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

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By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

For many folks it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded by means of significant basic Julian Thompson, and made of Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and formerly little stated position during this amazing saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to deliver 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 proficient while it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view used to be given substance by way of early mess ups comparable to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but by way of the tip, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the simplest identified, couldn't be denied. Why then was once its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously missed whilst the medals and have been passed out?

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Major Chris Davies RE was in command. 3 Troop usually supported 3rd Parachute Battalion and, although warned to join 3rd Commando Brigade, no room could be found on the ships, so it deployed with 5th Infantry Brigade. When 2nd Parachute Battalion departed, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones insisted on taking ‘his troop’, 2 Troop, which was commanded by Captain Robbie Burns. To make up for the lost troop, Captain David Foxley’s 20th Field Squadron, a dark blue beret unit among red berets, joined the Squadron as 4 Troop.

Indeed one armchair general is said to have commented there was no need to take field artillery because the Royal Navy could provide naval gunfire support. Holt’s persistence paid off and when, on 15 April, the Regiment was earmarked to support 5th Infantry Brigade, the decision had to be kept from the Supreme Allied Commander, Western Europe (SACEUR). Historically the Regiment had been consistently refused permission to train with the brigade as a unit. When training was undertaken, it was usually only with 29 Battery because of its role with the Leading Parachute Battalion Group.

Having had more time to prepare, the medical order of battle included an Advanced Dressing Station, three casualty-collecting stations and a hygiene section. A Parachute Clearing Troop was already attached to 2nd Parachute Battalion. 81 Ordnance Company, reinforced by 91 Ordnance Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, provided logistic and ordnance support. Like 4th Field Regiment, 81 Ordnance Company was a Priority One NATO unit and its deployment also had to be kept discreet. 10th Field Workshops, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, provided repair and maintenance support for transport, weapons and electrical and electronics equipment.

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