Friday, 16 September 2011

The Paras: 1982 Documentary

The Paras was a fly on the wall BBC TV documentary aired in November 1983. It follows the recruits from 480 (Training) Platoon of the Parachute Regiment, as they undertake basic training between January and June 1982.

The timing of the documentary was impeccable. The Falklands War took place during the course of filming and provides a sober backdrop of reality behind the training.

All the episodes are available on Youtube. Just follow the link in the embedded video above. The episode I've chosen shows the recruits towards the end of their training on a live firing exercise. All scrimmed and cammed up, as per true Tom of the Cold War period.

Parts 1 & 2 of this episode give a very close up and gritty idea of British Army tactical training for the individual soldier. Following the 'action' you don't need a commentary to spot the greeness of the 'trained' recruits. Highlighting the real differences between an experienced soldier (listen to the DS instructions and examples) to green soldiers and what then of untrained civilian militia?


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