Moment ‘cowboy’ French soldier fires live round inches from Brit squaddie sparking howls of anger

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THIS is the moment a French soldier fires a live round inches from a Brit – sparking howls of anger.

Incredible footage has emerged of the “cowboy” French soldier letting loose on British ranges over the heads of comrades.

The incident is believed to have happened on Salisbury Plain on Wednesday during Exercise Wessex Storm.

A source said: “That is not standard procedure – you can tell by the reaction of the others.

“If any of those blokes ahead had stood up their heads would have been taken clean off.

“It’s not good soldiering in war – let along on the ranges.

“He’s been a bit of a cowboy I hear, playing fast and lose, it’s not the done thing to fire from that position.”

During the live fire training the troops are moving through a trench to advance on an enemy position when the soldier at the back lets fly – just behind the Brit.

Sources said the British soldier was a member of the directing staff and responsible for overseeing safety.

He’s been a bit of a cowboy I hear, playing fast and lose, it’s not the done thing to fire from that position


Army source on the French soldier

His luminous helmet cover marks out his role ensuring soldier operate in the proper way.

But as the troops round the trench corner the man at the back raises his rifle and fires a round apparently over the shoulder of the British soldier.

The British soldier immediately spins round and shouts at the French squaddie.

Another Army source said: “You can tell by his reaction how angry he is – probably because someone just blasted their rifle in his left ear drum.

“It is bloody loud and no doubt would have hurt a bit.

“This is not what anyone would call outstanding drills.

“But it is not such a serious breach that the exercise would need to stop. He probably got a stern talking to about when to shoot.

“This would be deemed not standard conduct but it is not life threatening behaviour.”


Exercise Wessex Storm is the name given to all battle group sized exercises on Salisbury Plain.

French forces regularly take part, while their British counterparts also exercise in France.

Last night the Army confirmed the incident confirmed safety is a priority on all exercises and said the actions of the French soldier did not endanger the lives of other soldiers on exercise.

The French solder, left, is following the other troops in the trench
The British soldier is clearly not pleased by having his head nearly blown off

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