Author and broadcaster Kate Adie has spoken alongside soldiers who fought in the Gulf War, sharing her experiences to mark the 30th anniversary of the conflict. In our new podcast, Adie recalls:
“The eve of battle turned into something very special. There was a ceremony in every part of the British forces in the desert. We were given special rations: shrimp appeared, which had been unofficially acquired from the Americans – it was delicious!
“On every table there was a lid from a tin can with a little candle stuck in it; and, when it got to sunset, a piper played. It froze your senses, the hairs stood up on the back of your neck: contemplating what was going to come the next day. It was extraordinary.”
Adie was embedded as a correspondent alongside the British Army during the Gulf War: the largest mobilisation of British troops since the Second World War, when over 53,000 members on the British Armed Forces deployed on Operation Granby.
Talking alongside Kate Adie in our Voices of The Gulf War podcast is the youngest soldier to have served during Operation Granby, aged just 17. He says:
“I remember sitting on a sand dune and having a quiet moment to myself – wondering if this was really going to be it. I found it quite overwhelming that, at 17, I’d written a last will and testament.”
Others recall a fierce determination to do their job well; and a hardening of resolve on learning of comrades’ loss of life – a feeling of “this guy isn’t going to get away with this.”
Featuring first-hand accounts from servicemen and women directly involved, from those in leadership roles to the soldiers providing combat and logistic support services at all levels on the battlefield, Voices of the Gulf War charts the story of a short war that cast a long shadow.
Our podcast is presented by travel writer and former Army officer, Harry Bucknall.