"Viva la alcoholism!"
Locals and troops alike celebrated as Prime Minister Cameron himself hailed the operation as a total success.
In a speech similar to that of the late Winston Churchill, the cherry faced PM stated;
"Never in the history of afternoon sessions was so much drank by so many in so few hours"
The Mission Objective:
In a gruelling, near 5 mile route into the heart of darkness that is Compton and Finchfield, troops must navigate the wilds of the west-side pubs and make it back into the centre of Wolverhampton in one piece (and of course, neck loads of ale on route). Victory conditions are as previous - remain standing by the end of the campaign and make it to the exfiltration point. Failure is not an option.
Click on the image for the high resolution viewfinder:
Following the successful completion of Operation Pork Scratching, the MOD released the following timeline of events to the general media.
n.b. For information, The 'Beer Sniper', as referenced in the mission log below, refers to the stealthy enemy that stalks all beer war soldiers and threatens to eliminate them from the war-zone unexpectedly.
20/05/2011 1330hrs GMT
Bravo company (Cpt Cartwright & Cpt Mcfarland) convene at Allied Camp Chequerfield. Alpha Squadron, led by Cpt Bladon (aka the blade) proceed to the insertion point on foot from Allied Camp Bladon.
Bravo company face extreme difficulty in attempt to rendevous with Alpha squadron due to mechanical failures experienced by an ABC Countdown humvee. After unsuccessful attempts by the vehicle operator/useless cabbie at re-starting the choking machine, Cpts Mcfarland and Cartwright attempt an experimental pushstart on Stubbs Road. Largely due to the superhuman strength of Cpt Cartwright, and despite the obvious physical deficiencies of Cpt Mcfarland, the attempt is successful and the convoy continues on to its primary destination.
20/05/2011 1345hrs GMT
Alpha squadron faces potentially mission threatening circumstances at the insertion point. Checkpoint 1, 'Bird in Hand' is closed till 1500hrs!
Suspicious activity by unknown locals in the adjacent car port leads Alpha squadron to suspect terrorist-like activity is afoot. Acting quickly, Cpt Bladon contacts Cpt Mcfarland to confirm re-route to the secondary objective point - the Royal Oak. Evading the dodgy locals, Alpha squad makes a successful retreat.
20/05/2011 1400hrs GMT
Alpha Squadron and Bravo Company make initial contact at Checkpoint 2 - 'The Royal Oak'. Tactical engagement of the amber nectar begins.
CHECKPOINT 2 (THE ROYAL OAK) SUMMARY:
Beer: Excellent selection of real ale. Blinding pint!
Pissers: Not attended
Conversation Highlights: "Does half a viagra give you half an erection?"
Locals-watch: Suspicious but compromising. Presence of bartender with Brother Caedfael hairstyle noted.
20/05/2011 14:25hrs GMT
Accidental removal of beer glasses from premises invokes the wrath of the locals. Beer glasses returned. Hasty retreat ensues.
20/05/2011 14:30hrs GMT
Troops march to Checkpoint 3 - The Swan. No reported sights of the Beer Sniper - potentially too early for such an ambush.
CHECKPOINT 3 (THE SWAN)SUMMARY:
Beer: Absolute top quality ale - campaign highlight. First boondoggle skirmish.
Pissers: Straight out of 'Life on Mars'. Rank
Conversation Highlights: How offensive is the term 'Donkey raping shit eater' to those in earshot?
Locals-watch: Seemingly hostile. Bar poster stating "fit in or fuck off" is prominent.
20/05/2011 15:00hrs GMT
Short hike to adjacent checkpoint 4 - The Oddfellows. Cpt Mcfarland begins to experiences his first symptoms of bladder weakness. Emergency pissstop upon entry to checkpoint 4 is necessary. A scheduled ration stop is aborted as the food looks pricey and 'well shit'.
CHECKPOINT 4 (THE ODDFELLOWS) SUMMARY:
Beer: More Boondoggle - but tastes like filth. Chain pubs suck arse at doing good beer - FACT.
Pissers: Elegant. Top notch hand-dryers and good quality urinal cakes.
Conversation Highlights: Cpt Hargreaves' adventures in Iraq.
Locals: Highstreet retail merchant-esque staff and random pub diners. Distinctly nonthreatening.
20/05/2011 15:30 GMT (possibly)
More squad members follow Cpt Mcfarland's lead and succumb to early bladder deficiencies - although Cpt Mcfarland exceeds all piss-per-pub records with 3 individual trips in checkpoint 4 (honestly, considering his size, he must have a bladder the size of an apricot).
Levels of merriment are decidedly increasing. A cameo appearance from legendary beer-wars soldier Sgt Chris 'take it like a boss' Watabiki is met with a chorus of cheering.
Checkpoint 5 is only accessible via a steep climb, which serves to heighten the wobbliness of certain squad members.
CHECKPOINT 5 (THE WESTACRES) SUMMARY:
Beer: Better than checkpoint 4 but still lacking the quality of earlier beverages..
Pissers: Operating at a humidity comparable to the Burmese jungle. No need to use the pisser at all, as all bodily liquids have evaporated before you've even got to the urinal.
Conversation Highlights: Muted due to extensive quizzo playing and the arrival of rations.
Local-watch: Staffed by young females who are oddly unamused by beer driven bravado and cheeky semi-drunken banter. All punters scarper, suggesting our presence is starting to have a negative effect on our surrounding environment. 'Hearts and minds' campaign seemingly failing.
20/05/2011 Late afternoon(ish) GMT....
Fully fed and watered, troops march on to checkpoint 6 - 'The Chestnut'. This area was considered to be a possible early beer sniper ambush point - no confirmed sightings were made though. Upon entry, an elderly lady, is being comforted by sympathetic locals in the corner. She appears to have forgotten who she is and where she is from. The true human cost of the horrors of beer-war are evident in this doddering biddy.
Concerns now increase for the stricken Cpt Mcfarland, who can barely make the hikes between checkpoints without needing to nip off to find a suitable location to evacuate his bladder.
Checkpoint 6 marks the location of the first leg of the epic pool table tournament between Cpts Cartwright and Hickens. 3 wins to Cartwright ensures an early lead.
CHECKPOINT 6 (THE CHESTNUT) SUMMARY:
Beer: All starting to taste the same.
Pissers: Memories starting to fade.
Conversation Highlights: Cpt Hickens - "Could I be done for manslaughter if I accidentally hit the beerwar-ravaged pensioner in the noggin with a miscued pool ball?"
Local-watch: The care being paid to the confused pensioner suggests a socialist ideology at work.
20/05/2011 Christ knows GMT
Having passed the mission mid point and now moderately intoxicated, troops embark on the longest checkpoint to checkpoint trek. A sudden course-correction is agreed and checkpoint 7 - 'The Bradmore Arms' is bypassed - this eliminates further danger of an appearance from the beer sniper. The squadron moves directly to checkpoint 8 'The Chindit Arms'.
20/05/2011 Later than before
Marked as a potential hot spot due to the lack of available tactical reconnaissance information, troops are pleased to discover that the Chindit is actually NOT a western saloon occupied by cattle rustlers and no-good bandits. A well kept pool table allows for the 2nd leg of the Cartwright/Hickens contest. Despite an early comeback, Cartwright wins the overall series 4-2.
CHECKPOINT 8 (THE CHINDIT INN) SUMMARY:
Pissers: Could have pissed in the sink for all I know.
Conversation Highlights: Paul's 'Willy Thorne-esque' commentary of the final pool match.
Local-watch: Initially suspicious, but troop contact made with an old acquaintance of Cpt Cartwright settles the locals down.
32/07/2011 Friday(ish) GMT
Mission end in sight. Approach to Ho-Chi Minh/Wolverhampton City Centre commences. First outlying checkpoint - 'The Combermere Arms'
Sourcing a pack of playing cards, Cpt Hargreaves attempts to teach the game of Bridge to the troops. This endeavour is ultimately unsuccessful as the campaign has served to degrade the cognitive abilities of the soldiers.
CHECKPOINT 9 (THE COMBERMERE ARMS) SUMMARY:
Beer: Combermere beer top notch as always.
Pissers: Outdoor. Urinal - Check. Cubicle - Check. Sink - Check. Tree growing through the middle of the bogs - Check.
Cpt Cartwright: "If I play this hand do I win then?"
Cpt Hargreaves: "For the third time - No!"
Locals: Sympathetic to war ravaged Allied Beer Soldiers.
Sunny Evening-time GMT
First troop casualties. Cpt Sandhu and Cpt Hickens are both allowed medical evac from missus units.
Remaining squad members struggle on final checkpoint 10. Cpt Mcfarland, having temporarily recovered from perpetual bladder weakness is charged with retrieving the new recruit Private Stoten from Wolverhampton Air Base/Train Station.
A bit later....
Remaining troops arrive at the final checkpoint - 'The Clarendon Arms'
CHECKPOINT 10 (THE CLARENDON ARMS) SUMMARY:
Conversation Highlight: Singing 'Roxanne' in high pitched voices with complete strangers in small beer garden.
Locals: drunken crooners
Dark now GMT
All Operation Pork Scratching checkpoints successfully conquered. Troops move on to the debrief point 'the Giffard'.
At this point further intel is interrupted due to possible EMP use, chemical terrorism and/or excessive alcohol consumption. Only brief extracts of the remaining events are available:
1) Cpt Bladon sitting on a gothic throne
7) Cpt Stoten arrives
3) Someone takes a photograph
9) Cpt Bladon sitting on a gothic throne
4) We briefly move to an unrecorded checkpoint - The Hogshead.
4) Cpt Bladon sitting on a gothic throne
4) Cpt Dutton reveals long lost brother
5) Cpt Bladon attempts psychological coercion of local females.
23) Cpt Cartwright talks to someone he knows but doesn't remember who.
1) and Cpt Bladon sitting on a gothic throne:
On a final note, we are sad to inform you, that upon reaching the Checkpoint 11 mission debrief point (for the 2nd time), the Beer Sniper finally emerged and shot Cpt Cartwright, causing him to keel over and become semi-conscious.
He is said to be in a critical but stable condition. Our thoughts are with his toilet.
Number of Checkpoints conquered: 9 + 1 additional
Total Military Personnel: 8
Casualties incurred prior to debrief point: 2
Beer Sniper Victims: 1
Recommendations have been made to the top brass to honour our gallant heroes as follows:
For distinguishing themselves in the art of talking absolute, prolonged bullshit:
- Cpt Richard Bladon - Victoria Cross
- Cpt Steven Cartwright - Victoria Cross
- Cpt Baz Sandhu - Victoria Cross
- Cpt Paul Dutton - Victoria Cross
For exceeding his record in the honourable field of 'most pisses per pub':
- Cpt James Mcfarland - George Cross
- Cpt Richard Bladon - George Cross (& GQ Men's beer-crawl fashion award)
For mastering the arcane skills of fruit machines
- Cpt Paul Dutton - Purple heart/Cherry/Lemon
For maintaining decorum in the face of losing a pool series:
- Cpt James Hickens - Elizabeth Cross
For services for the noble art of teaching Bridge to pissheads:
- Cpt Karl Hargreaves - Distinguished Service Order
----------END OF LOG ----------
Till the next mission - keep fighting the good fight!