Thank Christ for that, perhaps we shall be saved after all.
I got this form the Daily Torygraph, which was not however kind enough to publish my comments, perhaps because I even constituted and named some Polish regiments of the British Army, that I thought might come into being. I shall try to re-do so here.
The British (nearly) which includes the Old White commonwealth, and the Poles absolutely (for they were the first to be assaulted by a real, modern, mechanised socialist army) fought WW2 from the first day to the last. As did of course the Ghurkhas, and many regiments of the Indian Army, plus many Chinese, Africans and West Indians and countless others even including Americans, now forgotten in the general haze of socialism.
I think the figures show that the two main Polish squadrons of Fighter Command, in 1940, 302 and 303, destroyed more enemy planes over England for less loss per squadron per unit time in 1940, than any other unit. Ghurkhas have appeared in this nation’s battle-honours more times than I can count, and have won a dispropportionate percentage of VCs.
The point I made to the telegraph was that there is a very old tradition of Empires recruiting soldiers from other nations. The Romans, I said, did it. the Dacian cavalry legions were famous for example. British auxilliaries served everywhere. Libyans served on The Wall, even. Perhaps they did not like it, as we know, for it was cold, but that is another story.
If I was a soldier today, I would be honoured to have the Poles, the second most bolshie nation in the EU after mine, in line with me.
The Queen’s Own Lublin Lancers … a tank regiment obviously…
The Honourable East-Prussian Artillery Company … does what it says on the tin …
The Royal Silesian Rifles … (aka the RIR – this would have to be a motor-rifle formation)
The 1st Battalion, the Royal Krakow Rangers (ditto… is there any other kind of infantry today?)
I did invent some more but they have been lost. If I was a soldier, I would be honoured to serve alongside such guys. they will probably want a couple of British Officers initially, as “advisers”, but of course they will want to serve together as is natural, and with their own Officers, and not ours, in the fullness of time.
How long before we can raise a battalion of the Queen’s Own Polish Lancastrian Regiment – with individual companies entirely recruited from, say Liverpool (1st co), Preston (2nd) and Accrington (3rd)? Or the other way around?
These might call themselves the “Accrington Pals” (Accrington Poles?), and what went around in 1916 will have come around, at last in 2008.
The British Army is none other than the military arm of the Anglosphere (discuss) – I intentionally paraphrase the unbearably-plausible Tony Blair here, when he glibly howled that “New Labour” is none other than the Political Arm of the British People” !!!!! (He would have liked all five of those.) I thought at the time what a crass, non-historical thing it was to say…the “British People” are what they are, and have always so been, by virtue of NOT HAVING a “political arm”.
But it might behove us, if we are stuck with being a state, to entertain soldiers from all countries who either like us for what we are, or share roots with us, or whom we have helped (like Iraq.). That there should be Australian, South African, Rhodesian and NZ battalions in the Army, raised and staffed by those people exclusively, goes without saying – also American and Canadian ones. Why not Iraqi – and specially! – Jordanian ones? I am sure the states of such a small number of individuals – a few thousands at most – would not object. (Any comments please, from listening London Consular officals present here?)
How about the 1st Battalion, the Baghdad Rangers? The Royal Tikrit Rifles? (The RTR would have a go over the initials of course.) They’d be safer over here, or being sent to Afghanistan, than trying to serve in the Iraqi Police.
And are Poland etc part of the Anglosphere? Yes. (Discuss.)