Women are fit to fight on front line

Monday 28 December 2015

Picture: Twitter/@Daily_Express

Excuse my ignorance but I had no idea until this week that women soldiers were forbidden from going into close combat.

We have women fighter pilots, women submarine officers, women secret agents trained in the dark arts of hand-tohand fighting.

So why, in 2015, are they excluded from the pointy end of soldiering? You know: pulling grenade pins out with their teeth, fixing bayonets, kicking their opponent in the crotch before dispatching them with a rifle-butt to the back of the head? Sorry to be unseasonally grisly but that's what ugly, kill-or-be-killed face-to-face stuff is all about.

Now Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered the Ministry of Defence to be ready to welcome female soldiers into close combat roles in 2016.

Good. Lots of women are physically more than a match for a man. I would not last two seconds in the ring with a female boxer. Jessica Ennis-Hill would leave most blokes - including athletes - panting in her wake in a sprint to catch the bus. I have lost arm-wrestling competitions with ladies loads of times.

As for female soldiers, I thought the Soviets shattered the myth of female feebleness on the battlefield in the Second World War when battalions of Russian women stormed Nazi positions and efficiently liquidated their defenders. German troops were terrified of them. Survivors of all-woman-led Russian assaults said it was like being attacked by heavily armed whirling dervishes.

Who knows if or when British troops will be sent into Syria, or Iraq, or Libya, to help take down the nauseating obscenity of Islamic State. But if they are, and women are among them, what poetic justice it would be to see female soldiers besting a depraved male enemy that sees women as fit only for sex-trafficking and rape.

Read more in Richard and Judy's Daily Express column.
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