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Subject: British soldier in Iraq describes coming under attack from Americans
AdamB    1/30/2007 1:59:12 PM
Why is it than when it comes to fighting wars the Americans are so useless and the British are so much better? The British can tell the difference between an enemy and a friendly army. US warplanes hit British tank convoy in Iraq, inquest told By Emma Henry and agencies 30/01/2007 A teenage soldier awarded the highest British honour for gallantry has described the terrifying moment when his tank convoy came under fire from American planes in Iraq. George Cross holder L/Cpl Chris Finney, 19, said he had been driving the lead Scimitar tank in a convoy of four away from Basra in southern Iraq on a reconnaissance mission, when the two A-10 tankbuster planes struck on March 28, 2003. He told the Oxford inquest into colleague L/Cpl of Horse Matty Hull's death that he did not know at the time these were American planes until he saw one lining up to fire for a second time. L/Cpl Hull's widow listened in tears as L/Cpl Finney said said: "At first there were sparks everywhere and the vehicles stopped, they obviously had been stopped by something. I couldn't actually see what had hit us or where from. He said he reversed back on the instructions of the commander and into the tank carrying L/Cpl Hull, 25, of Windsor, Berkshire. He said as he jumped out of his tank, he tried to grab his rifle but a fire inside the vehicle forced him back. He said he realised that there were still people inside as he took cover. He said: "I was looking around me and couldn't really see. I then looked back at my vehicle to see my gunner trying to get out." Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said the gunner was suffering from a large leg wound. L/Cpl Finney, then a trooper with just one year's experience in the army, pulled him out of the burning vehicle and began to give him medical treatment. As he did so, he was aware that a type of smoke used by coalition forces to indicate a friendly fire incident had been released by one of the tanks in the convoy. He said: "From where I was I wasn't aware that it was a plane or anything like that. All I knew was our vehicles had been hit and the smoke had been deployed. "I was still with my gunner on the floor at this point and the plane came back into view to start its second run." The inquest heard that he himself had been hit in the arm, but he was only aware of his arm shaking and did not realise he was injured until later. He told Mr Walker that he went back to L/Cpl Hull's tank to try to save whoever was inside, but fierce flames forced him back. Mr Walker told him: "I should just like to say, Mr Finney, that you are an extremely brave man and are to be commended for what you did, because it seems to me that had you not taken the steps that you did to move your gunner away from this incident then his injuries may well have been significantly more than they were." L/Cpl Hull, from Princes William and Harry's Blues and Royals, the Household Cavalry Regiment, died at the scene and his remains were left in the tank until they could safely be recovered the next day.
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AdvanceAustralia    Why   1/30/2007 2:49:59 PM
Why US pilots shoot at allied equipment they know full well is not possessed by the enemy is one of those enduring mysteries of war.


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flamingknives       1/30/2007 5:55:19 PM
Off hand, I can think of two incidents from the same operation where British units fired upon other British units*, so it's hardly a peculiarly US trait. The US air force, partially due to their prevalence in the skies over warzones, will inevitably appear to be involved in a disproportionate amount of fratricide. What is of concern is that when it does occur, it is more usually against allied forces, the equipment of which is apparently not part of USAF identification training. (according to a man in a pub) Worrying if true. 

* Of the two incidents, one involved a Challenger 2 engaging another Challenger 2 with HESH, having mis-ID'd its target as an MTLB through thermal sights. The second was a unit at a crossing point engaging a RM landing craft, having mistaken it for an Iraqi patrol boat.
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Yimmy       1/30/2007 7:09:45 PM
I think there to be a difference, and for it to be more understandable for a soldier on the ground to make such a mistake, than it is for an aircraft pilot with a "birds eye view", and all the calm and collection associated with his cockpit.
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Herald1234    ????????????????????   1/30/2007 7:36:59 PM
Was this daytime or night?

How good are you IDing an object from less than a thousand meters altitude when you are crossing terrain at  200 mp/s?

Were the British forces where they were expected to be?


The thing that always amazed me in the Iraqi war was that so few incidents of "friendly fire"occurred, not that so many did.


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Rasputin       1/31/2007 1:12:48 AM
That is why despite all of the the air theorist in the fighter therads formulating victories based on beyond visual range weapons and negating close in dog fighting and STOL capabilities. I still don't see how such weapons can be effectively used if the enemies or friendlies cannot be effectively identified.

What is troubling is that the A-10 is supposed to be a slow moving close in support aircraft. This is not the first time that British tanks have been hit by that aircraft in the gulf. Even in desert storm the same thing happened.

Is that why the US marines have their own airforce?

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AdamB       1/31/2007 1:57:33 PM
Despite sending up smoke to warn the American pilots they were firing on their own side and yelling “STOP STOP STOP” into their radios, they were bombed again.

Soldier tells how he tried to rescue colleague

By Stewart Payne


A soldier awarded the George Cross for his bravery told an inquest yesterday of his attempt to rescue a fallen colleague as their tank convoy was repeatedly fired on by American warplanes in Iraq." border=0>
L/Cpl Matty Hull died in March 2003

As the British soldiers dived for cover the US A-10 Thunderbolts turned to launch another bombardment on their blazing convoy.

Despite sending up smoke to warn the American pilots they were firing on their own side and yelling “STOP STOP STOP” into their radios, they were bombed again.

The inquest, at Oxford, heard that the pilots were “rogues”, meaning that they were not operating under direct radio contact.

Lance Corporal Matty Hull, 25, serving with the Blues and Royals, the Household Cavalry Regiment, died trapped inside his burning tank, despite the efforts of L/Cpl Christopher Finney, who was then a trooper.

Five of his colleagues were injured.

They were travelling in Scimitar armoured vehicles near Basra in Southern Iraq during the war in March 2003 when their convoy came under “blue on blue” fire from the aircraft, known as Tankbusters.

"There were explosions everywhere,” L/Cpl Finney said.

He looked out of the driver’s hatch of his burning vehicle and saw three soldiers running away.

After abandoning his vehicle he saw L/Cpl Alan Tudball trying to clamber out of a turret that was engulfed in flames.

He went to his aid despite knowing that an A-10 was turning around to make a second pass.

"It lined itself up to come straight down at the patrol and open fire,” he said.

“When it actually started to fire it was only 50 to 100 feet high. Shots were fired in and around the vehicle.”

”I grabbed the gunner to move him away and I remember my arm shaking.”

L/Cpl Finney had been shot in the arm but, after finding a safe place to leave L/Cpl Tudball, ran back towards the flaming convoy to try to pull L/Cpl Hull free, but was beaten back by fierce flames.

L/Cpl Hull died from severe multiple injuries.

L/Cpl Finney was later awarded the George Cross, the highest British honour for gallantry.

L/Cpl Jonathan Woodgate, a Scimitar driver, told the inquest: “I remember seeing the ground erupt.

“I saw the plane come around for a third time at the same height, but he didn’t fire this time.”

Staff Corporal Ashley Bell said: “We started to realise it was friendly on friendly and I got on the radio and spoke to British forward air controllers (FAC) and American FACs,” he said.

"I asked for a STOP, STOP, STOP.”

But the A-10 came around for a second attack on the convoy of three Scimitars and two Spartan vehicles.

"I screamed STOP, STOP, STOP. However, the British FAC said they were rogue pilots working on their own. They had flipped to their own radio frequencies so they couldn’t talk to them.”

L/Cpl Christopher Boakes, a radio operator with the Royal Engineers, was travelling in a Spartan vehicle when the patrol came under attack. He said he had heard on the radio networks that the American A-10 pilots were searching for Iraqi artillery in the area.

"They were looking for an anti-aircraft gun but they could not find it so they were given a free rein,” he said.

“The free rein was to the west of us.”

Andrew Walker, the Oxfordshire deputy assistant coroner, told L/Cpl Finney: “You are a brave man. You are to be commended for what you did.”

The inquest into the death of L/Cpl Hull, from East Knoyle, Wiltshire, is expected to last for five days.
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AdamB       1/31/2007 1:59:05 PM
Americans are useless at fighting wars.  Absolutely useless.  Get back to fighting the Indians and leave Iraq to us.
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DynamicTraveler       1/31/2007 2:55:46 PM

Americans are useless at fighting wars.  Absolutely useless.  Get back to fighting the Indians and leave Iraq to us.

This is the kind of well-informed posts to which I am always looking forward.  Painstaking research, Subtle opinions, and disregard to nationalistic bravado.  I salute you AdamB for enlightening us with these three sentences.
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Lawman       1/31/2007 3:02:37 PM
What a ridiculous case of trolling! If you have a valid point to raise, then make it, but this sort of trolling is just sad. Yes, American pilots tend to be the ones firing on friendlies, but that's because they are actually there! It is not easy to identify targets on the ground when flying at a few thousand feet and a few hundred knots. It is not a 'calm' environment flying ground strike, and accidents will happen - the A-10 has flaws (notably basic avionics, without many of the modern sensors and displays that you would want), but these are being addressed, in the A-10C. Ridiculous statements aside, try fighting a proper war without American support!
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Herald1234    General Braddock versus the native peoples.   1/31/2007 3:04:49 PM

Americans are useless at fighting wars.  Absolutely useless.  Get back to fighting the Indians and leave Iraq to us.

Have a nice day.

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