5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War by Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

For lots of humans it was once three Commando Brigade, commanded through significant normal Julian Thompson, and made from Royal Marines and Paras that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and before little stated position during this notable saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to carry three Commando Brigade as much as strength), it comprised mostly of 2 Guards battalion (2nd Scots and 1st Welsh) and the Gurkhas. Many felt it was once inadequately knowledgeable whilst it sailed from Southampton at the QE2 and this view was once given substance by way of early failures comparable to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but via the top, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the easiest identified, 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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Designed in the 1950s to accommodate an armoured regiment, they had a displacement of 12,000 tons and could comfortably accommodate a battalion of 400 troops, plus twelve tanks and about twenty-five light vehicles. Amphibious operations were directed from the Amphibious Operations Room, which was capable of handling a battalion command post, not a brigade headquarters, as was now anticipated for HMS Fearless. The flight deck could comfortably handle two support helicopters simultaneously. A Royal Marines Assault Squadron provided coxswains to handle the four LCUs and four LCVPs and man a beach assault group.

On his return to Aldershot, Lambe ordered a large purpose-made frame tent for Brigade Headquarters His first brigade exercise with troops, Exercise Green Lanyard, was in February at Thetford and was designed to practice the two parachute battalions and one Gurkha battalion in hostage rescue in a Middle Eastern setting, except that it rained almost the entire fortnight. It does seem that the first seeds of the distrust between Brigade Headquarters and some Parachute Regiment officers emerged when a debate developed on how parachute battalions should be used.

Coincidentally, Headquarters 3rd Commando Brigade, on their way to Ascension Island, had calculated that it would need another battalion and on 15 April 2nd Parachute Battalion was placed on three days’ notice to move to join 3rd Commando Brigade and the Royal Anglian Regiment was instructed to send a battalion to Belize. Jones recalled the advance party. Major Tony Rice of 29 (Corunna) Battery and two Forward Observation Officer parties, 2 Troop, 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers and three Scout helicopters from 656 Squadron, Army Air Corps, joined the battalion.

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