September 27, 2005
The IRA Arsenal.
Here’s what it is believed the IRA have destroyed:
650 Kalashnikov assault rifles
40 Armalite assault rifles, smuggled from America, often stolen from US army stores
50 heavy and general purpose machine guns
60 Webley revolvers
2 Barret high-powered American sniper rifles
40 rocket launchers
6 flame throwers
1 SAM-7 surface-to-air missile
600 bomb detonators
3 tonnes of Semtex plastic explosive, the undetectable variety
An unknown number of mortars
Hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition
1) That does seem a very small armoury. Apart from the Semtex it’s not that far above what an infantry battalion would have. Maybe it reflects the asymmetrical nature of guerilla warfare.
2) That’s really it? No handguns floating around Belfast? That includes the guns from the bank robbery?
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Anyone who demurs from the 'historic truth' scenario is obviously a UVF or UDA member, anxious to decry and pollute the 'wonderful atmosphere' surrounding this 'truly momentous' occasion!
Posted by: Mike Cunningham | Sep 27, 2005 12:24:21 PM
Handgun is a US term. As opposed to a footgun I guess.
"60 Webley revolvers" revolvers seem to me to be a UK term for a type of "handgun" - still they are an old gun.
Posted by: Monjo | Sep 27, 2005 2:30:23 PM
At the risk of sounding like a "rabid prod" (I prefer to be thought of as a raving pagan, attached CofE) may I offer this thought?
Webleys were issued to the British Army back in WWI. They were huge, heavy and kicked like a mule. From reports I've read, unless you had the build of a rugby prop forward and had trained dilligently the chances of hitting a barn from six paces were iffy. In other words, hardly the weapon of choice for the fashion conscious terrorist.
Given that the provos seem to have all sorts of sexy, up to date bang bangs in other categories; assault rifles, guided weapons and flame throwers (flame throwers?!?) I'm very surprised that the Paddy Q Section weren't issuing something a little more up to date and better suited to the needs of the modern terrorist. Obviously their purchasing system was just as cocked as that of the MOD.
I mean, the nice men from Derry wouldn't have kept back a whole shed load of shiny Brownings, Colts and Glocks because they'de be useful for bank robberies, intimidation, etc., would they?
Ok, Ok. Bad Remittance Man! How could he even think such a thing? I'll be in the "naughty corner" if you want me.
Posted by: Remittance Man | Sep 28, 2005 8:01:00 AM
"1) That does seem a very small armoury."
It's about what I expected. The IRA in its heyday had maybe 200 active operatives.
"2) That’s really it? No handguns floating around Belfast?"
We'll never know. have some IRA volunteers kept a few weapons? Probably. In the long term, I don't thnink it's a big deal if a few people have firearms in their attics. Maybe they'll pass them down as souvenirs to their grandchildren, and they'll eventually end up in museums.
Posted by: Phil Hunt | Sep 28, 2005 1:16:52 PM