Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Who dares - - wins!!

This is coolbert: " Who dares - - wins!!" [motto of the SAS]

It CANNOT be said that the young men of the British aristocracy shirk their duties to GOD, Queen, and country, whether in time of peace or war.

Sometimes, volunteering for THE MOST dangerous and difficult of military duty, regardless of risk to life and limb. Joining and serving in the British Special Air Services [SAS] regiment. That unit within the British Army analogous to the American Special Forces [SF] and Rangers!!

Young men, of aristocratic rank, titled, proper English gentlemen of means, education, noble rank, station and privilege find the SAS to be A PROPER USE OF THEIR TALENTS? Officers, persons of initiative, daring, highly motivated self-starters, leading small unconventional warfare [UW] units consisting of other men who are also persons of initiative, highly motivated self-starters.

Those from the upper crust and elite status within English society are drawn to the SAS for the stimulus of challenge and leadership of the highest order where it counts in a manner it does not with other military units?

Consider from the wiki entry a smattering of examples for SAS officers:

* "Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet OBE . . . is an English adventurer and holder of several endurance records. He was the first man to visit both the north and south poles by surface means and the first man to completely cross the Antarctic on foot."

"Fiennes served eight years in the British army . . . [in] the Special Air Service"

"Fiennes . . . is a distant cousin of Britain's royal family."

"Despite suffering from a heart attack and undergoing a double heart bypass operation just four months before, Fiennes joined Stroud again in 2003 to carry out the extraordinary feat of completing seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge for the British Heart Foundation"

"Fiennes's career as an author has developed alongside that of an explorer. He is the author of 13 books in fiction and non-fiction."

* "Sir John Jacob "Jakie" Astor MBE . . . a British politician and sportsman and a member of the prominent Astor family."

"Sir Jakie was the youngest child of the 2nd Viscount Astor and his wife, Lady Astor . . . served in the British military during World War II. He was named after his relative John Jacob Astor IV, who perished on the Titanic in 1912."

"He joined [during the Second World War] the Life Guards, but soon transferred . . . to the SAS"

* Major-General Sir Fitzroy Hew Royle MacLean of Dunconnel, 1st Baronet KT CBE . . . a Scottish diplomat, soldier, adventurer, writer and politician."

"In North Africa in 1942, he distinguished himself in the early actions of the newly formed SAS . . . Maclean was a brilliant practitioner in the T.E. Lawrence brand of fighting, and he reported directly to Churchill in Cairo"

* "Major Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer Churchill . . . was the son of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine."

"During World War II, Churchill . . . was attached for a time to the newly formed Special Air Service (SAS), joining their CO, David Stirling, on a number of missions behind enemy lines in the Libyan Desert."


[contrast the service in WW2 of Randolph with the Vietnam War duty of Albert Gore. Gore, trained as a supply clerk, served for four months in Vietnam, working as a journalist, all the while accompanied by a bodyguard!!]

* "Anthony Henry Fanshawe Royle, Baron Fanshawe of Richmond KCMG (27 March 1927 – 28 December 2001) . . . A son of Sir Lancelot Royle . . . educated at Harrow and RMA Sandhurst. He joined the Life Guards and subsequently the SAS. He contracted polio on his way to Malaya and was invalided back to UK and spent a year in an iron lung." [after his SAS service and the year in an iron lung, was still able to lead a long and productive life!!]

* "George Patrick John Rushworth Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, KBE, DSO, MC, PC, FRS (4 April 1918 – 22 February 2007) was a British politician and statesman, diplomat and businessman." [son of the chap who commanded the British fleet at Jutland - - eh wot!!]

"sailed (31 January 1941) to the Middle East . . . Served with L Detachment . . . which was the nucleus of the SAS."

* "John Douglas Slim, 2nd Viscount Slim . . . is a British peer and soldier . . .
The son of the 1st Viscount Slim [Bill Slim of the Arakan] . . . He entered the Special Air Service in 1952."

* Simon Mann - - "Simon Mann's father, George Mann, captained the England cricket team in the late 1940s and was heir to the Watney Mann brewing empire that is now part of Diageo. George's father (Simon's grandfather) Frank Mann, also captained the England cricket team in 1922/23."

Mann does come from a family of wealth, station, and privilege, although NOT of noble rank? Did not stop him from becoming a serving officer in the SAS.

"became a member of the SAS and served in Cyprus, Germany, Norway and Northern Ireland before leaving the forces in 1985."

Young American men from the wealthy upper class of the U.S. are also drawn to military service of the toughest, most dangerous and difficult sort? Special Forces [SF], Rangers, Marines, etc.? I think NOT!! Too bad!!




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