Jim Page | 05.03.2010 10:52
Oxford Coroner's Court heard the voice of Sergeant Steve Roberts, recorded on tapes he made for his wife in March 2003, criticising his commanders for failing to properly equip troops or give them signs to distinguish them as friendly forces to their American counterparts.
Today, coroners heard that Sergeant Roberts was painfully aware of the supply problems affecting his regiment and in a series of recordings he recounted how pleased he was to have brought some of his own clothing and equipment to Iraq.
He said that claims by the then Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson that UK forces were battle-ready was "a blatant lie".
Ten days before his death Sergeant Roberts told his wife: "We’ve got nothing, it’s disgraceful what we’ve got out here. It’s pretty demoralising."
And in the midst of last-minute preparations for the invasion a week later, he said: "It’s going well. Still haven’t seen my combats yet. Kit we’re being told we are going to get, we’re not. It’s disheartening because we know we’re going to have to go to war without the correct equipment. It fills me with a bit of remorse really. I think remorse is the right word."