Why Did The Security Forces Kill So Few Militant Republicans?

sharpcut

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I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?
 


SevenStars

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You are forgetting you won the war for Britian...The Loyalist death squads.
 

SevenStars

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Did they get the better of the republican death squads then?
That wasnt the stratergy.

Its one thing being willing to risk your own life.

Its another thing being willing to risk the lives of those not involved.

The randomn nature of the Loyalist death squads campaign finally and understandably broke down the resolve of the volunteers to continue on the struggle.
 

The Caped Cod

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I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?
It's worth remembering how it was nationalist the army was initially supposed to be protecting. Britain certainly has the means to eradicate militant republicans, but not without large colateral looses and having to act little different from occupying forces in Iraq. They can win the military war but what has, and still does, count more is the PR war. Hearts and minds etc.

The British used the IRA to justify their presence in the North, the IRA used the British presence to justify their activities.
It would seem that, on the whole, the British forces did well not to follow an official hardline with nationalist paramilitaries. As mutley said, because any catholic might have done.
 

Cruimh

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I've just been taking a look at The CAIN site regarding deaths in The 'Troubles' and was slightly surprised at the following figures:

Militant Republicans killed by The Security Forces: 145
Security Forces killed by Militant Republicans: 1080

Does it strike anybody else as odd, that a powerful nation such as The UK with a well equipped, well armed and highly motivated army/police should have endured such an attrition rate at the hands of small paramilitary groups drawing their support from a minority of the population in a small province of said nation?

If this was almost anywhere else in the world, one would expect to see the attrition rates reversed (Israel would be one example).

How has this come to pass? Can anyone get a handle on these figures and explain them to me?
Big Factor mate - the ROI

Previous campaigns the ROI was much, much tougher on the IRA - look at the numbers who died in hunger strikes and were executed and interned .

If Lynch had come down hard on the buggers it would have been a very different story. But internal politics meant that was never going to happen.
 

mutley

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Big Factor mate - the ROI

Previous campaigns the ROI was much, much tougher on the IRA - look at the numbers who died in hunger strikes and were executed and interned .

If Lynch had come down hard on the buggers it would have been a very different story. But internal politics meant that was never going to happen.
How do you work that out?
Did the ROI prevent the British security forces, from murdering more IRA members?
 

meriwether

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The problem here for Britiain is that the conflict was either 'war' or 'criminality'.

If its a war, then there is no problem shooting enemy combatants.
However the position of the UK was that it was not a war - the IRA were criminals.

But the UK authorities don't shoot London criminals, or Manchester criminals in a 'war' like fashion do they?
So if its criminal, then you have to arrest them when possible, instead of shooting them on sight.
 

mutley

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The problem here for Britiain is that the conflict was either 'war' or 'criminality'.

If its a war, then there is no problem shooting enemy combatants.
However the position of the UK was that it was not a war - the IRA were criminals.

But the UK authorities don't shoot London criminals, or Manchester criminals in a 'war' like fashion do they?
So if its criminal, then you have to arrest them when possible, instead of shooting them on sight.
Nail on head there, meriwether
 

meriwether

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Big Factor mate - the ROI

Previous campaigns the ROI was much, much tougher on the IRA - look at the numbers who died in hunger strikes and were executed and interned .

If Lynch had come down hard on the buggers it would have been a very different story. But internal politics meant that was never going to happen.
Thas absolute baloney.

The prisons were overflowing with Provo's. The Provos hated the Irish authorities, especially the special branch, for good reason.
 

Toland

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Thas absolute baloney.

The prisons were overflowing with Provo's. The Provos hated the Irish authorities, especially the special branch, for good reason.
Agreed. Cruimh is basically peddling a myth. There are heres and theres about how they didn't do things they should have, and things they did that they shouldn't, but the idea the the Republic was a haven for the IRA is basically a myth.
 

Cruimh

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How do you work that out?
Did the ROI prevent the British security forces, from murdering more IRA members?
Provided safe havens and operating bases

Did alter the character of the conflict. Because the ROI was not tough on the IRA Britain was left very vulnerable to international pressure.

Look at the history of previous campaigns. look at the numbers of executions, internments and hunger striking in the 26
 

Toland

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Souther public opinion, prevented the British Security forces from murdering more Provo's? Funny how it didn't stop the British from blowing up ROI citizens
Ach Gott. Waddaboutery even when I've said nothing to waddabout!

It was a factor. The Irish government had to be kept onside (they were largely successful with that, I'm sure you'll agree) To do that they had to keeping public opinionin the South halfway opposed to the provisional IRA. Creating large numbers of martyrs was not conducive to that end.
 

mutley

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Provided safe havens and operating bases

Did alter the character of the conflict. Because the ROI was not tough on the IRA Britain was left very vulnerable to international pressure.

Look at the history of previous campaigns. look at the numbers of executions, internments and hunger striking in the 26
No Britian, was vunerable to international pressure, due to their actions in the North of Ireland, nothing at all to do with the ROI

stop talking WOPS! ;)
 


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