simpsons, I am reminded of the time I thought I was going to get eaten by cows
(, Mon 4 Jun 2012, 17:11, 9 replies)
My Grandfather was in the Home Guard
He had a few interesting stories. One of my favourites apparently ended up - at least in part - on television, and regards two blokes who were manning a roadblock late at night. One of them got caught short and nipped behind a bush. As he disappeared, a man in a Major's uniform appeared in the road.

He was challenged by the other sentry in classic "Halt! Who goes there?" style, with threatening rifle-pointing and bristling moustache.

"Friend." drawls the Major.

"Advance and be recognised!" squawks the sentry in correct Military style.

So the Major advances, and presents his papers.

Now since it was night-time it was dark, so the sentry needed his torch to read the papers, but couldn't hold his torch and his rifle and his papers at the same time, so he shoulders his rifle to take the identification off the Major.

So far, so Dad's Army. But at this point Dad's Army diverges into an "amusing" skit with Jonesy getting all tangled up with the Major.

In reality, what happened was that the Major pulled out his Webley revolver with a chuckle, and said "You know, that was really stupid. If I was a Hun you'd be a dead man."

It was at about this point that Sentry #1, who had nipped behind the bush earlier, returned from his toilet break and found his startled-looking friend being confronted by a stranger who was pointing a revolver at him.

Concluding that this was suspicious behaviour he acted quickly and smashed the Major in the back of the head with his rifle butt.

Apparently the Major didn't wake up for two days and was presumably lucky to wake up at all. Turns out that not only do they not like it up 'em they don't like being belted across the skull either, because he wanted to court-martial them, but apparently the CO gave this idea short shrift.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 17:13, 4 replies)
My grandfather, the war hero. Ha!
Being a fairly bright sort, my grandfather reached two conclusions in about 1939. The first was that there was likely to be a call-up of able-bodied men into the army, unless they had a reserved occupation.

The second was that owning a shoe-shop did not count as a reserved occupation.

My grandfather had no desire to be drafted into the army. Not one little bit. And he had a brainwave. He would go and volunteer for the RAF before getting drafted into the infantry. At least that way, he'd have some say over what happened to him. Moreover, as the sort of person who was good at tinkering with engines, he'd make splendid ground-crew. That is to say: he'd have little to no chance of being shot in France, shot in Burma, or shot 14000 feet above either.

The RAF was only too happy to help him realise his scheme. In fact, they went one better. At parade one morning, it was announced that people were required to go to Canada to work on engine development. It was also announced that volunteers were being sought.

The combination of not being shot, being paid to fiddle with machinery, and being several thousand miles from any likely theatre of conflict was too good to be true. My grandad volunteered.

Sadly, he hadn't been paying much attention to the syntax. Yes, people were needed to go to Canada to faff with engines. Yes, volunteers were sought. These two facts were not related. My grandfather had just volunteered to go to Malta. And so it was that, thanks to his heroic cowardice,* he spent years having the living bejeezus bombed out of him by the Luftwaffe.**

*I think that cowardice in war is a good thing. It keeps you alive. If only every soldier were a coward, there'd be no wars at all.

**On the up side, he took a decent camera, and turned out to be a rather nifty photographer. Twenty years ago, I found and printed his negs. There was some really good stuff there...
(, Wed 6 Jun 2012, 13:57, 4 replies)
Sorry for the lack of funneh.
In my job with the Civil Service I often find myself at the Defence Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Surrey. For those of you who don't know about this place it is where injured soldiers are sent for rehabilitation after they leave hospital.

Some of these folks have some of the most horrific injuries I have ever seen ranging from horrific burns to single, double, and often triple amputees not mention some of the psychiatric problems that many of these soldiers need treatment for.

Without fail each and everyone of these people (outwardly at least) hold no bitterness, no hatred and no anger to anyone. To a man, each and every one of those soldiers says they would rather it have been them that was injured rather than a mate and that they would return to active duty would their injuries permit it.

The courage these people show in the face of such injuries and their determination to do the things that we all take for granted, such as wiping their own backsides or just being able to walk from the living room to the kitchen unaided is genuinely astonishing.

The rather rambling point I'm trying to make is we've uttered the immortal words about how that particular day at work could not have been worse.

Trust me. Yes it could have been.
(, Sun 3 Jun 2012, 19:00, 6 replies)
Smashing the stereotype
Most of the war stories I know are from my dad. But a whole disturbing mess of stories have come from my best friend’s brother. I’m not going to name him. He is a complicated man. Most would dismiss him as a horrible cunt. Many of his stories will offend.

He was always a fighter. Even when were little kids he’d march up to the biggest, meanest fucker around and start swinging. Not to defend people from bullies, or anything noble like that. It was just his nature to attack. “That lad says he’s hard – I’ll smack him.”

He got stronger and stronger, and first put on boxing gloves aged 14. He’s the definitive brawler in the ring – no nous, just swing swing swing until the other guy is unconscious. I’ve been to several of his unlicensed fights, and the intensity is alarming and exhilarating. Afterwards, victorious, he doesn’t remember a thing.

Inevitably, as soon as he hit 16 he joined the army.
In many ways he made the ideal soldier. Pure muscle, relentless energy, utter fearlessness, explosively violent. He won two awards from basic training – best athlete and best marksman. But his greatest assets could also be his worst. He decked a sergeant in week one for shouting in his face. Towards the end of his time in the army he did 80 days in Colchester for breaking his best friend’s jaw. Not too bright. That said, he has a commendation for bravery from Manchester police after knocking out two knifemen who’d slashed a stranger at a bus stop.

His first major posting was to Albania, during the Kosovo conflict, and one story he brought back from there showcased the man in all his stupid, aggressive glory.

On r&r, he’d been wandering about with some mates looking for a drink. They got split up and he ended up in some dive by himself. He started chatting up a woman at the bar (I’ve seen him chat women up – it goes like this: “Fuckin hell. Fuckin hell. I SAY BY HECK LOVE. Look at me BULLET HOLE.” At which points he pulls his trousers down and tears his arse cheeks as far apart as they’ll go. I swear to god, I’ve seen him make his own arsehole bleed by doing this)
I don’t think he’d got to the ‘bullet hole’ line when three huge Albanian men in suits walked over. “Money,” they demanded. “For girl.”
Naturally, he told them to fuck off.
“You talk to girl. That costs money. Pay, now.”

The thing with genuinely hard people is there’s no screaming and threats. Things accelerate from ‘a bit dodgy’ to ‘blood everywhere’ in a heartbeat. That’s why I always feel sorry for people like, well, me, when they get the fuck beaten out of them. Pseudo hardmen do a loud dance, innocently expecting their partner to keep time. Then one day they meet someone like this guy.

Apparently, he knocked out the Albanian nearest to him then grabbed another by the head, which he marched straight through a window. Leaping out of the way of the third fella, he walked backwards trading wild haymakers, and ended up jumping onto a table. The Albanian lunged for his legs – he stepped backwards, wound up, and delivered a merciless full-force kick right into the guy’s chin.

He’s knocked out a lot of people in his life, but he said he’s never seen a man’s eyes go out like that before or since. It was the kind of blow, he said, that you don’t stick around to see what the damage is, because it might ruin your life.
He jumped down, ran outside, stole a bike, and got back to base double time.

Whenever I read a bombastic news story about “Our Boys”, I always think of him out there, alone, pedalling furiously in the dark on a stolen bike, covered in Albanian blood and thinking up new names for his arsehole.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:01, 4 replies)
My Granddad was on the beaches at Normandy.
Amid the sound of the sea and the screams and cries of those around him, he used his bayonet to gut three Germans. He watched as their blood spilled over the sand, giving the water a pink tinge before it washed out to sea again, these three guys screaming all the while, desperately trying to hold their intestines in.
But as this was a SAGA holiday last year, they gave him a life sentence.
(, Sat 2 Jun 2012, 4:34, 4 replies)
My guilty pleasure
is answering QOTW questions 373 weeks late
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:06, 2 replies)
My dad fought in World War 2.
He would often regale us with all his old stories, a bit like Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses, and as I was growing up I did find them rather tedious. (I do now realise that I should have been proud of what he did, of course.)
One thing always made me laugh though. In his later years, whenever there would be a documentary on telly and Adolf Hitler would appear, my dad would always, without fail, lift up his hand, give an extravagant V-sign and blow a raspberry.
I miss him.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 14:56, 2 replies)
First post
Please be gentle, use plenty of lube and cuddle me after.

More years ago than I want to think about, I was an air cadet (the best *kind* of cadet. We go up, the rest of you just go along). Most of the time our activities were limited to marching around in formation, playing in the band and futilely attempting to see Corporal Conway's tits through the gender-bending woollen horror that was the standard uniform.

However! Every so often we'd have a week away at a Proper Military Base, where there would be shooting, flying and walking until it felt like our femurs were poking out of the soles of of our feet. Which was fine, of course, because we were Hard Men. Oh yeah. That's us - 15-18 year olds whose body weight was mostly made up of pimples. 'aaard.

On one such occasion, we went out for a night exercise; 30 cadets, three pseudo-officers and a metric shitton of tarp. Camped out in a forest, we were split into groups by gender and given a scenario. Apparently, we were in enemy territory. A plane had come down at this location, and we were to find it and rescue the pilot - a straw-stuffed boiler suit looking for all the world like some lonely farmer's night-time companion. This was to be done without discovery by "the enemy"; the officers, wandering around with torches. We were given one location for this weary rural lady of the night, the girls were given a second location with a second boiler suit at the end.

Unknown to us, of course, the officers had decided to take the piss by sticking a walkie-talkie down the pilot's jumpsuit in the girl's scenario. The idea, apparently, was to give them a nice little shock when they found it.

End result: after 30 minutes of ducking and prowling through the undergrowth, falling into patches of nettles, getting liberally smeared with mud and failing to realise that legging it really really fast between two trees makes you more visible rather than less, we get to the "pilot". We creep forward, wary for some sort of last-minute trap...and the pilot emits this Cthulian howl of pure terror right into our primitive male hindbrains.

It later turned out that the officers had fucked up giving out the coordinates on the map and sent us to the girls' pilot. It also turned out that 10 Hard Men, presented with a wailing wheat banshee at 2am, will simultaneously shit themselves in public.
(, Sun 3 Jun 2012, 14:46, 6 replies)
war games
about 2 years ago, i got the chance to go paintballing, something i'd long wanted to do. if you've never done it, i strongly reccommend you do.
we got split into 4 groups, with each group comprised of 2 opposing teams. then, we were taken through the safety procedures(if you lift your helmet's visor, they really WILL throw you out), given our guns and shown to our first battleground.
i was in the white team. we were fighting the blue team. we took up positions inside a crudely constructed log "castle" and awaited the enemy's attack.
it was laughable. a bunch of middle-aged dads and teenage lads, crashing through the undergrowth with all the stealth of a rhino on viagra. they didn't stand a chance.
i'd been lucky enough to nab myself a sniper's position and, let me tell you, the first time you see one of your paint bullets explode all over someone's rented combat gear, you get a buzz in your head that lets you know you definitely want to see it again.
all through the afternoon, we defended and attacked various wooden structures, taking many a hit in the process. being shot in the arse HURTS. i can't complain, though, i did manage to accidentally(yes, really) shoot someone in the cock. this stopped the others using my arse as target practice.
the last battle of the day is a free-for-all, no-holds barred, last man standing tussle that anyone who wants to can be in. as it was getting late by this time and the last battle is known for being more vicious than the others, several parents were dragging their protesting offspring out of the battle zone. bad luck for the kids. as a result of this, there was a great deal of ammo being given away by said parents. good luck for me.
i went into that last battle fully tooled up with about 3,000 paint bullets, 5 paint grenades and 3 smoke grenades. fuck teamwork, i was going rambo on these cunts.
screaming like a banshee, i tore off down the hill towards enemy lines, shooting at anything that moved, be it friend, foe or unfortunate squirrel. i have never had so much fun in my life. i took out 3 of my own team, 8 enemies, one marshal and covered the place in paint and smoke.
i arrived home tired, bruised from head to foot, but extremely happy. i could easily have gone again the next day.
war may be hell, but paintball is fucking epic.
(, Sun 3 Jun 2012, 15:27, 20 replies)
Not me but the wife
I've fired a gun and I've been in a fight (didn't do so well on either occasion) but I've never got as near to war as my missus.
A few years back she took a holiday in Sri Lanka and spent an enjoyable ten days doing all kinds of touristy things.
Tired and ready to go home, she rocked up at the airport and was sitting in departure as pandemonium broke out around her. People started running around and announcements were blaring. She looked out of the window in time to see the plane she was due to board erupt in flames as a mortar from the Tamil Tigers hit it's target.
All the tourists were quickly ushered away, occasionally having to take cover as bullets whizzed over head. Apparently being herded by a very panicked man with broken English, whilst small arms fire zips above your head and mortars rain down is not a pleasant experience.
Eventually they reach safety she calms down enough to notice that there is a bar. "A drink will calm me down" she thinks, and so orders herself a large gin. The bar man limps over to serve her, a bloody bandage wrapped around his thigh. I hope in a state of shock rather than stupidity she asks him what happened. He makes the universal sign of the pistol with his fingers to explain, obviously, he's been shot.
To make matters worse, there is a total communication black out. No one is allowed to make phone calls so she can't phone any one at home to tell them what's happening. At this point, her friends have all found out that there has been an attack and are phoning her rather distraught mum to see if she's ok.
Eventually they are allowed to call home and are ushered onto another plane to head home. Relief washes over the passengers as they realise they're going home to safety, until they look out of the windows to see armed men checking the underside of planes for bombs that may have been planted by the Tigers.
I think they drank the plane dry on the way home.

(, Sat 2 Jun 2012, 10:56, Reply)
I'm a nure on a busy orthopaedic ward in Liverpool
Every moron that gets shot, stabbed, beaten to a pulp etc. in the city centre comes my way at some point. When their idiot friends come in it's all "Didn't fackin 'urt", "I'll fackin' 'ave 'im" and so on. Give it ten minutes and they're the first to be crying into their pillows for oramorph/mum.

I've seen 90 year old men dying of cancer (while suffering the agony of a broken femur) take it quietly and with more dignity than I'd muster in that state. THAT's tough.

Any prick who thinks throwing a punch or twelve or blowing someone's foot off with a shotgun makes you 'hard' needs to take a look at people who genuinely fucking well are and THEN compare themselves.

Oh yeah, something (relatively) humerous. I've met one lad whose ex-girlfriend has an 18 month old son to him, has an ex(as of two weeks ago) girlfriend who found out last week was pregnant and has recently started going out with his latest girlfriend. As he's going to be laid up for a few weeks I can't to find out the what happens when they invariably meet at the same time should be an interesting 'conflict'.

tl;dr Scallies aren't tough and sometimes hospitals can get like the Jeremy Kyle show.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 17:35, 12 replies)
I used to work in a 'rufty-tufty' pub
The summer before I went to University, still fresh faced from my polite suburban grammar school, I worked at a pub. It was awesome. The landlady was constantly hammered, the pub was never too heaving to be particularly difficult work, and it was such a *local* local, that you always knew 95% of the customers, and could have a nice chat.

The pub had two bars, which roughly split the clientele into 'builders' and 'everyone else'. The builders were by far the most fun. They were there by noon every day, and stayed until closing every day, and their rounds were exceptionally easy. "Eleven pints of carlsberg". "Coming right up."

Anyway, this lot treated the pub like their front room, and so despite being rather on the rough-around-the-edges, never caused any real trouble... until one night... ~~~~~~ wavy lines~~~~~~

A new bloke comes into the builders' bar. Vaguely known to them, but doesn't quite sit with the group. He props up the bar, buys his own drinks, and starts telling filthy jokes. These start quite funny, and then get increasingly horrific (think the most distasteful excesses from the /talk board, and then some). He is loud enough that he can be heard through in the other bar (where the more gentile members of society are drinking) and there begin to be complaints.

Then, he starts on his new set of material, the stuff for the connoisseur racist. It's all n-word this, and coon that. I begin to brick it at this point, because he is SIGNIFICANTLY bigger and scarier than me, and I am working on my own behind the bar. The boss is upstairs having a 'nap' (read, passed out slewed) and if it all goes pear-shaped, it's on my head.

Suddenly, as my sphincter is preparing to implode under the pressure, the fates intervene on my behalf; there is a low rumble from a shady corner, and a very quiet "we don't use that kind of language in here... mate...". One of the regulars stands up from his chair. He is a big man. A very big man. The sort of man who looks to be chiseled from granite. The sort of man who would sit very quietly, and not say two words all evening, but who could clearly crush you like an ant without breaking a sweat.

The bar suddenly silences. The air drips with tension. Our neighborhood xenophobe breaks off from an evocative tale about a "wig-wog" and, bristling, begins to turn slowly around, accompanied by his smug, self-satisfied war-cry of "Oh yeah? And you're going to stop me? You... facking... cahnt..."

There is the briefest of brief pauses, as he looks slightly upwards at the face of the man he has just insulted. He *just* has the time for the haze of bravado to crumble ever-so-slightly, before the fist impacts him straight into the side of his face.

Now, I led a fairly sheltered life up until this point (still do, really), so I have very little to compare it to, but even so, this punch was staggering. The bigot's whole head went over at a funny angle, rolled slighly for a second or so, and then he just crumpled to the deck. Our punch-thrower nods to a friend of his, and un-speaking they carry this bloke outside and plonk him on a bench. Not a single word is spoken, they both sit down to continue with their pints, and I slowly begin to de-clench.

A few minutes later, I spy our racist friend wobbling carefully off into the evening, and never saw him again.

Ah, happy days.

TLDR; racist gets thumped. Not really a war.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:37, 5 replies)
American Asshole takes War of Independence recreation too far - so I take it further.
I was in America for a business trip last summer, which happened to be at the beginning of July. I don't know if the whole country is like this at that time of year, but everyone I met had some shitty joke about redcoats once they heard my British accent.

I follow social conventions and suppressed my urge to smack them and gave the expected polite chuckles. But on the actual holiday, the roads were clogged. I took advantage of the local bar (I refuse to do them the honor of calling them pubs) specials and filled my bladder and colon with beers, spicy chicken wings, and the greasiest burgers I'd ever touched.

Because everyone and their brother was out to indulge in some patriotic gluttony, I got stuck in traffic on the way back to my hotel. My colon was gurgling and burgling, but I'd seen the public toilets and knew I'd rather wait...until the road turned into a parking lot for an hour. The cars were scooting like snails and I could feel the shit clotting up behind my eyeballs. The public toilets didn't seem so bad all of a sudden.

I could feel my asshole growing teeth and gnawing its way out of my body when I finally got to a park filled with alcoholic fathers, fat mothers, and idiot children setting off M-80s and bottle rockets. I nearly wrecked my car as I parked because I was in such a hurry to release the boiling brown river percolating in my asshole. For whatever reason, a few families had set up their deck chairs and thought that the boardwalk leading up to the bathroom would be a nice place to camp out. I almost ran straight into a morbidly obese dad and his almost equally obese son as they waddled out of the bathroom. Both were holding cups of watery, piss-yellow beer that they apparently drank while relieving themselves and wearing these tacky novelty tricorner hats.

They were acting fucking oblivious to the fact that they were blocking a very high traffic area. Instead of trying to wedge myself between them and slip through their armpits, I thought I could get them to move by asking them "Hey, could you move so I can use the pot?"

Like I said, I'd been forced to get used to shit jokes about the War of Independence, but having a brown-geyser of shit pushing against my anus was consuming much of my patience, so it took every bit of willpower to not sucker punch one of them in their jiggling, wrinkly necks when they laughed at my accent and the older one said "Hell, naw. No king's gonna tell us what ta do! Go poop in England, redcoat!" The younger one went into a hysterical fit of laughter almost immediately, but I was shocked at this - especially when they started to link hands and actually physically block me from entering the toilets.

I could tell I would have to spell out to this moron that bodily functions are even less willing to wait for retards to finish their jokes than me, but he was brain damaged enough to calmly and confidently say to my face "Hey, have a sense of humor, ya goddamn snob. There's a McDonald's just up 'ere an' Ah THINK yew kin hold it in long enough ta have a little fun. It's a special night – Ah mean, git over it."

I could tell this was not going to be productive. Unlike my digestive tract, which was about to produce quite a bit of fecal matter. I decided that if this pile of cellulite wanted to drag a joke so far as to neglect basic hygeine, then he'd LOVE what I planned next. I gave him a demented little chuckle which he was dim enough to take as sincere and pretended to leave. Having had enough with this War from Within, I dug a plastic bag out of car, and walked back towards the bathrooms. The sidewalks leading to the bathrooms were surrounded by a cheap plywood wall and were directly next to some dense woods. I found a place in the woods where I could hear that same stunted man-child and his spawnling drunkenly slurring racist jokes while a few female voices tittered away, obediently boosting their egoes.

I shouted "Counter-attack!" because I couldn't think of anything more witty as I flung the bag over the wall. The next thing I heard was a bunch of tortured screaming and a wet splatter. There was a painful-sounding smack as his corpulent spawnling ran blindly into the brick wall of the bathroom, followed by childish wailing. As I got back in my car, I knew that although my underwear might be permanently stained due to a lack of paper for wiping, I would always have the image of that overweight butterball staggering away from the toilets with a brown splatter staining one eye and blood staining the other while screaming, disgusted families wondered what they could have possibly done to deserve that.

It was a personal victory on my part.
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 5:39, 9 replies)
For RabiedRooster (posted below)...a b3ta double-time marching chant... feel free to add a verse...
Come on mate get with the times
Think next time when posting rhymes

Your ignorance is here on show
It's Inuit, not Eskimo.

I don't know, I've heard it said
Her pussy's cold because she's dead.

RabiedRooster's high on crack,
He's a Necrophiliac.

He fucks girlies when theye're dead
Drags them to his cum-stained bed

When he's blown his load inside
He chops them up and eats them fried

So next time when you post a rhyme.
Keep the syllables in time

Boom chugga chugga chugga
Boom chugga chugga chugga
(, Sat 2 Jun 2012, 12:11, 1 reply)
Ross Kemp in "not a twat" shocker!
Lady Scaramanga's has a mate whose husband is in the RAF.
Thoroughly decent chap he is too (despite a slightly pathalogical devotion to the Queen which almost led to him caving my head in once, but anyway...)

Harder than every B3tan put together, he's done two tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
His stories tend to revolve around the rugby club style antics rather than the bombing and killing people side of things.

One evening we'd gone for dinner with a few other friends and the subject turned to Ross Kemp. Me, being a media junkie started laying into "Ross Kemp in Afghanistan"

"Oh, it's clearly bollocks. There's no way a TV company is ever going to let him into harms way. I know how telly works; the re-edit everything to make it look more exciting than it is; they probably dub on explosions and stuff. Guy's clearly a cock as well. What the fuck does he know about war?"

"It's funny you should mention that", says rock hard RAF man who could probably kill me with his little finger "Cos we met him last time he was filming there."


"Not only is a proper nice bloke with the utmost for the armed forces, but he risked his life several times when he was out there. The boys kept having to pull him back, cos he wanted to get closer to the action. He was not at all what I expected. I never liked the guy either; I thought "Oh, here comes hard man Mr Actor", but he wasn't like that at all. And what you see on the programme is probably as real as it gets without being there. Just goes to show..."

It does indeed.

And luckily he never hit me.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 9:28, 14 replies)
My Great Uncle
was a Desert Rat in world war 2 - part of the 7th Armoured Division.

Whilst he was out there, their location was to be kept top secret at all times, so before he went he bought a map of the world and over each of the countries in Africa he drew a different number of kisses "xxx".

Then, whilst he was on tour, he would send postcards back to his Mum with a correlating number of kisses identifying where abouts in the world he was so she could keep track of his progress and know he was safe.

The desert rats were a mean bunch of bastards. They kicked the Italians out of Africa during the war, then later on the Germans, as well as fighting in Normandy and ending out the war pushing the German armoured divisions back across Europe. It makes me proud to know members of my family were involved.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 19:01, 3 replies)
Went to see War Horse
when it came out. I was disappointed. I was expecting the heartwarming story of a Geordie lad who got into Equestrianism.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:17, 1 reply)
During the War

(, Tue 5 Jun 2012, 0:15, 5 replies)
laser quest
I'm a volunteer at a kids group and a few summers ago had the privilege of organising a day trip for 20 7-10 year old girls. Being an adventurous sort I decided that I would let them spend a few hours running around in the dark shooting each others with lasers. After all they were young ladies in training and what harm could it be.
After we're all kitted up and shown what to do I divide us into a few small groups and the cry goes out to let the games begin. We run around aimlessly for the first few minutes as the girls get to grips with these strange gun things and find their way round the dark course.
One by one the groups head off and start making bases around the lower levels of the course and all that can be heard is whispering girls and in the dark it is the most unnerving thing you can hear. I head off on my own thinking my age and size is sure to protect me when I suddenly find myself falling over a fairly large obstacle. Within seconds I'm pinned to the ground by 20 girls and one by one they spend the next 5 minutes repeatedly shooting me. After much negotiating I was freed and allowed back into battle. When we finally finish and the printouts are handed out the man behind the desk comments on the ridiculously high number of hits I took when a voice pipes up "We had it all planned out for days, I lay on the floor and tripped her over and everyone else waited to pin her down". These girls are now 14-17 and if they could plan such a great strategy at such a young age imagine what they could do now!
(, Mon 4 Jun 2012, 21:02, 2 replies)
the guns of war
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:41, 14 replies)
War with my drug addiction
Well this was... in away my lowest point in life.

We ALL make FRIENDS in the pub.
Some are nice, Some are nasty, Some are weird, Some are kind, Some are selfish, But some are just plain evil.

I was going through a hard period in my life.
I lost a lot of friends... I was very lonely.

Now I have been going to this pub for about 8 years now.
At first, I usually got 2 beers and pissed off afterwards.
When I had a bad experience in my life, as mention above, I started to hang around the pub more often.
Got to know the bar lady very well and soon I got to know the regulars.

Well, there was one guy there that I clicked with straight away.
We were both had the same interests and we would talk often.
One day, in my drunken state he asked me to go with him to the bathroom.
There he offered a small amount of cocaine.
I said to myself, there and then, "You only live once" and snorted it...
Boy oh boy! Cocaine gives you a boost like never before!

The next few weeks I started to buy from him (Today I realize he was a pusher!).
People at the pub knew what was going on, the bar lady told to "get off it!" and the other regulars were becoming concerned about me.
I nearly reached the limit of my credit card when he offered "something better".
Took a sniff of it, made me feel so relaxed... he then told me it contained heroin.

This freaked me out a lot, so I decided to give up.
I just wanted another gram, just one more gram, it would hurt would it?
Guys! That stuff is so addictive!
I was off it for about 6 days, Then I was drinking heavily, acting strange, talking to my self at the pub.
The bar lady asked for my mobile, I thought she was going to phone her daughters, but she phoned my parents because everyone at the pub that knew me didn't like the idea where I was going.

To cut a long story short.
Went to rehab.
Feel much better now!

The guy who got me involved in this crap, got arrested in a sting... I'm not going to say what happened to him, but Karma is a bitch!

Man, addiction to drugs... is a war on its own.
(, Wed 6 Jun 2012, 17:44, 11 replies)
I can't read Brideshead Revisited
because of the fog of Waugh.
(, Sun 3 Jun 2012, 15:52, 2 replies)
Make love, not war
Or, failing love, a quick shag. Office Christmas night out in Newcastle upon Tyne a few years ago...

All four of us are worse for wear by about 11. My business partner (not a big drinker) is passed out on a bar stool, but me and the two guys we had working for us at the time are still upright and drinking.

So, it gets to that point in the night where sambuca seems like a fantastic idea, and I order 4 shots. Thinking my balance is currently somewhat impaired by alcohol, I decide to take the shots back to our corner in relays of 2 to prevent flavouring the carpet again.

On returning to the bar, there are 2 empty sambuca shot glasses left, and 3 rather smug, lanky bastards standing next to them. I ask the barman who drank them (I was gone for a maximum of 30 seconds), and he just shrugs and walks off. So, I decide the next course of action is to challenge them. They all flat out deny it, and there follows a heated argument including frequent claims from both sides about the marital status of the respective parents.

After much heated discussion and threats to "take this outside" (it's OK, I think I could run faster than they could), we get talking, and find they're apprentice joiners from Sunderland, and we end up playing pool with them.

This point would be a good one to say that one of the guys - we'll call him Noah for comedy value - we had working for us was gay. Noah was 35, shortish but fairly muscle-bound.

As the game of pool descended in to swearing at the quiz machine, we glanced back to see Noah snogging this 18 year old apprentice like a leaky dishwasher. I happened to lived with Noah at the time, and as they disappeared home to make sweet, sweet manly love at the flat, I stayed out for a few more hours to give my flatmate some space.

Funniest thing of it all was the gay apprentice's mates locked in stunned silence for 10 minutes after the snog, after which they only seemed to be able to say "we never knew he was gay"!

And yes, it probably was them who drank the shots, the thieving Mackem scumbags ;)

tl;dr: a half-arsed bar argument turned in to a night of man-on-man passion right before my very eyes.
(, Fri 1 Jun 2012, 15:22, 3 replies)
Q: what do sheep farmers use to fight wars? A: baaa-listic missiles.

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 23:51, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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