Interesting reading. Colonel Wilford (rightly from what I can tell) gets a hefty share of blame. Major General Ford gets a bit of a pass though he was responsible for sending the paras in the first place. (Angry potentially violent civilians, aggressive angry paras with guns who see the civilians as vermin - what could go wrong?) I found this bit to be particularly damning (bolding mine).
quote: We have concluded that the explanation for such firing by Support Company soldiers after they had gone into the Bogside was in most cases probably the mistaken belief among them that republican paramilitaries were responding in force to their arrival in the Bogside. This belief was initiated by the first shots fired by Lieutenant N and reinforced by the further shots that followed soon after. In this belief soldiers reacted by losing their self-control and firing themselves, forgetting or ignoring their instructions and training and failing to satisfy themselves that they had identified targets posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. In the case of those soldiers who fired in either the knowledge or belief that no-one in the areas into which they fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat, it is at least possible that they did so in the indefensible belief that all the civilians they fired at were probably either members of the Provisional or Official IRA or were supporters of one or other of these paramilitary organisations; and so deserved to be shot notwithstanding that they were not armed or posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. Our overall conclusion is that there was a serious and widespread loss of fire discipline among the soldiers of Support Company.
The important thing that I think the families are taking away from this is that, without exception, the victims have finally been cleared from the smears of the Widgery Tribunal.
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