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More nonsense from Nigel - who has written a new book!

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More nonsense from Nigel - who has written a new book!

Old 25th Jun 2020, 15:20
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I can understand some cause for bitterness. Given that the RAF assumed the mantle of air defence of the Fleet following the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal in 1979 and the cancellation of her replacement, CVA-01, something seems to have gone wrong during the Falklands conflict. That’s how many baffled South Atlantic Medal holders see it, anyway. Unlike Dunkirk, RAF fighter cover wasn’t merely operating out of sight of the dark blue jobs and PBI either.

The Harrier carriers were designed as platforms for ASW helicopters and one can only surmise how much worse things would have been without their lash-up conversion, albeit without AEW.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 02:36
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Given that the RAF assumed the mantle of air defence of the Fleet
Similar experience in Oz that caused some angst in the Navy. RAAF said they could do all the fleet work so the FW branch was folded and our A-4's sold to New Zealand, RAAF didn't have the ability to handle the work, so what to do? Get the Kiwis to base a flight of A-4's in Oz and pay them to do the job.

Was sent on a post cyclone rescue mission, RAAF Herc flew us and our two Navy Hueys to the site, where we were placed under RAAF operational control, two weeks and never turned a blade, all missions were flown by RAAF. Years later was on board a ship that visited the city and at the cockers p the Mayor mentioned that he wished there had been more helicopter support available in the cyclone aftermath. Interservice politics and rivalry, was ever thus.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 04:36
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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In the link below are a couple of extended podcasts done by the naval air history website on the Falklands Air War.

The first episode features Commander Tim Gedge (CO 809 NAS) and Commander Larry Jeram-Croft (Lynx pilot, HMS Andromeda) and their views of the campaign. It includes the 'sinking' of HMS Invincible on May 30th.

The 2nd episode is an updated interview with the man whom this thread is all about, his views of the war and the future of UK naval aviation. For the first 22 minutes, he gives a balanced view of all sides and then he's off like a Cheltenham Gold Cup runner. At the end he does makes a very good point about the upper echelons of the RN (Tim Gedge also alludes to some high up decisions in his chat as well).

Following on from his interview and post analysis is an interview with Eric 'Winkle' Brown from the late 70's. Makes for very interesting listening about his views also on the upper workings of the RN, naval air power and inter service rivalry. Where Commander Ward chomps at the bit, 'Winkle' Brown comes across like a stately school master.

https://navalairhistory.com/2017/07/...nded-podcasts/
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 08:47
  #44 (permalink)  
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Sorry, I had to give up. He’s complete poison and contradicts himself when he talks about the RAF telling lies and then goes on to spout the very same himself. The sooner someone takes his internet away from him, the better. He risks being a danger to good inter-service relations. Fortunately, I think the 2 services are far wiser than that and see him for what he is, a bitter old man, but I fear the media (and parliament, potentially) are still prepared to give him the time of day.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 09:53
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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"I fear the media (and parliament, potentially) are still prepared to give him the time of day"

he creates headline and division - what more could the media want?
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 10:46
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MG View Post
Sorry, I had to give up. Heís complete poison and contradicts himself when he talks about the RAF telling lies and then goes on to spout the very same himself. The sooner someone takes his internet away from him, the better. He risks being a danger to good inter-service relations. Fortunately, I think the 2 services are far wiser than that and see him for what he is, a bitter old man, but I fear the media (and parliament, potentially) are still prepared to give him the time of day.
Not condoning what he says. However, my view is that there is some truth in his overall concerns at the macro level. Re the highlighted, I'm ex-FAA who worked for/with the RAF on many occasions in my 30-odd years (even having an RAF Boss/2RO and 3RO at one point) and had RAF staff working for me. I always enjoyed the interaction and, at my level, it was a "common aim" - despite some (often humorous) misunderstandings of what the other really did at times - always sorted! Sea-going Ops were a bit of a mystery at times to my RAF colleagues

At the higher "political" level, well, I was never too convinced how good inter-service relations were when it came down to things like splitting up the defence budget for example and all the horse-trading associated with that. Some was pure misunderstanding, but sometimes it seemed that the "tribal" element came to the fore - on all sides - certainly not the preserve of just one side or another (bringing the Pongoes into the mix as they were involved too). Some decisions such as the demise of JFH even took some of the Light Blue by surprise. That was an outcome widely discussed/predicted within the FAA when JFH was first set up.

As with all of this (and you think Industry is better? - seen some spectacular in-fighting and "empire builders" at work there while I worked outside!!!! ) the truth is there but so clouded by spin/rumour/messdeck "dits", that it's hard to know what is what. Unfortunately, even within a single Service, there are "empires to be forged"/"Knighthoods to be won" - so even within a Service some decisions are, should we say, "interesting"! What helps no-one is when, seemingly in this case, it all turns into a bit of a rant.

Proof of all of this? Well, as in all such cases, so much is "smoke and mirrors" so who knows. It's like a family row between parents when you were a kid. You know that something is not quite right at the dinner table, but have no idea what it's all about and even less idea who may be in the right - if there is a "right". So, after 3 decades, that's the conclusion I reached in my own mind. I was lucky tho, my RAF colleagues were a great bunch and I had a good time .... and jointly we did a lot of good - well, I think so at any rate! But I could be biased!!!!!

Just my view FWIW. H 'n' H
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 11:25
  #47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by kghjfg View Post
If you ask the standard person on the street about the Falklands,
a) theyíll say that the Vulcan raid was the most important part of the air war. Theyíll not even know there was more than 1.
b) theyíll say that the RAF Harriers were brilliant. (Theyíll have no idea Fleet Air Arm exists, all flying things are RAF right?)
c) Theyíll say we lost all those ships because the French gave the Argentinians the codes to launch Exocet.
(Iíve not even checked if itís true, Iíve been told it so any times, Iíve presumed thatís how it was reported at the time)

Do a a straw poll of any friends who have not served and this will be what they say, I guarantee it!

i think thatís all Mr Ward is grumpy about.
This is an almost exact inversion of the truth, and your guarantee is worthless! My own straw poll indicates that:

Most people knew that we 'invited' the Argentine invasion when the Royal Navy withdrew "that ship" (Endurance). Which cost some MInisters their jobs. (Some said John Nott, some Lord Carrington)

They know that Mrs Thatcher then sent a task force, including aircraft carriers. These had fighters that were flown by the Navy. Some knew that they were Harriers/Sea Harriers.

No-one I spoke to thought that RAF pilots had been involved in flying off the carriers.

Some know that the RAF played a tiny part - some knew about Vulcan bombing raids.

All knew that we lost some ships, not all knew about Exocet, let alone that it was French.

So far from the public thinking that the RAF won the war, most don't even know that the RAF was involved, and those who do know that it was think that the part it played was unimportant and peripheral. Those who know about Black Buck tend to echo Ward's thoughts that it was an expensive, pointless failure, managing to put only a single bomb on target. The general impression was that it was a Navy 'show', together with some Paras, Royal Marines and the SAS who mopped up the last remnants of Argentine resistance

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Old 26th Jun 2020, 11:34
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe his nickname could be slightly changed to "snarky"?
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 11:38
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE]Maybe his nickname could be slightly changed to "snarky"?/QUOTE]

Or even "mental", because coupled with his surname, that's where he should be
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 11:57
  #50 (permalink)  

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One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard: "Holding onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal. The tighter you hold it, the more it burns you".

Life is too short.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 13:15
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Trumpet trousers View Post

Or even "mental", because coupled with his surname, that's where he should be
Youíre probably not to know, but that was his sonís nickname who sadly passed away recently - ex Harrier pilot.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 13:19
  #52 (permalink)  
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Not n High, I completely agree with your words, there is still, and will always be, some really petty in-fighting in the services and in industry. That’s what happens when humans are involved. However, when listening to him, it’s always the fault of the RAF and the poor, bloody Navy is always on the receiving end. Just not true and it’s totally disingenuous to suggest so. It’s the total lack of balance, and the lack of any credit that annoys me.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 14:10
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Enlighten me... who was he slagging off in the podcast, for 'going after the Argy jets on the way out, not the way in, which is a bit late'? The 'other' fishead sqn? Wouldn't that be his job?

CG
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 14:46
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I don’t know the guy but I know people who do. I have read his book which is fascinating and certainly pulls no punches. However I think it is important to remember that he was / is an extremely courageous man ( as were his colleagues in the south Atlantic). I have a certain sympathy for him actually and I am surprised that there weren’t a plethora of DFCs etc for all the guys who flew combat down there in awful conditions.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 15:15
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MG View Post
Not n High, I completely agree with your words, there is still, and will always be, some really petty in-fighting in the services and in industry. Thatís what happens when humans are involved. However, when listening to him, itís always the fault of the RAF and the poor, bloody Navy is always on the receiving end. Just not true and itís totally disingenuous to suggest so. Itís the total lack of balance, and the lack of any credit that annoys me.
Not a weird case of mutual "back-scratching" MG, but I agree with you too! The problem is that people seem to forget that, if they invest too much hype to support a given viewpoint, it just detracts from the very argument they are trying to make to the point that even their potential supporters just distance themselves in case the grenade (or, is that, "when the grenade"?) goes off!

Maybe my use of the word "rant" was too understated (my apologies for that) but I really didn't want to get dragged into the detail of what is simply a "repeat" argument (Thinks, Monty Python has just sprung to mind - "Is this a 5 minute argument, Sir - or the full half hour?"). I've got windows to sand down and wood oil to apply. Far more important than dwelling on what most folk understand is "life" - us being humans one and all - and has been done to death countless times over the years.

As ever, Shy sums it up nicely in Post #50! All those who made the decisions in the 60/70/80/90's are gone (as in at least retired!) - the best we hope for is that the current generation of VSOs avoid the worst excesses of their, perhaps, less "balanced" forebearers and thus the UK can afford the most appropriate, well balanced, defence for the good of the nation. Sadly, MG, I think you and I will probably share a similar, somewhat pessimistic, view on the likelihood of that happening - but we will always live in hope!

Alas, my windows await my presence! H 'n' H is awayyyyyyyy!
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 15:17
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There were in fact 6 DSCs and 2 DFCs awarded to Sea Harrier/Harrier pilots as a result of actions during the conflict.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 15:34
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
There were in fact 6 DSCs and 2 DFCs awarded to Sea Harrier/Harrier pilots as a result of actions during the conflict.
All well deserved then Mogwi. I have read your book too, fantastic read. Well done.
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Old 27th Jun 2020, 12:48
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Out of interest Iíve always wondered whether his assertion that he heard other aircraft co ordinating their aerobatics over the radio when they were meant to be flying CAP is true?

Is the general dismissing of his first book due to the fact that if true some of it is quite concerning?
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Old 27th Jun 2020, 14:57
  #59 (permalink)  
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If Sharkey wrote it and it sounds like bollocks, then it's a safe bet that it is, in fact, bollocks.
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Old 27th Jun 2020, 16:29
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Originally Posted by kghjfg View Post

Is the general dismissing of his first book due to the fact that if true some of it is quite concerning?
'If true' is the key bit there. The problem is that much of what he says is demonstrably not true (unless you want to get into some wild conspiracy theory that the RAF went around carefully rewriting loads of RN, Army, RAF, MoD and Cabinet documents now in the archives and brainwashed a not insignificant number of RAF and RN personnel whose memoirs [published and unpublished] and observations on PPRuNe(!) are thus inaccurate). He did have a point about some aspects, as noted up-thread, but this got lost in the polemic.

The fact that he turned into an appalling polemicist shouldn't obscure the fact that he and the Ppruners who were at the very sharp and pointy end of Corporate did an astounding job when called upon.
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