Soldiers kept the two communities from destroying one another...
I'm complimented by the number of IRA supporters who follow my page and post crude and offensive remarks. All of them are too young to know about the terrible murders that their 'heroes' committed in the name of a United Ireland - an objective they have signally failed to achieve.
Those with a long enough memory will recall that the civil rights marches of the late 1960s were a demand by the Catholic community for equality. They were denied housing, jobs and representation. They were supported by a substantial proportion of the Protestant population. Sadly protestant bigots attacked these marches. The police who were almost 100% Unionist stood idly by and watched until law and order broke down. The Police called in the B Specials a group of uniformed, part timers who made matters worse. Law and order broke down completely and the law lost all legitimacy. The Catholics barricaded themselves into safe areas in Belfast and Londonderry to protect themselves. In 1969 Harold Wilson sent the Army in to restore peace and to protect the Catholics.
The Army was not prepared to deal with civil unrest in the UK. All their training was for the defence of Europe in conventional war. Soldiers in the 60's were trained to kill the enemy. The standard crowd control training that had been used in Cyprus and Palestine had been 'Reading the Riot Act'. The act was read, a line was drawn and anyone stepping over the line was shot. This of course had to change and it took several years to do so.
In the meantime Edward Heath became Prime Minister and led the Conservative and Unionist Party. Unionist being the key word. He sent the troops into the Catholic areas and introduced internment (imprisonment without trial). The Catholics turned against the Army and moderates deprived of a voice resorted to violence and joined the fledgling Provisional IRA.
The intimidation of the moderate Catholic communities in Ulster left many young men knee capped, men and women murdered in their homes and young girls tarred, feathered and tied naked to lamp posts. - That was just their own people!
The bombing campaign of the Provisional IRA was indiscriminate, it killed as many women and children as it did adult men. The PIRA were and still are criminal gangsters and murderers who use politics as an excuse for organised crime.
Today it is the intention of Sinn Fein/IRA to obtain the conviction of at least one British Soldier from the 1970's. In so doing they will feel that the single conviction will justify the fifty thousand casualties that they inflicted on the people of Ulster during Operation Banner.
The soldiers weren't to blame for 'the troubles' - the bigoted peoples of Northern Ireland were. The soldiers weren't to blame for the deaths in Northern Ireland, the terrorists on both sides were.
The soldiers tried to keep two communities from destroying one another and ended up being everyone's scapegoat.
Who Dares Shares!