Great Britain: A Shortage of 'Eroes

In the palmy Victorian days when Kipling's Tommy Atkins called the British army the "thin red line of 'eroes," few Englishmen could predict how thin the line might get. On the troubled island of Cyprus, in beleaguered Aden, and within the threatened Malaysian Federation, in recent weeks the line seemed stretched to the breaking point. Indeed, alarmed at the frequency with which British troops are dispatched to overseas trouble spots, the London Daily Telegraph harrumphed: "Officers who hold the Queen's Commission cannot be air-freighted without ceremony from their lawful appointments. British battalions cannot be whistled about like errand boys."

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