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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.

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)
Prisoner of War Camp
My great granddad was an officer serving in the trenches in the 1st world war, the "Glorious Glosters" I think. During one of the numerous offenses in 1916 he was captured, force marched and inevitably incarcerated in one of the German prisoner of war camps. He remained incarcerated until he was freed by allied forces at some point in 1918. He never as a rule talked about his experiences, the Germans were often known to boast that the POW camps were a fate worse than death. There was only one time I ever remember him talking about it, he had drunk a few too many whiskeys at a birthday party and even though he was very old and I was very young I distinctly remember his tales of his experiences in a convent school, outside Heidelberg, where he was forced to spend the rest of the war teaching the young girls home economics. For him, as a man of honour, the humiliation was unbearable.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 17:00, 2 replies)
Working at the NIA one day..
I was on my lunch and went with my work mate down to the local hardware shop as he needed to get a small hatchet to chop up kindling or his fire place.

Later that evening,.
We had been on the beers and were taking a walk up broad street. Now my work mate is a lovely chap, kind gentle but has had a dark side to his life. To describe him i would say he isn't rotund its a combination of muscle and a slight beer belly, but built like brick house made of poo. he is about 5ft 10.

On our way up road street 3 big guys walk towards us, and demand money and try kicking off. (bear in mind this is the middle of Brum Friday night, lots of people, police dotted around etc). He reaches in to his coat pulls out the hatchet....the look of pure evil and death on his face and says "You go that way we'll go this way" - the 3 guys have the look of needing their mum and slowly back away. My friend puts the hatchet back in his coat and off he toddles...It took me a few seconds of what the fuck happened....before I caught up with him

I miss those days...
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:44, 2 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)
Bar fights
While I was at college I had a holiday job in a rough-ish pub in Wolverhampton. It was a bit of a biker's pub and had a bad reputation for that, but I never saw any trouble from them. I used to work in the bar, not the lounge, and there was a group of young blokes who used to come in most nights, and get smashed Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. When they were pissed there would usually be arguments and sometimes a fight. It was always obvious when they were going to get physical - you would see one of them strutting around, touching his groin, psyching himself up. It was like something off a David Attenborough programme.

One Friday evening one of these blokes came in, obviously worse for wear. He started arguing with another bloke: they were standing face to face, yelling at each other, both rubbing their (own) groins as hard as they could. The landlord, who was out the back, was ex-army and a boxer. He kept a 2-foot long iron bar under the counter just in case. I yelled, "Keith, get out here". He yelled back, "Hang on a minute." Suddenly the two blokes started laying into each other: beer went flying, glasses smashed, innocent people leapt out of the way, and their friends started to join in. "Get out here now Keith," I yelled as I (foolishly, and quite out of character) jumped over the bar and went to break the fight up.

Just before I managed to lay a finger on anyone there was a meaty hand on my shoulder pulling me back, and another meaty fist reached out to grab one of the fighters by the collar. "Get behind the bar, you soft arse, watch the till", growled Keith as he separated the ring leaders and defused the situation in an instant. I sloped back behind the bar, very happy that he'd waded in, not me, and wondering where I got the idea that I'd be able to do anything. That night Keith showed me the switch for the panic lights - ultrabright lights you can switch on if there's a problem, and temporarily stun everyone. "Next time, throw the switch you daft cunt."

Incidentally, the blokes in the bar used to call me 'Bamber Gascoigne' because I was at university, I wore glasses, and I could work out their change without using the till.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:34, 1 reply)
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)
Losing an eye in WWII
My grandparents all immigrated to Canada, where my family is now from. My paternal side is Scottish and my maternal side is Ukrainian. My paternal grandfather couldn't serve in the war because he was in the RCMP.

My maternal grandfather enlisted, was sent overseas, and lost an eye. I know, pretty serious. He received a hefty pension from the Canadian government that lasted for the rest of his life, and it continued on for the rest of his wife's life who passed away about 15 years later.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how he lost his eye: in a ping-pong game. Apparently right after he arrived in England, he was on base playing, and the ball hit him right in the eye. The horror, the horror.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:15, 1 reply)
I once put 20 Army Guys in my mouth, one after the other.

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:15, 7 replies)
My guilty pleasure
is answering QOTW questions 373 weeks late
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 16:06, 2 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)
hell on tartan wheels
you want war? i've seen war. not the kind with soldiers, tanks and bombs, no.
i mean the war that begins every year on december 26th, the War of The Sales.
i've seen elderly grannies snarl and bare their dentures at each other, shouder-barging one another out of the way, just to get at that pair of american tan tights that have been reduced to 50p.
i've seen young mums using prams as battering rams, whacking the shins of anyone who gets close, using their false nails as miniature bayonets and screaming cbildren with snot-bubbled noses as biological weapons.
i've seen the haunted, hollow-eyed husbands, clustered around the changing rooms, knowing full well that there is no right answer to the question "do i look good in this?"
i've seen all these horrors and more, every year without fail.
but i'll keep going back.
i'll never give up.
i'll never give in.
as long as there's a chance of a pair of silver wedgies reduced to £4, i'll keep fighting to the bitter end.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 15:55, Reply)
I once
Let slip the dogs of war, only to be foiled by a man with a dodgy moustache and a big stick.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 15:37, Reply)
When I was 14 I let everyone think I had a love bite
When actually, I’d been shot in the neck with a paintball
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 15:12, Reply)
'I've come here loads of times and nothing has ever happened'
Are the words that you know will jinx an entire evening.

To set the scene I decided that my new girlfriend should meet my mates and I thought a night out in Liverpool would be a good idea. I had it all planned out, we'd go over and have a couple of shandies and then my mates would come out and we'd all have fun and good times. Just to make sure that this was the case I spoke with my mate Ian, he was a custody officer in a central Liverpool nick so he'd know the places to avoid.

He suggested Yates' as the place to meet up early on (to my detriment I never clicked when he said the name) and so we did, however the mix of loud music and nowhere to sit meant that no one could hear anyone else so we left. As we walk out of the door the smallest of us is punched in the head by a scally and he then runs away from said scally.

This young brawler was clearly on drugs as we has 7 stone wet through yes managed to take being pushed away by 2 of the larger lads and then come at me. I took him to the ground and held him down until the police could arrive to take charge. I also had brought my best mate Tom out to meet my new GF, and I thought he'd be there to help me so I took a look around and where was he?

Was he running to the police? Nope.

Was he making sure none of the scally's mates were going to give me a kicking? Nope.

Was he checking on the lad who'd been punched? Nope

Was he chatting up a couple of female reps from one of the bars for free drinks while it's all going off behind him? Well, you can guess the answer! (in his defence they approached him and he did point behind and state that 'we're a bit busy here')

Anyway the bobbies turn up and laddo is promptly arrested and we're allowed to get on with the rest of the night (on a plus note my missus was very impressed with me!).

I managed the same trick 2 weeks later when we went to my local and the whole pub erupted into a massive brawl!

I don't talk about trouble any more.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:49, 17 replies)
the guns of war
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:41, 14 replies)
I had the choice, in my teens, of going to college or enlisting in the military. I took the wuss way out.
The Falklands happened just after this, it looked awesome. I seriously regret not joining up.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:37, 7 replies)
Didn't a bloke called Archie Duke get hungry and shoot an ostrich?

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:21, 6 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)
poorest quality bar fight ever?
One night during my spotty student days, two local scallys pitched up in the college bar and began to play pool, whilst also being obnoxious cunts to all present. After 10 minutes or so of this the college president invited them to leave. The reply was predictable, a pool cue was swung.
What I couldn't understand (apart from the sheer cuntishness of the pair) was why a 7 stone wet through 5ft scally would hit the captain of the 2nd XV rugby team (6 ft 3 and 17 stone), with the *thin* end of a cheap pool cue. Across the back of the shoulder.
There was a noise like a very thin cane splitting, a shocked pause, then they both ran for it, hotly pursued by most of the rugby team.
I mean, outnumbered, outgunned, and that's the best you can do, annoy them even more? At least try using the heavy end of the cue or something.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 14:09, 3 replies)
When I was in college years ago
I had one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. A bit of background; it was Paddys Day, I was in a shitty town (Sligo) in Ireland that was pretty much ran by two knacker families, any time there was a funeral or wedding everywhere in town closed shop for the day.

This day in particular there was an odd vibe in the air, cheap drink and rebel music meant there was a lot of tension and a few scuffles broke out during the day nothing to bad but coulda been better.

Fast forward to 8 o clock or so and I’m doing my very best to chat up some chick who was wayyyyy outta my league when yet another scuffle breaks out behind her and she gets knocked to the ground. Being the gentleman I am I leant down and helped he back to her feet keeping myself between her and the fight. She mutters that she is fine and excuses herself to go get cleaned up. No worries I think and turn back to my pint and my mates.

Except when I turn around the small scuffle has erupted into chaos, there are now at least 20 people swinging, kicking and swinging bottles. So startled and drunk as I was my reflexes could have been likened to a drugged sloth. I notice to late that someone has thrown a bottle at the fight and it’s missed completely and making a beeline for my head.

Smack Crash Swearwords etc. There is blood and glass everywhere and I stumble around, everything in that kinda slow motion clarity I thought was made up. It was horrific, people lifting tables covered in glasses and bottles and throwing the whole thing into the middle of floor which has now more people drinking than fighting. People were jumping down stairs onto people, “women” (note the “” as I use women as that was their sex but more like dogs) picking up anything they could throw and aiming for the mass of bodies.

People are going mental screaming, running, bleeding slashing and I in my uselessness end up doing a 360 and end up pretty much slap bang in the middle again when some gorilla grabs my and swings a pint bottle of Bulmers (Magners for you English types so a fairly big heavy bottle) towards my head. It shatters off my head and the broken bottle heads slightly off to the side where it proceeds to crack my collarbone and give it a pretty good gash for shits and giggles.

I fall back against a wall and slip down till I’m sitting looking at the fight. It’s now that my mates seen what had happened me and one of them who was in the Irish reserves (FCA) jumps for me and shoulders me to the nearest toilet. To bad it’s the womans and seeing a blood covered out of it guy being dragged in freaks the fuck out of every woman in there and they run for bouncers. As I’m being cleaned by my mate a bouncer then comes in looking for the guy who must have been involved in the fight. He shouts “Where is he” and as I raise my head and crimson mask he twigs who it is and says “Samantha Bricks Better Half?” (I had long curly hair in a ponytail and the makings of terrible facial hair so fairly recognizable to be A) me and B) not a scumbag.

He gets on the walkies and gets another 2 bouncers to come in and I get an escort the whole way through the fight where bouncers have now been called from next door top sort all this out and are swinging freely at anything that moves. I’m left with the barmaids behind the bar where they are told he’s a good customer take care of him.

Moral of the story if you are going to a shitty pub make sure you go regularly and get to know the bouncers!

Quick follow up 170 people were kicked out of the pub that night and I never seen the hotty again. Fun Fun Fun.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:47, 15 replies)
I suggested to the Archduke
that he put the roof down for his tour, the weather was nice after all.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:39, Reply)
Why do they always send the poor, to fight the rich man's war?

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:18, 19 replies)
Sappers 'round Khe Sanh

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:12, 3 replies)
I was once in a ruck to get first post.
I lost.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:09, Reply)
Brideshead Revisited is a shit book.

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:06, 8 replies)
Not mine, but my brothers. Not much fighting either.
He is a helicopter pilot.

On a tour of Bosnia in the 90s, he was tasked with delivering a load of mail on the 25th December, to some remote outpost somewhere. He decided for full effect to dress up as Santa Claus.

Suitably attired, he made his approach to the camp, and with a possibly uneccessary but visually exciting flare, landed his Lynx in a cloud of powdered snow onto the small helipad set out to receive him.

The gathered troops politely applauded this heroic arrival.

As he step out of the chopper, his foot slipped on the now snow coated skid, and he fell backwards over the side of the helipad into a 6 foot snowdrift, and had to be pulled out feet first by several cackling squaddies.
(, Thu 31 May 2012, 12:04, 1 reply)
What is it good for?

(, Thu 31 May 2012, 11:57, 11 replies)

This question is now closed.

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