View Full Version : British troops prefer Iraqi boots to Her Majesty's standard issue

03-27-03, 01:58 PM
NEAR BASRA (AFP) - British soldiers have been scavenging the debris of war for Iraqi army boots because the British army variety are disintegrating in the hot desert sun.

Guardsman Lee Williams, 18, of the Desert Rats' Royal Scots Dragoon Guards battle group, found a new pair of boots in an abandoned barracks which he said were "lighter and more comfortable" than the British footwear.

He added that he had been forced to swap his footwear because no replacements were available for his own disintegrating boots.

Equipment shortages have affected British forces since their arrival in the Gulf.

Other soldiers are wearing patched-up combat trousers, repaired in one instance by removing a pocket, and in another case by cutting up a colleague's spare shirt.

Army officers concede there have been problems with supplies, partly because of the relatively short time available between the announcement of British deployment and the soldiers' arrival in the Gulf.

Guardsman Williams, from Birmingham, accepted that his footwear problems would not prevent him fighting effectively, but said that he was disappointed that he was having to wear Iraqi boots.

"I was in a prisoner of war camp two days ago in which there was an abandoned barracks and I saw a room full of boots and clothing," he said.

"The English boots I had on were coming apart, they were the black ones, not desert boots, and the sole on them was coming off because of the heat.

"So I picked up a pair of the Iraqi boots for myself. There were lots of them, and they are more comfortable and lighter than the ones I was wearing.

"I'm not too keen about it for obvious reasons and I would not have believed it if you'd have said that I would be wearing Iraqi boots before I came out here."

Another Irish Guard, Guardsman David Richardson, 22, from Manchester, has cut up his own trousers in an attempt to repair holes in the crotch and backside.

"I've only got one pair of desert combats and they were issued second-hand with tears in them which have got worse since I got here," he said. "I've had to cut my pocket out to make patches to cover up the holes. It's embarrassing.

"The Iraqi army seems to be better clothed than we are. We are supposed to look like professional soldiers, but we don't. I look like a tramp."



steve evans
03-27-03, 06:40 PM
Do you want the British Armed forces to go home?

Whilst in the Marines I was always on the bum. It's what we do. Have had a K bar from a USMC bloke. A ponco liner (dpm). Various other bits of kit because I was a Proffesional soldier, always looking for kit to make my job easier.

It works both ways Drifter. Have swapped kit with various other countrys services.

My favorite boots were 'obtained' from a German Para.

But he loved my water bottle.

We do have a problem with our boots, true. they were crap when I was in. Nothing changes. Argentine Boots were obtained at every opportunity in 1982. ****, I'm to old for this!

Aye steve evans

Rob Parry
03-28-03, 02:40 AM
Purchasing a Rag Heads sister was not part of the general deal though............or was it?

03-29-03, 06:54 AM
After NATO called a cease fire in the first round, all ammo was taken up and destroyed from U.S. Marines which rendered the M-16's useless, so they were stacked up in a well sump for my squad, and we picked up AK-47's for perimeter defense although not the weapons of choice, a Marine will do what he or she has to in a pinch. Besides they were brand new weapons never fired, and only dropped once, and there was plenty of ammo lying around the battlefield.
I preferred the Israeli desert boots they fit like tennis shoes.
We were issued one pair of desert utilities which we wore for the entire time in Kuwait. after the war was over and we were taking R&R back in Saudi I noticed that all the "rear echelon" wear wearing brand new ones with new boots. After a quick recon of the area supply points were found and a whole shipment of utilities came up missing that were heading to a refuelling Co. and rerouted to the front via the company gunny's humvee!

03-29-03, 08:21 AM
:D :marine: :D

Go leroy Go...,

Seems we had a similar problem with mosquito nets, in GetMo '79.

Our Company had plenty, every cot had 1, but others were missing. It makes you wonder about logistics, don't it.

03-29-03, 09:56 AM
To scrounge or not to scrounge?

That is never a problem question for a Marine.

Just keep a low profile and act like it all belongs to you to start with! Bold works well at times. Bein' sneaky and workin' dark nights is best, though!

Unless ya get caught, then deny everything!

And in extremis tell the whole truth!

The short version goes like this:

"Major, if I didn't have two huge wall lockers full of a half a million dollars or more of spare parts you wouldn't be enjoying an operational readiness 30 % higher than everyone else's in the Marine Corps! Yer supply system is broke and this is the only way I can keep yer helicopters in the air!"

"Sergeant, I want a complete inventory of everything you have."

Three weeks later I caught the good Major trading some of my parts with one his buddies for one that we desperateley needed. The supply system would've taken more than a few months to deliver it!

Somehow all talk of Leavenworth went away......

I was smart enough to let the good Major keep the 'keys' to the wall lockers, afterwards. Once more than one person knows anything it ain't gonna work for long!

I wouldn't trust some of the maintenance records from back then if I were you. They seem to have been fiddled somewhat....

03-29-03, 10:47 AM
One nice thing about Avi Ord, we had our own Production Control and dummy MAF's can be a wonderful thing! Supply don't know what a part is, what it does or how it works, they just need the paperwork that authorizes you to get x number of each part for a particular piece of gear.

When the USMC bought the obsolete and useless computer system that the Air Force got rid of, the dummy MAF went away. Though, the system would be down 2 or 3 days every week or so and we'd have to go to MAF's then, when the system was back up, enter it into the compuker. This was the USMC saving money by using less paper. LOL

03-29-03, 10:50 AM
shhhhh. Don't give all of the secrets away!!!!

03-29-03, 11:05 AM
Bones, it was sad. We were on Okinawa when the coup attempt happened in the Philippines - against Cori Aquino. Had 5-10 LAU-7's (Sidewinder Missile Launchers) to get up to par to send to the PI. - we...

03-29-03, 11:15 AM
Don't even talk about bein' outta phased maintenance, bro! That gets ugly inna hurry!

and dummy MAFS and wall lockers of spare parts were beter than playin' cannibal any day! LOL.

03-29-03, 11:55 AM
Never did play cannibal. I can immagine how ugly that could get! Though, I once ditch hopped a tug.. was told I even 'caught air' with it! Kept the stripes but painted a building for a few weekends. LOL Funny, wasn't long and I had help on that building.

03-29-03, 12:55 PM
:) If I ever got short of any equipment,always found it best to go and 'nick'off the Army R.E.M.F,they always reserved the best equipment for themselves.Aye JR

03-29-03, 01:55 PM
Marines don't 'canniblize'. Now, with that said, we have been known to 'creatively acquire' needed parts.

As a lowley LCpl, I was Squad Leader on a gun, filling an Ammo NCO billet, and then I got put over our 'mules', 8 to an 81 Plt. It would seem that Gunny knew something was going on. We had 4 running, and 4 waiting on 4th echelon maintance.

We deployed to GetMo a month later with 6 1/2 mules running. The 1/2 brokedown in route, so we had 6 effective. Gunny covered my A$$ with the motor Sgt, when we had them running, and HE didn't know how.

Improvize, Adapt, and Overcome.

03-29-03, 06:22 PM
In DS we were in such a hurry to move north we started getting into our own ordinance (Rockeyes) kept losing tires, tracks, trailers, etc. the army had left a few trucks alongside the road we called them the parts stores a few Iraqi trucks were also being used when every one caught up we got the nickname Bagdad express 1/3 of our trucks were Iraqi.
after sitting up in the defense after the cease fire we found a "furniture store" I had a Lazyboy in my fighting pos.