By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
For many of us it was once three Commando Brigade, commanded by way of significant normal Julian Thompson, and made of Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and beforehand little said function during this awesome saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to carry three Commando Brigade as much as strength), it comprised largely of 2 Guards battalions (2nd Scots and 1st Welsh) and the Gurkhas. Many felt it used to be inadequately knowledgeable whilst it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view used to be given substance by way of early failures akin to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but by means of the top, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the simplest recognized, couldn't be denied. Why then used to be its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously neglected whilst the medals and have been passed out?
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Extra resources for 5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War
For some units conversion was a relatively simple matter, but the issue for smaller ones was finding men. The preparations reported in the media reinforced Britain’s military intent. Critical to the venture was Intelligence, but, considering the threat that Argentina had posed to the Falklands for over a century, there was remarkably little information available. Earlier in the year Captain Will Townsend, an Operations planning officer in Headquarters 5th Infantry Brigade, had attended a high-level Intelligence briefing in which every threat was evaluated – from republican movements in Northern Ireland to Guatemala’s claim to Belize, to the Warsaw Pact threat to West Germany and so on.
Except for 29 (Corunna) Battery, the Brigade lacked artillery. The Reserve Forces units joined their regional District Headquarters, 2nd Wessex (V) and 6th Light Infantry (V) going to South-East District and South-West District respectively on home defence. 6th Field Force had been renamed 1st Infantry Brigade and was assigned as the United Kingdom Mobile Force with its own logistic support group. Brigade Headquarters moved from Aldershot to Tidworth. 1st Cheshires and 2nd Royal Irish Rangers were transferred from 8th Field Force and joined 1st Queen’s Own Highlanders, which was equipped and trained in winter warfare.
He returned to Brigade Headquarters with the assessment that the battalion not only lacked sufficient machine guns and cameras but its Larkspur fit of tactical radios was not compatible with the Clansman range used by the Royal Marines. Arrangements were hurriedly made to equip the paras with Clansman. Over the next weeks 5th Infantry Brigade carried on as normal until Major Lambe took a telephone call from the Ministry of Defence wanting to know what the square footage of the brigade was. No one had any idea, but Lambe, suspecting the rationale behind the question, told the caller, ‘Give us the ships and we’ll get on’.
5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War by Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
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