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The British Army today

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Real Story | Hero colonel's war crime misery
On the eve of the invasion in Iraq in March 2003, Colonel Tim Collins seemed to sum up everything the British Army stood for when he told his soldiers in the 1st battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment to be "ferocious in battle but magnanimous in victory."

The rousing speech went around the world, winning admiration from President Bush and Prince Charles.

Two months later he was facing allegations of the mistreatment of Iraqi civilians and prisoners of war.

He fought through the courts to clear his name. Prevented by army regulations from speaking out himself, he had asked the MoD to make it clear that he was not accused of murder. They declined, saying they could not comment on an ongoing investigation.
Colonel Collins believes their motives may have been more sinister.
"I know there are individuals in the army who have never been in action, not even a fight in the playground.
"And they are jealous of combat commanders, so maybe there is an element of jealousy. Maybe the fact that I'd risen to prominence without their permission offended them and I needed to be cut down to size."

And the penpushers won - he resigned from the army - what a loss!

Now aged 45, he has just published his controversial autobiography and is in demand as an after-dinner speaker. He also talks of a future television project.

He makes use of being able to talk frankly about the war. A staunch Protestant, he is scathing about the lack of planning to help re-build Iraq.

Eh? What has being a Protestant got to do with it? It is not because - whisper - he is from Ulster is it, that it is relevant? Oh do Catholics just not care about the lack of planning?


I don't care about his creed (or colour), I'd follow him to war any day.

One of my old buddies did follow him to war. Was his 2 i/c in fact. And a Catholic to boot.

The british army has been imasculated.

Just like the Police. Forced to wear rediculous yellow jackets, they are unarmed and not even allowed to defend themselves with harsh language.

Has anyone else noticed that a week doesnt go by without a news story of gangs of children murdering someone?

Yes, I was thinking exactly the same thing. Gangs of teen thugs beat people to death in England, and great pains are taken to make sure that their rights aren't violated - but a soldier who risks his life to contain terrorism is reamed. Brilliant.

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