F*** off, mate! How the Aussies repelled Iranian gunboats (unlike the hapless US sailors)
By RICHARD SHEARS
While pointing their guns straight at the heavily-armed Iranian boats, the sailors simply told the troops to “**** off”. And they did.
Their no-nonsense approach was very different to that of the muchc-riticised crew from HMS Cornwall, whose capture in the Gulf in March led to a diplomatic crisis.
Details of the Australian incident, which occurred well before the British humiliation, emerged yesterday.
The Australian naval authorities had been bombarded with requests after a television report of rumours about the confrontation.
Their Defence Department confirmed that its sailors had used “colourful language” and pointed their weapons, but declined to comment on the way the Britons had responded in similar circumstances.
Spokesman Commander Steve Gilmore said: “The response of our sailors highlights what is unique about the Australian sailor.
“The courage that was shown in demanding circumstances, the loyalty, the team work were there throughout, and we’re very, very proud of the way that the team worked.
“The Australian officer in command seized the initiative and demonstrated very sound judgment and excellent leadership.”
He said that during the incident, believed to have occurred in 2004, the 14 Australians, who were on rubber dinghies, had held off the crew of Iranian gunboats by pointing their weapons, yelling curses at them and telling them in no uncertain terms to go away.
Earlier this week the official report into the debacle with the British troops concluded that no individual was to blame
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