Musu Qala falls – “quelle surprise!”

Musu Qala falls to the Taliban: Afghan town that British and US military died to protect is seized by insurgents making fresh advances after Allied forces withdrew.Royal Marines Musa Qala 2007 Taliban fighters have seized control of a strategically important district headquarters in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. 

British and US forces led the fight against the Taliban in Musa Qala for several years prior to their withdrawal from Helmand in October last year.  But the once key Nato position has now become the second town in northern Helmand to fall to the Taliban in recent weeks, after Nawzad.

Three thousand, three hundred and ninety-three coalition deaths (and rising,) with thousands of lives destroyed through horrific injuries – on top of countless £/$ Billions spent – squandered – and embezzled by Afghanistan’s ‘elite!’ Not one more drop of blood should to be shed over the open air toilet ‘also known as’ Afghanistan.   Yours_Aye.

Backbone of steel – not jelly.

“Sooner or later the tanks are going to roll”: Ex-Army Chief Lord Richards says ground troops will be needed to defeat ISIS.2AAB124B00000578-0-image-m-11_1437300295670

Britain and its allies will have to send ground troops and tanks into Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS militants, a former head of the armed forces warned today.
Lord Richards said the existing strategy meant the army was ‘dribbling’ instead of ‘clouting’ against the terror group.  He warned that the lacklustre response to the jihadi threat was ‘firing up’ the situation and making it worse.

He’s not afraid to speak his mind, and constructively knocks the government at every available opportunity. On 23 June 2015, Lord Richards spoke at the Chalke Valley History Festival and, as he condemned dithering politicians too reluctant to lead the way, cautioned that Britain must stop “sleepwalking, and needs to prepare to tackle Muslim extremism as seriously as it planned for the Second World War.” The media is quick to report such accordingly, which then makes life awkward  for the Prime Minister – Huzzah!General_Sir_Francis_Richard_Dannatt,_KCB,_CBE,_MC_-_York_2007-09-22_(RLH)

We have several cracking retired Generals (Baron Richard Dannatt springs to mind – right) and yet we appoint wobbly chinned ‘yes men’ politicians to the role of ‘Secretary of State for Defence’ The incumbent being; The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP (below) whose career outside of politics follows thus;  “Former director of Bannatyne Fitness Ltd (fitness clubs), Quality Care Homes plc (nursing homes), Just Learning Ltd (nurseries), Attendo AB (Scandinavian social and health care) and Tullett Prebon plc (inter-dealing broking).”Michael_Fallon_2065017a

The very same DEFENCE Secretary who was recently accused of breathtaking hypocrisy after demanding Nato nations honour a defence cash pledge – while refusing to commit Britain to do the same. (Fallon rounded on 24 members of the 28-strong NATO alliance for failing to spend the promised 2% of their annual GDP on their militaries.)

Bumbling bloody buffoon!   Yours_Aye.

Fire spitting Royal Enfield Matchless Cycle

29BAED5300000578-3129593-image-m-25_1434625171655Vintage WWI – Royal Enfield motorbike sidecar combination, complete with its own .303 Vickers Machine Gun is up for sale at £30,000 /$47,619. The ‘light armoured’ Royal Enfield combination was intended to be used by the Russian army, and kitted out with ‘cutting-edge’ weaponry of the time.
29BAF44A00000578-3129593-image-m-27_1434625329513However, by the time it was ready for delivery Lenin had pulled out of the war in the wake of the Russian Revolution, and it was never deployed in battle.Royal-Enfield-Logo

A set lot of 250 Matchless motorbikes had to be auctioned off in 1918, fetching £64 each! Registration papers show the bike’s first owner was Edward Foster, from Dorchester in Dorset, but little is known of its history until it was bought by First World War enthusiast Chris Roberts in 1998.

‘The outfit can seat three people – one on the main saddle, another on a pillion saddle and a third in the sidecar. These would have been the ultimate ‘fast moving – hard hitting’  attack vehicles of their day.

I’ve got a 10 gallon demijohn bottle containing Ten Quid’s worth of shrapnel, all is required is the other £29,990,00 – and I’m in with a chance to ride this little beauty around my field. Nipper could operate as No1 gunner, and Hannah No2 loader, what could possibly go wrong?    Yours Aye.

Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815

The bicentenary of The Battle of Waterloo. Fought on Sunday, 18th June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A British square puts up dogged resistance against attacking French cavalry.  Carnage, utter bloody carnage and organised chaos…Charge_of_the_French_Cuirassiers_at_Waterloo-1

Modern day technical analysis of The Battle of Waterloo (above) combined with historical facts, enables a far better understanding to the event. If you have 48 minutes to spare, it’s well worth viewing. If you fall short of a spare 48 minutes, then perhaps you could squeeze in 28 minutes, and listen to Professor Richard Holmes wax lyrical about the whole battle (below.) The clip may fail to open, but a click on ‘YouTube’ will remedy the same.   Yours Aye.

Artillery – The God of War!

In 1944 – Joseph Stalin stated in a speech that “Artillery was The Gawd of War”

Below: Incoming air-burst shrapnel & ground ‘HE’ provided by 155mm ordnance.

DSC_0036On Two Sisters – when the artillery Gawd spoke, we listened attentively. Thank you mother nature for providing a hard reverse slope for cover. No body armour, no tin hat, just a beret of green, and a tin mug of scalding hot tea, and the obligatory pack of dead fly biscuits – oh bliss…       Yours Aye.

Blowing £3,800 – $5,806 on a tent?

2934FC4A00000578-3104091-image-m-55_1433023777387Would you blow £3,800/$5,806 on an inflatable tent? Ingenious new design by a German company promises ‘intuitive and extremely fast pitching.’ 

‘Heimplanet’ have three blow-up tents in their range, which cost from £280 for the basic two-man model to £3,800 for their most advanced base camp-style structure.

That ‘Maverick’ shown here is a staggering 200 times more expensive than some of the cheapest standard tents on the market – but is claimed to be ‘extremely stable and robust’ in every weather condition, including wind speeds higher than 110mph – equivalent to a category-two hurricane… Heimplanet boast their tents will shelter you from elements in four minutesSWB Series 3 Landrover

I’ll stick with my Terra Nova Goretex double hooped Bivi that I can pitch up in four minutes, even when the weather is blowing a hooligan…

And it just so happens I know of someone who is desperate to get rid of his ‘ex-military Short Wheel Base ½ Ton – Series III Lightweight Air Portable Land Rover’ (not the one pictured but still an excellent runner for  £3,350) So against the price of an ‘arty-farty’ blow up tent – one could purchase a brand new Terra Nova Bivi, as well as a classic Landrover and still have £100 left over for a cracking adventure.       Yours Aye.

Tactical Duty Kilt – wearer beware!

After showing off the Tactical Duty Kilt as a prank, 5.11 Tactical has started producing them. Offers great freedom of movement, takes a large operator belt, and snap-on cargo pockets hold AR or pistol magazines. For manly men only (who have a kinky outlook on life, and wish to attract wolf whistles at the outdoor gun range.)

Jeezus wept man… I’ve just splurged a mouthful of tea over the flipping keypad, and Nipper has just legged it out of the office to Gawd knows where! Next up will be matching marigold washing up gloves in woodland camouflage. The slippery slope to femininity can be a an eye watering painful one, especially if you’re wearing a frock, and the slope is covered in cactus…      Yours Aye.

“Bugger that for a game of soldiers!”

A damn close run thing: 200 years on, this amazingly restored model shows the full extent of the Battle of Waterloo – and how many did not survive the day. An enormous diorama which shows the full extent of the Battle of Waterloo has gone on display to mark the 200th anniversary of the conflict.      Click on pic’s to enlarge.2761238900000578-3030264-image-m-8_1428539949900The model contains more than 30,000 figures, and illustrates all the key moments of the battle which allowed the Duke of Wellington to defeat Napoleon’s forces. 275D9ACC00000578-3030264-image-m-33_1428493292285It was built in the 1970s, but fell into disrepair before being restored to its former glory just in time for the battle’s bicentenary, which falls on June 18 of this year.

You’d need the patience of a saint to dust and assemble the whole diorama; “Bugger that for a game of soldiers!”  I ain’t no saint – though I ain’t no devil neither…    Yours Aye.


JADE HELM 15: US TROOPS TO “OPERATE UNDETECTED AMONGST CIVILIAN POPULATION”  The “realistic” military training exercise, which will involve the Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, is set to take place from July September 2015, but has prompted concerns after Texas and Utah were labeled “hostile” territory in documents related to the exercise. Role players to practice infiltrating towns during controversial exercise amongst civilian population  Paranoia, or genuine concern?

As this isn’t happening in dear old Blighty – I just wondered if you good people across the pond should be concerned over what is really happening with exercise JADE HELM 15. It’s not as if you can’t trust the POTUS and the team of advisors that surround him (typed using the ‘very heavy sarcasm’ keys) After all; Russia, North Korea, China, and Venezuela have been doing the very same for several years or more… My interest is genuine.      Yours Aye. 

Colonel Tim Collins; “Argentina wouldn’t dare”

Argentina wouldn’t dare to invade the Falklands again, says Colonel Tim Collins.  The Telegraph Saturday 28th March 2015.
What struck me about the Falkland Islanders on the several occasions when I served there during my army career was their warmth and their disarming generosity. That is not to say relations are always completely rosy between the islanders and the garrison that more than matches their numbers. The local joke goes “How do you make 4,000 people happy in the Falklands? Send 2,000 home”. The simple truth is that Falkland islanders just want to be left alone. But that is not likely to happen. Their jealous neighbour covets their tiny farms whilst using the islands as a convenient distraction from Argentina’s many domestic woes. With the news that the Russians are contemplating leasing 12 long-range bombers to Argentina, it would appear that the military threat to the Falklands is still very real. So what could and should the UK be doing to reassure the islanders and deter the aggressor?


We first have to analyse what is happening and why. What are the real intentions of the Argentines? A glance at the state of Argentina provides the answer.
The discredited president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is the subject of a number of criminal allegations. She has been accused of money laundering and tax evasion.
Only last week she was cleared by an Argentine appeals court of covering up the alleged involvement of senior Iranian officials in a 1994 bomb attack against a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires.

 The allegations were based on a 350-page dossier compiled by special prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Nisman died in unexplained circumstances in January: he apparently shot himself – in the back of the head. His family believes he was murdered. Following his mysterious death, hundreds of thousands of people marched in silence in the Buenos Aires rain to pay tribute to him.

A controversial figure, and the subject of some ridicule in Latin America, Kirchner followed her husband to power in a series of governments that have presided over the collapse of the Argentine economy. I recall when I visited Colombia and Peru in 2012, working with the governments there, that there was much speculation about Madam Kirchner’s operation for suspected thyroid cancer. She had shown no signs whatsoever of illness. One official noted: “When you get a biopsy done on both sides of your neck at once here, we call it a face-lift.” It is to distract from the incompetence of her government, that Kirchner frequently wheels out the unjustifiable claim on the Falkland Islands. Despite a 2013 referendum in which the islanders voted to remain a British Overseas Territory – 1,513 to 3, with a turnout of more than 90 per cent, Kirchner dismisses them as squatters. Ironically, they have been there far longer than her own family have been “squatting”, to use her term, in southern America. Her grandparents were born in Spain and Germany.ck1

So what would the addition of the Russian aircraft mean to the Argentine military? In my opinion, their impact would be negligible. The aircraft in question – Sukhoi SU 24s (NATO designation ‘FENCER’) – are old ladies with distinctly dated capabilities. They entered service with the Soviet Union in 1974 and were familiar to me when I served in Berlin in 1982. Those nations where they are still in service – for example Iran, Sudan and Kazakhstan – are not major air powers.

There are other problems for the Argentine Air Force. It still has not recovered from losing one-third of its strength in the Falklands War. Its inventory includes a number of second-hand A4 Sky Hawks – which proved easy pickings for the Royal Navy Harriers – and 60s era French Mirage fighters. Furthermore, the force’s leadership is suspect. Kirchner sacked the top 17 air force generals in 2005 for involvement in drug trafficking.
Also, consider the fact that the Sukhoi deal is superb for Russia. In exchange for some ancient junk, the Russians would get shipments of beef and wheat – circumventing the EU sanctions imposed over its involvement in the Ukraine conflict whilst sticking two fingers up to the UK for our criticism of that involvement (Putin himself compared Russian stance on Ukraine with the UK stance on the Falklands).

However, the Fencers could have the range to get to the Falklands and back if unopposed – unlike the rest of the Argentine Air Force, with only the A4s being capable of air-to-air refuelling and with only two tanker aircraft being available.
So, if the deal went through and, more seriously, if Argentina’s attempts to procure 24 Saab Gripen fighters – modern Swedish aircraft – through an order place by Brazil are successful, then the Argentines would have – on paper at least – a credible threat to the tiny islands. 

But only on two conditions; First they would need to be able to pay. Whilst Russians would swap for beef and wheat, the Brazilians would require hard cash. Argentina’s defence budget is 0.9 per cent of an economy that shrunk 2 per cent last year. Her defence spending outstrips only that of Suriname in the region – and Suriname is the smallest sovereign state in South America. Secondly; they would have to get past the Royal Navy, the Royal Air force and then survive the Army’s Star Streak missiles.

Getting past the Royal Navy would be a challenge. In the South Atlantic, the Royal Navy deploys at least one of the new Daring Class Type 45 destroyers. Doesn’t sound much; but with each one capable of tracking up to 1,000 targets from 400Km simultaneously and engaging up to 300 targets in layers from 120 km to 30 km (provided the targets are larger than a tennis ball) simultaneously, it is the equivalent of 5 Type 42 destroyers of the type used in the Falklands War. In effect, if all the serviceable attack aircraft in all of Latin America – including Cuba – were attacking the Falklands, a Type 45 could cope comfortably.

Then there are the four Typhoons based in the Falklands. With a combat radius of 100 miles, they would far outperform anything that would come their way with the exception of the Gripens. The Gripens – slower, with a lower service ceiling, and less thrust than the Typhoons – would, in numbers at least, stand a chance against the Typhoons.
But then they have to avoid the Star Streak missiles. Built in Belfast, Star Streaks travel at more than Mach 3 – three times the speed of a SU 24. My money would be on the Star Streaks.

For the sake of argument, what if the Royal Navy was accounted for by the Argentine Navy? With 17 war ships, including four destroyers, and three submarines the Argentines have again – on paper – a threat to the Royal Navy and the Falklands. But, again, that is where the threat ends. On paper. The bulk of the navy is confined to port because of a lack of spares and engine problems. The ships’ on-board ordnance is past its sell-by date. There isn’t even the money for petrol to run the engines. One of the corvettes, Spiro (P 43), is out of service having run aground. So is one of the elderly submarines, Santa Cruz. The Submarine fleet has achieved a grand total of 19 hours of submerged training since 2012 against a minimum requirement of 190 days.

Training is very poor. The list of disasters is endless. The Sarandi – one of the destroyers – managed to damage the Brazilian Frigate Rademaker by firing on her during joint naval exercises, injuring four Brazilian sailors and an Argentine observer when her fire control system went haywire. The Destroyer Santisima Trinidad capsized and sank at anchor due to poor maintenance. And that is all before the Type 45s even turn on their defence systems against ships up to 40 years old and with the RN’s submarine fleet not even considered. 

In a nutshell, I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I wouldn’t worry about the knackered old Fencers. They need to be maintained and we know that is one capability gap in the Argentine military. Of course, we do need to keep up a strong defence – and that means we must maintain the two per cent spending required by NATO – if the peaceful farmers on the wind wept islands are to continue to live their bucolic ideal and Kirchner’s rhetoric is to remain just that. But let the Russians have their little jibe. I hope they enjoy the beef.

It is my most humble opinion that Colonel Tim Collins would make a an excellent politician – it is hoped one day he chooses to throw his hat into the political arena. A fine honest Irishman with a rod of iron for a backbone…   Yours Aye.

High tech Vs ISIS cave dwellers

Boeing patent reveals plans for Star Trek-style FORCE FIELD: Device would protect vehicles and buildings from explosion shockwaves. A force field that can protect vehicles from the destructive blast-waves thrown out by explosions is being developed by aircraft manufacturer Boeing.boeing patentThe company has been granted a patent for a device that appears to work like the fictional shields seen in science fiction movies like Star Wars and Star Trek. The system works by using an ‘arc generator’ to rapidly heat the air in front of a shockwave creating a cloud of electrically charged gas. The ‘arc generator’ uses lasers, microwaves or electric current to ionise the air in front of the shockwave so it deflects & reflects energy from the explosion

This in addition to; The ARMOUR that can repel direct incoming fire: 
British military scientists have been working on a new type of armour designed to repel incoming fire from vehicles. The armour, developed by researchers at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) would use pulses of electrical energy to defelct rockets, shrapnel and other ammunition that might damage a vehicle. Engineers behind the technology claim it is possible to incorporate supercapacitors into the body of a tank or armoured personnel carrier to turn it into a kind of giant battery.defence-science-and-technology-laboratory-dstl-testing-electric-armour-740x555

When incoming fire is detected, the energy stored in the supercapacitor can be rapidly dumped onto the metal plating on the outside of the vehicle, producing a strong electromagnetic field that creates a momentary forecfield capable of repelling incoming metal. If timed correctly, the scientists behind the technology say it could help to prevent rocket propelled grenades and shells that detonate on impact from reaching their target. (DSTL), testing electric armour on an armoured personnel carrier at one their test range facilities


Meanwhile in the ‘wannabe’ Caliphate: ISIS militants destroy ancient artefacts using dated technology… And there we have it – the writing is on the wall for ISIS to take heed, that is, unless they have already destroyed the wall. Their end is nigh – their destruction is overdue! Yours Aye.

Who Dares Wins ~ By Strength And Guile

SAS/SBS quad bike squads kill up to 8 jihadis each day, as allies prepare to wipe IS off the map: Daring raids by UK Special Forces leave 200 enemy dead in just four weeks.     Stock pictures used are not SF…article-2845668-2369450F00000578-441_964x424SAS/SBS troops with sniper rifles and heavy machine guns have killed hundreds of Islamic State extremists in a series of deadly quad-bike ambushes inside Iraq, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Defence sources indicated last night that soldiers from the elite fighting unit have eliminated ‘up to eight terrorists per day’ in the daring raids, carried out during the past four weeks. Until now, it had been acknowledged only that Special Forces were operating in a reconnaissance role in Iraq and were not involved in combat. But The Mail on Sunday has learned that small groups of SF are being dropped into IS territory in RAF Chinook helicopters – to take on the enemy.

Take it with a pinch of salt, pepper, sugar, or even snuff… But they have been in their mixing it up for quite a while now (as are their brothers in arms from across the pond, as well as the boys divided by the Tasman Sea.) Always go to bed with a smile on your face; unless you’re an ISIS/ISIL/IS call sign…      Yours Aye.

‘INVICTUS’ Resilient Wounded Warriors

The Invictus Games LONDON. Opening Ceremony 10th September 20141410376506029_wps_65_LONDON_ENGLAND_SEPTEMBER_ WHO INVICTUS EXISTS FOR: Invictus Games competitors are the men and women who have come face-to-face with the reality of making a sacrifice for their country. They are the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives who put their lives on the line and suffered life-changing injuries. These people are the embodiment of everything the Invictus Games stands for. They have been tested and challenged, but they have not been overcome. They have proven they cannot be defeated. They have the willpower to persevere and conquer new heights.8385661905_fe24151ff6_o-1024x682

The Invictus Games are about survival in the face of adversity and the strength of the human spirit. They will send a positive message about life beyond disability. Over 400 competitors from 13 nations will take part in the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. Teams will come from the Armed Forces of nations that have served alongside each other. The Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

The event, which is championed by Prince Harry, will be a celebration of resilience and passion. The Games will shine a spotlight on Armed Forces personnel and veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country demonstrating how they and their families are valued, respected and supported. For competitors, it will offer a memorable, inspiring and energising experience in their journey of recovery.1410378342713_Image_galleryImage_LONDON_ENGLAND_SEPTEMBER_

‘Their stories are as amazing as they are unique’ Prince Harry’s speech in full…

‘Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with 12 wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole. ‘I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless. ‘Last year, through The Royal Foundation, I visited the Warrior Games in the United States.Prince Harry

‘Seeing people who, only months earlier, had been told they’d never walk again, now winning medals in front of their family and friends was breathtaking. ‘I knew that anyone would be inspired by what these men and women had achieved, not just other servicemen and women, but all those adjusting to life post injury. ‘Each of them have come such a long way; even making it to the start line is a huge achievement. Their stories are as amazing, as they are unique. ‘However, they all share one thing – sport. Sport has been the vehicle for their recovery, allowing them to channel their passion into what can be achieved, rather than what can’t. ‘No longer are these inspirational men and women defined by their injury but as athletes, competitors and team mates. ‘Over the next four days we will see some truly remarkable achievements.

For some of those taking part, this will be a stepping stone to elite sport but for others it will mark the end of a chapter in their recovery, and the beginning of a new one. ‘Either way, you can be sure that, everyone who takes to the track, pool or field of play will be giving it their all. ‘I have no doubt that lives will be changed this weekend. ‘It gives me great pleasure to welcome the 13 nations to London and to say how delighted I am that many of you are joined by your families, recognising the vital party they play in your recovery. ‘The British public’s support for our servicemen and women has been exceptional; I know they will show you the same over the coming days. ‘Finally, I would like to thank you for the tremendous example you set. Your stories move, inspire and humble us. You prove that anything is possible, if you have the will. ‘Welcome to the Games. Welcome to Invictus.’

* More than 400 competitors
* A total of 13 countries represented – alongside the UK team will be competitors from the US, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Afghanistan, Georgia, New Zealand and Germany.
* Four days of competition.
* Competitions are taking place in nine adaptive sports: athletics, swimming, power-lifting, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, road cycling, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and archery.
* Five venues, including those used during the 2012 London Olympic Games
* An audience of 5,000 is expected for Wednesday’s opening ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley 1875team-hill

This man is the epitome of a wounded warrior. “Reconnaissance Marine Corporal Todd Love – wounded in Afghanistan, proceeds to skydive, surf and run the spartan race with a gas mask, no legs and one hand.”  They say that ‘the greatest casualty is being forgotten.’ Let us never forget their sacrifice…  Yours Aye.

B.Z. Prince Harry – done and dusted in six months…

Whats in your Ration Pack-MRE?

Just a few meal selections taken from military ration packs – meals ready to eat, from various countries around the world.     The best has been saved for last…1-620xSpain. The Spanish lunch pack has cans of green beans with ham, squid in vegetable oil, and pate. There is also a sachet of powdered vegetable soup, peach in syrup for dessert and crackers handed out to go with the meal in place of bread (not shown). There is a disposable heater with matches and fuel tabs, as well as lots of tablets: Vitamin C, glucose, water purification, and rehydration.2-620xU.S. Almond poppy-seed pound cake, cranberries, spiced apple cider (the hot US non-alcoholic drink) and peanut butter and crackers make up this very American meal package. The main – pasta with vegetable “crumbles” in spicy tomato sauce – is less traditional, but the “flameless heater” shows off American tech skills – just add water to the powder in a plastic bag and it heats up enough to warm the plastic meal pouch.3-620xNorway. The Norwegian pack has American technology (the flameless heater) but British tastes. There is Earl Grey tea, beans and bacon in tomato sauce, a golden oatie biscuit and Rowntree’s Tooty Frooties.4-620xItaly. The Italian ration pack contains a breakfast shot of 40% alcohol cordial, a powdered cappuccino, lots of biscotti, and a disposable camping stove for heating parts of the meal, including a pasta and bean soup, canned turkey and a rice salad. Dessert is a power sport bar, canned fruit salad or a muesli chocolate bar.5-620xAustralia. The Australian ration pack has more small treats than any of the others. Most of it is packaged by the military, from a serving of love-it-or-hate-it Vegemite to jam sandwich biscuits and a tube of sweetened condensed milk. The bag includes a can-opener-cum-spoon for getting at the Fonterra processed cheddar cheese, and main meals of meatballs and chilli tuna pasta. There are lots of sweets and soft drinks, and two unappetising-looking bars labelled “chocolate ration”.6-620xGreat Britain. The British pack is dotted with familiar brands from Kenco coffee and Typhoo tea to a mini bottle of Tabasco. The main courses include the British favourite, chicken tikka masala, and a vegetarian pasta. There’s also pork and beans for breakfast, and lots of sweets and snacks from trail mix to an apple “fruit pocket” that looks like it might not be out-of-place in a school lunchbox. Plus packets of Polos and, of course, plenty of teabags.7-620xEstonia. Stuffed peppers, chicken-meat pâté, smoked sprats, and liver sausage with potatoes make an eclectic menu here. Plus, crispbreads on the side, and halva with vanilla for dessert. Breakfast is muesli, a fruit pocket and honey.8-620xCanada. While there are Bear Paws snacks in the Canadian ration pack, there’s the shocking omission of maple syrup. You have the choice of salmon fillet with Tuscan sauce or vegetarian couscous for the main meal. There is also the makings of a peanut butter and jelly (raspberry jam) sandwich for breakfast.9-620xGermany. The German ration pack contains several sachet’s of grapefruit and exotic juice powder to add to water, and Italian biscotti, but also more familiar treats such as liver-sausage spread and rye bread, goulash with potatoes, and for breakfast sour cherry and apricot jams.10-620xFrance. A streamlined but sophisticated French ration pack offers soldiers deer pâté, cassoulet with duck confit, creole-style pork and a crème chocolate pudding. There is also a disposable heater, some coffee and flavoured drink powder, muesli for breakfast and a little Dupont d’Isigny caramel.11-620xSingapore. The offerings in the Singapore pack were sparse despite its reputation for high-quality cuisine. There were a paltry three dishes, of Szechuan chicken noodles; a mushroom, basil, rice and chicken dish; and soya milk with red-bean dessert.Russki ration packimagesRussia. Things have improved drastically since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Each ration box now comes with 6 litres of Vodka, as opposed to just 2 litres of siphoned jet fuel soaked in black bread.              OK so I made this one up 😉

And there we have it. No doubt a little bit of ‘this and that’ selected from each countries ration-pack would actually form some thing acceptable, and possibly palatable for a while. Though you would have a fight on your hands trying to take the Russkies vodka. “Nazdaróvye!”      Yours Aye.

Sarah Lee and David Levene, Tuesday 18 February 2014 18.26 GMT