5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War - download pdf or read online
By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
For many folks it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded through significant basic Julian Thompson, and made from Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and earlier little stated function during this striking 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 expert while it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view used to be given substance by means of early mess ups resembling the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but through the top, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the easiest 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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Extra resources for 5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War
The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Henry Leach, then joined the meeting and, when asked by Thatcher what could be done, he replied that a naval Task Force could be ready to leave within forty-eight hours and would include 3rd Commando Brigade. Next day the Prime Minister announced to the House of Commons, in a tense Saturday morning debate, that ‘A large task force will sail as soon as preparations are complete’. So was born Operation Corporate, the name given to the naval and military operation to recapture the Falkland Islands and its Dependencies.
It was hoped that a positive show of naval and military strength by the British, as the aggrieved nation, would persuade Argentina to abandon the territories she had occupied. The previous year the Royal Navy had taken the brunt of the defence cuts and senior naval commanders were determined to show that the nation could not do without a strong maritime capability. By 9 April the Task Force order of battle was as follows Commander Task Force 317 (CTF 317) for the South Atlantic operation was Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, who was Commander-in-Chief Fleet, with his headquarters at Northwood.
Scott’s comments are not isolated. There was what appears to have been a perception in 5th Infantry Brigade that the Royal Marines were out to win the war by themselves in order to avenge the largest ever mass surrender of Royal Marine Commandos. This tension sometimes affected the relationship between the two brigades and there is no doubt that 5th Infantry Brigade believed they were second fiddle to 3rd Commando Brigade. There seems to have been a belief at Northwood that the Royal Marines could have defeated a division of Argentinians on their own, but in reality this was nonsense, as was an even more fatuous suggestion by a Special Air Service corporal that its D Squadron could have beaten the Argentinians.
5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War by Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea