A Colonel addresses his troops before battle


April 3, 2003, 03:29 PM
On 20 March 2003, Lt. Col. Tim Collins, commander of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish, an arm of Britain's 16 Air Assault Brigade, at Fort Blair Mayne, a Kuwaiti desert camp 20 miles south of the Iraqi border, addressed his 800 troops.

I believe this address provides a most impressive insight to a commander who wants his troops to know why they are there and what is expected of them. If the troops demonstrate the intelligence, zeal and dedication of their commander, I have no doubt that they will acquit themselves honorably and effectively in the coalition’s drive to remove Saddam Hussein and his barbaric regime from Iraq.

“We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.

"There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.

"Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.

"If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves.

"It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow.

"The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam. He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.

"It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts, I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.

"The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.

"If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.

"[Regarding the use by Saddam of chemical or biological weapons] It is not a question of if, it's a question of when. We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself. If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.

"As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.

"Our business now is north."

If you enjoyed reading about "A Colonel addresses his troops before battle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 3, 2003, 03:44 PM
Outstanding! :D

April 3, 2003, 04:00 PM
Nice speach. Those Brits are doing an outstanding job over there. God bless 'em.

April 3, 2003, 04:54 PM
Reminds me of the speech that Maximus gives to the troops at the beginning of Gladiator. I love the line, "on my signal, unleash hell!"

The other great line is "what we do in life...echoes through eternity!"

Also reminds me of the William Wallace speech from Braveheart where they all have the blue faces.

There's nothing finer than a commander who can give a kick-*** speech. America could use a man like Patton once in a while.

April 3, 2003, 05:12 PM
Now that's a leader of soldiers!:cool:

April 3, 2003, 05:28 PM
Nice speech.
Interesting in that there are a lot of Biblical references.
I'd don't think too many Americans would give a speech like that nowadays. :scrutiny:

April 3, 2003, 08:01 PM

April 3, 2003, 08:57 PM
Excellent speech, already posted and under discussion at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14682

I'm closing this as a duplicate.


Too much of a good thing is wonderful. -- Mae West

If you enjoyed reading about "A Colonel addresses his troops before battle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!