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 Post subject: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:07 pm 
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There is one very obvious reason why a French soldier should have opened fire with live ammunition instead of blanks at a military display in Carcassonne, injuring 17 spectators, some of them critically.

Quite simply, there must be a massive shortage of blank ammunition in France, the bulk of the stocks having been despatched to Afghanistan for use by their national contingent over there. We would not, after all, want these brave peacekeepers to get hurt by doing anything so dangerous as carrying live ammunition.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:04 am
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I'd like to know a bit more about this. Automatic weapons need a blank firing attachment to work with blanks, and if you fire live ammo with a BFA on you soon know about it. Sounds a bit dodgy to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:46 pm 
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JohnFSK wrote:
I'd like to know a bit more about this. Automatic weapons need a blank firing attachment to work with blanks, and if you fire live ammo with a BFA on you soon know about it. Sounds a bit dodgy to say the least.


Sounds very dodgy, to say the least. However, the French authorities are saying - for the moment - it looks like a "mistake". Is it conceivable that this could happen at a military display over here? I think not!

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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:47 pm 
I was always told, "Never ever point a gun as someone unless you plan to shoot that person". I would have thought that would be doubly so in an elite force. Sorry to ask, but any news of the origin of the individual concerned?


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:52 pm 
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PAL wrote:
I was always told, "Never ever point a gun as someone unless you plan to shoot that person". I would have thought that would be doubly so in an elite force. Sorry to ask, but any news of the origin of the individual concerned?


He's been arrested and detained:

Quote:
Investigations have begun into the shooting, which a senior army officer said was almost certainly an "unintentional" mistake. But France's Defence Minister said that an experienced soldier would not make such an error.

A soldier, described as having “a perfect record” and no history of psychological problems, was detained following the shootings at a barracks outside the south-western city of Carcassonne.

Herve Morin, France’s Defence Minister, said: "I cannot rule out anything because I don't know what might be going on in a man’s head." But he added that an "experienced soldier" would not confuse real bullets for blanks, and the two munitions were packed in different coloured magazines.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 240396.ece

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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:23 pm 
PAL wrote:
...but any news of the origin of the individual concerned?
I had the same question.

This
Quote:
A soldier, described as having “a perfect record” and no history of psychological problems....
sounds just like those reports that say
For Example wrote:
Father of four, master campanologist, part-time church warden and ambulance driver, Trevor Thistlethwaite 39, was stabbed by a gang of youths as he was leaving his local take-away in Oldtownstan, Yorkshire yesterday. According to shocked witnesses the unprovoked attack was made as Mr Thistletwaite was unlocking his car.... A police spokesman said that the incident had stunned the local community which had an excellent record....

Right. Just "youths". And just "a soldier". Let's see.
.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:34 pm 
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And, of course, if you turn out to be wrong John Archer and PAL in your insinuations, you will eat humble pie. Not, I suspect. Let's see.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:47 pm 
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A very disingenuous article. Having operated alongside them many times on ops and exercises (albeit primarily their AF and Navy) I've always found the French military to be extremely good, very brave and better in some respects than the US and Canadians. Some would do well to remember that the French lost more personnel on ops in the Balkans than any other nation.

The UK, US and Australian military have had similar incidents over the years. The French soldier in question appears to have had a Blank Firing Attachment (BFA) attached to his weapon and it worked as advertised, reducing the velocity of the first few rounds until it disintegrated (BFAs are not required to enable blank rounds to be fired from automatic weapons). The injuries were probably caused by low velocity probably tumbling rounds and fragments of the BFA.

There will however be questions regarding how blank ammo got mixed up with live rounds.

A speedy recovery to those injured.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:35 pm 
Helen S: "you will eat humble pie."

Perfectly happy to do so, in fact it is in the oven now. On the other hand don't forget Sadat.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:04 am
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Location: Cheshire
Quote:
BFAs are not required to enable blank rounds to be fired from automatic weapons


They are if you want the action to cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:54 pm 
Helen S wrote:
And, of course, if you turn out to be wrong John Archer and PAL in your insinuations, you will eat humble pie. Not, I suspect. Let's see.

I was going to say never mind PAL—he simply asked a perfectly reasonable question. Oh well....

But why should we eat humble pie if we're 'wrong', as you put it?

But let's not be coy. Are you insinuating that, in particular, the soldier's religious/ethnic origin or background could have no possible bearing on what happened?

How about a bet on the next five stabbings reported in the UK with, let's say, Britons* as victims? What odds would you give me that at least four of the perpetrators will turn out to be ethnics, i.e. non-Britons?

Oh, let's see now. If 20% of the UK population were ethnics—not much of an overestimate in my view—then one should expect only about one perp to be an ethnic and 'fair' odds would work out at about 183 to 1. If you prefer an estimate of ethnic population density of 15%, then they go up to 555 to 1. At 10% they're 2,702 to 1. These assume 'communities' are all mixed in nicely. The odds go even higher if they're not.

So how about offering us, and any others, a paltry 150 to 1? It would be a steal for you.

What do you say?

Oh yeah. I nearly forgot. What if we're right? :)



* Please don't be tempted.


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:34 pm 
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JohnFSK wrote:
Quote:
BFAs are not required to enable blank rounds to be fired from automatic weapons


They are if you want the action to cycle.


John,

The French FAMAS weapon doesn't require a BFA to fire blanks in automatic due to the gas return system on it. However, BFAs are normally fitted on exrcise to manage the the danger of flash burn and because it is standard practice with other weapons.

However, I take your point. If it was a Minimi, it would have required a BFA to provide automatic fire reliably. What I should have said is that BFAs are not necessarily required for automatic blank firing.

Regards,
MM


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:13 pm 
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Quote:
Are you insinuating that, in particular, the soldier's religious/ethnic origin or background could have no possible bearing on what happened?


Evidence?


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:26 pm 
Helen S wrote:
Quote:
Are you insinuating that, in particular, the soldier's religious/ethnic origin or background could have no possible bearing on what happened?


Evidence?
Fine. But that's not strictly necessary. A simple acknowledgment that you were indeed insuating what I asked you about will do. But if you want to back the insinuation up with some kind of evidence to justify it then I'll give it a fair hearing. You can rely on me.

Over to you. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The glory of France
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:35 am 
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Still I have no idea what that paragraph means, if anything, John Archer, I cannot reply to it. I still want evidence from you that there was something hidden about the ethnic/religious background of the sergeant who fired that live ammunition. Not blather about possibilities and probabilities or what happened in some gang fight in Britain but hard evidence. Over to you. And nothing from me until I see that evidence.


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